Sheila Delany: 1 March 2013
15 February 2013 Comments Off on Sheila Delany: 1 March 2013
Buchanan Tower 826
Sheila Delany (Emerita Professor of English, Simon Fraser University)
“An atheist egalitarian in the French Revolution: Introducing Sylvain Maréchal”
The Middle Ages was far from dead at the time of the French Revolution of 1789; to bring an end to feudal institutions was one aim of the new National Assembly. For Sylvain Maréchal (1750-1803)—classicist, poet, librarian, editor of an influential radical journal, and militant atheist—helping with the ideological side of that project was his contribution. His all-female satirical legendary (collection of saints’ lives) was meant as one weapon in that arsenal. The Nouvelle légende dorée (1790), now translated by Dr. Delany in Anti-saints (University of Alberta Press, 2012) uses various techniques to undercut and deconstruct the conventions and the ideology of hagiography. In her talk, Dr. Delany will sketch some of Maréchal’s methods, along with the social and cultural context of his work.
Sheila Delany is emerita professor of English at Simon Fraser University. She is the author of ten books, including Chaucer’s House of Fame: The Politics of Skeptical Fideism (1972), Chaucer and the Jews (2002), and ‘Turn It Again’: Jewish Medieval Studies and Literary Theory (2007). Her most recent book is titled Anti-Saints: The New Golden Legend of Sylvain Maréchal (2011). Dr. Delany retired in 2006. Two medieval journals—Exemplaria and Florilegium—honoured her career with special issues.