Afterlives: Reinvention, Reception, and Reproduction

deadline for submissions: 
July 15, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at CSU Long Beach and Forest Lawn Museum
contact email: 

REMINDER: Deadline Approaching July 15, 2019

Afterlives: Reinvention, Reception, and Reproduction

November 9, 2019

Forest Lawn Museum, 1712 S. Glendale Ave, Glendale, CA 91205

Call for Papers

The Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at California State University, Long Beach, in collaboration with Forest Lawn Museum, invite submissions for the biennial conference, Afterlives: Reinvention, Reproduction, and Reception. We invite scholars from any discipline to approach the ways in which texts, objects, and images of the ancient, medieval, and Renaissance past have been reimagined, repurposed, reconstructed, and reproduced in later periods.

Much recent scholarship, particularly studies exploring medievalisms, has fruitfully traced the ways in which we construct narratives of the past according to contemporary desires. There remains, however, ample room for further investigation. Forest Lawn Museum makes an ideal site for exploring the afterlives of the past as constructed in the present. Founded in 1906, Forest Lawn is home to dozens of reproductions of ancient, medieval, and Renaissance works of art and architecture. It was created with the goal of bringing the Grand Tour to Southern California when travel to Europe was not accessible to the vast majority of American society. From full-scale marble replicas of Michelangelo’s sculpture to buildings that freely combine classical, Romanesque, and Gothic elements in completely novel and imaginative ways, this version of the Grand Tour was both influenced by and influential upon the culture of twentieth-century California. Rather than simply replicating existing works of art and architecture, entirely new monuments were created, which simultaneously call upon the past while proliferating new experiences, meanings, and identities.

This conference invites investigation of such uses of the past with the broadest possible scope. We ask scholars to consider engagements with the past in terms of ongoing processes of reinvention, reproduction, and reception. Papers that address popular culture, such as contemporary fantasy literature and television, twentieth-century Hollywood epics, gaming, popular and folk music, theme parks and other immersive amusement sites, historical reenactments, costume design, and cultural or folkloric festivals, are welcome. Studies on medievalism and more traditional scholarship on reproductions of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance are also encouraged, including investigations of architectural reconstructions, the role of medievalism in museums, and non-Western perspectives on reinventions of the past. We welcome proposals for twenty-minute papers as well as planned panels of three papers pertinent to these themes and their manifestations anywhere in the world.

Individual paper submissions should include:

  • abstract of approximately 150 words
  • contact information and one-page CV

Panel Submissions are welcome and should include:

  • contact information and one-page CV for organizer / chair
  • names and abstracts (c. 150 words) for all presenters
  • one-page CVs of all presenters
  • short (c. 150 word) description of the panel itself

Please send all application materials to:,, and The deadline for all abstracts and panel submissions is July 15, 2019.

Topics of exploration for individual papers or panels may include, but are not limited to:

  • Hybrid Reconstructions of the Past (Hearst Castle, Forest Lawn, Disneyland, The Getty Villa, and The Citadel Shopping Center)
  • Medievalism and Nationalism
  • Posthumous Cults of the Artist
  • American Chivalries
  • Medievalism and Martial Arts
  • Non-Western Reconstructions of the Past
  • Time Travel and Anachronism
  • The Detritus of Hollywood’s Constructions of the Past
  • Medievalism and the West: the American Frontier and the Distant Past
  • Politics of Historical Accuracy
  • Medieval/Renaissance Fantasy in Online Gaming
  • The Renaissance Pleasure Faire and Medievalist Counter-Culture in America
  • Industrialism and Desires for the Past
  • Dungeons & Dragons and Participatory Constructions of the Past
  • Racialized Imagery from the Medieval to the Modern
  • Post-Modernity and the Past