[UPDATE: EXTENDED DEADLINE] "Animal Narratives in Old English Poetry" -- International Medieval Congress, Kalamazoo 2012

full name / name of organization: 
Erik Wade / Oregon Medieval English Literature Society (OMELS)
contact email: 

Animals frequently appear as symbols or allegories in medieval literature. This panel, however, seeks to recover the original animality that is lost when we dismiss the animals as transparent allegories. We might know what the animals mean for the narrative, but why does the story use animals—and why these particular animals—in order to convey such meanings? Papers can potentially combine animal studies, close-reading, and historicism to examine the portrayals of animals as animals in medieval literature. Papers could consider such wide-ranging topics as:

The micro-narratives of animals in the midst of larger medieval tales (such as the weasels in the Volsungsaga or beasts of battle in heroic poetry).

The portrayal of particular animals throughout a wider intertextual corpus (for instance, wolves in Old English literature).

The use of the animal as a symbol or allegory in a specific text.

Please send a 200-250 word abstract of your paper, along with a filled out participant form (Found at http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress/submissions/index.html#PIF) to Erik Wade, at erik.wade@rutgers.edu by September 26, 2011. Any papers not included in this session will be forwarded to the Congress Committee for possible inclusion in the General Sessions.