CFP: [Medieval] KZoo sesssion on commentary

full name / name of organization: 
Nicola Masciandaro

Glosynge is a Glorious Thyng: Medieval Studies and the Future of Commentary

In The Powers of Philology, Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht describes the situation
in which a return to commentary is becoming inevitable: “The vision of the
empty chip constitutes a threat, a veritable horror vacui not only for the
electronic media industry but also, I suppose, for our intellectual and
cultural self-appreciation. It might promote, once again, a reappreciation
of the principle and substance of copia. And it might bring about a
situation in which we will no longer be embarrassed to admit that filling
up margins is what commentaries mostly doâ€"and what they do best” (53). As
interlocutors with a period when commentary was a, if not the, central mode
of authorship (cf. Bonaventure’s four ways of making a book), medievalists
are in a special position to shape the future of commentary. And there is
much recent work which indicates we are doing so. Yet the commentary genre
remains, like a popolo minuto of the academic city-state, a subordinate
category: useful, essential, but excluded from the spaces of governance and
authority. What can/should the commentary become and how might medievalists
shape its becoming? What is commentary’s unrealized intellectual and
creative potential? How will a return to commentary, as a recentering of
the marginal, structure the way scholars and students experience,
understand, and work within the world?

Please Email paper proposals to Nicola Masciandaro
( by September 1, 2008.

Sponsor: The Medieval Club of New York

Nota Bene: this session is similar to but not the same as the conference
"Glossing is a Glorious Thing" (see taking place in
April at the CUNY Graduate Center.

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Received on Tue Jul 15 2008 - 07:58:20 EDT