Call for Papers, Kalamazoo 2015

eth press is pleased to announce that we will be sponsoring our first session at the 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in May 2015. We are actively seeking paper proposals for this session:

False Friends

Thomas Meyer’s Beowulf (2012, but written in the 1970s) has garnered praise from academic circles, including a positive review in the October 2013 issue of Speculum, and from poetry circles, with comments on and excerpts from the text appearing in Jacket2. Yet one review calls it an “adaptation” and another takes issue with Meyer’s “capricious and arbitrary” poetic license. More recently, as Jonathan Hsy and Candace Barrington relate in a forthcoming article, Patience Agbabi’s The Canterbury Copy (2014) “troubles standard distinctions between appropriation, translation, and interpretation.” Nevertheless, they also argue that, by reworking The Canterbury Tales with immigrant-pilgrims drawn from her own experience in London, Agbabi’s approach forces the reader to confront anew some of the language and translation problems of the original poem. This suggests that an overemphasis on the categories of translation vs. adaptation, academic vs. creative, might provide barriers to interacting with and thinking about medieval poems. This panel will ask critical questions around these barriers: What makes something a translation, something else not? Why do we care, and what does that caring mean? How can we think beyond such categories to arrive at deeper truths that medievalist reworkings might disclose?

For this session, we seek papers that address recent reworkings of medieval material with some of the above questions in mind. Please send brief abstracts (200-250 words) to Chris Piuma (chris.piuma [at] utoronto.ca) or David Hadbawnik (dh37 [at] buffalo.edu) no later than Monday, Sept. 15, 2014.