Call for Papers: Medievalizing Britain

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on January 27, 2010

DeBartolo Conference on Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Studies: ‘Medievalizing Britain’
Tampa, Florida, 2 April 2010

Paper proposals due by 5 February 2010

Back by popular demand, the DeBartolo Conference will return in 2010 as a one-day Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Studies Conference on Medievalizing Britain. Our event will feature a keynote lecture by Professor Antony Harrison, Distinguished Professor of English and Department Head at North Carolina State University. Dr. Harrison is a leading scholar on Christina Rossetti and the author of five books and numerous articles, editions, and reviews on Victorian poetry, culture, and medievalism. In addition, the day’s activities will include single-session panels, a roundtable discussion, a catered lunch, and an evening wine and cheese reception. This event is free to participants, guests, and the public at large.

British culture in the four kingdoms was transformed during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as medieval themes and archaic features emerged in poetry, novels, ballad-collecting, non-fiction prose, painting, and photography. Works such as Thomas Percy’s Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe, Alfred Tennyson’s poems, John Ruskin’s criticism, the Pre-Raphaelites’ paintings, and Roger Fenton’s photographic images signal a preoccupation with the medieval past that spans two centuries. This conference looks beyond traditional periodizations and disciplinary divisions in order to trace broader patterns and forge new connections on the topic of medievalizing Britain.

Papers may engage any aspect of the medieval in eighteenth- or nineteenth-century culture, and may address but are not limited to the following questions:

  • How was the rise of medievalism able to supplant earlier British identifications with the classical world?
  • Why does photography, a new technology, turn to medieval themes?
  • Is the medieval modern?
  • What role did the turn toward the bardic and the medieval play in Scotland, Wales, and Ireland in opposition to English domination? In what ways, politically, aesthetically, or otherwise, did the medieval turn in English romanticism differ from similar moves in the rest of the United Kingdom?
  • What was the relationship between medievalism and Enlightenment? Between medievalism and industrialization?
  • Why was the historical novel in Britain medieval rather than classical?
  • How can we account for the rise of Arthuriana?
  • How did new ideas about Britons’ origins as rugged Saxons, Goths, and Celts affect the conduct of British colonialism abroad?
  • How did Pre-Raphaelite painting reimagine femininity and masculinity in an era of rapid social change?

We invite single presentation abstracts or complete panels with individual abstracts for each paper. Abstracts should be approximately 500 words in length; in addition to the abstract, we ask that individuals include the following: an e-mail address, any audio-visual needs (including special software needs), and academic affiliation (if applicable).

Dr. Susan Cook or Dr. Jeff Strabone, DeBartolo Conference Directors
Department of English / University of South Florida
4202 E. Fowler Avenue, CPR 107 / Tampa, FL 33620-5550
susancook_at_cas.usf.edu or  jeff_at_strabone.com

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