Session Title

What a World! (A Roundtable)

Sponsoring Organization(s)

BABEL Working Group

Organizer Name

Eileen A. Joy

Organizer Affiliation

BABEL Working Group

Presider Name

Leila K. Norako

Presider Affiliation

Notre Dame de Namur Univ.

Paper Title 1

An English Hero, a Barbarian Kingdom: The Colonialist Impulse in Chivalric and Ruritanian Romances

Presenter 1 Name

Andrea Lankin

Presenter 1 Affiliation

St. Joseph's Univ.

Paper Title 2

The Once and Future Herod: Vernacular Typology and the Worlds of English Cycle Drama

Presenter 2 Name

Chris Taylor

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Univ. of Texas-Austin

Paper Title 3

England Is the World and the World Is England

Presenter 3 Name

Asa Simon Mittman

Presenter 3 Affiliation

California State Univ.-Chico

Paper Title 4

England by Any Other Name: Nominal Topographies in The Tale of Albin

Presenter 4 Name

Kristi J. Castleberry

Presenter 4 Affiliation

Univ. of Rochester

Paper Title 5

A World without War: Chaucer and the Politics of Unconditional Friendship

Presenter 5 Name

Paul Megna

Presenter 5 Affiliation

Univ. of California-Santa Barbara

Paper Title 6

Imagining Medieval Futures

Presenter 6 Name

Suzanne Conklin Akbari

Presenter 6 Affiliation

Univ. of Toronto

Paper Title 7

Engineering Beowulf: Multi-media and Multi-modal Medievalism

Presenter 7 Name

Valerie B. Johnson

Presenter 7 Affiliation

Georgia Institute of Technology

Start Date

10-5-2014 3:30 PM

Session Location

Fetzer 1005

Description

“Oh what a world, what a world! Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness?!” So screams the Wicked Witch of the West after Dorothy splashes water on her in the film The Wizard of Oz. The entire film reflects upon matters of perspective and thwarted/exceeded expectations, of not quite believing your eyes or trusting what you see, of creating contexts for experiences you never could have anticipated. The witch melts, in the end, because of her failure to imagine a world in which both she Dorothy could exist. While the gist of this line accords with the final words the Witch speaks in the book version, the phrase “What a World!” (original to the film) encourages meta-commentary. We are called, as viewers and as readers, to wonder along with the witch how this world — and such a vivid one at that — could have been engendered. In this sense, the phrase “What a World!” becomes as much a invitation to engage critically as it becomes a statement of wonder.

The issues inherent in fictionalized worlds, so beautifully encapsulated in this scene from The Wizard of Oz film, have much to offer studies of medieval literature. This session invites papers that consider all aspects of engendered worlds, but is especially invested in exploring how contemporary notions of “worldbuilding” — so often associated with high fantasy and science fiction — as well as Heiddeger’s “worlding” (in all its various theoretical manifestations and adaptations) can be appropriated to discuss the creation of fictive worlds in medieval literature. The session seeks to explore worlds built through varying states of incredulity, wonder, a desire to control and contextualize, or from nostalgia and/or a desire to escape (however briefly) one’s own circumstances — from the translocated Holy Land of the mystery cycle plays, to the worlds encountered through chronicles, histories, and travel narratives, to the landscapes and cultures of Arthurian romance. How might the concept of “worldbuilding” invite fresh considerations and interrogations of medieval literature? How does it simultaneously reflect the desires authors have to create something new even as they (or their texts) admit the impossibilities of such projects? To what extent do engendered worlds allow and invite contemplation upon the many ways in which humans, as readers and receivers of texts, ineffably participate in this process of creation? Papers presented on this panel will lead to a special issue of postmedieval, to be edited by Leila K. Norako (Notre Dame de Namur University), and published in 2017.

Eileen A. Joy

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
May 10th, 3:30 PM

What a World! (A Roundtable)

Fetzer 1005

“Oh what a world, what a world! Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness?!” So screams the Wicked Witch of the West after Dorothy splashes water on her in the film The Wizard of Oz. The entire film reflects upon matters of perspective and thwarted/exceeded expectations, of not quite believing your eyes or trusting what you see, of creating contexts for experiences you never could have anticipated. The witch melts, in the end, because of her failure to imagine a world in which both she Dorothy could exist. While the gist of this line accords with the final words the Witch speaks in the book version, the phrase “What a World!” (original to the film) encourages meta-commentary. We are called, as viewers and as readers, to wonder along with the witch how this world — and such a vivid one at that — could have been engendered. In this sense, the phrase “What a World!” becomes as much a invitation to engage critically as it becomes a statement of wonder.

The issues inherent in fictionalized worlds, so beautifully encapsulated in this scene from The Wizard of Oz film, have much to offer studies of medieval literature. This session invites papers that consider all aspects of engendered worlds, but is especially invested in exploring how contemporary notions of “worldbuilding” — so often associated with high fantasy and science fiction — as well as Heiddeger’s “worlding” (in all its various theoretical manifestations and adaptations) can be appropriated to discuss the creation of fictive worlds in medieval literature. The session seeks to explore worlds built through varying states of incredulity, wonder, a desire to control and contextualize, or from nostalgia and/or a desire to escape (however briefly) one’s own circumstances — from the translocated Holy Land of the mystery cycle plays, to the worlds encountered through chronicles, histories, and travel narratives, to the landscapes and cultures of Arthurian romance. How might the concept of “worldbuilding” invite fresh considerations and interrogations of medieval literature? How does it simultaneously reflect the desires authors have to create something new even as they (or their texts) admit the impossibilities of such projects? To what extent do engendered worlds allow and invite contemplation upon the many ways in which humans, as readers and receivers of texts, ineffably participate in this process of creation? Papers presented on this panel will lead to a special issue of postmedieval, to be edited by Leila K. Norako (Notre Dame de Namur University), and published in 2017.

Eileen A. Joy