Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 43616
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Ng , Jeson,
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Women of the Crusades: The Constructedness of the Female Other, 1100–1200
  • Source: Al-Masaq: Journal of the Medieval Mediterranean 31, 3 ( 2019): Pages 303 - 322. Available with a subscription from Taylor & Francis Online: https://doi.org/10.1080/09503110.2019.1584453
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Crusades Muslims in Literature Outsiders Race and Racism Saracens in Literature Women in Religion
  • Award Note: Feminae Article of the Month, October 2019 [Posted July 2020]
  • Geographic Area: Eastern Mediterranean ; France
  • Century: 12
  • Primary Evidence:
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  • Abstract: Histories of the Crusades have moved away from characterising the conflict as a civilisational clash between Christianity and Islam, highlighting instead the porousness of religious and geopolitical boundaries in Iberia and the Levant. Yet twelfth-century sources in Old French and Arabic rarely present such a nuanced view outright. Reflecting on the constructedness of the motif of the female Other, I argue that these texts enacted and reinforced a Christian–Muslim dualism in the face of contrary realities of coexistence, fascination and even temptation. Religious difference was constructed and reconstructed through the prism of racial forms, thus facilitating the perpetuation of military conflict. In particular, the motif of the white, sensual Christian woman was used to exclude the enemy in repeated attempts to construct a coherent in-group identity that was, for all that, under constant threat of destabilisation. [Reproduced from the journal page on the Francis and Taylor Online website: https://doi.org/10.1080/09503110.2019.1584453]
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  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 2019.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 09503110 (print); 1473348X (online)