Medieval intersectionality: uncovering fluid identities in thirteenth and fourteenth century Castilian epic poetry

De Souza, Rebecca (2018) Medieval intersectionality: uncovering fluid identities in thirteenth and fourteenth century Castilian epic poetry. MA(Res) thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis assesses two major texts from the epic corpus of medieval Iberia: the Poema de mio Cid and two chronicle redactions of the Siete Infantes de Lara, with the aim of uncovering the way in which the epic poets unconsciously acknowledge the fluid, contextually-contingent nature of identity that evolves according to circumstance. The poetry is, as one would expect, entirely at odds with the models of identity presented in the officialised discourse found in the legal and political texts of their contemporary Iberia, as well as inherited classical and patristic models. It is the first analysis of its kind to depart from a narrow analysis of identity in the epic texts that is solely predicated upon either gender, cultural, religious or social difference. These socialised categories of identity are discussed simultaneously in order to assess the way in which socio-cultural background shifts the dynamics of power within and across characters of both genders. This method is inherently intersectional, and is one that untangles the complexity of defining the self in a pluricultural society within permeable borders next to al-Andalus.

The intersectional approach to gender and identity will ultimately tease out an unconscious deconstruction of the pervading power structure that favours male, blood-born Castilian nobility in both texts. An intersectional analysis of character in the Poema de mio Cid locates power in the collective; a fundamentally egalitarian perspective that both thematically and linguistically erases borders between men and women of varying socio-cultural backgrounds. Meanwhile the Siete Infantes de Lara departs from the heroic-epic model in its implicit, often humorous, derision of noble masculinity in Castile, which in turn is held up in sharp relief against the stable counterpoint of al-Andalus.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (MA(Res))
Supervisors: Lawrance, Jeremy
Keywords: Spanish literature, medieval literature, epic poetry
Subjects: P Language and literature > PQ Romance literatures > PQ6001 Spanish literature
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies
Item ID: 50742
Depositing User: De Souza, Rebecca
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2018 14:21
Last Modified: 17 Jul 2020 04:30

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