Saturday 22 February 2014

Spring School, University of Helsinki, 12–15 May 2014: Canonizing Medieval Literatures

Call for Applications

This course will explore the various canonizing processes of medieval literatures. We shall consider theoretical questions centring broadly on how to understand and deal with literary canons, as well as discussing more localized examples of the formation of medieval literary canons, from the Middle Ages to the present.

Scholarly interest in the canon is itself imbricated in the cultural memory of the medieval past. The Spring School thus welcomes applicants from across the fields of philology, literary criticism, folklore, and cultural history within relevant periods: medieval, early Modern and the nineteenth century.

The literature of the Middle Ages as we continue to study it was largely framed and defined during the nineteenth century. Specific areas of concern will therefore include modern national and author-focused attitudes, processes and mechanisms of selection, as well as aesthetic judgements, determined by ‘systems of relevance’ established by—and during—Romanticism and early nationalisms.

Northern Europe will be another focus, but viewed in the context of its diverse interactions with mediterranean Europe—both in the medieval and more recent periods. Aspects of these dynamics will be illustrated and examined with reference to medieval classics such as Abelard and Héloïse, Dante Alighieri, and Geoffrey Chaucer.

Participants are warmly encouraged to bring their own specialities into dialogue with the framework of canonization through presentations and interactive discussion.

The Spring School is a co-operation between the University of Helsinki, Glossa Society for Medieval Studies in Finland and the Centre for Medieval Literature (Odense / York). The instructors are Professor Lars Boje Mortensen (Odense), Dr Réka Forrai (Odense), and Dr Kenneth Clarke (York).

Fifteen students (on Ph.D. or Master’s level) will be accepted on to the course. Students receive 3 ECTS points for attending the course and completing the course assignments. If a student prepares an essay in addition to the course and the course assignments, s/he can receive 5 ECTS points. Applicants are invited to send a one-page abstract to the coordinator Karolina Kouvola by January 31,2014. The organizers can provide a travel grant from €100 to €400; to apply, include in your application the reason for applying for the grant, as well as an estimate of travel expenses.

For further information, please contact the coordinator or Prof. Lars Boje Mortensen.

Karolina Kouvola, University of Helsinki –

Lars Boje Mortensen, University of Southern Denmark/Centre for Medieval Literature

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