A CFP of Possible Interest for Kalamazoo

Passing along for our colleagues at Rutgers:

Cultural and Literary Transmission in the Global Middle Ages (Kalamazoo 2017)

Sponsored by the Rutgers Program for Medieval Studies

Organizers: Izzy Stern and Erik Wade

Scholarship on the global Middle Ages has flourished in recent years, examining the role that a global community played in the medieval period. Such work demonstrates the remarkable links between various civilizations in the medieval period and the extent to which the Middle Ages truly were a hotbed of trade. Recent scholarship has considered the cultural interactions of trade, literary transmission, pilgrimage, religious conversion, explorers, colonization, and military expeditions. Building off of this work, this panel seeks to consider the role of intercultural interactions in the Middle Ages.

This panel seeks entries from all disciplines and invites applicants to interpret “interactions” broadly. Presenters may discuss literary interactions, military, exploratory, cultural, trade, political, religious, or anything else. Whether investigating the story of Abul-Abbas—the elephant given to the Carolingian Emperor Charlemagne by the Abbasid Caliph Harun al-Rashid—or the spread of coal-based iron production in eleventh-century China or the tenth-century journey of Ahmad ibn Fadlān from Baghdad through modern-day Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to the camp of the Bulghār khan on the Volga river, papers may consider a variety of kinds of “interactions” in a globalized medieval period.

How did medieval writers and historians conceive of these interactions? How were these interactions recorded or remembered? How often was a particular story’s genealogy and foreign origins remembered, for example? What can we say about the trauma caused by these often violent interactions? How do these interactions help us reconceive of usually static terms such as “culture,” “country,” “nation,” and others? How did medieval people see themselves fitting in to the scale of the “global?” In modern depictions of the medieval world, how have these interactions been forgotten in the preservation of a white Middle Ages?

Please send questions, abstracts of 300 words, and participant information forms (http://www.wmich.edu/medievalcongress/submissions) to both Izzy Stern (isabel.stern@rutgers.edu) and Erik Wade (erik.wade@gmail.com) by September 10.

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