Kalamazoo 2014 - Auerbach & Kantorowicz - Post-War Scholarship and the Study of the Middle Ages I-II

full name / name of organization: 
Program in Medieval Studies, Univ. of California, Berkeley

Call for Papers
49th International Congress on Medieval Studies
Western Michigan University
8-11 May 2014, Kalamazoo, MI

Sponsored Sessions
Program in Medieval Studies, Univ. of California, Berkeley

Post-War Scholarship and the Study of the Middle Ages I-II:
I. Erich Auerbach
II. Ernst H. Kantorowicz

In anticipation of the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II, the University of California, Berkeley Program in Medieval Studies will hold two sessions on the enduring scholarship of the Middle Ages that emerged in the post-War era. We invite abstracts for 20-minute papers on two of the most prominent intellectual figures of the period, considered in light of their own contemporary moments and their lasting influence in our own. One panel will be devoted to Erich Auerbach, and the other to Ernst H. Kantorowicz. These two scholars have contributed deeply to our understanding of the Middle Ages and to the methodologies we use in our studies--literary, historical, philological, political. "Figura" and "the king's two bodies" have become commonplace concepts, which carry particular meanings precisely because of the work done by these thinkers. And their work has also helped the Middle Ages to remain in the peripheral vision of those scholars working in other and later fields. Auerbach's theory of representation, for instance, lies behind Fredric Jameson's (who was Auerbach's student), and Kantorowicz's work has recently motivated a debate among such diverse thinkers as Giorgio Agamben, Simon Critchley, and Eric Santner. At the same time, citations of their work by Medievalists have declined steadily since the 1980s, while their ideas have become ever more ingrained in scholarly assumptions about the Middle Ages. It is time now to revisit these ideas and directly address the intellectual contexts in which they were formed. We welcome all abstracts that engage directly with the work of either Auerbach or Kantorowicz, show their contemporary relevance for medieval studies, or detail their influence on contemporary theoretical debates.

Please submit abstracts and the Participant Information Form via e-mail to berkeleymedievalstudies@gmail.com by 15 September 2013 or earlier.

Organized by:
Katherine O'Brien O'Keeffe
R. D. Perry
Benjamin A. Saltzman
Program in Medieval Studies, Univ. of California, Berkeley