The grief-stricken faces at Edward’s deathbed in the Bayeux Tapestry; the ambiguous ‘ofermod’ in The Battle of Maldon; the body-crumpling anguish of the Virgin witnessing the Man of Sorrows; the mirth of the Green Knight; the apoplectic anger of the mystery plays’ Herod and the visceral visionary experiences of Margery of Kempe all testify to the ways in which the medieval world sought to express, perform, idealise and understand emotion.
Yet while such expressions of emotion are frequently encountered by medievalists working across the disciplines, defining, quantifying and analysing the purposes of emotion and its relationship to gender often proves difficult. Are personal items placed in early Anglo Saxon graves a means for the living to let go of, or perpetuate emotion, and how are these influenced by the body in the grave? Do different literary and historical forms lend themselves to diverse ways of expressing men’s and women’s emotion? How does a character expressing emotion on stage or in artwork use body, gender and articulation to communicate emotion to their viewer? Moreover, is emotion viewed differently depending on the gendered identity of the body expressing it? Is emotion and its reception used to construct, deconstruct, challenge or confirm gender identities?
This conference seeks to explore the manifestations, performances and functions of emotion in the early to late Middle Ages, and to examine the ways in which emotion is gendered and used to construct gender identities.
Proposals are now being accepted for 20 minute papers. Topics to consider may include, but are not limited to:
- Gender and emotional expression: representing and performing emotion
- The emotional body
- Philosophies of emotion: theory and morality
- Emotional objects and vessels of emotion
- Language and emotion and the languages of emotion
- Preserving or perpetuating emotion
- Emotions to be dealt with: repressing, curtailing, channelling, transforming
- Forbidden emotion
- Living through (someone else’s) emotion
- The emotions of war and peace
- The emotive ‘other’
- Place and emotion
- Queer emotion
We welcome scholars from a range of disciplines, including history, literature, art history, archaeology and drama. A travel fund is available for postgraduate students who would otherwise be unable to attend.
Please email proposals of no more than 300 words to organiser Daisy Black at firstname.lastname@example.org by the 7th September 2015. All queries should also be directed to this address. Please also include biographical information detailing your name, research area, institution and level of study (if applicable).
Further details will be available on the conference website: