Approaches to Teaching the Works of Christine de Pizan

Edited by Andrea Tarnowski

A prolific poet and a protofeminist, Christine de Pizan worked within a sophisticated late medieval court culture and formed an identity as an authority on her society's preoccupations with religion, politics, and morality. Her works address various aspects of misogyny, the appropriate actions of rulers, and the ethical framework for social conduct. In addition to gaining a readership in fifteenth-century France, Christine's works influenced writers in Tudor England and were identified by twentieth-century readers as important contributions both to the emergence of a professional literary class and to the intellectual climate that gave rise to early modern Europe.

Part 1 of this volume, "Materials," surveys the editions in Middle French, translations into modern French and English, and the many scholarly resources and critical reactions of the past fifty years. Part 2, "Approaches," provides insights into various aspects of Christine's works that can be explored with students, from considerations of genre and form to the themes of virtue, history, and memory. Teachers of French, English, world literature, and women's studies will find useful ideas throughout the volume.

About the Author

Andrea Tarnowski is associate professor and chair of the Department of French and Italian at Dartmouth College. She is the editor and translator (into modern French) of Christine de Pizan's Le chemin de longue étude and coeditor of Meaning and Its Objects: Material Culture in Medieval and Renaissance France. She is translating Le chemin into English for The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe series and working on a book comparing the allegorical and political writings of Christine de Pizan, Philippe de Mézières, and Alain Chartier.


"This volume draws on the expertise of some of the foremost scholars in the field, and its well-chosen selection of new essays place Christine de Pizan's work within a broad spectrum of pedagogical contexts."

—Suzanne Conklin Akbari, University of Toronto

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280 Pages
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