Wednesday, September 7, 2011

"Queering the Cougar" ICMS, Kalamazoo 2012

As a follow-up to the 2011 “Medieval Cougars” ICMS panel, this panel seeks to interrogate the medieval social and gender expectations associated with the modern concept of a ‘cougar,’ such as issues of authority, pursuit, agency, and sexuality; however, this panel will examine texts wherein the dynamic between the older woman and the object of her attention shifts from heteronormative to homoerotic. Medieval literature presents several instances of such ‘queer cougars’: some of these women accidentally pursue same-sex partners who happen to be cross-dressed or whose gender identity is not immediately clear, while others openly seek a relationship with a younger, female protagonist. Submissions should examine how the homoeroticism of the relationship impacts the cougar’s transgression of social and gender norms and how the text treats these homoerotic relationships, often by resolving them into heteronormative ones. All submissions are due by September 15, 2011. Please email abstracts to Cameron Hunt McNabb