The 'Longue Durée' of the Querelle des femmes: Gender, Materiality, Form

Hôtel de Lauzun, Paris Institute of Advanced Studies
Friday 9 March 2018 (09:30-17:30)

This workshop, organised by Dr Elizabeth L’Estrange (AHCVS and a 2017-18 fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study in Paris), brings together specialists in the literary, artistic and manuscript history of the querelle des femmes – begun by Christine de Pizan in the early fourteenth century – and the querelle de la Belle dame sans mercy – sparked by Alain Chartier’s 1424 poem of the same name.

Its aim is to explore not only the works of Christine and Alain but also to examine the enduring legacy of these two authors and the debates that they initiated during the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries around the nature and the defence of the female sex. The papers will thus offer new perspectives on some well-known texts, as well as bring to light some lesser known authors and their works, and unknown manuscripts. They will explore the different literary forms that querelle texts could take together with instances of intertextuality to see how they served the authors’ purposes. The material, manuscript, contexts in which the works of Alain, Christine and others were circulated and collected will also be considered, as well as the historical and political dimensions that informed the texts’ creation and reception. The workshop thus aims to tease out further the legacy of the querelle des femmes and the querelle de la BDSM and to examine the dialogues these debates generated between the representation of women, literary form, manuscript production, authors and readers, and wider cultural trends in fifteenth and sixteenth century France.

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