Sexuality and Gender in Early Modern Europe: Institutions, Texts, Images / Edition 1

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Overview

This exploration of sexuality and gender in Renaissance art and literature starts from an assumption that would have seemed unthinkable a generation ago: that the 'natural' phenomena of sex, gender and subjectivity are constructed rather than essentially biological or fixed. The essays rise to the challenge of producing a new post-Foucaultian history of gender and sexuality. All of them have been influenced by feminism, and several deal with women not just as objects of representation, but as subjects and authors in their own right. Among the historical issues examined are the production and suppression of women's voices, the relation between illicit sexuality and social order, the ambiguity of beauty, lesbian erotics, birth-imagery and the birthing ritual, the class status of women, the 'femininity' of masculine dress, and the sexual politics of courtesy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The great strength of this volume is that it displays the wide variety of approaches being applied to cultural products of the Renaissance. In particular, it demonstrates how the juxtaposition and reconsideration of different types of evidence (visual, literary, and 'empirical') can significantly enrich our understanding of the Renaissance." Linda L. Gaus, Sixteenth Century Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521446051
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/1993
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 364
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations; Notes on contributors; Preface and acknowledgements; Introduction: a history of sexuality?; 1. Marriage, love, sex, and Renaissance civic morality; 2. Typology, sexuality and the Renaissance Esther; 3. Artifice as seduction in Titian; 4. Renaissance women and the question of class; 5. Venetian women and their discontents; 6. The ambiguity of beauty in Tasso and Petrarch; 7. George Pettie, Barnaby Rich, and delights for women 'only'; 8. Troping Utopia: Donne's brief for Lesbianism; 9. Staging gender in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew; 10. The semiotics of masculinity in Renaissance England; 11. Recuperating women and the man behind the screen; 12. Male Renaissance poets in the female body; 13. The geography of Renaissance love; 13. Gender and conduct in Paradise Lost.

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