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Space, memory, and material devotion

3 Performance and the parish: space, memory, and material devotion Introduction For wealthy laywomen of the late Middle Ages, bequests tied to the liturgy offered a compelling way to venerate the deceased. Yet religious patronage also served as a vehicle for the assertion of ongoing personal presence, especially when connected with performances that allowed women to announce and memorialise themselves within the material contexts that they inhabited. In this chapter, I further expand the spectrum of female performance by looking at the ways that individual women

in Performing women
Criseyde to Cressida

In the burgeoning research field of medieval and early modern emotions and in studies of the performance of passion, little space has been devoted to arrogance. Defined by modern psychology as ‘an acute or chronic affective state characterized by attitudes of undue superiority towards others and manifested by an overbearing manner, presumptuousness, haughtiness, superciliousness

in Love, history and emotion in Chaucer and Shakespeare

160 4 The language of gesture: Untimely bodies and contemporary performance ‘Art’ is the name of the possibility of a conversation across time, a conversation more meaningful than the present’s merely forensic reconstruction of the past. Alexander Nagel and Christopher Wood, Anachronic Renaissance1 Uniquely among the surviving memorials to Eleanor of Castile, the Eleanor Cross at Northampton is decorated with open books (see Figure 4.1). The books were likely once illustrated, perhaps even with text, and may be an allusion to Eleanor’s own learning. While the

in Visions and ruins
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Gender, self, and representation in late medieval Metz

Performing women takes on a key problem in the history of drama: the ‘exceptional’ staging of the life of Catherine of Siena by a female actor and a female patron in 1468 Metz. These two creators have remained anonymous, despite the perceived rarity of this familiar episode; this study of their lives and performances, however, brings the elusive figure of the female performer to centre stage. Beginning with the Catherine of Siena play and broadening outward, Performing women integrates new approaches to drama, gender, and patronage with a performance methodology to trace connections among the activities of the actor, the patron, their female family members, and peers. It shows that the women of fifteenth-century Metz enacted varied kinds of performance that included and extended beyond the theatre: decades before the 1468 play, for example, Joan of Arc returned from the grave in the form of a young woman named Claude, who was acknowledged formally in a series of civic ceremonies. This in-depth investigation of the full spectrum of evidence for female performance – drama, liturgy, impersonation, devotional practice, and documentary culture – both creates a unique portrait of the lives of individual women and reveals a framework of ubiquitous female performance. Performing women offers a new paradigm: women forming the core of public culture. Networks of gendered performance offered roles of expansive range and depth to the women of Metz, and positioned them as vital and integral contributors to the fabric of urban life.

The church as sacred space places the reader at the heart of medieval religious life, standing inside the church with the medieval laity in order to ask what the church meant to them and why. It examines the church as a building, idea, and community, and explores the ways in which the sanctity of the church was crucial to its place at the centre of lay devotion and parish life. At a time when the parish church was facing competition for lay attention, and dissenting movements such as Lollardy were challenging the relevance of the material church, the book examines what was at stake in discussions of sanctity and its manifestations. Exploring a range of Middle English literature alongside liturgy, architecture, and material culture, the book explores the ways in which the sanctity of the church was constructed and maintained for the edification of the laity. Drawing on a wide range of contemporary theoretical approaches, the book offers a reading of the church as continually produced and negotiated by the rituals, performances, and practices of its lay communities, who were constantly being asked to attend to its material form, visual decorations, and significance. The meaning of the church was a dominant question in late-medieval religious culture and this book provides an invaluable context for students and academics working on lay religious experience and canonical Middle English texts.

This collection of essays offers new perspectives that foster our understanding of the crucial role the Bible played in medieval culture as well as in the wake of the Reformation across Europe. The thirteen essays open up new horizons for the study of biblical drama by putting special emphasis on periodisation, the intersections of biblical narrative and performance, and the strategies employed by playwrights to rework and adapt the biblical source material. Special emphasis is placed on multitemporality, transnationality, and the modalities of performance and form in relation to the uses of the Bible in medieval and early modern drama. The three aspects are intertwined: particular modalities of performance evolve, adapt and are re-created as they intersect with different historical times and circumstances. These intersections pertain to aspects such as dramatic traditions, confessional and religious rites, dogmas and debates, conceptualisations of performance and form, and audience response – whenever the Bible is evoked for performative purposes. The collection thus stresses the co-presence of biblical and contemporary concerns in the periods under discussion, conceiving of biblical drama as a central participant in the dynamic struggle to both interpret and translate the Bible.

The capetian monarchs of France and the early Crusades

Scholars of medieval power structures, feudal relations, monarchy, and ritual performance have long recognized that the early twelfth century was ground zero in the cultural, social, and political transformation of France from a weak and fragmented kingdom to one centralized under the leadership of a purposeful ruler. This book considers the role played by the crusaders in the development of the French monarchy. While the First Crusade was launched in 1095 ,the first French monarch did not join the movement until 1146, when Louis VII led the ill-fated Second Crusade. The failure of the French kings to join the crusading movement created a ‘crisis of crusading’ that the French royal court confronted in a variety of media, including texts, artwork, architecture, and rituals. The book finds that in a short span of time, members of the court fused the emerging crusade ideas with ancient notions of sacral kingship and nobility to fashion new, highly selective and flexible images of French history that exploited the unknown future of crusading to negotiate a space into which the self-fashioning of French kingship could insinuate itself. By the middle of the twelfth century, these negotiated images were being widely disseminated to a popular audience through various channels, thus contributing to the rise of the ‘crusading king’ as an idea ruler-type from the early thirteenth century onwards.

southern Italy helping his uncle besiege the city of Amalfi with the hope of carving out a small territory of his own. Yet, when he began his search for a suitable marriage partner in 1103, following closely on the heels of a spectacular performance on the First Crusade, his prospects had improved markedly. By the time that Bohemond travelled to the West in 1105, he not only enjoyed the substantial material rewards that accrued from ruling the principality of Antioch, but also considerable celebrity from his crusading reputation. He was famous enough that a monk from

in Constructing kingship
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kind of receptive performance in response to the religious theatre surrounding relics and that the very implausibility of relic discourse was simultaneously its greatest strength. Medieval doubts about relics were clearly expressed in Guibert of Nogent’s attack on their authenticity in the twelfth century when he noted that

in Affective medievalism
Socio-cultural considerations of intellectual disability

acted performances but because of ‘mental deficiencies or physical deformities’. 91 The performative aspects of the natural fools are important. It is their very physicality – no contradiction to ID not being a physical impairment – that is emphasised, the observance of their ‘wrong’ bodies (physiognomy, shape, clothing) and the ‘wrong’ things they do with their bodies (inappropriate behaviour, gestures) that marks out the natural from the artificial fools. 92 Physicality was also a theme for Velten’s article on court fools and laughter, which mainly concerned

in Fools and idiots?