Editing for Form: Attending to Manuscript Realities / Kalamazoo 2016

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Medieval and Renaissance Studies / Purdue University
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This proposed session asks us to consider form in medieval and modern contexts, specifically responding to discussion taking place during Session 218 of last year's Congress, "Reconsidering Form and the Literary." There, speakers proposed that modern desires and assumptions regarding textual form influence how originals are interpreted and then presented to a modern audience, from which a discussion evolved considering the editorial and pedagogical implications of such a sentiment. As a work is moved from its manuscript context, it is inevitably transformed into a version distinct from the original and reflective of modern desires regarding form and design. For example, at last year's session, Kathryn Kerby-Fulton, considering the form of the bob-and-wheel in Gawain, notes that modern editing consistently "assigns the bob a fictional full line of its own," despite the fact that the bob is rarely granted its own line in Cotton Nero A.x. Responding to such trends, this session is interested in investigating the relationship between formalism and manuscript studies, specifically considering how attention to form may affect both print and digital editorial practices. We are seeking papers and projects that return to the manuscript context of original works, considering how the form of medieval texts is changed when presented to modern audiences while attending to what is lost, gained, or changed during this process. Papers might consider any example of how form operates within a text's manuscript context, ideological differences between modern and medieval mise-en-page, or how such an investigation may affect modern editorial (print and digital), translation, or pedagogical practices.

Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words together with a completed Participant Information Form (available here: http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress/submissions/) to Shaun Hughes (sfdh@purdue.edu) by September 15. Please include your name, title, and affiliation on the abstract itself. All abstracts not accepted for the session will be forwarded to Congress administrators for consideration in general sessions, as per Congress regulations.