Literature > Literature / Medieval and Renaissance

   
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Virgin Whore
Emma Maggie Solberg
In Virgin Whore, Emma Maggie Solberg uncovers a surprisingly prevalent theme in late English medieval literature and culture: the celebration of the Virgin Mary’s sexuality. Although history is narrated as a progressive loss of innocence, the Madonna has grown purer with each passing century. Looking to a period before the idea of her purity...



Obscene Pedagogies
Transgressive Talk and Sexual Education in Late Medieval Britain
Carissa M. Harris
As anyone who has read Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales knows, Middle English literature is rife with sexually explicit language and situations. Less canonical works can be even more brazen in describing illicit acts of sexual activity and sexual violence. Such scenes and language were not, however, included exclusively for titillation. In Obscene...



Imagining World Order
Literature and International Law in Early Modern Europe, 1500–1800
Chenxi Tang
In early modern Europe, international law emerged as a means of governing relations between rapidly consolidating sovereign states, purporting to establish a normative order for the perilous international world. However, it was intrinsically fragile and uncertain, for sovereign states had no acknowledged common authority that would create...



Frame, Glass, Verse
The Technology of Poetic Invention in the English Renaissance
Rayna Kalas
In a book that draws attention to some of our most familiar and unquestioned habits of thought—from "framing" to "perspective" to "reflection"—Rayna Kalas suggests that metaphors of the poetic imagination were once distinctly material and technical...



The City Lament
Jerusalem across the Medieval Mediterranean
Tamar M. Boyadjian
Poetic elegies for lost or fallen cities are seemingly as old as cities themselves. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, this genre finds its purest expression in the Book of Lamentations, which mourns the destruction of Jerusalem; in Arabic, this genre is known as the ritha’ al-mudun. The City Lament, Tamar M. Boyadjian traces the trajectory of...



Phantasmatic Shakespeare
Imagination in the Age of Early Modern Science
Suparna Roychoudhury
Representations of the mind have a central place in Shakespeare’s artistic imagination, as we see in Bottom struggling to articulate his dream, Macbeth reaching for a dagger that is not there, and Prospero humbling his enemies with spectacular illusions. Phantasmatic Shakespeare examines the intersection between early modern literature and...



Quick Cattle and Dying Wishes
People and Their Animals in Early Modern England
Erica Fudge
What was the life of a cow in early modern England like? What would it be like to milk that same cow, day-in, day-out, for over a decade? How did people feel about and toward the animals that they worked with, tended, and often killed? With these questions, Erica Fudge begins her investigation into a lost aspect of early modern life: the...



The Expense of Spirit
Love and Sexuality in English Renaissance Drama
Mary Beth Rose
The Expense of Spirit integrates feminist and historicist critical approaches to explore the dynamics of cultural conflict and change in English Renaissance...



Echoes of Desire
English Petrarchism and Its Counterdiscourses
Heather Dubrow
Echoes of Desire variously invokes and interrogates a number of historicist and feminist premises about Tudor and Stuart literature by examining the connections between the anti-Petrarchan tradition and mainstream Petrarchan poetry. It also addresses some of the broader implications of contemporary critical methodologies. Heather Dubrow offers...



Language of Power
Feasting and Gift-Giving in Medieval Iceland and Its Sagas
Vidar Palsson, Viðar Pálsson
Viðar Pálsson addresses pre-modern European power relationships that provide the context for narratives of feasts and exchanges of gifts so conspicuous in the Icelandic sagas.



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