The Société Rencesvals was founded in 1955 to “promote the study of romance epics.” But what does it mean, today, to promote the study of a literary genre in which Europe, Christendom, victory, heroism and other valorized terms are too often defined in violent opposition to racial, religious, and cultural others? How do we handle the key concepts and narrative structures of the medieval epic—heroism, lineage, holy war, invasion, defense of the homeland—in the current cultural climate, and especially in the classroom? What kind of scholarly community exists, and how can we account for and move beyond that community's omissions, exclusions, blind spots?
Call for Papers
“Medieval Counter-Cultures: Then and Now”
A paper panel and a roundtable
International Medieval Congress at Kalamazoo, May 7-10, 2020
Sponsored by the Medieval Studies Institute of Indiana University, Bloomington
The Medieval Studies Institute of Indiana University invites proposals for its two sponsored sessions at the 55th International Congress on Medieval Studies (May 7-10, 2020) at Kalamazoo: A paper panel on “Medieval Counter-Cultures I: Then” and a Roundtable on “Medieval Counter-Cultures II: Now.”
Recent scholarship on Chaucer has focused on his global influences and receptions. But how global was England in the century after Chaucer? This panel will explore this question, seeking answers in discussion of previously overlooked texts (such as Lydgate’s Fabula Duorum Mercatorum), consideration of source study, and pedagogical practice. This panel hopes to illuminate global roads into and outward from English literature of the fifteenth century, examining how its authors perceived and represented cultures and peoples far afield from their own, but also considering how those authors’ works were received, and how we view them today both in our scholarship and in the classroom.
Lydgate’s relationship with women was complicated. Within 200 lines of one poem, he denigrates their instability and denounces another author’s misogyny. Beyond the treatment of women in his works, he counted several influential women among his patrons. Political and religious extremists of our own time have attempted to appropriate medieval studies for patriarchal purposes, and we must challenge these views by fully explicating the complexities of texts about and connected to women. This roundtable solicits brief papers exploring Lydgate’s relationship with women as characters and patrons. We will attempt to untangle the various threads of Lydgate’s treatment of and relationship to women.
A full 43% of Lydgate’s works in the DIMEV have no print or online editions. Rather than situating Lydgate in relation to his “big works” that have (sometimes multiple) editions – “Siege of Thebes,” “Troy Book,” and “Fall of Princes” – we should take our cue from Thomas Warton, who in 1840 wrote that “to enumerate Lydgate’s pieces, would be to write the catalogue of a little library.” We invite proposals addressing “Lydgate’s Little Library” – those pieces that demonstrate his “versatility of talents” (to quote Warton) and do not get the scholarly or pedagogical attention that his larger works do.
The Early Proverb Society emphasizes the functions of that mobile, morphic form, the proverb. EPS showcases our readings at a round table (three to four discussants and one respondent) and a panel of papers (three speakers) at the 55th Congress, May 7-10, 2020. All methodological approaches are welcomed warmly.
Round table: Medieval Proverbs: Exchanges, Clashes, and Transactions
Medieval animal studies has tended to privilege literary and encyclopedic texts, viewing animals within Aristotelian hierarchies of rationality, while research on animals in medieval medicine has focused on their use as ingredients, rather than their potential status as patients. There have been few discussions of animals and humans in relationships of care, or of animals as the recipients of medical treatment. In this panel, we seek to expand these conversations by centering veterinary medicine, including treatment manuals (e.g., hawking handbooks), literary representations of veterinary practices (e.g., romance heroes caring for horses), and other genres that concern the (un)ethical, (il)legal, or (im)proper treatment, training, or keeping of animals.
The Marches of Britain and Ireland, 1100-1400, International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, 6-9 July 2020
Sponsors: Medieval and Early Modern Research Initiative, Cardiff University and the Welsh Chronicles Research Group, Bangor University
The Games Culture Society showcases the importance of games —and their various manifestations — in medieval culture. Importantly, the theoretical implications of games extends beyond the temporal and spatial borders of the game space itself into larger aesthetic, ethical, cultural, and social arenas. The GCS serves to highlight the importance and multivalent purpose of games in medieval culture as a way to understand better their function in society both then and now. We are pleased to announce the following Calls For Papers for the 55th International Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo, May 7 – 10, 2020: