Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Claims to Universal Possessiveness through Exclusive Discourses Medieval and Early-Modern Narratives of Othering Public Deposited

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  • This thesis examines the discursive seeds of the European endeavor to supremacy and dominance by tracing the germination of Eurocentrism and European exceptionalism in two different eras. Through close attention to textuality, I suggest a rhetorical continuity between the medieval and the early modern eras by focusing not directly on their historical and political actions, but rather on their shared conceptual rhetorical history of encounter, identity, and otherness. Although traditional critical accounts of European hegemony often focus on the 18th and 19th centuries as the historical framework where the European universal authority and global power were fulfilled, I trace the emergence of these phenomena from earlier ideological contexts through a close-reading methodology and a contemporary theoretical apparatus. In the first chapter, I discuss the medieval polemic narratives about religious difference and the ways this difference was articulated through mythic narratives. In the second chapter, I extend this analysis to include the status of the global English power and how it emerged through the early modern pre-colonial gaze, and the perceptional-relational consequences of that gaze.
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