Transatlantic Dialogues / Speaking of the Middle Ages
University of Groningen (The Netherlands), 8-10 July 2010
Call for papers
Studies in Medievalism, in collaboration with Modernités médiévales, invites session and paper proposals for its annual interdisciplinary conference, July 8-10, 2010. We welcome papers that explore any topic related to the study and teaching of medievalism, and especially those that focus on this year's double theme of “Transatlantic Dialogues / Speaking of the Middle Ages.” The two conference languages will be English and French.
This year’s conference theme is inspired, on the one hand, by its European venue and, on the other, by the legacy of Paul Zumthor, who started his academic career at the University of Groningen in 1948 and whose book Parler du Moyen Age (in English: Speaking of the Middle Ages) is one of the seminal works of academic medievalism. As a Swiss scholar who worked in Europe and later emigrated to North America, Zumthor represents an outstanding example of the transatlantic nature of medievalist studies. While the Middle Ages we refer to today are European, it is North American scholars (in particular) and artists, who have developed new ways of imagining this era in literature, film, music, painting and other media. At the same time, Zumthor’s work reminds us of the importance of theoretical reflection on the concept of the medieval.
A double key-note address, which will itself take the form of a transatlantic dialogue, will be given by Joep Leerssen (University of Amsterdam) and Richard Utz (Western Michigan University).
Papers, in English or French, might address the following questions and topics (or any other topic relevant to the general theme of medievalism):
- what can European theory bring to North American medievalist scholarship?
- how are the European Middle Ages reconceptualized in other national genres and traditions (e.g. American westerns, Japanese anime)
- whose Middle Ages do we speak of when speaking of the Middle Ages? who defines what is medieval? who “owns” the medieval?
- varieties of American Gothic (architecture, painting, music)
- South American medievalisms, from Amadis to Borges, as a reflection on/of Europe
- medievalism and American feminism / American feminist scholarship
- medievalism and translation studies (particularly French-English)
- cultural mediators
- medievalism and transatlantic travel and/or tourism
- etc. etc.