Sunday, September 28, 2008

CFP: UPenn Medievalist Graduate Student Conference CFP

CFP: UPenn Medievalist Graduate Student Conference
(6-7 Feb 09)

Call for Papers

Per Speculum in Mediaevum: Discourses of Mirroring in the Middle Ages

Keynote Speaker: Marina Brownlee; Topic TBA

Medievalists @ Penn (M@P) invites submissions for the graduate conference in
Medieval Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, February 6-7, 2009. All
abstract submissions (max. 250-300 words) must be received by November 14th,
2008. All submissions to

The figure captured in the Latin word speculum, meaning both 'mirror' and
'encyclopedia,' is central to medieval culture. From St. Paul's foundational
"per speculum in aenigmate" to Ovid's version of the Narcissus myth to Jean
de Meun's re-titling of the Romance of the Rose as Le Miroer aus Amoreus,
the problematic of reflection cuts across medieval regional and discursive
boundaries. This traveling topos pervades medieval cultural expression, from
religious thought to the production of visual and textual artwork to music
and philosophy. The implicit or explicit articulation of this fascinating
figure nevertheless differs as it enters (or is re-evaluated within) varying
discourses. This conference invites submissions concerning one or more
formations of the 'mirror.' We seek to encourage a plurality of perspectives
from medievalists of all disciplines in recognition of the profound
'interdisciplinarity' of our common object of study: the Middle Ages. Topics
might include, but are not limited to:

-encyclopedias and summae
-advice for princes and conduct manuals
-scientific treatises and astrology
-(Ciceronian) friendship
-reproduction and repetition
-twins and doubling
-vanity and the Narcissus myth
-reflection and replication
-representation and mimesis
-specularity and visuality
-recognition and self-consciousness
-the mirror of the soul and mysticism
-mirror as distorted image, figura, and metaphor

Mission Statement of M@P: Medievalists @ Penn (M@P) is a reading group run
by graduate students at the University of Pennsylvania. The group is
comprised of members from departments across the School of Arts and Sciences
(French, Music, Spanish, English, German, and Art History among others). Our
readings are primary and secondary texts chosen broadly from various
disciplines, agreed upon each semester by the current participants. Our
purpose is to foster discussion and interaction among students and scholars
of all aspects of the Middle Ages and to provide mutual support for the
development of a broad interdisciplinary understanding of medieval culture.

Kathryn Malczyk
Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures
University of Pennsylvania
745 Williams Hall, 255 S. 36th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104

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