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Title: Representing the Saracen : identity, race and religious difference in medieval French and Occitan literature
Author: Turner, Victoria C.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2744 6010
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis focuses upon literary representations of a familiar yet imprecise figure: the medieval Saracen. Through close analysis of a broad corpus of texts ranging from roughly 1150 to 1350, including epic, romance and miracle tales and treating both Old French and Occitan materials, it highlights the impossibility of generalising about the Saracen and his role. It argues instead that the malleability of Saracen identity was often acknowledged and even exploited in literature. A study of the ways in which such a figure may be defined is used to bring race into dialogue with other aspects of identity such as gender, and to explore in particular the relationship between religion and race. Drawing upon theories of performativity and cross-dressing, Lacanian logical time, communitas in religious experience, and lastly of speech acts, it argues that medieval racial identity – as seen through the body, belief and speech of the Saracen – was far from universally understood and could be constructed by narrative processes and stylistic technique as well as social conventions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PQ Romance literatures