Friday, June 7, 2019

NEASA Sponsored Session Update and Bios


Representation(s): Image and Reality, Identity and Community: 2019 New England American Studies Association Conference.

Fitchburg State University, Fitchburg, MA.

8 June 2019.



Session 4: 3:15-4:30

Panel 7: Make Me Medieval: Appropriations of the Middle Ages in American Culture (Percival Hall 106)

Sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture

Moderator: Michael A. Torregrossa, Independent Scholar


“All-American Arthuriana: The Appropriation of the Matter of Britain during the American Civil War Era,” Michael A. Torregrossa (Independent Scholar)

Michael A. Torregrossa is a graduate of the Medieval Studies program at the University of Connecticut (Storrs) and works as an adjunct instructor in English in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts. His research interests include adaptation, Arthuriana, Beowulfiana, comics and comic art, Frankensteiniana, medievalism, monsters, science fiction, and wizards. Michael has presented papers on these topics at regional, national, and international conferences, and his work has been published in Adapting the Arthurian Legends for Children: Essays on Arthurian Juvenilia, Arthuriana, The Arthuriana / Camelot Project Bibliographies, Cinema Arthuriana: Twenty Essays, Film & History, The 1999 Film & History CD-ROM Annual, The Medieval Hero on Screen: Representations from Beowulf to Buffy, and the three most recent supplements to The Arthurian Encyclopedia. In addition, Michael is founder of The Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Matter of Britain, The Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture (successor to The Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages), and The Northeast Alliance for Scholarship on the Fantastic; he also serves as editor for these organizations’ various blogs and moderator of their discussion lists. Besides these activities, Michael is also active in the Northeast Popular Culture/American Culture Association and organizes sessions for their annual conference in the fall. Michael is currently Monsters and the Monstrous Area Chair for the Northeast Popular Culture/American Culture Association, but he previously served as its Fantastic (Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror) Area Chair, a position he held from 2009-2018.

“Medievalism in America’s Mardi Gras Tradition,” Ann J. Pond (Bishop State Community College

[Bio not provided.]

“Might Makes Right: Medieval Combat Sports and the Legitimization of a Fascist Middle Ages,” Ken Mondschein (University of Massachusetts-Amherst-Mt Ida) 

Ken Mondschein floats like a leaf through academia. He has benefited from Mt. Ida College’s closing by UMass-Amherst giving him a lectureship to teach the remnant Vet Tech students, who resent him mightily (your choice for gen-eds... Mondschein... or Mondschein). Besides that, he teaches at two other colleges for a total of eight classes per semester. Publishing-wise, he is incredibly productive. His book on timekeeping finally passed peer review at Johns Hopkins, and he has a contract for a sourcebook on medieval time with Italica Press. He published Game of Thrones and the Medieval Art of War with McFarland in 2017, and just released his translation of BnF MS Lat 11269 with extensive scholarly introduction as Flowers of Battle, Vol III: Florius de Arte Luctandi with Freelance Academy Press. The introduction is its own article in Acta Periodica Duellatorum 6.1, “On the Art of Fighting: A Humanist Translation of Fiore dei Liberi’s Flower of Battle Owned by Leonello D’Este.” Ken also has chapters forthcoming in the Cultural History of Sport Vol. 2: A Cultural History of Sport in the Medieval Age (ed. Wray Vamplew, John McClelland, and Mark Dyreson) and an article, “Fencing, Martial Sport, and Working-Class Culture in Early Modern Germany: The Case of Strasbourg” (with Olivier Dupuis) forthcoming in the Journal of Medieval Military History 16.

“ ‘Beautiful, willful, and dead before her time’: Reclaiming Female Characters in A Song of Ice and Fire and Its Fandom,” Kavita Mudan Finn (Independent Scholar)

Kavita Mudan Finn is an independent scholar in medieval and early modern literature currently lecturing at Simmons University. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Oxford in 2010 and published her first book, The Last Plantagenet Consorts: Gender, Genre, and Historiography 1440-1627, in 2012. Her work has appeared in Shakespeare, Viator, Critical Survey, Journal of Fandom Studies, Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England, and Quarterly Review of Film and Video, and she has edited several collections, including Fan Phenomena: Game of Thrones (2017), The Palgrave Handbook of Shakespeare’s Queens (2018), and Becoming: Genre, Queerness, and Transformation in NBC’s Hannibal (2019).




Monday, May 6, 2019

CFP Comics Get Medieval 2019 (6/30/2019; MAPACA Pittsburgh 11/7-9/2019)


Call for Papers for Medieval Classics Illustrated: The Comics Get Medieval 2019

A session sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture for the Medieval & Renaissance Area of the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association


2019 Annual Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association

Pittsburgh Marriott City Center Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA

7-9 November 2019

Proposals due by 30 June 2019


Medieval Classics Illustrated: The Comics Get Medieval 2019

The comics medium has long been used to promote the familiarization of great literature beginning with the Classics Illustrated series and continuing with its many modern successors today. There is value in using comics to introduce readers to texts, but there is greater value in using adaptations as studies of acts of interpretation, appropriation, and transformation. As with any form of medievalism, the connections made between comics adaptations of medieval literature and the contexts concerning their creation are important, but there are, to date, few studies of comics based on medieval works. It is the intent of this panel, a furtherance of the popular Comics Get Medieval sessions, to foster discussion and debate of how and why cartoonists, comic book creators, and graphic novelists have adapted medieval texts and to offer suggestions for how such comics might be profitably used in teaching and promoting the discipline of Medieval Studies.


Presentations will be limited to 15-20 minutes depending on final panel size.

Interested individuals should, no later than 30 June 2019, notify the organizers of their topic via email directed to MedievalinPopularCulture@gmail.com using “Comics Get Medieval 2019” as their subject heading. Please send both an abstract of no more than 300 words and an academic biographical narrative of no more than 75 words. Accepted participants will also need create a web account with the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association at https://mapaca.net/conference in advance of the deadline.

Again, please send inquiries and copies of your submissions to the organizers at MedievalinPopularCulture@gmail.com using “Comics Get Medieval 2019” as the subject heading.

In planning your proposal, please be aware of the policies of the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association (available at https://mapaca.net/help/conference/submitting-abstracts-conference). 


Further details on the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture can be found at its website: https://medievalinpopularculture.blogspot.com/.

CFP Roundtable on Medieval Undead/Undead Medievalisms (6/30/2019; MAPACA Pittsburgh 11/7-9/2019)

Call for Papers for Medieval Undead/Undead Medievalisms (A Roundtable)


A session sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture for the Medieval & Renaissance Area of the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association

2019 Annual Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association

Pittsburgh Marriott City Center Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA

7-9 November 2019


Proposals due by 30 June 2019


Undoubtedly, the modern concept of the zombie is a recent phenomenon, with origins in Haitian folklore and American film and fiction (notably George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead and Richard Matheson’s “I am Legend”). Nevertheless, the zombie is also indebted to horrors of earlier ages, including the revenants of medieval folklore and literature; although, enthusiasts of present-day zombies often overlook this heritage. Meanwhile, some modern creators of representations of zombie menaces seem to tap into to this tradition in bringing to life new undead creatures that mash the medieval with the modern by allowing more familiar zombies and zombie-like entities to shamble across medieval landscapes. Despite the variety and vitality of these traditions, both the medieval undead and undead medievalisms remain largely neglected by scholarship.


