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Worlds of Care: Medieval and Early Modern Drama and Why It Still Matters Today (NeMLA 2022)

Baltimore, MD
Organization: NeMLA
Event: NeMLA 2022
Categories: Interdisciplinary, Pedagogy, Popular Culture, Medieval, Early Modern & Renaissance, Drama, Aesthetics, Anthropology/Sociology, Classical Studies, Cultural Studies, Environmental Studies, Film, TV, & Media, Food Studies, History, Philosophy, Miscellaneous
Event Date: 2022-03-10 to 2022-03-13 Abstract Due: 2021-09-30

Proceeding from the beginning to the end of time, occurring in a ritual space, and focusing on moments of extraordinary joy, suffering, humor, and election, medieval drama maps worlds of vulnerability and interconnectedness.  Its scope has continued to inspire re-enactment and adaptation from Passion Plays and the Mormon Hill Cumorah pageants to Yiimimangaliso, a South African version of the Chester mystery plays stressing truth and reconciliation, and Brandon Jacob-Jenkins’ reworking of the medieval morality play Everyman as Everybody.

Focusing that theatrical mappa mundi in more specific times and places, early modern drama turned ritual toward negotiation and commodity, adapting many of those same plots and tropes, retaining their resonance but sharpening their moment. For example, the body of the crucified Christ becomes the murdered son Horatio in Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy and the medieval World, Flesh, and Devil become the commercial venture tripartite of the butler Face, the prostitute Dol and the alchemist Subtle in Jonson’s The Alchemist.  Today that drama is ripe for re-workings in new media such as film and graphic novels.

There is no more ragged and productive literary seam than that which joins medieval and early modern drama, and none more fruitful for a discussion of a pedagogy which takes in performance and modern adaptation.  Building on our 2021 NeMLA Roundtable “Bringing Medieval Drama to Life: Scholarship, Performance, Pedagogy,“ the organizers of this Roundtable—themselves collaborators across fields of literary scholarship and performance—hope to bring together scholars, teachers, and acting practitioners to explore this proposition.. We are especially interested in scholarly and pedagogical approaches that foreground the relationship of medieval and early modern theatrical pasts to present moments

Abstracts of 250-300 words should be submitted directly on the NeMLA website by September 30, 2021: https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/19261 (direct link to this panel).

Submission Requirements

The submission deadline is September 30, 2021. All abstracts must be submitted through the NeMLA CFP web site at https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/. Search for ID #19261, "Worlds of Care: Medieval and Early Modern Drama and Why It Still Matters Today.”

General guidelines for abstracts can be found at http://www.buffalo.edu/nemla/convention/callforpapers.html. View the conference web site at https://www.buffalo.edu/nemla/convention.html.

Contact Information—Please send queries to the three emails:

Barbara Bono

Associate Professor Emerita, Department of English, University at Buffalo

Contact email: bbono@buffalo.edu


Theresa Coletti

Professor, Department of English, University of Maryland College Park

Contact email: tcoletti@umd.edu


Maria S. Horne

Associate Professor, Department of Theatre and Dance, University at Buffalo

Contact email: marhorne@buffalo.edu



Maria S. Horne