54th ICMS Kalamazoo: Nineteenth- Century Medievalism(s)
54th International Congress on Medieval Studies. May 9-12, 2019. Kalamazoo, Michigan
Special Session: Nineteenth- Century Medievalism(s)
Organizers: Robert Sirabian, UW-Stevens Point; Daniel C. Najork, Arizona State University
Presider: Robert Sirabian
For this session, we seek proposals that acknowledge the broader concept of medievalism(s), which not only invokes the cultural and global dimensions of the Middle Ages, but also includes traditional historical and philological critical approaches as well as creative, interpretive approaches. In The Cambridge Companion to Medievalism (2016), editor Louise D’Arcens notes that “[o]ne broad distinction that might provisionally be made is between the medievalism of the ‘found’ Middle Ages and the medievalism of the ‘made’ Middle Ages” (2). The session, then, aims to explore this distinction through presentations that examine how writers in the nineteenth century both research and uncover the Middle Ages as well as creatively imagine and reimagine it. The theoretical notion of presentism—which argues (sometimes contentiously) that the past is not contaminated or cheapened by the present but is rather a time that interacts with the present and exists in the present—offers rich insights into the relevance of and continued interest in the Middle Ages today by highlighting progressive, nostalgic, and nonlinear views of history.
Topics might include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Translation/Adaptation: How were medieval texts translated or adapted into new cultural contexts?
- The collecting of medieval manuscripts, early printed works, and other material objects.
- Editions of texts and manuscripts. Editorial practices, style of editions of medieval texts
- Politics and nationalism in scholarship on medieval texts and subjects, or in adaptions and reproductions
- Reproduction of medieval texts in music, stage performances, and film
- Travel narratives of trips to medieval sites or cities (such as numerous Victorian travelogues)