Skip to main content

IMC 2020: Sessions

Session 1220: 'It's either funny or it's not', I: The Boundaries of Humour and Laughter in the Middle Ages

Wednesday 8 July 2020, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:Trivent Publishing
Organiser:Kleio Pethainou, Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh
Moderator/Chair:Kleio Pethainou, Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh
Paper 1220-aCrossing the Line: Taboo Humor in Icelandic Sagas
(Language: English)
Thomas Ireland-Delfs, Viking & Medieval Norse Studies Department University of Iceland Reykjavík
Index terms: Language and Literature - Scandinavian, Mentalities
Paper 1220-bHumour and the Individual, c. 1150-1250
(Language: English)
Peter J. A. Jones, School of Advanced Studies, University of Tyumen, Russia
Index terms: Mentalities, Monasticism
Paper 1220-cOutdated Humour: Are Mären and Fabliaux Still Able to Shock and Amuse?
(Language: English)
Emma Beddall, Somerville College, University of Oxford
Index terms: Language and Literature - French or Occitan, Social History

This session explores humour in the Middle Ages, and the ways it was expressed in literature, art, and thought. Simultaneously transgressive and socially specific, humour challenges and defines boundaries at the same time. It can be a relief mechanism and an instrument of control and propaganda, and it can contribute to the ways societies and individuals define themselves. This session explores taboo humour in Islandic sagas, the transgressive and shocking value of fabliaux and maeren humour, and humour's articulation of selfhood in the century up to c.1252.