32nd Annual Medieval and Renaissance Forum at Plymouth State University


More than 100 scholars from around the world will present their latest research on many aspects of medieval and Renaissance culture at the 32nd annual Medieval and Renaissance Forum, April 15-16 at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire.

The Forum opens at 9 a.m. Friday with a procession from Rounds Hall to the Hartman Union Building (HUB). A traditional opening ceremony follows in the HUB Fireplace Lounge.

The theme of this year’s event is “Love, Friendship, Marriage,” exploring how secular and religious love, affection and devotion were perceived and expressed in a variety of contexts.

Conference Director Karolyn Kinane says, “This year’s theme offers us insights into particularly personal, intimate and private moments of medieval and Renaissance culture, things that are often difficult to recover.”

Concurrent scholarly sessions are held in Rounds Hall throughout the day on Friday and Saturday and are open to the public. A full schedule will be online at Plymouth.edu/medieval.

Professor Thomas Luxon of Dartmouth College will present the Forum keynote address on “How Human Life Began: Sexual Reproduction in Paradise Lost,” at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Hage Room at the HUB. Luxon is professor of English, Cheheyl Professor, and director of the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning. His talk is open to the public free of charge.

He is the author of Single Imperfection: Milton, Marriage and Friendship and Literal Figures: Puritan Allegory and the Reformation Crisis in Representation. He is also the creator and editor of “The Milton Reading Room,” a Web edition of Milton’s poetry and selected prose.

Other scheduled events include a Live Chess Match by the PSU student Medieval Society Friday at 1 p.m. at the HUB. Undergraduate student poster presentations are from 3-4:40 p.m. Friday in Rounds Hall Room 107. A longbow archery demonstration will be held from 4-5 p.m. Friday (location to be announced).

Friday evening at 8 p.m., The Flying Monkey Movie House in Plymouth will host a special showing of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Tickets for the movie are available at the theatre.

Saturday at 2:15 p.m. Professors Liz Ahl and Jong Kim will present a letterpress demonstration at the Draper and Maynard Building, also free of charge.

The 2011 Forum will conclude Saturday evening with a lesson in Renaissance Dance by the Ken Pierce Dance Company in the Newfound Room at Prospect Hall, just prior to the annual Medieval Feast. The lesson and feast will be followed by open dancing and performance by Ken Pierce and the Company.

Tickets that include the lesson, feast and performance are $34 and can be purchased by contacting the Forum director at PSUForum@gmail.com.

Kinane says, “Our conference is unique in that it makes room for a deep enjoyment of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Scholarly presentations are followed by lively debate and discussion, and the conference itself is peppered with interactive events such as the opening ceremonies, the letterpress and longbow archery demonstrations, and the Medieval and Renaissance Dance and Feast.”

Information about the Forum is online at www.plymouth.edu/medieval

Source: Plymouth State University

Sharan Newman