Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Medieval Studies on Screen List Re-Launch

For immediate release.

The Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture is pleased to announce the re-launching of our Medieval Studies on Screen discussion list at Groups.io following the recent decision by Yahoo! to delete all content from Yahoo! Groups.

Our message archive has been saved and transferred to Groups.io, and new discussions are ready to begin.

To sign-up follow the link below.

Michael A. Torregrossa
Founder, Listserv Moderator, and Blog Editor, Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture

The Medieval Studies on Screen Discussion List

The Medieval Studies on Screen Discussion List is sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture. The list was founded in July 2004 as the Medieval Studies at the Movies Discussion List and was relaunched under its new name in December 2019. With its wider scope, the list is dedicated to furthering academic research, debate, and discussion of "medieval" and "pseudo-medieval" elements on film, television, computers, game consoles, and portable devices.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Session Write-Up: Medieval Undead/Undead Medievalisms

2019 Annual Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association
Pittsburgh Marriott City Center Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA
7-9 November 2019

Thursday, November 7, 3:15 pm to 4:30 pm (Marquis Ballroom B)

Medieval Undead/Undead Medievalisms (A Roundtable)
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
Organizer: Michael A. Torregrossa, Independent Scholar

Presider: Rachael Kathleen Warmington, Seton Hall University

The Round Table presentations of Peter Dendle, Elliott Mason, Richard Fahey, and Carl B. Sell went spectacularly well on the Thursday, 7 November session of MAPACA. All four presenters and their presider, Rachael Warmington, sparked an interesting conversation between their papers and with the question and answer session. In particular, the papers were at once complimentary and dissimilar enough to keep the presenters as well as the audience active in asking questions, suggesting thematic tie-ins, and working with similar concerns in medievalism and popular culture.

The myriad connections between the undead in contemporary culture and their relationship to medieval presentations of the undead challenged assumptions while exploring the reception of the undead, particularly zombies and their ilk, garnered interest in both the medieval sources as well as popular representations. The presenters themselves remarked upon how important and useful such exploration has become, and they, as well as the audience, seemed eager for more.

Perhaps this will not be the last time such a panel is created, as many felt that such work should be continued again next year at MAPACA.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Session Details Medieval Undead/Undead Medievalisms for 7 November

Here is the full information on our sponsored round table this week at MAPACA's annual conference. I include the paper abstracts as well as MAPACA's system did not allow us to post them.

2019 Annual Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association
Pittsburgh Marriott City Center Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA
7-9 November 2019

Thursday, November 7, 3:15 pm to 4:30 pm (Marquis Ballroom B)

Medieval Undead/Undead Medievalisms (A Roundtable)
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
Organizer: Michael A. Torregrossa, Independent Scholar

Presider: Rachael Kathleen Warmington, Seton Hall University

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.

Embodying Absence: The Medieval and Modern Undead
Peter Dendle, Pennsylvania State University, Mont Alto

Despite its origins in West African and Haitian folklore, the “zombie” reached widespread fame through the Gothic Medieval-inspired trappings of Hollywood fantasy. Cinematic and literary portrayals of the creature have taken it far from its roots as signifier for exploited labor and dehumanization, but the genre has returned regularly to medieval settings and iconography. In the Middle Ages, the dead who come back served as liminal figures of omen, danger, and hope. I will establish some continuities between medieval undead conceptualizations such as those in Gregory of Tours and contemporary portrayals such as those in Amando de Ossorio. In both periods, the “zombie” has served as a blank mold of the human, a template on which writers and filmmakers project their own period’s anxieties concerning meaning and values in embodied form.

Peter Dendle is a Professor of English at Pennsylvania State University, Mont Alto, where he teaches literature, writing, and folklore. He has published two monographs on demonology of the Middle Ages (Satan Unbound: The Devil in Old English Literature; Demon Possession in Anglo-Saxon England) and two on zombie movies (The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia, Vols. 1 and 2), aside from numerous publications on monsters and the monstrous.

The Divine Undead/The Undead Divine
Elliott Mason, Concordia University

As the research of scholars such as Robert Mills, Timothy Beal, and David Penchansky has demonstrated, the divide between the monstrous and the divine has never been structurally sound, nor indeed impermeable. Not only within theological examinations of Job and Psalms, but also within the realm of popular religion and saints' lives, the grotesque, the monstrous, and the ultimately Other, have been integral components to Jewish and Christian interpretations of divinity. Analyses such as Mills's, which examine and underscore the monstrosity of medieval pictorial representations of God as tricephalic, illuminate the fundamental foreignness of medieval religion to a modern audience, while troubling easy readings of medieval culture based on fantasy medievalism and modern religious belief.

Along these lines, as my contribution to the roundtable panel, “Medieval Undead/Undead Medievalisms,” and in keeping with the conference's theme, I propose to analyze contemporary zombie pop culture texts (e.g. Fist of Jesus, and the “Zombie Jesus” meme phenomenon), alongside late antique and medieval representations of divine flesh in decay. In particular, I am interested in contrasting modern parodies of Jesus's resurrection (and ability to resurrect) that purport to undermine religious belief, with medieval and late antique depictions of Jesus's body, and the bodies of saints (e.g. Mary of Egypt, Syncletica, Simeon Stylites, Catherine of Sienna) as decaying, diseased, undead, and grotesquely divine. The narratives that circulate surrounding the non-normate bodies of Jesus and these saints serve to position both in an intermediary space between life and death, similar to the modern notion of the status of the zombie. While parodic texts such as Fist of Jesus and the “Zombie Jesus” meme are often read as undermining religious symbolism and interpretation, they are in fact participating in a longstanding religious tradition that imagines the divine body as heterogeneous, non-normative, and grotesque.

