Mary Dockray-Miller

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Mary Dockray-Miller (born 1965) is an American scholar of Anglo-Saxon England, best known for her work on gender in the Anglo-Saxon period. She has published on female saints, on Beowulf, and on religious women.[1] She teaches at Lesley University, where she is professor of English.

Dockray-Miller is the author of Motherhood and Mothering in Anglo-Saxon England (St. Martin's Press, 2000), which utilized postmodern gender theory (the work of Judith Butler, Luce Irigaray, and others) to reinvestigate historical elements, such as double houses and Anglo-Saxon religious women, and literature, including Beowulf. At the time, it was "the first and only monograph on motherhood to appear in Anglo-Saxon studies".[2] The book received a fair amount of attention from reviewers, though opinions were mixed, one reviewer stating that "her historical analyses, however, are unsatisfying and problematic" and that Dockray-Miller too easily conflates patriarchy with heroic society.[3] On the other hand, a reviewer in Speculum praised the book as "well argued and an important contribution to women's studies and Anglo-Saxon scholarship".[4] One reviewer pointed out flaws and strengths: "Yet such problematic moments [renaming Grendel's Mother "the seawulf", and excluding Elene and Mary from her discussion of mothers] are offset by the books more sustained strengths: an exciting and original topic whose exploration raises awareness of motherhood in an early culture, and a persuasive thesis that is supported by fascinating historical analysis."[2] Her chapter on mothers in Beowulf was considered "intriguing and persuasive" by one reviewer, but with the caveat that the conclusion on the politics of motherhood was "sketchy".[5]

Her most recent monograph is Saints Edith and Æthelthryth: Princesses, Miracle Workers, and their Late Medieval Audience (Brepols, 2009).[6] She has published numerous journal articles is a contributor to the Historical Dictionary of Women's Education in the United States (Greenwood, 1998).[7]


  1. ^ Acker, Paul (2006). "Horror and the Maternal in "Beowulf"". PMLA. 121 (3): 702–16. doi:10.1632/003081206x142832. JSTOR 25486349. 
  2. ^ a b Klein, Stacy S. (2002). "Rev. of Dockray-Miller, Motherhood and Mothering in Anglo-Saxon England". Arthuriana. 12 (3): 124–26. doi:10.1353/art.2002.0076. JSTOR 27870460. 
  3. ^ Stafford, Pauline (2001). "Rev. of Dockray-Miller, Motherhood and Mothering in Anglo-Saxon England". Albion. 33 (3): 430–32. doi:10.2307/4053202. JSTOR 4053202. 
  4. ^ French, Katherine L. (2002). "Rev. of Dockray-Miller, Motherhood and Mothering in Anglo-Saxon England". Speculum. 1. 77: 164–65. doi:10.2307/2903816. JSTOR 2903816. 
  5. ^ Atkinson, Clarissa (2001). "Rev. of Dockray-Miller, Motherhood and Mothering in Anglo-Saxon England". The American Historical Review. 106 (2): 628. doi:10.2307/2651726. JSTOR 2651726. 
  6. ^ Gretsch, Mechthild. "Rev. of Dockray-Miller". English Historical Review. CXXVI (518): 121–22. doi:10.1093/ehr/ceq438. 
  7. ^ Schwartz, Paula (July–Sep 2002). ""Women's Studies, Gender Studies": Le contexte américain". Vingtième Siècle. Revue d'histoire. 75: 15–20. doi:10.2307/3771854. JSTOR 3771854.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

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