In the recent decade, medieval and early modern scholars have increasingly raised questions of temporality, particularly with regard to the period divide between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Since James Simpson’s Reform and Cultural Reformation (2002), which asked a number of pressing questions concerning the nature of periodization, several scholars have furthered the debate, presenting increasingly nuanced perspectives on literary investigations into the construction of temporality, e.g., Carolyn Dinshaw’s “Temporalities” (2007), Jennifer Summit and David Wallace’s Medieval/Renaissance, Gordon McMullan and David Matthews’s Reading the Medieval in Early Modern England (2007), Kathleen Davis’s Periodization and Sovereignty (2008), and, more recently, Brian Cummings and James Simpson’s Cultural Reformations (2010). Taking our cue from discussions about periodization, this international workshop aims to further explore how medieval and early modern texts stage, reach beyond and possibly transcend their own temporalities. Such processes may take place in the self-conscious reflection of a text’s own moment, in the ways in which texts embed their own futurity or figure dialogues with their own future(s). Embedded cross-temporal dialogues such as these, we believe, are frequently re-staged in the work of later, fifteenth- and sixteenth-century authors, who themselves seek to transcend their own cultural moment through a self-conscious engagement with textual futures already envisioned in the past.
For this three-day workshop, we invite proposals that address either from a synchronic or a diachronic perspective the specific ways in which medieval and early-modern English writers conceptualize and construct their temporalities. We plan for papers of thirty minutes, with ample time for discussion to enable a fruitful dialogue. The workshop is a collaborative project hosted by scholars from the Free University of Berlin and Humboldt University and will take place in facilities provided by both universities.
Contact: Prof. Andrew James Johnston, andrew.j.johnston(at)web.de
29.05.2014 - 01.06.2014
Freie Universität Berlin / Humboldt-Universität Berlin