There are a few things of interest to the Society that have been pointed out on the Facebook feed. They bear repeating…
Calls for Papers
International Congress on Medieval Studies (Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA, 14-17 May 2017)
The generation which ‘grew up’ with J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter are now young scholars going into doctoral training and embarking on academic careers. The session explores the visions and versions of the Middle Ages which, like Rowling’s, can serve to spark interest in an era where students are increasingly unlikely to encounter the medieval period through their elementary and high school years. What kinds of medievalist texts are written for children and young people? How are decidedly adult Middle Ages-influenced texts like “Game of Thrones” impacting them? What ideas about the Middle Ages are taught to young people through popular fiction?
International Medieval Congress (Leeds, UK, 3-6 July 2017)
“Other Worlds: Speculative Medievalisms”
This session takes up this year’s conference theme “Others,” seeking papers which explore the ways that medievalism shapes the (currently) impossible worlds of speculative fiction. What are the tensions between history and the imagination? How ‘medieval’ can a science-fiction text set in the future be? What is the significance of signs of the Middle Ages? The session is open to papers addressing any text/s where speculative fictions and medievalisms meet.
Please send an abstract of 200-250 words and a short biography to firstname.lastname@example.org by 30th August.
There is also the possibility of proposing the round table on “Unconventional Medievalisms” which has not been approved for Kalamazoo to the Leeds conference. [Information about a similar attempt is here.] The session would seek contributions which focus on either instances of medievalism which occur unexpectedly or unusually–such as in television advertising for the AirBnB accommodation service–or which do unconventional things in genres which are commonly medievalist. If you are interested in being part of this (you could do a full paper in the other session too in theory) drop us a few lines outlining what you’d like to talk about to let us know.
Pat Bracewell brings Medieval Science Fiction to the Society’s attention. She writes of it
From the science and fictions of Beowulf to the medieval and post-medieval appearances of the Green Children of Woolpit; from time travel in the legend of the Seven Sleepers to the medievalism of Star Trek; from manmade marvels in medieval manuscripts to the blurring of medieval magic and futuristic technology in tales of the dying earth, the chapters repeatedly rethink the simplistic divides that have been set up between modern and pre-modern texts.
More contributions and member news are always welcome. Please send them along!
This report is also posted to the Society blog.