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Obscene Pedagogies

Obscene Pedagogies

Transgressive Talk and Sexual Education in Late Medieval Britain

by Carissa M. Harris

Published by: Cornell University Press

306 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 x 0.00 mm

  • ISBN: 9781501730405
  • Published: December 2018

£34.00

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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 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.