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For 20 years medievalists have been debating whether these love letters have been written by Abelard and Heloise. The present study comes to a surprising result. The famous lovers are ridiculed in and by these letters. On the one hand the male writer appears to be a show-off, a macho, while on the other hand he emerges as a ‘crybaby’ who humiliates himself to secure the object of his desire. The female writer is stylized as the epitome of ideal love, but above all, she hopes for sexual pleasure. However, her desire is cleverly concealed by the borrowing from religious vocabulary in the letters.
Volume Editor: Lee Templeton
This edited collection examines the ways in which medieval grief is both troubled and troubling––troubled in its representation, troubling to categories such as gender, identity, hierarchy, theology, and history, among others. Investigating various instantiations of grief—sorrow, sadness, and mourning; weeping and lamentation; spiritual and theological disorientation and confusion; keening and the drinking of blood; and grief-madness—through a number of theoretical lenses, including feminist, gender, and queer theories, as well as philosophical, sociological, and historical approaches to emotion, the collected essays move beyond simply describing how men and women grieve in the Middle Ages and begin interrogating the ways grief intersects with and shapes gender identity.
Contributors are Kim Bergqvist, Jim Casey, Danielle Marie Cudmore, Marjorie Housley, Erin. I. Mann, Inna Matyushina, Drew Maxwell, Kristen Mills, Jeffrey G. Stoyanoff, Lee Templeton, and Kisha G. Tracy.
Volume Editors: Brigitte le Juez and Metka Zupančič
Dans une perspective innovante et interdisciplinaire (éthique, mythocritique, sociocritique, psychanalyse, théories du genre), des figures mythiques féminines et autres, révélatrices de notre regard sur le monde, sont ici analysées sous les aspects variés de leurs transformations dans la littérature, le cinéma et à travers des événements historiques de ce dernier siècle. Les treize auteures des essais qui composent ce volume, venues de dix pays et de quatre continents, présentent la manière dont les mythes grecs, bibliques, africains – parfois sources de nouveaux mythes nés de conflits ou traumatismes modernes – permettent de rendre visibles les paradigmes de pensée qui conditionnent les rapports humains, surtout la perception du corps encore sous l’emprise d’un imaginaire collectif soumis à la domination patriarcale.

Within an innovative and interdisciplinary framework including ethics, myth criticism, sociocriticism, psychoanalysis and gender theories, mythical figures, feminine and others that reveal the ways we perceive the world, are being analyzed in light of the various aspects pertaining to their transformations through the literature, cinema and historical events of this past century. The contributors of the thirteen essays that comprise the present volume, originating from ten countries and four continents, elaborate the manner in which Greek, Biblical and African myths, occasionally generating new myths borne out of contemporary conflicts or traumas – unveil the belief systems that define human relationships, in particular the perception of the body, still subject to a collective imaginary conditioned by the patriarchal supremacy.
Amazonenepisoden als Bauform des Heldenepos
In Penthesilea und ihre Schwestern – Amazonenepisoden als Bauform des Heldenepos Susanne Borowski establishes Amazon-episodes as a gender-sensitive structural element of epic poetry. This is the first book that provides a comprehensive intertextual interpretation of all Amazon-episodes in Homer’s Iliad, Apollonius Rhodius’ Argonautica, Vergil’s Aeneid, Valerius Flaccusʼ Argonautica, Statiusʼ Thebaid, Silius Italicusʼ Punica and Quintus Smyrnaeus’ Posthomerica.
Where previous scholars have often interpreted Amazons as a symbol of transgressive behaviour, this study shows that they are universally respected warriors. Their appearance, descent, and aristeiai characterize their fighting as transgendered. This study offers new perspectives on the construction of gender in Graeco-Roman Epic.

Mit Penthesilea und ihre Schwestern – Amazonenepisoden als Bauform des Heldenepos weist Susanne Borowski nach, dass Amazonenepisoden eine genderrelevante Bauform des Epos sind. Sie untersucht erstmals aus literaturwissenschaftlicher Perspektive alle überlieferten Amazonenepisoden in Homers Ilias, Apollonius Rhodiusʼ Argonautica, Vergils Aeneis, Valerius Flaccusʼ Argonautica, Statiusʼ Thebais, Silius Italicusʼ Punica und Quintus Smyrnaeusʼ Posthomerica.
Interpretiert die bisherige Forschung Amazonen meist als Symbol von Grenzüberschreitung, erweist die intertextuelle Analyse dieser Studie vielmehr, dass sie unerschrockene, allseits respektierte Kriegerinnen sind. Ihr Äußeres, ihre Abstammung und ihre Aristien charakterisieren ihr Kämpfen durchgängig als transgendered. Die Studie eröffnet neue Perspektiven für die Konstruktion von Gender im griechisch-römischen Epos.
Author: Andrea Branchi
In Pride, Manners, and Morals, Bernard Mandeville’s Anatomy of Honour Andrea Branchi offers a reading of the Anglo-Dutch physician and thinker’s philosophical project from the hitherto neglected perspective of his lifelong interest in the theme of honour. Through an examination of Mandeville’s anatomy of early eighteenth-century beliefs, practices and manners in terms of motivating passions, the book traces the development of his thought on human nature and the origin of sociability.

