Monday, July 20, 2015

CFP Science Fiction in the Middle Ages and the Middle Ages in Science Fiction (9/30/15; NeMLA 2016)

Science Fiction in the Middle Ages and the Middle Ages in Science Fiction (Panel)
NeMLA's 47th annual convention, March 17 to 20, 2016 in Hartford, CT
Primary Area / Secondary Area: British / Comparative Literature
Chair(s): Timothy Miller (Sarah Lawrence College)
Proposals by September 30, 2015.

Medieval European literature played a defining role in the development of modern fantasy fiction, and genre fantasy has already received a great deal of critical attention in the academic study of medievalism. By comparison, the complex relationship of genre science fiction to the Middle Ages has been sorely understudied, and this session will include papers that consider either or both of the topics in its title, that is, on the one hand, the appearance or influence of "the medieval," broadly conceived, in modern science fiction. Such papers might examine how certain works of SF (re)construct the medieval: fruitful examples would include a text like Frank Herbert's Dune, where neo-feudalism prevails; time travel novels in which contemporary characters return to an imagined Middle Ages; SF narratives written by medievalists (such as C. S. Lewis's Space Trilogy); or space operas that follow romance or folkloric formulae. Alternatively, papers in search of "science fiction in the Middle Ages" might apply to medieval texts concepts central to the academic study of science fiction -- Darko Suvin's "cognitive estrangement," Fredric Jameson's theory of utopia, and so on -- or examine any set of medieval discourses, impulses, or individual works that might be productively understood as some kind of equivalent to contemporary SF. Examples here might include dream visions in which the narrator traverses the celestial spheres, tales of impossible gadgets, or narratives of alchemical success or folly. Finally, papers that argue from a perspective denying the compatibility of the medieval worldview and the rationalist-empiricist discourse of science fiction would also be welcome. This session will advance our understanding of the place of (proto-)science in medieval fictions, but also attempt to account for the frequent reappearance of the medieval in the distinctly modern science fiction genre, which often takes pride in its modernity and defines itself against pre-Enlightenment epistemologies.

This session will explore the reception and reconstruction of the Middle Ages in contemporary science fiction narrative, but also invites reconsiderations of the appearance of proto-scientific discourses in medieval literature itself, in search of possible connections between these phenomena. Accordingly, individual papers may address modern and/or medieval texts: neo-medieval science fiction masterworks such as Frank Herbert's Dune, where neo-feudalism prevails; time travel novels in which contemporary characters return to an imagined Middle Ages; SF narratives written by medievalists (such as C. S. Lewis's Space Trilogy); space operas that follow romance or folkloric formulae; or any medieval text with natural-scientific ambitions of its own (dream visions, marvel tales, alchemical ruminations, bestiaries, and more). By bringing SF theory and medievalizing science fiction in dialogue with the science and fiction of the Middle Ages, this session will advance our understanding of the place of (proto-)science in medieval literature, while also perhaps shedding light on the unexpectedly frequent reappearance of the medieval in the distinctively modern genre of science fiction genre, which so often takes pride in its modernity and defines itself against pre-Enlightenment epistemologies.

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CFP Azincourt or Agincourt : Remembering and Representing the Hundred Years War Conference (8/28/15; France 11/6/15)

CFP « Azincourt or Agincourt : Remembering and Representing the Hundred Years War » (deadline 28 August 2015) 6 November 2015, University of Toulouse, France.
Announcement published by Nathalie Rivere de Carles on Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Call for Papers
August 28, 2015
Subject Fields:
Military History, Diplomacy and International Relations, Visual Studies, Theatre and History of Theatre

CFP « Azincourt or Agincourt : Remembering and Representing the Hundred Years War », 6 November 2015, University of Toulouse, France.

600 years ago, Henry V and his army slaughtered the ‘fine fleur de la chevalerie française’ during one of the most recounted battle in English history. Mythologised by William Shakespeare’s Henry V, the play has become a sounding board for subsequent military conflicts and operations. The young heroic king’s brotherly pledge, ‘We few, we happy few, we band of brothers’, resounded throughout the centuries and inspired authors, directors and politicians. However, what do we really know about the battle of Agincourt? Why is the memory of this battle particularly vivid? How is it perceived whether you call that field Azincourt or Agincourt, whether you are on the French or the English side of the Channel?

This conference wishes to explore historical and literary accounts and narratives of the battle of Agincourt and of the Hundred Years War. These accounts (from the Middle Ages until now) are often contradictory and offer an interesting insight in the process of memorialisation and the instruments it the memory of this conflict was and has become in both domestic and international politics. We wish to investigate the paradigms of fictional transfers of History a,nd the way the historical and fictional accounts have influenced and fashioned national and political prejudices and clichés and participated in the political, social and religious evolution of the belligerents.

This conference will thus favour a dialogue between different research fields (history, literature, military history, diplomatic history, visual arts, theatre and cinema) in order to study the means of creation and transmission of memory, of the formation of war memory and its deformations, and of the part it plays in the construction of states.

