CMRS Members at Leeds IMC

A number of CMRS members will be presenting on their research at the upcoming Leeds IMC, including as part of a string of sessions sponsored by the Prato Consortium for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Come along and hear what our members have been working on! The full program is here.

The Pleasure of Archives: Uncovering England in the 13th Century

Monday 1 July: 11.15-12.45

Among the great pleasures of medieval history is working with original documents. This session draws heavily on unpublished archival materials from The National Archives, Kew, examining elements of royal and lordly administrative culture in 13th-century England. Chris Tilley reassesses the longevity of the political and social power of the Honour of Wallingford; Richard Cassidy elucidates the profits, politics, and practicalities of the recoinage financed by Henry III’s brother, Richard of Cornwall; and Kathleen Neal discusses what considerations influenced the wording of an ideologically-significant letter from Edward I to Llywelyn ap Gruffydd.

  • Christopher Tilley (KCL), “The Honour of Wallingford in the 13th Century”
  • Richard Cassidy (KCL), “Richard of Cornwall, Recoinage, and Reform in the Mints and Exchanges in the Reign of Henry III”
  • Kathleen Neal (Monash), “Power and the Pleasure of Prose: The Correspondence of Edward I and Llywelyn ap Gruffydd”

The Pleasure and Pragmatics of Epistolary Exchange, I: Love, Friendship, and the Art of Letter Writing

Monday 1 July: 14:15-15:45

The first in a pair of sessions sponsored by the Prato Consortium for Medieval & Renaissance Studies. The pleasure of corresponding with friends and colleagues is a strong feature of letter writing across the medieval period. This session aims to explore the specific relationship between concepts of good letter writing practice and their execution in real letters exchanged between friends and colleagues (as opposed to letters of patronage, business or diplomacy). Our first paper will examine the connection between Alcuin’s reliance on works of classical rhetoric, and his epistolary style in letters to colleagues on the topic of Adoptionism, a subject which has been understudied in the past. Our second paper will examine the relationship between a flexible epistolary form in the 11th and 12th centuries and the highly literary correspondence between men and women on the subject of love and friendship. Our final paper will explore the connection between Petrarch’s deliberate attempts to break with medieval epistolary practice (and return to a classical ideal), and his cultivation, through the exchange of classicized letters, of a circle of intellectual, literary friends.

  • Laura Carlson (Queen’s University, Ontario), “Writing to Friends and Enemies: Alcuin’s Letters and the Carolingian Salutatio”
  • Diana Marie Jeske (Monash), “Literary Play and Epistolary Flexibility: Letters of Love and Friendship in the 11th and 12th Centuries”
  • Anna Wilson (Toronto), “Classicizing Form, Classicizing Friendship: Petrarch and the Ars Dictaminis”

The Pleasure and Pragmatics of Epistolary Exchange, II: Use of the Letter Form in Religious, Learned, and Political Interaction

Monday 1 July: 16:30-18:00

The second in a pair of sessions sponsored by the Prato Consortium for Medieval & Renaissance Studies. Current research is recognizing medieval letter-writing as an elaborate, highly self-aware, and literary medium. But letters also brought extra dimensions to pragmatic interaction concerning religion, politics, and learning. Seen as fictional speech, letters remained poised between gesture and the spoken and written word, bringing the force of stylized writing and of social ritual to bear on political, religious or scholarly debates. The session explores the dynamics of these pragmatic uses, discussing examples from the church of Merovingian Gaul, 12th-century French schools and the 14th-century Byzantine aristocracy. A response will reflect on possibilites for further diachronic and comparative research.

  • Stephanie Caspari (Ruhr-Universität Bochum), “For the Pleasure of Salvation: Appeals of Conversion to Princesses in Early Medieval Epistolography”
  • Marika Bacsòka (Humboldt Universität), “So Close and Yet So Far: Reflections on Scholarly Representation in 12th-Century Letters from French Scientific Communities”
  • Alexander Riehle (Universität Wien), “The Dynamics of Crisis and Change: Epistolary Communication among Byzantine Elites around the Mid-14th Century”

Intoxication and Alternative Consciousness: Christian Permutations of a Classical Tradition

Thursday 4 July: 09:00-10:30

Intoxication or inebriation was not just part of the reality of life in the ancient and medieval world, but a metaphor for understanding alternative forms of consciousness and spiritual experience. These papers explore different ways in which a classical theme, central to both Greek and Latin literature, were reinterpreted in a Christian context between the 12th and early 14th centuries.

  • Constant J. Mews (Monash), “Bernard of Clairvaux on Intoxication: Transforming Origen and Platonic Tradition on the Song of Songs”
  • Evangelina Anagnostou-Laoutides (Monash),Drunk with Blood: Statius’s Influence on Dante’s Inferno”

Aspirational Behaviour in Late Medieval England

Thursday 4 July: 11:15-12:45

These papers consider representations of aspirational behaviour in late medieval England. This session recognises the value of a close enquiry into aspirational behaviour in this period, understood in this context as the desire to achieve a higher degree or social status. Using case studies from late medieval England, and encompassing gentry, nobility, and queenship, this session considers the writing, and representation, of aspirational behaviour. The session asks such questions as: through what avenues was aspirational behaviour represented? How has it been written? What might these representations reveal about broader understandings of social mobility? How might analysis through the category of gender inform this enquiry?

  • Sally Fisher (Monash), “‘Sum tyme I was in riche aray’: Eleanor Cobham, Elizabeth Woodville, and Margaret Beaufort – The Body, Dress, and Aspirational Behaviour in 15th-Century England
  • Sarah Peters Kernan (Ohio State), “Professionalization, Aspiration, and the New Audience for Cookeries in Late Medieval England”
  • Laura Saxton (Australian Catholic University), “‘She traded her body for the status of queen’: Ambition, Sexuality, and Romance in 21st-Century Representations of Elizabeth Woodville”

Crusade Memory and Remembrance: New Perspectives

Thursday 4 July: 14:15-15:45

Recent work in crusading studies has begun to explore the aftermath of these conflicts and the ways in which crusaders and crusading were remembered in familial, regional, and cross-cultural contexts. The papers in this session explore and extend this new scholarly interest in remembrance in a variety of ways. The papers analyse modes of formal commemoration, the material culture of memory, and the performance of remembrance in theatrical settings to demonstrate the importance of crusading in the construction of medieval remembrance, and the importance of memory in the construction of ideas about the crusades.

  • Megan Cassidy-Welch (Monash), “Remembrance and War: The Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora in Lisbon as a Site of Battlefield Tourism”
  • Anne Lester ( University of Colorado – Boulder), “The Lectionary of Longpré-les-Corps and the Memory of 1204: Narrating the Fourth Crusade through Liturgy and Object”
  • Sarah Lambert (Goldsmiths College London), “Playing at Crusading: The jeu of St Nicholas”