Through this roundtable session, the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture seeks to bridge the apparent divides between modern and medieval and medieval and modern. We endeavor to foster discussion that allows the undead of the medieval past and the zombies found in medieval-inspired narratives of today to come into contact through our teaching and research. The topic is especially relevant to this conference, given that its “unofficial” theme of is “Pittsburgh: Zombie Capital of the World” in honor of Romero and his work.



Presentations will be limited to 10-15 minutes depending on final panel size.

Interested individuals should, no later than 30 June 2019, notify the organizers of their topic via email directed to MedievalinPopularCulture@gmail.com using “Medieval Undead/Undead Medievalisms” as their subject heading. Please send both an abstract of no more than 300 words and an academic biographical narrative of no more than 75 words. Accepted participants will also need create a web account with the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association at https://mapaca.net/conference in advance of the deadline. Be advised that roundtable presenters may also present a paper in a regular session of the conference.

Again, please send inquiries and copies of your submissions to the organizers at MedievalinPopularCulture@gmail.com using “Medieval Undead/Undead Medievalisms” as the subject heading.

In planning your proposal, please be aware of the policies of the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association (available at https://mapaca.net/help/conference/submitting-abstracts-conference).


Further details on the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture can be found at its website: https://medievalinpopularculture.blogspot.com/.

CFP Roundtable on George Romero’s Knightriders (6/30/2019; MAPACA Pittsburgh 11/7-9/2019)

Call for Papers for Another Reason to Celebrate Pittsburgh: A Roundtable on George Romero’s Knightriders (1981)

A session sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture for the Medieval & Renaissance Area of the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association

2019 Annual Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association

Pittsburgh Marriott City Center Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA

7-9 November 2019

Proposals due by 30 June 2019


The “unofficial” theme of the 2019 Annual Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association is “Pittsburgh: Zombie Capital of the World” in honor of George A. Romero and his 1968 film Night of the Living Dead. However, Romero was a prolific filmmaker, and medievalists have another reason to commemorate him and the city he often worked in. In 1981, Romero released the innovative film Knightriders, which he filmed in and around Pittsburgh. It depicts a band of performers—modern-day knights on motorcycles—reenacting and reviving aspects of the Arthurian legend and other medieval stories in a contemporary setting. Now nearly forty years old, the film offers an interesting display of American appropriation and transformation of the medieval, but it remains largely unexplored by scholarship.

Through this session, the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture seeks to encourage new interest in Romero’s neglected film and to offer both reassessments and critiques of the work in anticipation of its fortieth anniversary in 2021. We are especially interested in new insights into how the film might successfully be interrelated into our teaching and research.


Presentations will be limited to 10-15 minutes depending on final panel size.

Interested individuals should, no later than 30 June 2019, notify the organizers of their topic via email directed to MedievalinPopularCulture@gmail.com using “Knightriders Roundtable” as their subject heading. Please send both an abstract of no more than 300 words and an academic biographical narrative of no more than 75 words. Accepted participants will also need create a web account with the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association at https://mapaca.net/conference in advance of the deadline. Be advised that roundtable presenters may also present a paper in a regular session of the conference.

Again, please send inquiries and copies of your submissions to the organizers at MedievalinPopularCulture@gmail.com using “Knightriders Roundtable” as the subject heading.

In planning your proposal, please be aware of the policies of the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association (available at https://mapaca.net/help/conference/submitting-abstracts-conference).


Further details on the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture can be found at its website: https://medievalinpopularculture.blogspot.com/.



Sunday, May 5, 2019

Kalamazoo 2019 Sessions

Here is the complete list of our sponsored sessions for the International Congress on Medieval Studies later this week. I'll update any missing bios before the event, if possible.


The full program is available at https://wmich.edu/medievalcongress/events.





SATURDAY, MAY 11

10:00 AM
368 SCHNEIDER 1280

More than Marvel: Representations of Norse Mythology in Contemporary Popular Culture I: New Perspectives
Sponsor: Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture
Organizer: Michael A. Torregrossa, Independent Scholar

Presider: June-Ann Greeley, Sacred Heart Univ.

Adapting the Norse Myths: Risks, Challenges, and Creative Choices
Erik A. Evensen, Univ. of Wisconsin–Stout

Erik A. Evensen, MFA, is an associate professor of design in the School of Art and Design at the University of Wisconsin–Stout. He is a designer, illustrator, and graphic novelist whose creative work often reinterprets topics from history, mythology, and folklore. He is the author/illustrator of the graphic novels Gods of Asgard and The Beast of Wolfe’s Bay, the game artist for Marrying Mr. Darcy: The Pride and Prejudice Card Game, and has illustrated for the Ghostbusters and Back to the Future comic book series from IDW Publishing. Gods of Asgard won a Xeric Award in 2007, and has since been featured at the Field Museum of Natural History, the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, and the Wexner Center for the Arts, and has been adopted as a textbook at Gustavus Adolphus College, James Madison University, and Marshall University. It has been cited in a wide variety of academic writing, including master’s theses, doctoral dissertations, books, and journal articles. Other mythological works include the 2013 graphic novel The Beast of Wolfe’s Bay, a modernized retelling of Beowulf, and Angrvadil, an illustrated novel retelling of the Saga of Fridtjov the Bold. Erik holds an MFA in Visual Communication Design from Ohio State University, and studied fine art at the University of New Hampshire and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Asgardians in the East: Norse Gods in Japanese Popular Culture
Ilse Schweitzer VanDonkelaar, Michigan State Univ.; Sarah Kelley Brish, Independent Scholar

Ilse Schweitzer VanDonkelaar received her PhD in English from Western Michigan University and is an assistant professor in the department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures at Michigan State University. Her research focuses on representations of the natural world and of death in Old English and Old Norse literatures. She is also an acquisitions editor for Medieval Institute Publications, managing series in New Queer Medievalisms and Monsters, Prodigies, and Demons.

Sarah Kelley Brish received her MA in Medieval Studies from Western Michigan University. In 2011, she presented a paper at NTNU in Trondheim, Norway, on the appropriations of Norse culture in World of Warcraft, so being able to view this particular topic through the lens of another culture is very intriguing. Sarah currently works as a freelance editor.

Hidden Bodies, Masculine Minds: Shield-Maidens in Video Games, Norse Myth, and Legend
Shirley McPhaul, Univ. de Puerto Rico–Recinto de Río Piedras

Shirley McPhaul holds two Master Degrees, one in Viking and Medieval Norse Studies from the University of Iceland, and a second one in Comparative Literature from the University of Puerto Rico. For her thesis in both degrees, she chose to direct her research towards reception, Popular Culture and Video Game Design, focusing in Fictional World Building for one project and gender theory for the second. She is currently teaching Medieval Literature and Popular Culture at the University of Puerto Rico, and Video Game Conceptualization at Atlantic University College. Her current research is geared towards interactive narratives in interactive media, such as Video Games, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.

