Literature of Medieval England March 9-11 2012 Claremont McKenna Colleg
THE LITERATURE OF MEDIEVAL ENGLAND, 1100-1500: QUESTING FOR PERFECTION, CONFRONTING IMPERFECTION
Moderator: John Fyler, Tufts University
It seems that two equally strong impulses lie behind much of the secular and religious literature produced during the high and late medieval centuries in England. One is toward perfection, or transcendence, or structures of completeness and symmetry; the other is toward the acknowledgment, analysis, and comprehension of imperfection, in the form of sinfulness, failure, or inescapable incompleteness.
We invite papers exploring some aspect of this Icarus-like trajectory of aspiration and shortfall. Texts discussed can be in poetry or prose; in Middle English, Anglo-Latin, or the French of England.
While taking account of the hypothesized "trajectory," papers can focus primarily on either of its "impulses." A few possible areas for exploration: quests chivalric or religious; love as ideal, desire as experienced; literary structures as imagined, proposed, and executed; insights promised but denied in dreams and other visions.
Proposals (300 words) should be sent by December 15 to Professor John Fyler, Department of English, 210 East Hall, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155 (or firstname.lastname@example.org).