Non-Fiction Books:

In Light of Another's Word

European Ethnography in the Middle Ages
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Hardback
In Light of Another's Word by Shirin A Khanmohamadi
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Description

Challenging the traditional conception of medieval Europe as insular and even xenophobic, Shirin A. Khanmohamadi's In Light of Another's Word looks to early ethnographic writers who were surprisingly aware of their own otherness, especially when faced with the far-flung peoples and cultures they meant to describe. These authors-William of Rubruck among the Mongols, "John Mandeville" cataloguing the world's diverse wonders, Geraldus Cambrensis describing the manners of the twelfth-century Welsh, and Jean de Joinville in his account of the various Saracens encountered on the Seventh Crusade-display an uncanny ability to see and understand from the perspective of the very strangers who are their subjects. Khanmohamadi elaborates on a distinctive late medieval ethnographic poetics marked by both a profound openness to alternative perspectives and voices and a sense of the formidable threat of such openness to Europe's governing religious and cultural orthodoxies. That we can hear the voices of medieval Europe's others in these narratives in spite of such orthodoxies allows us to take full measure of the productive forces of disorientation and destabilization at work on these early ethnographic writers. Poised at the intersection of medieval studies, anthropology, and visual culture, In Light of Another's Word is an innovative departure from each, extending existing studies of medieval travel writing into the realm of poetics, of ethnographic form into the premodern realm, and of early visual culture into the realm of ethnographic encounter.

Author Biography

Shirin A. Khanmohamadi is Associate Professor of Comparative and World Literature at San Francisco State University.
Release date Australia
December 3rd, 2013
Audience
  • Tertiary Education (US: College)
Country of Publication
United States
Illustrations
1 illus.
Imprint
University of Pennsylvania Press
Pages
216
Dimensions
152x229x23
ISBN-13
9780812245622
Product ID
21411062

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