Medieval Barthes: Call for Papers for a One-Day Conference
IAS Common Ground, UCL, 26 March 2019
The aim of this one-day conference is to reflect in two different ways on the notion of a ‘Medieval Barthes’. On the one hand, we want to consider Barthes’s own engagement with medieval culture, in his reading of medieval authors and in his engagement with medieval styles of thought. On the other hand, we want to explore the uses of Barthes within medieval studies: what medievalists have learnt from Barthes; how Barthesian concepts have been adapted for different medieval contexts; how medievalists inflect and change the way we read Barthes’s texts.
In this conference, we will bring medievalists and modernists together in a productive dialogue. This dialogue will centre on a figure who is constantly evolving thanks to the continued publication of seminar notes and lecture transcripts. In searching for a medieval Barthes, the conference will build on the discussion of Barthes in: Carolyn Dinshaw, Getting Medieval: Sexualities and Communities, Pre- and Postmodern (Durham, N.C., 1999); Bruce Holsinger, The Premodern Condition: Medievalism and the Making of Theory (Chicago, 2005); Virginie Greene, ‘What Happened to Medievalists after the Death of the Author?’, in idem (ed.), The Medieval Author in Medieval French Literature (New York, 2006). A consideration of the various medievalist threads across the whole of Barthes’s œuvre, including posthumously published material, remains a desideratum that this conference hopes to address.
Topics might include, but are in no way limited to:
Barthes and: medieval authors; the body; medievalist contemporaries; material culture; death; etymologies; history; Latinity; love, desire, pleasure and affect; monasticism; mysticism; queerness; sexuality; (pre-modern) subjectivity; reading and hermeneutical practice(s); rhetoric; (inter)textuality; the visual.
The organisers would be delighted to receive proposals for 20-minute papers on any aspect of ‘Medieval Barthes’. Proposals, comprising an abstract of max. 200 words accompanied by a short biography, should be sent by 1 October 2018 via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Organised by Jennifer Rushworth (Lecturer in French and Comparative Literature, UCL) and Francesca Southerden (Associate Professor of Medieval Italian, Somerville College, Oxford), with the generous support of the UCL Institute of Advanced Studies, the MHRA, and the Society for French Studies.