The Romanic Review

A quarterly journal devoted to the study of Romance literatures. Articles cover all periods of French, Italian, and Spanish-language literature. Published by the Department of French and Romance Philology of Columbia University.

Articles from Vol. 86, No. 2, March

Bodies and Pleasures: Early Modern Interrogations
Julia Epstein and Kristina Straub, in their introduction to Body Guards: The Cultural Politics of Gender Ambiguity, note the prevalence of academic criticism's recent focus on the body as a "subject" of culture and of embodiedness as a paradigm of...
Bodies That Matter in the Court of Late Medieval England and in Chaucer's 'Miller's Tale.'
In the fabliau world of Chaucer's Miller's Tale, private parts, furtive sexual encounters, and a so-called "misdirected kiss" constitute the order of the day. Indeed, critical discussions of the tale generally take for granted its elaborate concern...
Cities of the Plain: The Rhetoric of Sodomy in Peter Damian's "Book of Gomorrah."
Sodomy is named for a city.(1) Reversing the familiar scenario where the body supplies a set of metaphors for the body social, "sodomy" and its cognates invoke a civic community to represent a set of bodily acts.(2) The logic of the etymology, of...
Flaming Words: Verbal Violence and Gender in Premodern Paris
Imagine words such as hate and territory and the like -- unbanished still as they always would be -- wait and are waiting under beautiful speech. To strike. Eavan Boland In a Time of Violence Accuser, blamer, soupconner, maudire, railler, condamner,...
Gerald of Wales' 'Topographia Hibernica': Sex and the Irish Nation
Assessed from a modern perspective, the Topographia Hibernica is of little value as a work of ethnography. Although promoted by its author as a lucid circumscription of Ireland and its inhabitants, it clearly and disconcertingly swerves between fact...
Rewriting Marriage in Late Medieval Douai
Late medieval Douai, one of the premier cities of the old Low Countries, is known to historians not only for its luxury cloth, its grain staple, and the wealth these industries produced, for its role in the tumultuous political history of the period,...
The Politics of Courtly Love: 'La Prise d'Orange' and the Conversion of the Saracen Queen
I. "Women," writes cultural critic Barbara Harlow, "have long been at the center of the conflict between East and West...as phantasmic representations of Western designs on the Orient. The misunderstandings of the woman's place and role in the...
The Queen's Secret: Adultery and Political Structure in the Feudal Courts of Old French Romance
Adultery is a prominent subject of romances, and royal adultery seems to have exercised a particular fascination for medieval French poets. Some of the best known examples of the romance genre recount the story of an adulterous liaison between a queen...
Unspeakable Pleasures: Alain De Lille, Sexual Regulation and the Priesthood of Genius
1. The Long Shadow of Medieval Sexuality(1) With the appearance of Alain de Lille's De planctu Naturae sometime between 1160 and 1180, the figure Genius became a priest.(2) Originally a Roman tutelary god, he had already been elevated to an...
Widowhood, Sexuality, and Gender in Christine De Pizan
Christine de Pizan's rich and varied oeuvre, as it appears in the major manuscripts whose compilation she herself supervised, involves a set of multiple subject positions, that are both essential and constitutive ("built in," as it were) with regard...
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