Dancing with Death at Cal U - NewsDancing with Death at Cal U - News

Dancing With Death

Dancing with Death

"Dancing with Death: Warfare, Wounds & Disease in the Middle Ages" is a three-day medieval event dedicated to an exploration of  medieval warfare, to the trauma and disease attendant on it, and to the medical care provided by medieval people to victims of these disasters.

We begin with a day centered on warfare, with a discussion of medieval military history and how our understanding of the subject has evolved. This is followed by a debate on the lethal efficiency of the longbow, and accompanied by a display of longbows and demonstrations of historically accurate fencing. Throughout the day, Friesian horses, the closest living descendants of medieval warhorses, will be on display at the entrance to campus.

Our second day opens with a talk on how to combine an interest in drama with fencing, and then moves to our keynote address, which examines the reality of medieval medical care, as opposed to the stereotypes about it which we usually entertain. We also have a report on what may be learned about trauma and disease by investigating human remains in Asia. Demonstrations of historical fencing and of Friesian horses continue.

On our third and final day, we investigate ways of learning about medieval disease and trauma in the Middle Ages with a lecture on paleopathology (the archaeological study of disease). We pause to consider the literary representations of violence and trauma, and end our series of talks with an analysis of a mass grave from the 15th century Wars of the Roses in England. Also available is a workshop on Beowulf, to prepare participants for the final treat: a performance, in Anglo-Saxon, of Beowulf as it might have been heard in a medieval hall. The fencing and equine demonstrations continue throughout Friday as well.

Receptions from 4-5 p.m. each day offer a chance to meet the speakers face to face, and speakers' books may be purchased in the lobby of Steele after each talk. Speakers will be signing books inside Steele Hall Mainstage Theatre between 3 and 4 p.m. Friday.

Schedule of Events

Wednesday, October 20

Morning Events

9:30 a.m.-12:00 noon
Friesian horse display
Mark & Michelle Corll, Corll Horsemanship Training
Entrance to campus

10:00-11:00 a.m.
Historical fencing demo
John Lennox & Steve Huff, experts in historical combat techniques
Turf field beside Natali Student Center

11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon
"What is Medieval Military History and Why Does It Matter?"
Prof. John France (University of Wales-Swansea, emeritus)
Steele Hall Mainstage Theatre

Afternoon Events

12:00 noon-4:00 p.m.
Friesian horse display
Mark & Michelle Corll, Corll Horsemanship Training
Entrance to campus

1:00-2:00 p.m.
Historical fencing demo
John Lennox & Steve Huff, experts in historical combat techniques
Turf field beside Natali Student Center

1:00-2:00 p.m.
Longbow display
J. L. Lash
Steele Hall Mainstage Theatre

2:00-3:30 p.m.
"How Effective Was the Longbow, and What Damage Did It Do?"
A debate between Prof. Kelly DeVries (Loyola University-Maryland) & Prof. Cliff Rogers (US Military Academy-West Point)
Steele Hall Mainstage Theatre

3:30-5:00 p.m.
Continued longbow display
J. L. Lash
Steele Hall Mainstage Theatre

4:00-5:00 p.m.
Reception (open to public)
Johnson Hall Multipurpose Room

Thursday, October 21

Morning Events

9:00-10:00 a.m.
"Fencing, Theatre, Film and Careers"
Dr. John Lennox, Fight Director and Instructor for Art of Combat
Steele Hall Mainstage Theatre

9:30 a.m.-12:00 noon
Friesian horse display
Mark & Michelle Corll, Corll Horsemanship Training
Entrance to campus

10:00-11:00 a.m.
Historical fencing demo
Members of the Cal U Fencing Club
Turf field beside Natali Student Center

11:00-12:00 noon
Keynote Address:  "Medieval Medical Care: Stereotypes and Reality"
Dr. Piers Mitchell (Cambridge University & Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons)
Steele Hall Mainstage Theatre

Afternoon Events

12:00 noon-4:00 p.m.
Friesian horse display
Mark & Michelle Corll, Corll Horsemanship Training
Entrance to campus

1:00-2:00 p.m.
Historical fencing demo
John Lennox & Steve Huff, experts in historical combat techniques
Turf field beside Natali Student Center

2:00-3:00 p.m.
"Trauma Patterns within the Mongol Empire"
Dr. Christine Lee (Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Beijing)
Steele Hall Mainstage Theatre

4:00-5:00 p.m.
Reception (open to public)
Johnson Hall Multipurpose Room

Friday, October 22

Morning Events

9:00-10:00 a.m.
Historical fencing demo
John Lennox & Steve Huff, experts in historical combat techniques
Turf field beside Natali Student Center

9:30 a.m.-12:00 noon
Friesian horse display
Mark & Michelle Corll, Corll Horsemanship Training
Entrance to campus

10:00-11:00 a.m.
"Paleopathology: the Archaeology of Health in the Past"
Dr. Piers Mitchell (Cambridge University)
Steele Hall Mainstage Theatre

11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon
"The Succor of Horror: Finding Pleasure in Pain in the Middle Ages"
Prof. Anthony Adams (Brown University)
Steele Hall Mainstage Theatre

11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon
Historical fencing demo
John Lennox & Steve Huff, experts in historical combat techniques
Turf field beside Natali Student Center

Afternoon Events

12:00 noon-4:00 p.m.
Friesian horse display
Mark & Michelle Corll, Corll Horsemanship Training
Entrance to campus

12:00 noon-1:00 p.m.
Workshop in Beowulf
Mr. Benjamin Bagby (founder of early music group Sequentia)
Steele Hall Mainstage Theatre

2:00-3:00 p.m.
"Blood Red Roses: Paleopathology and the Battle of Towton"
Dr. Anthea Boylston (University of Bradford, UK)
Steele Hall Mainstage Theatre

3:00-4:00 p.m.
Book signing by speakers
On-stage, Steele Great Hall

4:00-5:00 p.m.
Reception (open to public)
Johnson Hall Multipurpose Room

7:30-9:30 p.m.
Closing Performance: Beowulf
A performance in Anglo-Saxon by
Mr. Benjamin Bagby
Steele Hall Mainstage Theatre

Beowulf by Bagby

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Links

Speaker Biographies

What is Beowulf?

Benjamin Bagby

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