Glossing is Glorious, A Ring of Commentary, Kalamazoo, May 13-16, 2010; deadline Sept 10, 2009.

full name / name of organization: 
45th International Congress on Medieval Studies; Glossator
contact email: 

Glossing is Glorious.
A Ring of Commentary, A Roundtable Discussion

We seek presentations for a roundtable discussion to be held at the
45th International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 13-16, 2010

Medieval commentary offers a synthetic textual form that urges an inquiry into the practice, ethics, poetics, and philosophy of commentary. The intricacies of the dialogue between reader and the text, the interplay among layers of commentary, even the very visual form of the text that resists, not only hierarchy, but which also challenges the reader to approach the process of interpretation with care and a poetics of being, render commentary a multi-dimensional genre.

From the spherical trajectories of commentary that plays within the interiority and exteriority of a text and ideas, to a topological sense of space that is developed when the inscription offers a new text through the gloss, to the agonism and tension that productively allows ideas to co-exist, the ring of commentary is both physical and metaphysical, visual and accoustic, a present voice and an echo of silence that dynamically ushers in a new way of thinking intertextually.

As a temporal object, medieval commentary has the potential to offer a new mode of thinking about literary criticism and the relationship between philosophy and poetics; as a textual production, commentary interrogates an approach to thinking about the middle ages as a past and glosses it as a promise of a future that reads in an ethical and poetic manner.

We offer this session as a roundtable that will bring into dialogue a heteroglossic view of commentary as one way of perceiving the significance of the middle ages, not only as a field of inquiry, but also as a space of care.

The session is sponsored by Glossator: The Practice and Theory of Commentary

Please send inquiries or abstracts of 500 words or less to the session organizer,

Erin Labbie, Ph.D. email:

Abstracts received by September 10, 2009 will receive full consideration.