IMC 2008: Sessions

Session 102: Practice, Print, and Performance: Interpreting Jousts and Chivalric Spectacle in the Late Middle Ages

Monday 7 July 2008, 11.15-12.45

Organiser:Elizabeth L'Estrange, Departement d'Histoire de l'Art et Archéologie, Université de Liège
Moderator/Chair:Karen Watts, Royal Armouries, Leeds / Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Paper 102-aThe Real Jousting Stuff: An Overview of Jousting and Tournament Related Collections at Glasgow Museums
(Language: English)
Ralph Moffat, Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Glasgow Museums / Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Paper 102-bIberian Jousting Manuals: Some Problems of Interpretation
(Language: English)
Noel Fallows, Department of Romance Languages, University of Georgia, Athens
Index terms: Language and Literature - Spanish or Portuguese, Military History, Performance Arts - General, Printing History
Paper 102-c'Et en cest estat vint le chevalier devant les dames': Performing and Interpreting Gender Roles in Late-Medieval Chivalric Imagery
(Language: English)
Elizabeth L'Estrange, Departement d'Histoire de l'Art et Archéologie, Université de Liège
Index terms: Art History - General, Gender Studies, Performance Arts - General
Abstract

Drawing on a range of sources – manuscript, print, and imagery – from late medieval Europe, this session explores the various techniques and themes involved in staging tournaments and jousts. Iberian jousting treatises are first examined to show how ‘knightly bearing’ – a mixture of pose, composure, and body language – was a crucial part of the jouster’s performance. From the late 15th century, the authors of Iberian jousting manuals exploited the printing industry, producing slim, light-weight, printed editions that could easily be carried and consulted, leading to the classification of rules and techniques previously transmitted orally. Accounts of tournaments staged at the Burgundian court drew heavily on chivalric themes in which ladies served as inspiration for the performance of manly prowess. Yet the privileged viewing position accorded to female spectators also provides an opportunity to reconsider the gender roles played by men and women in the chivalric context.