Medieval Studies Lecture Series 2018-2019 - Polanichka - October 4, 2018

Mother Knows Best: What Dhuoda Can Teach Us about Gender, Book Culture, and Politics in the Carolingian World Medieval Lecture Series


Among the many treasures of the Carolingian world is a lengthy handbook written by an aristocratic woman named Dhuoda (c. 800–c. 843 CE). Deeply personal and incredibly learned, the Liber manualis affords this mother her only opportunity to connect to two distant sons: a fourteen-year-old serving as a political hostage at the court of Charles the Bald and an infant taken from her arms while still nursing. This talk will explore what Dhuoda's handbook reveals about Carolingian conceptions of gender, the central role of reading in aristocratic Christian life, and the reach of political communication across both geographical expanses and gendered divisions.



Dana Polanichka

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DANA POLANICHKA is Associate Professor of History at Wheaton College. Her interests include late antique and medieval intellectual and cultural history, especially medieval conceptions of sacred space, Christian rituals, liturgical performance, art and architecture; Carolingian history and historiography; gender, sexuality, and the conception of scandal at the Carolingian court; legacies of Roman history, literature, art, architecture, and ritual in the medieval world.


Thursday, October 4, 2018 - 4:30pm
St. Jerome's University Academic Centre, Room 2002
Reception begins at 4:30 p.m., with lecture to follow.
Sponsored by: 

Presented by St. Jerome's University Medieval Studies and the University of Waterloo.