ICMS Kalamazoo 2020: Anglo-Saxon Speculative Fictions

deadline for submissions: 
September 10, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Yale Department of English Medieval Colloquium

The Yale Department of English Medieval Colloquium & Scriptorium working group are pleased to present two panels and a roundtable that have grown out of our conversations with speakers and faculty over the previous year (please see our other CFPs for the additional panels). For panels, we invite papers of 15 to 20 minutes and for the roundtable we invite 5-7 minute remarks on the topic. If you are uncertain as to your proposed paper’s fit for the panels, please contact us. While our colloquium represents the Department of English at Yale, we are interdisciplinary in outlook and composition and welcome papers from all medieval-interested disciplines and that cover topics beyond texts in Anglo-Saxon and Middle English. Please send abstracts of roughly 250 words with a completed PIF form to the above email address by September 10, 2019. 

Session II: Anglo-Saxon Speculative Fictions

Gestures at speculative fictionality, such as Alain Renoir's nod to horror in his formulation of Beowulf's "design for terror,” have been made frequently throughout the history of Anglo-Saxonist criticism. Recently, critics have begun to use categories such as horror and science fiction to explore the imaginative depths of Anglo-Saxon literature, as well as their implications for Anglo-Saxon intellectual culture and worldview. James Paz and Carl Kears' recent volume, Medieval Science Fiction, demonstrates some of the myriad and exciting ways medievalists can think with and about speculative fiction and medieval literature. While speculative fiction offers exciting and useful ways of thinking about genre, narrative, literariness, canon, and reading, both as we experience them now and as they existed in Anglo-Saxon England, it can be argued that applying the frameworks of later genres troubles our historical understandings of early texts. This panel seeks papers that explore the relationship of Anglo-Saxon texts to the subgenres of speculative fiction: science fiction, fantasy, horror, alternate history, and others.