Appel à contribution – Story-Worlds and Worldbuilding in Medieval Literature

There is one month left until the deadline for abstracts for the Story-Worlds and Worldbuilding in Medieval Literature workshop, University of Tübingen, 18–19 September. With keynotes by Emily Lethbridge and Ármann Jakobsson.

There’s a bursary available for one ECR in a precarious situation to present at the workshop.


Worldbuilding and the creation of story-worlds have long been a pursuit for authors of fantasy, and a preoccupation for scholars who study it, but while the fantastic in medieval literature has received much attention — both positive and negative, if one thinks of comments like Chambers’ ‘wilderness of dragons’ — the story-worlds of this literature remain unstudied. But, as Marie-Laure Ryan notes, ‘every story has its own story-world’, and this is true of both factual and fictional stories. Therefore, medieval literary texts, too, can be assumed to create story-worlds — but how do they do that, what kind of worlds do they create, and how do these worlds relate to the Primary World?

This workshop aims to bring together scholars of all branches of literary and cultural studies who explore, or want to start exploring, questions related to the story-worlds of medieval literature, and to the way they are built.

Possible topics could include:
– aspects of story-worlds and worldbuilding in medieval literature, e.g. settings, characters, the paranormal, culture, language, mythology etc. and the way they are used to build story-worlds
– anchoring and (degrees of) secondariness across genres
– trans-narrative and/or trans-authorial story-worlds
– medieval discourses of fictionality and fantasy
– the reception and transformation of medieval story-worlds in modern fantasy across media

The workshop is part of the DFG-funded project, ‘The Other Sagas: A New Reading of the “Post-Classical” Sagas of Icelanders’, and for this reason, the focus will be on the medieval literatures of northern Europe. However, a wider perspective is very much encouraged, and we would especially welcome contributions from scholars working on literatures and cultures outside the European ‘canon’.

Scholars at any career stage are invited to send abstracts of up to 300 words to The deadline is 15 February 2020.

A propos RMBLF

Réseau des médiévistes belges de langue française
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