Medieval Fantasy Symposium 2016

Country: Poland

City: Uniescie

Abstr. due: 31.01.2016

Dates: 19.05.16 — 22.05.16

Organizing comittee e-mail:

Organizers: Koszalin University of Technology


You are cordially invited to the fourth Medieval Fantasy Symposium, organised by Koszalin University of Technology, which will be held in Unieście between 19 and 22 May 2016. Medieval Fantasy Symposia aim at bringing together specialists in the areas of medieval and fantasy literature, in particular those who seek to find cultural connections between the numerous supernatural elements in the literary output of the Middle Ages (e.g. Beowulf, Norse and Celtic mythologies, Arthurian cycle) and modern tales in the fantasy genre which are set in different quasi-medieval worlds (as in The Lord of the Rings or A Song of Ice and Fire). The scope of the symposia is not, however, strictly limited to the world of literature, as it also embraces the many fields of artistic expression including the fine and cinematic arts.
‘History is a wheel’: A Song of Ice and Fire as a Contemporary Mosaic

of Themes, Motifs and Conventions of Predominantly Medieval Origin

In his preface to The World of Ice and Fire Maester Yandel remarks that ‘every building is constructed stone by stone, and the same may be said of knowledge, extracted and compiled by many learned men, each of whom builds upon the works of those who preceded him’. Interestingly enough, the very same applies to contemporary fantasy writers such as George R.R. Martin who regularly draws upon the enormous heritage of medieval literature and culture in his acclaimed series of (so far) five Westeros-set novels. All these numerous themes, motifs and conventions are, however, rarely used in exactly the same way as in the works that inspired the writing of A Song of Ice and Fire. In fact, Martin tends to adapt them in a highly creative manner, so as to make them more suitable for the narrative demands of his quasi-medieval, though at the same time very modern tale of ruthless dynastic struggles.

The 2016 conference will focus exclusively upon the employment of such medieval elements in A Song of Ice and Fire and its television adaptation Game of Thrones. Its main themes include:

1. morality and ethics.

2. the supernatural and spirituality.

3. knighthood and chivalry.

4. politics and kingship.

5. personal names, titles and forms of address.

6. themes and tropes.

Conference Web-Site: