CFP for Modern Language Association Annual Convention, Boston, MA, January
3-6 2013

Transgressing Discipline in Medieval German Narrative

Whether delivered as extra-diegetic asides, placed in the mouths of the
characters, or integrated into the very form of the text, discourses from
other genres of writing and spheres of knowledge seem to interrupt medieval
narrative.  The High Middle Ages has been characterized by a concomitant
discovery of the individual, a rise of the university, and a growth in
professionalization and specialization in knowledge.  Theology, medicine,
and law, for instance, were increasingly becoming more esoteric.  And yet,
modern medievalism has begun to uncover ways in which literary texts are
significantly imbricated in other disciplinary and generic discourses.  Some
of these instances include, for example, Giburc's ethical plea in Wolfram's
*Willehalm*, Mechthild of Magdeburg’s incorporation of tropes of courtly
love, and the lengthy medical disquisition about Amfortas' wound in *

Beyond considering pointing up the relative fluidity of disciplinary and
generic boundaries in specific texts, few scholars have, however,
investigated the literary role of these "digressions" within the narratives
they appear to interrupt.  How are we to understand these seeming
interruptions?  Do extra-literary discourses interfere with the "story," or
are such references to external disciplines, in fact, integral to the
writing of medieval narrative?  How do these various genres of medieval
narrative (romance, hagiography, chronicle) interrupt or supplement each

We invite abstracts concerning the role of non-literary disciplines or
spheres of knowledge (e.g. law, theology, medicine) as they appear in
medieval German narrative.  Papers considering individual medieval texts
are welcome.

Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words by 12 March 2012 to Claire
Taylor Jones ([log in to unmask]) and Mary Campbell (
[log in to unmask]).

The German Studies Call for Papers List
Editor: Stefani Engelstein
Assistant Editor:  Olaf Schmidt
Sponsored by the University of Missouri
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