Medievalism in Popular Culture
at the 43rd Annual Popular and American Culture Associations Conference
Wardman Park Marriott, Washington, D.C.
March 27-30th, 2013
Call for submissions to the following paper sessions and round table panels:
1) Arthurian Aesthetics – Round Tables: Inspired by last year’s debate over whether a “good” Arthurian text exists, this series of round table discussions will combine our analysis of Arthurian legends with the recent aesthetic turn in literary studies. Is there an aesthetic case to be made for Arthurian studies, particularly for studying contemporary Arthuriana? How do we justify our scholarship if we are suddenly held accountable for the quality and universality of our texts? Short (10 minute) papers on aesthetics and Arthuriana in any medium and from any historical period are welcome.
2) Medievalism in Politics – Round Tables: From accusations of corporate feudalism to medieval medical theories alive and well in twenty-first century politics, medievalists have found their time period unexpectedly represented (and misrepresented) in the news these days. This series of round table discussions will explore the way politicians across the globe are ‘getting medieval’ and what it signifies. Short (10 minute) papers on medievalism in contemporary politics are welcome.
3) Popular Culture in the Middle Ages – Paper Session: Though at the PCA/ACA we typically focus on how the Middle Ages looks through contemporary eyes, this paper panel will focus on cultural studies of the Middle Ages. This panel will explore popular medieval religious practices, legends like Robin Hood or King Arthur, and tales about supernatural beings like fairies, witches, and elves that originated in medieval times but continue to shape popular culture today. Papers that focus on cultural shifts and reception of texts or ideas are especially encouraged, as are papers that draw parallels between medieval culture and medievalism today.
4) The Medieval Frontier – Paper Session: Critics have long acknowledged that the medieval knight was the inspiration for Owen Wister’s cowboy figure. Even in the current reinvention and subversion of the cowboy represented by films like Unforgiven and novels like The Sisters Brothers, something of this medieval aesthetic remains. This panel will explore this and other ways in which the idea of the Old West has been shaped by cultural memory of the Middle Ages.
5) Men of the North – Paper Session: From Ulfric Stormcloak to Thor to Ned Stark, recent medievalism has celebrated a very specific brand of masculinity, one more commonly associated with Vikings and Anglo-Saxons than King Arthur’s knights or a chivalric ‘golden age.’ Is 2012 a Viking moment, and if so, why? How does this Norse revival recall earlier obsessions with the men of the north? This panel will explore the very specific cultural appeal (and cultural baggage) of northern-inspired medievalism.
Instructions: Please submit abstracts of 250 words or less to the PCA/ACA database at http://ncp.pcaaca.org. You may email any questions to Amy Kaufman at email@example.com. Please include the name and number of the session to which you are submitting within the abstract.
Papers in regular sessions should be limited to a reading time of 15 minutes (7-8 double-spaced pages). Round table contributions should be shorter, no more than 10 minutes (5 double-spaced pages) to allow for extended discussion. Be sure to include your full name, affiliation, mailing address, phone number, and email address on your abstract.
Deadline: December 7, 2012.
Send inquiries to:
Dr. Amy S. Kaufman
Middle Tennessee State University
Please note: Membership in the PCA is required for participation. Membership forms and more information about the conference are available online at www.pcaaca.org.