2012/13

Semester 2, 2012-13


CMEMLL Reading Group

Professor Warren Brown (California Institute of Technology)

Thursday 18 April, 2013, 1-2 pm
Stephen Boyd Room, Kennedy Hall, School of English

Warren Brown, Professor of History at Caltech and Donald Bullough Fellow at the St Andrews Institute of Mediaeval Studies, will lead a reading group on Jennifer Jahner’s ‘Motives and Motifs in Early English Law: Reading the Mirror of Justices after Maitland’. This is an unpublished work-in-progress, and a copy of the text can be found here.

Professor Brown’s research interests are in the social history of mediaeval Europe, in conflict resolution and social and institutional memory. He is the author, most recently, of Violence in Medieval Europe (London: Longman Press, 2011), and, as editor, of Documentary Culture and the Laity in the Early Middle Ages (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013). At St Andrews he will be completing research on a new monograph, provisionally titled World in a Book: Lay Society in Early Medieval Europe.


CMEMLL Conference

Bonds, Lies, and Circumstances: Discourses of Truth-telling in the Renaissance.

An International and Interdisciplinary Conference

21-23 March
School of English

Download conference poster (PDF, 6.7Mb)

Confirmed keynote speakers:

Professor John Kerrigan (University of Cambridge)
Professor Andrew Hadfield (University of Sussex)
Professor Lorna Hutson (University of St Andrews)

Can we say that truth has ‘no more faces than one’? Montaigne implies that human relationships with truth are straightforward, whereas our attitudes towards falsehood are complicated by its multiplicity. But how stable is the notion of ‘truth’? Does truth – like falsehood – appear in many forms, and if so, can we ever take it at face value?

Legal, emotional, and spiritual concerns — all vital to truth-telling discourses — are intimately bound in the Renaissance. This conference offers a forum for the exploration of their intersections. The study of legal culture has become increasingly central to the analysis of early modern literary texts, and legal paradigms are inescapable when scholars turn their attention, as many have recently done, to the equivocal power of language to bind people together. We find the legal value of such bonds – in the form of oaths, promises and contracts – going hand in hand with interpersonal relationships and their emotional and spiritual dimensions.

Our objective is to foster debate about the marriage between two clearly connected fields: Law and Literature; and the study of early modern emotion. How do these fields work together? We form bonds; we tell lies; we search for and construct truths: but under what circumstances?

This conference will explore:

  • The connections between law, emotion, and obligation, and how the works of Shakespeare and his contemporaries engage with these dynamics.
  • The formation and evaluation of bonds in the early modern world.
  • How public/private spaces affect attitudes towards truth-telling.
  • The relationship between faith, truth, and honesty in the Renaissance.
  • How belief and trust are generated.
  • The binding power of language and rhetoric.
  • Transmissions of knowledge, belief, and emotion.

Sponsors:

Modern Humanities Research Association
Society for Renaissance Studies
Centre for Mediaeval and Early Modern Law and Literature
Medieval and Renaissance Research Group, School of English, University of St Andrews

General questions can be directed to the conference organizers – Rachel Holmes, reh32@st-andrews.ac.uk, and Toria Johnson, taj3@st-andrews.ac.uk.

Conference web pages


CMEMLL Reading Group

Professor Mary Nyquist (University of Toronto)

Thursday 21 February, 2013, 1-2 pm
Stephen Boyd Room, Kennedy Hall, School of English 

Mary Nyquist, Professor of English at the University of Toronto), will lead a reading group on her unpublished paper (delivered at Yale and Oxford) entitled “Milton’s Satan ‘at Large’: War slavery asius gentium, divine penalty, or inherently unjust?”

Mary Nyquist is a distinguished Milton scholar, and her publications include several influential essays on John Milton, George Buchanan, Thomas Hobbes and John Locke. Her forthcoming book, Arbitrary Rule: Slavery, Tyranny and the Power of Life and Death (Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press, 2013) explores the complex links between the figurative ‘political slavery’ of early modern anti-tyranny discourse (in Buchanan, Milton, Hobbes, Locke), and the rise of transatlantic slavery.


