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- Lecture by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen on medieval English culture : Rochester News.
- Medieval Identity Machines — University of Minnesota Press.
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Cultural Studies of the Modern Middle Ages
New Releases. Description A psychoanalytic look at the representation of monsters, giants and masculinity in medieval texts. The phenomenon of giants and giant-slaying appear in various texts from the Anglo-Saxon to late Middle English period, including Beowulf, The Knight and the Lion, History of the Kings of Britain and several of Chaucer's books.
Product details Format Paperback pages Dimensions x x Other books in this series. Of Giants Jeffrey Jerome Cohen. Add to basket. Medieval Identity Machines Jeffrey J. Series: Medieval Cultures, vol.
senrei-exorcism.com/images/snapchat/how-to-locate-viber-on-cell.php Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, ISBN: The somewhat odd title of this book is the term the author has chosen to replace the more normal "body" as the locus of human identity. His central argument is that one's personhood transcends the limits set by one's skin and should also be seen as including the material objects with which one constantly works as, for example, a wheelchair might be part of a disabled person's identity and the social groups within which one functions. This rather unsurprising and entirely sensible suggestion is here tricked out with a great deal of theory.
Thus, rather than just saying that medieval people need to be studied in the context of their material culture and social interactions, which of course they do, Jeffrey Cohen announces that he is the first to present a "post-human" Middle Ages pp.
Cohen's starting point is the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze, who, in conjunction with the psychologist Felix Guattari, expressed some thirty years ago the idea that identity is more than just the body and that the body itself is porous, susceptible to outside influences. These two are also responsible for the term "machines," which they used to describe their vision of humans whose identities included their surroundings.
Deleuze later discarded the word "machine" as too sterile, but Cohen keeps it, because the medieval machina was more a mechanism or assemblage than something made of steel and rivets. Because he seems to accept their ideas wholeheartedly, the novelty of his book is found merely in applying their philosophical and psychological theories to a different time period. Cohen discusses the assemblage of objects and influences that created a medieval person's identity primarily through literature, including chivalric romances, a saint's life, and visionary accounts.
It is not clear how or why he has chosen his examples, which range from the eighth century to the fifteenth, and from England to the Levant. Since they are not treated chronologically, the impression is of an almost random choice of topic. Curiously missing is any discussion of the family, which would have been the principal group shaping a medieval person's identity.
The book is less about the Middle Ages itself than it is about how post-modern theory could be applied to rather generically-understood medieval history.
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