Session Title

Voice, Dialogue, and Conversation in Later Medieval Religious Literature

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Special Session

Organizer Name

Jenny C. Bledsoe

Organizer Affiliation

Harvard Divinity School

Presider Name

A. Joseph McMullen

Presider Affiliation

Harvard Univ.

Paper Title 1

Christological Voice in Women's Visionary Texts

Presenter 1 Name

Barbara Zimbalist

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Univ. of California-Davis

Paper Title 2

Performative Prayer and Apotropaic Sacramental Action in the "Katherine Group" Liflade ant te Passiun of Seinte Iuliene

Presenter 2 Name

Jenny C. Bledsoe

Paper Title 3

False Confession and the Lollardization of Saint Marina

Presenter 3 Name

Helen Cushman

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Harvard Univ.

Start Date

11-5-2013 10:00 AM

Session Location

Valley III Stinson Lounge

Description

This session will explore the use of voice, dialogue, and conversation in later medieval religious literature, including texts produced during the high and late Middle Ages (c. 1000-1500). The session will engage with current scholarly discourse from a number of disciplinary angles, including studies of the performativity and rhetoric of medieval religious texts as well as the study of the history of dialogue. The papers in the session will seek to expand upon J.L. Austin's historic studies of performative speech and also to converse with newer criticism, such as Mary Hayes's 2011 book, "Divine Ventriloquism in Medieval English Literature: Power, Anxiety, and Subversion". With its focus on a particular theme in religious literature, the session will allow a number of scholars to engage with the question of voice from various perspectives. Scholars of visionary literature may contribute by exploring God's voice and the mystic's authorial and visionary "I". Because this session does not limit itself to the religious literature of a particular language, a paper might engage with the fascinating linguistic and theological question of whether or not God speaks in the vernacular or in Latin. Other presenters may explore the medieval Christian's voice in prayer and his or her engagement in dialogue with the divine. Later medieval religious writings provide a nearly exclusive avenue through which the typically politically voiceless – namely the laity and women – are able to speak. By engaging with the question of voice, medieval literary scholars will gain the opportunity to enhance their engagement with the performative aspects of religious literature and address questions of listening, speaking, and conversing in the historically-significant genre of religious dialogue literature.

Jenny C. Bledsoe

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May 11th, 10:00 AM

Voice, Dialogue, and Conversation in Later Medieval Religious Literature

Valley III Stinson Lounge

This session will explore the use of voice, dialogue, and conversation in later medieval religious literature, including texts produced during the high and late Middle Ages (c. 1000-1500). The session will engage with current scholarly discourse from a number of disciplinary angles, including studies of the performativity and rhetoric of medieval religious texts as well as the study of the history of dialogue. The papers in the session will seek to expand upon J.L. Austin's historic studies of performative speech and also to converse with newer criticism, such as Mary Hayes's 2011 book, "Divine Ventriloquism in Medieval English Literature: Power, Anxiety, and Subversion". With its focus on a particular theme in religious literature, the session will allow a number of scholars to engage with the question of voice from various perspectives. Scholars of visionary literature may contribute by exploring God's voice and the mystic's authorial and visionary "I". Because this session does not limit itself to the religious literature of a particular language, a paper might engage with the fascinating linguistic and theological question of whether or not God speaks in the vernacular or in Latin. Other presenters may explore the medieval Christian's voice in prayer and his or her engagement in dialogue with the divine. Later medieval religious writings provide a nearly exclusive avenue through which the typically politically voiceless – namely the laity and women – are able to speak. By engaging with the question of voice, medieval literary scholars will gain the opportunity to enhance their engagement with the performative aspects of religious literature and address questions of listening, speaking, and conversing in the historically-significant genre of religious dialogue literature.

Jenny C. Bledsoe