The conference also welcomes proposals on the topic of expected or unexpected accounts in French and English chronicles ((Froissard, Hall’s Chronicles, Holinshed, Grandes Chroniques de France, L’Arbre des batailles by Honoré Bouvet, Le Livre des faits de Bertrand Du Guesclin). We welcome proposals regarding Franco-English cultural and political relationships at the beginning of the 15th century and also studies in diplomatic and military history. In the latter field we will question the accuracy of the accounts of the battle, of its location, and its role as landmark in military strategic and tactical methods.

We also wish to examine the way the Hundred Years War and more particularly the Battle of Agincourt were perceived and used in the centuries that followed. The literary and iconographic creations related to this military event need to be studied and we invite proposals on fictional and political writings on the Hundred Years War and its stakeholders such as Christine de Pisan’s Livre des faits et bonnes mœurs du sage roy Charles V ou le Ditié de Jeanne d’Arc, William Shakespeare’s Henry V, Henry VI, Edward III. We also welcome papers on the surge of interest in the 18th and 19th centuries for the conflict in texts such as Décius français ou le Siège de Calais sous Philippe VI de Durosoy (1764), Le Siège de Calais, a tragedy by Dormont de Belloy (1765), or  in the opera, L'assedio di Calais (1836), by Gaetano Donizetti et Salvatore Cammarano.

The conference also wishes to examine the representation of soldiers and the evolution of the representation and the perception of chivalry, masculinity in the context of a reappraisal of heroism. Thus we will also consider contemporary dramatic and cinematographic versions of the Hundred Years Wars and the Battle of Agincourt and its sung or unsung heroes (The BBC’s The Hollow Crown, Laurence Olivier’s and Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V, the recent stage adaptations of Shakespeare’s Histories and other historical plays).

List of topics (non-exhaustive):

  • Literary, iconographic and musical accounts of the Hundred Years War since the Renaissance
  • The genres of the historical chronicle and of the historical tragedy and their relationship with memory
  • Chivalry and the revision of heroism
  • The political and structural consequences of the Hundred Years War: the influence on the vision of government…
  • Territory and linguistic hybridism in Henry V and historical tragedies
  • Military history: perception of war and of soldiers, evolution of chivalry, myths and strategic realities of sieges and warfare (Agincourt, Harfleur, Calais…)
  • Diplomatic relationships: the role of the Duke of Burgundy, the art and the failure of negotiation
  • The representation of the emissary during and after the Hundred Years War…

Proposals (300 to 500 words) should be sent by August 28th to Dr Nathalie Rivère de Carles ( and Dr John C. Ford ( Confirmation of acceptance will be sent to participants by September 3rd.

Contact Info:
Dr Nathalie Rivère de Carles (

Dr John C. Ford (

Contact Email:

CFP Fanfiction in Medieval Studies (9/15/15; Kalamazoo 2016)

This sounds like an interesting  approach:

Call for papers: "Fanfiction in Medieval Studies" at the International Congress for Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, 2016
Discussion published by Anna Wilson on Sunday, July 19, 2015  0 Replies
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Type: Call for Papers
Date: September 15, 2015
Location: Michigan, United States
Subject Fields: Ancient History, Classical Studies, Communication, Composition, Cultural History / Studies, Intellectual History, Literature, Medieval and Byzantine History / Studies, Rhetoric

Panel: Fanfiction In Medieval Studies
Conference: 51st International Congress in Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, Michigan (May 12-15, 2016)
Organizer: Anna Wilson

Call for papers: Over the past three decades, there has been increasing interest in both Fan Studies and Medieval Studies in the relationship between medieval literary culture and fanfiction (that is, popular, ‘unofficial’, fan-generated fiction writing that participates in a pre-existing fictional ‘universe’ and uses its characters). Many Fan Studies scholars have seen fanfiction as the heir to the premodern literary tradition in which authors adapt, rework, reinterpret or otherwise engages with a pre-existing literary work. These arguments often refer to the Aeneid’s reworking of Homer, romances in the Alexander or Arthurian traditions, or specific works, such as Robert Henryson’s Testament of Cresseid or Lydgate’s Siege of Thebes, as ‘early fan fiction’. Fanfiction scholars have also claimed the medieval ‘active reader’, whose creativity spilled into glosses, commentaries and exegesis, as part of the history of fanfiction writers. However, there is currently little reflection on what this comparison might mean for medievalists. Can this analogy generate new readings of medieval literature texts or communities? How can we build a productive comparison between fanfiction and medieval literatures while retaining a sense of individual historical contexts and avoiding over-simplification?

This session invites papers that reflect on points of analogy between fanfiction and medieval literatures. Close-readings and case studies are welcome, but papers should ideally include attention to methodology. Papers might discuss: interest in amateur medievalisms, affect, volunteer labour, community formation on social media, the ‘active reader’ and marginalia, remix culture, gendered reading, the digital humanities, the erosion of the line between ‘public’ medievalism and that of the academy, fanfiction and pedagogy, and the question of relevance.

Please submit abstracts of 300 words or less, and a Participation Information Form (available here:  to Anna Wilson (

Deadline: September 15th 2015

Contact Info:
Anna Wilson, University of Toronto

Contact Email: