IMC 2007: Sessions

Session 1204: Sexuality and Gender in Medieval Communities

Wednesday 11 July 2007, 14.15-15.45

Moderator/Chair:Jennifer Brown, Department of English, University of Hartford, Connecticut
Paper 1204-aWomen and Power: Mihrimah Sultan (1522-1578), A Significant Patron of Architecture
(Language: English)
Firuzan Melike Sümertaş, Department of Architecture, Anadolu University, Turkey
Index terms: Architecture - Religious, Art History - General, Islamic and Arabic Studies, Women’s Studies
Paper 1204-b'Eating the Pudding': Male Sexuality and Illicit Fatherhood in a Merchant Family of Calais and London
(Language: English)
Rachel E. Moss, Université de Paris I
Index terms: Gender Studies, Language and Literature - Middle English, Sexuality, Social History
Paper 1204-cSex and Women in a Valencian Medieval Text: The Col•loqui de dames as a Paradigmatic Case of The Sexuality in The Low Middle Ages
(Language: English)
Jerónimo Méndez Cabrera, Department of Catalan Philology, Universitat de València
Index terms: Gender Studies, Language and Literature - Comparative, Language and Literature - Other

Paper-a: The aim of this study is to trace the visibility of women in relation to their spatial presence and contribution to the architecture and cityscape of 16-17th century Istanbul. The study, while on the one hand, will present the relation of Ottoman Imperial Women with power; will mainly focus on how and in which ways the imperial women used architecture to reflect power and to become visible. The main focus will be Istanbul and the court women of the Ottoman palace and the study will dwell on their patronage what, why, where and how did they build?

The case studies will include the two main complexes (claimed to be) built by the order by Mihrimah Sultan (1522-1578) The Edirnekapı Mihrimah Sultan and The Üsküdar Mihrimah Sultan complexes. The study will first outline the female patrone through the significant personality of Mihrimah Sultan as the daughter of a powerful couple Suleyman I and Hürrem Sultan and wife of a grand vizier Rüstem Pasha.

Following, the study will trace the architectural evidence whether there is any difference in plan, decoration and construction which could be attributed specifically to female patronage at those complexes. In addition, the location of those buildings in the city and their contribution to the urban context will also be investigated.

Paper b: This paper uses the 15th-century letters of the Cely family to illuminate the sexual lives of two single brothers, one living in London, the other in Calais. What sort of relationships did they negotiate, and how were these relationships perceived by their families? The paper will then consider what happened when these relationships resulted in offspring. This will include a detailed linguistic study of the language used in these letters in reference to siring offspring, and will consider how the men themselves and their families and friends reacted to bastards, and what relationships, if any, the Celys formed with their illegitimate children.
Paper c: This paper analyses the importance of the anonymous Colloqui de dames (c. 1475) at the time of considering some literary aspects about the medieval sexual customs (coverall, the sexual activity of women) in an urban context. The method used will be a comparative and thematologic perspective because this text will be treated collating it with other similar texts of medieval Catalan and European literature (Libre de fra Bernat, Planys del cavaller Mataró and some fabliaux) in order to reach some conclusions on medieval satire and misoginia.