RSA: Discontinued Allegory

deadline for submissions: 
May 25, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Spenser Society

Discontinued Allegory: Discussions of allegory in The Faerie Queene, beginning with Spenser’s own, emphasize the immense scope of his “dark conceit.” It is a “vast allegory” (Fletcher), a poem that requires “a long memory and a distanced, somewhat relaxed view of its entanglements” (Teskey), and a “continued allegory” (Spenser). This panel invites abstracts for papers that explore Spenser’s interest in smaller, choppier, less enduring allegorical systems throughout his poetry. If an allegory’s scale is determined by its scope, "a long and perpetual metaphor" (Puttenham), what can we learn from allegorical frameworks that are abandoned, overlooked, or even just localized? What tools do our own critical methodologies offer for identifying and approaching such cruxes? What critical accounts do we tend to privilege in reconciling them? Possible topics include, but are not limited to: allegorical distraction and disruption; implicit allegory; misinterpretation (by characters, by readers); nostalgia and pastiche; ritual; construction and destruction; topical allegory; forgetting; indecision.

Please submit the following materials to Colleen Rosenfeld ( by May 25 to be considered for inclusion: paper title; abstract (150-word maximum); 3-5 keywords; and a one-page abbreviated curriculum vitae (300-word maximum). Please note that RSA is very strict about word count: the system will not accept entries that go beyond the maximum limit.