Medieval French Without Borders 2020 international conference
City: New York City
Abstr. due: 15.09.2019
Dates: 21.03.20 — 22.03.20
Organizing comittee e-mail: email@example.com
Organizers: Center for Medieval Studies, Fordham University
This international conference looks anew at the origins and development of the langue d’oïl – both as a transactional language and in its high cultural form of literary French – within multilingual contact zones and as a medium of social, cultural and literary exchange. Whether as a second language of empire (Carolingian, Angevin, German) or as an idiom spread by merchants, sailors, clerics, artisans, and pilgrims, as well as by soldiers and crusaders, French came in contact with varieties of Arabic, Breton, Dutch, English, German, Greek, Hebrew, Irish, Norse, Occitan and Welsh. By integrating French with the other languages and literatures with which it came in contact from the ninth until the sixteenth centuries, this conference proposes new contexts for French that expand and complement more familiar explanatory frameworks such as identity, cultural prestige, and source studies.
Papers that explore the following or related questions, but not only these, are especially welcome:
- How does French differ from other boundary-crossing languages of the medieval world, like Arabic, Greek, German, Hebrew, Latin, Occitan, Persian, or Slavonic? What can students of French learn from the insights of scholars working on these languages?
- How and why did French come to be used in so many different polities across northern Europe and the Mediterranean during this period?
- How does the shifting status of French across its geographic range – as the language of colonizers in Ireland but as an indigenous minority language in some parts of the German Empire, for instance – affect its meaning and usage?
- How does the medieval French speech community need to be distinguished from modern francophonie?
- What role did specific social, religious, or economic groups – or people outside the chief political and cultural centers – play in shaping the forms, uses, and status of French?
- How can recent theoretical perspectives, including gender and sexuality studies, critical race theory, postcolonial studies, and ecocriticism, open new perspectives on French language in contact?
- How have multilingualism and contact zones shaped French language and literature in ways that current disciplinary categories, bounded as they are by national histories, have obscured?
Conference Web-Site: https://mvstconference.ace.fordham.edu/medievalfrenchwithoutborders/