So, I shall be attending – and presenting at – a symposium at ANU next month. Said symposium is promisingly titled The Lighter Side of the Middle Ages (link goes to the CFP, now closed).
As can be expected, the draft program includes many entertaining and some groan-worthy puns. I myself can take claim for the (completely terrible) title “Tournaments and Tweens”, which is my idea of a snappy way of talking about Sir Gawain and the adorable small girl. My colleagues from USyd are set to talk about humorous vegetables, seriously merry men, and jokes against the English, while an enterprising researcher from ANU proposes to answer the question “What Have the Middle Ages Ever Done For Us?” Also on the program are fools, pilgrimages, satires, monastic humour, and – of course – Beowulf.
An entire day of medieval humour! And an entire day of medievalist humour. Oh dear. Also, a lovely chance to spend some time in Canberra – they have an academic remainders bookstore there, you know. I shall report back after the event, hopefully with an answer to the question of “What Have the Middle Ages Ever Done For Us?”, and, failing that, with humorous vegetables.