CFP: Tradition and Transformation in 12th-Century English Lit. (9/1/06; Kalamazoo, 5/10/07-5/13/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Maring, Heather Cristine
contact email: 

Special Session of the 42nd International Congress on Medieval Studies
May 10-13, 2007
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI

"Tradition and Transformation: Vernacular Literature and Oral Composition in Twelfth-Century England"

While 12th-century England has been an area of active historical inquiry for a considerable time, literary scholarship has paid much less attention to this period. In particular, the vernacular writings produced, redacted, copied, or otherwise reworked during this time tend to fall through the cracks of scholarly inquiry in the transition from Old English to Middle English. Recently, however, there has been an upsurge of interest in the literature of the twelfth century and the varied opportunities it affords for scholarly inquiry, including but not limited to the study of the earliest antiquarian interests in Old English, hybrid works that combine oral and literary approaches to composition, as well as multilingual literary environments that witnessed the creation of poetry and prose in Anglo-Norman French and emerging dialects of Middle English (cf. _Rewriting Old English in the Twelfth Century_, ed. by Mary Swan and Elaine M. Treharne; _Writing the Oral Tradition_ by Mark!
  C. Amodio). We strongly feel that more investigation and discussion are necessary to explore the significance of this intriguing and turbulent era within the larger framework of English literary history.

Therefore, this session is dedicated to examining English and Anglo-Norman vernacular literatures of twelfth-century England. We hope that such a session will contribute to our understanding of the reception of Anglo-Saxon materials in post-Conquest England, the experimentation and composition of literature in the newly rising vernacular of early Middle English, and the continuities between periods that have traditionally, but arbitrarily, been kept separate.

Organizers: Johanna Kramer, University of Missouri-Columbia, and Heather Maring, Arizona State University

Please send a 500-word abstract by Sept. 1 to
Johanna Kramer
Fax: 573-882-5785

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Received on Fri Aug 04 2006 - 09:26:55 EDT