Monstrous Monarchs/Royal Monsters
For Medieval Association of the Pacific 2018 Conference, Las Vegas Nevada (April 2018)
Medieval and early modern societies defined monstrosity in a multitude of ways, assigning the term to figures representing the supernatural “other” and to those representing human alterities. Monsters filled the national consciousness of societies throughout the medieval and early modern worlds. Indeed, the monster became an allegory for a society’s relativisms and fears. So, what happens when the monster is the monarch him or herself—or when the monster is a member of the royal family? How might the term be defined differently or specifically for the sake of this unique person? What special circumstances might be attached to the term and its parameters when the monarch and his or her relationship to the State and its people is concerned? Monarchs of the medieval and early modern periods were deeply concerned about their legacies, and prioritized the public memory of their reigns and dynasties very highly. Similarly, literary and artistic representations of royalty and monarchs often showcase the concerns of dynasty, heredity, and reputation. How is public memory affected when the monarch, or a member of a royal dynasty, is remembered as monstrous for posterity? Moreover, how is royal legacy affected when the term “monster” becomes attached to the monarch while he or she is still living?
MEARCSTAPA invites proposals in all disciplines of the humanities and for all nations, regions, language groups, and cultures of the medieval and early modern periods globally. Please send proposals of 250 words maximum to Asa Mittman firstname.lastname@example.org, Thea Tomaini email@example.com, and Ilan Mitchell-Smith Ilan.firstname.lastname@example.org by 14 November 2017.