We are delighted to announce that our speaker for Easter Term 2017 will be Professor David d’Avray (University College London), who will be addressing us on Tuesday the 25th of April on the topic:
‘Genres as Social Systems in the Middle Ages’
The abstract for the talk is as follows:
In Britain, empirical scholars and theory aficionados sometimes seem to belong to different camps, but their relationship ought to be symbiotic (as it often is in Germany). The loose everyday senses of ‘genre’ are too muddled to be serviceable in the framing of intelligent questions for empirical research, and for more carefully thought out concepts the empirical scholar can learn from literary and social theorists. The paper will introduce some of the ideas about genre of H. R. Jauss, and of N. Luhmann about social systems, and then show the affinities between them. The resulting ‘mise’ of concepts will be used to analyse two medieval genres, the Romance and Canon Law.
David d’Avray is a medievalist who has worked on medieval marriage, on preaching, on attitudes to kingship and death, and on rationalities. He is currently working on royal annulments and papal dispensations, instrumental ethics in the Middle Ages, and ‘longue durée’ structures of papal history, from the 4th century decretal legislation Congregatio Concilii after Trent. His new books Dissolving Royal Marriages: A Documentary History, 860-1600 and Papacy, Monarchy and Marriage, 860-1600 have just been published.
The talk will be held at 6pm in the Parlour, First Court, Magdalene College.