Thursday, October 30, 2014

CFP Gaming the Medieval: Medievalism in Modern Board Game Culture (expired) (Leeds 7/6-9/15)

Apologies for the gap between posts. Here's an interesting call that I missed during its active life (apparently due to the fact that it was only alive for about a week before the deadline):

Gaming the Medieval: Medievalism in Modern Board Game Culture (July 6-9 2015)
full name / name of organization:
Daisy Black and James Howard / IMC Leeds 2015
contact email:
D.Black@hull.ac.uk; jwhowa2@emory.edu
http://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/node/58345

Since the early 1980s, the medieval has proven to be a fertile source of narrative concept, artwork and play structure in popular board and card game culture. In recent years, games with medieval subject matter such as Carcassonne, Dominion and Shadows Over Camelot have increasingly graced the top of European and American board game award tables.

Yet the ‘Middle Ages’ of the game world is a broadly defined concept. Games taking a historical approach might chart the economical and political landscape of Medieval Europe during a set period of time, while others base their play around a specific event or series of events. In other cases, the medieval operates as a flexible cultural genre for games set in otherwise indeterminate times and places. Although board and card games frequently engage with concepts of medieval warfare, conquest and expansion, they also hold the ability to promote a rich understanding of medieval cultural, literary and social practices such as courtly love and chivalric narrative, Arthurian legend, guild, mercantile and political hierarchy, and alchemical motifs such as the magic circle.

While the role of the game in medieval society and literature commands a strong critical legacy (for example, in the works of Clopper, Huizinga and Vale), this session aims to evaluate what happens when the medieval is made present within modern game culture. This is an area that has been largely neglected by studies of medievalism, which have tended to chiefly focus on the use of the medieval in computer gaming. This session therefore intends to expand the cultural medievalism debate by drawing attention to the ways in which the materiality of board and card games produces new methods of intersecting with the medieval past.

Possible themes might include:

What is a ‘medieval’ board game?
Courts, cities, fields, monasteries
Chivalry, courtly love and other ‘medieval’ ideals
Materiality and play, medieval artwork, and the game as artefact
Gender, power and characterisation
Performance, roleplay, and crossplaying
Narrative and playing structures
Place, space and time
Games and pedagogy – using games to teach ‘medieval’ concepts
Figuring the medieval ‘orient’ in game culture

Please send abstracts of 250 words to Daisy Black at D.Black@hull.ac.uk and James Howard at jwhowa2@emory.edu before the 15th September 2014.

By web submission at 09/08/2014 - 19:40


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Ethics and Medievalism Now Available

Studies in Medievalism XXIII 

Ethics and Medievalism
Edited by Karl Fugelso
http://www.boydellandbrewer.com/store/viewItem.asp?idProduct=14536

Details
First Published: 15 May 2014
13 Digit ISBN: 9781843843764
Pages: 264
Size: 23.4 x 15.6
Binding: Hardback
Imprint: D.S.Brewer
Series: Studies in Medievalism
Subject: Medieval Literature

Details updated on 31 Aug 2014

Ethics in post-medieval responses to the Middle Ages form the main focus of this volume. The six opening essays tackle such issues as the legitimacy of reinventing medieval customs and ideas, at what point the production and enjoyment of caricaturizing the Middle Ages become inappropriate, how medievalists treat disadvantaged communities, and the tension between political action and ethics in medievalism. The eight subsequent articles then build on this foundation as they concentrate on capitalist motives for melding superficially incompatible narratives in medievalist video games, Dan Brown's use of Dante's Inferno to promote a positivist, transhumanist agenda, disjunctures from medieval literature to medievalist film in portrayals of human sacrifice, the influence of Beowulf on horror films and vice versa, portrayals of war in Beowulf films, socialism in William Morris's translation of Beowulf, bias in Charles Alfred Stothard's Monumental Effigies of Great Britain, and a medieval source for death in the Harry Potter novels. The volume as a whole invites and informs a much larger discussion on such vital issues as the ethical choices medievalists make, the implications of those choices for their makers, and the impact of those choices on the world around us.

Karl Fugelso is Professor of Art History at Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland.