Elliot Mason is a third-year PhD student in Concordia University's Department of Religions and Cultures. 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. At MAPACA 2018 he presented a paper entitled: “The Queer and the Dead: Medieval Revenants and Their Afterlives in In the Flesh.”

Draugar and White Walkers: Winter Zombies of the Old North
Richard Fahey, University of Notre Dame

When one thinks of zombies today, herds of walkers from AMC’s film series The Walking Dead overrun the imagination. One might recall the worn, dead-eyed image of Felicia Felix-Mentor, the self-proclaimed first photographed zombi featured in Zora Neale Hurston’s Tell My Horse. My paper will focus on a medieval zombie subspecies from the pagan north—the monstrous Old Norse draugr—popular in Icelandic sagas, such as Njáls saga and Eyrbyggja saga. These medieval zombies often come with winter and are explicitly associated with indigenous Scandinavian religion and old pagan practices preferred by draugar such as the heiðinn “heathen” Glámr and Kár hinn gamli “the old” in Grettis saga, and the hæðen “heathen” Grendel from the famous Old English poem, Beowulf. I will focus on the spiritual circumstances that create these monsters and the postmortem treatment of their bodies, especially decapitation, in order to prevent the corpse from reanimating if cremation or Christian burial rites were not observed.

My paper will then consider how George R. R. Martin’s adapts and appropriates the Icelandic draugr in his book series The Song of Ice and Fire and in HBO’s film series Game of Thrones. In Martin’s fantasy world a massive army of white walkers march with the cold from “the True North”—an ancient and petrified world; Martin looks north to the draugr when characterizing his white walkers and consults Icelandic sagas in his depiction of “the True North.” I will argue that his white walkers are as apocalyptic and contagious as any undead horde in contemporary zombie literature, but their wintry characterization sets them apart from contemporary zombie stereotypes. Finally, my paper will analyze the interwoven physical and spiritual climates, which generate white walkers, and the measures necessary to destroy them, especially cremation and decapitation of dead and undead bodies.

Richard Fahey is a PhD candidate at the University of Notre Dame, who is scheduled to graduate this January. In addition to his studies, Richard serves as Assistant Project Manager for Notre Dame’s Medieval Studies Research Blog and Assistant Book Review Editor for the Journal of Religion & Literature. His research areas include allegory, monstrosity, wonders and riddles, especially in Old English, Latin, Old Norse-Icelandic and Middle English literature. Richard is also interested medievalism, including the works of J. R. R Tolkien and George R. R. Martin, and modern adaptations of medieval literature. Richard’s dissertation argues for riddling rhetoric and psychomachic allegory in Beowulf, and he frames his study in the context of elementary education and curriculum poems that were popular in early medieval England, with Prudentius’ Psychomachia and Old English and Anglo-Latin riddle collections at the center of his analysis.

Tomes of the Dead: Medievalism, Zombies, and Historical Fantasy-Horror in Viking Dead and Stronghold
Carl B. Sell, Oklahoma Panhandle State University

Zombies have long been ingrained into popular culture: The Walking Dead has spawned successful comics, video games, novels, and television shows; George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead has given birth to countless sequels, imitations, reimaginings, and remakes; and in games, both video and roleplaying, the undead are one of the most popular opponents for a character to face. The zombie novel is something that is often considered an aberration, as zombies are an inherently visual kind of monster, but these are still very popular fictions. What is less popular, but no less interesting, are historical zombie novels, works that use historical time periods to tell a story about battles against the undead. Now-defunct publisher Abaddon Books—a subsidiary of Rebellion, the company that owns the 2000 AD comics—cashed in on the zombification of popular fiction with its Tomes of the Dead series of stand-alone historical zombie novels. The best of these, in both quality of writing as well as in historical research, are Toby Venables's Viking Dead and Paul Finch’s Stronghold, novels set in the medieval period but contain more than their fair share of contemporary zombie lore. Viking Dead plays with the Norse concept of the draugr, the reanimated corpses of Grettis Saga, Njal’s Saga, and Eyrbyggja Saga, which define the role of the draugr both in the world of mythology but also in the conceptions of the Norse protagonists in the novel. Stronghold takes a different approach, grounding its historicity in an actual event, Edward I’s conquest of Wales. In the novel, the Welsh use zombies to attack the English army, but soon break free from any hold and “swarm” the stronghold of Grogen Castle.

Carl Sell is an Assistant Professor of English at Oklahoma Panhandle State University and is an ABD PhD Candidate at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he will be defending his dissertation on Arthurian appropriations in medieval and popular culture in early 2020. Carl specializes in Arthurian literature and is the British literature professor at OPSU. His scholarly interests, aside from King Arthur, lie in the legends of Robin Hood, Celtic folklore, comics studies, mythology, and adaptation theory. Carl also serves as a member of the Advisory Board for The Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

CFP Cultural Adaptations (11/1/2019; PCA/ACA 4/15-18/2020)

This seems it might be of interest:

Call for Papers: Cultural Adaptations PCA/ACA (2020 National Conference, April 15-18/ Philadelphia, PA) Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association

deadline for submissions:
November 1, 2019

full name / name of organization:
Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association

contact email:

Call for Papers: Cultural Adaptations

PCA/ACA (2020 National Conference, April 15-18/ Philadelphia, PA) Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association

Our theme for this year focuses on cross-cultural adaptations. Globalization permeates every facet of our lives, and adaptation is certainly a facet of our lives! But more than simple imports, cross-cultural adaptations give us an opportunity to explore ever-shifting notions of national identity, class, history, and many other things. So what’s going on in the Chinese adaptation of Blood Simple, or the Indian adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, or the Japanese version of Unforgiven or the American remake of Oldboy (which was a Korean adaptation of a Japanese manga)? You tell us! Which is to say, we invite papers that consider any and all forms of cross-cultural adaptation.

