IMC 2017: Sessions

Session 538: The Rhetoric of Emotions and the Politics of Debate in the Carolingian World, I: Mixed Emotions

Tuesday 4 July 2017, 09.00-10.30

Organisers:Rutger Kramer, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
Irene van Renswoude, Huygens ING, Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, Amsterdam / Faculteit Geesteswetenschappen, Universiteit Utrecht
Moderator/Chair:Zubin Mistry, School of History, Classics & Archaeology, University of Edinburgh
Paper 538-aQueens at Court: Emotions, Gender, and Competition
(Language: English)
Régine Le Jan, Laboratoire de Médiévistique Occidentale de Paris (LAMOP - UMR 8589), Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne
Index terms: Gender Studies, Historiography - Medieval, Political Thought, Women's Studies
Paper 538-bWhat We Believe In: Emotive Terminology and Moral Mobilisation, c. 850
(Language: English)
Mayke de Jong, Utrecht Centre for Medieval Studies, Universiteit Utrecht
Index terms: Charters and Diplomatics, Historiography - Medieval, Political Thought, Religious Life
Paper 538-c...And There Was Much Rejoicing: Bearing Good News to the Carolingian Court
(Language: English)
Rutger Kramer, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
Index terms: Hagiography, Historiography - Medieval, Political Thought, Politics and Diplomacy

The history of the Carolingian court at times seems to be a history of crisis, tension, intrigue, and open conflict. Indeed, it has been acknowledged that (creative) tension was one of the driving forces behind the correctio-movement that characterised much of the Carolingian era. This session, the first of two panels on the rhetorical use of emotions in political debates in the Carolingian world, aims to shed new light on the way the Frankish elites used emotions to gain the upper hand in the ongoing competition for power that took place at upper echelons of Carolingian society. First, Régine Le Jan will reflect on the way gender played a role in the struggle for authority at the court. By analysing how queens managed to stay on top on things in spite of fierce competition, she will show how the emotional discourse of loving wives and caring mothers also showed how they were actually powerful political players. Next, Mayke de Jong will reflect on the use of emotive terminology in different types of sources. Starting from the way authors would persuade their audience by creating a common ground, she will take a closer look at the language used across various ‘genres’ – and in doing so, argue that the words used to garner the audience’s sympathies were more than merely topical, but served a definite rhetorical goal. Finally, Rutger Kramer’s paper aims to take a fresh look at the more positive outlook evident in many council acts, capitularies and other texts composed in the wake of the correctio-movement. By looking not only at the rhetorical background of common tropes of positivity, but also at the context within which these occurred, an attempt will be made to disentangle the rhetorical from the political.