By making honour and its roots in the desire for recognition the central thread of Mandeville’s theory of society, Andrea Branchi offers a unified reading of his work and highlights his relevance as a thinker far beyond the moral problem of commercial societies, opening up new perspectives in Mandeville’s studies.
Women’s Speculative Fiction in Contemporary Japan
Author: Kazue Harada
Contemporary Japanese female speculative fiction writers of novels and manga employ the perspectives of aliens, cyborgs, and bioengineered entities to critique the social realities of women, particularly with respect to reproduction, which they also re-imagine in radical ways. Harada examines the various meanings of (re)production in light of feminist and queer studies and offers close readings of works by novelists Murata Sayaka, Ōhara Mariko, Ueda Sayuri and manga artists Hagio Moto and Shirai Yumiko. Scholarship of SF in Japanese studies has primarily focused on male authors, but this book shows not only how women writers have created a space in SF and speculative fiction but how their work can be seen as a response to particular social norms and government policies.
Author: Lou Prendergast
In Conscious Theatre Practice: Yoga, Meditation, and Performance, Lou Prendergast charts a theatre research project in which the notion of Self-realisation and related contemplative practices, including Bikram Yoga and Vipassana meditation, are applied to performance. Coining the term ‘Conscious Theatre Practice’, Prendergast presents the scripts of three publicly presented theatrical performances, examined under the ‘three C’s’ research model: Conscious Craft (writing, directing, performance; Conscious Casting; Conscious Collaborations.
The findings of this autobiographical project fed into a working manifesto for socially engaged theatre company, Black Star Projects. Along the way, the research engages with methodological frameworks that include practice-as-research, autoethnography, phenomenology and psychophysical processes, as well immersive yoga and meditation practice; while race, class and gender inequalities underpin the themes of the productions.
Reflections on Contemporary Culture in Israel and the Diaspora
Author: Efraim Sicher
This innovative study shows how the imaginary constructions of self and Other are shaping identification with Jewishness in the twenty-first century. The texts and artworks discussed in this book test a diverse range of ways of identifying as Jews and with the Jewish people, while engaging with postmodern and postcolonial discourses of hybridity and multiculturalism.

This book selects six key areas in which the boundaries of Jewish identities have been interrogated and renegotiated: nation, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, and the Holocaust. In each of these areas Sicher explores how major and emerging contemporary writers and artists re-envision the meaning of their identities. Such re-envisioning may be literally visual or metaphorical in the search for expression of artistic self between the conventional paradigms of the past and new ways of thinking.
King David in the Image of the Shekhinah in Kabbalistic Literature
In The Feminine Messiah: King David in the Image of the Shekhina in Kabbalistic Literature, Ruth Kara-Ivanov Kaniel presents an in-depth study focusing on the centrality of the figure of King David in Jewish culture and mystical literature. King David is one of the most colorful, complex, and controversial personalities in Jewish lore. While numerous studies have focused on David's centrality to biblical literature and late antiquity, to date no comprehensive scholarly attempt has been made to investigate his image in Jewish kabbalistic literature. This innovative study also contributes to the understanding of the connection between the mystical and psychoanalytic perception of the self, as well as illuminating issues of gender fluidity, identity, and sexuality in medieval kabbalistic literature.
Author: Rita Banerjee
Comparing the variant ideologies of the representations of India in seventeenth-century European travelogues, India in Early Modern English Travel Narratives concerns a relatively neglected area of study and often overlooked writers. Relating the narratives to contemporary ideas and beliefs, Rita Banerjee argues that travel writers, many of them avid Protestants, seek to negativize India by constructing her in opposition to Europe, the supposed norm, by deliberately erasing affinities and indulging in the politics of disavowal. However, some travelogues show a neutral stance by dispassionate ethnographic reporting, indicating a growing empirical trend. Yet others, influenced by the Enlightenment ideas of diversity, demonstrate tolerance of alien practices and, occasionally, acceptance of the superior rationality of the other's customs.