As always, we consider “adaptation” as much a reading strategy as a way of constructing texts, or as much a way of looking at texts as a particular brand of texts. Thus, beyond the focus of this call, we also welcome papers on any and all aspects of what you read and conceive of as adaptation.

All paper topics will be considered. Please submit an abstract online of no more than 250 words to: http:/www.pcaaca.org

Deadline for proposal submissions is November 1, 2019.

For conference information, please go to http://www.pcaaca.org/national-conference/

Please send all inquiries to:

David L. Moody, Ph.D.

Lake Erie College

121 College Hall

Painesville, OH 44077

(440) 375-7178



October 1, 2019          Early Bird Registration Opens

November 1, 2019     Deadline for Paper Proposals

December 1, 2019       Early Bird Registration ENDS

January 1, 2020           Regular Registration ENDS

January 2, 2020           Late Registration BEGINS—be sure to reserve your spot in                           the program!

January 15, 2020         Brigman and Jones Awards Deadline

January 20, 2020         Preliminary Schedule Available

February 1, 2020       Registration for Presenters ENDS—participants who have not registered dropped from the program at the end of the day.

February 2, 2020         REGISTRATION SYSTEM CLOSES at Midnight

March 1, 2020             Non-Presenters Late Registration OPENS

April 15-18, 2020       National Conference

All presenters must be current, paid members of the PCA and fully registered for the conference.

Refund requests must be submitted in writing. Full or partial refunds will be processed according to the following schedule:

Requested by Jan. 1: 100% refund

Requested by Jan. 15: 75% refund

Requested by Jan. 25: 50% refund

Requested by Feb. 1: 25% refund

After Feb. 1: 0% refund

Membership fees are not refundable.

Last updated October 9, 2019
This CFP has been viewed 217 times.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

CFP Medieval in Modern Children's Literature (Spec Issue of ChLAO) (11/1/19)

I'm sorry to have missed this sooner; do note the impending due date.

Call for journal articles: "The Medieval in Modern Children's Literature" (ChLAQ)

deadline for submissions:
November 1, 2019
full name / name of organization:
Kristin Bovaird-Abbo / Children's Literature Association Quarterly
contact email:

The Medieval in Modern Children's Literature
A Special Issue of Children's Literature Association Quarterly

Edited by Kristin Bovaird-Abbo
Deadline: 1 November 2019

The pervasive presence of medieval elements in children's texts and media (including but not limited to animation, picture books, young adult novels, television series, video games, and graphic novels) has long been acknowledged, as evidenced by Clare Bradford's 2015 monograph The Middle Ages in Children's Literature. This special issue of the Children's Literature Association Quarterly invites essays that continue to explore how recent texts and media created specifically for children complicate or extend their treatment of the medieval beyond the conventional heroes of Britain, and Europe in general. Authors and directors retell tales of Beowulf, Robin Hood, and King Arthur with female and non-binary protagonists, filling in gaps of traditional narratives, and creating new characters to engage with these older themes. More important than what these texts tell us about the medieval, though, is what these medievalized stories tell us about the modern.

This special issue particularly seeks papers that treat issues such as (but not limited to) the following:

  • Depictions of racial diversity
  • Gendered identities, including questioning of gender binaries, depictions of female agency
  • Depictions of religious identity
  • Intersectionality in children's medievalism
  • Depictions of geographical space, including issues of identity, migration, and diaspora
  • Depictions of people with disabilities, illness, non-normative bodies
  • Fidelity (perceived and otherwise) to medieval historicity
  • The medieval as modernity's other
  • Medievalism vs. fantasy
  • Magic vs. science

Papers should conform to the usual style of ChLAQ and be between 5,000-7,000 words in length.

Queries and completed essays should be sent to Kristin Bovaird-Abbo (kristin.bovairdabbo@unco.edu with a re: line indicating "ChLAQ Essay") by 1 November 2019.

The selected articles will appear in ChLAQ in 2020.

Last updated February 14, 2019

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

EXTENDED DEADLINE CFP Does the Matter of Britain (Still) Matter?: Reflections on the State of Arthurian Studies Today (A Roundtable) (10/7/19; NeMLA Boston 3/5-8/2020)

Out affiliate, the Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Matter of Britain, is also still seeking paper proposals for the following session:

Does the Matter of Britain (Still) Matter?: Reflections on the State of Arthurian Studies Today (A Roundtable)

Please see full details at https://kingarthurforever.blogspot.com/2019/10/cfp-does-matter-of-britain-still-matter.html.

Extended Deadline for Afterlives of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

Our affiliate the Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Matter of Britain has an extended deadline for paper proposals for the following session:

Afterlives of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (EXTENDED DEADLINE 10/7/19; NeMLA 3/5-8/2020)

Full details at https://kingarthurforever.blogspot.com/2019/10/cfp-afterlives-of-connecticut-yankee-in.html.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

New from D S Brewer -- Studies in Medievalism 28

My thanks to Boydell & Brewer for providing a copy of this to add to our bibliographic efforts. It looks like another great volume of the long-running series. 

