Rara Avis: Avian Erotics in Medieval and Pre-Modern French Literature

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Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
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This panel seeks to explore the role of birds in the erotic imagination of medieval and pre-modern French literature. Why are fowl such important symbols of erotic desire? How do bestiaries, dietetic texts, and medical theories affect the literary uses of edible birds and those who consume them? How do portrayals of birds relate to those of animals in general? What can avian figures teach us about conceptions of human amatory and sexual appetites?

A few possible topics of interest might be (but are by no means limited to):

-birds as characters, objects, or food in religious and secular texts
-bestiaries and aviaries
-encyclopedias and etymologies
-medicine and dietetics
-depictions of parrots and other birds in the Roman de la Rose
-figures of birds as lovers in Renaissance poetry
-Jean Lemaire de Belges' "Épîtres de l'amant vert"
-the sixteenth-century cabinet of curiosities

Please send 300-word abstracts by September 30 to Stefanie Goyette, sgoyette@fas.harvard.edu.

Deadline: September 30, 2011
Please include with your abstract:
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The 2013 NeMLA convention continues the Association's tradition of sharing innovative scholarship in an engaging and generative location. The 44th annual event will be held in historic Boston, Massachusetts, a city known for its national and maritime history, academic facilities and collections, vibrant art, theatre, and food scenes, and blend of architecture. The Convention, located centrally near Boston Commons and the Theatre District at the Hyatt Regency, will include keynote and guest speakers, literary readings, film screenings, tours and workshops.

Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA session; however, panelists can only present one paper (panel or seminar). Convention participants may present a paper at a panel and also present at a creative session or participate in a roundtable. http://www.nemla.org/convention/2013/cfp.html