Morality plays are neither known nor studied for their serious contemplative content, much less their contemplative efficacy, partially because the plays seem so entrenched in the absurd, the grotesque, and the scatological. But these absurdist and comedic elements are part and parcel of the highly participatory mode of contemplation that these late medieval plays enact. In this lecture, CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Eleanor Johnson (Assistant Professor, English & Comparative Literature, Columbia University) explores how informal language, colloquialism, and comedy, far from
derogating the contemplative work of these plays, facilitate and strengthen their contemplative efficacy.
Co-sponsored by the UCLA Department of English.
Advance registration not required. No fee. Limited seating.
Funding for CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholars is provided by the Humanities Division, UCLA College of Letters and Sciences, and the Armand Hammer Endowment for the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.