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The cryptic figure of the cinaedus recurs in both the literature and daily life of the Roman world. His afterlife – the equally cryptic catamite – appears to be well and alive as late as Victorian England. But who was the cinaedus? Should we think of a real group of individuals, or is the term but a scare name to keep at bay any form of threating otherness? This book, the first coherent collection of essays on the topic, addresses the matter and fleshes out the complexity of a debate that concerns not only Roman cinaedi but the foundations of our theoretical approach to the study of ancient sexuality.
The book follows the movements of the concept of “woman” from the Early modern to the post-colonial age, through the words of women who challenged its patriarchal definition. The concept of “woman” is doubly polemical. It affirms sexual difference as political difference, while denying the universal character of modern political concepts which represent the unity of the political and social order, exposing its fundamental division. At the same time, “woman” is a concept marked by differences ‒ of "race", class, culture ‒ that continually redetermine its content. To make the history of the concept of “woman” is thus to affirm a different perspective on history itself, a partial perspective that lays the groundwork for the feminist critique of the present.
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The Song of Songs is the only book of the Bible to privilege the voice of a woman, and its poetry of love and eroticism also bears witness to violence. How do the contemporary #MeToo movement and other movements of protest and accountability renew questions about women, gender, sex, and the problematic of the public at the heart of this ancient poetry? This edited volume seeks to reinvigorate feminist scholarship on the Song by exploring diverse contexts of reading, from Akkadian love lyrics, to Hildegard of Bingen, to Marc Chagall.
The Construction of the Feminine Voice in Early Medieval Chinese Literature
This book studies the formation of the male-constructed conventional voice of women in Chinese literature from the 3rd to 6th century.
It highlights specific moments during which the feminine voice became recognized, accepted, and stabilized, including the shift of focus from the performative to the textual in female representations; the formation of a male literary community; the popularity of romanticized historical narratives; and the emerging sense of literary history.
This study emphasizes the historicity of the feminine voice and strives to question and challenge established notions about textual stability, authorship, the literary canon, and literary history.
Genius, Gender, and the Contemporary Biopic
„Screening the Creative Process“ examines how biographical films about painters and writers depict the notoriously unfilmable process of artistic creation and asks what role gender plays in the conceptualisation of creativity and genius. Through the discussion of three very different 21st-century biopics focused on heterosexual artist couples, „Pollock“, „Frida“, and „Bright Star“, the book follows the hypothesis that the paradigm of creative genius remains uniquely powerful in this film genre. This distinguishes the biopic from other contemporary media and discourses in which the idea of singular, inborn genius has largely been replaced by the concept of creativity as a universal, trainable skill. The biopic's adherence to an emphatic notion of genius - a notion that appears not only obsolete but also politically problematic due to its historical exclusion of women - is especially relevant in light of how deeply these popular films shape public notions about history and art.
Figures de l’excès chez Marie Darrieussecq, Virginie Despentes et Marina de Van de Dominique Carlini Versini interroge les images du corps excessif qui traversent les récits d’artistes contemporaines françaises selon une approche intermédiale. À partir des années 1990, une tendance à l’excès a été observée dans la fiction française. D’un côté, de jeunes écrivaines s’attachent à mettre en scène le corps de manière particulièrement crue. En même temps, un nouveau courant se développe au cinéma caractérisé par des images explicites ou violentes du corps. L’approche inédite de l’ouvrage consiste à comparer les stratégies des deux moyens d’expression pour délivrer une expérience esthétique incarnée tout en démontrant que cette recherche formelle va de pair avec une réflexion poétique sur les frontières (matérielles, culturelles et symboliques) du corps.

Figures de l’excès chez Marie Darrieussecq, Virginie Despentes et Marina de Van by Dominique Carlini Versini examines textual and visual images of the excessive body that run through the narratives of contemporary French women artists. From the 1990s onwards, a tendency towards excess has been observed in French fiction. On the one hand, young female writers have portrayed the body in a particularly crude manner. Meanwhile, a new trend has developed in film characterised by explicit or violent images of the body. The monograph's original approach is to compare the strategies of the two mediums to generate an embodied aesthetic experience while demonstrating that this formal experimentation goes hand in hand with a poetic reflection on the (material, cultural and symbolic) boundaries of the body.

When does eating become art? The Aesthetics of Taste answers this question by exploring the position of taste in contemporary culture and the manner in which taste meanders its way into the realm of art. The argument identifies aesthetic values not only in artistic practices, where they are naturally expected, but also in the spaces of everydayness that seem far removed from the domain of fine arts. As such, it seeks to grasp what artists – who offer aesthetic as well as culinary experiences – actually try to communicate, while also pondering whether a cook can be an artist.
This study explores the representation of disability in three of the most well-known novels of the twentieth century, D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover (1928), Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises (1926), and William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury (1929). By signifying cultural demise and a loss of masculinity, white male disability in the literature of the 1920s represents a fear of a foundering patriarchal, white supremacist world order. However, if we take seriously what queer and disability studies have advanced, disabled bodies in literature can also help us redefine life and love in the modern era: forcing us to imagine possibilities outside of our comfort zones, they help us reimagine the elusive myth of independent, self-sufficient human existence.