CMEMLL Research Lecture

Professor Mary Nyquist (University of Toronto)

Wednesday 20 February, 2013, 2.15 pm
Lawson Room, Kennedy Hall, School of English

Mary Nyquist, Professor of English at the University of Toronto, will deliver a paper entitled ‘Hobbes, Injury and the Question of Resistance’.

Mary Nyquist is a distinguished Milton scholar, and her publications include several influential essays on John Milton, George Buchanan, Thomas Hobbes and John Locke. Her forthcoming book, Arbitrary Rule: Slavery, Tyranny and the Power of Life and Death (Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press, 2013) explores the complex links between the figurative ‘political slavery’ of early modern anti-tyranny discourse (in Buchanan, Milton, Hobbes, Locke), and the rise of transatlantic slavery. She demonstrates how principles relating to political slavery are bound up with a Roman jurisprudential doctrine that sanctions the power of life and death held by the slaveholder over slaves and by the state over citizens.


Semester 1, 2012-13


CMEMLL Reading Group

Dr Justine Firnhaber-Baker (University of St Andrews)

Thursday 15 November, 2012, 1-2 pm
Stephen Boyd Room, Kennedy Hall, School of English

Dr Justine Firnhaber-Baker of the School of History will lead a reading group based on Kathryn Gravdal’s ‘The Game of Rape: Sexual Violence and Social Class in the Pastourelle,’ which is chapter 4 in Ravishing Maidens: Writing Rape in Medieval French Literature and Law (Philadephia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991), pp. 104‐121.

Download text (PDF, 4.5 Mb)

Dr Firnhaber-Baker’s research concerns power, law, government, and violence in the later Middle Ages, particularly in France. Her current project focuses on ‘private war’ in Southern France and what it tells us about violence and law in dispute resolution, royal/seigneurial relations, and the rise of the state. Her publications include Difference and Identity in Francia and Medieval France, ed., with Meredith Cohen (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2010).


CMEMLL Inaugural Event

Inauguration of the Centre for Mediaeval and Early Modern Law and Literature

Wednesday 3 October, 2012, 2.15-6 pm
Lawson Lecture Room, Kennedy Hall, School of English

Inaugural Lecture

Professor David Ibbetson (University of Cambridge)

2.15-3.15 pm

David Ibbetson, Regius Professor of Civil Law and President of Clare Hall at the University of Cambridge, will deliver the inaugural CMEMLL annual lecture entitled ‘Early Modern Lawyers and Literary Texts’.

Professor Ibbetson’s notable publications include but are not limited to: The Oxford International Encyclopedia of Legal History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009); ‘Sixteenth Century Contract Law: Slade’s Case in Context,’ in OJLS 3:4 (1984), pp. 295-317; and ‘Assumpsit and Debt in the Early Sixteenth Century,’ in CLJ 41:1 (1982), pp. 142-161.

The lecture will be followed by a break for refreshments in the Stephen Boyd Room before the Panel Response.

Panel Response: Law and Literature, Mediaeval and Early Modern

Professor William I. Miller (University of Michigan)
Professor John Hudson (University of St Andrews)
Professor Lorna Hutson (University of St Andrews)

Chair: Professor Colin Kidd (University of St Andrews)

2.15-3.15 pm

William Miller, Thomas G. Long Professor of Law at the University of Michigan and Honorary Professor of History at the University of St Andrews, will join the Directors of CMEMLL: John Hudson, Professor of Legal History, and Lorna Hutson, Berry Professor of English Literature, in a panel response to Professor Ibbetson’s paper.  Colin Kidd, Professor of History, will chair the discussion.  They will also discuss the formation and purpose of CMEMLL.

There will be a wine reception to close the event.

 

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