Could this be the Best. Conference. Ever?

Well, for medievalists, anyway…

Preliminary Call for Papers
The Middle Ages in the Modern World

University of St Andrews, UK, 25-28 June, 2013

A multidisciplinary conference on the uses and abuses of the Middle Ages from the Renaissance to the 21st century
Provisional Keynotes
  • Carolyn Dinshaw (New York University): The Green Man and the Modern World
  • Patrick Geary (Princeton): European ethnicity: Does Europe have too much past
  • Seamus Heaney (Nobel Prize-winning Poet): Translating medieval poetry
  • Bruce Holsinger (University of Virginia): The politics of medievalism
  • Felicitas Hoppe (Author and Translator): Adapting medieval romance
  • Terry Jones (Author and Broadcaster): Columbus, America and the flat earth
Medievalism – the reception and adaptation of the politics, history, art and literature of the Middle Ages – has burgeoned over the past decade, and is now coming of age as a subject of serious academic enquiry. This conference aims to take stock and develop directions for the future. We hope to address questions such as:
– Why and how do the Middle Ages continue to shape the world we inhabit?

– Did the Middle Ages ever end?
– Did the Middle Ages ever happen?
– Is there a difference between medievalism and medieval studies?
– Does the medieval past hold the key to understanding modern nations?
– What does “medieval” mean to non-medievalists?
– How has medievalism developed over the past 600 years?

Medievalists and modernists in all areas of the sciences and humanities, librarians, artists, curators are invited to submit proposals for papers, panels, public talks, exhibits, posters, concerts etc. The conference will be held during the climactic period of the University of St Andrews’s 600th anniversary celebrations.
Possible topics include (but are not limited to):
– the reception of the Middle Ages in literature, art, architecture, music, film, politics, economics, theology, popular culture, universities, sciences;

– periodization and the invention of the Middle Ages;
– modern misconceptions of the Middle Ages;
– the politicization of the Middle Ages and neo-medievalism;
– twenty-first century medievalisms;
– revivalism and re-enactment;
– medievalism, science fiction, fantasy and cyberspace;
– translating medieval texts;
– the legacy and influence of the University of St Andrews and other medieval institutions
– a special celebratory 600th anniversary session on the reception and representation of St Andrew himself.

Early bird proposals are welcome now to to assist planning, anytime before 31 August 2012.

Organisers: Dr Chris Jones, School of English and Dr Bettina Bildhauer, School of Modern Languages, University of St Andrews.


6 thoughts on “Could this be the Best. Conference. Ever?

  1. Yes. Best EVER. And I’m not even a medievalist. I do, however, occasionally play one in the secondary-school classroom. And I even have a published article about a 20th c. poet and a medieval source. Hmmmm. Thanks SO much for posting this.

  2. Depends on your purposes . . . this year’s Zoo made me wish that the medievalism-ists would go and play by themselves, so maybe this is where they are going to do just that. Not that you can’t do both, but as I’ve just been saying chez moi, I’m narrow that way. And so this seems to me like an excellent thing overall, though I will not be there.

  3. Pingback: Question « Literature Should Mean Something in Your Life

  4. It is a bit weird. It looks fantastic, but there’s no way I could take part, because, well I do medieval history. That may sound snarlier than I mean it to but I just have nothing to say about reception beyond, “you know, my subject area, they still really care about this stuff and it’s because of Franco”, and I’d have to completely divert my work for months to substantiate that and learn a whole new set of research techniques. And yet I still want to go and hear.

    • I kind of feel the same way. I don’t *do* medievalism work, and yet this looks really cool. If I lived nearby, I’d go and hear what everyone else had to say. Also, I get my Seamus Heaney Beowulf signed!

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