As the Event Coordinator for MEMSA I’m delighted to announce that plans for the 2012 Conference are progressing well. This post is intended to give some details of the event that might interest you and (hopefully) inspire you to submit papers of your own. This year’s theme is “Transition and Transformation in Medieval and Early Modern Cultures”, and because of its inherently interdisciplinary nature, we feel that it should appeal to the wide variety of research interests among the members of MEMSA.
The conference will be held this summer on 5-6 July, and will be punctuated by more informal events such as a banquet on the night of the 5th (to be held at the beautiful Joachim Room in Hild Bede), drinks receptions and the much-anticipated manuscript exhibition by Professor Richard Gameson at Durham Cathedral.
We are particularly happy to announce that two eminent scholars have agreed to be our keynote speakers, and we look forward to their respective presentations. Our very own Professor David Cowling of the IMRS will be speaking about the phenomenon of lexical borrowing in the medieval and early modern periods in France; a short abstract of his paper follows here:
Prof. David Cowling of the Durham IMRS
I will be focusing on the phenomenon of lexical borrowing in the late medieval and early modern periods in France, tracing the evolution of attitudes towards borrowing from other languages (Latin, Greek, Italian) and analysing reactions to it. I will be placing my discussion of lexical borrowing within the larger context of cultural influence, and my discussion of France within the larger context of metalinguistic debate in early modern Europe (especially England, Germany and Italy) and the classical tradition. Since my particular focus within all this will be the (ideologically loaded) use of figurative language, specifically metaphor, I will be drawing on theoretical models elaborated by George Lakoff and his collaborators, specifically ‘framing’ and ‘common ground knowledge’.
Our other keynote speaker is Professor Margaret Cormack of the College of Charleston, South Carolina. She is currently in Iceland at the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies, researching Icelandic saints and their cults. We are delighted that she has agreed to come to us all the way from Reykjavík (and here’s hoping we have some lovely weather to offer her in exchange for leaving the land of the midnight sun!) and will be joining us to speak about the reformation in Iceland. Her own abstract is as follows:
Prof. Margaret Cormack, College of Charleston
The Protestant Reformation brought many changes to the societies that adopted it. Among other things, it was no longer possible to call on the saints for material or supernatural aid. In my presentation I will discuss the effect removal of these intercessors had in Scandinavia; more particularly, in Iceland. This resulted in an imbalance in the supernatural world from the point of view of human beings who were at its mercy – the demons whom the saints had overcome were still believed to be present and active. I will discuss how the imbalance resulting from the lack of saints was compensated for.
We feel that both Professors Cowling and Cormack will be able to contribute valuable insight to the theme of Transition and Transformation through the lenses of their respective disciplines, and we look forward to the contributions that all of you will provide as well. Please pass details of this event on to your similarly-minded colleagues here and at other institutions; abstracts are due by 31 March
. Full CfP here: MEMSA Transitions CFP
One final note: if you are still interested in joining the conference committee but missed the meeting, you’re still very welcome to participate. Just send me an email (email@example.com) and I’ll be happy to add you to the list.