IMC 2019: Sessions

Session 1125: The Pearl-Poet and Material Culture

Wednesday 3 July 2019, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:International Pearl-Poet Society
Organiser:Jane Beal, Department of English, University of La Verne, California
Moderator/Chair:Catherine J. Batt, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Paper 1125-aMedieval Material Culture and the Pearl-Poet's Symbolic Imagination
(Language: English)
Jane Beal, Department of English, University of La Verne, California
Jane Beal, Department of English, University of La Verne, California
Jane Beal, Department of English, University of La Verne, California
Index terms: Biblical Studies, Language and Literature - Middle English, Rhetoric
Paper 1125-bSartorial Adornments in the Work of the Pearl-Poet
(Language: English)
Kimberly Jack, English Department, Athens State University
Kimberly Jack, English Department, Athens State University
Kimberly Jack, English Department, Athens State University
Index terms: Art History - Decorative Arts, Daily Life, Language and Literature - Middle English, Social History
Paper 1125-cWhat We Know: Understanding the Role of Culture (Material or Other) in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
(Language: English)
Mickey Sweeney, School of English, Dominican University
Mickey Sweeney, School of English, Dominican University
Mickey Sweeney, School of English, Dominican University
Index terms: Heraldry, Language and Literature - Middle English, Social History
Abstract

The Pearl-Poet was acutely aware of medieval material culture and incorporated it into the five poems attributed to him: Pearl, Cleanness, Patience, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and St Erkenwald. His imagination was situated and sourced in his cultural context, and he went to work not only poetically describing material objects, but rendering them thematically and symbolically significant for his anticipated audience. This session will use a variety of interpretive strategies to consider the poet’s symbolic use of objects in material culture, descriptions of sartorial adornments, and rhetorical presentation of the pentangle of Sir Gawain’s shield, which he calls ‘the endless knot’.