Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Perspectives on Identity and Identification: Highlights from IU's 2022 Themester

Guide spotlighting materials from participating Themester courses. See the companion exhibit in the Wells Library lobby after October 19, 2022.

Medieval Literature: Defining Human Identity in Medieval European Literature 

CMLT-C 321 — A&H GCC | Professor Rosemarie McGerr

The Romance of Silence

The Romance of Silence by Heldris of Cornwall is a thirteenth-century narrative in French about a girl named Silence whose parents secretly bring her up as a boy because their king decrees that daughters may not inherit a noble family's property. Although Silence learns about her biological sex, she decides to continue her disguise and becomes the best knight in the land. Several characters in the tale, including Nature and Nurture, offer discussions about what constitutes human identity in terms of social class and relationship to animals, as well as gender.

Description by Rosemarie McGerr.

The Itinerary of Benjamin of Tudela

The travel narrative of Benjamin of Tudela, often called his Itinerary, is a 12th-century Hebrew account of a Jewish man's journey from Spain across Europe into the Middle East and Africa, describing the relationships of people of many different faiths, as well as social classes. The Itinerary of Benjamin of Tudela has been translated into many languages and remains one of the most important travel accounts of the Middle Ages.

Related library guides