Modelling Emotion, Modelling Identity in Late Medieval Texts

deadline for submissions: 
June 20, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
University of Düsseldorf
contact email: 

The critical field of emotion history has long established a link between emotions and socio-political identity. Emotion historians of the Middle Ages have analysed the ways in which emotional experience and expression shape an individual’s belonging to a specific community, and vice-versa (Rosenwein), or how emotions interact with gender regimes (Boquet). Yet emotions also have the capacity to disturb and reinvent identity categories. Approaching such categories through the prism of emotion thus allows us to account for more mobile and fluid models of identity. 

Focusing on late medieval literature, this one-day workshop will tackle the methodological challenges arising out of the analysis of overlapping concepts of identity and emotion in medieval literature. It will bring together international scholars to consider the models of identity inherent in the late medieval literary representation of emotion and address the following question:

How does the literary expression and depiction of emotion replicate or call into question fixed categories of social identity related to class, age, gender, religion, place, (dis)ability and sexuality?

The workshop will take the form of a roundtable discussion. In lieu of presenting papers, speakers will be asked to select and circulate relevant primary text extracts that highlight intersections between emotion and implied models of identity prior to the workshop, and to moderate the discussion of the texts in our roundtable. 

We invite proposals in the form of a short presentation of the proposed source materials, briefly outlining how they model categories of identity in conjunction with emotional expression (150-250 words), along with a short biographical note. The selected extract(s) may be in any vernacular languages of late medieval Europe.

Website: Extended deadline June 20th