The Literary Subversions Of Medieval Women [NOOK Book]

Overview

Winner of the 2008 SCMLA Book Prize!!

This study of medieval women as postcolonial writers defines the literary strategies of subversion by which they authorized their alterity within the dominant tradition. To dismantle a colonizing culture, they made public the private feminine space allocated by gender difference: they constructed “unhomely” spaces. They inverted gender roles of characters to valorize the female; they created alternate idealized feminist societies and ...

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The Literary Subversions Of Medieval Women

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Overview

Winner of the 2008 SCMLA Book Prize!!

This study of medieval women as postcolonial writers defines the literary strategies of subversion by which they authorized their alterity within the dominant tradition. To dismantle a colonizing culture, they made public the private feminine space allocated by gender difference: they constructed “unhomely” spaces. They inverted gender roles of characters to valorize the female; they created alternate idealized feminist societies and cultures, or utopias, through fantasy; and they legitimized female triviality—the homely female space—to provide autonomy. While these methodologies often overlapped in practice, they illustrate how cultures impinge on languages to create what Deleuze and Guattari have identified as a minor literature, specifically for women as dis-placed. Women writers discussed include Hrotsvit of Gandersheim, Hildegard of Bingen, Marie de France, Marguerite Porete, Catherine of Siena, Margery Kempe, Julian of Norwich, and Christine de Pizan.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Chance has been a pioneer of feminist literary criticism on the Middle Ages ever since her book, Woman as Hero in Old English Literature, first appeared in the mid-1980s. Some two dozen books later, in the course of a distinguished career, Chance has accumulated a reputation not only for feminist scholarship, but also for her thoughtful and generous mentoring of two generations of women medievalists. The Literary Subversions of Medieval Women is the culmination of Chance's scholarship as a feminist medievalist, and the jewel in her crown."—Geraldine Heng, Director of Medieval Studies at the University of Texas at Austin; Author of Empire of Magic: Medieval Romance and the Politics of Cultural Fantasy (2003)

"Chance's study is an incisive, eloquent, and erudite survey of the wide-ranging strategies which medieval women writers in Latin, French, German, and Italian deployed to turban the tables on the misogynist literary culture of their time, to restore in effect the abused ideal of a universal republic of letters. It combines the latest scholarship in critical and cultural studies, especially post-colonialist and feminist theory, with a sweeping, often breath-taking command of more traditional medievalist scholarship. It opens up, in a pioneering fashion, a new dialogue about women writers in medieval (and also modern) culture. One might not always agree with Chance - nor does she expect this response - but no one can fail to be stimulated by this deeply provocative study."—Jeff Richards, Professor of Romance Literatures, University of Wuppertal

"Chance has long been recognized as a leading scholar of the Middle Ages. This book is an exceptional achievement by a medievalist at the top of her game. Her work reinvigorates the study of important medieval women writers like Hrotsvit of Gandersheim, Marie de France, Marguerite Porete, Margery Kempe, and Julian of Norwich, suggesting exciting new directions for the discipline of medieval studies."—Laurie Finke, Professor of Women's and Gender Studies, Kenyon College

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230261365
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 8/7/2007
  • Series: The New Middle Ages Series
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 327 KB

Meet the Author

Jane Chance is Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Chair and Professor of English, Rice University.

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Table of Contents

The Discursive Strategies of the Marginalized
• St. Agnes and the Emperor's Daughter in Hrotsvit of Gandersheim: Feminizing the Founding of the Early Roman Church
• Marie de France Versus King Arthur: Lanval's Gender Inversion as Breton Subversion
• Marguerite Porete's Annihilation of the Character Reason in Her Fantasy of an Inverted Church
• Unhomely Margery Kempe and St. Catherine of Siena: "Comownycacyon" and "Conversacyon" as Homily

Toward a Minor Literature: Julian of Norwich's Annihilation of Original Sin

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