Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Fiona R. Murphy L&S Arts & Humanities

Like 'Honey and a Woman': Exploring Infidelity in Early Irish Sagas

While many have been taught that the middle ages were sexually non-existent, or at least avoidant, that could not be further from the truth. In the Early Irish Sagas (c. 8th – 12th centuries) stories of sex, infidelity and more are rampant. These stories, all of which were recorded by monastically trained scribes, are an incredible trove of information on the Early Irish opinions toward sexuality. Yet, as the field has opened in terms of gender studies, it still shies away from sex and even more so from the study of sexual taboo. The lack of interaction with that theme is a failing of the field, but leaves an exciting opening for my own research. By examining stories in which married men are cuckolded, I will learn how sex was tied to the acquisition and maintenance of masculine power and how women, as the tool for that power, interacted with it.

Message To Sponsor

Funding for the humanities, especially Celtic Studies and especially as an undergraduate, is hard to come by. To have donors that see it as worthy and are willing to fund such research is a huge boost in my confidence that this is a field I can thrive in. Thank you for your support.
Major: Celtic Studies and English
Mentor: Myriah Williams
Sponsor: Anselm A&H Fund
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