Sunday, August 24, 2008

Text, Performance, and Late Medieval Voice CFP

Text, Performance, and Late Medieval Voice

(listed on p.16 of the recently mailed general CFP for the 44th
International Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo)

While the exploration of intertextuality has become a staple approach for
understanding the way medieval texts and authors relate to one another, very
little recent work has sought to plumb the mechanics of and relationships
between the voices present in late-medieval texts and in the culture that
first received them. Poets in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries seem to
pay special attention to the relationship between writing, reading, and
performing in their textual culture and, at the center of this culture, to
the voices that form and interweave texts.
Broad hermeneutic patterns emerge when considering how moments of reception
and production in which voices are embedded collide in moments of
performance. These patterns in turn connect to metalinguistic discourses of
the time that sought to understand voices and their uses in texts and in
oral performances. This session proposes to bring together submissions from
diverse disciplines that build on some of the seminal links between medieval
texts, reading, and oral performance first articulated in the 1970s and '80s
by Paul Zumthor, and productively expanded on especially by Brian Stock in
his renowned Listening for the Text (1990), as well as a number of important
essay collections published in the last 20 years. Particularly in light of
new interest in the nature of the human voice and its social and cultural
implications in psychoanalytic theory, led by Lacanian theorists like Slavoj
Zizek and Mladen Dolar, our hope with this session is to encourage scholars
to reconsider 'the voice' as a site for theoretical investigations of the
flow between media, types of reading situations, and performances in the
late middle ages.

If you have any further questions or would like to submit a paper proposal,
please contact:

Elon Lang

Anne Stone


"Women in the Medieval Mediterranean"

Session to be held at the International Congress on Medieval
Studies, Kalamazoo, Michigan, May, 7-10, 2009

Sponsored by the Byzantine Studies Association of North America

Session Chair: Andrea Olsen (Johns Hopkins University)

Discussant: Annemarie Weyl Carr (emerita, Southern Methodist University)

Deadline: 15 September 2008

Recent studies of the medieval Mediterranean—both focused historical
research as well as investigations of cross-cultural phenomena—have
resulted in fresh, dynamic ways of understanding the region as a crossroads
for the exchange of ideas, economic goods and artistic practices. The goal
of this session is to delve deeper into the daily lives of women who lived
at the intersections of the Byzantine, western and Islamic worlds. As
functionaries in medieval court life, women played a vital role as
ambassadors, authors, and as patronesses of art. Although precious little
survives attesting to details of women's experiences, it is certain that
all along the social and economic continuum, women were formative players
at the junctions of disparate cultures. By investigating their social and
religious practices along with their artistic legacies, this session aims
to discuss the hybrid character of women's lives in the "societies in

Seasoned as well as young scholars are invited to submit proposals for
20-minute presentations. Papers dealing with artistic, literary, economic
or religious aspects of women's influence in the medieval Mediterranean are
welcome. Possible lines of inquiry include questions of materiality, the
female body, the family, maternity, transformation of self and other, and

Paper proposals should consist of the following:
- Abstract of proposed paper (300 words maximum)
- Completed Abstract Cover Sheet (available at:

Andrea Olsen
History of Art Department

268 Mergenthaler Hall
Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, MD 21218

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