Middle English Encounters with Islamicate and Persianate Cultures

deadline for submissions: 
March 18, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
MLA Middle English Forum
contact email: 

What understandings of Persianate or Islamicate texts, societies, or cultures do Middle English texts show? How do their engagements with those traditions inflect their views of their own political, aesthetic, and cultural investments?

This session seeks to build upon the growing appreciation for the complex and multifarious discursive engagements between late medieval English literary texts and Islamicate or Persianate culture, society, language, or literature. Recognizing that such engagements include much more than direct literary representations of the individualIslamicate other, the session is interested in, for example, genealogies that shed light on new or underappreciated discursive engagements, Middle English works that take Islamicate politics or culture as a model, examinations of England's self-fashioning in light of its understandings of these "Eastern" cultures,or reconsiderations of established literary arenas for such engagements, such as Middle English popular romance or travel writing. It is also interested in papers that examinethe relations between such medieval engagements and those that characterize the assumptions and methods of contemporary scholarship, pop-cultural depictions, or twenty-first-century world systems. 250-word abstracts should be sent to Bobby Meyer-Lee (meyerlee@aya.yale.edu) and Claire Waters (cmwaters@ucdavis.edu) no later than March 18, 2022.