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Current research seminars

2014/15 research seminar programme

Semester 2

Thursday 5 March 2015

School of Modern Languages Research Seminar
French Research Seminar

Professor Rosalind Brown-Grant, University of Leeds: ‘Lessons in law, lessons in chivalry: the Roman de Gérard de Nevers illuminated by the Wavrin Master and Loyset Liédet’ 

Abstract: Art historians specialising in works produced in the European Middle Ages have recently begun to draw our attention to the important part played by illustrated manuscripts of Roman, canon and customary law texts in the dissemination and teaching of legal precepts among scholars and law practitioners of the period. What has received far less attention from modern commentators is the way in which illumination cycles accompanying works of courtly literature also contributed to the familiarisation with the law of aristocratic lay readers who, as kings, dukes, counts and lords would have been responsible for the exercise of justice in their own lands. This paper will focus on the visualisation of the law and the respective positions of men and women in the legal processes of the day in medieval romance narratives whose plots are dominated by themes of crime and punishment. In particular, it will examine the interaction of text and image in two manuscripts of the mid-fifteenth-century Roman de Gérard de Nevers, a text belonging to the ‘wager cycle’ where judicial proceedings are placed centre-stage, which were illustrated by the artist known as the Wavrin Master and Loyset Liédet, respectively. Whilst Liédet is concerned with evoking a sense of the splendour and ceremony of the chivalric spectacles that the tale recounts, the Wavrin Master both borrows from the iconographical conventions of works of canon and customary law and devises his own means of visual expressions in order to bring out the moral, political and legal implications of the narrative for his courtly audience. 

5.15–6.45pm, Buchanan Room 216

Saturday 7 March 2015

Stanza 2015

Dr Carlo Pirozzi, research fellow in Italian, will present a new collection by Scottish poets inspired by the work of Giuseppe Ungaretti

Full details:

Wednesday 11 March 2015

Professor Lionel Ruffel, University Paris 8

Leverhulme Lecture 3: ‘Historicities of the Contemporary’

School 5, 1–2pm

Thursday 2 April 2015

Professor Lionel Ruffel, University Paris 8

Leverhulme Lecture 4: ‘The Locations of the Contemporary’

School 1, 5.15pm

Monday 6 April 2015

Professor Lionel Ruffel, University Paris 8

Leverhulme Seminar 3: ‘Vacuoles and Apparatuses. Literature in the Economy of Attention’

Buchanan 216, 5.15pm