Gender and Text in the Later Middle Ages
The women who spoke or wrote in the margins of the Middle Ages--women who were oppressed and diminished by social and religious institutions--often were not literate. Or, if they could read, they did not know how to write. Transforming or subverting Western and patristic traditions associated with the clergy, they also turned to Eastern and North African traditions and to popular oral theater, and focused in their choice of genre on lyric, romance, and confessional autobiography. These essays analyze their texts and reconstruct a medieval feminine aesthetic that begins a rewriting of cultural and literary history.