Session Title

Conceptions of Death and Dying in Early Medieval Literature

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Early Middle English Society

Organizer Name

Carla María Thomas

Organizer Affiliation

Florida Atlantic Univ.

Presider Name

Larissa Tracy

Presider Affiliation

Longwood Univ.

Paper Title 1

The Poetics of the Speaking Soul in Early Middle English

Presenter 1 Name

Jennifer A. Lorden

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Grinnell College

Paper Title 2

"Þeah þe ða deade bán specon ne maȝon": Reading The Grave as Homiletic Postscript

Presenter 2 Name

Leslie Carpenter

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Fordham Univ.

Paper Title 3

Gender, Purgatory, and Genre

Presenter 3 Name

Elizabeth Matresse

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Univ. of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign

Start Date

11-5-2019 1:30 PM

Session Location

Schneider 1245

Description

Early Middle English poetry, c. 1100-1350, is filled with debates between bodies and souls, descriptions of ghastly bodily decay, and moralizations that come from beyond the grave in order to encourage medieval readers to meditate on and contemplate death and dying. The theme of the macabre is prominent, too, in the homiletic material of the period. For much of this literature, in homilies and poetry alike, the meditations are meant to steer the reader to (or back onto) the Christian path, stressing such motifs as fear of the Last Judgment, ubi sunt laments, and the importance of confession. Other texts like the late twelfth-century poem “The Grave,” however, are simply short meditations on death and the confines of the grave without moralization. This panel presents papers that provide new insight on "The Grave," Old and Middle English soul and body dialogues, and other didactic and romantic texts from the period. Carla Maria Thomas

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May 11th, 1:30 PM

Conceptions of Death and Dying in Early Medieval Literature

Schneider 1245

Early Middle English poetry, c. 1100-1350, is filled with debates between bodies and souls, descriptions of ghastly bodily decay, and moralizations that come from beyond the grave in order to encourage medieval readers to meditate on and contemplate death and dying. The theme of the macabre is prominent, too, in the homiletic material of the period. For much of this literature, in homilies and poetry alike, the meditations are meant to steer the reader to (or back onto) the Christian path, stressing such motifs as fear of the Last Judgment, ubi sunt laments, and the importance of confession. Other texts like the late twelfth-century poem “The Grave,” however, are simply short meditations on death and the confines of the grave without moralization. This panel presents papers that provide new insight on "The Grave," Old and Middle English soul and body dialogues, and other didactic and romantic texts from the period. Carla Maria Thomas