“I did that once. They made a saga about it”: Metafiction and Storytelling in Neil Gaiman’s Adaptations and Retellings of Norse Mythology
Fanny Geuzaine, Univ. catholique de Louvain

A graduate in English and French literatures as well as in mathematics and musicology, Fanny Geuzaine is currently pursuing her doctoral research as a F.R.S.-FNRS Research Fellow in the English Literature department of the Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium). Her research focuses on metafiction, storytelling and transmediality in the short works of fiction and non-fiction of Neil Gaiman. Her recent publications tackle the question of transmediality and novelization processes in Dave Eggers’s rewriting and adaptation for the screen of Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Thing Are (L’Harmattan), as well as the impact of context and co-text on metafictional issues in Neil Gaiman’s short stories (Journal of the Short Story in English). Her first monography, The Tripartite Nature of Speculative Fiction. The Shock of the Strange through the Figure of the Creature, will be released in Autumn. She is particularly interested in the way popular culture reinvests tales, myths and literary traditions, and she simply loves a chilling ending to a good story – but she won’t tell anyone if you don’t.


12:00 PM
Schneider 1280
Association for the Advancement of Schneider 1280 Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture
Business Meeting: All are welcome to attend.



01:30 PM
421 SCHNEIDER 1280

More than Marvel: Representations of Norse Mythology in Contemporary Popular Culture II: Character Spotlights
Sponsor: Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture
Organizer: Michael A. Torregrossa, Independent Scholar

Presider: Scott Manning, Independent Scholar

Reshaping the Scandinavian Saga through Hybridity: Thorgal, an Anti-Mythological Hero
Maxime Thiry, Univ. catholique de Louvain

A graduate in Roman and French literatures, Maxime Thiry is currently pursuing his doctoral research as a Teaching Assistant in the French & Roman Languages &Literatures department of the Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium). His research focuses on intermediality in Belgian cotemporary literature and how it offers an original angle to the mutations of representations following the Iconic Turn. This question leads him to analyze both similarities and differences in works (from narrative works to cinematographic and television products) that grapple with postmodernist and pop paradigms, from their production to their reception. His recent publications tackle the question of iconicity in novels from the Belgian writers Jean-Philippe Toussaint and Guy Vaes, and the TV show American Horror Story.  

The Misunderstood Wolf: Fenrir as Antihero in Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology and Televassi’s Fenrir’s Saga
Travis Kane, Univ. of Houston

Travis Kane is a recent graduate of the University of Houston. He is the recipient of the Gentile Scholarship in literary criticism, and the PURS research award. He presented his paper “From Demon to Disabled: Interpreting Grendel’s Monstrosity in Beowulf, John Gardner’s Grendel, and Robert Zemeckis’s Beowulf” at the Southeastern Medieval Association (SEMA) conference on November 2017. His research interests include Medieval Norse, Anglo Saxon, and Celtic literature, Germanic and Celtic mythology, Medievalism, Translation, Adaptation, and Fantasy literature.

Translating Trickster: Reading Loki for the Twenty-First Century
Megan Fontenot, Michigan State Univ.

Megan N. Fontenot holds a dual BA in English and Humanities from Milligan College and an MA in English Literature from Michigan State University. Her work has been published in the journals Mythlore and Fafnir, with an article forthcoming in Tolkien Studies: An Annual Scholarly Review. Megan is also a regular blogger for Tor.com and is currently working on a series exploring the textual histories and developments of various Tolkien characters. She will be pursuing a PhD in English Lit, with a focus in nineteenth century British literature and Tolkien Studies, at the University of Georgia this fall.

Give Them Hel(a): The Norse Goddess of Death as the Great Mother in Myth and Film
June-Ann Greeley, Sacred Heart Univ.

[bio not provided]



03:30 PM
473 SCHNEIDER 1280

More than Marvel: Representations of Norse Mythology in Contemporary Popular Culture III: Channeling the Myths
Sponsor: Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture
Organizer: Michael A. Torregrossa, Independent Scholar

Presider: Jolanta N. Komornicka, St. Jerome’s Univ., Univ. of Waterloo

Medieval Motifs in DreamWorks Dragons
Sandra Hartl, Otto-Friedrich-Univ. Bamberg

Sandra Hartl, M.A. studied English literature and Classics at the universities of Bamberg (Germany) and Galway (Ireland). She is doing a PhD and has presented several papers on J.R.R. Tolkien’s classical mythological motifs.

Reinterpretation of Norse mythology in Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia
Geneviève Pigeon, Univ. du Québec–Montréal

[bio not provided]


“Her temper was still the same”: Women Resisting Colonialism in Modern Viking Narratives
Margaret Sheble, Purdue Univ.
Winner of the Thomas Ohlgren Award for Best Graduate Student Essay in Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Margaret Sheble is a PhD candidate at Purdue University studying English Literature where she also received her MA. Additionally, she holds an MA in Arthurian Literature from Bangor University, Wales and an Honors BA in Art History from Norther Arizona University. Currently she works as an instructor on record for ENG 106 Introductory Composition at Purdue University and has generated curriculum for the equivalent online course. Other courses include ENGL 286 The Movies with a focus on superhero films and ENGL 238 Intro to Fiction. Margaret is also a graduate assistant for the Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentorship, Assessment and Research. Other positions held have included museum development, archival research assistant, and editorial assistant. In the Fall 2019 she will be the graduate assistant for the journal Arthuriana and is currently working on an Arthurian games database for The Camelot Project. Her dissertation research is on suicide in the Arthurian tradition and how the suicides that occur or are attempted within the Arthurian texts reflect the wider concerns of ideal heteronormativity, gender roles, and one’s faithfulness to the Arthurian community. Her talk “Her temper was the same: Women Resisting Colonialism in Modern Viking Narratives” will appear in New Feminist Voices in the Heroic Age this summer.

 “I was born a god. And so were you”: Mythic Norse Superheroes in God of War (2018) and Marvel Comics
Andrew Barton, Texas State Univ.–San Marcos

Andrew Barton is a lecturer at Texas State University, where he teaches freshman composition courses. Upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in Psychology and English, he worked for several years in the nonprofit world, serving as a district executive for an organization with a youth-serving focus. Eventually, Andrew desired to return to literature and academia, and enrolled at Texas State University. During his studies, he became interested in fantasy and children’s literature. While a graduate student, Andrew worked as a Teaching Assistant, covering classes in American and British literature, and was awarded multiple scholarships for his academic achievements. He received a Master’s degree in Literature in 2018, and wrote his thesis on medievalist literature in popular culture as it relates to adventure and spatiality. He is especially interested in medievalist and popular literature such as comics and film, and particularly how those interact in digital media such as video games. He has presented multiple papers at conferences, with topics including heterotopia, the Other, the Harry Potter series, The Lord of the Rings, Beowulf, liminality, and Dr. Strange. He is currently working on a project involving the medieval influences of Ready Player One, and assisting in a videocast project on Diversifying the Western Canon for use in sophomore literature classes. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, their dog, and their hedgehog.




