The Allegory of Guillaume de Digulleville (Deguileville) in Europe: Circulation, Reception and Influence 21-23 July 2011

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Université de Lausanne

The fourteenth-century allegorical trilogy composed by the Cistercian monk, Guillaume de Digulleville (or Deguileville) -- the Pèlerinage de la vie humaine [Pilgrimage of Human Life], Pèlerinage de l'âme [Pilgrimage of the Soul], and Pèlerinage de Jhesucrist [Pilgrimage of Jesus Christ] -- travelled widely across the medieval and early modern world. Digulleville's trilogy first allegorizes human life as a pilgrimage, then envisions a journey through the afterlife as another form of pilgrimage, and finally recasts the narrative of the Christian gospels as a story of divine pilgrimage on earth. Addressed to men and women, both rich and poor, Digulleville's pilgrimage allegories were recopied and illuminated with remarkable frequency during the Middle Ages. More than 80 medieval manuscripts survive today, now held in archives dispersed across the continents of Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. During Digulleville's lifetime, and the turbulent centuries that followed, his visions inspired French prose and French dramatic adaptations, multiple translations into English, German, Middle Dutch, and Latin, and a Castilian translation that may have inspired Christopher Columbus's naming of new world islands. Digulleville's pilgrimage allegories, and their wider context, are attracting increasing attention in current scholarship, in the fields of literature, history, art history, religious studies, linguistics, the history of science, and historical geography.

We invite proposals for papers on any aspect of the influence, circulation and reception of Digulleville's allegories during the period 1330 to 1700. Papers might discuss subjects such as one of the many translations of Digulleville's allegories, an aspect of the trilogy's manuscript distribution, the adaptation of the trilogy texts into prose or printed versions, the trilogy's influence on the visual arts, drama and literature of subsequent generations or the trilogy's wider impact on the mentalities of the period concerned. Interdisciplinary approaches are particularly encouraged, as are studies of hitherto overlooked materials and new contexts for the reception of the work of Digulleville. Following the conference, the organisers will solicit essays based on selected conference papers for publication in a peer-reviewed collected volume. For more information, including a French call for papers announcement, please see the conference website:

Papers may be delivered in English or French and should be 20-25 minutes in length. To propose a paper, please submit an abstract of 250-500 words and a brief curriculum vitae with contact information by 1 December 2010. Please send submissions by e-mail with the subject line "Submission for Digulleville Conference" to the two organisers: ; . The organisers also welcome news of relevant recent scholarship to post on the Digulleville resources page of the conference site.