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Gender in the Premodern Mediterranean

Drawing upon literary, historical, and visual evidence, this collection of interdisciplinary essays examines how the Mediterranean shaped practices of gender in the premodern era. This volume bridges the gap between gender studies and Mediterranean studies, which have a natural fit with each other in their interest on defining identity carefully through connectivity and attentiveness to cultural hegemonies. The essays in this volume build off of this double approach to offer a unique contribution to the field, and use gender to understand the Mediterranean and the Mediterranean to understand premodern gender.

Whereas other volumes have examined gender in the premodern period or premodern Mediterranean Studies, to date no other volume has sought to explore the intersection of the two.  The interdisciplinary nature of the essays will make them useful to both scholars and teachers, for they will combine theory and practice in a length that makes them easily accessible to advanced students as well as specialized researchers. The first chapter provides a critical overview of the scholarship on Mediterranean studies as a field of area studies as well as an overview of gender studies in the medieval period. As such, the volume will be useful for students, teachers, and researchers, and its interdisciplinary nature reflects the diaspora of the Mediterranean itself.

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Table of Contents


1. Gender in the Premodern Mediterranean
Megan Moore

2. Ambrose, Augustine, Perpetua: Defining Gender across the Mediterranean    
Margaret Cotter-Lynch

3. Visions, Female Sexuality, and Spiritual Leadership in Byzantine Ascetic Literature of the Sixth and Seventh Centuries    
Bronwen Neil

4. Bearers of Islam: Muslim Women between Assimilation and Resistance in Christian Sicily    
Sarah Davis-Secord

5. Gender and the Poetics of God’s Alterity in Andalusi Mysticism
Anna Akasoy

6. Navigating Gender in the Mediterranean: Exploring Hybrid Identities in Aucassin et Nicolete    
Meriem Pagès

7. Gender and Authority: The Particularities of Female Rule in the Premodern Mediterranean
Elena Woodacre

8 Religious Patronage in Byzantium: The Case of Komnenian Imperial Women
Vassiliki Dimitropoulou

9. Jewish Women and Performance in Early Modern Mantua
Erith Jaffe-Berg

10. The Politics of Mediterranean Marriage in Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Milton
Kat Lecky

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