Meeting the Foreign in the Middle Ages

Routledge
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This collectoion brings together an outstanding group of historical, cultural, and literary scholars to investigate the complicated, nuanced, and often surprising union and desire and dread associated with the figure of the foreign Other in the Middle Ages--represented variously by Muslims, Jews, heretics, pagans, homosexuals, lepers, monsters, and witches. Exploring the diverse manifestations of the foreign in medieval literature, historical documents, religous treatises, and art, these essays mine the traces of unprecedented encounters in which fascination and fear meet.
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About the author

Albert Classen, PhD., is Professor of German at the University of Arizona.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
Apr 12, 2002
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9781135309879
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Language
English
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Genres
History / General
Literary Criticism / General
Social Science / Anthropology / Cultural & Social
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction

When three-month-old Lia Lee Arrived at the county hospital emergency room in Merced, California, a chain of events was set in motion from which neither she nor her parents nor her doctors would ever recover. Lia's parents, Foua and Nao Kao, were part of a large Hmong community in Merced, refugees from the CIA-run "Quiet War" in Laos. The Hmong, traditionally a close-knit and fiercely people, have been less amenable to assimilation than most immigrants, adhering steadfastly to the rituals and beliefs of their ancestors. Lia's pediatricians, Neil Ernst and his wife, Peggy Philip, cleaved just as strongly to another tradition: that of Western medicine. When Lia Lee Entered the American medical system, diagnosed as an epileptic, her story became a tragic case history of cultural miscommunication.

Parents and doctors both wanted the best for Lia, but their ideas about the causes of her illness and its treatment could hardly have been more different. The Hmong see illness aand healing as spiritual matters linked to virtually everything in the universe, while medical community marks a division between body and soul, and concerns itself almost exclusively with the former. Lia's doctors ascribed her seizures to the misfiring of her cerebral neurons; her parents called her illness, qaug dab peg--the spirit catches you and you fall down--and ascribed it to the wandering of her soul. The doctors prescribed anticonvulsants; her parents preferred animal sacrifices.

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