The first research forum of the academic year 2016–17 took place on 27 October 2016. The papers presented were Barbora Bartosova’s ‘Search for Tradition in Modern Art’ and James Turner’s ‘Illegitimacy and Power: Anglo-Norman and Angevin Illegitimate Royal Children within Twelfth Century Aristocratic Society’.
Babora’s paper started from Walter Benjamin’s obligation that modernity can be defined as the continued loss of tradition. Thus, the paper asked: what does tradition mean in modern art? Drawing together different artistic movements such as the Italian futurists, the expressionists, post-expressionists and situationalists, Barbora’s paper detailed the ways in which modern artistic traditions have formed themselves around conscious ruptures with the past and engagement with American capitalist culture.
James’ paper was a whistle-stop tour through various royal bastards in the Anglo-Norman and Angevin middle ages. Following the changes in religious attitudes to marriage the royal bastard emerged as a distinct political occupation or persona. James detailed the ways in which royal illegitimate children could be used to solidify royal and aristocratic power—either by way of marriage or promotion to ecclesiastical office.
It was a great evening and a wonderful start to this year’s series, and we will see many more fascinating postgraduate talks throughout the year!