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Call for Papers: Lollard Society sessions for Kalamazoo 2010

SECOND UPDATE: the full CPF for the International Medieval Congress is now out. Deadline is Sept. 15. Here are the three sessions we hope to offer:

The study of late medieval religion is in an extraordinarily productive and exciting phase, and the Lollard Society’s three proposed sessions for the ICMS next year seek to reflect and capitalize on that fact, with topics that aim to facilitate new conversations across the boundaries of specific disciplines and fields.

Session I, Shifting Paradigms, addresses two areas in late medieval religious study where recent conversations seem to render everything open to question. The first is terminology: there is a growing conviction that terms such as ‘heresy’ vs ‘orthodoxy’, or even ‘Wycliffite’, ‘lollard’, ‘spirituality’, ‘pastoralia’, or ‘mysticism’, are in one way or another inadequate to the tasks they are asked to perform. We are trying to describe and analyse religious groups, and bodies of religious writing, in new ways. The second is chronology: we have had the Dull Fifteenth Century, and the Draconian Fifteenth Century of Repression, but neither of those familiar narratives seems to tell the story we find in manuscripts: instead, any number of alternative chronologies are now being proposed. This session invites papers that consider any of these topics.

Session II, English and International, addresses a growing conviction that England cannot be adequately examined in isolation, whether or not the contention of many past scholars that England was somehow different from the rest of Europe is well founded. Papers on continental influences on lollardy, lollardy’s influences on the continent, or the ambit of any groups in late medieval England associated with religion and international travel or interchange (friars, bishops, university scholars, pilgrims) are invited. So are papers that elaborate illuminating analogies, parallels, or contrasts with reforming movements on the continent that may or may not have had any direct contact with lollardy.

Session III, Fifteenth-Century Books, seeks to promote work on individual manuscripts or groups of manuscripts, as well as trial records that discuss books and reading, that addresses questions such as these: who read lollard writings? what did lollards read? what kinds of book production did lollards engage in, and where? can we characterize Wycliffite Christianity in terms other than anticlericalism? how can we characterize the relationships between what we might call ‘lollard book production’ and the production of other sorts of religious books in which lollard writings may be included? were there changes across the fifteenth century in types of book production, patterns and methods of recopying, modes of reading, and textual intervention in existing manuscripts (e.g. erasure, excision, interpolation, marginal annotation)? what happens with the shift to print? can we speak of censorship before or after the advent of print, and if so, in the same ways?

If you have any questions, or to submit a proposal, please send along a note to Fiona Somerset (somerset AT duke DOT edu).

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