The Heroic Age

A Journal of Early Medieval Northwestern Europe

Founded 1998   |   ISSN 1526-1867

Call for Papers

52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies

Proposals for the 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies are due by September 15, 2016, and must include the Participant Information Form. The Heroic Age is sponsoring the following sessions:

Merovingians and Their Neighbors

Sponsor: The Heroic Age

Session Organizer: Deanna Forsman

Contact: Deanna Forsman North Hennepin Community College 7411 85th Ave. North Brooklyn Park, MN 55445 Phone: 763-488-0405 dforsman@nhcc.edu

Recent scholarship has suggested that the political landscape of early medieval northwestern Europe owed a greater debt to the Huns, as opposed to the Romans or Germanic peoples. This session invites paper proposals that examine the Merovingian Kingdoms within the context of their relationships with their neighbors. We are particularly interested in papers that examine traditionally studied relationships from new perspectives and papers that examine little-studied interactions.


Echoes of Columbanus

Co-sponsors: The Heroic Age, ASIMS

Session Organizers: Deanna Forsman and James Lyttleton

Contact: Deanna Forsman North Hennepin Community College 7411 85th Ave. North Brooklyn Park, MN 55445 Phone: 763-488-0405 dforsman@nhcc.edu

The Irish ascetic Columbanus is the most famous example of the classic peregrinus: an individual who chooses a life of exile among foreigners as a form of religious devotion. Columbanus is also famous for his monastic establishments and Rule, as well as his interactions with royalty and the bishop of Rome. This session seeks to further explore the long-term influence of Columbanus in multiple venues. Papers will examine the influence of the Columbanian Rule on ascetic practice, the relationship between monastery and royalty, sources of spiritual authority, the practice of peregrinatio, etc.


Monsters III: Monstrous Acts of Heroism

Co-sponsors: MEARCSTAPA, The Heroic Age

Session Organizers: Deanna Forsman and Asa Simon Mittman

Contact: Asa Simon Mittman California State Univ.–Chico Dept. of Art and Art History Chico, CA 95929-0820 Phone: 530-898-6885; asmittman@mail.csuchico.edu

Are there times when heroic acts might, from another perspective, be seen as monstrous? How are Crusader tales narrated in Muslim sources, expulsion tales in Jewish sources, battles from the losing side, slaying tales told by dragons? If we listen for the subaltern to speak, what will we hear? Can we hear the legitimate laments of Grendel's mother, or understand the actions of Lanval's fairy lover? How did retinues of "Saracen" princes perceive the oft-valorized scenes of conversion? Should we praise St. Patrick for cursing inlets and killing the local "wizards" upon his arrival in Ireland? Other saints are valorized for acts of mortification, self-mutilation, and willful starvation. What do we learn if we shift our perspectives, if we re-view these images and narratives from other angles? We invite panelists for a roundtable on "Monstrous Acts of Heroism," and welcome analysis of surviving texts and image, as well as creative and speculative retellings of medieval tales.


Please consider developing proposals for the other sessions sponsored by ASIMS and MEARCSTAPA as well:

ASIMS

'The Life Course in Medieval Ireland'

Sponsor: ASIMS

Session Organizer: James Lyttleton

Contact: James Lyttleton jilyttleton@hotmail.com

Life is marked by various stages: birth, childhood, the coming of age, marriage, the raising of a family, old age and death. Although correlated with the biological processes of aging, each stage is also characterised by different kinds of knowledge, social roles, and symbolic meanings. The ways in which medieval society marked transitions between stages such as childhood with social rituals has recently become a topic of great interest to scholars, and this session shows how this cultural narrative of aging helped shape the everyday experience in medieval Ireland. Scholars in this session draw upon literary sources and material remains to provide insights and commentary on aspects of the life course in early and late medieval Ireland. This session will include contributions from the fields of history, literary studies, art history and archaeology, and will be chaired by Dr James Schryver (University of Miinesota, Morris).


