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"Hearing and Speaking the Middle Ages: Orality and Aurality in Performance and Text"

27-28 March 2015

Oral practice was a widespread mode of cultural consumption in the Middle Ages. From troubadour chansonniers, the itinerant Japanese biwa h├┤shi and court poets like the Anglo-Saxon scopas to the carnivalesque festivals of the Feast of Fools, speech and song illuminated the public and private lives of men and women throughout the medieval world. Even in the highly literate codicological culture of scriptoria, hearing and recitation were indispensable tools for understanding and producing the manuscripts we study today.

Friday, 27 March

all Friday panels are in Wylie Hall 005

8-10.15 am — Registration

8.45-10.15 am — Prophecy and Truth
a joint panel with "Breaking Futures," the IU English Department's annual interdisciplinary graduate conference
Moderator: Kerilyn Harkaway-Krieger

  • "'Is this the promised end? Or image of that horror?': Animal Symbolism and the Apocalyptic End of History in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Prophetiae Merlini," Jennifer Lopatin, English, Indiana University
  • "The Once and Future Kingdom: Macbeth, Prophecy, and the Problem of British Union," Michael Lutz, English, Indiana University
  • "Dead Men Do Tell Tales: Posthumous Messengers in Wace's Roman de Brut," Aidan Gaunt, English, Purdue University

10.30-noon — Fame, Rumor, and Gossip
Moderator: Arwen Taylor

  • "The Wounded Mouth: Sins of the Tongue in the Islamic Hell," Mona Zaki, Drew University
  • "'Don't believe everything you are told': Words and Rumor in Wace's Roman de Brut," Jessica Auz, English, Purdue University
  • "The Onus of the Listener (Boethius and Chaucer's House of Fame)," Logan Quigley, English, Purdue University

1.30-3 pm — Female Voices
Moderator: Hall Bj°rnstad

  • "Two Saints and Eleven Thousand Virgins: Scriptural (Re)presentations and the Female Voice in St. Hildegard of Bingen's Symphonia," Joe Morgan, English, Indiana University
  • "The Voice of Mother Wisdom in Hrotsvit's Sapientia," Miriam Poole, Dept. of Theatre History, Indiana University
  • "┬íCanta, Trobaritz!: Voices of Medieval Women Poets," Jocelyn Young, Spanish and Portuguese, Indiana University

3.15-4.45 — Hearing Objects
Moderator: Erin Sweany

  • "Reassigning Vibrancy: Speaking with Objects in The Dream of Rood," Julie Chamberlin, English, Indiana University
  • "Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder: New Perspectives of the Cotton Nero A.x. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Illustrations," Margaret Sheble, English, Purdue University
  • "How to Read a Song: A Case Study from the Codex Manesse," Dennis Dechant, Dept. of Art History, Yale University

7 pm — Readers Circle
Presidents' Room, University Club, IMU
please email MEST to RSVP

SATURDAY, 28 March

all Saturday panels are in Wylie Hall 015

8.30-10.15 am — Orality across Political & Cultural Boundaries
Moderator: Edward Lazzerini

  • "I will Praise My King or I Die—An Intertextual Approach to the Performance of the African (Ashanti) and Arab (Abbasid) Court Panegyric," Nana Aba Bentil-Mawusi, Dept. of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, Indiana University
  • "The Oral Transmission of the Spanish Romancero and Its Kinship with Similar Narrative and Lyrical Verse," Bobby Nixon, Columbus State University
  • "The War Tales of Medieval Japan—Entertainment and Exorcism Combined," Morten Oxenboell, East Asian Languages and Cultures, Indiana University
  • "The Role of Performance in Constructing Identity in the East and the West: The Case of the Narratives of K├Âro─člu and The Knight with the Lion (Yvain)," Zeynep Elbasan, Central Eurasian Studies, Indiana University

3.15-4.45 — Orality and Agency
Moderator: Asma Afsaruddin

  • "Eros, Thanatos, and the Spoken Word: Language and Pleasure in Early Modern Iberia," Samuel S├ínchez y S├ínchez, Hispanic Studies, Davidson College
  • "Takhmis as Verbal Reliquary: Performance in al-Fayyumi's Amplification of al-Busiri's 'Mantle Ode to the Prophet Muhammed,'" Suzanne Stetkevych, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, IU; Arabic and Islamic Studies, Georgetown University
  • "All Ends with Beginnings: Gesture and Thomas Hoccleve's Fragmented Fortune," Audrey Gradzewicz, English, Purdue University

1.15-2.15 pm — Keynote Address
Wylie Hall 015
Samer Ali, Associate Professor, Department of Middle Eastern Studies, University of Texas at Austin; 2002 IU PhD
"And Then Is Heard (from) No More: Mortality, Stigma, and Sound in al-Mutanabbi"

2.30-4 pm — Orality and Philosophy
Moderator: Christopher Beckwith

  • "The Embodied Therapy of Rhythmic Sound: Boethius and the Aural Tradition," Stephen Blackwood, President, Ralston College
  • "Between Orality and Enlightenment: A Study of the Rise of Didactic Odes in Classic Arabic Literature," Abdullah Al-Ansari, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, Indiana University
  • "Aristotelian Dialectic, Medieval Scholastic Disputation, and Medieval Jadal: A Comparative Analysis," Mohammad Syifa A. Widigdo, Religious Studies, Indiana University

4.15-5.35 pm — Orality and Malory
An IMGC sponsored session
Moderator: Rosemarie McGerr

  • "Once More With Feeling: The Performance of Knighthood in Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte Darthur," Michelle Parsons, English, Purdue University
  • "Please Mr. Postman: The Deathbed Letter-Writing of Elayne and Gawain in Malory's Morte Darthur," Arielle McKee, English, Purdue University
  • "And He Lete Wryte: Speech Turned to Golden Text in Malory," Christy McCarter, English, Purdue University

6 pm — Historical Performance Institute Concert and Reception
Presidents' Room, University Club, IMU
please email MEST to RSVP

The conference is sponsored by the Medieval Studies Institute of Indiana University and the following Departments and Programs: Ancient Studies, Art History, Classics, English, Germanic Studies, History, History and Philosophy of Science, Musicology, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Spanish and Portuguese.

~~~ click here for a PDF flyer ~~~

Medieval Studies Institute
Also of Interest

Mediaevalia at the Lilly

Medieval Studies Symposia