Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 5546
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Hamilton , Tracy Chapman.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: The Fabrication of Gendered Memory: Queenship, Topography, and Scholastic Patronage of the Colleges de Navarre and Bourgogne in Fourteenth-Century Paris
  • Source: Seeing Gender: Perspectives on Medieval Gender and Sexuality. Gender and Medieval Studies Conference, King's College, London, January 4-6, 2002.. 2002.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Conference Paper Abstract
  • Subject (See Also): Jeanne de Bourgogne, Queen-Consort of Philippe V le Long, King of France Jeanne de Navarre, Wife of Philippe IV, King of France Patronage, Artistic Queens Universities and Colleges University of Paris
  • Geographic Area: France
  • Century: 14
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  • Abstract: One of the more strikingly gendered images of regional patronage in the first third of the fourteenth century is the foundation of the Colleges de Navarre and Bourgogne – endowed by women, for men. The first college was erected under the testamentary orders of Queen Jeanne de Navarre et Champagne, wife of Philippe IV. The second was also built according to the wishes of a deceased queen – Jeanne de Bourgogne et Artois, daughter-in-law to Jeanne de Navarre, and wife of Philippe V. Both colleges were erected on lands owned by the queens situated south of the river in the university quarter. Their location in the heart of a district that was traditionally patronized only by men is significant in itself. That these edifices displayed female support of education on such a monumental scale adds to the innovative nature of the commissions. A mother’s role in the education of her children was one that these queens’ saintly and learned ancestor, Louis IX, had frequently espoused. And yet these colleges were the first two manifestations of that duty of the queen, in this case to the nation of France rather than just the royal children, that we find expressed architecturally in the city of Paris. Still another striking aspect of the location of these colleges lies in their close proximity to the primary tombs of both these queens, neither of whom chose to be buried next to their husbands in the royal necropolis of the monastery of Saint-Denis. In this paper I argue that in a era often seen as one in which the power of women had declined, women of the French royal court gained access to public life through the ceremony and patronage intrinsic to such architectural commissions, thus making their public identity permanent in both the building’s design and the urban landscape. In this effort, I am primarily concerned with how these buildings reveal a woman’s hand in their creation and how that vision fits into the larger physical and ideological topography of the city of Paris. In this study, important themes emerge that associate Jeanne de Navarre and Jeanne de Bourgogne with the ideal queen as promoted by Capetian ideology – namely, service to her people – while co-opting a form that had traditionally been reserved for the male world – the large-scale educational complex. Analyzing this patronage within its Parisian context offers historical insight into these royal women’s conceptions of their public and, therefore, political identity and reveals their desire to memorialize themselves as patrons of the Parisian university, forever altering the traditionally gendered boundaries that delineated the physical fabric of their city. [Reproduced by permission of the Gender and Medieval Studies Conference Organizers].
  • Author's Affiliation: Sweet Briar College
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 2002.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: Not Available
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