Session Title

Debatable Rule:(Re)assessing Medieval Statecraft, Power, Authority, and Gender (A Roundtable)

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Royal Studies Network

Organizer Name

Zita Eva Rohr, Elena Woodacre

Organizer Affiliation

Univ. of Sydney, Univ. of Winchester

Presider Name

Zita Eva Rohr

Paper Title 1

Discussant

Presenter 1 Name

Stephen Church

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Univ. of East Anglia

Paper Title 2

Discussant

Presenter 2 Name

Theresa Earenfight

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Seattle Univ.

Paper Title 3

"To His Reverend Lady and Dearest Daughter": Familial Politics in a Bureaucratic World

Presenter 3 Name

Kimberly Klimek

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Metropolitan State Univ. of Denver

Paper Title 4

Discussant

Presenter 4 Name

Núria Silleras-Fernández

Presenter 4 Affiliation

Univ. of Colorado-Boulder

Paper Title 5

Discussant

Presenter 5 Name

Elena Woodacre

Start Date

15-5-2015 3:30 PM

Session Location

Fetzer 1005

Description

The roundtable is designed both to pull together the themes and ideas raised during the paper session and to challenge the traditional tendency to research and study queens and kings in isolation. Thanks to the lucid reflections of Theresa Earenfight (and most recent scholarship in the field), rulership by queens and kings is no longer being examined apart through the restricted lens of modern 'vanilla' political liberalism (Earenfight 2007). Instead, effective rulership and statecraft are being brought into the light as a product of complementary partnerships and particular contexts: wives and husbands, mothers and sons; elder sisters and younger brothers; and respected advisors and monarchs of both sexes. Rulership (whether queenship or kingship) is a gendered institution, but one not uniformly based upon biological sex. Instead it is founded upon nuanced psycho-social ideas of gender; 'male' or 'female' according to social and cultural distinctions and differences. The most successful political partnerships of the long Middle Ages demonstrate a clear understanding that authority and power were (and remain) precision tools of statecraft, and they wielded them to great purpose and effect. It is anticipated that the two complementary sessions proposed by the Royal Studies Network for ICM 2015 will provoke rich ideas, lively discussion and informed debate.

Zita Rohr and Ellie Woodacre

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May 15th, 3:30 PM

Debatable Rule:(Re)assessing Medieval Statecraft, Power, Authority, and Gender (A Roundtable)

Fetzer 1005

The roundtable is designed both to pull together the themes and ideas raised during the paper session and to challenge the traditional tendency to research and study queens and kings in isolation. Thanks to the lucid reflections of Theresa Earenfight (and most recent scholarship in the field), rulership by queens and kings is no longer being examined apart through the restricted lens of modern 'vanilla' political liberalism (Earenfight 2007). Instead, effective rulership and statecraft are being brought into the light as a product of complementary partnerships and particular contexts: wives and husbands, mothers and sons; elder sisters and younger brothers; and respected advisors and monarchs of both sexes. Rulership (whether queenship or kingship) is a gendered institution, but one not uniformly based upon biological sex. Instead it is founded upon nuanced psycho-social ideas of gender; 'male' or 'female' according to social and cultural distinctions and differences. The most successful political partnerships of the long Middle Ages demonstrate a clear understanding that authority and power were (and remain) precision tools of statecraft, and they wielded them to great purpose and effect. It is anticipated that the two complementary sessions proposed by the Royal Studies Network for ICM 2015 will provoke rich ideas, lively discussion and informed debate.

Zita Rohr and Ellie Woodacre