CHARTING THE FUTURE AND THE UNKNOWN IN THE MIDDLE AGES AND RENAISSANCE

full name / name of organization: 
Phillip John Usher / Barnard College
contact email: 
pusher@barnard.edu

CHARTING THE FUTURE AND THE UNKNOWN IN THE MIDDLE AGES AND RENAISSANCE

The twenty-third Medieval and Renaissance Conference at Barnard College, Columbia University, New York City.

Saturday December 1, 2011

CALL FOR PAPERS

Abstracts sought for potential papers on topics related to “Charting the Future and the Unknown” in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
Topics might include, but are not limited to:

* imagining the future in scientific/ literary discourses and ina rt
* articulations of newness, the unexpected, the unforeseen
* apocalyptic visions and eschatology
* scientific approaches to the unknown
* cartographic representations of terrae incognitae
* divination
* transcribing/representing new realities, languages, peoples.
* prophecy in historiography
* poets as vates (prophets)
* astrological discourses
* messengers in literature, e.g. in tragic theater

Please submit an abstract (1 page) and (short) CV to Professor Phillip John Usher (pusher - &at& - barnard.edu) by October 1, 2011.

CONFIRMED PLENARY SPEAKERS

Rebecca Bushnell, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and Thomas S. Gates, Jr. Professor, and Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, is the author/editor of numerous volumes, including Prophesying Tragedy: Sign and Voice in Sophocles’ Theban Plays (Cornell UP, 1988), Tragedies of Tyrants: Political Thought and Theater in the English Renaissance (Cornell UP, 1990), A Culture of Teaching: Early Modern Humanism in Theory and Practice (Cornell UP, 1996), Green Desire: Imagining Early Modern English Gardens (Cambridge UP, 2003), as well as a Companion to Tragedy (Blackwell, 2005). In her plenary lecture, Professor Bushnell will be focusing on the issue of temporality in tragedy and the question of how we situate our existence in time, with particular reference to the role of prophecy.

Laura Ackerman Smoller received her Ph.D. from Harvard University (1991), has taught at Stanford University and is currently Professor of History at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She is a specialist in the overlap between magic, science, and religion in the later Middle Ages.In addition to numerous articles, she is the author of History, Prophecy, and the Stars: The Christian Astrology of Pierre d'Ailly, 1350-1420 (Princeton UP, 1994). She is currently working on a book about a major apocalyptic preacher, The Saint And the Chopped-Up Baby: The Cult of Vincent Ferrer and the Religious Life of Late Medieval Europe. In her plenary talk, she will be drawing on her next project that deals with the ways of acquiring knowledge of the future.

cfp categories: 
interdisciplinary
medieval
renaissance
theatre
travel_writing