Contents
1  Editorial Note / Karl Fugelso
2  The Dangers of the Search for Authenticity?: The Ethics of Hallowe'en / M.J. Toswell
3  Living Memory and the Long Dead: The Ethics of Laughing at the Middle Ages / Louise D'Arcens
4  Justice Human and Divine: Ethics in Margaret Frazer's Medievalist Dame Frevisse Series / Lisa Hicks and Lesley E. Jacobs
5  The Song Remains the Same: Crossing Intersections to Create an Ethical World via an Adaptation of Everyman for Everyone / Carol L. Robinson, Daniel-Raymond Nadon, and Nancy M. Resh,
6  Bringing Elsewhere Home: A Song of Ice and Fire's Ethics of Disability / Pascal J. Massie and Lauryn S. Mayer
7  The Ethical Movement of Daenerys Targaryen / Christopher Roman
8  What if the Giants Returned to Albion for Vengeance?: Crusade and the Mythic Other in the Knights of the Nine Expansion to The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion / Jason Pitruzello
9  The Dark Ages of the Mind: Eugenics, Amnesia, and Historiography in Dan Brown's Inferno / Kevin Moberley and Brent Moberley
10  Plastic Pagans: Viking Human Sacrifice in Film and Television / Harry Brown
11  Meat Puzzles: Beowulf and Horror Film / Nickolas Haydock
12  Words, Swords, and Truth: Competing Visions of Heroism in Beowulf on Screen / Mary R. Bowman
13  Socialism and Translation: The Folks of William Morris's Beowulf / Michael R. Kightley
14  "We Wol Sleen this False Traytor Deeth": The Search for Immortality in Chaucer's Pardoner's Tale and J. K. Rowling's The Deathly Hallows / Alison Gulley
15  Intention or Accident? Charles Alfred Stothard's Monumental Effigies of Great Britain / Phillip Lindley


Monday, July 7, 2014

Kalamazoo 2015 Calls for Papers

Dear Readers,

As you may be aware, the Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages is not offering a session for next year's Medieval Congress, but, if you're interested in attending, the calls for papers is online at http://wmich.edu/medieval/congress/sessions.html.

Michael Torregrossa
Listserv Moderator/ Blog Editor
The Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Kalamazoo 2015 Final Update

Dear Readers,

The Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages has decided not to propose a session for the 2015 meeting of the International Congress on Medieval Studies. We will concentrate our interests elsewhere for the remainder of 2014 and into 2015.

Thank you again for your support of our endeavors,
Michael Torregrossa
Co-Founder

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Business Meeting Agenda 2014

Business for Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages
http://PopularCultureandtheMiddleAges.org

Saturday, May 10 (Lunchtime Events)
12:00 noon Valley III--Stinson 303
Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Villains of the Matter of Britain; Institute for the Advancement of Scholarship on the Magic-Wielding Figures of Visual Electronic Multimedia; Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages Business Meeting and Reception

Updates:

The Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Matter of Britain has been formed and incorporates the activities and web presences of both Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Villains of the Matter of Britain and Institute for the Advancement of Scholarship on the Magic-Wielding Figures of Visual Electronic Multimedia. Further details at http://KingArthurForever.org.


2014 Proposed Conference Sessions:

The Reel Middle Ages at 15 (Mid-Atlantic Popular/American Culture Association, Baltimore, November 2014) (Sponsored by Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages)

Papers on the effect of Harty’s Reel Middle Ages and on how it might be expanded.


2015 Proposed Conference Sessions (titles subject to change):

Norse Mythology in Popular Culture (A Roundtable) (International Medieval Congress at Kalamazoo, May 2015) (Sponsored by Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages)

Camelot 3000 and Arthurian Themes in the Comics (A Roundtable) (International Medieval Congress at Kalamazoo, May 2015) (Sponsored by Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Matter of Britain)

An All-American Matter of Britain: Responses to Alan and Barbara Tepa Lupack’s King Arthur in America (American Literature Association, Boston, June 2015)


Michael A. Torregrossa
Co-Founder, Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages
Founder, Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Matter of Britain
1 May 2014

Business Meeting at Kalamazoo 2014

Sorry to have missed this, we had talked about not running a business meeting this year, but I guess there was some mis-communication on my part. If you're in Kalamazoo next week, here are the details:

Saturday, May 10
Lunchtime Events
12:00 noon Valley III--Stinson 303
Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Villains of the Matter of Britain; Institute for the Advancement of Scholarship on the Magic-Wielding Figures of Visual Electronic Multimedia; Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages Business Meeting and Reception


Once again, full conference schedule is available at http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress/sessions.html.




