Wednesday, August 3, 2016

CFP: Medieval Form and Medieval Knowledge, International Congress on Medieval Studies, 2017
Organized by the Graduate Medievalists at Berkeley (GMB)

How do formal elements of medieval texts—elements such as style, genre, and structure—determine how we locate these texts in medieval intellectual culture and understand their context? This question has surfaced in a number of different ways in scholarship, including in reactions of amusement, wonderment, or frustration, or even in a sense of being deceived. For instance, our notions of “fictional” and “nonfictional” genres may be stymied by medieval romances that claim to be historical or medieval histories that offer the stuff of romance or folklore; setting serious works of history, theology, or science in verse, as many medieval authors did, would be seen today as the height of eccentricity. 

This panel explores and questions borders of several kinds: between genres; between disciplines of knowledge or categories of truth and fiction; between source-texts and texts of translation; and between medieval and non-medieval genres or disciplines. As such, we hope to create a conversation across far-flung areas of medieval studies. Key questions include:

-How does the form of medieval texts affect the way that those texts are classified, whether by genre or by discipline? 
-What are the limits of medieval genres, and how are they constructed?
-What kinds of knowledge, truth-values, and discourses do medieval texts construct or presuppose?
-How does the translation of medieval texts negotiate between multiple genres or discourses?
-Finally, how has the study of medieval texts been shaped by either medieval or modern disciplines?

Please send abstracts of up to 300 words to by September 15, or sooner if possible.

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