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Linked by a Mind’s Cord’: Metonymy, Falconry, and Ecofeminism

Event Type
Medieval Studies
Lucy Ellis Lounge, LCLB 1080
Sep 13, 2023   5:00 - 6:30 pm   6:30
Sara Petrosillo, University of Evansville
Originating Calendar
Medieval Studies

In the Middle Ages, men and women read, wrote about, and practiced falconry, the art of training birds of prey to hunt with humans. This talk explores how medieval people’s immersion in falconry culture produced a poetics of control in their approach to other arts, not ostensibly related to birds at all. And one of the results of this poetics of control was an enduring influence on discourses and representations of female bodies— control of women in a social hierarchy, but also control of their bodies through language, namely pun and metaphor. Frederick II of Hohenstaufen’s thirteenth century falconry treatise illuminated with over 900 illustrations and a sonnet authored by a female member of his poet-falconer milieu will provide the visual and poetic backdrop for this exploration of falconry’s gendered influence on medieval poetics. 

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