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History Renaissance

Desire and Discipline

Sex and Sexuality in the Premodern West

edited by Konrad Eisenbichler & Jacqueline Murray

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Nov 1996
Renaissance, Gender Studies
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    Publish Date
    Nov 1996
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    Nov 1996
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    Nov 1996
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The history of sexuality is one of the newest and fastest-growing areas of scholarly and popular interest. This collection of original essays looks at sexuality in the long stretch between the twelfth and the early seventeenth centuries - a period that remains relatively unexplored, yet one that has deeply informed contemporary ideas about sex.

The volume grew out of a conference at the University of Toronto on human sexuality in the medieval and early modern world. Featuring works by world-renowned scholars, it presents a broad cross-section of current research and a diversity of theoretical, methodological, and disciplinary boundaries, including legal history, art history, textual analysis, codicological analysis, and feminist theory. Some essays focus on the universal values of the Church, and highlight the intellectual and religious homogeneity that characterized Europe for much of the period. Others are more localized and look at a specific social and historical context. As a whole the collection points to the ongoing tension between society's desire to control sexuality and people's need to express it.

Informed by contemporary trends in scholarship, including feminism, gay studies, post-colonialism, and deconstruction, these essays introduce scholars to some of the riches that are only now being unearthed in this young discipline.

About the authors

Konrad Eisenbichler, Curator at the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies at Victoria University, has been studying Cecchi’s theatre for several years. His research has twice taken him to Italy, once in 1976 under the auspices of the Renaissance Society of America and once in 1980 on a Buchanan Scholarship from the University of Toronto. There he was able to consult manuscripts of Cecchi’s unpublished plays and search Florentine archives for biographical information into this retiring dramatist’s life. Mr. Eisenbichler’s translation, the first for any of Cecchi’s plays, is thus supported by a thorough critical apparatus, while retaining the lively and jovial style of Cecchi’s original.

Konrad Eisenbichler's profile page

Jacqueline Murray is Dean of Arts at the University of Guelph. She is the editor of Conflicted Identities and Multiple Masculinities: Men in the Medieval West and Desire and Discipline: Sex and Sexuality in the Premodern West (with Konrad Eisenbichler).

Jacqueline Murray's profile page

Other titles by Konrad Eisenbichler

Other titles by Jacqueline Murray