CFP: Stories and Storytelling in the Medieval World: an Interdisciplinary Conference, UCL, 11-12 April 2015

Deadline: 30 January 2015

þo scal við saugu súpa. en ǽi ofmikit drecka sœmð. er saugu at segia ef hæyrenðr til lyða. en tapat starfi at hafna at hæyra.

One is to drink when stories are told, but not too much: it is an honour to tell a story if people listen, but it is a wasted effort if nobody listens.

EMICS, the Early Medieval Interdisciplinary Conference Series is pleased to invite proposals for papers on ‘Stories and Storytelling in the Medieval World’. This interdisciplinary event intends to explore how stories were used, told, and received in different Early Medieval contexts. Discussion of the stories we tell and the use of stories in teaching about the period is also welcomed. As with previous EMICS events, a selection of papers will be put forward for publication.

The shaping and sharing of narrative has always been key in the negotiation and recreation of reality for individuals and cultural groups. Some stories, indeed, seem to possess a life of their own: claiming a peculiar agency and taking on distinct voices which speak across time and space. How, for example, do objects, manuscripts and other artefacts communicate alternative or complementary narratives that transcend textual and linguistic boundaries? As well as the stories themselves, scholarship is increasingly interested in how stories were told and received, from communal dramatic recreations to records produced for private meditation.

EMICS aims to bring a range of disciplines, including manuscript and literary studies, art history, archaeology and history, together. Consideration will be given to how stories can be created, reshaped, and re-experienced; to how the experience of narratives creates meaning; and to how the meaning of stories shifts across different contexts and media. Case studies from different disciplines will provoke a conversation between fields of study about the making and decoding of stories in Early Medieval worlds.

Proposals are invited for 20 minute papers on any aspect of storytelling, from researchers in any discipline, and considering any medieval culture. Papers from PhD students and early career researchers are particularly welcomed. Topics could include, but are not limited to:

• stories re-used in different ways across a culture or period;
• storification of cultural challenges, such as the creation of monsters or myths;
• the construction of spaces and objects for storytelling or in response to stories;
• how stories were told or received in particular contexts or formats;
• how materials negotiate different modes of speaking and storytelling;
• the use of stories and storytelling in teaching and exploring Early Medieval worlds.

Abstracts of 300-500 words are invited for submission by 30 January 2015. Please email abstracts to the conference committee at EMICSstorytelling@gmail.com.

Further details at emicsblog.wordpress.com and emicsstorytelling.wordpress.com.

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