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Events > 2019

22. Who Am I When I Am Dead?

15 October 2019, 15:00 - 16:00


Study Event

Thumbnail of The Weston Library: Lecture Theatre

The Weston Library: Lecture Theatre

Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BG

We spend the afternoon in late-medieval France, where cultural representations of the dead proliferated, functioning not only as memento mori to encourage moral living but also as imaginative experiments posing questions about what constitutes human identity and who defines a person when they die. Helen Swift, author of the acclaimed book Representing the Dead, considers the relationship between body, voice, and text in the composition of posthumous reputation, tracing in particular two mythical figures born in fifteenth-century literature, the Belle Dame sans Merci and François Villon.

Artist Portrait

Dr Helen Swift

Dr Helen Swift


Helen Swift’s research interests straddle the late medieval and early modern periods, looking at the poetics of vernacular literature between 1330 and 1550. Her work is interdisciplinary, in that it often involves visual studies of text-image relationships, as well as studying the history of the book in this period of transition between manuscript and print cultures. She also integrates critical theory into her work as a tool for opening up new perspectives on earlier literature to modern readers. Her first book examined the literary a... Read Full Biography

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This event is part of a series:

Tales of Beyond - Magic, Myths and Mortals

The 18th Oxford Lieder Festival will explore life, death, and the mysterious areas between and beyond. Sprites and nymphs cause mayhem and mischief, while legends abound from Greco-Roman sagas to the Lorelei and the Erlking. Storytelling with the Crick Crack Club, a ghost tour, a magic show and more all complement the myriad concerts, masterclasses and study events over a packed fortnight....