Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



This dissertation primarily focuses on re-presentations of the foreign others in the twelfth-century chronicles Historia regum Britanniae of Geoffrey of Monmouth and Roman de Brut of Wace of the Isle of Jersey. Geoffrey and Wace, I argue, deploy a number of strategies in their narratives regarding the Matter of Britain that mainly though not wholly work to reinforce hegemonic versions of history through dehumanizing and demonizing the others that inhabit their narratives. The strategies that Geoffrey and Wace deploy towards the inhabitants of their narratives, I contend, operate within a framework that both celebrates and defends the Normans’ pretensions to empire and subjugates the others whom they encounter in their desire to bring their ambitious plans to fruition. I position this framework in the colonial discourses that circulated in the texts being produced by the ecclesiastical communities of the twelfth century. I argue that these discourses point to a specific type of colonialism that flourished during the twelfth century that on the one hand facilitated the Normans’ pretensions to empire on multiple fronts and on the other hand expressed ambivalence towards some of the more brutal methods that the Normans employed to seize power, land and resources.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Oliver, Elisabeth