CALL FOR PAPERS – Medieval/Early Modern
Thirty-Eighth Annual Conference of the German Studies Association in Kansas City, Missouri, September 18-21, 2014. www.thegsa.org
YMAGINA (Young Medievalist Germanists in North America, http://www.ymagina.org) is pleased to announce a call for papers for the following three sessions at the 2014 GSA conference.
1. Sensing the Middle Ages and the Early Modern: Sound
From Hildegard of Bingen’s liturgical songs to Petitcreiu’s little bell in Gottfried’s Tristan to Hans Sachs’s Meisterlieder, the presence of sound—expressed as sophisticated music or produced as guttural noises, or anything in between—permeates medieval and early modern literature. Both within literary texts, where sound can contribute to plot development or serve as symbol, and in the performance of literary texts, where sound is critical to successful aural reception, the presence—or absence—of sound offers yet another approach to medieval and early modern culture. This panel seeks papers that explore the sense of sound—instrumental, human, bestial, mechanical—in medieval or early modern works. Possible questions include: What function(s) does sound have? What types of sound are represented—and how are they represented in text? How is sound understood—if at all? To what extent is sound contrasted with its opposite, silence?
2. Prophecy and Identity in Medieval and Early Modern Germany
In the Biblical texts, the role of the prophet is to call a fallen Israel back to God. Prophecy is addressed to a nation and a people who must unite in order to reform and avoid ruin. In the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period, prophets continued to construct their messages as calls to reform, but the nations to which they addressed themselves changed with the rise of Christendom and the development of European nation states. This panel invites papers that address the way in which prophecy in medieval and early modern Germany constructs the identity of German or religious political unities and of the person charged with the message. From Hildegard of Bingen’s twelfth-century calls for ecclesiastical reform to the seventeenth–century millenialism of Jakob Böhme or Quirinus Kuhlmann to the rise of Hasidism in the eighteenth century, how did the prophecy of a given time respond to its political environment, construct the nation to which it pertained, or present the person of the prophet? How did prophets understand their own place within the political unity, for example according to their gender, social status, or relationship with the church or other religious authorities? How did prophets and visionaries claim authority and what was the place of divine authority in the secular realm?
3. Martyrdom Medieval and Modern
Sigrid Weigel’s 2008 edited volume Märtyrer-Porträts gathers essays on modern martyrs in order to investigate the continuing influence of martyrdom as a code of action in the modern world from jihad to performance art. This panel seeks to bring modern forms of martyrdom into dialogue with medieval constructions of the martyr. What forms of medieval martyrdom are still practiced or valued in the contemporary world? Are voluntary poverty or self-castigation, for example, still considered forms of martyrdom? How has the place of martyrdom in war changed? Is martyrdom possible in non-religious contexts? Comparative papers that draw on medieval sources will be given preference.
We seek 15- to 20-minute papers, in English or German. Please send an abstract (max. 250 words) and a brief CV that includes institutional affiliation by MONDAY, FEBRUARY 3rd, 2014, to both of the following organizers (e-mail submissions only, please):
Dr. Claire Taylor Jones, Department of German and Russian Languages and Literatures, University of Notre Dame, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Alison Beringer, Department of Classics and General Humanities, Montclair State University, email@example.com