session grouped by Catherine Batt (21/11/03):
Abstract paper -a:
The dream vision poem, Pearl, has been examined as a representation of both a courtly and a spiritual work. What has not been done (at least not fully) yet by scholars is to address its relationship to the genre that is most closely related to it, mysticism. By examining English medieval mysticism (mainly the 12th-century mysticism associated with the Wohunge and Katherine groups), their sources, and their influences, I seek to connect the two genres — dream vision and mysticism — and to explain their overall connection to the spiritual and literary traditions of English medieval poetry.
Abstract paper -b:
Many critics note the merger of sacred and secular images in the Middle English Cleanness. To the modern reader this juxtaposition seemingly occurs in unlikely places, an occurrence termed ‘startling’ by one critic. The union of the religious and secular, witnessed by manipulation of sources ranging from the Latin Vulgate to Mandeville’s Travels, is also seen in the presentation of God as an overtly emotional deity who often expresses himself in terms of human emotion. This paper explores this depiction, arguing it underlines prevalent clashes between ‘clean and unclean’, religious and secular, in Cleanness.
Abstract paper -c:
Self-disclosure is a fundamental ingredient of human communication and there are discourses that are specifically focused on self-centred talk as negotiated activity, for instance the narrative of personal experience in certain contexts, such as confessional, courtroom, job interviews etc. In the Middle Ages a typical situation would be the co-construction of the woman mystic’s text. For the purposes of this paper I will present an analysis of the main rhetorical and linguistic strategies that reveal the negotiation of meaning in the Book of Margery Kempe.