This article is a write-up of an electronic colloquium which took place in November and December of 1993 under the auspices of Interscripta. As moderator of the discussion and author of the article, I take full responsibility for the structure of the material that appears in this essay. All unattributed text, examples, and explications are are my own (Jeffrey Jerome Cohen).
 The contributors to the Interscripta "Medieval Masculinities" discussion were:
Judy Abbott, Gregory S. Aist, Edith Benkov, Nancy Caciola, Chip Clark, Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, Elizabeth Dachowski, Steve Davis, Robert Duncan, James W. Earl, Carol A. Everest, Laurie Finke, Karen Foster, Kathy Garay, James Goldstein, Michael Goodich, Dennis Grafflin, David Greenberg, Ed Haymes, Norman Hinton, Bruce Holsinger, Ruth Karras, Beverly Kennedy, Erynn Laurie, Brian S. Lee, Clare A. Lees, C. Liang, Naomi Liebler, Joyce Lionarons, Robert L. Lockhart, E. Ann Matter, Bill McCarthy, M. McCrillis, Daniel Melia, Rebecca W. Oettinger, Stephen B. Partridge, Wendy Pfeffer, Daniel Pigg, Greg Roper, Greg Rose, Samuel Rosenberg, Elizabeth Rowe, Will Sayers, Paul Schaffner, Bob Stein, Michael Toch, David Townsend, Michael Uebel, Peter van Heusden, Bruce Venarde, Claire Waters, Abigail Ann Young, Mindy Young. (55)
 The ten texts which compose this article are:
 Even if heroism (like gender itself) is constructed, this inherent artificiality does not imply that one kind of masculinity can simply be shrugged off to adopt another. One cannot change gendered identities with the same ease with which one might (for example) change Halloween costumes: the cultural forces invested in maintaining order within given societies ensure that there will always be a dangerous friction involved in such transformations. Useful here is Judith Butler's reply to the critics who took her notion of gender performativity too far, arguing that one can adopt a newly gendered self through sheer force of will:
If I were to argue that genders are performative, that could mean that I thought that one woke in the morning, perused the closet or some more open space for the gender of choice, donned the gender for the day, and then restored the garment to its place at night. Such a willful and instrumental subject, one who decides on its gender, is clearly not its gender from the start and fails to realize that its existence is already decided by gender. (Bodies That Matter, p.x)Construction is a "constitutive constraint": it inhibits more than it liberates. Agency exists in gender construction, but in a vexed and friction-filled relationship. Butler's Bodies That Matter, especially in the introduction and chapter eight, is the best and most influential recent statement of the problem.
 "Alcuin famously rebuked the monks at Lindisfarne for reading popular heroic tales at their meals rather than sermons by the church fathers. His rhetorical question 'Quid Hinieldus cum Christo?' ('What hath Ingeld to do with Christ?') - that is, why should Christians be interested in deeds of heroes rather than traditional homilies - indicates that Germanic interests were never wholly supplanted by Latin erudite traditions [in Anglo-Saxon England]. Yet no matter how popular Ingeld's deeds were for continued oral recital, even at monastic dinner tables, nothing survives of this hero today besides some scattered and fragmentary references which together can only hint at a once widespread fame" [Ingeld is mentioned in Beowulf, Widsith, Saxo Grammaticus, and some Old Norse sources].Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, "Old English Literature and the Work of Giants," Comitatus volume 24 (1993), p.5.