Medieval Soundscapes

deadline for submissions: 
March 10, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
MLA 2018 (Middle English Forum and CLCS Medieval Forum)
contact email: 

MLA (Modern Language Association of America) Convention in New York City, January 2018.

Co-sponsored by the CLCS Medieval Forum and Middle English Forum.

How do medieval lyrics, songs, poetic meter, and sounds of everyday life produce cognitive and emotional/affective spaces? How might medievalliterature present what might be called an architecture of sound? How does oral presentation differ from silent reading of medieval texts, and how does this difference alter the process of analysis, reception, and interpretation ofmedieval literature? What is the connection between sound and space that emerges from this encounter? What is the temporal dimension of sound? How do bodies and space create different sonic resonances? We seek papers that examine medieval literature, music, architecture, geography, media, and science about acoustics, affect, bodies, and emotions.

Topics might include: syncope, rhythm, tone, whispers, seductive utterances, cries, cheers, claps, rebuttals, revolutionary moments, collaborations across temporal and spatial difference, translation and sounds of different languages, sound of voices and emotional/affective response, sounds as triggers, memory and sound, politics of sound, the body and the production (or absence) of sound, digital humanities, media theory, the ways that sound in medieval literature and lyric are produced in, as well as produce, different spaces. 250 word proposals due by March 10 to Jonathan Hsy ( and Erin Labbie (