Session Title

The Other's Chivalry: Alternative Chivalric Codes and Practices

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Société Rencesvals, American-Canadian Branch

Organizer Name

Ana Grinberg; Stefanie Goyette

Organizer Affiliation

Auburn Univ.; Durham Academy

Presider Name

Mercedes Vaquero

Presider Affiliation

Brown Univ.

Paper Title 1

The Queen's Chivalry: Defining Female Heroism in Fourteenth-Century Castile-Leon

Presenter 1 Name

Janice North

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Independent Scholar

Paper Title 2

Al-Ziyad ibn ‘Amir al-Quinani and the Production of Literary Space

Presenter 2 Name

Jessica Zeitler

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Pima Community College

Paper Title 3

Defending the City: Saracen Ladies in Aliscans and Fierabras

Presenter 3 Name

Ana Grinberg; Stefanie Goyette

Start Date

10-5-2018 1:30 PM

Session Location

Schneider 1225

Description

The Arabic chivalric novels known as “al-Siyar” feature heroes characterized by their bravery and valor, reflecting values similar to those of the romance epic, as Lutfi Abdel Badi argues in his almost forgotten La Épica árabe y su influencia en la épica castellana (31). And yet modern scholarly notions of “chivalry” in the epic often seem to follow Ramon Llull’s thirteenth-century Book of the Order of Chivalry, which claims that chivalry requires loving and fearing the Christian god, foreclosing the possibility that there could be a common code for both Christian and Muslim knights. Llull further explains that nobility and chivalry “belong together” (III.8) and thus women, due to their lesser nobility, are unable to be knights. Likewise, “a deformed man or one who is obese or has another physical defect” cannot be a knight (Llull III.16).

Given the persistent association of chivalry with Christianity, masculinity, able-bodiness, nobility, and a narrowly defined idea of beauty and humanity, how can we understand alterity in chivalric texts where the supposed Other is often a worthy oponent? And furthermore, what happens to chivalry when we find these Others often as heroes, and not enemies, at the center instead of at the borders of the romance epic? This session invites papers that examine how texts, writers, and audience negotiated the complexity of chivalry and knighthood in medieval texts dealing with heroic deeds of those who are not “normative.” We also welcome papers that question or resituate the very definition of chivalry in the romance epic.

Ana Grinberg

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May 10th, 1:30 PM

The Other's Chivalry: Alternative Chivalric Codes and Practices

Schneider 1225

The Arabic chivalric novels known as “al-Siyar” feature heroes characterized by their bravery and valor, reflecting values similar to those of the romance epic, as Lutfi Abdel Badi argues in his almost forgotten La Épica árabe y su influencia en la épica castellana (31). And yet modern scholarly notions of “chivalry” in the epic often seem to follow Ramon Llull’s thirteenth-century Book of the Order of Chivalry, which claims that chivalry requires loving and fearing the Christian god, foreclosing the possibility that there could be a common code for both Christian and Muslim knights. Llull further explains that nobility and chivalry “belong together” (III.8) and thus women, due to their lesser nobility, are unable to be knights. Likewise, “a deformed man or one who is obese or has another physical defect” cannot be a knight (Llull III.16).

Given the persistent association of chivalry with Christianity, masculinity, able-bodiness, nobility, and a narrowly defined idea of beauty and humanity, how can we understand alterity in chivalric texts where the supposed Other is often a worthy oponent? And furthermore, what happens to chivalry when we find these Others often as heroes, and not enemies, at the center instead of at the borders of the romance epic? This session invites papers that examine how texts, writers, and audience negotiated the complexity of chivalry and knighthood in medieval texts dealing with heroic deeds of those who are not “normative.” We also welcome papers that question or resituate the very definition of chivalry in the romance epic.

Ana Grinberg