Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Faculty Research Forum
Rape, Rapture, and Writing The Book of Margery Kempe 
Suzanne Edwards
Associate Professor, English Department 
For many contemporary survivors of sexual violence, writing is an integral part of survival and healing—as in works by Sohaila Abdulali (2018), Roxane Gay (2017), and Seo-Young Chu (2017).  Characteristically, these narratives depart from the conventions that define sexual violence in dominant discourses. Philosopher and rape survivor Susan Brison explains that play with the past through recursive, non-linear, and/or allusive narratives can promote healing from sexual violence, because it allows the survivor to open up “an infinitevariety of unforeseeable futures.” This paper argues for reading the fifteenth-century Book of Margery Kempe as another such narrative of rape and recovery, as a record Kempe’s ongoing efforts to rework a history of sexual trauma into an otherwise “unforeseeable future.”  
Virtual - go.lehigh.edu/2wgssfacresearch 
Lunch to go provided with an R.S.V.P. by Wednesday, December 1 - Jen Reider, jrc519@lehigh.edu

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