Feeling Like Langland (Kalamazoo May 9-12, 2013)

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International Piers Plowman Society (IPPS)
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This session addresses a vital and evolving field of research that comprises investigations into the history of emotion, theories of affect, and representations of cognition and sensory perception. "Feeling," a gerundive, is both a process and a thing, as Sarah McNamer reminds us. It integrates "the somatic, affective, and cognitive in a pre-Cartesian universe" where "'to feel' can mean 'to know.'" Coalescing around this inclusive term, this panel seeks to bring together participants from a variety of approaches to the textual representation, production, and management of "feeling," considered broadly. Papers may address Piers Plowman directly, examine related texts and discourses in a comparative approach, or discuss the concept and operation of "feeling" in more theoretical terms. Possible paper topics could include but are not limited to: Piers Plowman and the history of emotion; studies of the poem's treatment of particular emotions; representations of the senses and sensation; the poem's affective architectures, or spaces of feeling; its engagements with affective devotion and other forms of performativity or scripted emotion; and its exploration of affective modes of knowing, including the relationship between the bodily senses, or outer wits, and the inner cognitive and volitional faculties that depend on their mediation of the perceptual world. We also welcome comparative studies or papers focused on poetry and prose works in related traditions: studies of mystical feeling, monastic and fraternal discourses, encyclopedic representations of emotions or the senses, displays of feeling in courtly traditions, such as lyric and romance, and feeling in liturgical and devotional practices.

Send abstracts of ca. 300 words, or any queries, to Rebecca Davis (radavis@uci.edu) by September 15.