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Constructing a Vantage Point from which to regard Women and History: Christine de Pizan and the Querelle de Femmes

Constructing a Vantage Point from which to regard Women and History: Christine de Pizan and the Querelle de Femmes

By Reghina Dascal

Didactica, Vol.20 (2009)

Introduction: This presentation is centred on women’s contribution to the four-century-long polemical tradition better known as la querelle de femmes and, in particular, to the crucial role played by Christine de Pizan in initiating it. It is my intention to open up the context of this extraordinary author’s emergence onto the literacy scene as well as the socio-political and culturual circumstances of her joining this polemical, agnostic tradition.

I shall do this by providing a brief survey of her predecessors and of the principal ‘feminist’ ideas that had already been circulating in various circles, societies and milieus. I will select a number of female figures of power and intellectual authority before Christine and focus on how their transgressing of both public and private spheres helped to fuel new waves of querelle.

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