Epic in the Latin West (4th-15th Centuries)
Nuremberg, Wednesday, 25 September 2024 - Saturday, 28 September 2024
Congress organizer: Lehrstuhl für Lateinische Philologie des Mittelalters und der Neuzeit (Prof. Dr. Michele C. Ferrari), Friedrich-Alexander-
Epic, beyond other genres, has been both a guarantor of cultural continuity for millennia and a site of fundamental innovations in literary style and content in Western culture. It has also occasioned heated controversies, because of the complex associations it bears, e.g., with nationalism, colonialism or racism. How do such debates relate to Medieval Latin – or do they?
The conference Epic in the Latin West (4th–15th Centuries) proposes to explore the genre in its highly varied developments from Late Antiquity to the Early Modern Period. Medieval Latin gave expression to an overwhelming number of epics, many of them still little studied. The centre of gravity will be the Latin of the Middle Ages, but connections with Classics, other vernaculars, and modernity from the Renaissance to the present day are also possible topics. What do these earlier centuries have to say to the twenty-first?
Many avenues might be investigated, such as:
- Epic Heroes and Heroines: adaptation of classical heroes (from Homer, Virgil, Lucan, and others); questions of gender; rise of new heroes (biblical and saintly); effects of Christianity on the nature of heroism.
- Texts and Genres: epic and other genres (e.g., historical writing, hagiography, philosophy, or theology); defining features of epic; orality and literacy in composition and transmission; stylistics and metrics; verse in relation to prose.
- Reception: intertextuality, concentrating on Latin but also relating to the vernaculars; text transmission and philological aspects; quotation and paraphrase; text and image; text and music; epic and other media (romances, novels, film, and recent media forms, so long as the connection with Medieval Latin is strong).
The conference will take place under the aegis of the International Medieval Latin Committee (president: Prof. Dr. Jan Ziolkowski, Harvard). Mornings will feature plenary lectures (keynote speeches) by internationally recognized specialists, while the afternoon will have papers given in panel sessions (each 20 minutes plus 10 minutes discussion). The conference languages are German, English, French, Italian, Latin, and Spanish.
This call for papers is open to scholars at all career stages who would like to present in the panel sessions. Interested individuals should submit their proposals by 1 March 2024 (starting from 1 November 2023) here:
Please note that presenters must also register for the congress. Please send, in addition to your C.V., the title of your contribution and an abstract in English (max. 300 words). The papers themselves may be delivered in any of the conference languages named above. In selecting papers, the organizers are looking to create a spectrum that is thematically and methodologically as broad as possible.
Some Sebaldus Bursaries in the amount of 400€ each will be available to travelling speakers under 35 years of age whose proposals are accepted. After the proposal has been accepted and the speaker has agreed to attend, successful recipients will be notified by the conference organizers. A separate application for a Sebaldus Bursary is not necessary. It is not possible to combine a Sebaldus Bursary with a bursary from the HWB Mittellatein Foundation (see below).
For more information about the conference and accompanying program, see our homepage:
Prospective presenters and audience members may register by 15 September 2024 (starting from 1 November 2023) here:
For 10 young scholars, travel bursaries in the amount of 400€ each will be available on a competitive basis through the generosity of the HWB Mittellatein Foundation. Please send your application before 30 June 2024, including a full C.V. and a short statement describing your interest in Medieval Latin to: Dr. iur. Felix Berschin, Kennwort „HWB Mittellatein“, Max-Reger-Str. 41, 69121 Heidelberg (Germany).