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In Cynewulf’s Old English poem Juliana, the saint frames her encounters with her adversaries as pedagogical confrontations, refusing the lessons they attempt to “teach” her and ultimately adopting the identity of a teacher herself. These confrontations depend on three key tropes in the poem: Juliana’s voice, as a material manifestation of language deployed by the saint; her body, both as living body and as relic; and place, especially the place of the saint’s martyrdom and/or burial. Viewed through theories of material feminism, these tropes reveal diverse forms of agency in the poem, as both human and non-human agents make bodies and places newly intelligible as dynamic and interlinking phenomena.
Juliana, Cynewulf, Old English, Anglo-Saxon, hagiography, saints, materiality, material feminism, matter, phenomena
Copyright © 2019 Christina M. Heckman
Heckman, Christina M. "Demonic Pedagogy and the Teaching Saint: Voice, Body, and Place in Cynewulf's Juliana." Medieval Feminist Forum: A Journal of Gender and Sexuality
54, no. 2 (2019)
Available at: https://doi.org/10.17077/1536-8742.2095