The Gendered Body
The (female) body was a highly controversial and much debated topic in the Middle Ages. It constantly had to negotiate its place between glorification and crucifixion, between superiority and subordination and many social, cultural and gender-related implications were closely connected to it. However, no other aspect of medieval cultural history has been more neglected within scholarship than the body, leaving a research gap in chronicles of cultural history and in the modern understanding of the past. This study investigates the complex historical, cultural, sociological and gendered constructions of the medieval female body in popular female saints' legends. By focusing on frequently recurring body parts in women's hagiography, such as the breast, hair(styles) and the tripartite construction of mouth, teeth and tongue, it critically reflects on the gendered treatment of these body parts against the ideological and religious background of its genre and the role of women at that time.
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