Saturday, July 9, 2016

CFP for Kalamazoo 2017: Assembling Arthur

Thrilled to announce that my good friend Leah Haught (University of West Georgia) and yours truly (The University of Washington, starting this Fall) have gotten a roundtable session approved for ICMS 2017.  Called "Assembling Arthur," it will invite scholars to consider ways in which reading Arthurian texts "compilationally" (a term borrowed from Arthur Bahr's work) might invite new interpretive possibilities to emerge, especially in terms of how we teach Arthurian materials.  

You can find the full abstract below! If interested, please send abstracts to Leah and myself ( and before September 15th:

Assembling Arthur

            When we teach classes on the Arthurian tradition, many of us rely on anthologies such as James Wilhelm’s The Romance of Arthur or collections such as the William Kibler and Carleton Carroll edition of Chr├ętien de Troyes’ “complete” Arthurian Romances for the Penguin Classics Series.  While indispensable to such courses, these assemblages present Arthurian texts in ways vastly different from how they appear in medieval manuscripts.  Many medieval Arthurian texts, for instance, survive in a single manuscript alongside non-Arthurian writings and images from a wide array of diverse traditions and styles.  Indeed, even when a single text is extant in more than one manuscript or a single manuscript includes more than one Arthurian text, the different materials surrounding these contributions to the larger legend highlight the numerous interpretive potentialities associated with Arthuriana instead of advancing a fixed meaning for a given contribution.  Drawing on Arthur Bahr’s recent suggestion that literary value can be continuously (re)discovered among the interchanges between “codicological form and textual content” (Fragments and Assemblages 2013), this Round Table seeks to explore Arthurian manuscripts, broadly defined, as compilations.  What insights are gained about individual texts and/or the larger legend as a whole when we accept Bahr’s invitation to read “compilationally”?  How might such exchanges between codicology and formalism open up new avenues for future study of Arthuriana?  And how might accounting for the complex realities of the Arthurian manuscript tradition in the classroom invite our students to participate in these alternate modes of critical engagement?      

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