Gender in Debate from the Early Middle Ages to the Renaissance

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Thelma Fenster, Clare A. Lees
Palgrave Macmillan, Mar 20, 2002 - History - 292 pages
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This volume explores how issues of women and gender were addressed in medieval culture from the Anglo-Saxon period through the 15th century. It pays particular attention to the form in which these questions were addressed (which varies significantly from period to period and from culture to culture). Instigation of the querelle des femmes has long been attributed to Christine de Pizan (1364-1429). Unfortunately, modern critical emphasis on Christine, and also on Chaucer, has obscured the ways in which both writers were participating in a much larger and older cultural conversation about women and gender; further, no one asked why the conversation had taken the form of a debate, manifesting itself in variations upon a competitive idea and producing beliefs about gender. By contextualizing Christine de Pizan's work in relation to these other cultural conversations, it sharpens our understanding of the specific debate in which she intervened. Only a collaborative project, conducted by experts in the field of Medieval Studies, can adequately explore the diversity and dimension of medieval conversations and debate about gender.

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About the author (2002)

Thelma Fenster is Professor of French and Medieval Studies at Fordham University. She has published editions and translations of Christine de Pizanís narrative poetry.

Clare A. Lees is Professor of Medieval Literature and the History of Language at Kingís College London.

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