Bethany Jones

Twitter: @velvetlibrarian

Previous education

Master’s Degree, English Literary Research, Lancaster University
Bachelor’s Degree, English Literature, Lancaster University

Thesis title

Women, waives, and outlaws: towards a premodern homo sacer


Dr. Liz Oakley-Brown and Professor Arthur Bradley, Lancaster University

Research summary

I am in the second year of my PhD in the Department of English and Creative Writing at Lancaster University. My thesis establishes a critical account of the figure of the outlawed woman in premodern literature and culture. In law, the ‘waive’ is the woman’s terminological equivalent to the outlaw. I trace the distinct legal term ‘waive’ alongside a discussion of literary texts to uncover the ideological agendas which underpin representations of outlawed women. Using the work of Giorgio Agamben, I consider whether the extent of the waive’s exclusion from both the law and language constitutes an equivalent biopolitical category to homo sacer as a type of femina sacra. I am currently researching the biopolitical implications and parallels between outlaw Robin Hood and Lancashire folk heroine Long Meg of Westminster.

Research interests

Medieval and early modern texts, biopolitics, feminist literary and cultural theory.

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