Tuesday, April 22, 2014

CFP MAA 2015 (6/15/14; U of Notre Dame 3/12-14/15)

The call for papers for next year's meeting of the Medieval Academy of America has been posted online at http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.medievalacademy.org/resource/resmgr/pdfs/maa2015_cfp_final.pdf. The conference theme is "Medieval Studies across the Disciplines," and it will convene at the University of Notre Dame; however, contrary to previous calls (and thereby, in my opinion, limiting the chance for richer interdisciplinary connections), this one does not include any sessions devoted to medievalisms.

CFP Medievalism on the Margins (for Studies in Medievalism) (8/1/14)

Sorry for the belated posting. It looks like this was first listed in January:

Call for Submissions: Studies in Medievalism XXIII (2014)

Studies in Medievalism, a peer-reviewed print and on-line publication, seeks 3,000-word essays about medievalism on the margins. Submissions may concentrate on the borders of the field and its relationship to neighboring disciplines, such as medieval studies, on the traditional geography of its focus and its relationship to other territory, particularly outside of Europe, on the relationship of medievalism to traditionally marginalized groups, such as the LBGTIQ community, or on some combination of the three.  Contributors are welcome to give examples but should focus on the theoretical implications of those examples rather than the examples themselves.  Authors should also anticipate a wide-ranging audience comprising generalists as well as specialists, including non-academics, and submissions should be sent in English and Word as an e-mail attachment on or before August 1, 2014 to the editor, Karl Fugelso (kfugelso@towson.edu). Please follow the Style Sheet when preparing your submission for consideration.

CFP ICoM 2014 (6/1/14; Atlanta 10/24-25/14)

I keep forgetting to post this:

Call for Papers, 29th International Conference on Medievalism: “Medievalisms on the Move”

One of the great epistemological strengths of medievalism studies has been its openness to the many variants of cultural reception, including multiple linguistic, ideological, geographical, and disciplinary perspectives. For this year’s conference at the Georgia Institute of Technology, we specifically invite sessions and individual papers that will investigate the manifold transformations that happen when recreations, reinventions, and redefinitions of the “medieval” move from one cultural space and time to another. The conference will feature two plenary speakers.  Sylvie Kandé’s research on the migration of medievalisms from Europe and Africa to the Americas, and Kathleen Verduin’s investigation of the North American Dante reception (see below) present excellent examples of the kind of work we invite. We also imagine contributions that would show how medievalisms move between different discourses, genres, technological modes, historical periods, geographies, religions, art forms, social levels, research paradigms, etc. In addition to these contributions to the general theme of the conference, we invite any and all papers on the reception of medieval culture in postmedieval times.

Inquiries, one page proposals for entire sessions (deadline: May 15, 2014), and one page proposals for individual papers (deadline: June 1, 2014) should be sent to the conference organizers at medievalisms@lmc.gatech.edu. The conference will be held from October 24-25, 2014, in Atlanta, GA at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

All presenters at the conference have the opportunity to revise/extend their papers and submit them to The Year’s Work in Medievalism (for texts up to 4,000 words) or Studies in Medievalism (more than 4,000 words). The editors of both journals (YWiM: Ed Risden; Richard Utz; SiM: Karl Fugelso) will be available for discussing possible contributions during the conference. Those with book-length project should contact Chris Jones and Karl Fugelso, editors of Boydell & Brewer’s book series Medievalism.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Higgins Armory Update

As I think I've posted before, the Higgins Armory Museum in Worcester, Massachusetts, has been closed, its collection transferred to the Worcester Art Museum and building up for sale. I'm sorry to see the Higgins go; it was a great resource and wonderful site for developing interest in the medieval in persons of all ages. Further details of the transfer at http://www.worcesterart.org/Exhibitions/knights/.

A history of the Higgins has been produced to aid in the sale. It can be accessed at http://www.higgins.org/WermielHAM.pdf.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

SMART 21.1 Out Now

Now available to subscribers (details at http://webs.wichita.edu/?u=smart):

STUDIES IN MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE TEACHING
(SMART)

CURRENT ISSUE INFORMATION


The Spring 2014 Issue 1 of Volume 21 of Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching presents a small collection of articles on teaching William Langland’s Piers Plowman. Like Chaucer, Langland addressed perplexing societal problems, yet his work is not taught as often as Chaucer’s. Langland’s position as one of the most important of medieval English writers raises several questions: Should Langland be taught to undergraduates? If so, in what contexts should he be taught? How can Langland be made relevant for current under-graduates? These papers, originally delivered at a session of the 2008 International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University, attempt to answer these questions.

