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date: 16 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the complexities of medieval identity formation by surveying the depiction of Jews and Saracens in English texts produced throughout the medieval period from the time of Bede to the second half of the fifteenth century. It shows that there are many ways to approach productively the question of identity and medieval literature, and it is futile to posit any claims about a primary other during the period and suggests that the relationships between the selves and others imagined by medieval texts are far too multiple, fraught, and unstable. It explains how indispensable constructions of others are to notions of selfhood in the medieval West.

Keywords: identity formation, medieval period, English texts, Jews, Saracens, Bede, medieval West

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