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Working with (Represented) Emotions in Medieval Texts


27 mars 2024


Prof. Guillemette Bolens, UNIGE


Dr. Frank Brandsma, Utrecht University (NL)


For medieval audiences, part of the attractiveness of romances seems to have been the emotional engagement these stories make possible. As the protagonist undergoes one adventure after another, falls in and out of love and encounters mysterious objects like the Grail, much attention is given to how this affects the character emotionally. And this is done in such a way that these emotions may have been shared by the audience. But how does this work? By looking at examples from several literary texts (in Old French, Middle Dutch, et cetera) we will discuss how to analyse the emotional setup. What role do spectators within the text play, for instance? How much emotion is labelled as such by the narrator, and how much is revealed by means of the character's body and behaviour? The analysis will be informed by the appraisal theory and neurological evidence on recognising and sharing emotions. The event will consist of a lecture by Dr Brandsma, followed by a lengthy question time, in the course of which the PhD students will be asked to engage with issues addressed during the lecture (2 hours in all); and an interactive workshop, led by Dr Brandsma (3 hours)





Deadline for registration 20.03.2024
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