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IMC 2023: Sessions

Session 242: Trauma and Recovery, I: Trauma Discourse and Its Limits

Monday 3 July 2023, 14.15-15.45

Organiser:Grace Elizabeth O'Duffy, Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic, University of Cambridge
Moderator/Chair:Adam Kelly, Faculty of English, University of Oxford
Paper 242-aMedieval Melancholies: A New North European Tradition?
(Language: English)
Adam Kelly, Faculty of English, University of Oxford
Index terms: Language and Literature - Old English, Language and Literature - Middle English, Language and Literature - Scandinavian, Mentalities
Paper 242-bSexual Violence in the Old Norse Stjórn: How to Translate Biblical Accounts of Rape?
(Language: English)
Natasha Amber Jo Bradley, Lincoln College, University of Oxford
Index terms: Biblical Studies, Language and Literature - Scandinavian, Rhetoric, Women's Studies
Paper 242-c'Myselven can not telle why the sothe': Speaking Pain and Gain in Chaucer's Book of the Duchess
(Language: English)
Pamela Yee, Department of English, University of Rochester, New York
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Mentalities

This panel, the first of two in this series entitled ‘Trauma and Recovery' offers an exploration of contemporary discourse on trauma and its limits when applied to medieval literature: Adam Kelly considers the complexity of setting responses to trauma in Old English literature within a tradition of antidepressive melancholy; Natasha Bradley follows, exploring the cultural valence of translations of sexual violence in the Old Norse Sjórn; Pamela Yee concludes by looking to Progressive Grief Disorder as a new taxonomy of pain that takes us beyond melancholy in the Book of the Duchess, before turning to narrative as a means of healing. Each paper approaches the question of how best to apply our developing understanding of trauma to medieval texts, with terminology, historicity, and sensitivity in mind.