This issue of SMART also offers several other fine articles on a variety of topics—teaching Percy’sReliques of Ancient English Poetry, understanding Beowulf through a modern contrast, teaching medieval literature at a Hispanic-serving institution, employing the Crusades as a tool to discuss the relationship between Islam and the West, using anachronistic movies to successfully teach medieval history, and editing and teaching medieval drama.  The volume is rounded out with some excellent book reviews.

TEACHING PIERS PLOWMAN
(collection guest edited by Theodore L. Steinberg)

THEODORE L. STEINBERG Introduction: Teaching Piers Plowman

THOMAS GOODMANN Why Not Teach Langland?

THEODORE L. STEINBERG I’m Dreaming of Piers Plowman

LOUISE BISHOP Piers Plowman: Text and Context

ADAM H. KITZES Canonicity, Literary History, and the Survey of English Literature: Teaching Percy’s Reliques of Ancient English Poetry to Undergraduates

MEGAN HARTMAN Beowulf  Then and Now: Understanding the Medieval Hero through a Modern Contrast
R. JACOB MCDONIE Teaching Medieval Literature at a Hispanic-Serving Institution

MERIEM PAGES The Crusades as a Tool to Discuss the Relationship between Islam and the West in Medieval Europe

JULIE ELB Knights! Camera! Action! Using Anachronistic Movies to Successfully Teach Medieval History

CLAIRE SPONSLOR Is There a Play in This Book? Editing and Teaching Medieval Drama

SUSAN KENDRICK Book Review: The Cambridge Introduction to Shakespeare’s Comedies,
by Penny Gay

E. L. RISDEN Book Review: The Chronica Maiora of Thomas Walsingham (1376–1422),
translated by David Preest, with introduction and notes by James G. Clark

GWENDOLYN MORGAN Book Review: European Sexualities, 1400–1800, by Katherine Crawford

BRIGITTE ROUSSEL Book Review: Communal Discord, Child Abduction, and Rape in the Later Middle Ages, by Jeremy Goldberg

LESLEY A. COOTE Book Review: Allegory and Sexual Ethics in the High Middle Ages, by Noah D. Guynn

CHRISTINA FRANCIS Book Review: Brueghel’s Heavy Dancers: Transgressive Clothing, Class, & Culture in the Late Middle Age, by John Block Friedman


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Kalamazoo Schedule and Registration

For those interested, the complete program and registration information for this year's Medieval Congress is now available online at http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress/.

Our Kalamazoo Sessions Update

UPDATED 04/17/14: HANNAH GRACY HAS HAD TO WITHDRAW FROM THE SESSION

Here (at last) are the details of our upcoming session for Kalamazoo in May. I append author-supplied abstracts below as well, but please note these may have changed drastically by conference time.

Michael Torregrossa


What Is the Magic of Merlin? The Appeal of the Wizard in the Contemporary World: In Celebration of the Tenth Anniversary of the Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages (A Roundtable)

Saturday, May 19 3:30-5:00 PM
Session 484 (Bernhard 204)

Sponsor: The Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages

Organizer: Michael A. Torregrossa, The Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages

Presider: Mikee Delony, Abilene Christian University 

Paper 1: “Merlin as Cultural Signifier”
Perry Neil Harrison, Baylor University 

The wizard Merlin is undoubtedly one of the figures of the Arthurian legend that has most thoroughly permeated the public consciousness. Appearing in scores of books, films, and television adaptations, the presence of the magician is an expected aspect during any telling of Arthur’s story, often accompanied by expectations of a very specific role within the narrative structure. Likewise, the character of Merlin has experienced a long tradition of academic scholarship, perhaps most recently in Stephen Knight’s 2009 monograph Merlin: Knowledge and Power Through the Ages.

Yet, while Merlin is among the oldest and most perpetually present figures seen within the Arthurian legend, the current image of the wizard in contemporary popular culture differs tremendously from his appearances in the earliest Arthurian texts. The purpose of this study is to examine the portrayals of Merlin during the earliest depictions in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s writings, specifically his depiction as a figure that relies upon alchemy and drugs to bring about change rather than direct magical spells. Specific attention will be given to these early depictions of Merlin are indicative of larger cultural views concerning the malleability of the bodily form. Similarly, some time will also be spent examining the cultural shifts that are illuminated by the evolution of the magician’s portrayals in literature and, subsequently, film and television.


