Thursday, January 28, 2010

Gateway Lectures for Spring 2010

The Gateway Lectures introduce their audience to an important field or topic within medieval and early modern studies. The lectures are designed to be a substantial contribution to research and intellectual community -- while remaining engaging to a general audience. They are delivered by renowned scholars who attempt to make their work accessible and inspirational. All Gateway lectures are free and welcome all who wish to attend.
  • January 29: Alf Siewers (Bucknell University), "Ecocriticism." Marvin Center Amphitheatre, 800 21st Street, NW, 4 PM.
  • February 12: Michelle Warren (Dartmouth College), "The Postcolonial Past." Marvin Center Elliott Room 310, 800 21st Street, NW, 4 PM.
  • March 26: Marissa Greenberg (University of New Mexico), "Writing and Space." Rome Hall (Academic Center) 771, 4 PM.
Also of interest: GW MEMSI will sponsor a symposium entitled "Race?" on Friday, March 5 at 2 PM. The event will feature Ayanna Thompson (Arizona State University), whose work on Shakespeare, early modern culture, and race is widely acclaimed. She will be joined by a panel of GW faculty: Jennifer James, Antonio Lopez, Thomas Guglielmo, Andrew Zimmerman. Marvin Center Amphitheatre, 800 21st Street, NW.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

New Worlds Conference CFP: Deadline Extended

New Worlds: Cross-Cultural Exchange East and West
A Graduate Conference in Medieval and Renaissance Studies
April 17, 2010
University of Maryland, College Park

Keynote speaker: Bruce Holsinger, Professor of English and Music, University of Virginia

The Department of English at the University of Maryland and the Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute at George Washington University invite graduate students from across the humanities to submit presentation abstracts for "New Worlds," a one-day conference to be held on April 17, 2010. More information here.

Abstracts of 400-500 words for 20-minute papers related to the conference theme should be emailed to
no later than January 30, 2010. Accepted abstracts will be posted on the conference website,

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Alf Siewers "Ecocriticism" 1/29

Alf Siewers will deliver our first Gateway Lecture of the new year, "Ecocriticism," on Friday January 29th at 4 PM in the GW Marvin Center Amphitheatre (3rd Floor; 800 21st St. NW). Professor Siewers is Associate Professor of English at Bucknell University and coordinator of the Nature and Human Communities Initiative at the Bucknell Environmental Center. He specializes in British archipelagic studies, ecocritical approaches to early literatures, and postmodern approaches to premodern views of nature. He is also co-editor of the collection Tolkien’s Modern Middle Ages and of articles in Celtic and medieval journals and book collections. His newest forthcoming articles include two on the philosophy of John Scottus Eriguena in relation to the early Irish Otherworld. Strange Beauty: Ecocritical Approaches to Early Medieval Landscapes (2009) was recently published by Palgrave Macmillan. Selections from Strange Beauty may be accessed here.

Publications include:
  • "Landscapes of Conversion: Guthlac's Mound and Grendel's Mere as Expressions of Anglo-Saxon Nation-Building," reprinted inThe Postmodern Beowulf , ed. Joy and Ramsey, 2006. On landscape and empire. (Originally in Viator34 (2003):1-39.)
  • Tolkien's Modern Middle Ages, New Middle Ages series, 2005, edited with Jane Chance; also includes his "Tolkien's Cosmic-Christian Ecology" article on fantasy and landscape.
  • "Writing an Icon of the Land: The Mabinogi as a Mystagogy of Landscape." Peritia 19 (2005): 193-228 (Irish Medieval Academy). Iconography and layered textual landscape.
  • "The bluest-greyest-greenest eye: colours of martyrdom and colours of the winds as iconographic landscape." Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies50 (2005): 31-66. Landscape as a praxis of aescetic-aesthetics.
  • "Gildas and Glastonbury," in Via Crucis, Essays on Sources and Ideas in Memory of J.E. Cross, ed. Hall (2002). Landscape as mythic history.
More information about Professor Siewers may be found at his personal website and at Bucknell University.