David Traill Lecture: Frank Benzer, Wed. Apr. 20, 4.10pm

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Please join the Classics Department for the fifth annual David Traill Lecture next Wednesday. Refreshments will be provided. Below is a brief abstract

5th Annual David Traill Lecture

Frank Bezner (UC Berkeley)

Subjects of Desire. Rethinking Medieval Latin Love Poetry

Wed. Apr. 20, @4.10pm, 53a Olson Hall

In this talk, Professor Bezner aims to discuss an alternative approach toward the known, but largely undertheorized genre of Medieval Latin Love poetry. These learned poems, he will argue, through their aesthetics, engaged with, naturalized, opposed, or negotiated key problems, concepts, interests, and tensions related to the fraught issue of clerical sexual desire within the emerging clerical culture of the 11th and 12th century; they can thus be understood, rather than in purely formal terms or by evoking the dominant model of Ovid, as plural literary sites in which learned authors develop and negotiate specific, and diverse, intellectual agendas. Particular emphasis will be laid on the question of the speaker or ‘lyrical I’ which will be redefined as a speaking clerical subject faced with sexual desire. After some introductory and conceptual remarks and a review of some scholarly positions, the talk will analyse, in a combination of contextualization, philological analysis, and literary criticism, three constellations: the Loire poets; selected Carmina Burana; and the so-called Arundel poems.