Deadline: 5 September 2015
manuscriptlink Sponsored Session, 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, 14-17 May 2015
“Manuscript ‘Fragmentology’: Perspectives on the Scholarly and Pedagogical Value of Medieval Manuscript Fragments”
At the University of South Carolina’s 2011 “Understanding the Medieval Book” seminar, Dr Christopher de Hamel remarked that the next generation of medieval manuscript studies would be dominated by manuscript fragments. Although tens of thousands of intact medieval codices can be found in collections worldwide, countless other manuscripts survive only in fragmentary form—whether as illuminations divorced from their original contexts, small constituents recycled as structural supports for later bindings, or single leaves and quires cut up by dealers for the collectors’ market. Regardless of their origins, these fragments represent an incalculable number of lost codices. They suggest evocative and meaningful ways for students and scholars to engage with the textual, literary, artistic, and religious culture of the Middle Ages, not to mention the antiquarian, bibliophilic, commercial, and pedagogical interests of subsequent owners. Students today are most likely to encounter medieval manuscripts for the first time through fragments. This session especially encourages papers on the research questions, methods, and resources used by scholars in teaching from manuscript fragments. While we invite submissions broadly related to the theme of “fragmentology,” other areas of focus could be the digital reconstruction of manuscript books, including efforts to disseminate fragmentary manuscripts online, the history of biblioclasm, and the place of the fragment in private and/or institutional collecting. We also welcome proposals for presentations about unknown or underutilized fragment collections.
Please send your proposal including your one-page abstract and completed Participant Information Form available here:
to Eric J. Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than 5 September 2014.