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Christine de Pizan and the Categories of Difference

1998

Marilynn Desmond, editor

Christine de Pizan and the Categories of Difference

Establishes the place of this medieval writer within considerations of “difference.”

Places Christine de Pizan’s work in the context of larger discussions about medieval authorship, identity, and categories of difference. Here, contributors from the fields of history, literature, legal theory, art history, and medieval studies offer a truly interdisciplinary perspective on the Christine corpus.

Contributors: Michel-André Bossy, Cynthia J. Brown, Mary Anne C. Case, Thelma Fenster, Mary Weitzel Gibbons, Monica H. Green, Judith L. Kellogg, Roberta Krueger, Deborah McGrady, Benjamin M. Semple, Charity Cannon Willard, and Diane Wolfthal.

This collection offers a solid overview of current trends in American Christine studies.

The Medieval Review

Christine de Pizan, an Italian-born writer in French in the early fifteenth century, composed lyric poetry, debate poetry, political biography, and allegory. At times complicit, at times subversive, at times revisionary, her texts constantly negotiate the hierarchical and repressive discourses of late medieval court culture. How they do so is the focus of this volume, which places Christine’s work in the context of larger discussions about medieval authorship, identity, and categories of difference.

Contributors from the fields of history, literature, legal theory, art history, and medieval studies offer a truly interdisciplinary perspective on the Christine corpus. Their essays address Christine’s textual interventions into the discourses of warfare and rape, her anxiety about the efficacy of education, and her adoption of a vernacular prose style. The authors situate Christine’s texts within medieval medical discourse, debates between theology and philosophy, the tradition of Ovidian discourse, and the iconography of late medieval manuscript culture. They also explore the ways in which her work was shaped by institutional patronage, by its reception in early print culture, and by later compilation.

Establishing Christine de Pizan’s corpus as part of the legacy of critical feminist discourse, this volume ultimately demonstrates the great value of premodern textual cultures for postmodern accounts of difference.

Contributors: Michel-André Bossy, Brown U; Cynthia J. Brown, U of California,
Santa Barbara; Mary Anne C. Case, U of Virginia; Thelma Fenster, Fordham U; Mary Weitzel Gibbons; Monica H. Green, Duke U; Judith L. Kellogg, U of Hawaii, Manoa; Roberta Krueger, Hamilton College; Deborah McGrady, Western Michigan U; Benjamin M. Semple, Yale U; Charity Cannon Willard; Diane Wolfthal, Arizona State U.

Christine de Pizan and the Categories of Difference

Marilynn Desmond is associate professor of English and comparative literature at the State University of New York at Binghamton. She is the author of Reading Dido: Gender, Textuality, and the Medieval Aeneid.

Christine de Pizan and the Categories of Difference

This collection offers a solid overview of current trends in American Christine studies.

The Medieval Review

I recommend the book to those who wish to immerse themselves in the complex network of interdisciplinary topics-medicine, patronage, the book trade, manuscript illumination, literature, philosophy, political theory, military studies—that contemporary Christine Studies incorporate. As an added bonus, while the ‘Works Cited’ does not claim to be exhaustive, it would be a fine place to start for anyone wanting a working biography of major past and present criticism devoted to this polymath.

Arthuriana

It is indeed rare that a single volume contains such a large number of strong essays, and authors and editor deserve high praise.

Speculum