TitleFrom the Border to the Table: Peripheral Manuscript Elements and Their Uses
Date/TimeWednesday 6 July 2022: 09.00-10.30
OrganiserIMC Programming Committee
Moderator/ChairDan Terkla, Department of English, Illinois Wesleyan University
Paper 1012-a Dance Scenes in the Manuscript Margins as a Humour Device
(Language: English)
Zofia Marianna Załęska, Instytut Historii Sztuki, Uniwersytet Warszawski
Index Terms: Art History - Painting; Manuscripts and Palaeography; Performance Arts - Dance
Paper 1012-b Dining with Flies: A Discourse about Consumption and Commerce in the Low Countries during the Late Middle Ages
(Language: English)
Zaellotius Wilson, Herberger Institute of Design & Arts, Arizona State University
Index Terms: Art History - General; Art History - Painting
Paper 1012-c Hoccleve and Humour?: 15th-Century Manuscript Transmission of The Regiment of Princes
(Language: English)
Charlotte Ross, Faculty of English, University of Oxford
Index Terms: Language and Literature - Middle English; Manuscripts and Palaeography
AbstractPaper -a:
Margins of medieval European manuscripts were often filled with fascinating images that permanently engage the attention of scholars. In this paper I will concentrate on dance scenes appearing in the borders of manuscripts and I will try to uncover their relations to the text - this will allow me to show them as an entertainment and humour device for the reader. How was the humour used in marginal imagery? How did the dance scenes realize comedy principles? I will elaborate on those - and other - issues in order to provide a new approach to understand medieval European culture, art, and humour.

Paper -b:
Crawling out of the margins in manuscripts, flies flew into Flemish portraits in the late Middle Ages. Prior to the 15th century, flies remained nestled in garden scenes away from humans. Their inclusion into portraits signals a transition in the relationship between Flemish societies and their understanding of the natural world. Now free in portraits, flies were able to mingle freely with their hosts and guests. This definitely signals a status change from unwanted and uninvited guests to emissaries of the natural world. This paper will look at Flemish portraits to explore the economic and financial discourse that is represented with the inclusion of flies with human-made objects. Discussing the fly's connections to consumerism and human-made objects might explain their ability to social climb from the periphery to buzzing into the foreground.

Paper -c:
Modern criticism of Thomas Hoccleve's magnum opus The Regiment of Princes is largely concerned with the poet's authority in autographed manuscripts or the rare portraits of Chaucer they contain. Furthermore, from this moralising poem Hoccleve is widely seen as dull and humdrum (in the words of William Mathews). This paper addresses an understudied area: 15th-century non-autograph manuscripts that reflect the humorous literary tastes and traditions within which Hoccleve's work was understood. This study explores examples of marginal decoration in Regiment manuscripts with reference to the poem they surround, viewing them as a mirror for 15th-century readership. In analysing the borders of Hoccleve's work, this paper highlights the humour in the Regiment's reception.