Monday, June 20, 2016

Kalamazoo 2017: Beginnings

As noted in a 14 May 2016 post to this webspace, "Tales after Tolkien at Kalamazoo 2016: Introduction and Meeting," the Society determined to ask for two sessions in the 2017 International Congress on Medieval Studies: a roundtable session on unconventional medievalisms and a traditional paper session on medievalism in children's and young adult literature, particularly the works of JK Rowling. In an email, Helen Young, who submitted the appropriate paperwork to the Congress requesting those sessions, notes that one of them was approved: the traditional paper session.

A formal call for papers will be issued after the formal announcement comes from the Congress, but a preliminary version can be offered, deriving from the materials presented to the Congress in proposing the session. To wit:

Growing Up Medieval: The Middle Ages in Children's and Young Adult Literature
The generation that "grew up" with J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter are now young scholars going into doctoral training and embarking on academic careers. The proposed session of papers explores the visions and versions of the Middle Ages that, like Rowling's, can serve to spark interest in an era where students are increasingly unlikely to encounter the medieval period through their elementary and high school years. What kinds of medievalist texts are written for children and young people? How are decidedly adult Middle Ages-influenced texts like Game of Thrones impacting them? What ideas about the Middle Ages are taught to young people through popular fiction? The session will welcome papers that engage in theoretically grounded readings of individual texts or authors' oeuvres. The session builds on significant foundational work in this area, notably Clare Bradford's The Middle Ages in Children's Literature (Palgrave, 2015), and chapters by Society members in The Middle Ages in Popular Culture (Cambria, 2015).

The idea is that having a preliminary version will help people get started on drafting abstracts; we'll have submission information when the formal CFP arrives in the coming months. And, as last time, we hope to post abstracts of the accepted papers to this webspace as a means to help document what the Society is doing--and news of it is always welcome!

This information is cross-posted to the Society website.

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