Tag: pre-modern culture

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Italian Masculinity as Queer

Italian Masculinity as Queer: An Immoderate Proposal

by John Champagne

This essay investigates a particularly polemical claim: that, throughout much of Western history, Italian masculinity and male sexuality have been represented in the literary and fine arts as “queer” in the specific sense of deconstructing the binaries masculine/feminine and homosexual/heterosexual.  Briefly surveying some of the historical circumstances that have overdetermined Italian masculinity and male sexuality as queer, the essay then follows one theme—the status of Greek models of homoerotic relationships between men—through some of the extant historical and literary accounts,

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Against their Will

Against their Will: Deconstructing the Myth of the Heroic Rapist in Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso and Machiavelli’s La Mandragola

by Scott Nelson

There are no words that encapsulate the idea of the heroic rapist better than the ones used by Susan Brownmiller in her book Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape. She writes: “As man conquers the world, so too he conquers the female.” Throughout history no theme rules the masculine imagination more often and with less honor than the myth of the heroic rapist.

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