Kalamazoo 2010 CFP

Hello Mearcstapa members and allies!

Here are our two CFPs for papers for Kalamazoo, 2010. These are being posted early, as only the provisional list of sessions is now available from the Congress, but both of our sessions have been approved. I will be unable to attend next year, but Mearcstapa will carry on ably without my misdirection, I am sure. Annual Mearcstapa meeting TBA closer to the date.

45th International Congress on Medieval Studies
Kalamazoo, MI
May 13-16, 2010

Call for Papers
Sessions sponsored by MEARCSTAPA:
Please send submissions to

Please send abstract and participant information form (http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress/submissions/index.html#Paper) by Sept. 15 to Renee Ward at: rmward[at]ualberta.ca.

For further instructions, see:
http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress/sessions.html

The Monstrous, the Marvelous and the Miraculous
Much critical attention is currently being directed at the monstrous in the Middle Ages, but the category is, by its very nature, difficult to define. It bleeds at the edges into other fundamental categories, most notably the marvelous and the miraculous. On one end of this spectrum, we find horrifying, homophagic nightmares and on the other, direct evidence for the power and mercy of God.

While these two extremes seem, at a glance, to have little in common, they both were marvelous, deserving and inspiring our wonder on account of lying outside of the realm of the everyday. Both were therefore viewed as signs of God’s divinity and divine plan for the universe.

In this session, we will interrogate the blurred boundaries between these richly ambiguous epistemological categories, not striving to artificially sharpen their boundaries but rather, seeking greater nuance in our understandings of all three.
and here is the other:

Unexpected Monsters: Close Encounters of the Other Kind
Typically, in medieval imagination, monsters appear in liminal spaces, in spaces outside of the civilized realm of the court. In literature they might appear in the forests and deserts, or in the mountain ranges, while on medieval maps they might appear in peripheral spaces, in the uncharted regions on the edges of the world. In such instances, they often represent all that is other, different, dangerous… the unknown.

But what happens when the monster is local? Internal? This panel proposes to explore instances of unexpected monstrosity or otherness within within medieval imaginings–instances of difference that occur at the level of the local and familiar, or within the self. Papers are invited that explore such interpretations of monstrosity within literature, art, and architecture (or in medieval culture at large).