Monday, April 27, 2009

2 NCS Panels of Interest

by J J Cohen

NCS Siena looks to be a feast of extraordinary topics: from temporality to animal studies to transnationalism (including archipelagos!) to medievalisms to bodies to ... well the list unfurls for page upon virtual page. Here are two, though, to which I'd like to call your attention, since they are related to this blog:

Session organizer: Jeffrey J. Cohen (
This session will examine what has been called "the affective turn" in medieval studies as way of moving the field past historicist readings of medieval materials. The challenge posed by Carolyn Dinshaw's Getting Medieval is still being felt in productive, new encounters with the bodies and pleasures of the past. Some recent scholarship has been especially provocative in experimentation with new critical modes that stage an encounter between past and present through affect and the haptic, an elaborated version of what Dinshaw once called the vibration. Other scholars have been arguing that we are in a "posthistoricist" period of medieval studies. "Touching the Past" is dedicated to exploring complicated temporalities in which past does not lead linearily to present, but where past and present promiscuously intertwine.

Session organizer: Stephanie Trigg (
For those scholars who are aware of them, the professional landscape of medieval studies has been changed, in recent years, through the advent of blogs and other online fora for the exchange of ideas. From the wildly engaging Chaucer blog to the collaborative scholarship of In the Middle, and a range of more or less anonymous blogs from individual medievalists, it seems that certain medievalists love to blog. But why? To what extent has blogging changed the way medievalists communicate with each other? In the idealised answer to this question, blogging makes it possible for isolated scholars, junior scholars, graduate scholars, disabled scholars and others to take part in a more democratic, more easily accessible exchange of ideas. But blogging can’t escape hierarchies or intellectual imprecision altogether, while the ease of anonymous or pseudonymous publication potentially threatens the accountability of more formal and more highly regulated mode of publication and intellectual engagement. Other questions arise, too. What are the copyright implications of sharing drafts or published material on blogs? How has blogging changed our understanding of medieval studies and its communities? Is there anything distinctive about medieval blogs? What is the future of medieval blogging? Papers are invited from bloggers, lurkers on blogs, and non-bloggers.


Karl Steel said...

Huh, does this mean what I think it means?

This old world is a new world said...

Hard to say Karl. What do you think it means? But yes, I think it does.

Karl Steel said...

It does! Hurrah. (maybe reverse period and exclamation point?)

Eileen Joy said...

Karl and Stephanie: well, that's wonderfully cryptic of both of you. I think "it" means exactly what "it" says it means. All kidding aside, it's wonderful to see a panel devoted to medievalist blogging slated for NCS 2010.

Dr. Virago said...

Both of those panels look to be wonderfully exciting! And I'm also excited by all the stuff on guilds and conduct books and manuscripts. It's almost too much! I don't know which panel to submit to!