Medieval Fantasy Symposium 2017
Abstr. due: 14.02.2017
Dates: 01.06.17 — 04.06.17
Organizing comittee e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Organizers: Koszalin University of Technology
You are cordially invited to the fifth Medieval Fantasy Symposium, organised by Koszalin University of Technology, which will be
held in Unieście between 1 and 4 June 2017. 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
‘Reges quondam regesque futuri’: Various Aspects of
Royal Power in Medieval and Modern Fantasy Literature
Medieval kingship is a complex, multi-layered cultural construct. On the one hand, in its primary sense, it lays emphasis upon the
numerous royal duties (moral, political, military etc.) which arise from the very fact of being a king. Hence, despite being a sovereign,
he is, at the same time, a person who is, first of all, subject to the law of his realm, one who should use his power solely for the benefit
of its inhabitants. Indeed, a “king is he that can hold his own, or else his title is in vain”, claims the elvish prince Maedhros in J.R.R.
Tolkien’s Silmarillion. On the other hand, though, there are numerous examples of medieval rulers who often transgress their royal
duties to satisfy their exuberant egos. They are the reges horrendi of the biblical Book of Wisdom, the rois maudits from the historical
novels of Maurice Druon.
The conference will focus exclusively upon various aspects (cultural, religious, political, intellectual etc.) traditionally associated with
kingship. The thematic scope will cover all sorts of texts of undisputedly medieval origin (poems, sagas, chronicles etc.) as well as
post-medieval fantasy (including historical fantasy) works written by, amongst others, William Shakespeare, J.R.R. Tolkien, Maurice
Druon, George R.R. Martin and Elżbieta Cherezińska. The main themes will include:
1. king-making and images of kingship.
2. ideology and sacrality of kingship.
3. warrior-kings and their knights.
4. royal bynames, their significance and meaning.
5. noble kings and their accursed counterparts.
6. symbolism of crowns, swords and other royal insignia.
Conference Web-Site: http://medieval-fantasy.pl/2.html