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Title: Women, Jews, and Muslims in the Texts of ...
Publisher: University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor
Publication Date: 1996
Binding: Hard Cover
Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included
Edition: First Edition, First printing
About this title
Through a detailed analysis of medieval Spain's best known literary works, this book examines two common images of woman--the sexually attractive matron of the Christian upper classes, and the beautiful, pure, and sexually ripe upper-class Muslim or Jewish woman who is submissive to Christians. Suggesting a link between these images and the issues of political and military power, religious difference, and language in the context of reconquest Castile, the book argues that female representation in the literature provides a resolution of Christian-Muslim military conflict.
This volume is the first in the field of medieval Hispanic studies to reexamine the canon in the light of recent critical work on language, gender, power, and the effects of domination. It shows how the texts imaginarily liberate Christian women from the authority of their husbands, in order to demonstrate how women's access to the discourses of power leads to tragedy and ruin for the men who fail to silence them.
Women, Jews, and Muslims in the Texts of Reconquest Castile makes the argument that dominant-"other" struggle, waged on the terrains of gender, religion, and war, is the most appropriate paradigm for discussing literary texts produced in the last centuries of reconquest. More than any other culture, medieval Spain reminds us of the provisional nature of national, religious, and sexual identity.
Exploring the gendering of subjects in society, the volume will be of interest to those in cultural and gender studies, Hispanic studies, medieval studies, and Middle Eastern studies. All texts are translated, and maps and illustrations help orient the reader.
Louise Mirrer is Professor and Chair, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, University of Minnesota.
In Women, Jews, and Muslims in the Texts of Reconquest Castile, Mirrer examines the connections between gender stereotyping in literary representations of women and Jewish and Muslim men and the denial of access of these groups to the discourses of power during the 400 years covered. The author clearly investigates how the feminization of Jewish and Muslim men and portrayal of the negative social consequences of power in the hands of women worked to institutionalize this denial of power. Second, Mirrer examines the relationship of masculine values and characteristics to the "militant Christian ideology", which developed in Castilian society over the period in question. Mirrer breaks new ground in her work with criticism of the traditional readings of male and female images in Castilian ballads of that era. She shows the traditional readings of harmony between the sexes and mutual admiration to be a perpetuation of a mystified and glorified vision of a repressive epoch and ideology. The author convincingly utilizes sociolinguistic analysis of texts to show the suppression of women, Jews, and Muslims through limitations on their access to powerful or, indeed, any language. Women, Jews, and Muslims in the Texts of Reconquest Castile is a solid contribution to the field of Hispanic studies. Mirrer's scholarship challenges long-held notions of medieval Spanish culture and will stimulate further research through her sound and innovative readings.
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