Roundtable session 'Pedagogical Approaches to Medieval Irish Studies'

Sponsor: ASIMS

Session Organizer: James Lyttleton

Contact: James Lyttleton jilyttleton@hotmail.com

As medieval studies and Irish studies become more popular at the university level, scholars teaching these courses draw on increasingly varied perspectives. We bring ideas into our classes inspired by archaeology, architecture, art history, literary studies and history, among many others. Courses can involve workshops, field trips, project based learning, and various 'hands-on' activities and assignments. These types of work build the students' knowledge base, increase their understanding of the Middle Ages, and deliver a more enhanced learning experience. Digital humanities, building on the strengths of traditional scholarship, has also contributed to new ways of delivering course content. This roundtable session seeks to share various perspectives on teaching these subjects, including the incorporation of new pedagogical approaches in the classroom. This will be chaired by Dr James Lyttleton.


MEARCSTAPA

Monsters I: Material Monsters

Sponsor: MEARCSTAPA

Organizers: Melissa Ridley Elmes, Ana Grinberg, and Asa Simon Mittman

The recent scholarly turn towards greater consideration of the material culture of the premodern world demands an equivalent attention to the place of the monstrous within that scholarship. This session invites twenty-minute papers from any discipline that locate, interpret, and analyze the materiality of monsters and monstrosity in medieval and early modern cultures. We invite consideration of the materiality of monsters, as well as of the media used to create representations thereof. Papers might examine monstrous figures represented on or shown wearing textiles, as made of or wielding wood or metal, or as fundamentally tied to their manuscript or architectural contexts. Medieval authors and modern scholars often see an essential connection between monsters and their physical embodiment. Most discussions have centered, following Augustine and Isidore, on vision. We invite consideration all material properties of monsters, and of all the senses in our reception of the monstrous.

Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words together with a completed Participant Information Form to session organizers Melissa Ridley Elmes (madamemedievalist@gmail.com), Ana Grinberg (ana.grinberg.phd@gmail.com), or Asa Simon Mittman (asmittman@mail.csuchico.edu) by September 15. Please include your name, title, and affiliation on the abstract itself. All abstracts not accepted for the session will be forwarded to Congress administrators for consideration in general sessions, as per Congress regulations.


Monsters II: Immaterial Monsters

Co-sponsors: MEARCSTAPA, Societas Daemonetica

Session Organizers: Richard Ford Burley, Nicole Ford Burley, and Asa Simon Mittman

The recent scholarly turn towards greater consideration of the material culture of the Middle Ages paradoxically also draws attention back to the places where materiality is strikingly absent. Monsters are often seen by medieval and modern commentators as inextricably linked with their embodiment, and yet are frequently insubstantial. Whether referring to invisible and intangible ghostly visitors from purgatory and other members of the ethereal undead, the borrowed tangibility of the demonically possessed, nigh-visiting succubi and incubi, or the displacement of the monstrous to the geographical margins in maps and stories, the disturbing presence of monstrosity’s physical absence leaves its traces throughout the Middle Ages and demands our present attention. This session seeks answers to the question this raises: how can something so absent and immaterial nevertheless possess agency, influencing individuals and cultures? To this end, this session invites fifteen- to twenty-minute papers from any discipline that analyze and interpret immaterialmonsters and monstrosity in medieval texts and contexts. Papers may examine any aspect of the topic (broadly conceived), including but not limited to the immaterial, absent, or displaced monster in literature, art, history, theology or any combination thereof.

Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words together with a completed Participant Information Form to session organizers Richard Ford Burley (richard.ford.burley@gmail.com), Nicole Ford Burley (nicole.ford.burley@gmail.com), or Asa Simon Mittman (asmittman@mail.csuchico.edu) by September 15. Please include your name, title, and affiliation on the abstract itself. All abstracts not accepted for the session will be forwarded to Congress administrators for consideration in general sessions, as per Congress regulations.


General Submissions

The Heroic Age welcomes and encourages papers on topics unrelated to themed issues at any time. The journal publishes the following types of materials:

Editions and Translations

The Heroic Age invites submissions of new editions and translations of early medieval texts related to Northen Europe. Both complete works and fragments of longer works will be considered for publication. The original may be in either an early medieval vernacular or Latin or Greek. Translations and editions should not exceed 7000 words, although longer texts may be considered. Please consult the Author's Instructions for general submission guidelines. Preference will be given to texts that do not exist in a modern edition or translation. Please indicate if the text is previously unedited or untranslated.

Last modified 08 September 2016