The Syon Abbey Society is pleased to announce our second sponsored session at the 47th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 10-13, 2012.
Sponsored Session: “Monastic Vernacularities”
Organizer & Chair: Laura Saetveit Miles
The following speakers and papers are now confirmed.
Nancy Bradley Warren, Texas A & M University
“Reading Chaucer and Lydgate at Syon: Politics, Aesthetics, and the Roles of Vernacular Literature in English Brigittine Culture”
Bruce Holsinger, University of Virginia
“Dreaming the Vernacular: Liturgy (just) after Becket”
Katherine Zieman, University of Notre Dame
“Rolle Three Ways: BL Add. 37790, BL Add. 37049, TCC O.2.56 and Carthusian Vernacularities”
Syon Abbey fostered a rich tradition of religious vernacular literature and translation within its walls – ‘The Myroure of Oure Lady’ among the most well known of the Middle English texts written by a Syon member. This session, “Monastic Vernacularities,” is in the spirit of Syon’s rich vernacular tradition, but featuring papers concerning a variety of orders of medieval Europe. Recent scholarship has explored the idea of the vernacular in terms of lay devotion, secular literature, and the gendered reader, and this session will both extend and build off these in order to more precisely understand how the vernacular operated for cloistered readers. What is the relationship between the use of the vernacular and rates of literacy within monastaries and convents? Did individual houses foster distinctive ‘vernaculars’? How did the use of the vernacular evolve over time, in relation to the shifting sands of devotional trends and political climates? By inviting a wide-ranging discussion of how different vernaculars operated in medieval monastaries, we hope to promote the kind of research which will benefit multiple areas of interest: literature, liturgy, monastic history, theology, etc.