Gender and Difference in the Middle Ages

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Sharon A. Farmer, Carol Braun Pasternack
U of Minnesota Press, 2003 - Social Science - 354 pages
2 Reviews
Nothing less than a rethinking of what we mean when we talk about "men" and "women" of the medieval period, this volume demonstrates how the idea of gender -- in the Middle Ages no less than now -- intersected in subtle and complex ways with other categories of difference. Responding to the insights of postcolonial and feminist theory, the authors show that medieval identities emerged through shifting paradigms -- that fluidity, conflict, and contingency characterized not only gender, but also sexuality, social status, and religion. This view emerges through essays that delve into a wide variety of cultures and draw on a broad range of disciplinary and theoretical approaches. Scholars in the fields of history as well as literary and religious studies consider gendered hierarchies in western Christian, Jewish, Byzantine, and Islamic areas of the medieval world.
 

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Contents

On the History of the Early Phallus
11
Institutionalized
45
Gender Sanctity
73
Negotiating Gender in AngloSaxon England
107
Male Friendship and the Suspicion of Sodomy
145
Monks Lay Brothers
182
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About the author (2003)

Farmer is Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Pasternack is associate professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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