Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Travel Diary 14 July 2010

My second full day at the International Medieval Congress begins. On my first, I attend presentations like:

bestial and homosexual marginalia in medieval manuscripts;
scatological humour in Peterborough satirical poetry;
wolf-like laughter and grimacing in Icelandic sagas;
Dominican friars' travelling from medieval Scandinavia to the cities of Europe (x 3).

My paper on foreigners in medieval Iceland, which in the course of writing shrunk to being about Norwegians in medieval Iceland, leads to a long and very helpful discussion of genre and ethnicity in Icelandic literature - something along the lines of, can a family saga be about a foreigner? And, if a genre is closed to foreigners, what does that say about the society that produced the genre?

Leeds itself has had to wait until today. On the pretext of needing shaving cream, I will skip the last three afternoon sessions, and make sure there are still non-medievalists in the world.