IMC 2017: Sessions

Session 134: Narratives of the Self and the Other: Shaping the Self through Literary Performance

Monday 3 July 2017, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:Henri Pirenne Institute for Medieval Studies, Universiteit Gent
Organiser:Micol Long, Vakgroep Geschiedenis, Universiteit Gent
Moderator/Chair:Sabrina Corbellini, Oudere Nederlandse Letterkunde Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Oude Kijk in 't Jatstraat 26 9712 EK GRONINGEN
Respondent:Sabrina Corbellini, Oudere Nederlandse Letterkunde Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Oude Kijk in 't Jatstraat 26 9712 EK GRONINGEN
Paper 134-aPerforming the Self by Praising the Sultan: Perspectives on Ayyubid and Mamluk Panegyrical Biographies
(Language: English)
Gowaart Van Den Bossche, Faculteit Letteren en Wijsbegeerte, Universiteit Gent
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Islamic and Arabic Studies, Rhetoric
Paper 134-bCreating the Religious Person and the Religious Community with Devout Songs
(Language: English)
Lisanne Vroomen, Ruusbroecgenootschap, Universiteit Antwerpen
Index terms: Language and Literature - Latin, Religious Life, Women's Studies
Paper 134-cPerforming the Self by Advising the Sultan: Caliphate, Kingship, and Authorship in a 15th-Century Arabic History of Royal Pilgrimage
(Language: English)
Jo Van Steenbergen, Henri Pirenne Institute for Medieval Studies / Department of Languages & Cultures: The Near East & the Islamic World, Universiteit Gent
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Islamic and Arabic Studies, Political Thought, Rhetoric
Abstract

Understanding the performative aspects of corpora of narrative texts in their historical contexts often proves a challenge for scholars of different fields. This session proposes to focus on intentionality as a complex and multidirectional game between three different parties: the author, the audience, and the text itself. The authors of late medieval Arabic biographies and histories use their texts to perform their own ‘literariness’ and, as such, their social pre-eminence, while at the same time portraying an individual ruler. In a comparable fashion, late medieval devotional songs present an ‘exemplary I’ who struggles with problems typical for contemporary religious life, with the goal of offering a model with which the members of the community should identify themselves. These different texts share the fundamental goal of shaping the individual self and its role in the community by presenting an exemplary individual who can be considered the literary embodiment of its peculiar textual community.