Kalamazoo 2018: History and Poetics (with Suzanne Akbari)

deadline for submissions: 
September 15, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Harvard English Dept. Medieval Colloquium
contact email: 

This panel focuses on medieval conceptions of time, history, and memory. As literary historians, we frequently encounter the challenges of periodization: how to establish the autonomous significance of the Middle Ages, as well as think beyond the limits of stage-oriented historiography. Yet how did medieval chroniclers, poets, artists, and travellers view the historical process and their place within it? What “pasts” did they recover, and what forms of representation were used to remember, rehearse or reimagine them? Are there distinctions drawn between history and memory—between notionally universal, stable, and textual forms of record, and personal, bodily, and mutable ones? Finally, how might revisiting medieval forms of temporal awareness revise those critical practices that we broadly call “historicist,” perhaps widening our approach to formal or theoretical engagements? We welcome submissions that consider, from any angle, the poetics and politics of representing medieval time. 


Nota bene: This is a blind review panel. Suzanne Akbari has agreed to present a paper, but a committee will select the other papers by a double blind review of the submitted abstracts. Abstracts from graduate students and junior scholars are especially encouraged. All questions, abstract submissions, and required information should be sent to Stella Wang at wang73@fas.harvard.edu by the congress deadline (September 15).