Session Title

Trauma in Arthurian Literature

Sponsoring Organization(s)

International Arthurian Society, North American Branch (IAS/NAB)

Organizer Name

Dana M. Roders

Organizer Affiliation

Purdue Univ.

Presider Name

Dana M. Roders

Paper Title 1

"In Tho Dayes": Trauma, Malory's Readers, and the Case of Gawain's Grief

Presenter 1 Name

Stephen Atkinson

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Park Univ.

Paper Title 2

Combat Stress, Proportionality, and Malory's Voices of Reason

Presenter 2 Name

Karen Cherewatuk

Presenter 2 Affiliation

St. Olaf College

Start Date

14-5-2015 3:30 PM

Session Location

Bernhard 159

Description

In her extensive work on trauma, Cathy Caruth has argued for a link between trauma and literature, suggesting that the former is represented "in a language that is always somehow literary: a language that defies, even as it claims, our understanding.” Recent work by Patricia Clare Ingham and David Coley has explored traumatic representation in Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde and Cleanness, respectively, suggesting that there is, in fact, a need for in-depth study of trauma in the literature of the Middle Ages. Indeed, the Arthurian corpus teems with trauma in manifold forms, from Lancelot's physical and mental anguish in the Grail quest to the violent wounds inflicted on Arthur and his knights in battle to the painful severance of nationhood resulting from Arthur's inability to produce an heir. Accordingly, this panel invites an exploration of trauma in all its forms in Arthurian literature, including but not limited to physical and mental suffering; violence, wounds, and the traumatized body; trauma and victimization; fragmented national identity; and traumatized manuscripts.

Dana M. Roders

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May 14th, 3:30 PM

Trauma in Arthurian Literature

Bernhard 159

In her extensive work on trauma, Cathy Caruth has argued for a link between trauma and literature, suggesting that the former is represented "in a language that is always somehow literary: a language that defies, even as it claims, our understanding.” Recent work by Patricia Clare Ingham and David Coley has explored traumatic representation in Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde and Cleanness, respectively, suggesting that there is, in fact, a need for in-depth study of trauma in the literature of the Middle Ages. Indeed, the Arthurian corpus teems with trauma in manifold forms, from Lancelot's physical and mental anguish in the Grail quest to the violent wounds inflicted on Arthur and his knights in battle to the painful severance of nationhood resulting from Arthur's inability to produce an heir. Accordingly, this panel invites an exploration of trauma in all its forms in Arthurian literature, including but not limited to physical and mental suffering; violence, wounds, and the traumatized body; trauma and victimization; fragmented national identity; and traumatized manuscripts.

Dana M. Roders