Paper 2: “The Hanged Man: Odin as the Original Merlin Wizard”
Chris Fields, Abilene Christian University 

Merlin is often held up as the archetypical wizard character, but in truth he's just the progenitor of the modern idea of the wizard. Not only can his character be traced into the present day to figures like Gandalf, but his himself harkens back to the Urtext of the "old wizard" archetype, the Norse god Odin. For this paper I will discuss how elements of Odin's character survived the destruction of pagan Norse religion and culture and eventually found themselves into the modern wizard, exemplified by Merlin


Paper 3:  “The Trickster Tricked: Transgressive Technologies and Forbidden Knowledge in Merlin Representations”
Susan Jeffers, Independent Scholar 

This paper will look at the transgressive technologies of sharing power in recent adaptations of Merlin. Is all power or knowledge meant to be shared? What happens when power or knowledge is given, stolen, or shared? How does this affect the romantic relationships between, for example, Merlin and Nimue, or possibly Merlin and Arthur? This paper will consider these questions drawing on the ideas of Luce Irigaray and Judith Butler for support. It may suggest that contemporary audiences prefer romances involving individuals of equally matched power, but remain uncomfortable with threats to traditionally masculine authority.



Paper 4: “Merlin the Underdog: Re-Writing the Past in Arthurian Film and Television Adaptations”
Heidi Breuer, California State University, San Marcos

Adaptations of the Arthurian legend have enjoyed a continuous popularity in U.S. film and television throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.  During the two decades surrounding the turn of the 21st century, visual presentations of the Arthurian legend often utilize a rhetoric of colonization and oppression to cast the magical figures, especially Merlin (but less frequently, Morgan le Fay) as heroic underdogs who use magic to help restore justice to an oppressed group of Celtic natives.  Whereas representations like Excalibur (1981) emphasize Merlin’s role in helping Arthur colonize surrounding lands, many films and television series from the 1990s and 2000s (including Merlin 1998, The Mists of Avalon 2001, King Arthur 2004, and The Last Legion 2007) reposition Merlin as a pseudo-Celtic freedom fighter.  U.S. film and television producers and directors, in particular, have utilized the Arthurian legend in representations that function to erase what bell hooks has called “white supremacist capitalist patriarchy” by imagining an innocent, white, pre-colonialist past.


Paper 5: “Merlin’s ‘The Eye of the Phoenix’: The Search for Significance in a Desacralized World”
Hannah Gracy, West Virginia University [WITHDRAWN]

The tale of the Fisher King has been passed on and reinterpreted for centuries, from traditional Arthurian legends to allusions in contemporary television shows such as Breaking Bad. As in the rest of the Arthurian saga, the magic inherent in the Fisher King's story is one facet that continues to fascinate literary, artistic, and historical enthusiasts. While the romanticized chivalry of the knights of Camelot has inspired countless interpretations and adaptations, the mystery in which the legends are steeped, particularly that of the Fisher King, owes much to the blurred lines between the supernatural and the easily explicable.

The Merlin television series has recently seized on a new interpretation of the Fisher King in the episode “The Eye of the Phoenix”, an interpretation in which the wounded king is a sorcerer whose magic has kept him barely clinging to life through the centuries as his land turns to rot. In encountering the Fisher King, young Merlin realizes that he alone possesses the skills necessary to save Camelot in its coming time of peril. The fact that Merlin must hide his magic both in the Fisher King episode and throughout the series is a unique take on the Arthurian saga, in which for the most part magic and Christianity coexist with each other in a world of clear lines dividing good from evil. This need to hide one’s innate abilities parallels the increasing desacralization of modern American culture, a desacralization shown by my paper to suppress the human quest for significance as something nonexistent and therefore unachievable.

While the desire for one’s existence to matter is nothing new, Merlin shares the ways in which the individual’s continued search for significance has evolved in the twenty-first century. Although science continues to explain away many of the world's mysteries, this in no way has lessened humanity's search for the unknown or the unexplainable. Thus, rather than disappearing into the vaults of myth, the legends of Merlin and other magic-wielders, individuals who make their own significance, have gained prominence in twenty-first century America. This may seem incongruous at first with an increasingly forward-looking and secularized culture, but my paper will demonstrate that the obsession in Merlin with the secret practicing of magic parallels humanity’s continued, albeit at times embarrassed, search for significance in a continually desacralized world. This quest is epitomized in the tale of the Fisher King, a man shown in Merlin to have outlived the days of magic and mystery but who still desperately desires his life to have meaning.


