Early Middle English Society CFP for Kalamazoo 2015: Jews and Saracens in Early Middle English

full name / name of organization: 
Dorothy Kim
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Call for Papers for Kalamazoo 2015
Sponsored Early Middle English Society: Jews and Saracens in Early Middle English (Panel)
Co-organized by Dorothy Kim (Vassar College) and Adrienne Williams-Boyarin (University of Victoria)

Jews and Saracens in Early Middle English
The twelfth and thirteenth century saw England gain crusader territory in the Eastern Mediterranean and saw the establishment of Jews in a number of urban areas throughout Britain. The Jews were expelled from England by Edward II in 1290; England lost Acre in 1289. With this frame, this panel will consider Jews and Saracens in relation to a contemporary presence of Jews in England and a robust crusading period. While these events are of special interest to most medievalists who work on Anglo-Norman England/France--and though there has been work on Latin material in this context--there is very little on English vernacular works of the period as they pertain to thoughts about/representations of Jews, Saracens, and the Holy Land. Work on the later Middle English canon frequently contends with representations of Jews and Saracens post-expulsion and after the final loss of Jerusalem and often makes bold arguments about representation "before" and "after". But this panel asks the question is there really as much discernible change? What do we see if we look for the traces of thinking about Jews and Saracens in a corpus where this content is often overlooked and where their presence is intimately entwined in English regional, national, and international interests.

Please send abstracts to: Dorothy Kim (dokim@vassar.edu) by September 20th, 2014.