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Obscene Pedagogies: Transgressive Talk and Sexual Education in Late Medieval Britain

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In Obscene Pedagogies , Carissa M. Harris investigates the relationship between obscenity, gender, and pedagogy in Middle English and Middle Scots literary texts from 1300 to 1580 to show how sexually explicit and defiantly vulgar speech taught readers and listeners about sexual behavior and consent. Through innovative close readings of literary texts including erotic ly In Obscene Pedagogies , Carissa M. Harris investigates the relationship between obscenity, gender, and pedagogy in Middle English and Middle Scots literary texts from 1300 to 1580 to show how sexually explicit and defiantly vulgar speech taught readers and listeners about sexual behavior and consent. Through innovative close readings of literary texts including erotic lyrics, single-woman's songs, debate poems between men and women, Scottish insult poetry battles, and The Canterbury Tales, Harris demonstrates how through its transgressive charge and galvanizing shock value, obscenity taught audiences about gender, sex, pleasure, and power in ways both positive and harmful. Harris's own voice, proudly witty and sharply polemical, inspires the reader to address these medieval texts with an eye on contemporary issues of gender, violence, and misogyny.


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In Obscene Pedagogies , Carissa M. Harris investigates the relationship between obscenity, gender, and pedagogy in Middle English and Middle Scots literary texts from 1300 to 1580 to show how sexually explicit and defiantly vulgar speech taught readers and listeners about sexual behavior and consent. Through innovative close readings of literary texts including erotic ly In Obscene Pedagogies , Carissa M. Harris investigates the relationship between obscenity, gender, and pedagogy in Middle English and Middle Scots literary texts from 1300 to 1580 to show how sexually explicit and defiantly vulgar speech taught readers and listeners about sexual behavior and consent. Through innovative close readings of literary texts including erotic lyrics, single-woman's songs, debate poems between men and women, Scottish insult poetry battles, and The Canterbury Tales, Harris demonstrates how through its transgressive charge and galvanizing shock value, obscenity taught audiences about gender, sex, pleasure, and power in ways both positive and harmful. Harris's own voice, proudly witty and sharply polemical, inspires the reader to address these medieval texts with an eye on contemporary issues of gender, violence, and misogyny.

35 review for Obscene Pedagogies: Transgressive Talk and Sexual Education in Late Medieval Britain

  1. 5 out of 5

    Highlyeccentric

    I am full of hearteyes and !!! about this book. Harris' readings of medieval and early modern sources are, for the most part, brilliant (I had some few interpretive quibbles re some of the songs), and the introduction is a masterclass in, well, introducing. Particularly Harris' justifications for using an apparently-unrelated theoretical lens (Black feminist criticism) to read medieval lit - the steps she walks through to link the two are exemplary and useful to me, in that my work is often deep I am full of hearteyes and !!! about this book. Harris' readings of medieval and early modern sources are, for the most part, brilliant (I had some few interpretive quibbles re some of the songs), and the introduction is a masterclass in, well, introducing. Particularly Harris' justifications for using an apparently-unrelated theoretical lens (Black feminist criticism) to read medieval lit - the steps she walks through to link the two are exemplary and useful to me, in that my work is often deeply queer-reading based, but also rarely about queer people or experiences. My chief scepticism is that Harris places, IMHO, rather too much optimistic hope in the power of male-to-male peer education and/or empathetic response to packed rape narratives. Aside from the fact that she (probably unaware of their Problematic rep in Aus) cites resources from White Ribbon Australia and a researcher who was a White Ribbon Ambassador for a long time (ergo, I do not trust him), I am sceptical for so many reasons, both critically and personally informed.

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  34. 4 out of 5

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  35. 5 out of 5

    Luke

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