Session Title

Middle Grounds: The Politics and Aesthetics of Medieval Mediocrity

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Medievalists@Penn

Organizer Name

Aylin Malcolm; Rawad Wehbe

Organizer Affiliation

Univ. of Pennsylvania; Univ. of Pennsylvania

Presider Name

Rawad Wehbe

Paper Title 1

A Mediocre Translator Going Nowhere Fast with Allegory in the Anticlaudien

Presenter 1 Name

Adam Gustan-Grant

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Univ. of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Paper Title 2

Mediocre Conflicts in Mediocre Manuscripts: Scribal Interpretations of Late Medieval Czech Literature

Presenter 2 Name

Martin Šorm

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Centre for Medieval Studies, Institute of Philosophy, Czech Academy of Sciences

Paper Title 3

Troubadour Vidas and Occitan Mediocrity, Not

Presenter 3 Name

Wendy Pfeffer

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Univ. of Louisville/Univ. of Pennsylvania

Paper Title 4

The Ordinariness of Ivory in the Gothic Era

Presenter 4 Name

Marian A. Bleeke

Presenter 4 Affiliation

Cleveland State Univ.

Start Date

9-5-2020 3:30 PM

Session Location

Schneider 1125

Description

What can we learn from unexceptional texts and artifacts in the Middle Ages? How can we critically assess the metrics by which we evaluate quality? How can medieval studies reconcile, or recover from, the history of Orientalism in its estimation of non-European medieval traditions? This panel builds on conversations during the 2019 Medievalists @ Penn Conference on Mediocrity (middling-ages.tumblr.com), which we seek to carry in more explicitly transcultural directions. By revisiting definitions of “middleness,” we hope to foster a rigorous approach to challenging the literary and artistic canons of the Western Middle Ages, to explore organic connections between politics and art within and across European and non-European traditions, and to consider how developing an aesthetics of mediocrity invites new discussions about the ethics of criticism. Anne V. Aylin Malcolm

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May 9th, 3:30 PM

Middle Grounds: The Politics and Aesthetics of Medieval Mediocrity

Schneider 1125

What can we learn from unexceptional texts and artifacts in the Middle Ages? How can we critically assess the metrics by which we evaluate quality? How can medieval studies reconcile, or recover from, the history of Orientalism in its estimation of non-European medieval traditions? This panel builds on conversations during the 2019 Medievalists @ Penn Conference on Mediocrity (middling-ages.tumblr.com), which we seek to carry in more explicitly transcultural directions. By revisiting definitions of “middleness,” we hope to foster a rigorous approach to challenging the literary and artistic canons of the Western Middle Ages, to explore organic connections between politics and art within and across European and non-European traditions, and to consider how developing an aesthetics of mediocrity invites new discussions about the ethics of criticism. Anne V. Aylin Malcolm