Meg Cornell and Sara Petrosillo are seeking abstract proposals for chapter contributions to an edited collection titled Marie de Trans: Tranimality, Translation, and Transformation in Marie de France’s Lais.
Guigemar; Equitan; Le Fresne; Bisclavret; Lanval; Deus Amanz; Yonec; Laüstic; Milun; Le Chaitivel, ou Quatre Dols; Chevrefoil; Guildelüec et Guilliadun, ou Eliduc appear together or separate in manuscripts, anthologies, or syllabi. They entertain and they teach, but they resist moral approaches in their depictions of open borders between bodies and outside of or around binaries. Inspired by the Lais’ inherent dissolution of borders between languages, genders, sexes, classes, or species, this collection seeks to center Trans Studies first and foremost. How might we attend to all that is not hetero and cis within the lais, and luxuriate in their expanded trans studies possibilities? Evan Hayward and Jami Weinstein preface their 2015 “Tranimalities” special issue of TSQ with the claim: “tranimals have the transformative power to interrupt humanism and its sexually differentiated legacy by challenging the boundaries between, and existence of, differentiated, essential kinds” (201). We ask, how do animals stand out within the medieval genre of the lai to lend form to trans approaches in ways that fables or allegories might not? How does tranimality interact with cisnormative time/space in the lais, and what queer reorientations might it provide audiences then and now?
In their proposals, contributors might:
- engage in the productive tension between Trans Studies and Queer Studies
- use the lais to explore ecofeminism or the Anthropocene and Trans Studies together
- take a Trans Studies comparative and/or intercultural approach to translations of the lais into another language (i.e. Middle English, Old Norse)
- employ diachronic Trans Studies approaches to the lais (i.e. 19th century American collection The Old-fashioned Fairy Book by Mrs. Burton Harrison)
- connect other works that intersect with tranimality and transformation within the lais
- offer trans readings across the lais, within the transitions and/or through the Prologue
- consider spaces of transformation, confinement, or movement as loci for tranimality within the lais
- consider trans affect, think with “trans maladjustment,” and postulate lai models of trans disability
- consider the lais and diachronic models of trans education, trans inclusive librarianship, and trans-centered pedagogy
These are just some of the possible approaches contributors might take; we are open and eager to receive proposals that draw from this list or go in different directions. We especially encourage trans scholars and new voices in trans studies to submit. Please circulate widely! Scholars who wish to collaborate may also send multi-author proposals. Please send a 250-300-word abstract along with a brief bio to this form by January 12, 2024. Decisions will go out by February 2, 2024.