14th International Conference of Medieval and Renaissance Scottish Language and Literature, July 28-31, 2014 (Bochum, Germany)

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Identity implies demarcation: both at the personal and at the national level identity presupposes boundaries, of 'the other' as opposed to the idea of 'self'. These boundaries are negotiable and therefore never fixed and stable. They require validation, justification and confirmation as much as being challenged and confronted. The parameters within which identity and identities are imagined, formed, and maintained in medieval and early modern Scottish texts are the topic of this conference. We invite papers focusing on identity and identities in Scottish literature which pertain to the following three strands:

I. Identity in and through Language

The first strand comprises linguistic approaches to identity and language-related aspects of identity formation in medieval and early modern Scotland. Possible topics include the encoding of Scottishness in and through language, linguistic approaches to identity and identity formation, the Scottish idiom as a transmitter of nationalism, the uses and functions of Gaelic, language contact between Scotland, England, and other European countries, loan words and borrowings, as well as (aspects of) multilingualism.

II. Literary Identities

The second strand encompasses the negotiation and depiction of identity/identities in literary texts. How do Scottish poets depict their characters' (Scottish and other) identities? Are genre and identity linked? When do identities clash, and why? How are human vs. non-human, holy vs. sinful, female vs. male, and religious vs. secular identities presented and negotiated? How and why is identity questioned, weakened, and potentially destabilised? How is 'the other' constructed in literary texts? How can identity formation be approached theoretically, for instance in terms of post-colonialism or narrative theory?

III. Cultures of Identity

The third strand is devoted to the wider historical and cultural context of identity and identities in medieval and early modern Scottish literature. What can be said about the historical development of Scottishness? How are nation and nationhood defined and constructed in historical sources? How can (Scottish) identity be placed and read against the changing European landscape? Where are centres of (national and other) identities, and why? How and where is cultural identity taught and proclaimed?

Papers should not be longer than 20 minutes. Please send a 500-word abstract to the conference secretary Martina Dornieden (icmrsll@rub.de).

Deadline for submission is 1 September 2013.

You can also find the call for papers on the conference website: www.rub.de/icmrsll