Studies in Medievalism XXVIII
Medievalism and Discrimination

Edited by Karl Fugelso



April 2019
6 colour, 4 black and white illustrations
268 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Studies in Medievalism
ISBN: 9781843845171
Format: Hardback

The difficult and nuanced issue of discrimination - race, gender, ethicity, religion - is the focus of this volume.

Discrimination has long played a part in medievalism studies, but it has rarely been weaponized as thoroughly and publicly as in recent exchanges. The essays in the first part of this volume respond to that development by examining some of the many forms discrimination has taken in medievalism (studies) relative to race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and ethnicity. These papers thus inform many of the subsequent chapters, which address a wide variety of aspects of medievalism, showing how many cultural areas it touches upon. Subjects include Evelyn Underhill's literary interest in the Arts and Crafts Movement; the Anchoresses of the filmmaker Chris Newby and novelist Robyn Cadwallader; cinematic battle orations; contemporary representations of Viking helmet horns; modern board-game culture; and Vincent Van Gogh's Studio of the South. The volume also includes a transcription and contextualization of the celebrated scholar Helen Waddell's notes on medieval texts.

KARL FUGELSO is Professor of Art History at Towson University.

Contributors: Carla Arnell, Aida Audeh, Peter Burkholder, Christopher Caldiero, Michael Evans, Jennifer FitzGerald, Jonathan Godsall, Angus J. Kennedy, Nadia Margolis, Lauryn Mayer, Timothy S. Miller, Tison Pugh, Richard Utz, Kim Wilkins, Karen A. Winstead, Helen Young

An e-book version of this title is available (9781787444713), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.

Keywords: Studies in Medievalism, English & American Literature, Medieval Literature

CONTENTS (updated to match print version)


Freedom to Discriminate - Helen Young

"You wouldn't want to be historically inaccurate": Online Responses to Race in Medievalist Television - Michael Evans

Mythogyny: Popular Medievalism and Toxic Masculinity - Lauryn S. Mayer

The Cool and the Queer in Bugs Bunny's Middle Ages - Tison Pugh

Medievalism, Antisemitism, and Twenty-First-Century Media: An Update - Richard Utz

Work for the Soul: Medievalism, the Arts and Crafts Movement, and the Development of a Practical Spirituality in Evelyn Underhill's Novel The Gray World - Carla A. Arnell

Exhuming the Living Dead: The Anchoresses of Chris Newby and Robyn Cadwallader - Karen A Winstead

The King's Speech: Battle Orations in Medieval Film - Peter Burkholder and Jonathan Godsall and Christopher Caldiero

Horns: Vikings, Adaptation, Evolution - Kim Wilkins

Bidding with Beowulf, Dicing with Chaucer, and Playing Poker with King Arthur: Neomedievalism in Modern Board Gaming Culture - Timothy S. Miller

Vincent van Gogh, the Tre Corone, and the Studio of the South - Aida Audeh

A Transcription of Helen Waddell's Notes on the Roman de la Rose and Christine de Pizan: Manuscript Queen's University Belfast 18/1/c - Angus J Kennedy and Nadia Margolis and Jennifer FitzGerald

Friday, August 30, 2019

Bloomsbury's New Directions in Medieval Studies

New series now accepting book proposals:

New Directions in Medieval Studies
Series Editor(s): Andrew B.R. Elliott, Helen Young

Particular concerns involve cataloguing the rich variety of experience of medieval people and exploring cultural transfer across different periods, places and groups. These are expressed in the many scholarly themes highlighted below and, taken together, seek to contribute to the future directions and debates of medieval studies.


  • Medieval lives including marginal voices, variation and dissimilitude
  • Cultural exchange and interconnectedness across medieval Europe
  • The reception and re-use of the Middle Ages in later periods
  • Re-evaluating medieval history from a global perspective

We particularly welcome proposals from scholars working in the following areas:

  • religious and ethnic minorities
  • gender and queer history
  • emotional communities
  • postcolonial perspectives
  • travel, trade and migration
  • work that extends reception of the Middle Ages beyond the predominantly British perspectives of published work to date
  • digital and new media receptions
  • work responding to the idea of an 'ethical turn'

I.B.Tauris New Directions in Medieval Studies seeks to build on I.B.Tauris's independent, globally-oriented emphasis by encouraging scholars to use the series as a springboard for presenting their research in innovative ways. We welcome content presented in such a way as to appeal to both general and academic readerships, opening up paperback potential and extending the reach and longevity of your work.

Titles in the series are peer-reviewed and initially published in hardback with bespoke full-colour cover, and with simultaneous publication as a competitively priced e-book. Your book will benefit from I.B.Tauris's global marketing and will be represented at academic conferences around the world.

CFP 41st Annual Southwest Popular/American Culture Association Conference (10/31/19; Albuquerque 2/19/22/2020)

Call for Papers Now Open with Lots of Potential for Making Medievalisms Matter:

41st Annual Southwest Popular/American Culture Association Conference

Hyatt Regency Hotel and Conference Center Albuquerque, New Mexico February 19-22, 2020.

Proposals for papers and panels are now being accepted for the 41st annual SWPACA conference! One of the nation’s largest interdisciplinary academic conferences, SWPACA offers nearly 70 subject areas, each typically featuring multiple panels.

SWPACA offers monetary awards for the best graduate student papers in a variety of categories, as well as travel assistance to graduate and undergraduate students in the form of fellowships. For more information, visit the Graduate Student Award Page.

Registration and travel information for the conference is available at on the Registration Page.

Submissions of proposals are due October 31, 2019.

In addition, please check out the organization’s peer-reviewed, scholarly journal, Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy, at http://journaldialogue.org.

