Yes means yes? Understanding consent in cases of abduction (15th c. Brabant & Flanders)

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Yes means yes? Understanding consent in cases of abduction (15th c. Brabant & Flanders)
Chanelle Delameillieure (KUL)

Abstract : From the twelfth century onwards, canon law required active consent to contract a marriage. However, historians still don't fully understand the impact of that legal emphasis on consent in society. How die medieval people interpret consent and how should we understand this medieval notion of consent today? To answer these questions, I will examine the consent of women who were abducted for the purpose of marriage in the late medieval Low Countries. This is a challenging task as the term ‘abduction’ (schaeck in Middle Dutch) was used to describe both violent abduction/rape and consensual elopement. Moreover, MeToo has added another layer of complexity, as it has introduced issues barely considered before by historians in discussions on consent. By analysing legal narratives in fifteenth-century secular and ecclesiastical courts, I aim to show that medieval people were aware of consent’s complexity and understood it in a remarkably sophisticated manner.

Biography : Chanelle Delameillieure works as a guest lecturer at the Research Group of Medieval History at KU Leuven. Her research concerns medieval family and gender history and the social history of law and justice in the late medieval Low Countries. Chanelle is the author of a science-popularizing book on women’s lives in late medieval cities. Her first monograph will appear soon with Amsterdam University Press.

Thursday 27 April (in collaboration with SOCIAMM)

4-6 pm, Rokkan Room, S building, 12th floor

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