The Role of Woman in the Middle Ages: Papers of the Sixth Annual Conference of the Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies, State University of New York at Binghamton, 6-7 May 1972

The Role of Woman in the Middle Ages: Papers of the Sixth Annual Conference of the Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies, State University of New York at Binghamton, 6-7 May 1972

The Role of Woman in the Middle Ages: Papers of the Sixth Annual Conference of the Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies, State University of New York at Binghamton, 6-7 May 1972

The Role of Woman in the Middle Ages: Papers of the Sixth Annual Conference of the Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies, State University of New York at Binghamton, 6-7 May 1972

Excerpt

In spite of the tremendous influence woman is known to have exerted upon numerous facets of medieval civilization, until now her role has not been the subject of a special concerted effort using critical perspectives gained from multidisciplinary approaches. The papers in this volume represent an attempt to develop and to demonstrate the use of such critical perspectives. Before turning to these methodological considerations, let us briefly outline aspects of her role stressed in this work.

Taken as a whole, the six essays collected in this volume paint a diversified portrait of the medieval woman. They cover these topics: (1) the factors influencing the span of her life and the value placed upon her existence by society; (2) the interaction of those sociological, historical, anthropological, and literary factors which determined her possible functions in illiterate as well as in literate medieval narrative communities and the literary representations corresponding to these functions; (3) the complex relational possibilities emerging out of various ambivalent thematic, motivic, and structural relationships of her role in the courtly romance; (4) the idealized personal as well as supra‐ personal feminine image capable of resolving the apparent and potentially conflicting impulses pulling the artist in bifarious directions of antiquity and Christianity; (5) a study of France's first professional woman of letters who was aware that written history has been masculine history, convinced that women are able to play an important role in the . . .

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