Virginia Langum:

  • Date: –17:00
  • Location: Engelska parken - Eng6-0031
  • Organiser: The Department of Literature
  • Contact person: Anna Williams
  • Seminarium

The General Seminar - Literature

Virginia Langum, Pro Futura Researcher at SCAS: "Motives of Melancholy: Medieval and Modern Perspectives on Gender, Mental Illness and Articulation"

Chair: Williams

This talk explores theories of melancholy, both medieval and modern, in relation to two medieval female mystics: Julian of Norwich (d. c. 1416) and Margery Kempe (d. c. 1438). Historically, melancholy was not only understood as a medical and psychological condition, but one that could also affect spiritual and creative capacities. Thus, it serves as a particularly apt lens through which to explore how particular physiological and emotional experiences, such as postpartum depression and lovesickness, relate to particular bodies and their possibilities for expression. The talk will also explore the implications of reading earlier texts as "case studies." 

Virginia Langum is Docent of English literature at Umeå University and Pro Futura Scientia Fellow at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study. She is author of Medicine and the Seven Deadly Sins in Late Medieval Literature and Culture and co-editor of Words and Matter: the Virgin Mary in Late Medieval and Early Modern Parish Life.