NEASA Session Update

For those interested in attending our sponsored session on American medievalisms at the 2019 meeting of the Northeast American Studies Association, the organizers have forwarded the following:


Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the New England American Studies Association (NEASA) Council, I’m very excited to invite you, your colleagues, and your students to join us at Fitchburg State University on June 8th for our 2019 NEASA Conference!

Co-sponsored by FSU and Roxbury Community College, our 2019 Conference will offer panels and roundtables on the theme of Representation(s): Image and Reality, Identity and Community. These sessions will feature undergraduate students from FSU and Bridgewater State University, graduate students and faculty from across New England, and presenters from Texas and Utah, among many other contributors. A full conference program will be available shortly at https://newenglandasa.wordpress.com/.

Our free attendee registration rate will allow attendees to join not only all those sessions, but also our two special events: a mid-conference luncheon featuring a keynote address from Fitchburg Art Museum Director Nick Capasso; and an end-of-conference cocktail reception at the Fitchburg Art Museum, featuring fajitas and margaritas from Fitchburg’s own Zapata restaurant! Attendance and food and beverages at both these events are complimentary for all conference attendees!

Here’s the link to register for the conference (at that free attendee rate):

https://www.regonline.com/registration/login.aspx?eventID=2562856&MethodId=0&EventsessionId=

We hope you and your colleagues and students will join us at FSU on June 8th! Please direct any conference questions to neasacouncil@gmail.com.

Sincerely,

Ben Railton

NEASA President

Professor of English Studies and American Studies, Fitchburg State University

Sunday, April 28, 2019

CFP How to Use Literature in the Italian Language Class (NeMLA Italian Studies Volume XLI) (6/30/2019)

Apologies for having just come across this. It seems of potential value.

CFP: How to Use Literature in the Italian Language Class (NeMLA Italian Studies Volume XLI)
http://www.buffalo.edu/nemla/about/news.html
Posted Tuesday, November 27, 2018


NeMLA Italian Studies, the refereed journal published by NeMLA's Italian section under the sponsorship of NeMLA and The College of New Jersey, has a call for papers for Volume XLI, "How to Use Literature in the Italian Language Class."


The use of literature in language classes can be considered as one of the most effective way to teach language and culture. In this call for papers the editors welcome original contributions that investigate the relevance of the use of literary-based input for teaching and learning Italian language and culture, and highlight strategies educators can use to effectively engage students through literature in the classroom. Preferred contributions should address all levels of Italian courses, particularly the beginning and intermediate ones.


Submissions should not exceed 5,000 words (including notes and bibliography) and can be either in English or Italian (with preference given to English). Authors must comply with the MLA bibliographic standards for citations and documents of source. Contributors should send their manuscripts together with a 300-word abstract and 50-word bio and CV to the editors by June 30, 2019 with the subject line "NIS VOLUME XLI" to (please include all in email) Paola Nastri (paola.nastri@gmail.com), Paola Quadrini (paolaquadrini@gmail.com), and Simona Wright (simona@tcnj.edu).

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

CFP NeMLA’s 50 Anniversary Celebration Volume (proposals by 4/30/2019)

This seemed of potential interest:
NeMLA’s 50 Anniversary Celebration Volume
Posted Monday, April 8, 2019
http://www.buffalo.edu/nemla/about/news.html

CFP NeMLA’s 50 Anniversary Celebration

Call for abstract submissions!


Title: Transnational Spaces: Intersections of Cultures, Languages and People

Contemporary reality is deeply affected by the phenomenon of globalization, which is understood as the diffusion and extension of economic, social, and political operations across national boundaries, alongside the emergence of supernational bodies of governance and control. As we witness daily, globalization has internationally produced a corollary of macro and micro phenomena, from empoverished national economies to war torn countries, from a dramatic rise in political and climate refugees and forced migration to the enactment of militarized border policing operations. Internally, it has produced growing economic inequalities and, in many countries, it has contributed to the rise of far-right and populist movements driven by a violent anti-immigrant agenda. As political and economic processes become more international, we recognize the proliferation of transnational non-state actors whose jurisdiction is larger and vastly more authoritative than national sovereign rule. Transnationalism is therefore first and foremost an economic and political phenomenon that has impacted the social structure in many, and in some cases undeniably foreseeable ways. We agree with William I. Robinson, when he argues that contemporary transnational conditions have produced a systemic mutation whose nature and implications need to be examined. Thus, as “social structure is becoming transnationalized; an epistemic shift is required in concurrence with this ontological shift” (1998, 561).[1] We can apply the same question Robinson asks of sociology studies to the humanities, as we believe that adopting a transnational and transdisciplinary perspective is necessary to examine and discuss both contemporary and classical ‘texts’ that address the intersections of race, gender, sexuality and class within a transnational, transcultural, and translingual framework. Thus, drawing from the theme of the 2019 NeMLA convention, "Transnational Spaces: Intersections of Cultures, Languages, and Peoples," our volume intends to present a transnational perspective/approach that, we hope, will contribute to a paradigmatic shift and possibly a reconceptualization of the humanities in a time when they often seem under attack, or unable to confront the complex realities we inhabit. We welcome essays that aim to challenge traditional notions of history, territory, and identity and that recognize the complex processes of transculturation which characterize modernity. Especially sought are submissions that approach texts from disciplines such as literature, cinema, gender and sexuality studies, media and cultural studies, eco- and environmental studies, postcolonial studies, migration and border studies, and human geography.


Send a 300-word proposal to cmardoro@buffalo.edu and simona@tcnj.edu by April 30th, 2019. Timeline for publication: Submission of completed individual manuscript (MLA stile) by July 31st, 2019. Revisions expected by October 31st, 2019. Expected publication, Spring 2020 with Vernon Press.



[1] See William I. Robinson, “Beyond Nation-State Paradigms: Globalization, Sociology, and the Challenge of Transnational Studies,” Sociological Forum, Vol. 13, No. 4 (Dec., 1998), pp. 561-594.


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Updated Panel for 2019 New England American Studies Association Conference

Here's the updated (and probably final) draft of our sponsored session for the New England American Studies Association. My thanks to the organizers for their interest in the topic and for my fellow panelists for their proposals.



Make Me Medieval: Appropriations of the Middle Ages in American Culture

Sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture

Representation(s): Image and Reality, Identity and Community: 2019 New England American Studies Association Conference.

Fitchburg State University, Fitchburg, MA.

8 June 2019.



“All-American Arthuriana: The Appropriation of the Matter of Britain during the American Civil War Era,” Michael A. Torregrossa (Independent Scholar)

“Medievalism in America’s Mardi Gras Tradition,” Ann J. Pond (Bishop State Community College)

“Might Makes Right: Medieval Combat Sports and the Legitimization of a Fascist Middle Ages,” Ken Mondschein (University of Massachusetts-Amherst-Mt Ida)

“ ‘Beautiful, willful, and dead before her time’: Reclaiming Female Characters in A Song of Ice and Fire and Its Fandom,” Kavita Mudan Finn (Independent Scholar)






Monday, April 15, 2019

Kalamazoo 2019 Updates

A much belated posting.

