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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Event Archive

Emotion, Resistance, and the Reformation in the Diary of Caritas Pirckheimer

13th December 2016, 18:00, Durham World Heritage Site Visitor Centre, Dr Elizabeth Goodwin, Department of History, University of Sheffield

This event is free to attend and open to all. The seminar will begin at 6pm, with tea and biscuits from 5.40pm.

Abstract: Caritas Pirckheimer, an abbess at the Nuremburg convent of St Clare’s, recorded the ‘dangerous, rebellious times’ of the German Reformation in her journal, imbuing and framing events with the passion and emotion of women whose lives were changed dramatically. Recording the forced, violent removal of screaming daughters from the convent by their mothers, angry letters from the City Council who questioned the very existence and ‘rightness’ of the convent and the sorrowful reactions of the women under her care, Caritas uses emotion not only as a rhetoric tool to convince the reader, but to enable her to record the events around her with a sense of their individual narrative. Using methodology utilised in emotional histories of late medieval and early modern studies, this paper will explore the ways in which Caritas uses, references and explores her own emotions and those of the men and women around them, and how these emotional responses and narratives fit within a wider Late Medieval and Reformation context for women religious.

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