Emotion and Medieval Media

source : Blog de Mary C. Flannery

Emotion and Medieval Media

19-20 June 2015, University of Lausanne, Switzerland


Emotion is culture[.]

Benedicte Grima


Emotions—whether past or present—are notoriously difficult to describe, define, and articulate. Yet the study of emotion has risen to worldwide prominence in recent years, and medievalists have been quick to incorporate the history of emotions into their research. ‘Emotion and Medieval Media’ (EMMe) aims to respond to these recent developments.

EMMe brings together medievalists working in a variety of disciplines in order to explore how different media shaped the experience and practice of emotion in the Middle Ages. It focuses on the cultural artefacts of the past–its literature, art, music, and architecture–in order to investigate the emotions of the past. Our two key aims will be: (1) to consider how medieval theories of emotion and cognition inform the creation and reception of different medieval media; and (2) to consider how attention to different media forms can inform the study of medieval emotion. Among the questions that will frame the workshop are the following:

– In what ways do different medieval media seek to engage with emotion via the senses? What differences and continuities may be uncovered in the ways that various medieval media work upon human emotion?

– How do medieval cultural artefacts reflect (or attempt to put into practice) medieval theories concerning the relationship between cognition and emotion?

– Does each medium engage with emotion in a unique and consistent way, or can we detect a variety of approaches within each medium?  Is there any overlap in the ways that different medieval media aim to stimulate emotion? Do the golden borders of illuminated manuscripts do the same kind of emotional work as the soaring spires of Gothic cathedrals?

– Some works, such as John Lydgate’s Danse macabre, were not only translated from one language into another (French into English), but from one medium into another (from a series of murals in a Paris chapel to a short English poem). How does remediation (the movement of a particular narrative or work of art between media) affect the representation or stimulation of emotion?

– To what extent does attention to such factors as medium, form, and genre shift our perspective regarding the theorization and/or experience of medieval emotions?

This project intervenes in the fields of medieval studies and the history of emotions by adopting a new perspective on the relationship between emotion and media in medieval culture. Only by turning our attention to how different media cultivate, represent, and exploit emotion can we fully understand the emotional life of the Middle Ages.



Friday 19 June 2015

All sessions apart from performances will take place in Anthropole 3032.


9.00am   Welcome & introductions (Mary C. Flannery, University of Lausanne)


9.30am    Session 1: Research Presentations (Chair: Camille Marshall, University of Lausanne)

‘Moved by Music: Problems in Approaching Emotional Expression in Gregorian Chant’ (Daniel J. DiCenso, College of the Holy Cross)

‘The Unsteady Ground of Friendship: A Case Study from the Stanzaic Morte Arthur‘ (Amy Brown, University of Geneva)

‘Romance Fluidity, Emotional Interpolations, and Blurring the Christian-Saracen Divide’ (Marcel Elias, University of Cambridge)


11.00am   Coffee break


11.30am   Session 2: Guided Analyses (Chair: Diana Denissen, University of Lausanne)

‘Passionate Skepticism: A Guided Reading of the Northampton Abraham Play’ (Charlotte Steenbrugge, University of Toronto/University of Glasgow)

‘A Feeling for Ivory’ (Catherine Yvard, The Courtauld Institute of Art)


1.00pm    Lunch


2.30pm    Session 3: Musical Performance in La Ferme (Chair: Mary C. Flannery)

‘A Pilgrimage Through Time and Emotion: A Concert of Medieval Vocal Music’ (Shauna Beesley, Rachael Beesley, Minna Harlan)


3.30pm    Coffee break


4.00pm    Session 4: Roundtable Discussion (Chair: Marleen Cré)

‘Swelling in Anger: Somatic Descriptors in Old English and Old Norse Literature’ (Sarah Baccianti, University of Lausanne)

‘Emotion in Medieval Literature: A Corpus-Linguistic Approach’ (Anita Auer, University of Lausanne)

‘Sweetness and the Power of Affectivity in Some Anglo-Norman and Middle English Lyrics’ (Denis Renevey, University of Lausanne)

‘Emotion and Late Medieval Drama’ (Tamara Haddad, University of Kent)


7.00pm    Dinner at the Restaurant du Théâtre


Saturday 20 June 2015


9.30am    Session 1: Research Presentations (Chair: Mary C. Flannery)

‘The Shoes of Heavenly Desires: Why the Affect Needs Shoes in Late Medieval Devotional Literature’ (Sarah Brazil, University of Geneva)

‘”But seeþ now what ioie comeþ”: Emotions in the Manuscripts of The Chastising of God’s Children’ (Marleen Cré, University of Lausanne)

‘The Writing of Emotions in Chaucer’s Book of the Duchess: Medical Discourse and Performance’ (Lucie Kaempfer, University of Lausanne)


11.00am   Coffee break


11.30am   Session 2: Guided Analyses (Chair: Sarah Baccianti)

‘Stitching, Embodying, Seeing Emotion: An Encounter with the Syon Cope (1300-1320)’ (Michaela Zöschg, Victoria & Albert Museum/The Courtauld Institute of Art)

‘Pain, Pleasure, and Performance: Public and Private Emotional Display before Christ Portrayed’ (Camille Marshall & Diana Denissen)


1.00pm    Lunch


2.30pm    Session 3: Theatrical Performance in La Ferme

‘Mixed Messages and Multimedia: Moving the Audience Through Medieval Drama’

Elisabeth Dutton (University of Fribourg) & Tamara Haddad (University of Kent)


3.30pm    Coffee break


4.00pm    Session 4: Concluding Keynote (Chair: Denis Renevey)

‘Response to the Workshop: Disciplines, Form, and Writing the History of Emotions’

Rita Copeland (University of Pennsylvania)


7.00pm    Dinner at the Restaurant du Port du Pully


Citer ce billet
Damien Boquet (2015, 16 juin). Emotion and Medieval Media. Les émotions au Moyen Âge, carnet d'EMMA. Consulté le 22 mai 2024, à l’adresse https://doi.org/10.58079/o7or