CFP Kalamazoo 2012: What We Have Here Is a Failure to Confess

As I am currently traveling, a “real” post is going to have to wait – I know, the suspense will be terrible. However, the sneak peek of the 2012 Kzoo sessions is out, so I thought I would announce the CFP for my session. If anyone has anything to submit, I would be excited to hear your ideas! Also, feel free to ask questions if the description isn’t clear.



“What We Have Here Is a Failure to Confess: Impediments to Confession in Medieval Literature”

A great deal of work has been done on the representations of confession. From Mary Flowers Braswell’s “The Medieval Sinner: Characterization and Confession in the Literature of the English Middle Ages” to Jerry Root’s “’Space to Speke’: The Confessional Subject in Medieval Literature” and Katherine Little’s “Confession and Resistance: Defining the Self in Late Medieval England,” scholars have acknowledged the influence of confession on literature and English literature in particular, paying special attention to the device of the “literary confession,” especially as found in several of the pilgrims’ prologues in Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales,” including those of the Pardoner and the Wife of Bath. Braswell has asserted that, in the fourteenth century, the penitential tradition began to produce richer literary characters in which the sinner becomes central to works due to an ever-increasing emphasis, shaped by manuals and scholastic debate, on the interior nature of the individual, and, as Jerry Root remarks, the “self-reflective literary subject of the fourteenth century is constituted precisely by th[e] confessional language and frame” (4-5). There has not been sufficient discussion on how medieval writers employ the device of failed confessions or explore impediments to confession. This session will seek to think about this concept, striving towards a more cohesive understanding of the purposes and significance of failed confessions in literature. Presenters might consider authors such as the Pearl-Poet, Hoccleve, or Margery Kempe (only to name a few).


Other FOMM (Friends of MassMedieval) Sessions
***If I have missed anyone, please don’t be offended. I simply did a quick search. Post your session in the comments below.

New England Saga Society (NESS): Saga Studies
Andrew M. Pfrenger
***I have a feeling John will be plugging this one more later!

International Long Twelfth Century Society: Honoring Foremothers in Medieval Feminist Publishing: University of Pennsylvania’s Jerry Singerman and Ruth M. Karas: Today’s Issues in Feminist Publishing (A Roundtable)
Wendy Marie Hoofnagle

Journal of Medieval Religious Cultures (JMRC): I. Medieval Religion in Contemporary Popular Culture; II. Medieval Religious Cultures: Key Questions and Directions for Future Research
Christine Cooper-Rompato

Medieval and Renaissance Drama Society (MRDS): I. Affect and Emotional Production in Early Drama; II. Parody, Farce, and Authority in Early Drama; III. Ceremonial Performance; IV. Tableaux Vivants
Carolyn Coulson-Grigsby

Société Internationale des Amis de Merlin: Merlin, God, and the Devil
Anne Berthelot

Society for the Study of Disability in the Middle Ages: I. The Future of Medieval Disability Studies: Where Do We Go from Here? (A Roundtable); II. Gender, Sexuality, and Disability
Joshua R. Eyler

Syon Abbey Society: Monastic Vernacularities
Laura Saetveit Miles

Medieval Cultures of Death: Historical, Literary, and Material Perspectives
Jeanette S. Zissell

Queering the Cougar
Cameron Hunt McNabb

Technical Communication in the Middle Ages
M. Wendy Hennequin

1 Comment

Filed under Conferences, Kalamazoo, Professional stuff

One response to “CFP Kalamazoo 2012: What We Have Here Is a Failure to Confess

  1. Pingback: From Kalamazoo Session to Essay Collection | MASSachusetts State Universities MEDIEVAL Blog

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