Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Anne-Helene Miller

Committee Members

Rodica Frimu, Mary K. McAlpin


This thesis discusses the role of language, geography and memory in the text of The Song of the Albigensian Crusade and in Troubadour poetry written before, during, and after the crusade. How is the idea of belonging constructed? Through language? Through shared history? Through collective memory? The literary tradition surrounding the violent events of the military intervention of the crusade in XIIIth century Occitania demonstrate a newly emerging sense of territorial belonging through literary composition. Literature written during this period will be analyzed through the spatial and geographic theories of Edward Soja, Henri Lefebvre, as well as the geocritical perspective outlined by Bertrand Westphal and Robert T. Tally. The first chapter of this thesis discusses the geographical terminology found in the lineage of the Troubadours during the XIIth century until the beginning of the crusade at the turn of the XIIIth century. In the second chapter, the writing of the two authors of the Song of the Albigensian Crusade, as well as of the Troubadours writing in the same period, are considered through a geophilosophical lens, in particular through the theories of deterritorialization and reterritorialization as illustrated by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari in What is Philosophy? Lastly, the third chapter outlines the social aspect of poetry, or social poetics, in the writing of the Troubadours during the XIIIth century as the commemoration of a literary tradition and the search for a new literary space after the destruction of the crusade. In conclusion, language, geography and memory are considered as integral components to a sense of belonging and regional Occitan identity as indicated by the terminology visible in the poems of the Troubadours and in the historical accounts of the authors of the Song of the Albigensian Crusade.

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