The program for this year's International Congress on Medieval Studies, to be held at Western Michigan University from 9-12 May, is now available at https://wmich.edu/medievalcongress/events.

Our three sponsored sessions on Norse mythology in popular culture comprise a virtual mini-conference and run on Saturday, 11 May, from 10 AM to 5 PM. There will be a business meeting held during the lunch break, with all welcome to attend.

I'll post full panel details closer to the conference.

Michael A Torregrossa
Founder, Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture



SATURDAY, MAY 11


10:00 AM
368 SCHNEIDER 1280

More than Marvel: Representations of Norse Mythology in Contemporary Popular Culture I: New Perspectives
Sponsor: Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture
Organizer: Michael A. Torregrossa, Independent Scholar

Presider: June-Ann Greeley, Sacred Heart Univ.

Adapting the Norse Myths: Risks, Challenges, and Creative Choices
Erik A. Evensen, Univ. of Wisconsin–Stout

Erik A. Evensen, MFA, is an associate professor of design in the School of Art and Design at the University of Wisconsin–Stout. He is a designer, illustrator, and graphic novelist whose creative work often reinterprets topics from history, mythology, and folklore. He is the author/illustrator of the graphic novels Gods of Asgard and The Beast of Wolfe’s Bay, the game artist for Marrying Mr. Darcy: The Pride and Prejudice Card Game, and has illustrated for the Ghostbusters and Back to the Future comic book series from IDW Publishing. Gods of Asgard won a Xeric Award in 2007, and has since been featured at the Field Museum of Natural History, the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, and the Wexner Center for the Arts, and has been adopted as a textbook at Gustavus Adolphus College, James Madison University, and Marshall University. It has been cited in a wide variety of academic writing, including master’s theses, doctoral dissertations, books, and journal articles. Other mythological works include the 2013 graphic novel The Beast of Wolfe’s Bay, a modernized retelling of Beowulf, and Angrvadil, an illustrated novel retelling of the Saga of Fridtjov the Bold. Erik holds an MFA in Visual Communication Design from Ohio State University, and studied fine art at the University of New Hampshire and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Asgardians in the East: Norse Gods in Japanese Popular Culture
Ilse Schweitzer VanDonkelaar, Michigan State Univ.; Sarah Kelley Brish, Independent Scholar

Ilse Schweitzer VanDonkelaar received her PhD in English from Western Michigan University and is an assistant professor in the department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures at Michigan State University. Her research focuses on representations of the natural world and of death in Old English and Old Norse literatures. She is also an acquisitions editor for Medieval Institute Publications, managing series in New Queer Medievalisms and Monsters, Prodigies, and Demons.
Sarah Kelley Brish received her MA in Medieval Studies from Western Michigan University. In 2011, she presented a paper at NTNU in Trondheim, Norway, on the appropriations of Norse culture in World of Warcraft, so being able to view this particular topic through the lens of another culture is very intriguing. Sarah currently works as a freelance editor.

Hidden Bodies, Masculine Minds: Shield-Maidens in Video Games, Norse Myth, and Legend
Shirley McPhaul, Univ. de Puerto Rico–Recinto de Río Piedras

Shirley McPhaul holds two Master Degrees, one in Viking and Medieval Norse Studies from the University of Iceland, and a second one in Comparative Literature from the University of Puerto Rico. For her thesis in both degrees, she chose to direct her research towards reception, Popular Culture and Video Game Design, focusing in Fictional World Building for one project and gender theory for the second. She is currently teaching Medieval Literature and Popular Culture at the University of Puerto Rico, and Video Game Conceptualization at Atlantic University College. Her current research is geared towards interactive narratives in interactive media, such as Video Games, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.

“I did that once. They made a saga about it”: Metafiction and Storytelling in Neil Gaiman’s Adaptations and Retellings of Norse Mythology
Fanny Geuzaine, Univ. catholique de Louvain

A graduate in English and French literatures as well as in mathematics and musicology, Fanny Geuzaine is currently pursuing her doctoral research as a F.R.S.-FNRS Research Fellow in the English Literature department of the Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium). Her research focuses on metafiction, storytelling and transmediality in the short works of fiction and non-fiction of Neil Gaiman. Her recent publications tackle the question of transmediality and novelization processes in Dave Eggers’s rewriting and adaptation for the screen of Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Thing Are (L’Harmattan), as well as the impact of context and co-text on metafictional issues in Neil Gaiman’s short stories (Journal of the Short Story in English). Her first monography, The Tripartite Nature of Speculative Fiction. The Shock of the Strange through the Figure of the Creature, will be released in Autumn. She is particularly interested in the way popular culture reinvests tales, myths and literary traditions, and she simply loves a chilling ending to a good story – but she won’t tell anyone if you don’t.



12:00 PM
Schneider 1280
Association for the Advancement of Schneider 1280 Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture
Business Meeting: All are welcome to attend.




01:30 PM
421 SCHNEIDER 1280

More than Marvel: Representations of Norse Mythology in Contemporary Popular Culture II: Character Spotlights
Sponsor: Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture
Organizer: Michael A. Torregrossa, Independent Scholar

Presider: Scott Manning, Independent Scholar

Reshaping the Scandinavian Saga through Hybridity: Thorgal, an Anti-Mythological Hero
Maxime Thiry, Univ. catholique de Louvain

A graduate in Roman and French literatures, Maxime Thiry is currently pursuing his doctoral research as a Teaching Assistant in the French & Roman Languages &Literatures department of the Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium). His research focuses on intermediality in Belgian cotemporary literature and how it offers an original angle to the mutations of representations following the Iconic Turn. This question leads him to analyze both similarities and differences in works (from narrative works to cinematographic and television products) that grapple with postmodernist and pop paradigms, from their production to their reception. His recent publications tackle the question of iconicity in novels from the Belgian writers Jean-Philippe Toussaint and Guy Vaes, and the TV show American Horror Story.  

The Misunderstood Wolf: Fenrir as Antihero in Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology and Televassi’s Fenrir’s Saga
Travis Kane, Univ. of Houston

Travis Kane is a recent graduate of the University of Houston. He is the recipient of the Gentile Scholarship in literary criticism, and the PURS research award. He presented his paper “From Demon to Disabled: Interpreting Grendel’s Monstrosity in Beowulf, John Gardner’s Grendel, and Robert Zemeckis’s Beowulf” at the Southeastern Medieval Association (SEMA) conference on November 2017. His research interests include Medieval Norse, Anglo Saxon, and Celtic literature, Germanic and Celtic mythology, Medievalism, Translation, Adaptation, and Fantasy literature.

Translating Trickster: Reading Loki for the Twenty-First Century
Megan Fontenot, Michigan State Univ.

Megan N. Fontenot holds a dual BA in English and Humanities from Milligan College and an MA in English Literature from Michigan State University. Her work has been published in the journals Mythlore and Fafnir, with an article forthcoming in Tolkien Studies: An Annual Scholarly Review. Megan is also a regular blogger for Tor.com and is currently working on a series exploring the textual histories and developments of various Tolkien characters. She will be pursuing a PhD in English Lit, with a focus in nineteenth century British literature and Tolkien Studies, at the University of Georgia this fall.

