ANST - Final Announcement: Alexandrian Company Symposium on Medieval Women

Gunnora Hallakarva gunnora at
Mon Aug 25 07:35:40 PDT 1997

Sael og heil!

Just a final reminder that the Alexandrian Company Symposium on Medieval
Women will be held this coming Saturday, August 30, in San Marcos, Texas.  

If you plan to attend, please take a moment to pre-register for classes,
either by sending email to Gunnora Hallakarva (gunnora at or you can
use the automatic registration method on the webpage for the Symposium
located at:

Also see our alternate website located at: 

For those who will not be able to attend this particular Alexandrian
Company Symposium, we will be producing a complete Symposium Proceedings
publication for sale, details of which will be made available on the
webpage and directly to this forum as well.  Contact Gunnora
(gunnora at for details or to be placed on the list to be notified
directly when the publication becomes available.

Do be sure to check the Symposium website in the future also, as the
Alexandrian Company will use the web page to announce future Symposia,
other publications of the Comnpany, as well as presenting scholarly
articles, bibliographies, and other information of interest.

I hope to see you all at the symposium!

Herein is the final version of the class schedule for the Alexandrian
Society Symposium on Medieval Women to be held in San Marcos, Texas (Shire
of Ffynnon Gath, Ansteorra) on August 30, 1997.

This Symposium is unusual for the SCA, as we have a number of university
faculty members who will be presenting classes, SCA members who also are
faculty members, and SCA members who are not presently members of a
university faculty.

Contact Mistress Gunnora Hallakarva (gunnora at for registration and
further information.  

Class coordinator is Mistress Mari ferch Rathtyen (hjt at

The Alexandrian Society is a group dedicated to the sponsorship of serious
scholarship within the S.C.A. Our members have undertaken to advance the
cause of education and in-depth knowledge of the medieval period in a
variety of ways, including symposia and publications.  We hope to quickly
make a Symposium Proceedings publication available for purchase after the
Women's Symposium.  For inquiries about purchasing the Proceedings of the
Alexandrian Society Symposium on Medieval Women, please contact Mistress
Gunnora (gunnora at

Upcoming Alexandrian Symposia are being planned now on a variety of
subjects.  If you have suggestions for further Symposium topics, please
contact Mistresses Gunnora, Mari, Siobhan, or Clare.

830 AM	Registration and set up

10 AM
* Isabella of Castille - G.E. Martt (Master Thomas of Tenby).  An overview of 
  the life and times of Queen Isabella.  
* Day in the Life of a Lady of the Manor -- Pam Martin (Mistress Jehanne 
  d'Avignon). This will be an in-persona presentation about the
  of a 15th c. noblewoman at the manor and court.

11 AM
* Simple Annihilated Souls: The Beguines -- N.D. Wederstrandt (Mistress
  Clare Rosmuire St. John)  An examination of the Beguines, a female
  religious and mystican movement which began in the 13th c.
* Women and the Textile Arts -- Terry Harper (Rhiane ferch Muirgeall)  Why
  were spinning, weaving and cloth-making considered "women's work" and how
  did they come to be?  This class will focus on the symbolism of textiles and
  tools of early civilization. The love affair between women and weaving
began in
  antiquity and came to be symbolic of womanhood.

12 PM
* The Trobaritz -- Susan Rachel (Kate Sommerfield)  Not only men wrote the
   songs and poetry at the heart of the Court of Love in 11th and 12th c.
   France.  Women also participated, and often had a more realistic view.  
* Women and Magic in the Sagas -- Christie Ward (Mistress Gunnora
  Hallakarva)  A presentation of some literary evidence of the practice of
  "seidh", or "women's magic" in the Scandinavian tradition.

1 PM
* Medieval Contraception (NC-17) -- Monica Hartley (Mistress Rose Stewart
  Cathan)  Though often ignored, there is a great deal of evidence that birth
  control and family planning was practiced from antiquity.  How effective
  was it?  You might be surprised.   
* The Benedictine Reform in 10th c. England -- Greg Rose, Ph.D. (Hossein al
  Qomi)  Did the exclusion of women from "formal culture" in England arise
  from this monastic reform?  Dr. Rose examines this question in his

2 PM
* Prostitutes and Courtesans -- Donna Cunningham (Galla Cunningham)  A look
  at the laws and social views affecting prostitution in the Middle Ages and
  why the church and government not only tolerated it, but supported it.  
* Women in the Trades and Guilds -- Robert Ferrell (Master Cynric of
  Bedwyn)  It's often assumed that medieval town life was a man's world, but
  women interacted and ran thriving businesses throughout this time period.
  This class will examine the documentary evidence.

3 PM
* Women Warriors and War Leaders -- Karen Moon (Mistress Mari 
   ferch Rathtyen)  Women warriors appeared in period from ancient 
   times to the High Middle Ages.  How common was it?  What 
  cultures tolerated or even supported this behavior?  And why were 
  female leaders followed in battle?  Find out more in this class.   
* Hidden Lives: Middle Class Women -- Catherine Campbell (Mistress Siobhan
  FitzLloyd)  How did middle class women relate to their husbands, families,
  livelihoods and faith?  And how much do they differ from middle class women
  today?  This class will look at the documentary evidence.

4 PM
* Medieval Russian Women -- Masha Holl, Ph.D. (Predslava Vidrina)  This
  class will examine the laws, customs and literature pertaining to Russian
  women in the Middle Ages.  How different were their lives from their
  Western sisters, and even from Russian women today?  
* Merovingian Sexual Politics -- Carolle Ternus (Radegund)  The "Dark Ages"
  is often given short shrift in histories, but "France" in the centuries
  the fall of Rome was a hotbed of religious, political and sexual
intrigue, and 
  the women are the best characters!

5 PM
* Transvestite Saints -- Madeline Pepin, Ph.D.  "Gender bending" has a long
  and colorful history.  A look at some women who posed as men and got away
  with it.
* Music in the Cloister -- Grace Morris, Ph.D. (Mistress Jessamyn di
   Piemonte)  Women religious composers and their music.  A discography 
   will be included in the handout.

Following the end of classes, there will be an in-costume reception & revel. 

Also, those of you who currently practice tradition "women's crafts" such
as textile arts, etc., or who have friends and apprentices who do, please
plan to spend some time in the "work room" where we hope to have ongoing
demonstrations of these crafts.  

Wæs Þu Hæl (Waes Thu Hael)


Gunnora Hallakarva
Ek eigi visa þik hversu oðlask Lofstirrlauf-Kruna heldr hversu na Hersis-Aðal
(Ek eigi thik hversu odhlask Lofstirrlauf-Kruna heldr hversu na Hersis-Adhal)


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