Call for Papers: Voice and Voicelessness in Medieval Europe and Beyond

Voice and Voicelessness in Medieval Europe and Beyond
An interdisciplinary conference to be held at Boston University (USA)
February 28-March 2, 2013

Contributions from prospective participants are invited for an interdisciplinary conference examining the practices and values attached to the human voice in medieval cultures.  An edited volume is planned.

The question of “voice and voicelessness” engages with several important trends in medieval studies today, including issues of law and representation; theology and embodiment; historicist models of subjectivity; the poetics and esthetics of marginality; and the linguistic dynamics of intercultural encounter. The first goal of the project is to examine the axis proposed by the conference title as approached by scholars working on medieval literatures, theology, law, art history, history, philosophy, and musicology. The project’s second, methodological goal is to seek a common ground of interdisciplinary engagement by examining how distinct areas of scholarly endeavor approach a problem of universal resonance but elusive definition.  This pursuit will be further enriched by the conference’s international composition, so that disciplinary, methodological, and national habits of thought and argument will be brought into dialogue.  The topic of voice and voicelessness engages with questions related to the expression of self and respect for an other, and so lends itself particularly well to this multi-level encounter. Contributions that are transnational or transdisciplinary in nature, or which interrogate the relations between contemporary and medieval thought will be especially appreciated.

Prospective contributors are invited to send 500-word abstracts to no later July 15, 2012, using the keyword “Voice” in the message title.  Please include a recent CV with your submission. Papers as delivered should be 30 minutes in length. The language of the conference and publication is English.  Selected participants will be notified no later than July 30, 2012.

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