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Power and Authority in the Reign of Berenguela of Castile
Her name is undoubtedly less familiar than that of her grandmother, Eleanor of Aquitaine, or that of her famous conqueror son, Fernando III, yet during her lifetime, Berenguela of Castile (1180-1246) was one of the most powerful women in Europe. As queen-consort of Alfonso IX of León, she acquired the troubled boundary lands between the kingdoms of Castile and León and forged alliances with powerful nobles on both sides. Even after her marriage was dissolved, she continued to strengthen these connections as a member of her father's court. On her brother's death, she inherited the Castilian throne outright—and then, remarkably, elevated her son to kingship at the same time. Using her assiduously cultivated alliances, Berenguela ruled alongside Fernando and set into motion the strategy that in 1230 would result in his acquisition of the crown of León—and the permanent union of Castile and León.
In The Queen's Hand, Janna Bianchini explores Berenguela's extraordinary lifelong partnership with her son and examines the means through which she was able to build and exercise power. Bianchini contends that recognition of Berenguela as a powerful reigning queen by nobles, bishops, ambassadors, and popes shows the key participation of royal women in the western Iberian monarchy. Demonstrating how royal women could wield enormous authority both within and outside their kingdoms, Bianchini reclaims Berenguela's place as one of the most important figures of the Iberian Middle Ages.
Image-Making at the Court of Anne of Brittany, 1477-1514
What do the physical characteristics of the books acquired by elite women in the late medieval and early modern
periods tell us about their owners, and what in particular can their illustrations—especially their illustrations of women—reveal? Centered on Anne, duchess of Brittany and twice queen of France, with reference to her contemporaries and successors, The Queen's Library examines the cultural issues surrounding female modes of empowerment and book production. The book aims to uncover the harmonies and conflicts that surfaced in male-authored, male-illustrated works for and about women.
In her interdisciplinary investigation of the cultural and political legacy of Anne of Brittany and her female contemporaries, Cynthia J. Brown argues that the verbal and visual imagery used to represent these women of influence was necessarily complex because of its inherently conflicting portrayal of power and subordination. She contends that it can be understood fully only by drawing on the intersection of pertinent literary, historical, codicological, and art historical sources. In The Queen's Library, Brown examines depictions of women of power in five spheres that tellingly expose this tension: rituals of urban and royal reception; the politics of female personification allegories; the "famous-women" topos; women in mourning; and women mourned.
21st Century Markets, Media, and Rights
The Thai capital Bangkok is the unrivalled centre of the country’s gay, lesbian, and transgender communities. These communities are among the largest in Southeast Asia, and indeed in the world, and have a diversity, social presence, and historical depth that set them apart from the queer cultures of many neighbouring societies. The first years of the twenty-first century have marked a significant transition moment for all of Thailand’s LGBT cultures, with a multidimensional expansion in the geographical extent, media presence, economic importance, political impact, social standing, and cultural relevance of Thai queer communities. This book analyses the roles of the market and media—especially cinema and the Internet—in these transformations, and considers the ambiguous consequences that the growing commodification and mediatization of queer lives have had for LGBT rights in Thailand. A key finding is that in the early twenty-first century processes of global queering are leading to a growing Asianization of Bangkok’s queer cultures. This book traces Bangkok’s emergence as a central focus of an expanding regional network linking gay, lesbian, and transgender communities in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, the Philippines and other rapidly developing East and Southeast Asian societies.
Sexuality, Gender, and the European Art Cinema
Foregrounding a fundamental aspect of the Swedish auteur’s work that has been routinely ignored, as well as the vibrant connection between postwar American queer culture and European art cinema, this book offers a pioneering reading of Bergman’s films as profoundly queer work.