Give Them Hel(a): The Norse Goddess of Death as the Great Mother in Myth and Film
June-Ann Greeley, Sacred Heart Univ.

[need bio]




03:30 PM
473 SCHNEIDER 1280

More than Marvel: Representations of Norse Mythology in Contemporary Popular Culture III: Channeling the Myths
Sponsor: Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture
Organizer: Michael A. Torregrossa, Independent Scholar

Presider: Jolanta N. Komornicka, St. Jerome’s Univ., Univ. of Waterloo

Medieval Motifs in DreamWorks Dragons
Sandra Hartl, Otto-Friedrich-Univ. Bamberg

Sandra Hartl, M.A. studied English literature and Classics at the universities of Bamberg (Germany) and Galway (Ireland). She is doing a PhD and has presented several papers on J.R.R. Tolkien’s classical mythological motifs.

Reinterpretation of Norse mythology in Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia
Geneviève Pigeon, Univ. du Québec–Montréal

[need bio]

“Her temper was still the same”: Women Resisting Colonialism in Modern Viking Narratives
Margaret Sheble, Purdue Univ.
Winner of the Thomas Ohlgren Award for Best Graduate Student Essay in Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Margaret Sheble is a PhD candidate at Purdue University studying English Literature where she also received her MA. Additionally, she holds an MA in Arthurian Literature from Bangor University, Wales and an Honors BA in Art History from Norther Arizona University. Currently she works as an instructor on record for ENG 106 Introductory Composition at Purdue University and has generated curriculum for the equivalent online course. Other courses include ENGL 286 The Movies with a focus on superhero films and ENGL 238 Intro to Fiction. Margaret is also a graduate assistant for the Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentorship, Assessment and Research. Other positions held have included museum development, archival research assistant, and editorial assistant. In the Fall 2019 she will be the graduate assistant for the journal Arthuriana and is currently working on an Arthurian games database for The Camelot Project. Her dissertation research is on suicide in the Arthurian tradition and how the suicides that occur or are attempted within the Arthurian texts reflect the wider concerns of ideal heteronormativity, gender roles, and one’s faithfulness to the Arthurian community. Her talk “Her temper was the same: Women Resisting Colonialism in Modern Viking Narratives” will appear in New Feminist Voices in the Heroic Age this summer.

 “I was born a god. And so were you”: Mythic Norse Superheroes in God of War (2018) and Marvel Comics
Andrew Barton, Texas State Univ.–San Marcos

Andrew Barton is a lecturer at Texas State University, where he teaches freshman composition courses. Upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in Psychology and English, he worked for several years in the nonprofit world, serving as a district executive for an organization with a youth-serving focus. Eventually, Andrew desired to return to literature and academia, and enrolled at Texas State University. During his studies, he became interested in fantasy and children’s literature. While a graduate student, Andrew worked as a Teaching Assistant, covering classes in American and British literature, and was awarded multiple scholarships for his academic achievements. He received a Master’s degree in Literature in 2018, and wrote his thesis on medievalist literature in popular culture as it relates to adventure and spatiality. He is especially interested in medievalist and popular literature such as comics and film, and particularly how those interact in digital media such as video games. He has presented multiple papers at conferences, with topics including heterotopia, the Other, the Harry Potter series, The Lord of the Rings, Beowulf, liminality, and Dr. Strange. He is currently working on a project involving the medieval influences of Ready Player One, and assisting in a videocast project on Diversifying the Western Canon for use in sophomore literature classes. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, their dog, and their hedgehog.


Medievalism in America Panel Draft

Here is the first draft of our proposed session for the 2019 meeting of the New England American Studies Association.


Make Me Medieval: Appropriations of the Middle Ages in American Culture

Sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture

Representation(s): Image and Reality, Identity and Community: 2019 New England American Studies Association Conference.

Fitchburg State University, Fitchburg, MA.

8 June 2019.



“All-American Arthuriana: The Appropriation of the Matter of Britain during the American Civil War Era,” Michael A. Torregrossa (Independent Scholar)

“Might Makes Right: Medieval Combat Sports and the Legitimization of a Fascist Middle Ages,” Ken Mondschein (University of Massachusetts-Amherst-Mt Ida)

“ ‘Beautiful, willful, and dead before her time’: Reclaiming Female Characters in A Song of Ice and Fire and Its Fandom,” Kavita Mudan Finn (Independent Scholar)

(possibly a fourth presenter)

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Medievalism in America Panel (conference date 6/8/2019)

The Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture is organizing a panel on American medievalisms for a session at the June meeting of the New England American Studies Association at Fitchburg State University (Fitchburg, MA) on Saturday, June 8. 

We are in need of a third presenter. Please contact us ASAP at medievalinpopularculture@gmail.com.

Further details on the conference are available at https://newenglandasa.wordpress.com/.

Detail on our work can be found at our website: https://medievalinpopularculture.blogspot.com/.  

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Sponsored Sessions at NEPCA 2018


Full schedule at https://nepca.blog/2018-conference/.



40th Annual Conference of the Northeast Popular Culture/American Culture Association

Worcester State University (Worcester, Massachusetts)

19-20 October 2018



Friday, 19 October at 2-3:15

Session 8: Women Warriors and Popular Culture: Representations across Time and Space I (S-232)

Sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture

Chair: Scott Manning (American Military University)



Joan of Arc’s Cinematic Siege Arsenal in Cecil B. DeMille’s Joan the Woman (1916)

Scott Manning (American Military University)

Scott Manning serves on the board for the Mid-Atlantic Popular and American Culture Association and the advisory board for the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture. He regularly writes book reviews for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Scott is currently a history graduate student at American Military University, focusing on cinematic medievalism including portrayals of trebuchets and Joan of Arc in battle. His undergraduate degree is in military history.


Stranger Weeping: Considering Margery Kempe through Eleven in Stranger Things

Anna McGill (Louisiana State University)

Anna McGill is a PhD candidate in English at Louisiana State University, focusing on medieval studies, with particular interests in Arthuriana, medieval women, and medieval portrayals and perceptions of magic. She received her undergraduate degrees in English and psychology from East Tennessee State University, a short drive up into the mountains from her hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee.


Red Widows and Nihilist Queens: Russian Women in the American Imagination

Chelsea Gibson (Binghamton University)

Chelsea Gibson is a PhD candidate at Binghamton University, where she also serves as the Managing Editor of the Journal of Women’s History. Her dissertation examines the interplay between female Russian revolutionaries and American reform efforts in the decades before 1917.




