Making Difference in Medieval and Early Modern Iberia

Front Cover
University of Notre Dame Press, 2005 - Literary Criticism - 218 pages
"This is a book of great importance. Dangler's judicious and complex arguments are exemplary and in many ways the best ever written in this fraught area." --Maria Rosa Menocal, Yale University "Using an interesting and diverse assortment of texts--from the canonical to little studied 'cutting poems, ' riddles, and medical texts--Dangler provides a fresh perspective on a medieval Iberia that sustained a fluid concept of identity and an acceptance of difference that extended even to the level of the deformed monstrous. Her insights enrich our understanding of the texts and of medieval culture." --Margaret R. Greer, Duke University "Jean Dangler's book explores new ways to explain the problem of alterity in the medieval and early modern Iberian peninsula. By challenging our preconceived ideas, Dangler gives us a new set of important questions that will lead us to perceive in a different form this essential period: How can we understand alterity in multicultural societies? How can we deal with difference as a cultural category? And, when the construction of difference and alterity changes, how are these changes debated in the 'body' of culture? Her study is not only an extremely original piece of scholarship; it is also a way that can lead scholars to establish a dialogue that is, more than ever, a necessity." --Jesus D. Rodriguez-Velasco, University of California, Berkeley Medieval Iberia was a multicultural territory of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian societies in constant geographic, cultural, political, and economic contact. In this engaging study, Jean Dangler examines the way that ideas of difference were forged in four types of medieval Iberian discourse: muwashshah/jarcha poems from al-Andalus, Andalusi "cutting poems," medical literature about the body, and portrayals of the monster. She argues that the texts demonstrate the two fundamental precepts of medieval Iberian alterity: multifaceted subject formation and the embrace of contrasts and the negative. Dangler explores how the four discourses she analyzes changed in the early modern period from an acceptance of difference to more rigid concepts of subjectivity and the marginalization of difference--a shift accompanying the rise of the Castilian nation-state and its imposition of static hierarchies of value.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


The Lyric Body
The Divided Body
The Medical Body

1 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2005)

Jean Dangler is associate professor of Spanish at Tulane University.

Bibliographic information