"You Can't Go Home Again: Departures and Returns in Middle English Romance," SAMLA, Nov. 9-11 2012, Durham NC
Medieval romance typically involves travel, a circular movement of characters who leave home and return again once their adventures have ended. Yet often, these characters can never truly return home. From Arthur returning to a rebellion in the Alliterative Morte Arthure to the failure of Arthur's knights to understand Gawain's experiences in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, upon their return, characters discover that either they or their home has changed in significant ways. This session invites papers that explore aspects of the problematic return home in Middle English romance. How do the characters in these romances negotiate the internal or external changes that have occurred during their travels? What do these changes suggest about the difficulties or challenges that follow from personal or cultural change? By June 15, 2012, please submit abstracts of 250-300 words to Sarah Lindsay, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, at firstname.lastname@example.org.