CFP: [Medieval] Panel: Law and Literature's Transformations (9/14/07; Kalamazoo, 5/8-11/08)

full name / name of organization: 
John P. Sexton
contact email: 

Medieval secular and religious writing on the one hand and legislative
production on the other have too frequently been perceived as discrete
enterprises. The testimony of the texts themselves, however, evinces a
relationship of a far more complex and interwoven nature. Kings from the
early Anglo-Saxon period on sought to inscribe their rulings and names by
the promulgation of written law; literature, in turn, was by its nature
written in reflection of “social law,” understood as both legal writing and
customary practice.

This panel seeks papers which engage with the presence of literature in the
law or the law in literature. Possible areas of exploration might include
specific instances of attempts by lawmakers to enforce, expand, or curtail
social practices attested in literature; the creation and promulgation of
documents of social and religious practice indebted to legal tradition,
such as penitential literature or monastic Rules; and texts of secular or
religious culture, such as romance, epic, sermonic, hagiographic,
chronicle, or other types of writing which enshrine or challenge custom and
law. We are especially interested in papers which engage the above
questions in a spirit of interdisciplinary inquiry, and might engage
literary studies, legal history, religious studies, philological or
paleographical inquiries, or cultural and institutional history.

Please send your proposals to arrive by September 14th by e-mail attachment
(preferred) or standard mail to:

John Sexton
Department of English
Tillinghast Hall, 3rd Floor
45 School Street
Bridgewater State College
Bridgewater, MA 02325

 From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
             more information at
Received on Tue Aug 21 2007 - 11:52:38 EDT