Thesis Defense Announcement

The College of Arts and Sciences announces the Final Thesis of

Kevin McCoy

for the Degree of Master of Arts

August 15, 2018 at 10:00 AM Online, BlueJeans

Advisor: Benjamin Graham 

Slandering women: literary and ecclesiastical misogyny in high to late medieval France

ABSTRACT: This work examines literary and ecclesiastical misogyny in high to late medieval France. It explores how two popular French genres, pastourelle and fabliaux, reinforced negative female stereotypes and perpetuated misogyny by slandering women. In order to contextualize the misogyny in those terms, this thesis also conducts an examination of contemporary ecclesiastical literature and thought as well as a few major popular, secular works. The approach first analyzed in-depth the pastourelle and fabliaux and connected those works to contemporary society in its treatment of women. Next, it analyzed ecclesiastical misogyny in both the literature and society and compared those forms of misogyny by showing parallels with the secular literature. The main findings were that literary gender relations and treatment of women in the period reflected, influenced, and reinforced misogyny in society, primarily by slander. The conclusions are that through slander, misogyny became more entrenched and engrained in the medieval mind and society.