Paper 6: “The Case of Merlin as an Illustration of Postmodernism in the Francophone Graphic Novel”
Clotilde E. Landais, Purdue University 

The figure of Merlin, either per se or under different avatars of the archetypal wizard, is a central figure in contemporary Fantasy: since the medieval Arthurian legend, Merlin has been present in many novels and short-stories, but also in other forms of narrative, such as movies and TV shows, songs, and graphic novels.

In most of these representations, Merlin or his counterparts are presented as the hero figure from the proto-legend: in Robert de Boron’s Estoire de Merlin, the wizard fathered by the devil chooses to do God’s work and places his great powers at the service of the kingdom of Logres. Across centuries, the character of Merlin evolves into the archetype of the good wizard, a mentor figure with infinite powers and infinite knowledge.

However, there are some exceptions to this representation, and the Francophone graphic novel is a case in point. Series such as Merlin by Joann Sfar and José Luis Munuera (Dargaud, 1999-2003) which imagines Merlin’s childhood, or Kaamelott by Alexandre Astier and Steven Dupré (Casterman, 2006-) which re-tells the Arthurian legend, present the wizard’s figure in a different light. Sfar and Astier’s Merlins are indeed depicted as anti-heroes, but not because they are evil – which could have been explained by some versions of Merlin’s medieval legend, such as Robert de Boron’s Prose Lancelot in which the wizard is said to have never done a good deed in his life. Sfar and Astier’s representations of Merlin are different because deeply anchored in humor: even though the wizard characters have the courage and the good will of their medieval model, they usually lack his powerful skills and extended knowledge and are characterized instead by clumsiness and foolishness.

Such a parodistic rewriting of a classic works, with notably the transformation of a hero figure into an anti-heroic one, is characteristic of the playfulness of postmodernism (see for instance Hutcheon, Linda. A Poetics of Postmodernism: History, Theory, Fiction. NY: Routledge, 2004). This presentation will show that, through the deconstruction of Merlin’s figure, the Francophone graphic novel anchors itself in postmodernism and in a self-reflection on the Fantasy genre and its motifs. The wizard figure is indeed a key motif in Fantasy, and its parody in the graphic novel – Merlin being the archetype of such a figure – is all the more significant that it does not occur as often in other media, such as the novel.

The graphic novel has always served as a critical tool of the society, especially in Belgium and in France. As the graphic novel is still considered a popular genre in these cultures which value intellectual qualities above all, I suggest that this parodistic rewriting of a figure such as Merlin, which embodies absolute knowledge, reflects a need for legitimacy. This inclusion of postmodern mechanisms in the Francophone graphic novel is thus a way to strengthen its literary identity and to assimilate itself into mainstream literature.




ICoM 2014 CFP (6/1/14)

Head's up coutesy Richard Utz at medievalism-medievalismo-mediävalismus-médiévalisme:


One of the great epistemological strengths of medievalism studies has been its openness to the many variants of cultural reception, including multiple linguistic, ideological, geographical, and disciplinary perspectives. For this year’s conference at the Georgia Institute of Technology, we specifically invite sessions and individual papers that will investigate the manifold transformations that happen when recreations, reinventions, and redefinitions of the “medieval” move from one cultural space and time to another. The conference ("Medievalisms on the Move") will feature two plenary speakers.  Sylvie Kandé’s research on the migration of medievalisms from Europe and Africa to the Americas, and Kathleen Verduin’s investigation of the North American Dante reception (see below) present excellent examples of the kind of work we invite. We also imagine contributions that would show how medievalisms move between different discourses, genres, technological modes, historical periods, geographies, religions, art forms, social levels, research paradigms, etc. In addition to these contributions to the general theme of the conference, we invite any and all papers on the reception of medieval culture in postmedieval times.

Inquiries, one page proposals for entire sessions (deadline: April 15, 2014), and one page proposals for individual papers (deadline: June 1, 2014) should be sent to the conference organizers at medievalisms@lmc.gatech.edu. The conference will be held from October 24-25, 2014, in Atlanta, GA at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

SMART Spring 2014

Here is advance notice for the Spring 2014 number of SMART. Orders can be placed at their website: http://webs.wichita.edu/?u=smart.


