Medieval Weather and the Natural Order - New Chaucer Society, Portland OR July 23-26, 2012
Paul Dutton has written that "'weather' is properly historical and stubbornly subjective, since it involves humans in time thinking about it and how it affects their lives." How were meteorological phenomena in the late Middle Ages observed, described, and interpreted? Recent work in ecocriticism has signaled the endlessly fluid and negotiable character of nature; can we reconfigure the notion of "natural phenomena" as a negotiated interaction among divine, human, and physical orders? Submissions to this panel might address the reception of storms, floods, earthquakes, or droughts across genres; a comparison of representations of weather in textual and visual sources; or the relationship between generalized and archetypal descriptions of weather events and their strategic deployment as narrative and rhetorical elements.