Session Title

The Problem of Medieval Refugees

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Exemplaria: Medieval / Early Modern / Theory

Organizer Name

Randy Schiff

Organizer Affiliation

Univ. at Buffalo

Presider Name

Randy Schiff

Paper Title 1

Outcast Intimates

Presenter 1 Name

Elizabeth Allen

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Univ. of California-Irvine

Paper Title 2

At the Edge of Grief: Rethinking the Ethics of Sympathy for Medieval Refugees

Presenter 2 Name

Evelyn Reynolds

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Indiana Univ.-Bloomington

Paper Title 3

A Political Theology of the Refugee as Neighbor

Presenter 3 Name

Joseph Taylor

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Univ. of Alabama-Huntsville

Paper Title 4

Powers of Horror, Powers of Wonder: Herzog Ernst and the Refugee as Abject

Presenter 4 Name

Ricarda Wagner

Presenter 4 Affiliation

Univ. Bern

Start Date

10-5-2018 1:30 PM

Session Location

Bernhard 210

Description

Then and now, the plight of the refugee compels us to ask searching questions about morality, identity, migration, and suffering. Rendered vulnerable by harrowing circumstances, refugees force us to consider the ethics of the neighbor; dislocated by dangers, refugees remind us of the arbitrariness of political maps that render some of us safe and some of us abject. Insofar as they reflect historical conditions and register affective responses to hazards, literary texts provide a powerful lens for theorizing the medieval refugee.

The Problem of Medieval Refugees panel invites short papers that will stimulate discussion of the vital theoretical issues opened up by the violent displacement of individuals. The roundtable format will enable scholars working on various literary periods and cultures to contribute to a general theoretical discussion inspired by meditation on refugees. The problem of medieval refugees is germane to a number of discrete, but related theoretical fields. The ethical issues opened up by refugees invite scholarship devoted to theorizing the problem of the Neighbor, a key concern in political theology. Embodying the suffering of exiled populations, refugees are of acute interest to premodern biopolitics. The psychological issues related to the plight of refugees provide fertile terrain for critics deploying trauma theory and psychoanalysis. The displacement of refugees within a dynamic transnational frame also raises crucial questions for literary scholars engaging with postmodern geographical theories of space. Finally, the question of who counts as a refugee, insofar as it brings up questions of citizenship and immigration, will be of acute interest to scholars informed by theories of nationalism and postcolonialism.

Noah D. Guynn

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May 10th, 1:30 PM

The Problem of Medieval Refugees

Bernhard 210

Then and now, the plight of the refugee compels us to ask searching questions about morality, identity, migration, and suffering. Rendered vulnerable by harrowing circumstances, refugees force us to consider the ethics of the neighbor; dislocated by dangers, refugees remind us of the arbitrariness of political maps that render some of us safe and some of us abject. Insofar as they reflect historical conditions and register affective responses to hazards, literary texts provide a powerful lens for theorizing the medieval refugee.

The Problem of Medieval Refugees panel invites short papers that will stimulate discussion of the vital theoretical issues opened up by the violent displacement of individuals. The roundtable format will enable scholars working on various literary periods and cultures to contribute to a general theoretical discussion inspired by meditation on refugees. The problem of medieval refugees is germane to a number of discrete, but related theoretical fields. The ethical issues opened up by refugees invite scholarship devoted to theorizing the problem of the Neighbor, a key concern in political theology. Embodying the suffering of exiled populations, refugees are of acute interest to premodern biopolitics. The psychological issues related to the plight of refugees provide fertile terrain for critics deploying trauma theory and psychoanalysis. The displacement of refugees within a dynamic transnational frame also raises crucial questions for literary scholars engaging with postmodern geographical theories of space. Finally, the question of who counts as a refugee, insofar as it brings up questions of citizenship and immigration, will be of acute interest to scholars informed by theories of nationalism and postcolonialism.

Noah D. Guynn