IMC 2013: Sessions

Session 1218: The Pleasures of Death

Wednesday 3 July 2013, 14.15-15.45

Organisers:Tegan Currie, St Andrews Institute of Mediaeval Studies, University of St Andrews
Jennifer Key, School of English, University of St Andrews
Moderator/Chair:Johanna Green, School of Critical Studies (English Language), University of Glasgow
Paper 1218-aThe Last Word: Pleasure and the Saintly Death Speech in Anglo-Saxon Hagiography
(Language: English)
Jennifer Key, School of English, University of St Andrews
Index terms: Hagiography, Language and Literature - Old English
Paper 1218-bThe Pleasures of Death in Viking-Age Archaeology and Their Representation in the Later Saga Literature
(Language: English)
Tegan Currie, St Andrews Institute of Mediaeval Studies, University of St Andrews
Index terms: Archaeology - General, Language and Literature - Scandinavian
Paper 1218-cPleasure in Un-Death?: Nightmares, Sleep Paralysis, and the Ghost Stories in the Historia Rerum Anglicarum
(Language: English)
Stephen Gordon, School of Arts, Languages & Cultures, University of Manchester
Index terms: Language and Literature - Latin, Medicine, Mentalities
Abstract

This session continues the conference theme by relating different ideas of pleasure to representations of medieval death and dying. The first paper analyses how saintly last words are used to express pleasure in death in Anglo-Saxon hagiography, taking account of the final utterances of martyrs and confessors. Turning to Icelandic sagas, the second paper discusses what they, and Viking-Age archaeology, can tell us about pleasure and death. The final paper considers ‘un-death’ and popular perceptions of nightmares in medieval England, exploring how the night-time assault related to the concept of ‘pleasure’, with particular reference to the Historia Rerum Anglicarum.