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IMC 2023: Sessions

Session 946: Medieval Life-Writing: A Round Table Discussion

Tuesday 4 July 2023, 19.00-20.00

Sponsor:Haskins Society
Organiser:Susan Foran, Department of History, Trinity College Dublin
Moderator/Chair:Michael Staunton, School of History, University College Dublin

Medieval biography or life-writing is often considered within frameworks established by classical and modern biography. This session discusses medieval life-writing traditions within their literary entanglements. How is the individual life presented and memorialised in relation to social, political, intellectual, or religious institutions or communities? Is biography defined by an emphasis on the individual, and how far is this a focus on the self, identity, and emotion? How are tensions negotiated through rhetoric, convention, and style? What narrative models and historiographical sources provided inspiration? How are stories disseminated through transnational intellectual communities and martial networks? Sources include royal and chivalric biographies, hagiographies, obituaries, autobiographies, found alone or within chronicles, histories, and romance.

Participants include Susan Foran (Mittuniversitetet, Sundsvall), Chris Given-Wilson (University of St Andrews), Michael Staunton (University College Dublin), Craig D. Taylor (University of York), and Larissa C. Tracy (Longwood University, Virginia).