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CFP: Science and Technology in the Medieval Romance (9/15/05; Kalamazoo, 5/4/06-5/7/06)
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Science and Technology in the Medieval Romance
The history of science and technology has enjoyed significant attention in recent scholarship, but less attention has been paid to the presence of scientific theory and technological change in popular literary works. This session focuses on the presence and narrative function of technological or scientific theory and/or innovation within the genre of the romance. While submissions are welcome on any aspect of the presence and function of science and technology in medieval romances, this session is specifically interested in the way that the genre of the romance becomes a site for the discussing, condemning or exploring the medieval scientific and technological imagination.
Possible paper topics are not limited to, but might include:
The effect of, or reactions to, military technological change (the impact of effective infantry on chivalric culture, developments in Armor and/or personal weapons, changes in siege technology, gunpowder, etc.)
Medieval Science Fiction (e.g. The Squire’s Tale).
The influence of Islamic science and thinking on popular narratives.
The function of Natural Science and/or humoral philosophy (the nature of air, breath and words, the presence of elements in the narrative).
Notions of reproductive science and their influence on gender roles.
The influence and/or narrative function of Astrology (the influence of the planets, zodiacal signs, etc.)
Alchemical references or allusions (Alchemy as metaphor for chivalry, for love, for government).
Bestiaries, Lapidaries or herbalogical texts and their influence on
The impact of changes in writing technology and manuscript production.
Please submit brief abstracts by September 15, 2005 to