Full list of subject areas and submission link available at .http://southwestpca.org/conference/call-for-papers/

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

International Conference on Medievalism 2019 News

The website for the 34th International Conference on Medievalism has been launched. The conference will run from 20-21 September 2019 at Georgia Tech. The theme is Global Medievalisms.

Check it out at https://issm2019.lmc.gatech.edu/.

Pearl-poet: Modern Connections, Adaptations, and Evolutions (9/1/19; Kalamazoo 5/7-10/2020)

The Pearl-poet: Modern Connections, Adaptations, and Evolutions @ ICMS 2020

deadline for submissions:
September 1, 2019
full name / name of organization:
Ashley E. Bartelt / International Pearl-poet Society
contact email:

International Pearl-Poet Society

Call for Papers — ICMS 2020

The International Pearl-Poet Society is sponsoring five sessions and one co-sponsored session with the Medieval Association of the Midwest (MAM) at the 55th International Congress on Medieval Studies (May 7-10, 2020) at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI. One session is:

The Pearl-poet: Modern Connections, Adaptations, and Evolutions

As one of the more prominent poets from the fourteenth century, the Pearl-poet continues to captivate audiences with his nuanced and timeless narratives, inspiring centuries of writers and artists. This session will explore the resonances and continued relevance of this prominent poet’s work in modern renderings, films, stage productions, and other media.

We invite abstracts from scholars of all levels. Papers may deal with one or all poems by the Pearl- or Gawain-poet. Paper sessions will consist of either three 20-minute or four 15-minute presentations; all paper sessions will afford at least 30 minutes for discussion.

Please send your abstract (max. 300 words) and the completed Participant Information Form by 1 September 2019 to

Ashley E. Bartelt

Northern Illinois University

Dept. of English, Reavis Hall, Room 215

1425 W. Lincoln Hwy.

DeKalb, IL 60116


The other International Pearl-poet Society sessions for ICMS 2020 include:

  • The Final Frontier: Embodied Space in the Works of the Pearl-poet
  • Acceptance and Resistance: Emotional Tension in the Pearl-poet
  • In aventure þer mervayles meven: The Mystical Tradition in the Pearl-poet and Analogues
  • Form and Structure in MS Cotton Nero A.x. (A Roundtable)
  • Ain’t Misbehaving: Medieval English Women Who Do Good Work by Nefarious Means (co-sponsored with MAM)

For more information, see their individual CFPs on the University of Pennsylvania CFP site.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Call for Creative Works: Medievalist as Auctor (9/1/19; Kalamazoo 2020)

ICMS 2020: Medievalist as Auctor

deadline for submissions:
September 1, 2019
full name / name of organization:
Erin K. Wagner
contact email:

Whether we consider the high fantasy of Lewis and Tolkien or the contemporary rise in historical fiction set during the Middle Ages, it must be acknowledged that medievalists (and scholars more generally) have long been linked with creative writing. In an era of academia where the traditional university job is far from assured and where representations of the Middle Ages are co-opted by white nationalists, we must acknowledge the wider benefits and contributions of the humanities, while promoting a diverse picture of the Middle Ages. It is more important than ever that the scholastic community embrace its creative side.

This roundtable is seeking submissions of creative work to be read aloud and discussed. All creative writing (fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction) is welcome and work need not be on medieval topics though will hopefully contribute to a larger discussion about medievalism and/or the academy’s relationship with creative writing.

Please submit a brief synopsis of your work (250-500 words) and a CV as pdfs  by September 1, 2019 to wagnerek@delhi.edu.

Last updated July 29, 2019

CFP Performing Medieval Drama in the 21st Century (A Panel Discussion) (9/6/19; Kalamazoo 2020)

Performing Medieval Drama in the 21st Century (A Panel Discussion)

deadline for submissions:
September 6, 2019
full name / name of organization:
Kyle A. Thomas, Missouri State University
contact email:

Session Title: Performing Medieval Drama in the 21st Century (A Panel Discussion) at the International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University (2020)

Organizer: Kyle A. Thomas (Missouri State University)

Sponsered by the Medieval and Renaissance Drama Society (MRDS)

In her seminal book, Ritual Imports: Performing Medieval Drama in America, Claire Sponslor examined the role of European medieval drama in history of North America, making the case that drama was more than the importation of plays. Rather, Sponsler examined the practices and traditions of performance that carved out a space in which the practices of the Old World came into contact and communication with those of the New. Following Sponslor’s lead and her broad definition of drama—which includes plays, religious practices and ceremonies, fairs, pageantry, rites and rituals—this panel discussion seeks out papers and presentations that explore performance(s) of medieval drama in the 21st century. In particular, this panel will aim to facilitate conversation around performances that take from medieval source material but invite performers and audiences into a point or space of contact with the medieval world through effective and affective twenty-first-century practices. The organizers are especially interested in the papers/presentations that might include photos or videos of performance.

Possible approaches/questions might include, but are not limited to:

  • current and affective methodologies for performing medieval drama that explore dramaturgy, acting/casting, design/tech, textual analysis, etc.;
  • utilization and navigation of twenty-first-century spaces;
  • the incorporation of technology, including social media mobile platforms and apps, etc.;
  • ways in which potentially problematic characters, themes, ideas (e.g. anti-Semitism, gender roles) are handled in performance;
  • how performance facilitates manifests the role of the medieval document/text and/or the work of research and the researcher for current audiences.

