Friday, July 25, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Some 200 to 300 teachers from across the country are expected to attend the National Writing Project Rural Sites Network Conference March 13-15, 2009, at the Radisson Plaza Hotel. The conference will highlight WMU and the communities in and around Kalamazoo. For full information, see: http://www.wmich.edu/wmu/news/2008/07/029.html
Friday, July 18, 2008
1) "What, in the World, is Medievalism? Global Reinventions of the Middle Ages."
For next year's congress, Studies in Medievalism is sponsoring a roundtable discussion which, as the punctuation in the session title attempts to indicate, would like to extend existing discussions of Medievalisms in the postmedieval west to non-western, westernized, or only marginally western regions, nations, and cultures. Specifically, we intend to include five to eight scholars from the areas of political science, anthropology, economics, cultural history, literary and language study, music, and the fine arts to discuss notions of the "medieval" in Turkey, Russia, Bulgaria, China, Japan, Korea, South America, India, and Australia/New Zealand (to name but a few) to present a panoramic view of global receptions. The main goal of the round table is to provide a forum for congress participants to encounter the rich, but often less well-known notions of the "medieval" in countries and cultures which negotiate prevalent western ideas of the past with their traditional cultural paradigmata.
2) "Expatriate Medievalisms." This paper session wants to investigate the experience of western voyagers, expatriates, and emigrés who, displaced from their countries and cultures of origin, brought with them and often transmuted ideas of the "medieval" to their new "homes." The "extraterritorial" experience, as George Steiner called it, provides for often original insights into definitions of the Middle Ages, as new architectures, landscapes, climates, literary genres, languages, and theories lead to a veritable "Babel" of identities among political exiles, sentimental travelers on the grand tour or "going west," from soldiers on foreign shores to scholars and artists on their year(s) "abroad." Contributions to this topic might include personal biographical accounts of current medievalist expatriates.
3) "Religious Medievalisms." This paper session intends to provide a forum for the discussion of how various religious traditions have viewed the Middle Ages or how images and stereotypes of, for example, the Catholic or Christian Middle Ages have dominated the popular and scholarly reception since the Renaissance. Specifically, the session is meant to seek answers as to diverse reconfigurations of the "medieval" by the Reformation, Counterreformation, Enlightenment, Modernism, and Postmodernism, Vatican II; by writers, artists, musicians, etc. with missionary intentions; and by scholars who recognized the central role of Medieval religion for their cultural theories. Finally, the organizers would welcome scholarship on how specific religious organizations and communities have redefined their own medieval roots through the centuries.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
A pre-constituted panel submitted by Scott Slawinski to the Society of Early Americanists for its conference in Bermuda (March 2009) has been accepted. The panel, titled "Sally Wood and Early Republican Culture," aims to enlarge scholarly interest in this important but heretofore neglected gothic author from the earliest years of the nineteenth century. The panel's paper topics include: "Women Writers and Women’s Rights in the Correspondence of Judith Sargent Murray and Sally Wood" (by Karen A. Weyler, University of North Carolina at Greensboro), "The Speculation of Dorval" (by Scott Ellis, University of Southern Connecticut), "Gothic Anxiety and the Illuminati in Sally Wood's Julia and Charles Brockden Brown's Ormond " (by Michael Cody, East Tennessee State University), and "Sally Wood's Complex Portrait of Europe" (by Scott Slawinski, Western Michigan University). As Professor Ellis aptly stated upon news of the acceptance, "There's nothing like talking about a Maine writer in March while in Bermuda."