Devils are everywhere in medieval literature, disturbing, challenging, and violating conventional spatio-temporal constraints as they move freely between worlds in order to torment the holy, spread disease, and tempt good Christians by making sin seem sweet. They appear as enchanters, tempters, playful tricksters, masked tormentors, terrifying beasts, mankind's lawyerly accusers, and on occasion, as sympathetic figures who happened to be on the losing side of a cosmic war. Although much has been written about how devils are staged, their appearance, and their interaction with those they torment, very little has been written about what devils actually say. How do devils represent themselves and their spaces of punishment?
Recent innovations in narrative medicine, cognitive science, and theories of the body's experience of pain have opened up new paths of inquiry into literary work from the Middle Ages to our own postmodern moment. In an attempt to update and expand upon the early work of George G. Fox on John Gower's relation to and knowledge of the medieval sciences, Accessus seeks essays that focus on one or more of Gower's works in conjunction with medieval treatises, herbals, lapidaries, encyclopedias, health books, and other relevant materials.
The Early Middle English Society invites paper proposals for our session, "'Hit iseie aboc iwrite': Twelfth- and Thirteenth-Century Vernacular Devotional Manuscripts," at the 51st International Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo, 12-15 May 2016. Vernacular texts of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries in England often fall in the gap between the two major fields of literary study, Old English and Middle English. While these texts have begun to receive the scholarly attention they deserve, religious and devotional texts are too often marginalized as not "literary."
Sponsored by AVISTA
AVISTA Prize $200.
For Best original, well-researched and rigorous and best represents aspects of AVISTA's scholarly mission. All abstracts selected for the symposium will be eligible.
Medieval Graduate Student Symposium
The University of North Texas
March 3-4, 2016
"The Technical Details of Everyday Life"
"Behind the Scenes at a Medieval Entertainment"
Call for Papers
Topics from Any Discipline, Any Time-- Late Antique to Early Renaissance
Preference given to those that address the conference theme
Session sponsored by mearcstapa
SEMA (Southeast Medieval Association) Conference Oct. 22-24 in Little Rock, Arkansas
The Medieval "Freak Show": Putting the Monstrous on Display in the Middle Ages
People and creatures perceived as monstrous or wondrous are often put on display for profit or exploitation. At times, this exhibitionism presents itself as "education." What has popularly been called the "freak show" achieved its height via the emergence of working class entertainments that transformed visual cultures in the nineteenth century, as exemplified in P.T. Barnum's circus and its sideshows, but also including innovations such as the stereoscope and the panorama, which prepared the rise of cinema and, later, television.
The International Association for Robin Hood Studies (IARHS) is pleased to announce the creation of a new, peer-reviewed, open-access journal, The Bulletin of the International Association for Robin Hood Studies. The journal will be published bi-annually beginning in Spring 2016 and will be available on the IARHS' website, Robin Hood Scholars: IARHS on the Web: http://robinhoodscholars.blogspot.com/. Scholars are invited to send original research on any aspect of the Robin Hood tradition.
In recent scholarship, lyric emerges as a privileged form for expressing, simulating, and circulating pain: its formal flexibility, non-narrative structure, and somatic elements allow lyric to evoke an embodied sensation whose "resistance to language," as Elaine Scarry memorably argues, "is essential to what it is." Yet these characteristics do not adhere neatly to lyric. Not all lyrics are formally free and non-narrative. Furthermore, various literary genres employ the formal invention, non-narrative digressions, and somatic elements most often identified with the lyric form.
In the conclusion to her Christian Materiality (2011), Caroline Walker Bynum opens the door to an expansion of her discussion of medieval materiality and religion to Judaism and Islam: "Understanding the full materiality of Christian belief and practice," she says, "may help to clarify at least one of the ways [i.e., the material way] in which medieval Christianity (and, in certain aspects, its modern descendants) is similar to, yet differs from, its sister religions, Islam and Judaism" (273). This session proposes to go beyond Bynum's brief concluding survey, focusing specifically on the relationship between Judaism and Christianity.
It is generally accepted that there are few post-biblical Jewish women in medieval Christian art. When they are depicted, their Jewishness is usually unmarked; where they appear in narrative, they are often passive or eventual converts; they lack the anti-Jewish stereotypes so often associated with Jewish males. Sara Lipton has argued that this is partly because "the Jewess's femaleness trumped her Jewishness" ("Where are the Jewish Women?" in Dark Mirror, 2014). At the same time, Jewish women are ubiquitous in the legal and historical records of twelfth- and thirteenth-century England.
The uneasy boundary between madness and love asserts itself throughout recorded history. The shifting relationship between these two phenomena exists across most (if not all) societies and epochs, particularly in literature and art. From lovesickness in the Middle Ages, to nymphomania and hysteria in the Enlightenment, to the stalker in modern-day horror films, the line between love and madness is continually conflated, contested, and blurred.