IMC 2018: Sessions

Session 207: Alcohol and Addiction in Medieval Literature

Monday 2 July 2018, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:Scottish Medieval/Early Modern Studies Postgraduate Network (ScotMEMS)
Organiser:Martin Laidlaw, Faculty of English, University of Dundee
Moderator/Chairs:Joanne Edge, Department of History & Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge
Sophie Sexon, School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow
Paper 207-aMead-iating Masculinity: The Mead-Hall, Drunkenness, and the Renegotiation of Anglo-Saxon Masculinities in the Long 10th Century
(Language: English)
Ryan T. Goodman, Department of History, University of Manchester
Index terms: Gender Studies, Language and Literature - Old English, Sermons and Preaching
Paper 207-b'Dred delitable drynke': Alcohol, Memory, and Morality in Medieval Poetry
(Language: English)
Martin Laidlaw, Faculty of English, University of Dundee
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Mentalities, Religious Life
Paper 207-c'Now and at the hour of our death': Marian Petitions as Expressions of Behavioural Addiction
(Language: English)
Mark Ronan, School of English, Drama & Film, University College Dublin
Index terms: Daily Life, Language and Literature - Middle English, Lay Piety, Mentalities

The conflation of drunkenness with sin, immorality, and a state of moral failing is succinctly expressed in medieval literature, particularly the works of Geoffrey Chaucer and Langland’s Piers Plowman. Within these characterisations, memory functions as a fleeting state which both confronts and escapes the drunken figure. Countering this, works of Old English may be seen to venerate the mead hall and the role of alcohol in cultural practice. The three papers in this session will examine the social criticism inherent in the description of alcohol and addiction, and present continuities between attitudes to drunkenness in pre-Norman-late medieval literature. Through analysis of representations of alcohol, this panel will examine the role of drunkenness and gluttony in relation to masculinities, memory, and sin.