Meredith Warren deposited “Call Me By Your Name”: Critical Fabulation and the Woman of Judges 19 in the group Journal for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies on Humanities Commons 4 months, 3 weeks ago
Is anonymity a form of violence? The woman of Judges 19 endured gang-rape and dismemberment, and neither the Bible nor its ancient exegetes gave her a name. This article surveys the modern writers and scholars who chose new names for her, examining how their choices of names reflected their broader goals for retelling her story. From there, I turn to the broader fields of critical fabulation and literary onomastics, particularly as rooted in Black American experience. I confront the affective yearning that undergirded these naming attempts and their negotiation with archival absence. Naming is an act of power, and the choice to name this woman ultimately reflects our own decision: do we “rescue” her from anonymity or leave her to dwell in a space of abjection? The decision is less simple than it appears.