Gossip,
 gospel,
 and
 governance:
 orality
 in 
Europe 
1400‐1700

When Jul 14, 2011 12:00 PM to
Jul 16, 2011 12:00 PM
Where British
Academy,
London,
Contact Name
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Scholars are invited to propose papers for an important international conference on orality in early modern Europe, organised by the Medieval and Early Modern Research Group at Northumbria University.
The aim of the conference is to explore the spoken word and its power in a broad range of various contexts: indoors and outside, from the pulpit, the stage or the lectern, in political discourse and as a method of instruction in a period when the spoken word was still capable of reaching a wider audience than written texts available only to the literate, the rich, and the powerful, something of which contemporaries were fully aware. Drawing on interdisciplinary approaches ranging from literature and art history to musicology and the history of language, the conference will bring together scholars from an international field, working in different languages and cultures. The language of the conference will, however, be English.


Themes of the conference:

  • Street life (orality in any European urban context 1400‐1700)
  • Reading aloud (using the lectern for dissemination of written text in convents and monasteries, public proclamation of misdemeanour and laws, 1400‐1700)
  • Teaching and learning in University schools 1400‐1700
  • Declamation and discourse in Parliament
  • Incantation and magic
  • Performance (theatre, court poetry, poetry competitions)
  • Preaching (history of the preaching orders, biographies of preachers)
  • Parley and discourse of war
  • Women’s speech

Proposals for papers, accompanied by abstracts of no more than 200 words in both the original language and in English, should reach the organizers by January 4 2010. We are planning to request financial support for speakers, although this cannot be guaranteed at this stage.
For further information, contact Dr Alex Cowan ([email protected]orthumbria.ac.uk) and Dr Lesley Twomey ([email protected]).