SMART Fall 2013

The latest number of Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching was released earlier this season. Contents as follows. As always, SMART can be purchased at http://webs.wichita.edu/?u=smart.

STUDIES IN MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE TEACHING
(SMART)

CURRENT ISSUE INFORMATION


The Fall 2013 issue of Volume 20 of Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching departs from a collection focusing on a single topic, which has taken the spotlight in several previous issues of SMART, to a glowing assortment of essays on a variety of engaging subjects. Gina Brandolino compares The Book of Margery Kempe to O. J. Simpson’s If I Did It, while Misty Schieberle shows us an approach to teaching Chaucer’s Nun’s Priest’s Tale using barnyard pedagogy. Michael Evans offers us “A Land War in Asia,” the relevance of medieval history to contemporary religious conflict in the Middle East. Crystal Hall shares a board game she created to encourage students to read the entire epic poem Orlando Furioso. Molly Martin’s essay examines Malory’s Launcelot and Gwenyver in the twenty-first-century classroom. Michael Livingston shows how he bridges mythology and medieval literature in teaching the medieval Orpheus. Karolyn Kinane offers an example of student-centered pedagogy by teaching Arthurian legends in a general education course. Joseph Candido rounds out the essays with his paper on teaching students to listen to Shakespeare. This broad range of subjects and approaches illustrates the interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary nature SMART. As always, a few excellent book reviews are included.

GINA BRANDOLINO Margery and “the Juice”: Teaching The Book of Margery Kempe Using O. J. Simpson’s If I Did It
MISTY SCHIEBERLE Barnyard Pedagogy: An Approach to Teaching Chaucer’s Nun’s Priest’s Tale
MICHAEL EVANS A Land War in Asia
CRYSTAL HALL Orlando Furioso: The Board Game
MOLLY MARTIN Malory’s Launcelot and Gwenyver in the Twenty-First-Century Classroom
MICHAEL LIVINGSTON Teaching the Medieval Orpheus: Bridging Mythology and Medieval Literature
KAROLYN KINANE Arthurian Legends in General Education: An Example of Student-Centered Pedagogy
JOSEPH CANDIDO Teaching Students to Listen to Shakespeare
*******************************
DONALD WINEKE Book Review:  Shakespeare and the Middle Ages: Essays on the Performance and Adaptation of the Plays with Medieval Sources and Settings, edited by Martha W. Driver and Sid Ray
JENNY REBECCA RYTTING Book Review: Women and the Divine in Literature before 1700: Essays in Memory of Margot Louis, edited by Kathryn Kerby-Fulton
KAREN BOLLERMANN Book Review: Milton and Maternal Mortality, by Louis Schwartz
ROBERT GRAYBILL Book Review: Chaucer and Religion, edited by Helen Phillips
E. L. RISDEN Book Review: Humanism, Machinery, and Renaissance Literature, by Jessica Wolfe
BRIGITTE ROUSSEL Book Review:  The Medieval French Pastourelle Tradition: Poetic Motivations and Generic Transformations, by Geri L. Smith

Friday, November 15, 2013

CFP Conference on Translating early medieval poetry for the 21st century (12/15/13)

CFP: From eald to new: Translating early medieval poetry for the 21st century
Location:Ireland
Call for Papers Date:2013-12-15 (in 30 days)
Date Submitted: 2013-09-08
Announcement ID: 206424
6 – 7 June 2014

School of English, University College Cork, Ireland.

In recent years, the shelves of commercial bookshops have been graced with accessible translations of medieval poetry from the Old English, Old Irish and Old Norse traditions, including Heaney’s award-winning rendition of Beowulf. Many of these reworkings give a contemporary flavour and immediacy to medieval texts, and they are increasingly being adopted for introductory courses on medieval literature. But what place do literary translations have in the academy, and should they be taught as creative works in their own right? How are the latest translations adapting to the needs of students and teachers? What exactly do we lose, and gain, in the translation of medieval texts?

We invite abstracts for 20 minute papers from both individuals and panels. Abstracts of approx. 250 words should be emailed to Dr Tom Birkett or Dr Kirsty March at ealdtonew2014@ucc.ie.

