Byzantine Intersectionality: Sexuality, Gender, and Race in the Middle Ages

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Product Details
Princeton University Press
Publish Date
6.1 X 9.2 X 1.2 inches | 1.4 pounds

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About the Author
Roland Betancourt is professor of art history at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author of Performing the Gospels in Byzantium and Sight, Touch, and Imagination in Byzantium.
"Finalist for the Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion, Historical Studies, American Academy of Religion"
"[Byzantine Intersectionality] quotes Monica Lewinsky in its epigraph and brings an activist's zeal to its queer-theory close readings of texts and images from the Eastern Roman Empire between the fourth and fifteenth centuries. By scouring legal, medical, and religious sources, and reading misogynist invectives against the grain, Betancourt builds a fascinating picture of more fluid attitudes and practices around sexuality than have been suggested in the mainstream historical record. . . . The details Betancourt excavates can be as illuminating as they are juicy."---Lidija Haas, Harper's Magazine
"[Byzantine Intersectionality] raises timely and pressing questions about gender, sexuality, marginalized groups, and diversity in the medieval Roman Empire. . . . This indispensable book makes clear that the study of Byzantine art is relevant and pressing today."---Armin Bergmeier, Art Bulletin
"This book is for the outcast and for those who inhabit the margins of the past and present. . . . Byzantine Intersectionality provides art historians, archaeologists, and historians with a better theoretical basis for reconstructing the complex lived reality of queerness, sexual violence, consent, and racial profiling. The marginalized biblical figures and saints examined together serve as a new testament to how engrained systematic oppression functions in society."---Sarah E. Bond, Hyperallergic
"[The book's title] refers to the interaction between gender, sexuality and race, how the intersections between these three separate things were understood in Byzantine society and how these understandings endured or shifted across the period of the Empire's history from (roughly) the fourth century to the 15th. . . . The book is rooted in a huge number of meticulously studied late antique and medieval sources. Importantly, Betancourt allows them the freedom to speak for themselves."---Adele Curness, History Today
"[Byzantine Intersectionality] is an insightful and powerful new addition to not only Medieval Studies, but also History of Art, Critical Race Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Queer Studies. . . . An exciting and radical new project with an ethical dimension and urgency, this text challenges the ways scholars have viewed Byzantine society and culture. . . . [This] innovative text provokes from the epigraph by Lewinsky to the final sentence with its ethical imperative for social and racial justice."---Meaghan Allen, LSE Review of Books
"A major accomplishment of [Byzantine Intersectionality] is its interdisciplinarity. As opposed to other scholars of the middle ages whose focus is narrowed to a specific discipline, Betancourt's text covers the large disciplinary gaps between literary studies, art history, and historical studies, to create a wide-ranging view of the period and allowing scholars to create thematic connections previously unknown across the disciplines. . . . Another important aspect of this text is the potential implications for the field moving forward. Betancourt's recalibration of the definitions of sexuality, gender, and race has opened countless doors for other medievalists to analyze literature, historical documents, and art for the sole purpose of expanding known histories of sex, gender, and race."---Morgan Connor, Pennsylvania Literary Review
"Every Byzantinist needs to read this book. . . . A highly stimulating and thought-provoking book. It is also a beautifully produced book."---Shaun Tougher, Medieval Encounters
"Winner of the Jerome E. Singerman Prize, Medieval Academy of America"