Exchanges in Exoticism: Cross-Cultural Marriage and the Making of the Mediterranean in Old French Romance
Published: February 2014© 2014
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 200 Pages
Dimensions: 6.28 x 9.27
200 Pages, 6.28 x 9.27 x 0.67 in
Charting important new territory within medieval gender studies, Megan Moore explores the vital role that women played in transmitting knowledge and empire within Mediterranean cross-cultural marriages. Whereas cross-cultural exchange has typically been understood through the lens of male-centered translation work, this study, which is grounded in the relations between the west and Byzantium, examines cross-cultural marriage as a medium of literary and cultural exchange, one in which women's work was equally important as men’s.
Moore's readings of Old French and Medieval Greek texts reveal the extent to which women challenged the cultures into which they married and shaped their new courtly environments. Through the lens of medieval gender and postcolonial theory, Exchanges in Exoticism demonstrates how the process of cultural exchange – and empire building – extends well beyond our traditional assumptions about gender roles in the medieval Mediterranean.
Chapter One: Women and the Making of Mediterranean Identities in Cligès and Digenis Akritas
Chapter Two: Exchanging Exoticism: Narrating Religious Difference and the Multiple Mediterraneans in Floire et Blancheflor
Chapter Three: Masculinities and the Geographies of Empire in Thirteenth Century Incest Romances
Chapter Four: Masculinity and the New Mediterranean in Floriant et Florete
Conclusion: Rereading the Intersections of the Mediterranean
‘Moore offers a thought-provoking consideration of how identity is created and uncovers a shift in attitudes toward the Mediterranean over time….Scholars interested in questions of gender in Old French romance will find Exchanges in Exoticism well worth their time.’Kristin Burr, Medieval Feminist Forum, vol 50:01:2014
‘Moore maintains a highly accessible style. Her use of engaging examples make this study a pleasure to read, one which combines questions of hybridity, exchange, and gender in fruitful ways.’Victoria Turner, Modern Language Review vol 110:02:2015
“An important contribution to the field of Old French studies, Exchanges in Exoticism combines history and literature in a fruitful way.”Lynn Ramey, Department of French and Italian, Vanderbilt University