NeMLA 2022 Roundtable: Worlds of Care: Medieval and Early Modern Drama and Why It Still Matters Today

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
NeMLA 2022
contact email: 

Proceeding from the beginning to the end of time, occurring in a ritual space, and focusing on moments of extraordinary joy, suffering, humor, and election, medieval drama maps worlds of vulnerability and interconnectedness.  Its scope has continued to inspire re-enactment and adaptation from Passion Plays and the Mormon Hill Cumorah pageants to Yiimimangaliso, a South African version of the Chester mystery plays stressing truth and reconciliation, and Brandon Jacob-Jenkins’ reworking of the medieval morality play Everyman as Everybody.

Focusing that theatrical mappa mundi in more specific times and places, early modern drama turned ritual toward negotiation and commodity, adapting many of those same plots and tropes, retaining their resonance but sharpening their moment. For example, the body of the crucified Christ becomes the murdered son Horatio in Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy and the medieval World, Flesh, and Devil become the commercial venture tripartite of the butler Face, the prostitute Dol and the alchemist Subtle in Jonson’s The Alchemist.  Today that drama is ripe for re-workings in new media such as film and graphic novels.

There is no more ragged and productive literary seam than that which joins medieval and early modern drama, and none more fruitful for a discussion of a pedagogy which takes in performance and modern adaptation.  Building on our 2021 NeMLA Roundtable “Bringing Medieval Drama to Life: Scholarship, Performance, Pedagogy,“ the organizers of this Roundtable—themselves collaborators across fields of literary scholarship and performance—hope to bring together scholars, teachers, and acting practitioners to explore this proposition.. We are especially interested in scholarly and pedagogical approaches that foreground the relationship of medieval and early modern theatrical pasts to present moments

Abstracts of 250-300 words should be submitted directly on the NeMLA website by September 30, 2021: (direct link to this panel).

Submission Requirements

The submission deadline is September 30, 2021. All abstracts must be submitted through the NeMLA CFP web site at Search for ID #19261, "Worlds of Care: Medieval and Early Modern Drama and Why It Still Matters Today.”

General guidelines for abstracts can be found at View the conference web site at

Contact Information—Please send queries to both emails:

Barbara Bono, Associate Professor Emerita, Department of English, University at Buffalo. Contact email:

Theresa Coletti, Professor, Department of English, University of Maryland College Park. Contact email:

Maria S. Horne, Associate Professor, Department of Theatre and Dance, University at Buffalo. Contact email: