IMC 2018: Sessions

Session 1553: Honour in Medieval Literature

Thursday 5 July 2018, 09.00-10.30

Organiser:Christopher Liebtag Miller, Berlin Program for Advanced German & European Studies, Freie Universität Berlin
Moderator/Chair:Kathrin Gollwitzer-Oh, Institut für Deutsche Philologie, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Paper 1553-aHonourable Violence: The Construct of Appropriate Aggression in Medieval Japanese War Tales
(Language: English)
Morten Oxenboell, Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures, Indiana University, Bloomington
Index terms: Language and Literature - Other, Mentalities, Social History
Paper 1553-bConstructing Honour: Richard I and Saladin
(Language: English)
Karli Grazman, Medieval Studies Program, University of Connecticut
Index terms: Crusades, Gender Studies, Military History
Paper 1553-cThe Knights of Middle English Romance: Exemplars of Dishonor?
(Language: English)
James T. Stewart, Department of English, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Index terms: Gender Studies, Language and Literature - Middle English, Social History

Across linguistic, cultural, and geographic boundaries, the concept of ‘honour’ is seemingly omnipresent in the literature of the Middle Ages. It appears as a value system, a measure of worth, a set of behavioural guidelines, an externalised social self, or an internal mechanism of self-evaluation alongside other manifestations. This omnipresence and the broad semantic range granted to honour terminology in both modern and medieval usage present considerable difficulties for the scholar. How can we read ‘honour’ in medieval literature? Are differing conceptualisations of honour as value system, intrinsic worth, or symbolic capital distinct manifestations, or are they fundamentally interconnected? To what extent are these conceptions static or dynamic within individual texts, narrative traditions, or cultural spheres?