in medias res: Convention, Conclusion, and the Performance of the Text, c. 1050-1500

in medias res
Convention, Conclusion, and the Performance of the Text, c. 1050-1500
TORCH Oxford, 14 March 2019

This one-day symposium invites speakers to present on the theme of closure and non-closure in literature from the period, c. 1050-1500. The symposium will broadly consider the “performance” of the text, particularly exploring endings as pivotal sites in medieval conceptions of self, narrative, and reception. It will ask questions such as: Is a medieval text ever really “performed”? Are all textual revisions equal, and should they be valued as such? Do conventions of ars poetica inhibit or encourage narrative conclusion and individuation of the self? Indeed, is the medieval self “performable”? The conference will also include a workshop on textual performance.

While we will primarily be considering literary themes, paper proposals are welcome from medieval scholars of all disciplines and career stages, including literary studies, history, history of art, and archaeology.

We encourage papers which consider (but are not limited to) topics such as:

  • Textual/material production, revisions, and authority
  • Conventions: social, poetic, religious
  • Compilation
  • Tradition, transmission, and inheritance
  • Timelines: narrative and historical
  • Narrative theory, closure and endings
  • Eschatology and salvation
  • Individuality and communality

A symposium in association with Oxford Medieval Studies, sponsored by The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH)

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