Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Founding Feminisms in Medieval Studies: Essays in Honor of E. Jane Burns

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Founding Feminisms in Medieval Studies: Essays in Honor of E. Jane Burns

Article excerpt

Founding Feminisms in Medieval Studies: Essays in Honor of E. Jane Burns, ed. Laine E. Doggett and Daniel E. O'Sullivan, Gallica 39 (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2016). xv + 253 pp.; 36 black-and-white illustrations. ISBN 978-1-84384-427-3. ?60.00. The fifteen essays in this volume explore issues of gender, sexuality, and racial identity in a range of medieval texts and traditions, primarily but not exclusively French, with attention to visual sources as well - not only manuscript illuminations but also seals, sculptures, carvings, and stained glass. The first section, 'Debating gender', treats Melusine, the Roman de Silence, trobairitz tensos, and fabliaux. The second, 'Sartorial bodies', examines articles of clothing - as identity markers, as socio-political and religious codes, as allegorical images - in the visual arts, in the poetry of Baudouin de Condé, and in the historical records documenting the case of the transvestite or transgender John/ Eleanor Rykener. The third section, 'Mapping margins', moves into somewhat different territory, with essays on the overlap of magic and medicine in literary depictions of female healers; a discussion of the silk trade in the age of Marco Polo; and the use of a black 'Saracen' figure, and the attitudes expressed and implied about Islamic culture, in Honoré Bovet's Apparicion Maistre Jean de Meun. …

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