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Gender and religious change in early modern Europe

Under the combined effects of the Protestant and Catholic Reformations within and pressure from the Ottoman Empire without, early modern Europe became a site in which an unprecedented number of people were confronted by new beliefs, and collective and individual religious identities were broken down and reconfigured. Conversions: gender and religious change in early modern Europe is the first collection to explicitly address the intersections between sexed identity and religious change in the two centuries following the Reformation. The varied and wide-ranging chapters in this collection bring the Renaissance 'turn of the soul' into productive conversation with the three most influential ‘turns’ of recent literary, historical, and art historical study: the ‘turn to religion’, the ‘material turn’, and the ‘gender turn’. Contributors consider masculine as well as feminine identity, and consider the impact of travel, printing, and the built environment alongside questions of genre, race and economics. Of interest to scholars of early modern history, literature, and architectural history, this collection will appeal to anyone interested in the vexed history of religious change, and the transformations of gendered selfhood. Bringing together leading scholars from across the disciplines of literary study, history and art history, Conversions: gender and religious change offers novel insights into the varied experiences of, and responses to, conversion across and beyond Europe. A lively Afterword by Professor Matthew Dimmock (University of Sussex) drives home the contemporary urgency of these themes, and the lasting legacies of the Reformations.

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, these varied chapters pay sustained attention to how discourses and manifestations of gendered identity shaped the experience and actions of the convert. At the same time, they ask how religious change both manifested and reshaped the ideals and realities of sexed identity and behaviour. They demonstrate the intricate and overlapping performances of religious and gendered selfood, and the difficulties

in Conversions

problematise the ‘male crisis’ discourse. It does so by demonstrating that the general argument that the visual field in the context of AIDS has transformed sexual identities relies on a reading of images of bodies and body parts that are simply assumed to carry the marks of sexual difference. Two points are made regarding this theoretical assumption. First, I suggest that ironically such theoretical readings of the body and in particular the male body serve to stabilise the very gendered and sexed identities which the visual field is claimed to undo. Second, I suggest that

in Object matters
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British queer history

Sketch, gossip writers established a reputation for themselves in the late Edwardian era as cultivated, witty, urbane decadents existing in a symbiotic relationship with London Society hostesses who were eager to see their social gatherings recapitulated in the press. As the genre developed and blossomed it attracted a disproportionately large number of men with avowed same-­sex identities or who indulged in same-­sex acts. Linkof argues that gossip columnists, to perform their jobs well, needed to operate on the margins: sufficiently inside High Society so as to be

in British queer history
An epilogue

so intimate. Indeed, scholars, commentators, and men themselves, in blogs, print, television, and online videos, explore the impact of body image on men’s sense of self and self-esteem.2 Nonetheless, even as people are acutely aware of the personal distress caused by social and cultural pressures to conform to 204 Manliness in Britain, 1760–1900 certain bodily ideals, and recognise that bodies and appearances convey gender and sex identities, the emotions associated with them and the roles they play are less often scrutinised. This epilogue suggests some of

in Manliness in Britain, 1760–1900

example, that the male spectator’s position may be masochistic rather than sadistic (Studlar 1988 ), and that certain cinematic genres encourage male spectatorial identification with female onscreen characters (Clover 1992 ). Moreover, in the late 1980s and 1990s, the insights of gender studies and queer theory, inspired by names such as Judith Butler, have helped to mobilize the meanings attributed to gendered and sexed

in Patrice Leconte

as well as other work related skills is interesting, and echoes an underlying perception of universities as highly political arenas – a perspective that many women see as problematic (Chapter 5). However even in this case there is a reference to somewhat more problematic elements reflected in the word ‘challenging’. The depiction of women’s relationships with each other as uniformly negative can be seen as a key mechanism of patriarchal control (O’Connor, 2002). Many of the women in Morley’s study (1999: 76) resisted ‘forming coalitions on the basis of second sex

in Management and gender in higher education
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beginning to be understood not by visible gender inversion or effeminacy but by choice of sexual partner. Moreover, while popular renderings of same-­sex desire may have remained stagnant, among men and women who desired members of their own sex, identities were diversifying in ways that went far beyond popular imaginings. One example of this stagnation comes from a series of so-­called ‘pansy cases’ during the 1930s. The most notorious of these was the Holland Park raid of 1932, in which sixty people, the majority of whom were men in female drag, were arrested.38 Plain

in Queen and country
Exploring gender, anti-racism, and homonormativity in Shamim Sarif ’s The World Unseen (2001) and I Can’t Think Straight (2008)

, 2002 , p. 4). So, whereas the 1960s and 1970s second-wave – and invariably heterosexist – feminism critiqued the butch–femme dichotomy as imitating the masculine and feminine roles of patriarchy, the queer activists and theorists of the 1980s and 1990s reclaimed such performances of gender and sexual orientation as queering the contours of heteronormative aesthetics. However, it is arguable that such a configuration of female same-sex identities has become its own kind of normativity, and its prominence has allowed artists such as Sarif to place it at the centre of

in Queer Muslim diasporas in contemporary literature and film
Irigaray and Hegel

sacrificed. From Antigone’s silencing, entombed by the male’s addiction to war and conquest; to the sexual slave, deprived of the right to life and liberty; to finally the wife and mother, starved of life-blood as her substance is consumed by reproductive and marital duties – the scenario is similar. Hegel’s interpretations in his various works have provided graphic evidence for Irigaray’s repudiation of women’s traditional fate. She wishes to rescue women ‘from the sacrifice of sexed identity to a universal defined by man with death as its master’ (1996:26). Irigaray

in Divine love