From Sir Walter Scott’s chivalrous knights and damsels in distress, through George R. R. Martin’s bestial lords and serpentine queens, medievalism is often quite sexist. Sometimes these biases are defended as originating in the Middle Ages themselves, or at least being true to what is known about them. But do these prejudices actually represent medieval practices and/or perceptions? To what degree is that knowable and does it matter? What about inevitable (albeit perhaps small) differences in those approaches, in their application, and among the contexts in which they are deployed? How, if at all, might medievalism have initiated or at least shaped broader perceptions of gender? How have perceptions about gender shaped medievalism? What role, if any, has been played by ambiguities in the definitions of gender and of medievalism, particularly as the latter relates to the Middle Ages? Studies in Medievalism, a peer-reviewed print and on-line publication, is seeking not only feature articles of 6,000-12,000 words (including notes) on any postmedieval responses to the Middle Ages, but also 3,000-word essays that respond to one or more of these questions. Applicants are encouraged to give particular examples, but submissions, which should be sent to Karl Fugelso at email@example.com in English and Word by 1 June 2023, should also address the implications of those examples for the discipline as a whole. (Note that priority will be given to papers in the order they are received and submissions that have not been translated into fluent English will not be considered.)
The Conference will be held in Hybrid Format on May 11-13, 2023
All three sessions will be remote.
SCIENCE FICTION MEDIEVALISMS—PAPER PANEL
While Science Fiction would seem to occupy the greatest distance from the Middle Ages, it remains deeply informed by Medievalism. Often presented through the episodic structure of medieval romance, Science Fiction, despite a focus on the future, often reaches back to the past for its imagery, its narratives, and its ideologies. We seek papers that consider this particular relationship between the medieval past and the projected future, whether in form, narrative, characters, worlds, or ideologies. Approx. 250 word Abstracts by 9/10 to Angela Weisl (firstname.lastname@example.org)
REPRODUCTIVE BODIES AND MEDIEVALISM—PAPER PANEL
Aware of ever-looming legislative battles which aim to govern reproductive bodies, this session will explore the how reproductivity is re-imagined in medievalist texts. Considering medievalist depictions of conception, abortion, pregnancy, and birth, presenters may consider such questions as: How are ideas of the medieval deployed to support political battles over reproductive bodies? How do White nationalist extremists use the medieval to portray reproductive bodies (especially as traditionally coded in terms of binary sex and gender) as part of their imaginary heritage? How do feminists and queer activists use medieval materials to re-imagine reproductive bodies? Approx. 250 word Abstracts by 9/10 to Emily Morgan Harless (email@example.com)
MEDIEVALISM AND MENTAL HEALTH–ROUNDTABLE
In the Middle Ages, mental illness was blamed upon demonic possession. However, legal thought found that mentally ill criminals should not be held accountable for their actions. Constantinus Africanus’s writings argue that mental illnesses were caused by either internal or environmental factors, such as black bile affecting the heart or a blow to the head affecting the brain. How are current “justifications” for crimes, such as mass killings, rooted in medieval ideas of mental illness? One might consider the historical relationships between religion, medicine, and law as they have developed in the Middle Ages, as well as since then. Abstracts by 9/10 to Carol Robinson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you have friends or colleagues who you think would be interested in these sessions, please encourage them to submit!
This is for a hybrid session at the International Medieval Conference in Leeds (3 to 6 July, 2023).
Although they sometimes work alone, outlaws in history and literature always belong to a series of networks. They exist alongside, within or outside communities, and have groups of supporters, opponents and comrades. Outlaw stories depend for their dissemination on networks and groups, and the stories themselves exist within groups of related narratives. This session examines some of these networks, and the individuals and groups who inhabit them. Possible topics for this session may include the following:
familial networks, bonds, relations
guild and mercantile networks
ecclesiastical and royal administrative networks
networks of texts, authors, editors, and printers
social “networking” of characters and authors
If you have anything you would like to present on any of these themes, either medieval or neo-medieval, please contact me, Lesley, by close of play on Friday 23rd September, with a working title and a short (but interesting!) abstract of around 100-200 words. That will give me a few days to organise and fill in the forms.
