"The Ends of Romance" - February 18-20, 2010 at Dominican University, River Forest, IL

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Illinois Medieval Association & Medieval Association of the Midwest
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The Illinois Medieval Association and Medieval Association of the Midwest invites proposals for papers on the theme of "The Ends of Romance?". We are thinking about this topic in the broadest of terms and invite proposals from history, music, art history, theology, English, and language studies as well as any other areas of interest.

The romances have often been considered to be an access point into the cultures of the medieval world, and we would be interested in examining why, how, and if we should be having such critical discussions. As a second strand to the conference we will also be examining penitential/ sacramental thinking and how it relates to these themes in the middle ages.

Conference Website with a form for the "CFP" and information on fees, housing, travel, etc: http://domin.dom.edu/imam/

Our two keynote addresses will be given by:

Prudential Penitence:
Robert Hanning, Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, will examine the nature and implications of the medieval adaptation of aural confession by the Church, which required from her members exercise of ethical and rhetorical practice originating in classical antiquity. Then, he will explore some of the ways in which "prudential penitence" was appropriated by authors such as Geoffrey Chaucer and Giovanni Boccaccio as a component of some of their most trenchant and most amusing fictions about both clergy and laity. His forthcoming book, Serious Play: Crises of Desire and Authority in the Poetry of Ovid, Chaucer, and Ariosto is to be published by the Columbia University Press. This event co-sponsored by the Department of English and the Illinois Medieval Association conference.

Malory and the Christian Happy Ending:
D. Thomas Hanks, Jr., is Professor of English Literature at Baylor University. He will speaking about Malory's Morte Darthur which partakes of the nature of a "fairy story," as J. R. R. Tolkien defines fairy stories. As such, it embodies a Secondary World which includes magic, perilous realms, unexpected magical dangers (e.g., Morgan), as well as the sun, the moon, the stars above, and ordinary humans going about their business as best they can (to paraphrase Tolkien's On Fairy Stories). It also contains what Tolkien calls a "eucatastrophe"-a happy ending which partakes of the nature of what Malory would have seen as the evangelion-a specifically Christian happy ending.

Papers delivered at the conference are eligible for publication in Essays In Medieval Studies (IMA) or Enarratio (MAM).