Calls for Papers

ICMS, Kalamazoo 2020: Fictionality and Belief in Middle English Writing, with Julie Orlemanski

Coleridge's famous phrase "the willing suspension of disbelief" implies that disbelief (i.e., secularity) is a pre-condition of fictionality. That argument is made explicitly in Catherine Gallagher's well-known article "The Rise of Fictionality"—but it is also often assumed in medieval studies, as fictionality is localized in secular romance and rarely considered in devotional contexts. Where do fictional writing and sincere belief meet, and how do they interact? This panel welcomes papers that investigate the relationship between fictionality and belief from any angle, but which might...

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ICMS, Kalamazoo 2020: Encountering the Strange in Early Medieval England, with Martin Foys

From Bede’s accounts of Britain’s originary myths to current scholarly and popular engagements with the Anglo-Saxon past, to encounter early medieval England is to depict or enact strangeness.

Taking Sarah Ahmed’s work on embodied strangeness, queer phenomenology, and related approaches as a source of inspiration, this panel welcomes papers that consider the strange in early medieval England.  Ahmed’s work on embodied others, for example, leverages feminist theory and postcolonialism to posit the stranger as an embodied, discursive creation formed not as a manifestation...

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ICMS, Kalamazoo 2020: “The beast epic – forgotten by the animal turn?”

Despite a growing body of exciting research on medieval animality, the beast epic, which should loom large in this area of interest, has largely remained on its side lines. Excellent recent studies on medieval animality, for instance by Sarah Kay and Peggy McCracken, have explored the human-animal boundary and human-animal encounters in a broad array of genres such as the bestiary, lay, chanson de geste and various kinds of romance. The beast epic, with its animal protagonists such as Reynard the fox and Burnellus the ass and its satirically transposed portrayal of human society, may...

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