Session Title

Interiority and Topographies of Self from Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Five College Medieval Studies Seminar

Organizer Name

Jason Moralee

Organizer Affiliation

Univ. of Massachusetts-Amherst

Presider Name

Sean Gilsdorf

Presider Affiliation

Harvard Univ.

Paper Title 1

Imagining the Body Divine: Augustine's Technology of Self

Presenter 1 Name

Mark Roblee

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Univ. of Massachusetts-Amherst

Paper Title 2

The Heroic Stranger to the Worldly: Late Antique Sources of Medieval Quest Interiority

Presenter 2 Name

Mary Maxine Browne

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Purdue Univ.

Paper Title 3

The Authorial "I" in Partonopeu de Blois and the Emerging Literary Subject

Presenter 3 Name

Melanie Hackney

Presenter 3 Affiliation

New York Univ.

Paper Title 4

Psyche, Text, and Selfhood: An Allegorical Reading of Chaucer's Tale of Melibee

Presenter 4 Name

Melissa Hudasko

Presenter 4 Affiliation

Univ. of Massachusetts-Amherst

Start Date

17-5-2015 8:30 AM

Session Location

Schneider 1140

Description

How can we locate and interpret the constituent elements of a premodern self, and what are the processes by which articulations of the self were asserted? Scholars of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages have recently highlighted the importance of studying the interior worlds, emotions, and experiences of individuals and intellectual communities. While we once heard of an “age of anxiety” (E.R. Dodds), increasingly we hear of the “invention of the inner self” (Phillip Cary), “inwardness and selfhood” (Pauliina Remes), “varieties of selves” (Richard Sorabji), “consciousness and introspection” (Suzanne Stern-Gillet), the “corporeal imagination” (Patricia Cox Miller), and “inward turns” (Peter Brown, Kerem Eksen). This panel aims to assemble and place into dialogue interdisciplinary studies on the premodern self by inquiring into the constitution of selfhood, individual experience, identity, emotion, memory, and nostalgia. How are interior worlds represented in our sources? What is the relationship between self-reflection and physical and imaginary spaces? How do strategies of self-representation change over time and space? Most frustratingly, did non-elites have “selves” or did they take their selves for granted?

A focus on interiority invites exploration of the role of memory, mobility, and space on the constitution of self. A topography of self suggests that, like memory, assertions of the self could be embedded in the built environment through procession, pilgrimage, patronage, and inscription. This panel therefore invites studies of literary, documentary, and material culture that elucidate premodern interiors, anthropologies, or maps of the self.

Jason Moralee

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May 17th, 8:30 AM

Interiority and Topographies of Self from Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages

Schneider 1140

How can we locate and interpret the constituent elements of a premodern self, and what are the processes by which articulations of the self were asserted? Scholars of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages have recently highlighted the importance of studying the interior worlds, emotions, and experiences of individuals and intellectual communities. While we once heard of an “age of anxiety” (E.R. Dodds), increasingly we hear of the “invention of the inner self” (Phillip Cary), “inwardness and selfhood” (Pauliina Remes), “varieties of selves” (Richard Sorabji), “consciousness and introspection” (Suzanne Stern-Gillet), the “corporeal imagination” (Patricia Cox Miller), and “inward turns” (Peter Brown, Kerem Eksen). This panel aims to assemble and place into dialogue interdisciplinary studies on the premodern self by inquiring into the constitution of selfhood, individual experience, identity, emotion, memory, and nostalgia. How are interior worlds represented in our sources? What is the relationship between self-reflection and physical and imaginary spaces? How do strategies of self-representation change over time and space? Most frustratingly, did non-elites have “selves” or did they take their selves for granted?

A focus on interiority invites exploration of the role of memory, mobility, and space on the constitution of self. A topography of self suggests that, like memory, assertions of the self could be embedded in the built environment through procession, pilgrimage, patronage, and inscription. This panel therefore invites studies of literary, documentary, and material culture that elucidate premodern interiors, anthropologies, or maps of the self.

Jason Moralee