Please send abstracts and PIF forms to kathomas@missouristate.edu (if sent before August 10th, please also cc: kyleathomas17@gmail.com) by September 6th, 2019. Also, please mention in your abstract if you intend to include pictures or video of performance in your presentation. Depending on the number or submissions and the content of the proposals, the organizers will make and decision regarding the specific format of the discussion (i.e. length of papers/presentations and the possibility of a panel Q&A or respondant).

Last updated July 19, 2019

CFP Monstrous Woman and the Norms of Civility (Roundtable) (9/15/19; Kalamazoo 5/7-10/2020)

This seems of interest:

ICMS 2020: The Monstrous Woman and the Norms of Civility (Roundtable)

deadline for submissions:
September 15, 2019
full name / name of organization:
Ann M. Martinez
contact email:

55thICMS, Kalamazoo, May 7-10, 2020.

Co-sponsors: BABEL Working Group and the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship

Organizer: Ann M. Martinez

 Monstrosity is a shifting concept. What is deemed monstrous for one generation might not be so for the next. Similarly, the societal norms that shape/restrict behavior labeled as acceptable/unacceptable for women are also in flux. What, then, are the points of intersection between the monstrous and the female—when/how does a woman become monstrous? How do the norms of civility produce the monstrous woman, both in the past and the present? The current historical/cultural moment, with an impetus toward redefining/limiting women’s behavior, requires that we consider these questions. This roundtable invites papers that examine medieval representations of monstrous women in any form. While conducive toward feminist criticism, cultural studies, and monster studies, the roundtable is open to papers using diverse methodologies, as well as those not applying a theoretical framework.

 Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words to session organizer Ann M. Martinez (amart108@kent.edu) by September 15. Please include your name, title, and affiliation on the abstract itself, along with a completed Participant Information Form (available on the Congress website). In accordance with ICMS regulations, abstracts not accepted for the session will be forwarded to Congress administrators for consideration in general sessions.

Last updated July 29, 2019

CFP Nineteenth-/Twentieth-/Twenty-First-Century Medievalisms (9/15/19; Kalamazoo 2020)

(This seems fairly broad in scope, but, if I read it correctly, the organizers are limiting the discussion to fiction as opposed to other media.)

Nineteenth-/Twentieth-/Twenty-First-Century Medievalisms

deadline for submissions:
September 15, 2019
full name / name of organization:
Daniel C. Najork; Robert Sirabian
contact email:

For this session, we seek proposals exploring the factors shaping nineteenth- and twentieth-/twenty-first-century literature (in its broad sense) about the Middle Ages as well as the differences in approaches to the Middle Ages in each century. What historical, social, and intellectual views shaped nineteenth-century approaches to the Middle Ages? In what ways were these views limited or biased based on what the Victorians knew and believed and did not know, particularly when compared to advances in historical, psychological, and political knowledge in the next centuries? Conversely, what shaped twentieth-/twenty-first-century views of the Middle Ages? To what degree did writers react to and against the nineteenth century as well as utilize new knowledge available to them? At issue here is the debated distinction between medieval studies and medievalism. Medievalism, Pam Clements argues, “is in one sense the study of necessarily inauthentic ‘medieval’ matter [because of historical distance], filtered through a variety of eras, cultures, zeitgeists” (“Authenticity,” Medievalism: Key Critical Terms 20).

A paper, for example, focusing on a nineteenth-century literary work might examine how nineteenth-century thinking and knowledge shaped as well as limited that work when considering what was known and available in the twentieth-/twenty-first century. Papers might also address how scholars of the twentieth-/twenty-first centuries have confronted the lasting consequences of nineteenth-century medievalism.

Please send a 500-word abstract and the Participant Information Form (https://wmich.edu/medievalcongress/submissions) to Robert.Sirabian@uwsp.edu and Daniel.Najork@asu.edu by September 15th.

Last updated July 29, 2019

CFP Politically-Varied Medievalisms of Separatist/Statehood/Independence Movements (9/15/19; Kalamazoo 2020)

The Politically-Varied Medievalisms of Separatist/Statehood/Independence Movements at ICMS Kalamazoo 2020

deadline for submissions:
September 15, 2019
full name / name of organization:
International Society for the Study of Medievalism
contact email:

The right-wing medievalisms of Brexit and other Eurosceptic movements have been well-studied in the past few years. But not all separatist/independence/autonomy/statehood movements use medievalism in the same ways. This session seeks papers that examine the medievalisms of other such movements, including those (Scottish independence, Basque nationalism) that identify with more leftist politics, as well as those that engage with a range of political ideologies. How are appeals to the historical or fictional Middle Ages used by such movements or those who oppose them?

Preference will be given to papers that address the complexity of the relationship between medievalism and modern or contemporary politics, and to those proposals received by Sept 1.

Last updated July 29, 2019

CFP Legacies of Tolkien's Whiteness in Contemporary Medievalisms (9/15/19; Kalamazoo 2020)

Legacies of Tolkien's Whiteness in Contemporary Medievalisms

deadline for submissions:
September 15, 2019
full name / name of organization:
Tales after Tolkien Society
contact email:

A roundtable session at the International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University (www.wmich.edu/medievalcongress) examining the continuing effects of Tolkien's depictions of race in medievalist works; Rachel Cooper will preside.

Much criticism directs itself towards racial studies and postcolonial readings of the works of JRR Tolkien, arguing whether his works should be regarded as racist and what attitudes contemporary readers would be well served to adopt in response to them. Much attention in popular media has directed itself towards the use of medieval and medievalist works such as Tolkien's by white supremacist groups to offer themselves pseudo-intellectual and pseudo-historical support for their execrable agendas. The session looks for ways in which contemporary medievalist work (hopefully) unintentionally supports such efforts and what can be done to oppose them as things deserving all opposition.