Friday, 19 October at 3:30-4:45

Session 16: Women Warriors and Popular Culture: Representations across Time and Space II (S-232)

Sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture

Chair: Cheryl Hunter (UMASS Lowell and SNHU)


“If I Am to Die Tonight, Let Me Die a Fighter”: Gail Simone’s Reconstructing of Red Sonja

Peter Cullen Bryan (Penn State University)

Peter Cullen Bryan is a PhD candidate in American Studies at Penn State University. His areas of study include transnational American Studies, International Communications, and 21st Century American culture, with a focus in comic art and digital communities. His master’s thesis considers the impact of early cartoonist Windsor McCay upon the creation of comics as a genre, and his dissertation work focuses on the cultural impact of Donald Duck comics in Germany, emphasizing Erika Fuchs’s translations and digital fan communities that arose in response. With regards to his current project, he considers Gail Simone a personal hero, just as Red Sonja was for her so many years ago.


Correcting Wonder Woman: The Power of Patty Jenkins

Erin Lafond (Boston College)

An avid enthusiast of Hollywood superhero movie, Erin Lafond is a master’s candidate in English at Boston College, where she studies pop culture and Victorian novels with a focus on feminism. She received her BA in English from Southern New Hampshire University. During her time at SNHU, she received an award for “Outstanding Achievement in Research” for her senior thesis “Writing a Novel: Research and Execution.”


Saturday, September 22, 2018

Sponsored Sessions for MAPACA 2018

Here are the updated details on our two sponsored sessions for MAPACA's conference this coming November. Registration information is available at https://mapaca.net/conference.


29th Annual Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association, Lord Baltimore Hotel, Baltimore, Maryland

Monsters and Medievalism 2018 (Medieval & Renaissance Area / Panel)

Sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture for the Medieval & Renaissance Area of the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association, organized by Michael A. Torregrossa (Independent Scholar)

Saturday, November 10, 10:30 am to 11:45 am (Salon E Calvert Ballroom)

Monsters remain fascinating subjects, and intense discussion in recent years has focused on their representation in medieval texts. However, scholars have largely neglected the post-medieval afterlife of these horrors. Despite this disregard, the monsters found in such medievalisms have merit in our classrooms and research; we need to promote their exploits along with those of the creatures existing within medieval artifacts. This panel will highlight connections between medieval monstrosities and their post-medieval incarnations and successors to showcase both continuity and change in addressing how terrors rooted in the medieval have been portrayed and how their inheritors have been developed.

Session chair: Carl Sell

Presentations

1. The Role of Dragons in Quests: Medieval Romances and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Samantha Knepper (Independent Scholar)

Abstract:

Since the rise of video games in popular culture people have been exposed to new medievalisms as a way to experience the medieval world. With technology developing quickly and the popularity of the video games that are experiential medievalisms, there is room for more exploration of what compels us to be drawn to the Middle Ages. Video games based on a “medieval” setting often follow the same quest cycle narrative of the medieval romances along with having the same or similar monsters for the hero to interact with and defeat, including dragons. Investigating the role of dragons in the romances along with the role of dragons in video games can reveal the similarities between ourselves and our medieval ancestors and highlight the changes. This paper aims to create a deeper understanding of not only medieval culture but our own culture by examining the similarities and the differences in the uses of dragons in the Medieval Romances and the game Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. This paper argues that that the role dragons has expanded in Skryim, which is a reflection of Skyrim as a game that only appears to have a medieval European setting. Revealing what, as humans, we share with our medieval past, and how our current culture has changed.

Samantha Knepper has an M.A. in History from Norwich University. She is currently an independent scholar and working on several projects, including investigating how medieval warrior cultures dealt with death and the similarities with how warriors deal with death today.



2. The Queer and The Dead: Medieval Revenants and Their Afterlives in In the Flesh

Eli Mason(Concordia University)

Abstract:

Following in the footsteps of Judith Halberstam, Harry Benshoff, and Bernadette Marie Calafell, this paper will combine queer and monster studies in order to explore the ways in which monstrous figures have been used to represent queer marginalities from the Middle Ages to the present day. Central to this discussion will be an examination of how queer people have, in a twentieth and twenty-first-century context, reclaimed “the monstrous” as a means of navigating and expressing queer identity in opposition to heteronormative and cisnormative cultures.

Though instances of this type of reclamation are varied and widespread, encompassing creative efforts as diverse as Lady Gaga’s role as “Mother Monster” to a largely queer fanbase, as well as the emergence and popularity of gay werewolf erotica, this paper proposes to consider the unlikely figure of the zombie, and its development from the medieval Norse tradition of the draugr, to the use of the zombie as a means of articulating queer identities in the BBC television series, In the Flesh (2013-14). Beginning with an examination of how queer bodies were constructed as monstrous in medieval taxonomies such as the Liber Monstrorum, this discussion will go on to compare the liminal status of both categories of embodiment, with particular emphasis on the liminal status of Norse revenants as beings existing at the threshold of life and death. The paper will argue that, through a withholding of the category of “human” from queer bodies such as those presented in the Liber Monstrorum, queer people have historically been denied both personhood, as well as the status of truly “living.” In the 2013-4 television show In the Flesh, the figure of the revenant embodies queer experiences of isolation, dehumanization, and social control. In the context of the series, zombification is a treatable (though not curable) state, which allows its central characters to “pass” as human with the help of medical treatment, and copious makeup. It is only by “passing” that the show’s zombie characters are tolerated by the human characters, despite that the zombies no longer pose a threat to the humans. As the show’s central character is both an ex-zombie and a gay man, In the Flesh draws clear parallels between the experience of being queer, and that of being monstrous. The repression of queer culture, and queer performativity, is symbolized by the characters’ normatizing transformation from revenant to human. Throughout the show’s two seasons, themes of posthumanism and monstrosity are partnered with an extended discussion of queer representation, that allows the narrative to question the nature of whether it is better to embrace, reclaim, and transform the figure of the monster, or to conform to cis and heteronormative standards of presentation.

In the spirit of the panel, this paper aims to showcase the “afterlife” of two embodied experiences constructed as monstrous in the medieval context: the queer, and the revenant. By demonstrating the ways in which the two intersect in a modern narrative context, this paper will highlight how monstrous traditions are being reshaped to express queer realities.

Elliot Mason is a third-year PhD student in Concordia University's Department of Religions and Cultures, working under the supervision of Dr. Lorenzo DiTommaso. He has completed Master’s degrees in Russian language and literature at the University of Waterloo, Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto, and Religious Studies at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. Elliot’s previous research has focused on the biblical sea monster Leviathan, as well as the fallen angel Azazel. As a queer, trans person, he is particularly interested in the ways in which the history of monstrosity intersects with queer marginalities, and especially the re-purposing of historical monsters as queer icons.



