Masculinity penetrated: satisfying socially constructed visions of heterosexuality in MS M. 754

Erjavec, Alexandra Elena Barbara (2015) Masculinity penetrated: satisfying socially constructed visions of heterosexuality in MS M. 754. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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New York, Pierpont Morgan MS M. 754, is a prayerbook with overarching themes of pregnancy and childbirth produced in 1320s France for a female reader. However, the social expectations in fourteenth-century France regarding female sexuality, piety and devotion found in the main miniatures are subverted by an abundance of anus-exposing men, monkeys and hybrids cavorting in the margins. Often dismissed in contemporary literature as scatological, I believe these anal images should be reexamined in light of contemporary notions of medieval masculinity and homosexuality. My research aims to challenge the binaries of gender construction through careful consideration of these ‘taboo’ images, as well as to reconsider books of hours in specific relation to ideas of male values and sexuality. In particular, I believe an emerging theme of homosexuality can be found when considered in the context of the clergy and knightly class—homosocial environments that allow for the displacement of men’s sexual urges onto other men. A particular focus will be placed on social analysis as well as alterity theory, which I believe help to dismantle the binaries of gender expectations evident during the French Middle Ages, further helping to problematise the conventional theoretical dichotomy of centre versus margins.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Anal imagery, anus, masculinity, homosexuality, heterosexuality, gender, alterity, margins, marginal, MS M. 754, marginalia, medieval, manuscript, sodomy, books of hours, sexuality, social construction.
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Culture and Creative Arts > History of Art
Supervisor's Name: Strickland, Dr. Debra Higgs and Richards, Dr. John
Date of Award: 2015
Depositing User: Miss Alexandra Elena Barbara Erjavec
Unique ID: glathesis:2015-6304
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 26 May 2015 08:14
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2015 07:50

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