Sunday, 15 September 2013

CFP: The Geographic Imagination: Conceptualizing Places and Spaces in the Middle Ages

2nd Annual Indiana Medieval Graduate Student Consortium Conference

Call for Papers

Keynote Speaker: Professor Geraldine Heng
Perceval Fellow and Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature, with a joint appointment in Middle Eastern studies and Women’s studies at the University of Texas at Austin

The students of the Indiana Medieval Graduate Student Consortium (IMGC) are pleased to announce that we are accepting submissions for the second annual IMGC conference, 'The Geographic Imagination: Conceptualizing Places and Spaces in the Middle Ages', to take place on 28 Feb-1 Mar 2014 at the University of Notre Dame.

The transnational turn in the humanities over the last two decades has put increasing pressure on our ideas of nationhood and has provided us with a liberating awareness of the constructedness of the spaces we study. New methodologies have developed in response to this pressure as scholars turn to comparative approaches, borderland studies, histoire croisée, studies of empire, and oceanic models in order to accommodate the ambiguities of nationhood and of conceptions of space. Suggested by seminal transnational studies, such as Paul Gilroy’s The Black Atlantic, many critics now study “the flows of people, capital, profits and information.” Recently, David Wallace’s ambitious literary history of Europe has adopted a similarly fluid approach to culture, avoiding a study of “national blocks” of literature, organizing itself instead along transnational itineraries that stretch beyond the European sphere. The Middle Ages offer a particularly broad and rich era in which to encounter fluid notions of space, as any glance at a medieval map such as the famous Hereford mappa mundi invitingly suggests. We invite presentations from all fields to explore any aspect of the medieval “geographic imagination,” of conceptions of space, place, and nation: ideas of geography, cartography, transnational identities and networks, intercultural encounters, mercantile routes, travelogues, rural and urban spaces, religious places, and concepts of locality and local identities.

The IMGC is delighted to announce that our keynote speaker this year will be Dr Geraldine Heng, well known to many of us for her exhaustive and provocative study of medieval romance, Empire of Magic, and her subsequent work on race in the Middle Ages.

Please submit a 300 word abstract for a 15-20 minute paper by 15 Dec, 2013 on the conference website. Proposals should include the title of the paper, presenter's name, institutional and departmental affiliation, and any technology requests.

This conference is generously sponsored by the Nanovic Institute for European Studies. The Nanovic Institute is committed to enriching the intellectual culture of Notre Dame by creating an integrated, interdisciplinary home for students and faculty to explore the evolving ideas, cultures, beliefs, and institutions that shape Europe today.

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