Tag Archives: mediaeval

CMEMLL/ILCR Annual Lecture: Steve White (Emory) & Gadi Algazi (Tel Aviv)

‘Boy meets Gift: or, The Uses of Literature’

Monday 18 April, 5.15 – 7.00 pm
Parliament Hall, South Street

This lecture, given collaboratively by Professor Stephen D. White (Emory) and Professor Gadi Algazi (Tel Aviv) is a joint venture of CMEMLL and the Institute of Legal and Constitutional Research. This year, the CMEMLL Annual Lecture is also the ILCR Annual Academic Lecture.

A wine reception will follow the event.

All welcome.

Stephen D. White is Asa G. Candler Professor Emeritus of Medieval History at Emory University.

He is author of Custom, Kinship, and Gifts to Saints: the Laudatio Parentum in Western France, 1050-1150Sir Edward Coke and the Grievances of the Commonwealth, 1621-1628Feuding and Peacemaking in Eleventh-Century France; and Re-Thinking Kinship and Feudalism in Early Medieval Europe.

He is currently completing a collection of essays on treason, vengeance and feuding in eleventh- and twelfth-century France and England; and a book manuscript provisionally entitled, ‘Bad Kings, Felonious Barons, and Unfaithful Ladies: The Representation of Treason Trials in Old French Literature, c.1150 to c.1240.’

Gadi Algazi is Professor of History at the Department of History, Tel Aviv University, and senior editor of the journal History & Memory. He is also member of the editorial board of the journals Past & Present and Historische Anthropologie.

He is author of Herrengewalt und Gewalt der Herren im späten Mittelalter: Herrschaft, Gegenseitigkeit und Sprachgebrauch [Historische Studien, vol. 17] (Frankfurt am Main/New York: Campus, 1996) [Seigniorial Power and Violence in the Later Middle Ages: Lordship, Reciprocity and Language Use] and, with Valentin Groebner and Bernhard Jussen, he coedited Negotiating the Gift: Pre-Modern Figurations of Exchange (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2003).

He is currently completing a book on the shaping of scholars’ way of life and habitus between 1480 and 1630.

Research Seminar: Professor Rosalind Brown-Grant (University of Leeds)

‘Lessons in Law, Lessons in Chivalry: The Roman de Gérard de Nevers Illuminated by the Wavrin Master and Loyset Liédet’

Thursday 5 March, 5.15 pm
Room B216, Buchanan Building, Union Street

Rosalind Brown-Grant, Professor of Late Mediaeval French Literature at the University of Leeds, will give a paper entitled ‘Lessons in Law, Lessons in Chivalry: The Roman de Gérard de Nevers Illuminated by the Wavrin Master and Loyset Liédet.’


Art historians specialising in works produced in the European Middle Ages have recently begun to draw our attention to the important part played by illustrated manuscripts of Roman, canon and customary law texts in the dissemination and teaching of legal precepts among scholars and law practitioners of the period. What has received far less attention from modern commentators is the way in which illumination cycles accompanying works of courtly literature also contributed to the familiarisation with the law of aristocratic lay readers who, as kings, dukes, counts and lords would have been responsible for the exercise of justice in their own lands. This paper will focus on the visualisation of the law and the respective positions of men and women in the legal processes of the day in medieval romance narratives whose plots are dominated by themes of crime and punishment. In particular, it will examine the interaction of text and image in two manuscripts of the mid-fifteenth-century Roman de Gérard de Nevers, a text belonging to the ‘wager cycle’ where judicial proceedings are placed centre-stage, which were illustrated by the artist known as the Wavrin Master and Loyset Liédet, respectively. Whilst Liédet is concerned with evoking a sense of the splendour and ceremony of the chivalric spectacles that the tale recounts, the Wavrin Master both borrows from the iconographical conventions of works of canon and customary law and devises his own means of visual expressions in order to bring out the moral, political and legal implications of the narrative for his courtly audience.

Professor Brown-Grant’s work to date has focused on four main areas: Christine de Pizan’s defence of women, late medieval French romances, historical writing at the court of Valois Burgundy, and text/image relations in medieval manuscripts. She is currently working on a monograph on French romances preserved in manuscripts illuminated by the Burgundian artist known as the “Maître de Wavrin” (fl. 1450s-60s).


Reading Group: Early Career and Postgraduate Research

Cory Hitt, Julianne Mentzer, Sarah White

Tuesday 27 January, 2015, 1-2 pm
Garden Seminar Room, Kennedy Hall, School of English 

Cory Hitt, Julianne Mentzer, and Sarah White will each give a 5-minute presentation on their current research, which will be followed by questions and group discussion.

Cory Hitt graduated with a degree in English from the College of William & Mary in 2011. After working for two years in the aerospace and defines industry as a lobbying assistant, she came to the University of St Andrews on a Marie Curie fellowship with PIMIC (Power & Institutions in Medieval Islam & Christendom), an EU-funded International Training Network. She is in the second year of her PhD, currently working on developing models of transmission of honour codes and legal expertise within the context of Icelandic and Anglo-Norman literature under the supervision of John Hudson.

Julianne Mentzer received her BA (Hons) in English and Philosophy, and an MA (Hons) in Literary and Cultural Studies from Carnegie Mellon University.  She then relocated to Scotland, and completed her MLitt in Renaissance Studies from the University of Strathclyde.  She is now a Ph.D. candidate in the School of English, supervised by Lorna Hutson, and her thesis will explore the rhetoric of friendship and the role of flattery in early modern homosocial relationships.

Sarah White received her BA (Hons) in Medieval Studies from the University of Victoria, and her MA (Hons) in the same field from the University of Toronto.  She is now a Ph.D. candidate in Medieval History, supervised by John Hudson.  She is interested in legal arguments and equity in Church courts in England in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and her thesis is provisionally entitled ‘Process and Procedure in the thirteenth-century Court of Canterbury’.