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Medieval Women in their third age: middle age in the middle ages


Funded by the British Academy and the Royal Historical Society, this interdisciplinary conference was hosted by IMEMS and Bangor’s School of English, and held at Bangor University on 12-14 September, 2007. The conference examined what it meant to be a middle-aged woman in the Middle Ages, and posed radical and provocative questions about when a woman was perceived to be middle aged in this period. What did this mean for her self perception and how she was perceived by others? An audience of graduate students, members of the public and of the scholarly community heard talks on wives, widows and anchoresses, women’s speech, sexuality and burial practices by Jane Geddes, Roberta Gilchrist, Clare Lees, Nicola McDonald, Carol Meale, Sue Niebrzydowski, Helen Phillips, Raluca Radulescu, Sara Elin Roberts, Corinne Saunders and Diane Watt, drawn from a range of related disciplines: literature, history, archaeology, art history and law. The conference examined medieval ‘matron power’ and concluded that this period in a woman’s life was not one spent idling away the hours with a medieval romance. The event aroused great interest and was featured on local and international radio, and in the local and national press. The conference papers are forthcoming in a volume from Boydell and Brewer edited by the conference organiser, Dr Sue Niebrzydowski





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