Dido to Dames: Classical Antagonists in The Book of the City of Ladies
Deklan Iris-Hoscheit is completing an English Honours degree at the U of S, minoring in Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance Studies. His research interests include transitions from Classical to Medieval cultures in Europe, and their textual traditions.
Christine de Pizan’s Book of the City of Ladies is noted for its refutation of misogynist biographies yet is complicated by her citation of typically treacherous antagonists as examples of virtue. Examination of Christian humanism and edification reconciles this apparent discrepancy and reveals the feminist potential of Christine’s maligned antagonists.
"Both Dragons and Doves”: Widows and Misogynistic Literary Archetypes in Dunbar’s Tretiis of the Tua Mariit Wemen and the Wedo and Chaucer’s Wife of Bath’s Prologue
Medieval literature is rife with misogynistic, archetypal female characters. However, Dunbar’s and Chaucer’s texts both include monologues, narrated by widows, which subvert these archetypes. This paper analyses how Dunbar and Chaucer subvert misogynistic archetypes by demonstrating their disparity with reality and discusses why widow characters are particularly suited to subversion.
Girls Also Want to Have Fun: Female Pleasure and Sexuality in Boccaccio’s The Decameron and its Film Adaptations
Vici is an honours English student at the University of Saskatchewan. Her interests include feminist theory as well as film, television, and popular culture studies.
In adapting Boccaccio’s The Decameron for the screen, Fregonese’s Decameron Nights, Pasolini’s The Decameron, and Baena’s The Little Hours use the text’s original critique of medieval ideals of sexuality and virtue to examine how their respective societies view women. Though each film adapts Boccaccio’s text in its own unique way, themes of female sexuality remain a consistent aspect of each adaptation, thus reinforcing the importance of examining socio-cultural beliefs regarding women and sex.
The Modern Medieval Woman: Female Agency in Marie de France’s Lanval, The Two Lovers, Equitan, and Chaitivel
Radiance Harris is in her final year of Honours English at the University of Saskatchewan. Her academic interests include feminism, decolonization, and Romantic poetry, particularly the work of Charlotte Smith. When she is not studying, she enjoys reading, painting, and relaxing with her two cats, Edison and Douglas.
Abstract:Marie de France’s Lanval, The Two Lovers, Equitan, and Chaitivel boast female leads with great power in 13th-century Europe. However, scholars neglect to discuss how the women’s positions in the social hierarchy afford them the luxury of agency, choice, and even freedom. I will examine each woman, acknowledging her social status and arguing that, although depictions of women who are free to make decisions are crucial in a literary canon, these characters are uncommon women indeed.