IMC 2017: Sessions

Session 214: Interdisciplinary Approaches to 'Otherness'

Monday 3 July 2017, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:Centre for Medieval & Renaissance Culture, University of Southampton
Organiser:Peter Douglas Clarke, Centre for Medieval & Renaissance Culture, University of Southampton
Moderator/Chair:Catherine A. M. Clarke, Department of English, University of Southampton
Paper 214-aThe Archaeology of the Jews in Medieval England
(Language: English)
David A. Hinton, Centre for Medieval & Renaissance Culture, University of Southampton
Index terms: Archaeology - Artefacts, Archaeology - Sites, Architecture - Religious, Daily Life
Paper 214-bRichard II, the Order of the Garter, and 'aliis diversis dominabus'
(Language: English)
Chloƫ McKenzie, Department of History, University of Southampton
Index terms: Gender Studies, Politics and Diplomacy, Women's Studies
Paper 214-cOtherness and the Interludes: Actors and Audiences
(Language: English)
Peter HappƩ, Department of English, University of Southampton
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Performance Arts - Drama
Abstract

The session addresses the IMC theme for 2017 and reflects two major preoccupations of the research centre (CMRC) to which the participants all belong: questions of identity and interdisciplinary approaches to the medieval past. The latter involves the use of different methods and different genres of evidence associated with different disciplines, in this case Archaeology, History, and English (Literature). The individual paper abstracts give a more specific sense of the content: Paper -a: The Jews in medieval England were a distinct group, with different customs and appearances. Archaeological evidence of cemeteries, buildings and artefacts allows consideration of how distinctive they are likely to have been and of how resentment of this ‘other’ group may have been fuelled by visible variation from social norms. Paper -b: A striking aspect of the reign of Richard II was the prevalence of women at his court. Throughout his reign, Richard was consistently criticized for his high patronage of women, who were considered functionless ‘hangers on’ within the royal household. Contemporary critics portrayed these favoured ladies as unwelcome interlopers in what was supposed to be a male-dominated courtly and political community. This paper will demonstrate Richard II’s comparatively high patronage of women using evidence of gifts of textiles and robes found in the Accounts of the Great Wardrobe, paying particular attention to the distribution of the Garter livery. This paper will argue that during the reign of Richard II, women were not simply ‘significant others’ at court, or within institutions such as the Order of the Garter, but were instead central and important figures in their own right. Richard II’s comparatively high patronage of women both changed the nature of courtly display and facilitated a higher degree female political agency in the final years of the 14th century. Paper -c: In this paper I should like to explore the different ways in which authors of interludes exploit the gap between audiences and actors. I will consider some of the differing ways in which actors are enabled to separate themselves from audiences in order to create perspectives on the action of plays; and in contrast there are plays in which the actors are closely involved with the audience and seek to take them along with them. But there is also the question of whether such alliances are unchangeable. The essay will deal with several interludes spread over the 16th century including Henry Morton’s Fulgens and Lucres, John Heywood’s Play of the Weather as well as some later interludes such as Ulpian Fulwell’s Like Will to Like and William Wager’s The Longer Thou Livest the More Fool thou Art. The distancing involved turns upon whether actors and audiences are in the same state, or whether being the other is fundamental to the experience of the play.