Short proposals are welcome; please send to talesaftertolkien@gmail.com on or before 15 September 2019. Proposals from graduate students, those outside traditional academe, and traditionally underrepresented groups are especially welcome.

Last updated July 29, 2019

CFP Reimagining “The Middle Ages” (9/15/19; Kalamazoo 2020)

Kalamazoo ICMS 2020: Reimagining “The Middle Ages”

deadline for submissions:
September 15, 2019
full name / name of organization:
Medieval Association of the Pacific
contact email:

“The Middle Ages” are created and maintained by those who imagine them today, lending urgency to the project of narrating a global medieval that resists the field’s racist and nationalist myths. Given a need for new imaginaries:

  • What prospects of medievalism arise when medieval sources are freed from their nineteenth-century creation myths?
  • How do medieval depictions of cross-cultural encounter provoke new imaginaries?
  • How might medievalists ethically incorporate premodern Indigenous and Pacific Rim cultural artifacts to imagine beyond, rather than replicate, settler-colonial and imperialist mode(l)s?
  • What can medieval sources offer, imaginatively encountered in the public sphere or classroom, to new audiences?

We invite 15- to 20-minute papers employing a broad range of methodologies for the discursive goal of critically reimagining a global medieval studies. We use “global medieval” not only as geopolitical designation but also to indicate inclusive praxis that involves telling the Middle Ages (and considering how they’ve been told) and amplifying marginalized voices, sources, and medievalisms. Such praxis may include professional reflection and critical theorizing about the roles and responsibilities in reimagining and recreating “the medieval” and the challenges and opportunities of counter-narrating.

In keeping with MAP's organizational focus as an academic society whose membership, affiliated institutions, and mission statement embraces our position on the Pacific Rim, we aim to foreground the voices of medievalists of colour and Indigenous medievalists, and of scholars who work at the intersection of Indigenous and Pacific Rim cultures and medieval studies.

Please email abstracts of approximately 300 words with the Participant Information Form (available at https://wmich.edu/medievalcongress/submissions) to Miranda Wilcox (miranda_wilcox@byu.edu) by September 15th, 2019.

Last updated August 7, 2019

CFP Past Forward: New Ways of Looking at Old Things Conference (10/4/19; Bloomington 3/6-7/2020)

Of potential interest, I think:

Past Forward: New Ways of Looking at Old Things

deadline for submissions:
October 4, 2019
full name / name of organization:
The Medieval Studies Institute, Indiana University Bloomington
contact email:

CFP: Past Forward: New Ways of Looking at Old Things

MEST Symposium, Indiana University Bloomington

March 6-7, 2020

Keynote: Dr. Michelle Warren (Dartmouth College)

Proposals for 20-minute papers should be submitted to iumestsymposium@gmail.com by October 4, 2019.

The digital age is presenting us with new technologies for data mining, data management, and forensic analysis of material culture, while interdisciplinary methodologies and modern theories help us imagine new ways of posing questions about the past and enable us to set new boundaries for framing “the bigger picture.” Together, contemporary theories and modern technologies promise new perspectives on the past.

This symposium invites papers that consider new ways of seeing old things. We are interested in asking: How might applying new, potentially anachronistic, theory to medieval art and literature strengthen or challenge our understanding of the past? What do digital surrogates/avatars/reproductions do for/with/to medieval objects? How can (or should) we use Digital Humanities in the classroom and in our research? What can we learn from medieval technologies as we continue to develop and refine our own?

How do modern theories and technologies help us better understand the Middle Ages while drawing it into our present?

Last updated August 19, 2019

CFP Journal of the Wooden O (submissions by 10/18/19)

CFP - Journal of the Wooden O

deadline for submissions:
October 18, 2019
full name / name of organization:
Dr. Stephanie Chamberlain/Journal of the Wooden O
contact email:

The Journal of the Wooden O is a peer-reviewed academic publication focusing on Shakespeare studies. It is published annually by Southern Utah University Press in cooperation with the SUU Center for Shakespeare Studies and the Utah Shakespeare Festival.

The editors invite papers on any topic related to Shakespeare, including Shakespearean texts, Shakespeare in performance, the adaptation of Shakespeare works (film, fiction, and visual and performing arts), Elizabethan and Jacobean culture and history, and Shakespeare’s contemporaries.

Articles published in the Journal of the Wooden Oare indexed in the MLA International Bibliography, World Shakespeare Bibliography and appear full-text in EBSCO Academic Search Premiere.

Selected papers from the annual Wooden O Symposium are also considered for publication.

SUBMISSIONS:Manuscripts should follow the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition. Manuscript submissions should generally be between 3000-7000 words in length. The deadline for submission is October 18, 2019. Authors should include all of the following information on a separate page with their submission:

Author’s name
Manuscript title
Mailing address
Email address
Daytime phone number
Submit electronic copy to: woodeno@suu.edu  (Only .doc, .docx or .rtf files will be accepted.)

