THE ENGLISH JOAN OF ARC: Saint, Witch, Man, Maid, or Whore
Gail Orgelfinger, Senior Lecturer Emerita in English at UMBC
Tuesday, October 29, 2019 · 4 PM - 5:30 PM
Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MEMS) Colloquium
Because the English were ultimately responsible for executing Joan of Arc, the usual view of their changing judgments of her is a progressive one—from witch to heroine to saint. However, their opinions prove to be much more varied and nuanced, encompassing praise, blame, and uneasiness all within 200 years of her death. This talk discusses some of these complex reactions from English historians, playwrights, and biographers through the Early Modern era.
Bio: Gail Orgelfinger, Senior Lecturer Emerita in English, received a B.A. in English from The George Washington University, graduating With Distinction, With Departmental Honors, and Phi Beta Kappa. She earned her A.M. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, specializing in English and French medieval literature. Her dissertation, revised and published by Garland Medieval Texts, was an edition of The Hystorye of Olyuer of Castylle (New York: Garland, 1988). She received an NEH grant to study “Lay Life in the Middle Ages” at Indiana University, developing an interest in chivalric narrative. She recently contributed the annotations for “Joan d’Arc” to a new edition of Mary Hays’s Female Biography: Memoirs of Women Writers, ed. Anna M. Fitzer & Gina Luria Walker, eds., Part II (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2012). She is a Founding Member of the International Joan of Arc Society. Her most recent book is, Joan of Arc in the English Imagination, 1429–1829 (Penn State University Press, 2018)
A reception will follow the lecture.