CFP: [Medieval] Formula in Medieval language, literature and civilisation (June 13-14 2008, Nancy, France)

full name / name of organization: 
Colette Stevanovitch

Formulas in medieval English language, literature and civilisation
GRENDEL (IDEA) research group, Nancy-University, France
Friday 13 and Saturday 14 June 2008
Deadline for proposals: 15 January 2008

The GRENDEL Research Group at Nancy-University invites proposals for
a conference on the subject of formulas in medieval English language,
literature and civilisation, which will take place on June 13-14 2008.
Formulaic writings or stories rely on the expected return of easily
recognizable stylistic and/or generic devices. They imply repetition and
variation, and thus raise the issue of individual expression in its
relation to collective means and norms.
The conference convened by GRENDEL will consider the formula in all its
aspects. Possible topics include:
 - linguistic/semantic studies
 - literary use of formulas (e.g. oral-formulaic theory, literary genres)
- cultural/historical (e.g. legal formulas, magic formulas, rituals)
- diachronic/synchronic perspectives
- etc.
Formulas are present everywhere in medieval England, in literature of
course, but also in language and culture, implying the notion of cliché,
and more generally the relation between change and continuity, ritual and
innovation, society and the individual.
The conference will allow us to reflect on a mode of communication whose
influence can be traced in most aspects of medieval language, literature
and culture. This will provide an opportunity to analyse medieval modes
of expression and assess their effects on contemporary thought and
Proposals (title and an abstract of about 300 words) should be sent by
e-mail to Colette Stevanovitch (

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Received on Sat Nov 24 2007 - 07:17:09 EST