Writing Back: Creative Engagement with the Premodern and Pedagogy

Elizabeth ElliottMMUd

Recent work in medieval and early modern studies draws on affect studies to historicise how emotion is theorized within premodern texts, and to reflect on the role emotion plays in reading and reception. As Glenn D. Burger and Holly A. Crocker argue in their collection, Medieval Affect, Feeling, and Emotion (2019), ‘history of emotions and contemporary affect theory are insufficient for dealing with the complexity and nuance of medieval renderings […] we need to explore further the historicizing effects of thinking about affect and emotion synchronically” (14). Bringing together insights from affect studies and practice-based research, this workshop focuses on forms of reception characterized by identification and adaptation to ask how these modes of response impact on our sense of the past. To what extent are such practices of emulation and adaptation engaged in dialogues that recognize and amplify voices from the past, and to what extent do they efface them? Ash-Irisarri and Elliott will introduce brief examples of these models of reception: Elliott’s work with Edinburgh Old Town Development Trust on The Evergreen: A New Season in the North offers insight into a project that evokes the legacy of an early modern manuscript as reworked by Allan Ramsay and Patrick Geddes to shape a conversation about Edinburgh and Scotland as they have been, are, and might be. Ash-Irisarri’s use of creative responses to medieval literary texts in postgraduate classes prompts students to engage not only with aesthetic appraisal of pre-modern material but also to consider the connection between memory, imagination, and learning that informs understanding of medieval cultural practices. Participants will then have the opportunity to engage in some practice-based research, with brief exercises designed to produce similar examples of adaptation. The workshop will incorporate time for reflection on the value of these exercises for pedagogy and public engagement, and for participants to share their own experience of creative engagement with premodern literature.

Dr Kate Ash-Irisarri, Assistant Professor in Medieval and Early Modern English Studies, University of Nottingham, kate.irisarri@icloud.com

Dr Elizabeth Elliott, Senior lecturer in English, University of Aberdeen, elizabethelliott@abdn.ac.uk

Fri 12:30 pm - 1:45 pm