Vortrag: Prof. Dr. Robert Mills, University College London (UCL)

Date(s) - 18/07/2018
18:15 - 20:15

HU Hauptgebäude, Hörsaal 3075
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Vortrag (in Englischer Sprache):
Prof. Dr. Robert Mills, University College London (UCL)

How to Do Things with Fur: Hunting, Wild Folk and the Limits of the Human

This paper investigates fur’s mobilisation within the late medieval spectacle of sovereignty. Focusing especially on depictions of the noble hunt in late medieval art, I show how fur registers as a site of both violence and proximity between ‘human’ and ‘animal’. Calling into question the assumption that, in the Middle Ages, these categories principally operated as indivisible abstractions, I also analyse fur’s role in separating humans from one another, notably as a means of laying claim to sovereignty. Representations of wild people (also often implicated in acts of hunting) further support my contention that fur did not simply work to clarify the definitional boundaries of humanity but contributed to a growing uncertainty concerning the limits of the ‘human’. Finally, I consider the extent to which ‘animal’ itself is a category that admits division in medieval art. What taxonomies were available in this period to facilitate the differentiation of furry creatures from other species of living thing?

Prof. Dr. Kathrin Müller
Professur für Bildkulturen im Mittelalter