Romance Ecologies - Kalamazoo ICMS 2016

full name / name of organization: 
Medieval Romance Society
contact email: 

Ecology is concerned with the relationship between living creatures and their environments. Increasingly, this relationship is considered to be culturally, as well as biologically, constructed. In recent years the fields of 'eco-criticism' and 'animal studies' have developed as strong currents within the study of medieval romance. Animals, landscapes and other features of the natural world are no longer seen as exclusively decorative, tangential or symbolic but as agents and characters that can respond to each other as well as humans and animals.

The Medieval Romance Society is hosting three connected sessions that will explore ecologies in medieval romances and related texts. The sessions will be defined by the following themes:

Tame Beasts/Wild Men
Alien Terrain

Potential topics could include (but are not limited to):

How 'wild' and 'tame' creatures (animals, humans or other) inhabit courtly, urban or 'natural' environments.

Narratives of taming and wilding in medieval romance

Training, domestication and the development of human/animal modes of courtesy.

Animal and human labour

Transformations and hybridity

Flesh and consumption

Unknown, mutable or indefinable landscapes

How encounters with 'alien' landscapes disrupt or reinforce the landscapes of 'home'

Boundaries, borders, margins and other-worlds

Depictions of travel and conquest

Mapping the textual landscape


Rotting bodies, objects and civilisations

Purity and corruption

The dead and dying

Wasted spaces and waste lands

The politics of excess

Textual waste

Fragmentation and re-composition


Fertility and infertility

Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words to Fiona Mozley by 14th September.