Cultural Diversity in the British Middle Ages

Cultural Diversity in the British Middle Ages : Archipelago, Island, England


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Through close readings of both familiar and obscure medieval texts, contributors read England as a single and powerful entity within a vast geopolitical network.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 251 pages
  • 140 x 210 x 18mm | 381.02g
  • Palgrave MacMillan
  • Basingstoke, United Kingdom
  • English
  • biography
  • 0230603262
  • 9780230603264

Review quote

"The eleven essays brought together in this volume bring those neighboring realms into breath-taking focus by examining currents of cultural difference lapping onto the edges and sometimes percolating up into the middle of texts that ostensibly serve to delineate England as an always inevitable island unto itself...this collection will serve as an indispensable guide to future travelers in archipelago it so brilliantly reveals." - Journal of the Early Book Society "This intriguing collection of essays sets out to trouble the myth of the English nation, calling into question the wholeness, autonomy, insularity, and inevitability of the political entity we now call the British Isles. Cohen s infinite realms project recasts the island (the symbol of totality and autonomy) as an archipelago (a symbol of fragmentation and interdependence) whose current political configuration can in no way simply be read back into the past. The essays, on texts both familiar and arcane, not only invite us to rethink the textual canons of Great Britain s four main ethnic groups, but more radically to interrogate the fictiveness of political identity itself. This is not just another collection touting cultural diversity among hypostasized identities; these essays invite us to reimagine political collectivities, rethinking the ways in which they encounter one another, clash, assimilate, and reform around new identities." - Laurie A. Finke, Kenyon College and co-author of King Arthur and the Myth of History

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About Jeffrey Jerome Cohen

JEFFREY JEROME COHEN is Professor and Chair of English, The George Washington University, USA.

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Table of contents

Between Diaspora and Conquest: Norman Assimilation in Marie de France's Esope and Petrus Alfonsi's Disciplina Clericalis; S. Conklin Akbari Reliquia : Writing Relics in Anglo-Norman Durham; H. Blurton Cultural Difference and the Meaning of Latinity in Asser's Life of King Alfred; D. Townsend Green Children from Another World, or The Archipelago in England; J. J. Cohen Beyond British Boundaries in the Historia regum Britanniae; M. Wenthe Arthur's Two Bodies and the Bare Life of the Archives; K. Biddick The Instructive Other Within: Secularized Jews in The Siege of Jerusalem; R. P. Schiff Subversive Histories: Strategies of Identity in Scottish Historiography; K. Terrell Sleeping with an Elephant: Wales and England in the Mabinogion; J. K. Williams Chaucer and the War of the Maidens; J. Ganim The Signs and Location of a Flight (or Return?) of Time: The Old English Wonders of the East and the Gujarat Massacre; E. Joy

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