IMC 2020: Sessions

Session 1507: The Many Beckets, I: Power and Gender

Thursday 9 July 2020, 09.00-10.30

Sponsor:School of History, Archaeology & Religion, Cardiff University
Organiser:Paul Webster, School of History, Archaeology & Religion, Cardiff University
Moderator/Chair:John Jenkins, Centre for the Study of Christianity & Culture, University of York
Paper 1507-aA Woman of Judgement: Thomas Becket and the Empress Matilda
(Language: English)
Cary J. Nederman, Department of Political Science, Texas A&M University, College Station
Karen Bollermann, Department of English, Arizona State University
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Gender Studies, Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 1507-b'This Becket which is not one': An Irigarayan Reading of the Vie de saint Thomas Becket
(Language: English)
Rebecca Courtier, Churchill College University of Cambridge
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Gender Studies, Language and Literature - Comparative, Language and Literature - French or Occitan
Paper 1507-c'Men are God's trees and women are God's flowers': Gender Portrayal in Tennyson's Becket
(Language: English)
Kay Slocum, Department of History, Capital University, Ohio
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Gender Studies, Medievalism and Antiquarianism, Performance Arts - Drama
Abstract

2020 is a triple jubilee year for Thomas Becket. Born in 1120 (at least by current scholarly surmise), he was murdered 850 years ago in Canterbury Cathedral, and his remains were translated to his shrine in July 1220. Across three sessions, we will explore aspects of the life, cult, and legacy of St Thomas. This first session examines themes of gender and power, beginning with the relationship between Becket and King Henry II’s mother, the Empress Matilda, before exploring a feminist reconfiguration of Becket’s memorialisation in medieval French literature, and the construction of Rosamund Clifford and Eleanor of Aquitaine in Tennyson’s play, Becket, in the Victorian era.