Session Title

Fictionality and Belief in Middle English Writing (A Panel Discussion)

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Harvard English Dept. Medieval Colloquium

Organizer Name

Kathryn Mogk

Organizer Affiliation

Harvard Univ.

Presider Name

Joseph Shack

Presider Affiliation

Harvard Univ.

Paper Title 1

Fictions of Belief in Sir Orfeo

Presenter 1 Name

Daniel Reeve

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Univ. of California-Santa Barbara

Paper Title 2

Nicholas Love and the Translator's "Devoute Ymaginacioun"

Presenter 2 Name

Megan T. Behrend

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Univ. of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Paper Title 3

Belief and Late Medieval Literary Interpretation

Presenter 3 Name

Ryan Lawrence

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Cornell Univ.

Paper Title 4

Fictionality and Belief

Presenter 4 Name

Julie Orlemanski

Presenter 4 Affiliation

Univ. of Chicago

Start Date

7-5-2020 10:00 AM

Session Location

Fetzer 1060

Description

Coleridge's famous phrase "the willing suspension of disbelief" implies that disbelief (i.e., secularity) is a pre-condition of fictionality. That argument is made explicitly in Catherine Gallagher's well-known article "The Rise of Fictionality"—but it is also often assumed in medieval studies, as fictionality is localized in secular romance and rarely considered in devotional contexts. This panel considers how acknowledged fictions and sincere belief interact across a range of contexts, from twelfth-century scholastic theories of perception and imagination to Nicholas Love’s expansive and inventive translations, and troubles the boundary between sacred and secular writings, whether in considering Rolle’s epistemological commitments or the devotional resonances of Sir Orfeo’s recognition scenes.

Kathryn Mogk

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May 7th, 10:00 AM

Fictionality and Belief in Middle English Writing (A Panel Discussion)

Fetzer 1060

Coleridge's famous phrase "the willing suspension of disbelief" implies that disbelief (i.e., secularity) is a pre-condition of fictionality. That argument is made explicitly in Catherine Gallagher's well-known article "The Rise of Fictionality"—but it is also often assumed in medieval studies, as fictionality is localized in secular romance and rarely considered in devotional contexts. This panel considers how acknowledged fictions and sincere belief interact across a range of contexts, from twelfth-century scholastic theories of perception and imagination to Nicholas Love’s expansive and inventive translations, and troubles the boundary between sacred and secular writings, whether in considering Rolle’s epistemological commitments or the devotional resonances of Sir Orfeo’s recognition scenes.

Kathryn Mogk