Medieval Literary Form(s)
Mike Rodman Jones (University of Nottingham)
Over the last decade, scholarship in medieval literary studies has developed interests in how ‘new formalist’ approaches and interests might be applied to pre-Modern texts and traditions. Some excellent examples include Robert J Meyer-Lee and Catherine Sanok, eds., The Medieval Literary: Beyond Form (2018); Thorlac Turville-Petre, Description and Narrative in Middle English Alliterative Poetry (2018); Johnson, Knapp and Rouse, eds., The Art of Vision: Ekphrasis in Medieval Literature and Culture (2015). These works, and others, explore formal qualities (and the idea of literary form itself) in a variety of different ways: in terms of theoretical or historical ideas of form; or focus on particular formal aspects (eg. descriptio; ekphrasis; narrative technique; rhetoric).
This panel seeks papers informed by an interest in literary form, broadly imagined. This might include studies of poetry and rhetoric or specific poetic tropes; literary interactions across and between literature in different languages; or wider cultural understandings of literariness and formalism, and the possibilities of considering medieval aesthetics (which might include visual culture and architecture or ‘historical’ narrative as well as literary texts). The sub-theme welcomes work from across the full range of medieval studies, in terms of chronology, discipline, genre, or language, but has a particular interest in late medieval literary culture (eg. Gower, Chaucer, alliterative poetry, Middle English Romance and drama).