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Michel Foucault's seminal The History of Sexuality (1976–1984) has since its publication provided a context for the emergence of critical historical studies of sexuality. This collection reassesses the state of the historiography on sexuality—a field in which the German case has been traditionally central. In many diverse ways, the Foucauldian intervention has governed the formation of questions in the field as well as the assumptions about how some of these questions should be answered. It can be argued, however, that some of these revolutionary insights have ossified into dogmas or truisms within the field. Yet, as these contributions meticulously reveal, those very truisms, when revisited with a fresh eye, can lead to new, unexpected insights into the history of sexuality, necessitating a return to and reinterpretation of Foucault's richly complex work. This volume will be necessary reading for students of historical sexuality as well as for those readers in German history and German studies generally who have an interest in the history of sexuality.
This book explores the metaphor of topography as a mechanism for the inscription of gender roles in Arthurian romance.
Between the years 1643 and 1649, Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia (1618–80) and René Descartes (1596–1650) exchanged fifty-eight letters—thirty-two from Descartes and twenty-six from Elisabeth. Their correspondence contains the only known extant philosophical writings by Elisabeth, revealing her mastery of metaphysics, analytic geometry, and moral philosophy, as well as her keen interest in natural philosophy. The letters are essential reading for anyone interested in Descartes’s philosophy, in particular his account of the human being as a union of mind and body, as well as his ethics. They also provide a unique insight into the character of their authors and the way ideas develop through intellectual collaboration. Philosophers have long been familiar with Descartes’s side of the correspondence. Now Elisabeth’s letters—never before available in translation in their entirety—emerge this volume, adding much-needed context and depth both to Descartes’s ideas and the legacy of the princess. Lisa Shapiro’s annotated edition—which also includes Elisabeth’s correspondence with the Quakers William Penn and Robert Barclay—will be heralded by students of philosophy, feminist theorists, and historians of the early modern period.
During a pivotal point in Spanish history, aristocrat María de Guevara (?–1683) produced two extraordinary essays that appealed for strong leadership, protested political corruption, and demanded the inclusion of women in the court’s decision making. “Treaty” gave Philip IV practical suggestions for fighting the war against Portugal and “Disenchantments” counseled the king-to-be, Charles II, on strategies to raise the country’s status in Europe. This annotated bilingual edition, featuring Nieves Romero-Díaz’s adroit translation, reproduces Guevara’s polemics for the first time. Guevara’s provocative writings call on Spanish women to bear the responsibility equally with men for restoring Spain’s power in Europe and elsewhere. The collection also includes examples of Guevara’s shorter writings that exemplify her ability to speak on matters of state, network with dignitaries, and govern family affairs. Witty, ironic, and rhetorically sophisticated, Guevara’s essays provide a fresh perspective on the possibilities for women in the public sphere in seventeenth-century Spain.
An exploration of why women were singled out as witches in 15th-century in Germany. Sigrid Brauner examines the connections between three central developments in early modern Germany: a shift in gender roles for women; the rise of a new urban ideal of femininity; and the witch hunts that swept across Europe from 1435 to 1750.

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