IMC 2012: Sessions

Session 818: Speak Low (When You Speak Law): Rules of Critique against the Authorities from the 12th to the 15th Centuries in Germany, Sweden, and Poland

Tuesday 10 July 2012, 16.30-18.00

Sponsor:Centre for Medieval Studies, Stockholms Universitet
Organiser:Cordelia Hess, Historiska Institutionen, Stockholms Universitet
Moderator/Chair:Albrecht Diem, Department of History, Syracuse University, New York
Paper 818-aBlinded Tongue: Unspeakable Sins, Crippled Rulers, and the Discourse of Royal Gaze in High Medieval Poland
(Language: English)
Wojtek Jezierski, Deusches Historisches Institut, Warschau / Department of Historical Studies, Gotenburgs Universitet
Index terms: Anthropology, Mentalities, Social History
Paper 818-bMentioning the Unmentionable: The Rhetoric of Sodomy in Late Medieval Propaganda
(Language: English)
Christine Ekholst, Department of History, University of Guelph, Ontario
Index terms: Language and Literature - Scandinavian, Mentalities, Sexuality
Paper 818-cStretching the Limits: 'Anticlericalism' in Lay Didactical Literature of the 15th Century
(Language: English)
Cordelia Hess, Historiska Institutionen, Stockholms Universitet
Index terms: Language and Literature - German, Lay Piety, Mentalities, Printing History

The papers collected in this session explore the rules protecting the high and late medieval public sphere against topics considered scandalous or harmful by the dominant groups – established rules, though never explicitly stated, that stipulated what was not to be mentioned. With examples ranging from blinded dukes in 12th-century central Europe, late medieval Scandinavian sodomite kings, and anticlerical debates in Germany, the contributors delve into the ‘rules of speaking low’, the textual means of circumventing them as well as the larger discursive figures underlying them: different forms of authority, their legitimation, and its destruction.