Topics may include:
Audience, cultural specificity and local idiom
The meeting place of literary and academic translations
Past translations, constraints of precedence, and suppression of difference
Ideas of ownership, authorship and canonicity
Teaching the translation of medieval languages in the academy Problematic poetry: translating verse forms, metrics, poetic language
The potential of new media to change our relationship to the translated text
Translation theory applied to medieval texts

The closing date is 15 December 2013
Kirsty March,
School of English,
University College Cork,

Email: ealdtonew2014@ucc.ie
Visit the website at http://fromealdtonew2014.wordpress.com/

Thursday, September 12, 2013

New England Medieval Conference 2013

The New England Medieval Conference convenes in Providence, RI, this November and meets at the campus of the Rhode Island School of Design on 9 November 2013. The conference theme is "Empathy, Antipathy, and Love: Emotions in the Middle Ages". Conference details are promised at http://www.framingham.edu/nemc/2013-conference-information.html, but, right now, only the call for papers is available. For those interested, conference registration is online at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/7027662929 and costs a modest $50 for the one-day event.

Monday, September 9, 2013

CFP Robin Hood Conference (expired)

The following came across in the summer and has since expired. It would be fun to work on Robin Hood in popular culture if there was more lead time. 

A tentative schedule now available at the conference website and can be accessed at http://robinhood.slu.edu/schedule.html.

9th Biennial Conference of the International Association for Robin Hood Studies (10/31/13-11/3/13)

full name / name of organization: 
International Association for Robin Hood Studies
contact email: 
The Ninth Biennial Conference of the International Association for Robin Hood Studies will be October 31-November 3, hosted by Saint Louis University.

This year's theme will be “The Games of Robin Hood,” focusing on any aspect of games or game-playing associated with the Robin Hood stories and plays, ranging from the May-Games of the medieval outlaw, the mischief of Robin and the Sheriff, to Munday’s plays, to games the movies play with their audiences, to videogames.

The deadline for abstracts has been extended to August 15, 2013. Please see the conference’s website to upload your abstract and to register: http://robinhood.slu.edu/
Also, please email your abstract to Thomas Rowland: trowlan1@slu.edu.

There is a discounted registration rate for students.

FYI: Saint Louis University, located in lovely midtown in St. Louis, Missouri, is within walking distance to many historic attractions (like the Fox Theatre) and restaurants, and within sight of the Arch and downtown. There is a nice boutique hotel on campus, and two inexpensive hotels nearby, one in the upscale Central West End and by Forest Park, the other by the trendy South Grand district. The University is home to the Vatican Film Library, repository of manuscripts on microfilm and center for paleographical study, and the St. Louis Room for rare books. Due to its central location, St. Louis usually features less expensive airfare and associated costs for traveling and staying here.

CFP Tolkien Studies (11/1/13 PCA/ACA)

Tolkien Studies – Special Topic – New for 2014!


All Proposals and Abstracts Must Be Submitted Through The PCA Database.
Please submit a proposal to only one area at a time. Exceptions and rules

CALL FOR PAPERS

ANNOUNCING A SPECIAL TOPICS AREA FOR 2014: TOLKIEN STUDIES
POPULAR CULTURE ASSOCIATION & AMERICAN CULTURE ASSOCIATION
2014 JOINT NATIONAL CONFERENCE
Marriott Chicago Downtown Magnificant Mile, Chicago, IL
Wednesday, April 16 through Saturday, April 19th
For information on PCA/ACA, please go to http://www.pcaaca.org
For conference information, please go to http://www.pcaaca.org/conference/national.php

DEADLINE:  NOVEMBER 1, 2013

We welcome proposals on any area of Tolkien Studies (the Legendarium, adaptations, reader reception and fan studies, media and marketing) from any disciplinary or interdisciplinary perspective.

We are considering proposals for sessions organized around a theme, special panels, and/or individual papers.  Sessions are scheduled in 1½ hour slots, typically with four papers or speakers per standard session.

If there is sufficient interest in this Special Topics Area, we may be able to develop Tolkien Studies as a permanent area for the conference.

Should you or any of your colleagues be interested in submitting a proposal or have any questions, please contact:

Bruce E. Drushel, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Media Studies
Department of Communication
Miami University
Oxford OH  45056
(513) 529-3526
drushebe@muohio.edu

To submit your panel or presentation, go to http://ncp.pcaaca.org and follow the instructions for creating an account and making your submission.  ALL submissions must be made through the conference submission site.  For individual papers, please submit a title and 100-word abstract.  For sessions and panels, please submit paper/presentation titles and abstracts, along with a paragraph describing the central theme, and the names of chairs and respondents (if any).  For each participant, please provide a mailing address, institutional affiliation, and e-mail address.