Session Title

Forming Character: Between Personhood and the Nonhuman (A Roundtable)

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Special Session

Organizer Name

Ingrid Nelson

Organizer Affiliation

Amherst College

Presider Name

Ingrid Nelson

Paper Title 1

Hawkyn and Inhumanity

Presenter 1 Name

Julie Orlemanski

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Univ. of Chicago

Paper Title 2

Forms and Functions of Character in Bernard Silvestris's Mathematicus

Presenter 2 Name

Marian Homans-Turnbull

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Univ. of California-Berkeley

Paper Title 3

Forgetting like a Falcon: Sir Orfeo's Silent Heurodis and the Form of the Lay

Presenter 3 Name

Sara Petrosillo

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Univ. of Evansville

Paper Title 4

Across from Where? Empire and Conversion in Cynewulf's Elene

Presenter 4 Name

Mariah Junglan Min

Presenter 4 Affiliation

Univ. of Pennsylvania

Paper Title 5

Personifying Social Relations: Radical Theater and Medieval Allegory

Presenter 5 Name

William Rhodes

Presenter 5 Affiliation

Univ. of Pittsburgh

Paper Title 6

What Hanne Darboven Can Tell Us about the Middle English "Names of a Hare in English"

Presenter 6 Name

Karl Steel

Presenter 6 Affiliation

Brooklyn College and Graduate Center, CUNY

Start Date

10-5-2019 10:00 AM

Session Location

Bernhard 209

Description

This panel investigates the interplay between literary form, fictional characters, and the nonhuman world in medieval writing. How do the formal, rhetorical, poetic, and narratological characteristics of a given work, or genre, contribute to the personae imagined and animated in the course of it? How do nonhuman agents in medieval literary writings elucidate or challenge ideas of character based on personhood, subjectivity, or consciousness? In recent years, books like Deidre Shauna Lynch’s The Economy of Character (1998), Alex Woloch’s One vs. the Many (2003), Elizabeth Fowler’s Literary Character (2003), Blakey Vermeule’s Why Do We Care About Literary Characters? (2010), and John Frow’s Character and Person (2014) have focused new literary-critical attention on how to interpret characters. Meanwhile, books like Jane Bennett’s Vibrant Matter (2010), Susan Crane’s Animal Encounters (2013), and Jeffrey Jerome Cohen’s Stone: An Ecology of the Inhuman (2015) have expanded our sense of how nonhuman agents help to define and locate personhood in ontological and literary schemas. What can medieval literature contribute to this conversation? Ingrid Nelson

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May 10th, 10:00 AM

Forming Character: Between Personhood and the Nonhuman (A Roundtable)

Bernhard 209

This panel investigates the interplay between literary form, fictional characters, and the nonhuman world in medieval writing. How do the formal, rhetorical, poetic, and narratological characteristics of a given work, or genre, contribute to the personae imagined and animated in the course of it? How do nonhuman agents in medieval literary writings elucidate or challenge ideas of character based on personhood, subjectivity, or consciousness? In recent years, books like Deidre Shauna Lynch’s The Economy of Character (1998), Alex Woloch’s One vs. the Many (2003), Elizabeth Fowler’s Literary Character (2003), Blakey Vermeule’s Why Do We Care About Literary Characters? (2010), and John Frow’s Character and Person (2014) have focused new literary-critical attention on how to interpret characters. Meanwhile, books like Jane Bennett’s Vibrant Matter (2010), Susan Crane’s Animal Encounters (2013), and Jeffrey Jerome Cohen’s Stone: An Ecology of the Inhuman (2015) have expanded our sense of how nonhuman agents help to define and locate personhood in ontological and literary schemas. What can medieval literature contribute to this conversation? Ingrid Nelson