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Feminism in Trobar Poetry vs. in Disney Princess Films

The purpose of my presentation is to identify characteristics of troubadour and trobaritz poetry that could have evolved or been integrated into Disney princess culture.  Some of the characteristics present in trobaritz poetry include physical and sexual attraction and fina amor, or courtly love.  There exists an ongoing debate over whether Disney princess culture is progressive in the feminist eye, but it is not conclusive by any means because evidence used to support both sides is largely anecdotal and subjective.  Examining gender dynamics of courtly love through historical lens provides the perspective of a society that existed centuries ago.  Analyzing trobar poetry and Disney princess films is a fruitful comparison because they both focus primarily on the subject of courtly love.  Although Disney princess films have their historical roots in the Medieval Age, trobar literature covers topics relevant to people and societies regardless of the time period.  Such topics involve sentiments: love, anguish, hope, despair, and longing, which pertain to all human beings. 

Two poems by Raimbaut de Vaqueira and La Comtessa de Dia illustrate that there is no consensus amongst troubadour and trobaritz poetry.  Additionally, scholars in trobar literature disagree with how progressive these 12th century works were.  Concepts illustrated in these two poems, such as fina amor and a focus on physical appearance are also observed in Disney’s princess films.  The intent of juxtaposing works of art from time periods centuries apart is to demonstrate how certain sentiments are universal, and that the works of the troubadours and trobaritz still are relevant to contemporary society.  

OSPGEN 77: The Other France: Troubadours and the Politics of Cultural Heritage
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