English Medieval Working Group


Location: 116 O'Shaughnessy Hall

The first meeting of the English Medieval Working Group will be Wednesday, September 13 at 4:00 in 116 O'Shag. The presenter will be Margie Housley, who offers this abstract:

Title: The Social Politics of Shame: Disgrace and Dissent in Heroic Literature

"Studies of medieval shame focus almost exclusively on religious literature, such as homilies or penitentials, or on the later medieval romance tradition (such as the Tristan and Arthur legends). However, experiences of disgrace, and the shame that often leads from it, are present across genres in medieval literature. In this chapter, I will examine how shame is constructed in heroic literature in two ways: as a way of controlling and policing 'non-heroic' activities, and as a way to criticize the power structures that inculcate it."