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May 6, 2009

Kalamazoo 2009: BABEL sessions

Fridgehenge (Sante Fe, New Mexico)

44th International Congress on Medieval Studies
Western Michigan University
6-10 May 2009  Kalamazoo, MI

[See informal photos of BABEL@Kalamazoo 2009, if you dare]

I. BABEL Working Group panels:

Session #253: Are We Serious Enough Yet? The Place of Ethics in Medieval Scholarship (Roundtable)

Eileen A. Joy (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville), Organizer and Presider

When Michael Calabrese published his 2002 article, “Performing the Prioress: Conscience and Responsibility in Studies of Chaucer’s Prioress’s Tale,” where he argued against what he called a “politically driven medieval literary criticism” and for an “Arnoldian disinterestedness,” the question was raised [again] as to whether or not medieval scholarship is or should be a site for politically- and ethically-inflected interpretive approaches. This debate raises the very provocative questions of whether or not historical scholarship can ever be disinterested or unaffected by the sometimes very painful and traumatic episodes it investigates [such as anti-Semitic pogroms or the Crusades or slavery], and whether or not literature can be separated and investigated outside of history, and if so, in what ways? This panel will bring together scholars who have written and published what might be called ethically-driven medieval scholarship alongside those arguing for the possible perils of such an approach, or for the pleasures [and even the ethical pleasures] of a different approach altogether. It is hoped, also, that this session will intersect with BABEL’s other panel, “Are We Enjoying Ourselves? The Place of Pleasure in Medieval Schlarship,” for we plan to ask all discussants on both panels to also consider the possible pleasure of ethics as well as the ethics of pleasure in scholarship.

Session #316: Are We Enjoying Ourselves? The Place of Pleasure in Medieval Scholarship (Roundtable)

Friday, May 8th @ 1:30 pm [Sangren 2502]

Eileen A. Joy (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville), Organizer

Dan Remein (New York University), Presider

For several years now, there has been a growing body of work, both in medieval queer studies but also in queer studies more generally [in all fields] on the practice of historical scholarship as a form of affective “touching” and “cruising” of the past and on “addressing history in an idiom of pleasure” [e.g. the work of Carolyn Dinshaw and Elizabeth Freeman]; more currently, new work is emerging, by non-medievalists and medievalists alike, on the pleasures [but also the ethics] of affective forms of scholarship and also on new temporalities that are opened by queer historiographies and queer reading practices [i.e., work by medievalists such as Glenn Burger, Karma Lochrie, Cary Howie, Anna Klosowska, and again, Carolyn Dinshaw], and by non-medievalists such as Judith Halberstam, Elizabeth Freeman, Heather Love, Lauren Berlant, Jose Esteban Munoz, Jonathan Goldberg, Carla Freccero, etc.]. It is our intention to use this panel to highlight the voices of the medievalists who have been thinking and writing about affective scholarship, and to also bring medieval queer studies into contact with those working in queer studies who are not medievalists.

A Post-Conference Dialogue on “The Place of Pleasure in Medieval Scholarship”: Part I & Part II

II. BABEL-y Panels:

Session #55: Getting the Medieval Studies You Want: Institutional Perspectives (Roundtable)

Thursday, May 7th @ 1:30 pm [Valley III, Stinson Lounge]

Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute, George Washington University, Sponsor

Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, Organizer and Presider

  • Stephanie Trigg (University of Melboune), “Communities and Networks on the Margins”
  • Eileen A. Joy (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville), “Post-Institutional Assemblages and the Desiring Machine of BABEL”
  • Carolyn Dinshaw (New York University), “The Medieval Studies You Might Not Want”
  • Ethan Knapp (Ohio State University), “Publish or Perish”
  • Bonnie Wheeler (Southern Methodist University), “Interdisciplinary/Pluridisciplinary Medieval Studies Programs, and How Louis Menand Can Ruin Your Life: Perspectives from a Program Director”

Session #110: Are We Human? Hybrid, Animal, Love, Passion, and New Medieval Theories

Thursday, May 7th @ 3:30 pm [Valley III, Stinson Lounge]

Anna Klosowska (Miami University of Ohio), Organizer

Kathleen Coyne Kelly (Northeastern University), Presider

  • Karl Steel (Brooklyn College, CUNY), “Woofing and Weeping: Mourning with Animals in the Last Days”
  • Nicola Masciandaro (Brooklyn College, CUNY), “Non potest hoc corpus decollari: Beheading and the Impossible”
  • Gary Lim (Graduate Center, CUNY), “‘My horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!’: Valuing Arondel in Bevis of Hampton
  • Anna Klosowska, “Bad, Supernatural: The Breathless Ache of Non-human Lamination”
  • Kathleen Coyne Kelly, “Response: Medieval Prosthetics”

Session #366: Monster Culture: Seven Theses (Roundtable)

Friday, May 8th @ 3:30 pm [Bernhard 211]

Monsters: The Experimental Association for the Research of Cryptozoology through Scholarly Theory and Practical Application (MEARCSTAPA), Sponsor

Asa Simon Mittman (California State University-Chico), Organizer

Larissa Tracy (Longwood University), Presider

  • Mary Kate Hurley (Columbia University)
  • Karma de Gruy (Emory University)
  • Stuart Kane (Stonehill College)
  • Jeff Massey (Molloy College)
  • Derek Newman-Stille (Trent University)
  • Jeffrey Jerome Cohen (George Washington University)

Session #395: Sex, Theory, and Philology: Queering Anglo-Saxon Studies

Saturday, May 9th @ 10:00 am [Valley I, 107]

Society for the Study of Homosexuality in the Middle Ages (SSHMA), Sponsor

Daniel Remein (New York University), Organizer

Lisa M.C. Weston (California State University-Fresno), Presider



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