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Rooting, Subverting, and Reclaiming: An Analysis of Clemence of Barking's Catherine of Alexandria as a Pre-modern Gendered Text

  • Author / Creator
    Froese, Gina J
  • This thesis suggests a solution to the longstanding tension between feminist literary theory and medieval religious writing. I argue that by appropriately translating key concepts in feminist theory to account for the particularities of earlier periods of genre literature, we may reconsider settled assumptions about medieval religious writing. Using Clemence of Barking’s twelfth century Passio of Catherine of Alexandria as a case in point, this study develops a feminist deconstructive and historical analytic method for comparing hagiographies written by men and women. I show how the female medieval author roots herself in a religious tradition, subverts traditional patriarchal characterization and reclaims the depictions of earlier source texts for a gender positive narrative. The thesis concludes that far from being tools of religious patriarchy, female authors in this genre made subtle alterations to hagiographic narrative in order to rearticulate theological arguments and undercut their misogynistic potential.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2014-06
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3DV1CV5R
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies
  • Specialization
    • Comparative Literature
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Dr. Jonathan Hart
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Dr. Jonathan Hart (Comparative Literature)
    • Dr. David Gay (English)
    • Dr. Irene Sywenky (Comparative Literature)