IMC 2018: Sessions

Session 1110: Rethinking Agency, I: Reading Women

Wednesday 4 July 2018, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:Medieval Prosopography
Organisers:Charlotte Pickard, Centre for Continuing & Professional Education, Cardiff University
Rebecca Searby, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York
Moderator/Chair:Amy Livingstone, Department of History, Wittenberg University, Ohio
Paper 1110-aQueen or Puppet Lady?: Æthelflaed's Agency in the Politics, Power, and Identity of Mercia
(Language: English)
Melanie C. Maddox, Department of History, The Citadel, Military College of South Carolina
Index terms: Archaeology - General, Politics and Diplomacy, Women's Studies
Paper 1110-bRethinking Female Agency and the Formal Expression of Female Power in 13th-Century Royal Letters
(Language: English)
Anaïs Waag, Department of History, King's College London
Index terms: Charters and Diplomatics, Gender Studies, Politics and Diplomacy, Women's Studies

Detecting ‘agency’ in the medieval world, in recent years, has shaped the research of historians searching for the lesser voices of the past. It is a term often attributed to unusual ‘action’ or ‘will’ beyond the scope of societal expectation. Given its vast application, there is a pressing need to consider how we detect, define, and interpret agency across medieval record collections. Are we reading moments of individual will or is this a more complicated process that requires renewed appreciation? Using case studies from England, France, and the kingdom of Aragon, this session will explore the concept of female agency.