Marcus Hensel and I joined forces to co-sponsor two MEARCSTAPA sessions at the Medieval Association of the Pacific meeting, hosted by the University of the Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA. Our two sessions served as brackets for the whole conference, with the one in the first time slot and the other in the last.
Both sessions were strong successes (though we were sorry that a family tragedy prevented Heather Bamford from joining us). The first session, “Silences and Gaps: The Missing Monsters,” was therefore composed of Laurynn Lowe and myself, chaired by Marcus. Laurynn spoke on “Re-Membering Monsters: The Nature of Traits in Wolfram’s Parzival,” and I delivered “Maps without Monsters,” and used a bit of our extra time to briefly demonstrate the prototype of the Digital Mappaemundi project.
The second session was “Naming, Knowing and Remembering Monsters,” chaired by me and having the following papers: “Can the Monster Speak?: Silence and the Grendelkin’s Status as Monsters,” by Marcus, “The Monstrous and Modified Heroism in Beowulf,” by John Hill and finally “Wulfstan’s Werewolf,” Joyce Lionarons.
Both sessions were well attended and featured lively, productive and positive Q&As afterward. In both cases, we could have gone on for well more time than was allotted for the sessions. Many thanks to the participants and attendees! I hope that we can add MAP to our regular slate of conferences for MEARCSTAPA sessions! Now, we lope onward, down the misty slopes, toward KZoo and then Leeds.