ICMS Kalamazoo 2020 (Roundtable): Unforthcoming Texts, Unsatisfying Encounters

deadline for submissions: 
September 10, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Yale Department of English Medieval Colloquium

The Yale Department of English Medieval Colloquium & Scriptorium working group are pleased to present two panels and a roundtable that have grown out of our conversations with speakers and faculty over the previous year (See our other listings for additional panels). For panels, we invite papers of 15 to 20 minutes and for the roundtable we invite 5-7 minute remarks on the topic. If you are uncertain as to your proposed paper’s fit for the panels, please contact us. While our colloquium represents the Department of English at Yale, we are interdisciplinary in outlook and composition and welcome papers from all medieval-interested disciplines and that cover topics beyond texts in Anglo-Saxon and Middle English. Please send abstracts of roughly 250 words with a completed PIF form to the above email address by September 10, 2019.

Session III (Roundtable): Unforthcoming Texts, Unsatisfying Encounters

How do the works and codices we study fail to satisfy readers’ expectations and frustrate scholarly attempts to come to terms with them? Where does this failure reside, in the reader or in the text itself? As scholars, we have many troubled interactions with texts, which upset our assumptions about literary value and scholarly methodology. Yet is an unforthcoming text or an unsatisfying encounter a failure? This roundtable discusses in what ways the failure of the text or the failure of our heuristics can be construed as generative.  Indeed, the crisis of the humanities and the crisis of medieval studies present a time in which failures carry more weight. We invite participants interested in exploring what makes a text forthcoming or not and, further, what makes encounters satisfying or not. Is there value in unsatisfying encounters and how are they generative?