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Bodies and Disciplines

Intersections of Literature and History in Fifteenth-Century England

1996

Barbara A. Hanawalt and David Wallace, editors

Bodies and Disciplines

Brings the insights of cultural studies to medieval studies.

Centered on practices of the body-human bodies, the “body politic”-Bodies and Disciplines considers a fascinating and largely uncanonical group of texts, as well as public dramas, rituals, and spectacles, from multidisciplinary perspectives. The result is a volume that incorporates insights from history, literature, medieval studies, and critical theory, drawing from the strengths of each discipline to illuminate a relatively little-studied period.

Contributors: Sarah Beckwith, Rita Copeland, Gail McMurray Gibson, Ralph Hanna III, Felicity Heal, Ruth Mazo Karras, Seth Lerer, Marjorie K. McIntosh, Miri Rubin, Paul Strohm.

Excellent. . . this volume will come to have a landmark significance in marking an important phase in the development of cultural studies in relation to late medieval England. . . . A must for a large range of readers.

Derek Pearsall, Harvard University

Centered on practices of the body-human bodies, the “body politic”-Bodies and Disciplines considers a fascinating and largely uncanonical group of texts, as well as public dramas, rituals, and spectacles, from multidisciplinary perspectives. These essays consider the way the human body is subjected to educational discipline, to corporate celebration, and to the production of gendered identity through the experiences of marriage and childbirth. Among the topics explored are the “theatrics of punishment,” including legal mutilation; the representation of the body of Christ as social ritual; adolescent misbehavior and its treatment; and conflicting ecclesiastical and lay models of sexual behavior. The contributors also trace the definition of “poor,” “foreign,” and “dissident” bodies, examining private and public issues surrounding social identities.

The result is a volume that incorporates insights from history, literature, medieval studies, and critical theory, drawing from the strengths of each discipline to illuminate a relatively little-studied period. Insightful and momentous, Bodies and Disciplines marks an important intervention in the development of cultural studies of late medieval England.

Contributors: Sarah Beckwith, U of Pittsburgh; Rita Copeland, U of Minnesota; Gail McMurray Gibson, Davidson College; Ralph Hanna III, U of California, Riverside; Felicity Heal, Oxford U; Ruth Mazo Karras, Temple U; Seth Lerer, Stanford U; Marjorie K. McIntosh, U of Colorado, Boulder; Miri Rubin, Oxford U; Paul Strohm, Indiana U.

Medieval Cultures Series, volume 9

Bodies and Disciplines

Barbara A. Hanawalt is professor of history and director of the Center for Medieval Studies at the University of Minnesota. David Wallace is Frenzel Chair in Medieval Studies and professor of English at the University of Minnesota. Together with Rita Copeland they are the editors of the Medieval Cultures series.

Bodies and Disciplines

Excellent. . . this volume will come to have a landmark significance in marking an important phase in the development of cultural studies in relation to late medieval England. . . . A must for a large range of readers.

Derek Pearsall, Harvard University

As a showcase for the school of new historicism, the collection admirably epitomizes the current published work of many of its authors from other venues, many of whom have recently published a book on the same topic of their essay, which helps explain the diversity of approach to the body and intersections and therefore the reasons for their inclusion in both conference and collection.

International Journal of the Classic Tradition