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Problems of definition and historiography
Irina Metzler

and developmental patterns will have been in existence in the Middle Ages. The genetic and physiological causes of ID will have changed little, historically, thus ID cannot simply be dismissed as a purely ‘modern disorder’. Social constructionism and ID At this point it is apposite to briefly introduce a philosophical critique, primarily expounded by Hacking, of the preponderance in Western academia to claim that nigh on everything, whether people, objects or ideas, is socially constructed. The question of social

in Fools and idiots?
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Deborah Youngs

transhistorical affinity can spring from the role that nature plays in influencing behaviour. In her work on medieval childhood, Shulamith Shahar has criticised the focus on the social construction of age and promoted the ‘immutable and universal’ biological factors involved in caring for children; nurture and care are needed in order for the child to survive. While she goes further than most in her support of

in The life–cycle in Western Europe, c.1300-c.1500
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Mending roads, being social
Valerie Allen

be thought of as dirt or that the concept of dirt is socially constructed than that the legislation s­urrounding trading stalls indicates an intuition of roads as a system vulnerable to disruption. Roads conceived as conduits is the reciprocal of a commuter infrastructure conceived as an organized whole. What is of interest is the social construction in the early modern era not of dirt but of the concept of roads-as-system, which is not to imply that medieval roads lack system, but their networked g ­ roupings are highly localized, the systematicity sporadic and

in Roadworks
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‘Snail-horn perception’ in Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde
Elizabeth Robertson

of the nature of Troilus’s desire for Criseyde and indeed our understanding of the poem as a whole. Troilus’s gaze has also been understood as predatory from the point of view of feminist theory. David Aers concludes that, in keeping with the ‘cultural formation of knightly love and the social construction of specific forms of sexuality’, Troilus’s piercing gaze is ‘predatory’ and he asserts that Chaucer describes the gaze in ‘violent, even sadistic language’.12 Drawing on feminist discussions of the objectifying nature of the male gaze, he ­­ describes Troilus

in Contemporary Chaucer across the centuries
Amy C. Mulligan

historical acts of territorial conquest ‘are not incommensurate, nor is one simply the product, a disempowered surplus, of the other’. 8 Instead, they are ‘mutually constitutive’, for the social construction of space is part of the very machinery of imperialism. In the name of the imperial project, space is evaluated and overlain with desire: creating homely landscapes out of ‘alien’ territories, drawing distant lands into the maps of empire, establishing

in A landscape of words
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Mary C. Flannery

in Le livre du Chevalier ), Kathleen Ashley correctly points out that, although most readings of conduct literature's passages concerning female chastity focus on their implications for female sexuality, these passages should also be read as evidence of ‘the social constructions of family honor in aspirants to higher class status’ (‘The Miroir des Bonnes Femmes : Not for Women Only?’, in Ashley and Clark (eds), Medieval Conduct , pp. 86–105 (p. 99)). On the relationship between the Miroir des Bonnes Femmes and Le livre du Chevalier , see John Grigsby, ‘A New

in Practising shame
Tim William Machan

frustratingly, sometimes deliberately, ambiguous: a “race” could be a physical stock, it could be something like a “tribe” or a “clan”, or it could be both at once’. 2 Through such formulations, race, rather than being a social construction, is at once determinative and largely non-transmutable. Embedded in a nation and its people, race defined in this way also accounts for a people’s cultural achievement. In this sense, the British of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries had been destined to be great, while the indigenes they encountered in their global

in Northern memories and the English Middle Ages
Jews in Portsmouth during the long eighteenth century
Tony Kushner

the work of social geography, it has been suggested that ‘place is a negotiated reality, a social construction by a purposeful set of actors. But the relationship is mutual, for places in turn develop and reinforce the identity of the social group that claims them’. 10 Just as the memory of early Winchester as capital of Wessex was utilised in the (racial) construction of Englishness and the British Empire, so the later history of Portsmouth, as home of the navy, was employed for a wider purpose. As Ken Lunn and Ann Day have argued, although neglected in academic

in Anglo-Jewry since 1066
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The wall texts of a Percy family manuscript and the Poulys Daunce of St Paul’s Cathedral
Heather Blatt

medieval Italy as a form of public discourse that functioned in conjunction with other spatial, textual, and decorative systems (‘Public textual cultures: a case study in southern Italy’, in Textual cultures of medieval Italy, ed. William Robins [Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2011], 115–44). For a general introduction to wall texts, see Roger Rosewell (Medieval wall paintings in English and Welsh churches [Woodbridge, UK: Boydell, 2011]). Reading architecturally 159  2 For an extended analysis on the social construction of space in a medieval literary context

in Participatory reading in late-medieval England