Race, Nation, and Sexuality in the Affairs of Yone Noguchi
In September 1897 Yone Noguchi (1875–1947) contemplated crafting a poem to his new love, western writer Charles Warren Stoddard. Recently arrived in California, Noguchi was in awe of the established writer and the two had struck up a passionate correspondence. Still, he viewed their relationship as doomed—not by the scandal of their same-sex affections, but their introverted dispositions and differences in background. In a poem dedicated to his “dearest Charlie,” Noguchi wrote: “Thou and I, O Charles, sit alone like two shy stars, east and west!” While confessing his love to Stoddard, Noguchi had a child (future sculptor Isamu Noguchi) with his editor, Léonie Gilmour; became engaged to Washington Post reporter Ethel Armes; and upon his return to Japan married Matsu Takeda—all within a span of seven years. According to author Amy Sueyoshi, Noguchi was not a dedicated polyamorist: He deliberately deceived the three women, to whom he either pretended or promised marriage while already married. She argues further that Noguchi’s intimacies point to little-known realities of race and sexuality in turn-of-the-century America and illuminate how Asian immigrants negotiated America’s literary and arts community. As Noguchi maneuvered through cultural and linguistic differences, his affairs additionally assert how Japanese in America could forge romantic fulfillment during a period historians describe as one of extreme sexual deprivation and discrimination for Asians, particularly in California. Moreover, Noguchi’s relationships reveal how individuals who engaged in seemingly defiant behavior could exist peaceably within prevailing moral mandates. His unexpected intimacies in fact relied upon existing social hierarchies of race, sexuality, gender, and nation that dictated appropriate and inappropriate behavior. In fact, Noguchi, Stoddard, Gilmour, and Armes at various points contributed to the ideological forces that compelled their intimate lives. Through the romantic life of Yone Noguchi, Queer Compulsions narrates how even the queerest of intimacies can more provocatively serve as a reflection of rather than a revolt from existing social inequality. In unveiling Noguchi’s interracial and same-sex affairs, it attests to the complex interaction between lived sexualities and socio-legal mores as it traces how one man negotiated affection across cultural, linguistic, and moral divides to find fulfillment in unconventional yet acceptable ways. Queer Compulsions will be a welcome contribution to Asian American, gender, and sexuality studies and the literature on male and female romantic friendships. It will also forge a provocative link between these disciplines and Asian studies.
Sex, Nature, Politics, Desire
Treating such issues as animal sex, species politics, environmental justice, lesbian space and "gay" ghettos, AIDS literatures, and queer nationalities, this lively collection asks important questions at the intersections of sexuality and environmental studies. Contributors from a wide range of disciplines present a focused engagement with the critical, philosophical, and political dimensions of sex and nature. These discussions are particularly relevant to current debates in many disciplines, including environmental studies, queer theory, critical race theory, philosophy, literary criticism, and politics. As a whole, Queer Ecologies stands as a powerful corrective to views that equate "natural" with "straight" while "queer" is held to be against nature.
Gender, Sexuality, and Class in the Fairy-Tale Cinema of Jacques Demy
To the uninitiated, the films of French New Wave director Jacques Demy can seem strange and even laughable, with their seemingly gaudy color schemes and sung dialogue. Yet since the late 1990s, a generation of queer filmmakers in France have found new inspiration in Demy's cinema. In this volume, author Anne E. Duggan examines Jacques Demy's queer sensibility in connection with another understudied characteristic of his oeuvre: his recurrent use of the fairy tale. In Queer Enchantments: Gender, Sexuality, and Class in the Fairy-Tale Cinema of Jacques Demy, Duggan demonstrates that Demy uses fairy-tale devices to explore and expand the identity categories of his characters, while he broadens the possibilities of the genre of the fairy tale through his cinematic revisions. In each chapter, Duggan examines how Demy strategically unfolds, challenges, and teases out the subversive qualities of fairy-tale paradigms. In chapter 1, Duggan reads Demy's Lola and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg through the lens of "Cinderella" and "Sleeping Beauty," while in chapter 2, she explores Demy's revision of Charles Perrault's "Donkey Skin" from the particular angle of gay aesthetics. In chapter 3, Duggan situates Demy's rendition of The Pied Piper in relation to a specifically Franco-American tradition of the legend, which thus far has not received critical attention. Finally, in Chapter 4, she examines the ways in which Demy's Lady Oscar represents the undoing of the figure of the maiden warrior. An epilogue reads Demy's fairy-tale cinema as exemplary of the postmodern tale. Duggan shows that Demy's cinema heightens the inherent tensions and troubles that were always already present in fairy-tale texts and uses them to illustrate both the constraints and utopian possibilities of the fairy tale. Both film and fairy-tale studies scholars will enjoy Duggan's fresh look at the distinctive cinema of Jacques Demy.
Citizenship and the Afterlife of Colonialism
Globalization has a taste for queer cultures. Whether in advertising, film, performance art, the internet, or in the political discourses of human rights in emerging democracies, queerness sells and the transnational circulation of peoples, identities and social movements that we call "globalization" can be liberating to the extent that it incorporates queer lives and cultures. From this perspective, globalization is seen as allowing the emergence of queer identities and cultures on a global scale.
The essays in Queer Globalizations bring together scholars of postcolonial and lesbian and gay studies in order to examine from multiple perspectives the narratives that have sought to define globalization. In examining the tales that have been spun about globalization, these scholars have tried not only to assess the validity of the claims made for globalization, they have also attempted to identify the tactics and rhetorical strategies through which these claims and through which global circulation are constructed and operate.
Contributors include Joseba Gabilondo, Gayatri Gopinath, Janet Ann Jakobsen, Miranda Joseph, Katie King, William Leap, Lawrence LaFountain-Stokes, Bill Maurer, Cindy Patton, Chela Sandoval, Ann Pellegrini, Silviano Santiago, and Roberto Strongman.