The recent scholarly turn towards greater consideration of the material culture of the Middle Ages paradoxically also draws attention back to the places where materiality is strikingly absent. Monsters are often seen by medieval and modern commentators as inextricably linked with their embodiment, and yet are frequently insubstantial.
Remix Studies is a nascent but fast-growing field. Just last year Routledge published its first critical companion to Remix Studies, and interest in the field -- which critically examines the relationships of sources and analogues, as well as the production and reproduction of texts -- is steadily growing. That said, to this point very little attempt has been made to apply this theory to the study of medieval materials. This session proposes to jump-start the discourse of Remix Studies in a medieval context by providing a venue for discussion.
Call for Papers: Kalamazoo Medieval Congress 2017
Special Session: Loneliness and Solitude in Late Medieval England
Special on Sessions Medieval Equestrianism at the International Medieval Congress 2017, Leeds
Dates: 3-6 July 2017
‘It is intriguing to reflect that everyone in the Middle Ages, as a matter of course, must have been able to guess the social rank of every horse that came in sight, just as they recognized ranks of people. Horses and people intermingled everywhere, locked in a relationship that made indispensable to each other.’ (Joan Thirsk, ‘Foreword’ to Ann Hyland, The Horse in the Middle Ages)
52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo 2017: Special Session
The Griselda Story: Feminist Perspectives
A Roundtable Session for the 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies (May 11-14, 2017)
A recent trend in medieval studies and the humanities at large has been a “turn” to the animal. While medievalists have long been interested in bestiaries, beast epics, and other texts populated with nonhumans, the research that is produced is inevitably concerned with what those works say about human culture rather than what they can reveal about perceptions of animals as animals. The field of animal studies (alternatively known as critical animal theory), in contrast, focuses on how humans have sought to differentiate themselves from nonhuman animals and how this perceived seperation has determined the human treatment of and responses to nonhumans.
Recent scholarship has drawn attention to the significant roles played by medieval women as patrons of architecture and to the ways in which gender informed the design and function of architectural sites. But what about representations of women and architecture in the medieval imagination? How do visual materials such as manuscript illuminations, paintings and tapestries, and literary works, such as dream visions, conceptualize the relationship between women and architectural space? To what degree are gender and architecture mutually constituted? What conclusions can we draw about spaces considered feminine, and how do these spaces renegotiate the divisions between private and public?
There is a subtle irony in the fact that Thomas Hoccleve, whose corpus of early fifteenth-century poems is saturated with the concepts of recovery and rehabilitation, has been at the center of a decades-long process of poetic and pedagogic rehabilitation in university English departments. No longer brushed aside as a mere epigone of Geoffrey Chaucer, the traditional nucleus of Medieval English literature syllabi, Hoccleve now claims a legitimate place in the late medieval canon. But what is that place exactly, as far as college classrooms go?
Since Thomas Hoccleve chose to set his “Compleinte,” the opening salvo of his five-poem Series, in the “broun sesoun of Mihelmesse” (an intentional inversion of Chaucer’s springtime “Aprill shoures”), critics of his poetry have been immersed in the depressive and disconsolate overtones of much of his verse. Hoccleve makes this easy—he dwells on his misspent youth and the infirmities of old age, bodily and financial. Malcolm Richardson’s decades-old evaluation of Hoccleve as an “unfortunate poet,” a “slacker” and “failed bureaucrat” remains alive in much current scholarship which scours Hoccleve’s self-admitted defeats and disappointments for evidence of his commentary on fifteenth-century English politics and identity-politics.