Chicago's quest to affirm women's agency and history reached its apotheosis in The Dinner Party, represented here with three drawn studies (Study for Judith Plate, 1974-75; Study for Untitled Test Plate, 1974-75; and Notes for Hildegarde, 1977) and three porcelain test plates portraying the tenth-century German poet Hrosvitha
, which exemplify Chicago's signature butterfly forms resembling female genitalia.
(5) In medieval Europe, the dramatic writings of the learned tenth-century abbess, Hrosvitha
of Gandersheim, are filled with interesting parts for medieval convent girls that depict the "laudable chastity of Christian virgins." (6) In medieval France, girls performed in Passion Plays and plays of the Presentation of the Virgin at the Temple, and took parts ranging from the Virgin Mary and Saint Catherine of Alexandria, to Mary Magdalen and Herodias's daughter, to the maidens of the Temple and the daughters of Jerusalem.
The general shape of the book is familiar enough: beginning with such texts as Hrosvitha
's Abraham and the Quem Quaeritis trope of the Regularis Concordia of Aethelwold, it proceeds through the explosion of twelfth-century drama (including the Play of Adam and the Fleury Herod), devoting much of its middle section to the four great Middle English play collections (York, Towneley, N-Town, and Chester) and moving on via some familiar morality and miracle plays (Mankind, Everyman, The Play of the Sacrament) to conclude with such comedies and interludes as Youth, Gammer Gurton's Needle, and Heywood's Play of the Weather.
Women such as Hrosvitha
von Gandersheim (935-1002), one of the first woman playwrights, "an identity which has taken one thousand years to emerge and which has yet to be placed within a critical historical perspective" yet she is referred to by Brockett as the first author of "school drama" (Case, 2000:32).
A separate chapter is reserved for humanism at Wittenberg, where Durer resided for a time and among other things produced a marvelous woodcut portraying Celtis's presentation of Hrosvitha
's plays to Frederick the Wise, symbolizing the equal importance of German authors and those of antiquity.
(15.) Freija Hrosvitha
van Duijne, Risk Perception in Product Use (2005) (unpublished Ph.D.
In her introduction to American Women Playwrights, 1900-1950 (Peter Lang Publishing), Wendy worries that she will turn out like Hrosvitha
of Gandersheim, a 10th-century canoness whose plays were never produced.
Of noble birth, Hrosvitha
spent most of her life as a nun in the Benedictine convent at Gandersheim.
Alfred Jarry, after all, was not only a self-created Parisian character, but a dramatist and director who translated Christian Grabbe's Scherz, Satire, Ironie und Tiefere Bedeutung and presented Hrosvitha
's Paphnutius at his Theatre des Pantins.
Celtis rediscovered the manuscripts of Germany's first woman poet, the 10th-century nun Hrosvitha
, and also the so-called Peutinger Table, a map of the Roman Empire.