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IMC 2020: Sessions

Session 718: Lines in the Sand: Ecotones and Polity in Medieval Literature

Tuesday 7 July 2020, 14.15-15.45

Organisers:Aylin Malcolm, Department of English, University of Pennsylvania
Andrew Richmond, Department of English, Ohio State University
Moderator/Chair:Andrew Richmond, Department of English, Ohio State University
Paper 718-aBreaking Nature's Bounds in Partonope of Blois
(Language: English)
Kersti Francis, Department of English University of California Los Angeles
Index terms: Canon Law, Gender Studies, Language and Literature - Comparative, Science
Paper 718-bThe Genoese and the Canary Islands: From the Fortunate Isles to the Sugar Plantation, 1478-1510
(Language: English)
Andrés Mesa Guarin, Facoltà di Scienze della Comunicazione Università degli studi di Teramo
Index terms: Economics - Trade, Geography and Settlement Studies
Paper 718-cPiers Plowman: Landscapes, Bodies, Dreams, and Texts
(Language: English)
Carolyn B. Anderson, Department of English, University of Wyoming
Index terms: Historiography - Modern Scholarship, Language and Literature - Middle English, Social History

Transitional environments have long formed the foundations for political and social boundaries, and in turn have been claimed to demonstrate the natural legitimacy of these borders and the institutions they define. Yet medieval literature, art, and popular culture overflows with depictions of such ecotones - water to land, mountain to plain, forest to field - that test both the permanence and permeability of the categories and divisions humans impose on their surroundings (and themselves). The papers on this panel thus examine the diverse ecological boundaries highlighted in medieval texts, particularly works that defy modern categories of genre, nationality, religion, and/or audience.