My emails are email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org
Lesley Coote BA PhD FHEA
Fellow of the Department of English, Creative Writing and American Studies
University of Hull
HULL. HU6 7RX
Series Chair: “Medieval Identities in Socio-Cultural Spaces”
Series Co-editor: “Outlaws in Literature, History, and Culture”https://www.routledge.com/series/ASHSER-4012
Submission Deadline Extended to July 15, 2022
October 20-22, 2022
Appalachian State University, Boone, NC*
The Lost Provinces, or
Lost and Found Medievalisms
Southern Appalachia has long been perceived as a region in the American margins, both materially and metaphorically. In colonial times it formed part of the frontier; in the modern era, it continues to lie at the edges of regional, political, cultural, and even historical consciousness. Within the Appalachian mountains in North Carolina, one discrete region in the northwest part of the state was even more marginalized prior to the 20th century: the Lost Provinces, separated from the rest of the state by the Eastern Continental Divide (with mountains towering up to 4,700 feet above sea level) which forms their eastern and southern borders. As Flatlanders liked to say, “the only way to get there was to be born there.”
In the public imaginary, the Middle Ages is similarly “lost” to us, bordered by the glories of Rome on one side and the European Renaissance on the other. Such perception is particularly apparent in popular medievalism which depicts a Dark Ages fraught with violence—particularly sexual violence—plague, superstition, and filth, features, incidentally, often associated with the Appalachian people.
In this spirit, we ask participants to examine how the “lost Middle Ages” has been found through various medievalisms past and present. We particularly welcome those that explore the following areas:
- Medievalisms that purport to rediscover the lost relics of the Middle Ages (e. g., the Holy Grail in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusader or The Davinci Code); medievalism and material culture
- Medievalisms that return to the “lost” past (e. g., A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court or Timeline, Fuqua’s King Arthur—aka “the Untold True Story that Inspired the Legend”); medievalism and politics or political movements
- Medievalisms that recover “lost” peoples or identities (e. g., representations of people of color in Legendborn or the queering of the Robin Hood legend in the Greenwode series); medievalism and issues of race, gender, sexuality, and gender identity; medievalism and games across media
However, we invite papers and presentations on all topics of medievalism, not limited to these suggested themes. We particularly welcome proposals from presenters in (or addressing topics related to) regions outside North America, Western Europe, and the Anglophone world.
Send paper and/or panel proposals (abstracts of 250-300 words each) by
June 1, 2022 July 15, 2022 to Alexandra Sterling-Hellenbrand (email@example.com). Other members of the organizing committee include Alison Gulley, English (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Mary Valante, History (email@example.com)
*The conference will be hybrid, with both on-land and Zoom sessions. The plenary sessions will be in-person and streamed.
Deadline Extended to August 1, 2022
From Renaissance satires of courtly love, through Victorian jousts, to Arthurian video games, medievalism has often been central to play, and play has often been central to medievalism. Sometimes the Middle Ages serve as mere background or framework for play that would not change in other contexts. But frequently play is refracted through medievalism (and/or vice- versa) in such a way as to comment specifically on the Middle Ages, the interpreter’s circumstances, the purpose of play, and/or on medievalism. Studies in Medievalism, a peer- reviewed print and on-line publication, is therefore seeking essays of approximately 3,000 words (including notes) on the intersection of medievalism and play. How have the Middle Ages been adapted to one or more particular instances of postmedieval play? Why was that context selected above all other possibilities? What does that choice say about the Middle Ages, the interpreter, the interpreter’s circumstances, about play, and/or about medievalism? Where does play fit with the study of medievalism? In responding to these and related questions, contributors are invited to give particular examples, but their submissions, which should be sent to Karl Fugelso at firstname.lastname@example.org in English and Word by August 1, 2022 should also address the implications of those examples for the discipline as a whole. (Note that priority will be given to papers in the order they are received and submissions that have not been translated into fluent English will not be considered.)