Department of English: Conferences
Seafaring: an early medieval conference on the islands of the North Atlantic – November 3-5, 2016
Seafaring: an early medieval conference on the islands of the North Atlantic is a three-day national conference that brings together scholars of early medieval Ireland, Britain, and Scandinavia to imagine cooperative, interdisciplinary futures for the study of North Atlantic archipelagos during the early medieval period. Seafaring invites proposals for two kinds of sessions, seminars and workshops/forums, that will help imagine more collective and cooperative futures for scholars of the so-called “British” archipelago and/or reinvigorate the interdisciplinary mandate of early medieval studies.
Designed less around traditional conference presentations than as a “workspace,” Seafaring: an early medieval conference on the islands of the North Atlantic invites proposals that will engage participants in mini-tutorials, masterclasses, writing workshops, and learning laboratories – all of which are designed to widen their linguistic competence, interdisciplinary methods, geographic familiarity, and temporal scope, within and beyond the early medieval period.
Proposals for Seminars:
The primary workspace for this conference will be an eight-to-twelve-person seminar. Seminars will meet for two days of the conference in order to foster extended discussion. Seminar organizers may wish to ask participants to read their papers or summarize pre-circulated writing. Either way, the emphasis of the seminar is on protracted, constructive discussion: of an individual’s paper, of connections between papers, and of the seminar topic. As a format that takes up some but not all of the conference, the seminar allows each participant to be a full member of one seminar and to sample others during remaining time blocks.
While organizers welcome especially seminar topics that focus on the conference’s theme of “seafaring,” seminars could cover any number of topics such as:
- cross-cultural or multi-linguistic relationships among peoples of the north Atlantic and beyond
- a place, text, or topic related to the north Atlantic that invites interdisciplinary perspectives
- trans- or multi-temporal connections between early medieval and contemporary places, spaces, concepts
Proposals for Workshop/Forums:
Fostering truly collaborative and interdisciplinary work across the early medieval North Atlantic often requires scholars to continuously expand already highly-developed expertise in methodology, languages, or discipline. Such efforts are often time consuming and proceed in autodidactic isolation. A scholar of Old English, for example, may find herself wanting to work with medieval Welsh or Irish or gain facility with the language of archaeological reports. We thus seek proposals for one-to-two hour workshops and forums in which participants share and learn from one another’s expertise in order to broaden their awareness and understanding of other islands of the North Atlantic.
Workshops and forums should be designed to be participant driven and may engage in a wide variety of activities such as:
- a collaborative close reading of a perennially difficult text
- a masterclass on the pronunciation, phonology, and/or basic grammar of medieval Welsh, Old Norse, Old English, or Old Irish
- introduction to a methodology, theory, or seminal text rarely used within or unfamiliar to early medieval scholarship
- a workshop on the pharmacology of Old English plant medicine
- a mini-tutorial on the landscape archaeology of Lejre, Denmark, or shifts from pagan to Christian burial practices in the Icelandic archaeological record
Call for Seminars:
Submit your seminar proposal to SeafaringConference2016@gmail.com, subject line: “Seminar Submission”
Please include 1) a seminar/workshop cover sheet, 2) brief (100-word) seminar abstract followed by 3) a one-page description that provides rationale for its broad appeal, timeliness, etc. Seminar proposals are due December 15th, 2015.
NB: Seminar organizers will be notified regarding their proposals by January 15th, 2016, at which time seminar abstracts will be posted online. Individuals who would like to participate in a seminar should submit one-page paper proposals directly to the seminar organizers by March 15th, 2016.
Call for Workshop/Forums:
Submit your proposal for masterclass, workshop, mini-tutorial, or other format for active learning to SeafaringConference2016@gmail.com, subject line: “Workshop Submission:
Please include 1) a seminar/workshop cover sheet, 2) brief (100-word) workshop abstract followed by 3) a one-page description that includes session length, format, texts (if applicable), and goals. Workshop/Forum proposals are due March 15th, 2016.