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Women, Multilingualism, and Literate Culture in Late Medieval England
Jocelyn Wogan-Browne, Fordham University
Grant details: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=FA-57813-14
Multilingualism and Medieval England: Rethinking Language Learning and Literary " (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Multilingualism and Medieval England: Rethinking Language Learning and Literary "
Author: Jocelyn Wogan-Browne
Abstract: The multilingualism of medieval England was once highly occluded in the nationalizing conception of modern literatures and languages under which modern university disciplines were originally set up. French was supposed both to have suppressed English and then to have become ossified and degenerate in the late medieval ages, by being cut off from its 'national homeland'. This paper looks at medieval language acquisition and models of literacy, making the necessary distinctions between writing, reading and speaking in medieval language acquisition and models of literacy,and showing that late medieval women had important roles both in teaching, speaking and reading French as well as being important commissioners and patrons of members of the clerical culture). The oral culture of women, the use of French-language access in their primers and psalters and the linguistic phenomenology of late medieval French (in fact alive and changing) are one example of the continuing presence and importance of of French in later medieval England to set alongside other French-language practices in documentary and literary culture and suggest both the inadequacy of monoglot treatments of the vernacular and suggest some new cultural landscapes to integrate int our accounts of England's literate culture in the Middle Ages.
Conference Name: Center for Medieval Studies, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary
"After Arundel and After Gerson: Francophone Spirituality in Fifteenth Century England" (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: "After Arundel and After Gerson: Francophone Spirituality in Fifteenth Century England"
Author: Jocelyn Wogan-Browne
Abstract: Amidst continuing concern with Lollardy and heresy, recent attention has turned to the nuances and heterogenous nature of orthodox religious writing in England. This paper deals with a neglected strand of such work: frequently owned by elite women and written in French, late medieval francophone devotion in England was free from the attention of medieval clerical censors and also largely free from that of modern scholars. But there are large numbers of French-language devotional and thelogical texts composed and translated in England and circulating there from abroad and they are by no means uninteresting or dull in their perceived orthodoxy.
Conference Name: KIngs College London, Centre for Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages