Wednesday, June 25, 2014

ICMS/Kalamazoo 2015: Calls for Papers for Sessions from MAM

Chiesa di San Benedetto in Piscinula (Rome, Italy)

1. The Formation of Identity in Middle English Arthurian Romance
Organizer: Kristin Bovaird-Abbo (

This session will explore issues of identity formation specifically in Middle English Arthurian Romance. Although abstracts dealing with Malory and/or Sir Gawain and the Green Knight will be considered, we are particularly interested in abstracts that consider less frequently discussed texts such as Awntyrs off Arthur, Gologras and Gawain, Ywain and Gawain, Libeaus Desconus, et cetera. Possible topics may include the contested space between subject/object, material culture's participation in identity formation, the relationship between humans and animals, knightly masculinity/femininity, spiritual/religious identity, geographical (or environmental) impacts on identity formation, transmission of characters from French romances to Middle English romances, boundaries between the human and the monstrous, et cetera.

2. Good Love for All: Opening the Libro de buen amor
Organizer: Abraham Quintanar (quintana@DICKINSON.EDU)

This session seeks to encourage any approximation that increases accessibility to the Libro de buen amor, a masterwork considered sometimes cryptic, sometimes inscrutable, and always challenging. Theoretical, literary, linguistic as well as philological approaches are welcome, though papers grounded in the text and with a clearly defined methodology are preferred. Also encouraged are papers that explore innovative approaches that shed light on particularly difficult passages or readings. Taking into account the already voluminous bibliography of the Libro, all aspects of this work will be considered, as will papers that take up, from a distinctive perspective, previously explored topics.

3. Animal Languages
Organizer: Alison Langdon (

Language is one trait by which humans in the Middle Ages defined themselves against other animals, yet at the same time many animals were understood to possess language of their own and in some cases to participate in human language. This session will explore animal languages broadly, addressing questions such as: What kinds of communicative strategies did medievals recognize in the animal world, and how were they interpreted? How was human meaning imposed on animal vocalizations? How were animals themselves used as symbolic language in visual texts such as the Bayeux tapestry or manuscript illuminations?

4. Justice and Law in Medieval Contexts and Beyond
Organizer: Toy-Fung Tung

How are medieval law and justice explored at the juncture where legal texts and/or principles intersect with literary, philosophical, theological, and historical texts, as well with the visual arts, architecture, and performances? This question invites an interdisciplinary approach that examines how competing and/or complementary texts, genres, discourses, expressions, and values contributed to the formation of medieval concepts of law and justice, such as legal identity, citizenship, sovereignty, polity, fairness, legitimacy, criminality, contracts, international relations, and individual and social welfare. Interdisciplinary papers and new approaches from a global perspective are especially welcome, as are papers that link medieval concepts of law and justice with their subsequent development in succeeding centuries.

Inquiries and proposals should be sent to the individual session organizers. Proposals are due by September 15 and should be accompanied by the Participant Information Form, available at

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