Monday, September 14, 2009

two sessions on pedagogy

We invite proposals for two sessions on pedagogy that focus upon
teaching oral theory and/or oral tradition in courses typically
taught by medievalists.

Though recent scholarship in the field of oral theory has made
enormous strides in articulating the incredibly complex relationships
between oral tradition and literate culture in the medieval world,
the subtleties involved can often be difficult to convey within the
confines of a class hour or syllabus unit. The task of even modestly
integrating what amounts to decades of work on such issues as the
persistence of oral poetics long after the advent of literacy, the
performance and performativity of medieval texts, and ambiguous
depictions of oral traditions as conveyed within surviving medieval
manuscripts into a single semester, or, more often, a single unit or
class period, can be incredibly daunting. Further, the capacity for
students to appreciate and understand the implications of
oral-connected and oral-derived medieval texts is largely dependent
upon the treatment of such issues in available translations,
editions, and audio-visual media. These
sessions offer an opportunity to bridge the potential divide
between theory and practice, closely examining how oral theory can
best be utilized in planning text-selection, assignment development,
organization of units, and in-class activities.

We welcome presentations about a variety of pedagogical practices,
including those that can be applied in upper-level and lower-level
courses, in survey courses as well as those focused exclusively on
medieval literature, in classes working in translation and in
original-languages, and in teaching both canonical and
less-frequently taught texts.

When submitting an abstract, please specify either the session of
papers or the panel discussion. The session of papers would involve
presentations of 15-20 minutes, and the panel discussion would
consist of more informal 5-10 minute presentations followed by more
extensive discussion. If you are already presenting in another
session, the panel discussion would be best, since the Congress does
not allow two papers to be presented by a single speaker. The
Congress does allow one to present in a session of papers and also
participate in a separate panel discussion.

Send the abstract to Heather Maring ( or Lori
Garner ( no later than September 15.

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