deadline for submissions: 
May 30, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
The Medieval and Early Modern English Studies Association of Korea; The Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Seoul National University
contact email: 

Premodern Literature and Postmodernity


The Medieval and Early Modern English Studies Association of Korea

The Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Seoul National University


Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea

27 October 2017


The MEMESAK and the CMRS at Seoul National University will co-host a one-day international conference to reconsider the limitations and possibilities of medieval and Renaissance studies in today’s academia under the theme of “Premodern Literature and Postmodernity.” The adjective premodern, with its diminutive byword medieval, is associated in contemporary society with anything ancient, outdated, or outrageously barbarous—anything culturally dead or outlasting its historical period of circulation. The worlds we come across in premodern Western literature—literature produced before the emergence of modernity per se—are not necessarily anachronistic or monochromatic, however: the unexpected turns and twists that they unfold often strike us with a postmodern déjà vu. We live in the era when the myths of modernity are being radically deconstructed and renegotiated. If we spotted something postmodern in premodern literature from our vantage point, that would be not so much because the Middle Ages and the Renaissance are genuinely akin to our own time in mentality, as because they precede, and remain largely unaffected by, the premises of modernity. Paradoxical as it may seem, premodern literature is compatible and conversable with postmodern discourses because it is pre-modern—that is to say, un-modern and extra-modern.


Possible topics may include but are not limited to:


1.   Medieval and Renaissance literature and postmodern theories

2.   Postmodern readings of medieval and Renaissance literature

3.   Postmodern adaptations of medieval and Renaissance texts

4.   Medievalism and postmodern culture/society

5.   Postmodern approaches to teaching premodern literature

6.   Problems of teaching premodern literature in postmodern classroom

7.   Premodern Western literature and twenty-first-century global/Asian perspectives

8.   Digital humanities and the future of medieval and Renaissance studies


The conference will be a small lively forum to accommodate a maximum of ten speakers. Travel grants covering three-day hotel expenses will be available on a limited basis. To apply for participation, email your abstract and CV to the conference organizer by 30 May 2017.


Conference organizer:

Hyonjin Kim

Professor of English Literature

Director of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Seoul National University

Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea


Fax.: +82–2–887–7850