For more information, contact:

Journal of the Wooden O                                                                                                                 

c/o Southern Utah University Press                                                                                                 

351 W. University Blvd.                                                                                                                   

Cedar City, UT 84720   



Last updated August 12, 2019

Monday, August 19, 2019

CFP Adaptation Before Cinema: Literary and Visual Convergence from Antiquity through the 19th Century (8/31/19)

Adaptation Before Cinema: Literary and Visual Convergence from Antiquity through the 19th Century
deadline for submissions:
August 31, 2019
full name / name of organization:
Lissette Lopez Szwydky / University of Arkansas
contact email:

Adaptation Before Cinema:

Literary and Visual Convergence from Antiquity through the 19th Century

Adaptation scholars regularly acknowledge that the practice of adapting and retelling stories is as old as storytelling itself. Yet the field of adaptation studies is dominated by scholars considering contemporary media forms, mainly film. Research in what, we argue, Colin MacCabe mis-labels the “pre-history” of adaptation evidences the fact that pre-cinematic forms and practices of adaptation offer the field productive insights about the act, product, production, and reception of adaptation as a transhistorical cultural phenomenon. Yet those explorations often take place outside the boundaries of adaptation studies. Such literary and cultural studies commonly run parallel to the theoretical and material concerns of adaptation studies, but the fields rarely intersect and the discourses rarely cross-pollinate.

This collection of essays will construct historical bridges between these discourses by foregrounding and providing a platform for innovative approaches to any aspect of adaptation, appropriation, or transmedia storytelling from Antiquity through the invention of cinema in the late nineteenth century. All forms and media prior to the advent of cinema are welcome. In keeping with current trends in adaptation studies that seek to move beyond the traditional 1:1 source/adaptation format, we are particularly interested in article-length essays that investigate any combination of thematic trends, material contexts, commercial practices, theoretical models, and transhistorical, cross-cultural, or comparative approaches, as well as essays that encompass a range of genres and pre-cinematic media, which may include (but are not limited to) theater, novelizations, painting and illustration, toys and games, or other forms of literary production and visual culture. Essays should demonstrate working knowledge of contemporary adaptation studies. The goal of this collection is to expand the primary scholarly audience of film and media scholars to literary scholars and cultural critics working across a range of historical periods, genres, forms, and media—and vice versa. We are especially interested in essays on the following topics:

  • Mythology as adaptation, transmediation, and/or world-building.
  • Multicultural folklore, oral traditions, fairy tales, and their variations.
  • Transcultural or cross-cultural adaptation.
  • Forms of adaptation in specific historical periods (i.e. medieval literature and culture; early modern drama, etc).
  • Chaucer, Milton, Shakespeare, or other canonical authors as adapted and/or adaptors/adapters.
  • Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century adaptations of earlier works across forms and media.
  • The rise of consumer and commercial culture.
  • Early forms of fandom and celebrity approached through adaptation studies.
  • Adaptation and art history, illustration studies, or print culture.
  • Adaptation in major aesthetic movements such as Romanticism or genres.

Send inquiries to Lissette Lopez Szwydky (lissette@uark.edu) and Glenn Jellenik (gjellenik@uca.edu). 500-word abstracts due by August 31, 2019 via email with the subject line “Adaptation Before Cinema CFP submission.”

Tentative schedule:

August 31, 2019: Abstracts due.

October 1, 2020: Authors contacted for inclusion in volume

May 31, 2020: First drafts full essays

Last updated August 6, 2019

CFP Saving the Day for Medievalists: Accessing Medieval-Themed Comics in the Twenty-first Century (Roundtable) (9/15/19; Kalamazoo 5/7-10/2020)

Saving the Day for Medievalists: Accessing Medieval-Themed Comics in the Twenty-first Century (Roundtable)
Sponsored by the Medieval Comics Project, an outreach effort of the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture
55th International Congress on Medieval Studies
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan
7-10 May 2020

Proposals due by 15 September 2019

Most medievalists have come to accept popular manifestations of the Middle Ages and are willing to talk about fiction, film, and television programs in their classrooms, and some are even writing about these items in their scholarship; however, few have as readily embraced the material produced in the comics medium. This fault is not due to a lack of interest. As our sessions over the past two decades attest, many medievalists are curious about how the comics have adapted medieval figures, events, and stories, but a much smaller group knows how to access this corpus and use it profitably for research and teaching.

Thus, the goal of this session, sponsored by The Medieval Comics Project, is to attempt to rectify this neglect by to presenting some overviews, by an assortment of medieval-comics scholars, of how the comics have appropriated some of the most well-known material from the Middle Ages (such as Beowulf, the Crusades, Dante’s Commedia, the Matter of Britain, Norse mythology, and the Robin Hood legend) to provide insight into what has been done so far in terms of comics and comics scholarship with regards to these topics and what kind of work might be done in the future.
Suggestions for topics and resources can be accessed at both The Medieval Comics Project site (https://medieval-comics-project.blogspot.com/) and its sibling The Arthur of the Comics Project site (https://arthur-of-the-comics-project.blogspot.com/). Additional material on the comics medium appears at our Saving the Day: Accessing Comics in the Twentieth-first Century site (https://accessing-comics-in-the-21st-century.blogspot.com/).

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

Interested individuals should submit, no later than 15 September 2019, (1) paper proposal or abstract of approximately 500 words, (2) a 250 to 500-word academic biographical narrative, and (3) a completed Participant Information Form (accessible at https://wmich.edu/medievalcongress/submissions) to the organizers at Comics.Get.Medieval@gmail.com using “Saving the Day for Medievalists” as their subject heading.

In planning your proposal, please be aware of the policies of the Congress (available at https://wmich.edu/medievalcongress/policies-guidelines/policies), which limits each participant to one formal paper but allows for one to serve “as an active participant (paper presenter, panelist, discussant, workshop leader, demonstration participant, poster presenter, presider or respondent) in a maximum of three sessions”.

Further information about the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture and its outreach efforts can be accessed at our Making Medievalisms Matter site (https://medievalinpopularculture.blogspot.com/).