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Fight like a girl! An investigation into female martial practices in European Fight Books from the 14th to the 20th century

Author:

Daniel Jaquet

University of Bern, CH
About Daniel

Daniel Jaquet received his PhD in Medieval History at the University of Geneva in 2013. He specializes on European Martial Arts Studies. He is currently Researcher at the University of Bern coordinating the research project, ‘Martial Culture in Medieval Towns’ (2018–2022), and editor of the journal Acta Periodica Duellatorum.

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Abstract

Women appear in fight books as practitioners in the late Middle Ages. They then disappear completely, only to reappear at the dawn of the twentieth century. How are they represented therein? What discourses of gender and violence are present within the corpus of European fight books? In this article, the representation of women in the fight books of the late Middle Ages is analysed, with a focus on female martial practices in legal procedures. The absence of women (their ‘invisibilisation’) from fight books in the modern period is compensated by exploring other types of sources relating to female martial arts, including transgender fighters. The final part highlights different martial practices at the dawn of the twentieth century and the reintroduction of women onto the pages of fight books.

How to Cite: Jaquet, D., 2021. Fight like a girl! An investigation into female martial practices in European Fight Books from the 14th to the 20th century. Martial Arts Studies, 11(11), pp.71–79. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18573/mas.133
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Published on 19 Jul 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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