Cardiff Medievalists at Leeds IMC

Next month, several PhD students from the School of English, Communication, and Philosophy will be attending the annual International Medieval Congress at the University of Leeds (4-7 July). The main theme of this year’s congress is ‘Food, Feast, and Famine’.

MEMORI will be sponsoring Session 516: ‘Myth and Identity in Medieval Britain: Nation, History, Politics’, a series of papers that builds upon the ‘Medieval Myths and British Identities’ conference that Victoria Shirley co-organised in September 2015. Victoria will also be giving a paper at this session, entitled ‘Hengist and the Foundation of England in the Galfridian Chronicle Tradition’. Melissa Julian-Jones from the School of History, Archaeology, and Religion will also be chairing this session.

Sheri Smith has organized Session 816 on ‘Transcendental Feasts’. Sheri will be presenting on ‘From Pandarus’s Board to Boethian Bliss in Chaucer’s Troilus and Crisedye’. Martha Baldon will also be giving a paper in this session, which is entitled ‘A Moment Suspended in Time: Spiritual Feasting and the Grail Tables in the Queste del Saint Graal’.

Mark Truesdale, who completed his PhD in 2015, will be speaking in Session 1024, ‘Food and Feast in the Robin Hood Tradition’, which is sponsored by the International Association of Robin Hood Studies. The title of Mark’s paper is: “Whatso þai have, it may be myne, / Corne and brede, ale and wyne’: Carnivalesque Feasting in the 15th-Century King and Commoner Tradition’.

Best of luck to Vicky, Sheri, Martha, and Mark.





New Events Page Added

Over on the MEMORI’s Reading Group site, Vicky Shirley has put together a very useful events page, detailing many of the conferences and activities that Cardiff’s medievalists and early modernists are taking part in over the next few months – as well as events that might be of interest to many others. Vicky is also developing a resource list for PGTs and PGRs in medieval and Renaissance studies that should go live in the next few weeks.

MEMORI’s Shakespeare at 400 events

MEMORI’s final two research papers this semester focus on Shakespearean drama and their interrelation with the intellectual and cultural medieval habitus. On April 14, Prof. Elizabeth Archibald (University of Durham) examines Shakespeare’s indebtedness to and reinscription of medieval analogues in All’s Well that Ends Well. And on April 28, Prof. Jürgen Pieters travels from Ghent University to deliver a paper on his ongoing research into early modern drama and consolation – ‘”Words, Words, Words”: Hamlet and Consolation’.

Both events take place in room 2.47 of the John Percival Building, starting at 5.15. As ever, the papers will conclude with a wine reception and a meal.

All welcome.

Recent MEMORI research papers

March was a bumper month for MEMORI’s early modernists, with two excellent – and highly contrasting – papers. David Martin Jones (Queensland and King’s College) explored the political poetry of Fulk Greville, a significant political figure who served three monarchs, Elizabeth, James and Charles. As David pointed out,  Greville was a complex Renaissance figure, a poet, thinker and courtier preoccupied with political power that evoked the English face of Machiavelli. He was also a Calvinist and this accounts both for his pessimistic view of the human condition and the right-based view of government that informs his political theology.

Continuing this series’ focus on water and travel, Clare McManus (Roehampton) analysed the dramaturgical contexts and ideological meanings of voyage drama (a term she was equivocal about) of the 1620s, focussing especially on John Fletcher’s The Island Princess (which she recently edited for the Arden Early Modern Drama series) and Shakespeare’s Othello (which Clare has also edited for the recent Norton Collected Shakespeare). Though Othello had been first performed in 1603, it had remained unpublished until 1622 – which, as Clare explained, was at the height of the fascination with voyage drama.