SPAN-452 Medieval Genders
Spring for 2015-2016
From the Cid's luxuriant beard to the virile behavior of Isabel the Catholic, medieval Spanish literature continually explores gender and gendered performances. The debate on women’s nature also constitutes a major conflict in the medieval Iberian literary arena, which not only theorizes femininity, but masculinity as well. In this course, we will survey a cross-section literary works that are emblematic of these deep preoccupations with the construction and representation of gender and sexuality. Through our readings we will follow the debate and the anxiety about gender identity and performance that it reveals across genres, paying particular attention to its influence on Romance. Throughout, we will consider the extent to which contemporary feminist, poststructuralist, and psychoanalytic criticism can help us to understand medieval constructions of femininity, masculinity, and sexuality.
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