Ten papers to look forward to at the International Medieval Congress 2013

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Pleasure will be theme at this year’s International Medieval Congress, which will be held at the University of Leeds from July 1-4. Several hundred papers will be delivered, which deal with wide range of topics in the Middle Ages. Many are associated with the theme of pleasure, which the congress organizers describe as:

a universal human experience, but its components, evaluation, and meaning, and the contexts in which it is, or is not, a legitimate feeling and form of behaviour vary according to cultures and among individuals. Pleasure can be brought on by sensory stimulation, by aesthetic appreciation, by practising an activity, by sharing a common experience with others – or even all of these together (as in the case of the experience of sexual love). The crucial importance of pleasure in medieval living, as well as its multiple facets, constitute the reasons why the IMC has chosen for its special thematic focus for 2013.

Here are ten papers that people attending the congress might want to check out:

Beautiful Daughters and Rich Tournaments: Pleasures of the East in Correspondences between Ottoman Sultans and Christian Princes, 14th and 15th Centuries
By Karoline Döring,  Monumenta Germaniae Historica
in Session 112: Medieval Letters and Letter-Collections, 1000-1500: A Pleasurable Reading?

‘God helped thee; the eagle got food afresh’: Norse Crusaders and the Pleasure of Killing
By Pål Berg Svenungsen, University of Bergen
Session 118: The Pleasure of Crusading, I: The Pleasure of Killing

Double Sex, Double Pleasure?: Hermaphrodites and the Medieval Laws
By Christof Rolker, University of Constanse
in Session 520: Canon Law, IV: Sexual Pleasure and Medieval Canon Law – Law in Books

Is Beowulf Science Fiction?
By Daniel Anlezark, University of Sydney
in Session 524: Science and Fiction in the Middle Ages

Dwarves for Pleasure and Profit?: Disability as (Courtly) Entertainment in Medieval Europe
By Irina Metzler, Swansea University
in Session 723: A Pleasure to Entertain: Dancers, Dwarves, and Fools

Children’s Play and Educational Concepts in the High Middle Ages
By Carola Föller, Eberhard Karls University
in Session 1023: Not for Children Only: Play and Pleasure in the Middle Ages




Entertainments at the Court of Edward III: An Exercise in Corporate Team Building?
By Richard Barber, University of York
in Session 1128: 14th-Century Studies, II: 14th-Century Court and Culture

A Bloody Mess: The Sex Lives of the Valkyries – Or Lack Thereof?
By Luke John Murphy, University of Iceland
in Session 1118: Sex, Alcohol, and Violence: Pleasure in Old Norse Myth and Pre-Christian Beliefs

Why Were There No Peasant Revolts in Medieval Ireland?
By Brendan Smith, University of Bristol
in Session 1205: Social, Political, and Cultural Exchanges: Ireland, Britain, and the Wider World in the Later Middle Ages, III – Community and Status in the English Lordship of Ireland

Jousting Rules!: Tournaments and the Medici’s Struggle for Fitness in 15th-Century Florence
By Christian Jaser, Technische Universität, Dresden
in Session 1518: Martial Pleasures?: Jousting, Shooting, and Fencing in Late Medieval Culture

Click here to see the entire International Medieval Congress Program

Sharan Newman