3. More Zombies for the Matter of Britain? The Walking Dead in Recent Arthurian Fiction

Michael A Torregrossa (Independent scholar)

Building upon and expanding work begun as part of a presentation at the 2013 MAPACA conference, this paper will highlight further meetings between zombie characters and elements from the Matter of Britain and explicate how these contacts reflect an ongoing sub-tradition of Arthurian horror-themed fiction. The zombies of the Matter of Britain appear in a small but, nonetheless, interesting corpus and, similar to their fellow undead interact with figures associated with Arthur’s court, transform the denizens of Camelot into zombies, like themselves, and engage in quests for Holy Grails. As previously explored, zombies first make contact with the Matter of Britain in the 1940s and do not reemerge in Arthurian texts until the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, decades marked by a steady revival of the zombie figure in mass media. In recent years, the walking dead have interacted with Arthurian figures and artifacts in increasing innovative ways and deserve our attention as being more than simple mash-ups. Some offer new representations of Arthurian fantasy, as depicted in “The Avalon Trap” arc (2012) of Paul Cornell’s Demon Knights comic book series and Rob Williams’s Revolutionary War: Knights of Pendragon comic book (2014), but others attempt to depict horrific events in post-Arthurian eras, as occurs in Mark Atkin’s film Knight of the Dead (2013) and David R. Flores’s Dead Future King e-comic (2012-2015). Unlike Ron Wolfe and Dusty Higgins’s Knights of the Living Dead comic, the other major work of zombie-themed Arthuriana of the 2010s (and the central piece of my earlier investigation), these four texts do not effect radical change of the tradition, yet they still offer insight into how horror tropes can be adapted into an Arthurian context to bring new life to a fifteen-hundred-year-old legend that few seem to connect with today.

Michael A. Torregrossa is a medievalist whose research interests include adaptation, Arthuriana, comics and comic art, medievalism, monsters, and wizards. He is founder of both The Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Matter of Britain and The Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture and outgoing Fantastic Area Chair for the Northeast Popular Culture/American Culture Association.




The Comics Get Medieval 2018: A Continuing Celebration of Medieval-themed Comics (a Round Table) (Medieval & Renaissance Area / Round table)

Sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture for the Medieval & Renaissance Area of the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association, organized by Michael A. Torregrossa (Independent Scholar)

Saturday, November 10, 2:45 pm to 4:00 pm (Salon E Calvert Ballroom )

This special round-table session is sponsored by The Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture. The session revives the successful Comics Get Medieval series after a multi-year absence and seeks to foster communication between comics scholars, medievalists, medievalismists, and specialists in other aspects of popular culture studies through the study of “medieval comics”: any example of the comics medium (e.g. panel cartoons, comic strips, comics books, comics albums, band dessinée, graphic novels, manga, webcomics, comics to screen/screen to comics, and other related media) that feature medieval themes either in stories set during the Middle Ages or in stories presenting some element of the medieval in anachronistic settings (pre-medieval or post-medieval eras or medieval-inspired secondary worlds).

Round Table Discussions will include:

Session Chair: Scott Manning (American Military University)

1. “Co-Starring Beowulf?: An Alternative Version of Beowulf in Jumbo Comics No. 50 (April 1943)”

Michael A. Torregrossa (Independent Scholar)

The story of Beowulf is one of the greatest legends of English culture and has inspired a wealth of texts that attempt to retell a traditional version of his deeds. However, there are also a number of works—most largely unnoticed by admirers of the hero—that introduce new characters into events from Beowulf’s life and attempt to make the Geat into a secondary figure in his own story. One of the earliest version of this motif appeared in Jumbo Comics No. 50 (April 1943), an American comic published during the Golden Age of the medium. Like other comics produced at the time, the story appears intended to educate readers about Beowulf, but the creators do not follow a Classics Illustrated approach and give readers a straight retelling. Instead, they adapt elements from Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court and bring modern-day figures into the Anglo-Saxon past, where these intruders to the story in effect alter history to create a divergent account of the epic that attempts to place a new hero in the dominant role once held by Beowulf. This presentation offers the first extended discussion of the Beowulfiana of Jumbo Comics No. 50 to offer suggestions on how this forgotten work can be of value in our research and teaching about Beowulf and its afterlife.

Michael A. Torregrossa is a medievalist whose research interests include adaptation, Arthuriana, comics and comic art, medievalism, monsters, and wizards. He is founder of both The Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Matter of Britain and The Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture and outgoing Fantastic Area Chair for the Northeast Popular Culture/American Culture Association.


2. “ ‘Ka is a Wheel’: The Arthurian Cycle and its Context in Marvel’s Stephen King’s Dark Tower”

Carl Sell (Indiana University of Pennsylvania)

Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series has distinguished itself as a series without an end and without a clear beginning; however, Marvel’s series Stephen King’s Dark Tower, which ran from 2007 to 2017 under the supervision of King himself, serves as a starting point to the adventures of Roland of Gilead, last in the line of Arthur Eld, the great king of All-World. Beginning with The Gunslinger Born, the Arthurian cycle repeats itself anew with Steven Deschain and the Affiliation, In-World’s incarnation of the Round Table and his treacherous advisor Marten Broadcloak, the man who steals Steven’s wife. As Roland’s story unfolds, he is caught up in the ka, the fate, of his long line, the fate of King Arthur Eld himself: death, renewal, betrayal, and the endless quest for the Dark Tower, the Grail-like salvation of All-World. Roland and his ka-tet, Cuthbert Allgood and Alain Johns, the stand-ins for Sir Kay and Sir Bedivere to Roland’s Arthur, are caught up in the Arthurian mythos and its endless cycle—ka, after all, is a wheel—and their journey together complicates the standard Arthurian narrative and blends character roles, motivations, and tropes found within more standard Arthurian adaptations. The story of King Arthur—as Arthur Eld—is ever-present in the world of Stephen King’s Dark Tower and in the gunslingers themselves as the new model of Arthurian chivalry.

Carl Sell is a PhD student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He studies the Arthurian Legend and modern adaptations of the legend as well as adaptations of Robin Hood. He is interested in all things medieval and Early Modern.


3. “I’m Holding Out For A Hero: The Disparity Between Male Warriors and Valkyries in Norse Mythology and the Depiction of Valkyrie in the 21st Century”

Lindsey Poe (Georgia College and State University)

Norse mythology has many depictions of warriors. The stories we have today are presumably long held Icelandic oral tales that had previously been passed on generation by generation. The eddas, for instance, are old Norse oral myths that were written down in the 13th century by Snori Sturluson. The myths are traditionally pagan, however Snori Sturluson was compiling them while priests were attempting to convert the people of Iceland to Christianity. As such, the works became a blend of both Christian and pagan beliefs. While Icelandic peoples were still worshipping the Norse gods, Snori wove in a watered down version of the Christian message in his written Edda. Throughout these texts, we see descriptions of god-like men such as Thor and Loki as well as characters like Sigurd, who simply represent a traditional warrior male. Interestingly enough, some women like Brunhild are elevated and are portrayed as strong, battle ready individuals. They exist as supernatural beings who wield power over life and death. These warrior women are known as Valkyries. They are not merely women, rather, Valkyries hold a third classification of gender and exist outside of the binary. Through “The Elder Edda,” “The Prose Edda,” and “The Saga of the Volsungs” the characterizations of these two classes of warriors will be broken down and their differences analyzed. In addition, the Valkyries of literature will be compared to the depictions of these women in films and comics, particularly in the Marvel universe.

Lindsey Poe graduated with her bachelor’s degree in English Literature with a minor in Spanish from Georgia College and State University in the Spring of 2017. Following graduation, she applied to and got accepted at her alma mater, where she is currently in her second year of graduate school, working towards a master’s in English.