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Vibia Perpetua's Gendered Hybridity: A Critical Examination of Perpetua's Androgynous Identity in the Martyrdom of Saints Perpetua and Felicitas

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

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title
Vibia Perpetua's Gendered Hybridity: A Critical Examination of Perpetua's Androgynous Identity in the Martyrdom of Saints Perpetua and Felicitas
author
Lieberman, Sarah Elizabeth
abstract
This thesis discusses the current scholarly conversation surrounding the gender identity of Perpetua as illustrated in The Martyrdom of Saints Perpetua and Felicitas. While many scholars contend that Perpetua's exemplification of various masculine traits and virtues makes her "male," I argue that such conclusion overlooks too quickly the spectrum of possibilities. For, by taking a deeper look within the narrative, I argue that Perpetua maintains a lasting sense of femininity throughout the work's entirety. Instead of arriving at a forced "either/or" conclusion, then, I suggest that another possible gender category may be at play: androgyny. In order to support this claim, however, I look to the meaning of masculine, feminine, and androgynous traits in antiquity, as well as investigate whether androgyny was a known and/or popular category during the time of Perpetua's martyrdom.
subject
Ancient Religious Texts
Androgyny
Early Christian Literature
Gender
Genesis Creation Story
Perpetua
contributor
Foskett, Mary F (committee chair)
Horton, Fred L (committee member)
Boyd, Stephen B (committee member)
date
2011-07-14T20:35:35Z (accessioned)
2013-07-14T08:30:10Z (available)
2011 (issued)
degree
Religion (discipline)
embargo
2013-07-14 (terms)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/33455 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
type
Thesis

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