Session Title

Futures of Allegory: Medieval and Modern (A Collaboratory)

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Special Session

Organizer Name

Gaelan Gilbert

Organizer Affiliation

Univ. of Victoria

Presider Name

Allan Mitchell

Presider Affiliation

Univ. of Victoria

Paper Title 1

"Look at the strings on the puppet!": Personification as Allegorical Interpretation

Presenter 1 Name

Katharine Breen

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Northwestern Univ.

Paper Title 2

Allegory and the Everyday

Presenter 2 Name

Daisy Delogu

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Univ. of Chicago

Paper Title 3

Experimental Metaphysics: Distributions of Personhood in Middle English Literature

Presenter 3 Name

Gaelan Gilbert

Paper Title 4

The Facial Medium

Presenter 4 Name

Julie Orlemanski

Presenter 4 Affiliation

Boston College

Paper Title 5

Speculative Allegories: Objects and Ecologies in Langland and Spenser

Presenter 5 Name

William M. Rhodes

Presenter 5 Affiliation

Univ. of Virginia

Start Date

10-5-2013 10:00 AM

Session Location

Schneider 1360

Description

Medieval scholarship has been reinvigorated by the so-called nonhuman turn, as exhibited in recent engagements with materiality, objecthood, animality, and monstrosity. Yet almost completely absent from these discussions is the topic of allegory. The session we are proposing revisits the issue of prosopopoeia – personification allegory – to ask whether and how the device of rhetoric can expand the arena of nonhuman agents and material entities. What are some characteristics of the rhetoric? Are there special ecological effects of allegory in different media?

We propose to offer a session that takes stock of current scholarship on medieval political ecology and of the potential for allegory to contribute new voices to the commons. Can allegory’s proclivity for giving voices to the inanimate function as an engine of ethical democracy? Can we recuperate allegorical practices to reconfigure historical agencies and conjecture future communities, beyond anachronism? What are the futures – medieval & modern - of allegory?

Gaelan Gilbert

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May 10th, 10:00 AM

Futures of Allegory: Medieval and Modern (A Collaboratory)

Schneider 1360

Medieval scholarship has been reinvigorated by the so-called nonhuman turn, as exhibited in recent engagements with materiality, objecthood, animality, and monstrosity. Yet almost completely absent from these discussions is the topic of allegory. The session we are proposing revisits the issue of prosopopoeia – personification allegory – to ask whether and how the device of rhetoric can expand the arena of nonhuman agents and material entities. What are some characteristics of the rhetoric? Are there special ecological effects of allegory in different media?

We propose to offer a session that takes stock of current scholarship on medieval political ecology and of the potential for allegory to contribute new voices to the commons. Can allegory’s proclivity for giving voices to the inanimate function as an engine of ethical democracy? Can we recuperate allegorical practices to reconfigure historical agencies and conjecture future communities, beyond anachronism? What are the futures – medieval & modern - of allegory?

Gaelan Gilbert