Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Authority, Authorship, and Audience in the Middle Ages

The sixth annual Conference for Medieval Studies, a graduate student
conference sponsored by Comitatus, the Purdue Medieval Studies
student organization, will be held at Purdue University, West
Lafayette, Indiana from February 15-16, 2008. The theme for this
year’s conference will be "Authority, Authorship, and Audience in the
Middle Ages." Eve Salisbury, Associate Professor of English at
Western Michigan University will be the plenary speaker for this
year’s conference. Our theme looks at the concept of authorship in
the Middle Ages. Because our modern understanding of authorship is
quite different from the Middle Ages, the idea of how to define
authorship and who should be called an author are questions well
worth pursuing. Wrapped into the questions about authorship are
questions of authority and audience. We are inviting 250-word
abstracts for papers as well as panel proposals from graduate
students and advanced undergraduates. Individual papers should be 15-
20 minutes in length to allow time for discussion. All facets of
authorship, particularly those submissions that engage the concept of
authorship through art, architecture, gender, historical
documentation, manuscript creation, or literature are particularly
welcome. Possible topics might include but are not limited to the
following: - How has a particular author(s) used source material to
establish another meaning for the text? - How is authorship defined
when looking at an artifact that is not text-based? - How does gender
affect both author and authority? Does gender affect the power
structures of a work? - Who had the authority to write about
religious topics? What happened when someone outside those bounds
wrote "authoritatively" about religion? - What political agendas
might an author/artist/designer have? - How does knowing the
authorship (and potential bias) of a writer of a historical chronicle
affect the reading of that chronicle? Due Date for Abstracts: October
15, 2007 Please send all abstracts to: Karen Robinson
krobinson@purdue.edu (preferred) Purdue University Department of
English 500 Oval Drive West Lafayette, IN 47907-2038
-- Emily E. Redman Ph.D. Candidate Purdue University Heavilon Hall
500 Oval Drive West Lafayette, IN 47907-2038 Phone: 765-379-2353

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