Kalamazoo 2015 Special Session: The Scottish Makars

full name / name of organization: 
Ruth Oldman
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Kalamazoo 2015 Call for Papers:
50th International Congress on Medieval Studies
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI, May 14-17, 2015.

Scottish literature is not often considered when studying the later medieval and early modern eras. When it is, select poems by specific poets--such as Robert Henryson or William Dunbar--are chosen to represent an entire dynamic and rich literary tradition. Much of the focus on these authors stems from the understanding they are "Scottish Chaucerians" and their works pay a great debt to the poetic style and influence of Geoffrey Chaucer. This term is limiting, however, as it defines the anthology of these "makars" as extensions of Chaucer's literary style. Much research has also been attributed to the nationalistic fervor of the makars. Understanding the patriotic nature of their works is critical when studying these Scottish authors as it is a common thread in literature, history, politics, and culture. This has also become a recurring theme in scholarly research, however, and has become a common purview when considering these works.

This session is designed to allow scholars to explore the contributions of these Scottish makars outside of the aforementioned realms. Although it is important to recognize these makars as nationalistic and influenced by Chaucer, it is also necessary to branch out from these two dominant scopes of study. The works of the makars can be examined through multiple theoretical and structural lenses, providing rich commentaries on Scottish society and contributing artistically to the medieval literary tradition. Papers are welcome to explore various approaches to makars literature that include, but are certainly not limited to:

*The roles of women
*Gender dynamics
*Ethnic and race studies
*Perspectives on religion
*Political relationships

Please follow the Medieval Institute's rules regarding participation and submission of abstracts:


Scholars wishing to submit must do so by 15 September 2014. Abstracts must be no longer than 300 words and should be sent along with the Participant Information Form to Ruth Oldman at r.m.oldman@iup.edu.