Abstract

Herr Sieman, the ambiguously gendered figure of the She-Man that finds representation in texts and images from the late fifteenth through the early seventeenth century, has received scant attention by literary scholars and has typically been read as a metaphor for imperious wives who wish to rule over husbands and households. In this article, I offer a reading of the early modern She-Man as an allegory of gender. Focusing on Adam Schubart's Der Sieman / das ist wider den Hausteuffell (The She-Man / this is against the house-devil) of 1564, I demonstrate that the author, in fashioning the figure of the She-Man, privileges gender as a category guaranteeing social order. At the same time, however, Schubart's text bespeaks a deep anxiety around the issue of visibility of difference. I argue that in negotiating this anxiety and in pointing toward the body and to sexuality as the loci on which gender difference can and must be inscribed, Schubart performs the quintessentially modern gesture of relating gender to anatomical difference and sexuality. (KAJ)

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Additional Information

ISSN
2578-5192
Print ISSN
2578-5206
Pages
pp. 37-61
Launched on MUSE
2010-10-13
Open Access
No
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