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Durham University

Department of English Studies

Event Archive

This is an archive of past events within the Department of English Studies. Please see our current events for forthcoming activities.

Some of our public events are recorded and are available as podcasts via our Research English At Durham blog.

Medieval flagellants

A Funny Kind of Devotion? Laughter in the Biblical Drama of Late Medieval Towns and Cities

12th May 2016, 14:00 to 14:30, Chapel of the Nine Altars, Durham Cathedral, Jamie Beckett

A free public talk as part of the exhibition Plays, Processions and Parchment: Festive Traditions in the North East of England.

When people think of medieval Christianity they often summon up visions of mumbling monks and self-flagellating martyrs, opulence and grandeur paired up with austerity and strict morality. But where was the laughter? Where were the jokes? (And were they funny?) In this talk we’ll look at some intriguing evidence of popular drama from towns and cities in the North East, giving us a glimpse of a robust performance culture where humour and laughter could be entirely bound up with devotion.

Contact for more information about this event.

Related Links


Research in English At Durham (READ) blog showcasing the the literary research emerging from the Department of English Studies


We host a large number of conferences, lectures and seminars each year, many of them open to the public. Find out more on our Events page.


Many of our public lectures, seminars and conferences are recorded, and can be listened to as podcasts.

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