Material Artefacts: Reading the Past through Archaeological Objects in Medieval British Literatur

Jun 05, 2015 - Jun 07, 2015
Conference „Material Artefacts: Reading the Past through Archaeological Objects in Medieval British Literature“

Conference „Material Artefacts: Reading the Past through Archaeological Objects in Medieval British Literature“

International Conference organized by project B01 “Artefacts, Treasures and Ruins – Materiality and Historicity in the Literature of the English Middle Ages” (Head: A. J. Johnston)
  

The literary depiction of archaeological objects – ruins, fragments, buried artefacts or treasures – occurs with such frequency in the surviving literature of medieval Britain that one might be tempted to speak of a trope. Scenes involving the discovery, description or contemplation of objects from the past can be found in texts ranging from hagiography to elegiac poetry, from historiography to romance, nor are they restricted to any one period or region. Often, these descriptions present an occasion for historical reflection, touching on questions of historical change and processes of transmission. Earlier scholarship usually regarded these scenes as instances of religious contemplation of worldly transience, while approaches from the 1980s and 1990s stressed the respective texts’ awareness of Britain’s ‘post-colonial’ past and its successive periods of settlement and conquest by culturally and linguistically diverse peoples. More recently, scholarship has focused on questions of materiality and transmission.

The objective of this conference is to explore ways in which medieval British texts employ descriptions of material objects in order to produce specifically aesthetic and literary responses to questions of historicity and the epistemological conditions of historical knowledge. The literary depiction of archaeological objects, we believe, generates new forms of historical knowledge which can provide alternative ways of reflecting on historical processes that may even move beyond the established master narratives of medieval historiography.

The event is open to the public, with advance registration requested.
Contact: Jan-Peer Hartmann, jan-peer.hartmann[at]fu-berlin.de

Program


Friday, 5 June 2015

4 p.m.

Welcome Address

4.30 p.m.

John Hines (Cardiff University):
“‘But men seyn, “What may ever laste?”’: Chaucer’s Hous of Fame as a Medieval Museum”

5.20 p.m.

Jonathan Gil Harris (Ashoka University):
“Staging the Oriental Past: Thomas Coryate's Indian Archae-theatrics, c. 1616”

6.10 p.m.

Coffee break

6.40 p.m.

Andrew James Johnston (Freie Universität Berlin):
Beowulf’s Roman Remains: Material and Literary Archaeologies”

7.30 p.m.

Reception


Saturday, 6 June 2015

9.30 a.m.

Lori Ann Garner (Rhodes College, Memphis):
“The Poetics of Weaponry in Anglo-Saxon Remedies”

10.20 a.m.

Jan-Peer Hartmann (Freie Universität Berlin):
“The Ruthwell Cross and the Riddle of Time”

11.10 a.m.

Coffee break

11.40 a.m.

Andrew Hui (Yale-NUS College):
“Spenser’s Post-Medieval Ruins”

12.30 p.m.

Lunch break

2 p.m.

Ethan Knapp (Ohio State University):
“The Quick and the Dead: Bodies and Statues in Gower’s Confessio Amanti

2.50 p.m.

Neil Cartlidge (Durham University):
“Evidence of the Past in the Legend of the Seven Sleepers”

3.40 p.m.

Coffee break

4.10 p.m.

Roberta Frank (Yale University):
“The Beaker in the Barrow, the Flagon with the Dragon”


Sunday, 7 June 2015

9.30 a.m.

Irina Dumitrescu (Universität Bonn):
“Anxious Appropriation: On Spoliation and Self-Eating in Medieval English Poetry”

10.20 a.m.

Philip Schwyzer (University of Exeter):
“The Return of the King: Exhuming King Arthur and Richard III”

11.10 a.m.

Coffee break

11.40 a.m.

Sarah Salih (King's College London):
“Bodies That Demand to Be Found”

12.30 p.m.

Lunch break

2 p.m.

Naomi Howell (University of Exeter):
“Saracens at St Albans: The Heart-Case of Roger de Norton”

2.50 p.m.

Marijane Osborn (UC Davis):
“Boy Murder and Bone Map: Some Coterie Themes on the Franks Casket and Where They Lead”

3.40 p.m.

Coffee break

4.10 p.m.

Round-Up

Time & Location

Jun 05, 2015 - Jun 07, 2015

Conference Room, CRC 980 “Episteme in Motion”, Schwendenerstr. 8, 14195 Berlin-Dahlem