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IMC 2020: Sessions

Session 810: (Un)Bound Bodies: Consolidating and Fragmenting Borders, IV

Tuesday 7 July 2020, 16.30-18.00

Organiser:Lauren Rozenberg, Department of History of Art, University College London
Moderator/Chair:Agata Zielinska, Department of History, University College London
Paper 810-aFlesh Side: Sharing Bodies with New Haven, Beinecke Library, MS 84
(Language: English)
Kayla Lunt, Department of Art History Indiana University Bloomington
Index terms: Art History - General, Manuscripts and Palaeography
Paper 810-b'Fair […] as any wezele': A Study of the Unnatural Body in Medieval Literature
(Language: English)
Caitlin Mahaffy, Department of English Indiana University Bloomington
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Social History
Paper 810-cLiving the Life of Man, Not the Mule: Reason and Self-Knowledge in Cistercian Texts on the Soul
(Language: English)
Jack Ford, Department of History, University College London
Index terms: Monasticism, Social History

The distinction between man and animal, the human and non-human, was a fluid one in the Middle Ages. Within the sphere of morality - a distinctly human trait - the shadow of animality was always lurking the background. As the writings of 12th century Cistercians and the poetry of Chaucer attest, the sinful behaviour of man was labelled in reference to the animal, being characterised by unbridled, rather than restrained, desire. And the very animal-skin manuscripts on which this moral thought was written reveals that the power of animals, even after death, to be in dialogue with, and shape the interpretation of, a text.