Helen Dell

Dr Helen Dell is an Honorary Associate Investigator (AI 2013) and a Project-to-Publications fellow (2017) with the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (Europe 1100‒1800), and an Honorary Research Fellow in the School of  Culture and Communication at The University of Melbourne.  Her recent research interests have centred on medievalism, sometimes called the afterlife of the Middle Ages, linking the study, performance and reception of medieval music with the widespread nostalgia for the medieval, also expressed in the current thirst for medieval fantasy fiction and film. Helen’s research in medieval studies and medievalism has benefitted from her work as a medieval musician. Her particular research interests at present are medieval song, its performance, study, recording and modern reception, both popular and scholarly; nostalgia, particularly in relation to the Middle Ages; music in relation to death and mourning; theories of emotion, particularly emotions related to loss, mortality and bereavement. Song, as a fusion of words and music, is often central in her work, in particular the effects of poetic and musical form on the song’s ‘message’, and the emotional effects of formal elements combined with the singing voice on the listener.

Contact

helendell@internode.on.net
Academia

Research

Longing for the Medieval

Singing Death: Reflections on Music and Mortality

Areas of current research:

  • Music and mortality
  • Medieval French crusade songs
  • Heroes and monsters in modern musical interpretations of Beowulf
  • Nostalgia and medievalism
  • Music and medievalism
  • Hearing/feeling space and the body in medieval French song

Publications

2016 publications now in print are listed on Minerva. Some older essays can be viewed and downloaded in full on Academia.edu.au.

Books

‘Fantasies of Music in Nostalgic Medievalism’. Nearing completion.

Dell, H. and H. Hickey, eds. Singing Death: Reflections on Music and Mortality. London: Routledge (Ashgate), 2017.

Dell, H. Desire by Gender and Genre in Trouvère Song. Suffolk: D. S. Brewer (series: Gallica), 2008.

Book chapters

Dell, H. ‘Music for the Dead and the Living’. Editor’s Introduction for Singing Death: Reflections on Music and Mortality, edited by H. Dell and H. Hickey. London: Routledge (Ashgate), 2017.

Dell, H. ‘Dying for Love in Trouvère Song’. Singing Death: Reflections on Music and Mortality, edited by H. Dell and H. Hickey. London: Routledge (Ashgate), 2017.

Dell, H. ‘Musical Medievalism and the Harmony of the Spheres’. In Cambridge Companion to Medievalism, edited by L. D’Arcens, pp. 60‒74. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2016,.

Dell, H. ‘Haunting Music: Hearing the Voices of the Dead’. InMusic and Mourning, edited by J. W. Davidson and S. Garrido, pp. 40‒54. London: Routledge (Ashgate), 2016.

Dell, H. ‘The Medieval Voice’. In Since Lacan: Papers of the Freudian School of Melbourne, 25, edited by L. Clifton, 247‒58. London: Karnac, 2016.

Dell, H. ‘The Battle for Reality: Harry Potter and the Christian Right’. In International Medievalism and Popular Culture, edited by L. D’Arcens and A. Lynch, pp. 19‒38. Amherst, New York: Cambria Press, 2013.

Journal articles
Dell, H. ‘Nostalgia and Medievalism: Conversations, Contradictions, Impasses’. Editor’s introduction ‘The Medievalism of Nostalgia’, special issue, postmedieval: journal of medieval cultural studies 2.2 (2011): 115‒26.

Dell, H. ‘“Yearning for the Sweet Beckoning Sound”: Music and Longing in Medievalist Fantasy Fiction’. ‘The Medievalism of Nostalgia’, special issue, postmedieval: journal of medieval cultural studies 2.2 (2011): 171‒85.

Dell, H. ‘Music for Myth and Fantasy in Two Arthurian Films’. ‘Screening Early Europe: Premodern Projections’, special issue, Screening the Past. (2009). No longer accessible.

Dell, H. ‘Past, Present, Future Perfect: Paradigms of History in Medievalism Studies’. Parergon: Journal of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies 25.2 (2008): 58‒79.

Dell, H. ‘Desire and Generic Differentiation in Trouvère Song’. Parergon, Journal of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies 22.1 (2005): 17‒46.

Dell, H. ‘Voices, “Realities” and Narrative Style in the Anonymous Chansons de Toile’. Parergon: New Series 18.2 (2001): 17‒33.

Edited special issues

Dell, H., L. D’Arcens and A. Lynch, eds. ‘The Medievalism of Nostalgia’, special issue, postmedieval 2.2 (2011).

Reviews

Smith, G. L. ‘The Medieval French Pastourelle Tradition’ for Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies, 2010. Helen’s 2016 publications now in print can now be viewed in Minerva.

Events

Dell, H. ‘Feeling for the Pre-Modern Pagan’, CHE Meanings Program Collaboratory ‘Feeling (for) the Pre-Modern’, The University of Western Australia, 2‒3 September 2016.

Dell, H. and H. Hickey (convenors). Symposium/Concert: ‘Singing Death’, The University of Melbourne, August 2013.

Dell, H. (convenor). Symposium/ Troveresse CD Launch: ‘Amor y odio: the Jews in Spain and Beyond’, The University of Melbourne, 22 November 2012. Funded and supported by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (CHE), which explored themes of love and hatred, death and longing, as they are transmitted in the art, literature and music of the Sephardim and in the literature and music that were used as weapons against them.  The CD, La vida es un pasahe, is available from Move Records.

Dell, H. (convenor). Symposium: ‘The Medievalism of Nostalgia’, The University of Melbourne, 27‒28 November 2009, funded by the Australian Research Council Network for Early European Research.

Presentations

Presentation: ‘What To Do With Nostalgia in Medieval and Medievalism Studies?’, Medieval Round Table, The University of Melbourne, 4  September 2017.

Paper: ‘Longing for Belonging in Neo-Pagan YouTube Listener Comments’, International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, 3‒6 July 2017.

Panel paper: ‘The Ironising of Notalgia’, in panel ‘Medievalism and Nostalgia, (organised and moderated by Helen Dell), MAMO (The Middle Ages in the Modern World) Conference, The University of Manchester, 28 June‒1 July 2017. Other panel participants are Mike Rodman Jones (The University of Nottingham) and Aidan Conti (University of Bergen). 11‒12.30pm, 29 June 2017.

 

 

Some of these are available on my Academia page.