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IMC 2023: Sessions

Session 1703: Writing Identity in Medieval Ireland and Wales

Thursday 6 July 2023, 14.15-15.45

Moderator/Chair:Helen Fulton, Department of English, University of Bristol
Paper 1703-aMapping Medb's Wrath: Gendered Emotion in the Táin Bó Cúailnge
(Language: English)
Abigail Hazel Weaver, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Bristol
Index terms: Gender Studies, Language and Literature - Celtic
Paper 1703-bTitle, Role, and / or Institution?: How the Use of Network Theory Can Provide a Re-Examination of Queens in the Irish Annals
(Language: English)
Aoife Cranny Walsh, Independent Scholar, Dublin
Index terms: Gender Studies, Genealogy and Prosopography, Women's Studies
Paper 1703-cHow Late Medieval Welsh Poetry Tamed a Dragon
(Language: English)
Mitchell Simpson, Department of English, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Index terms: Genealogy and Prosopography, Hagiography, Heraldry, Language and Literature - Celtic

Paper -a:
The Táin Bó Cúailnge is a celebrated heroic 7th-century Irish saga. Researchers have employed this epic to explore many themes, such as emotions; a developing historiographical field pioneered by Barbara Rosenwein and William Reddy. Scholars such as Martin Puhvel have primarily focused on male emotions, noting the positive portrayal of Cú Chulainn's Irish battle rage. This paper is built upon current historiography, analysing female anger in the Táin, with Medb as a case study. Following the work of Cynthia Whissell, this paper charts emotive words (Rosenwein)/emotives (Reddy) creating a lexicography of Old Irish anger, to examine the positive and negative treatment of female anger in early Irish literature.

Paper -b:
The Irish annals provide the most substantial record of real Irish queens and their socio-political world. Moreover, the annals offer the chance to begin to establish a more coherent sense of the role of queens. The objective of this paper will be to identify the central role of the queen in aristocratic society using social network theory. This approach has not been used in the standard early Irish analyses of genealogies, which are structurally influenced by the overt patrilineal biases of the source texts and the tendency has been to focus on men. In contrast, the use of social networks will aid in establishing a queen's role and importance in political marriage alliances and how central their position was as a result, arguing that political and marriage alliances tell us more about the social realities of these women. In using social network theory, the objective will be to portray the extent to which queens played a role in the networks that constituted elite society and how visible that was.

Paper -c:
This paper explores the intellectual networks of professional poets in late 15th-century Wales. In a cywydd to a localised iteration of St Margaret of Antioch, Tomas Derllys depicts the dragon, which swallows Margaret, as euraid, or golden. This departs from traditional depictions and directs us to a possible source, MS Llanstephan 28, a manuscript produced by Derllys's contemporary, poet and gentleman Gutun Owain. The change is purposeful, drawing to mind the banners of Owain Glyndwr. This paper discusses how poets navigated the shifting social landscape in late Medieval Wales.