Moving Subjects

Processional Performance in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance


Volume Editors: and
Procession, arguably the most ubiquitous and versatile public performance mode until the seventeenth century, has received little scholarly or theoretical attention. Yet, this form of social behaviour has been so thoroughly naturalised in our accounts of western European history that it merited little comment as a cultural performance choice over many centuries until recently, when a generation of cultural historians using explanatory models from anthropology called attention to the processional mode as a privileged vehicle for articulation in its society. Their analyses, however, tended to focus on the issue of whether processions produced social harmony or reinforced social distinctions, potentially leading to conflict. While such questions are not ignored in this collection of essays, its primary purpose is to reflect upon salient theatrical aspects of processions that may help us understand how in the performance of “moving subjects” they accomplished their often transformative cultural work.

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”…a richly detailed and thoughtful study…” in: Speculum, Oct. 2004
Kathleen ASHLEY: Introduction: The Moving Subjects of Processional Performance
C. Clifford FLANIGAN (†) : The Moving Subject: Medieval Liturgical Processions in Semiotic and Cultural Perspective
Kathleen ASHLEY & Pamela SHEINGORN: Sainte Foy on the Loose, Or, The Possibilities of Procession
Thomas A. BOOGAART II: Our Saviour’s Blood: Procession and Community in Late Medieval Bruges
Elizabeth A.R. BROWN & Nancy FREEMAN REGALADO: Universitas et communitas: The Parade of the Parisians at the Pentecost Feast of 1313
Jesse D. HURLBUT: The Duke’s First Entry: Burgundian Inauguration and Gift
Donald PERRET: The Meaning of the Mystery: From Tableaux to Theatre in the French Royal Entry
Theodore K. LERUD: Quick Images: Memory and the English Corpus Christi Drama
James D. STOKES: Processional Entertainments in Villages and Small Towns
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