IMC 2013: Sessions

Session 712: Did They Have That Back Then?: Pleasure in Anglo-Saxon England

Tuesday 2 July 2013, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:Centre for Late Antique & Medieval Studies, King's College London
Organisers:Kathryn Maude, Centre for Late Antique & Medieval Studies, King's College London
Hana Videen, Centre for Late Antique & Medieval Studies, King's College London
Moderator/Chair:Hana Videen, Centre for Late Antique & Medieval Studies, King's College London
Paper 712-aOral Pleasures: Reading Aloud in Old English and Latin
(Language: English)
Kathryn Maude, Centre for Late Antique & Medieval Studies, King's College London
Index terms: Language and Literature - Old English, Language and Literature - Latin
Paper 712-bEmbodied Belief: Wearing Brooches and Being Christian in Early Medieval Europe
(Language: English)
Rosie Weetch, British Museum, London / Department of Archaeology, University of Reading
Index terms: Archaeology - Artefacts, Daily Life, Social History
Paper 712-cThe Joys of Manhood Contained: Riddle 20's Many Pleasures
(Language: English)
Jonathan Wilcox, Department of English, University of Iowa
Index terms: Gender Studies, Language and Literature - Old English
Abstract

At first glance pleasure does not seem a significant aspect of Anglo-Saxon society. The dominant narratives of Anglo-Saxon experience often concentrate on the miseries of earthly life that will only be overcome by the joys of heaven. This perception, however, obscures the very real pleasures to be experienced in Anglo-Saxon culture. Looking at both literature and material culture, these speakers – ranging from postgraduate to professor – explore the lighter side of Anglo-Saxon England. From the linguistic pleasures of solving riddles and reading aloud to the embodied pleasures of brooches and manuscripts, there is more to enjoy here than meets the eye, for both Anglo-Saxons and Anglo-Saxonists.