Abstract

In this thesis I examine the lives and works of two remarkable medieval women poets, Wallada bint al-Mustakfi, an eleventh-century Andalusian poet, and Christine de Pizan, a fourteenth-century French poet. Both Wallada and Christine were raised and lived in courtly quarters which enabled them access to knowledge and learning and accorded them a powerful status. Both women have been able to successfully pursue their intellectual interests and create their own space of literary engagement within the rich conventions of the literary courtly love tradition. I also examine the parallels that existed between the French courtly literature and the Arabic ghazal poetry and how they both represented women as subjects. In this study I do a comparative analysis of the development of the feminine consciousness of both Christine and Wallada and how their experience informed their literary production and enabled them to break the confines of a literary tradition that limited their representation. Furthermore, I look into how both women, who were very different, represented different aspects of feminism and forces us to reexamine our own contemporary understanding of what feminism is.

Department

English & Comparative Literature Department

Degree Name

MA in English & Comparative Literature

Date of Award

6-1-2014

Online Submission Date

March 2015

First Advisor

Ghazoul, Ferial

Committee Member 1

Shoukri, Doris

Committee Member 2

Gómez-Rivas, Camilo

Document Type

Thesis

Extent

89 p.

Rights

The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy.

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Approval has been obtained for this item

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