Another Call for Papers: IMC Leeds 2019

For folks who would prefer to give a paper on Arthurian animals on the other side of the pond, here’s one more CFP, this time for Leeds IMC 2019!

Animals and Materiality in the Arthurian Tradition
Proposed session for the 2019 IMC (Leeds)
Sponsoring organization: The Centre for Arthurian Studies at Bangor University
Organizers: Melissa Ridley Elmes and Renée Ward

We seek papers to compose a session of 3 or 4 papers to the 2019 International Medieval Congress at Leeds. The Congress theme is “Materialities.” This session will consider the materiality of animals in the Arthurian legend.

While scholarship on animals in medieval literature continues to grow, especially considerations of animals in medieval French and English encyclopediae, bestiaries, and romances, relatively little critical work exists on animals in the Arthurian legend, particularly so when we look beyond the mythical White Hart, the Questing Beast, and the dragons. Yet, animals real and imagined abound throughout the pages of Arthurian narratives, appear in related artefacts (art, architecture, stained glass, paintings, and tapestries, for example), and are present in the very production of the manuscripts that preserve the legend. Moreover, recent trends in critical animal studies demand that we expand our understandings of such animal appearances to consider them for their animality—for the qualities that make them beings unto themselves rather than as analogies for humans and their environs.

This proposed session seeks to explore animals and materiality within Arthurian traditions, to serve as the beginning of a continued scholarly discussion of the place of animals within the Arthurian realm, especially of their animality or materiality. We are particularly interested in the ways in which animals and their bodies figure as objects of veneration and/or consumption within the legend, or how, as objects themselves, they contribute to the legend’s production, preservation and perpetuation into post-medieval periods. Do animals within Arthuriana have agency beyond their symbolic functions? How might animals be considered a part of the material landscape of the legend both within and outside of the narratives? In what ways have they carried the legend itself across space and time from the medieval period to the present?

We invite papers from all disciplines and national traditions, and interdisciplinary projects are especially welcome. Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words together with a brief bio to session organizers Melissa Ridley Elmes ( and Renée Ward ( by 31 August 2018. Please include your name, title, and affiliation/status on the abstract itself. Dependent upon the number and quality of abstracts submitted, we will submit one or more full session proposals to the Congress organizers mid-September 2018.


About Melissa Ridley Elmes

Professor and writer; Unrepentant nerd; chaotic good. Author of Arthurian Things: A Collection of Poems. PhD, MFA. She/hers. Views my own.
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