KZoo 2010 CFPs

1. 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.

Please send abstracts of 300 words, along with a completed Participant Information Form
to Melissa Ridley-Elmes at by 1 September 2009.

2. 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).

Please send abstracts of 300 words, along with a completed Participant Information Form
to Renée Ward at by 1 September 2009.

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