CUNY Medieval Studies / Kalamazoo 2019 (May 9–12)
The Medieval Studies Certificate Program at the CUNY Graduate Center will sponsor four sessions at the 2019 International Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo (May 9-12):
1) “Exchanging Cultures: Anglo-French Relations in the Middle Ages” [paper session]
Scholars agree that English and French, whether language, literature, or culture, had a strong relationship in the Middle Ages. This is only natural, as the two countries were at war with each other for one hundred years. Despite their mutual interactions and back-and-forth distribution of power, the portrayal of the relationship has remained fairly static, frequently described as French influence on English writing but not the other way around. Rather than a unidirectional influence, however, we should perhaps consider the relationship to be one of exchange. How might English writers have influenced French ones? How might both peoples have viewed each other on a day to day level? Because of departmental divisions, it is difficult to address these questions from both English and French perspectives. Influenced by the “Channeling Relations in Medieval England and France” conference hosted by the Pearl Kibre Medieval Study at the CUNY Graduate Center in 2018, this panel means to bring these two separate groups together for a conversation that is truly interdisciplinary.
2) "Devotional Vocabularies" [paper session]
Much recent literary and historical work has focused attention on medieval Christian devotional practices and texts. But often this work proceeds without a full investigation of how complex, and often transcendent or fleeting, devotional experiences are articulated, made communicable to those who may not have participated in them themselves. What do we talk about when we talk about devotion? This panel will explore the ways in which piety, passion, and spirituality are articulated through medieval texts. Questions that may be considered will include: what happens to devotional language when it is translated? What are the tropes of devotional literature? What are the limitations of devotional vocabulary?
3) “Medieval and Modern anti-Semitisms” [paper session]
Central to historical work on anti-Semitism has been a certain disagreement over the question of continuity: do modern anti-Semitic formations build directly on premodern (and specifically medieval) constructions or do they develop more independently, out of the forces that shape modern sociality (nation states, global economic empires, modern conceptions of race). This session will bring together work on both medieval and modern moments and texts to consider the ways in which medieval anti-Semitic texts and tropes might be sui generis, or alternatively might be taken up and reworked into new, modern forms.
4) “Non-Christian Medievalists Studying the Middle Ages” [panel discussion]
This session will continue the work of our sponsored Kalamazoo 2018 session, in which medievalists from conservative religious backgrounds (mostly Christian, but also Jewish) reflected on their work in academic medievalism. Here, we invite scholars either to reflect on how their own non-Christian backgrounds shape their work on medieval materials or to think about the significance of the work of non-Christian medievalists (Morton Bloomfield, Israel Gollancz, Sheila Delany, et al.) for medieval studies.
For any of the four sessions, please send a 250-word abstract, along with a completed Participant Information Form (available via the Congress Submissions website: https://wmich.edu/medievalcongress/submissions[wmich.edu]) by September 15 to Steven Kruger (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please also address any questions about the sessions to Steve.