The Middle Ages provides a particularly rich trove of hybrid creatures, semi-human beings, and composite bodies: we need only consider manuscript pages and stone capitals in Romanesque churches to picture the myriad figures incorporating both human and animal elements that allow movement between, and even confusion of, components of each realm.
From Beasts to Souls: Gender and Embodiment in Medieval Europe raises the issues of species and gender in tandem, asking readers to consider more fully what happens to gender in medieval representations of nonhuman embodiment. The contributors reflect on the gender of stones and the soul, of worms and dragons, showing that medieval cultural artifacts, whether literary, historical, or visual, do not limit questions of gender to predictable forms of human or semi-human embodiment.
“From Beasts to Souls: Gender and Embodiment in Medieval Europe is a cogent, well-conceived addition to the dynamic field of cultural studies of the body. The essays are extremely strong, with contributions that are both insightful and provocative.”
— Suzanne Conklin Akbari, University of Toronto.
Publisher: Notre Dame Press
Year of Publication: 2013
Location: Notre Dame, IN