Women at Sea Symposium
National Waterfront Museum, Swansea, Wales
1st July 2016

Countless women float through the waters of medieval narrative. The woman at sea is often set adrift by men who on land have ultimate power over her, but at sea a woman enters a more generative and transformative space. She is frequently unmoored, lost, vulnerable, her direction chosen by wind and fate. Yet the sea may also open up a more feminine, queer, imaginative space in which she can re-cast her sense of self. Thus, women in oceanic narratives can inhabit a different temporality than is available in narratives defined by land. They enter an exceptional space, a place where bodies need not be territories.

Ecole du Rhin supérieur_ Sainte Ursule_22.001.1.1_nf© Musée de l’Oeuvre Notre Dame de Strasbourg