Am now 2 books behind. That means must read 4 this week. Can I do it? Unlikely, since I've got to ride the writing train this week.
Western Representations of the Muslim Woman: from Termagant to Odalisque by Mohja Kahf
Eh. A lot of her examples I felt were strained. I'm sure there is a ton of matter to work through in order to isolate passages that are useful.
I should have realized with 'odalisque' that the research would stop before modern times. Too bad.
I'm quite interested in women's perspectives of Islam. And while this was written by a woman, it could have just as easily been written by a man, so I'll probably add another book on women/Islam to the reading list for later in the year.
Hybridity, Identity, and Monstrosity in Medieval Britain: On Difficult Middles by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen
The general idea of this book was to explore the cross overs between the various well-defined groups in medieval Britain: Irish, Welsh, Jews, Scots, etc. People who crossed from one of these into a lifestyle where they presented themselves as English/Norman (he does a bit on the differences between these groups as well) and Christian.
Interesting to see the medieval idea of traits being literally in the blood. Also, the acceptance into the 'mainstream' community of individuals that were caricatures of their non-Christian/English community. For example: the Irish were non allowed to participate with the English, but a deformed man, known as the Ox Man, was.
There was also quite a bit about blood libels between groups.
I find the medieval world bizarre. The more I read about it, the weirder it gets. Most of my education in history ended at 600 or so, thus medieval studies is (relatively) new to me.
The Invention of Heterosexuality by Jonathan Ned Katz
I was really frustrated by this. However, it isn't Katz' fault. I just really can't get through anything that discusses Freud in any sort of length.
I'm unabashedly anti-Freud, and this book just reminded me of that.
Not that the book is entirely about Freud, but I lost the thread of the discussion when I got to the bits about him. *sigh*