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Calls for Papers

Panels for 2018 Kalamazoo International Congress

History and Poetics (with Suzanne Akbari)

Sponsored by the Harvard English Department Medieval Colloquium

This panel focuses on medieval conceptions of time, history, and memory. As literary historians, we frequently encounter the challenges of periodization: how to establish the autonomous significance of the Middle Ages, as well as think beyond the limits of stage-oriented historiography. Yet how did medieval chroniclers, poets, artists, and travelers view the historical process and their place within it? What “pasts” did they recover, and what forms of representation were used to remember, rehearse or reimagine them? Are there distinctions drawn between history and memory—between notionally universal, stable, and textual forms of record, and personal, bodily, and mutable ones? Finally, how might revisiting medieval forms of temporal awareness revise those critical practices that we broadly call “historicist,” perhaps widening our approach to formal or theoretical engagements? We welcome submissions that consider, from any angle, the poetics and politics of representing medieval time.

Nota bene: This is a blind review panel. Suzanne Akbari has agreed to present a paper, but a committee will select the other papers by a double blind review of the submitted abstracts. Abstracts from graduate students and junior scholars are especially encouraged. All questions, abstract submissions, and required information should be sent to Stella Wang at wang73@fas.harvard.edu by the congress deadline (September 15).
 

Literary Personae, Translating Identity (with Leslie Lockett)

Sponsored by the Harvard English Department Medieval Colloquium

Literary personae often operate as sites of negotiation between historical identity and literary or intellectual-historical traditions. Personae such as the didactic interlocutor, the dreamer, the lamenting lyric speaker, or the scop reoccur in certain medieval genres; these figures, however, are also often marked by particular cultural or biographical features, differentiating them from others in the tradition. This panel welcomes papers that discuss literary personae in Anglo-Saxon England from any angle, but which might respond to one or several of the following questions. What types of performance are involved in the assumption of literary personae? What kinds of historical features often mark personae, and how might they come into competition or conflict with more universalized archetypes? How do modified personae in translated works reflect historical, geographical, and social differences, and how do these changes perform interpretive work in the texts they purport to authorize? This is intended primarily as an Old English panel, but if you work on very similar issues in the later part of the Middle Ages, we are happy to consider your submission.

Nota bene: This is a blind review panel. Leslie Lockett has agreed to present a paper, but a committee will select the other papers by a double blind review of the submitted abstracts. Abstracts from graduate students and junior scholars are especially encouraged. All questions, abstract submissions, and required information should be sent to Stella Wang at wang73@fas.harvard.edu by the congress deadline (September 15).