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Marisa Galvez
Assistant Professor of French and Italian, and by courtesy, of German Studies
Faculty Research Fellow, 2013-14

Marisa Galvez specializes in the literature of the Middle Ages in France and Western Europe, especially the poetry and narrative literature written in Occitan and Old French.  Her areas of interest include the troubadours, vernacular poetics, the intersection of performance and literary cultures, and the critical history of medieval studies as a discipline.  Her current research project investigates the rhetorical and ideological craft of medieval French confessional texts and its impact on the ethics of crusades in the thirteenth century.

As a Clayman Fellow, she seeks to explain how the metaphor and use of crystal from the Middle Ages to the age of Modernism in literature, art, and architecture possesses a gendered agenda of dark transparency: the crystal embodying and becoming a vehicle for a persistent mythology of masculine self-knowledge.  In the primarily secular stories and artworks that she will study, the male subject views the crystal object—often a deferral of the beloved yet mysterious lady or gendered female unknowable Good—as at once transcendently pure and opaque as transmuted earthly material.  The project will address the relation between the literary metaphor of crystal and the phenomenological effects of crystal apprehension and embodiment, and thus will engage with recent scholarly discussions around object ontologies.  

For more information, please see her website.

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