Women's Lives

Self-Representation, Reception and Appropriation in the Middle Ages

Editor(s) Nahir I. Otaño Gracia,Daniel Armenti

Language: English

Genre(s): Medieval

Series: Religion and Culture in the Middle Ages

  • February 2022 · 352 pages ·234x156mm

  • · Hardback - 9781786838339
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781786838346
  • · eBook - epub - 9781786838353

About The Book

Women’s Lives presents essays on the ways in which the lives and voices of women permeated medieval literature and culture. The ubiquity of women amongst the medieval canon provides an opportunity for considering a different sphere of medieval culture and power that is frequently not given the attention it requires. The reception and use of female figures from this period has proven influential as subjects in literary, political, and social writings; the lives of medieval women may be read as models of positive transgression, and their representation and reception make powerful arguments for equality, agency and authority on behalf of the writers who employed them. The volume includes essays on well-known medieval women, such as Hildegard of Bingen and Teresa of Cartagena, as well as women less-known to scholars of the European Middle Ages, such as Al-Kāhina and Liang Hongyu. Each essay is directly related to the work of Elizabeth Petroff, a scholar of Medieval Women Mystics who helped recover texts written by medieval women.



Notes on Contributors


Nahir I. Otaño Gracia and Daniel Armenti

IElizabeth Petroff and Mysticism

1Women and Mysticism in the Medieval World
Elizabeth Alvilda Petroff

2Male Confessors and Female Penitents: Possibilities for Dialogue
Elizabeth Alvilda Petroff


3The Empowerment of Teresa de Cartagena through Her Patroness Juana de Mendoza
Borja de Cossío

4Hildegardian Remixes: Hildegard von Bingen and the Appropriation of Auctoritas
Andrés Amitai Wilson

5Language and Trance Theatre
Rebeca Sanmartín Bastida


6Smuggled Balsam and the Inscription of Memory: Hugeberc von Hildesheim and the Pilgrimage of Saint Willibald
Susan Signe Morrison

7Gender, Genre and Collaboration in the Life of Ida of Nivelles
Barbara Zimbalist

8History Meets Literary Imagination: The Making of a Twelfth-Century Woman Warrior
Lan Dong

9A Woman Mystic in Pre-Islamic North Africa: Al Kāhina in the Futūḥ Miṣr
Denise K. Filios

IV Appropriation

10When Romance and Hagiography Meet: Inventing Saintly Women in The South English Legendary
Meriem Pagès

11Selfless Acts of Salvation as Self-Glorification: Saving the Prostitute in Hrotsvith’s Plays
Madalina Meirosu

12Liturgy and the Performance of the Mystical Self
Claire Taylor Jones

About the Editor(s)

Author(s): Nahir I. Otaño Gracia

Nahir I. Otaño Gracia is an assistant professor of English at the University of New Mexico, and a member at the Institute for Advanced Study. Her frameworks include the global North Atlantic – Britain, Iberia, and Scandinavia – and critical identity studies.

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Author(s): Daniel Armenti

Daniel Armenti works on medieval representations of gender and expressions of trauma. He is a visiting lecturer in Italian at the College of the Holy Cross.

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