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Fiche de cours

Medieval English : Holy Harlots in Medieval England: Gender and the Body

Faculté de gestion: Faculté des lettres

Responsable(s): Denis Renevey
Intervenant(s): -

Période de validité: 2010 -> 2010

Pas d'horaire défini.


Semestre d'automne
2 heures par semaine
28 heures par semestre

Langue(s) d'enseignement: anglais
Public: Oui
Crédits: 0


Mary Magdalene, Mary of Egypt and other holy harlots are peculiar saints, in that they were reputed in the Middle Ages to have been prostitutes before they became saints. To counteract this sexual sin, their bodies undergo a particularly radical ascetic regimen post-conversion. The aim of this seminar is to investigate the evolution in the representation of these repentant harlots' bodies and gender
after their conversion: can they still be depicted as women,
or do they become asexual, or even male, so that they can be
portrayed as saints? Does the saints' past of sexual sin
render ambiguous their relationship with male protagonists
of their Lives, and if so, how did the hagiographers deal
with such ambiguity? We will look at hagiographical accounts
of these saints throughout the medieval period, in Old
English, Anglo-Norman and Middle English, in order to tease
out a potential evolution in the portrayal of these saints'
bodies and gender. In order to do so, we will also look at
contemporary theories of gender such as that formulated by
Simone de Beauvoir, Judith Butler, and Joan Riviere, and
theories of the construction of medieval gender as developed
by Jocelyn Wogan Brown, Barbara Newman and Margaret Miles.


oral presentation during class
essay end of term

Informations supplémentaires


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