This roundtable aims to create a discussion about the role and methods of the study of medieval literature in the contemporary world. In the modern context, seemingly so far removed from the medieval context, scholars and students of medieval literature are presented with numerous problems as we try to read, interpret, and understand across the chronological divide. How do we approach medieval literature and culture from an analytical perspective? How can we (or can we at all) appropriately use modern interpretative tools with medieval texts? As teachers, how do we help students approach the radically different worldview of the Middle Ages and appreciate medieval literature for what it is rather than what it is not? What is the relationship between the modern reader or student and the medieval writer, and how can that relationship be drawn out in productive ways? How far can that relationship then be pushed in the interests of bringing medieval literature to a modern audience? The potential answers to these questions, and the methods of answering, involve perceptions of relevance, historicity, aesthetics, cultural communication, and translation as well as textual interpretation. This roundtable welcomes not only case studies representing specific instances and examples of approaches to medieval literature but also ideas related to wider pedagogical issues and methods. Please send 250-word abstracts in English to Anna Strowe, firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline for submission: September 30, 2009.
Roundtable — the 3-6 participants in this format give brief, informal presentations (5-10 minutes) with the remainder of the session given to a conversation between the participants and the audience.
Complete call for papers for NeMLA 2010 Convention online at http://www.nemla.org/convention/2010/cfp.html
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