Medieval Identity Machines
By (author) Jeffrey Jerome Cohen
Medieval Identity Machines by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen
Book DescriptionIn Medieval Identity Machines, Jeffrey J. Cohen examines the messiness, permeability, and perversity of medieval bodies, arguing that human identity always exceeds the limits of the flesh. Combining critical theory with a rigorous reading of medieval texts, Cohen asks if the category "human" isn't too small to contain the multiplicity of identities. As such, this book is the first to argue for a "posthuman" Middle Ages and to make extensive use of the philosophical writings of Gilles Deleuze to rethink the medieval. Among the topics that Cohen covers are the passionate bond between men and horses in chivalric training; the interrelation of demons, celibacy, and colonialism in an Anglo-Saxon saint's life; Lancelot's masochism as envisioned by Chretien de Troyes; the voice of thunder echoing from Margery Kempe; and the fantasies that sustained some dominant conceptions of race. This tour of identity--in all its fragility and diffusion--illustrates the centrality of the Middle Ages to theory as it enhances our understanding of self, embodiment, and temporality in the medieval world.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780816640027
(229mm x 148mm x 25mm)
Imprint: University of Minnesota Press
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Publish Date: 1-May-2003
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Jeffrey Jerome Cohen
Cultural Diversity in the British Middle Ages, Hardback (September 2008)
Through close readings of both familiar and obscure medieval texts, contributors read England as a single and powerful entity within a vast geopolitical network.
Hybridity, Identity, and Monstrosity in Medieval Britain, Hardback (June 2007)» View all books by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen
Examines the monsters that haunt twelfth-century British texts, arguing that in these strange bodies are expressed fears and fantasies about community, identity and race during the period. This study finds the origins of these monsters in a contemporary obsession with blood, both the literal and metaphorical kind.
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