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IMC 2019: Sessions

Session 520: 'Deformis formositas ac formosa deformitas' / The Ugliness of Beauty and the Beauty of Ugliness, I: Ugliness and Deformity in Medieval Texts

Tuesday 2 July 2019, 09.00-10.30

Organisers:Teodora Artimon, Department of Medieval Studies, Central European University, Budapest
Andrea-Bianka Znorovszky, Trivent Publishing, Budapest
Moderator/Chair:Teodora Artimon, Department of Medieval Studies, Central European University, Budapest
Paper 520-aThe Grotesque Male Revenant and the Gorgeous Female Revenant: The Dichotomy of Ugliness Post-Mortem in English Chronicles
(Language: English)
Candace Reilly, Centre of Medieval Studies, University of York
Index terms: Gender Studies, Science
Paper 520-bThe Ugly Body Is 'a shame of nature': Perceptions of Ugliness in Byzantine Medieval Texts
(Language: English)
Oana Maria Cojocaru, Department of Historical, Philosophical & Religious Studies, University of Umea
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Mentalities
Paper 520-cDelightfully Grotesque: Beautiful Representations of Ugliness in Late Medieval France
(Language: English)
Kleio Pethainou, Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh
Index terms: Art History - General, Art History - Painting, Manuscripts and Palaeography, Mentalities

The session discusses the concept of 'ugliness' in textual sources pertaining to the medieval East and West. It highlights gendered aspects, in English chronicles and religious sources, by contrasting the sensuality/beauty of the undead female with the deformed/decomposed male corpse. Furthermore, it discusses the forms and representations of ugliness in the framework of attitudes towards the imperfect body in Byzantine medieval texts. Finally, the session discusses manuscript illuminations from Late Medieval France that represent the ugly and the grotesque, and treat ugliness as something beautiful and worthy to be emphasised by analyzing their social contexts and patronage.