TitleThe Wheat and the Chaff: Anarchist Methodologies for Medieval Sources
Date/TimeMonday 4 July 2022: 16.30-18.00
SponsorAnarchist Approaches to the Middle Ages
OrganiserAnthony McMullin, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Moritz Wallenborn, Historisches Seminar, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Moderator/ChairMoritz Wallenborn, Historisches Seminar, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Paper 308-a Absentee Landlords, Anarchist Swamps: Community Structure, Organisation, and Economy in Rural English Wetland Communities
(Language: English)
Sonya Pihura, Department of History & Classical Studies, McGill University, Québec
Index Terms: Daily Life; Demography; Economics - Rural; Geography and Settlement Studies
Paper 308-b Anarchical Narrative Emplotting and Historical Reflection in Early Medieval 'Heroic' Verse
(Language: English)
Catalin Taranu, New Europe College, Bucharest
Index Terms: Historiography - Medieval; Historiography - Modern Scholarship; Language and Literature - Old English
Paper 308-c Privileging the Urban Charter of Privilege: Ideology and the Anti-Seigneurial Possibilities of Urban History
(Language: English)
Ron Makleff, Department of Political Science, Middlebury College, Vermont
Index Terms: Administration; Archives and Sources; Historiography - Modern Scholarship
AbstractThis session applies anarchist approaches to sources for three types of human activity which are currently of interest to medievalists. They are community life in marginal landscapes, the production of vernacular literature, and the granting of urban privileges. The papers identify and explore sources which elude and subvert hierarchically conceived metanarratives, both medieval and modern. Pihuru's wetland communities of eastern England resist authority and contribute to the anarchist category 'Zomia'. Taranu reads Beowulf, Deor, the Franks Casket, and the Nibelungenlied against the Christo-teleological grain. Makleff's documents indicate alternatives concepts of legitimacy in towns of the 13th- and 14th-century Low Countries. The session thus suggests different ways of understanding a medieval world with which we perhaps consider ourselves already quite familiar.