IMC 2015: Sessions

Session 1744: Trading Insults: How to Rile with Style in Medieval England

Thursday 9 July 2015, 14.15-15.45

Organiser:Victoria Blud, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York
Moderator/Chair:Laura Crombie, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York
Paper 1744-a'Child of a Flemish Woman': The Dynamics of Ethnic-National Insult in the St Albans Chronicle, 1376-1422
(Language: English)
Chris Linsley, Department of History, University of York
Index terms: Mentalities, Monasticism, Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 1744-bVeiled Insults and Humour Theory in Chaucer's Works
(Language: English)
Mabel Slattery, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York
Index terms: Language and Literature - Comparative, Language and Literature - Middle English
Paper 1744-cDirty Words from Dirty Birds: Gendered Insults in The Owl and the Nightingale
(Language: English)
Victoria Blud, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York
Index terms: Gender Studies, Language and Literature - Middle English, Sexuality
Abstract

These three papers address the subject of insults in later medieval England from literary, historical, gendered, and theoretical perspectives. Exploring the uses of abuses, they are particularly concerned with questions of cultural and historical specificity on the one hand (such as one carefully crafted Flanders-inspired insult from Thomas Walsingham to John of Gaunt) and transhistoricity on the other (as in the perennially dirty words of the Owl and the Nightingale). They also contrast the flagrant insult with the hidden insult of which Chaucer was master – a discovery flatters its audience while slighting its recipient.