The fourth session of the programme will consist of four 15-minute graduate papers followed by 30 minutes discussion of them.
Tanya Heath - MSt in Historical Studies
The Ordering of Sin? The function of late-medieval wall-paintings of the Seven Deadly Sins
English parish churches contain twenty-one surviving late-medieval wall-paintings of the Seven Deadly Sins. Conventionally understood to be simply education for the medieval parishioner, this paper explores the place of the Seven Sins in medieval piety and the function of wall-paintings which adorn the churches. It argues that the paintings may have had a more active role in devotional practice and particularly in the performance of the rite of confession.
Siyao Jiang - MSt in Historical Studies
Illustrating the others: the medieval European perception of the world 1368 – 1412, throughthe illuminated manuscript of Marco Polo’s Le Livre des Merveilles du Monde
The extravagant French manuscript of Marco Polo’s wonders of the world was commissioned in 1412 by the Duke of Burgundy, John the Fearless, and illustrated by the Boucicaut Master. Made more than a century after the compiling of Polo’s travelling tales in 1298, the manuscript’s visual representation of the unknown world deviates many times from the original text and offers a unique opportunity to analyse the same subject matter across different time periods. This paper compares the inconsistency between the original Polo text and contemporary visual sources from other cultures and explores the medieval European perception of the world between 1368 and 1412 with particular focus on imagined identity, invented exoticism, biased gender status, urban space, and violence.
Steven Moxey - MSt in Historical Studies
Listening to the People: The Evolution of Home Intelligence in the Ministry of Information during World War II?
At the start of World War II, the Ministry of Information had a poor reputation: Anuerin Bevan remarked ‘the impression is now that if the Germans do not bomb us to death the Ministry of Information will bore us to death’. The Collecting Division, responsible for Intelligence gathering, was shut down in September 1939, but was reconstituted a month later under Mary Adams as the Home Intelligence Division. The new division made major contributions during the war, including the founding of the War-time Social Survey, Special Reports into post-war reconstruction, and systematic Weekly Reports from a network of over 4,000 correspondents and Regional Intelligence officers. This paper seeks to draw attention to the evolution of Home Intelligence during the war under the leadership of Mary Adams and later Dr Stephen Taylor.
Craig Patterson - MLA
‘“Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown” [Henry IV, Part II, Act 3, Scene I, 31): melancholy and kingship as represented by Shakespeare’.
This paper investigates the origin, expression and impact of melancholy on three of Shakespeare’s kings: Richard II, Henry IV, and King Lear. It discusses the ways in which Shakespeare explores kingship and melancholy and how he represents the connection between these two concepts. It explores the meanings and connotations behind Shakespeare’s language in the word field of sadness, melancholy and mental/emotional processes related to kingship.