IMC 2004: Sessions

Session 1603: Negotiating through Beasts: European Appropriations of Strange and Familiar Creatures from Distant Lands, II

Thursday 15 July 2004, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:Clare College, University of Cambridge
Organiser:Aleksander G. Pluskowski, Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge
Moderator/Chair:Aleksander G. Pluskowski, Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge
Paper 1603-bFantastic Animals and Internal Beasts: On the Frontiers of Medieval Humanity
(Language: English)
Pierre-Olivier Dittmar, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris
Index terms: Art History - General
Paper 1603-cWhite Dancing Bears with Black Paws: Exotic Pets as Presents in The Ruodlieb
(Language: English)
Kathleen Walker-Meikle, Department of History, University College London

Animals from distant lands held a particular fascination for medieval western societies. From heraldic motifs and ecclesiastical sculpture to travellers’ tales and living specimens in menageries, the appropriation of exotic species – from distant countries, the corners of the earth and even the depths of the oceans – represented an ongoing and exemplary process of cultural negotiation and transformation. These two sessions aim to explore this process through a series of comparable and contrasting case studies.