This colloquium will explore the varied concepts of nature in the medieval period. Papers might, for instance, approach nature as a philosophical category, an object of mimesis, an archive for scientific investigation, or consider nature through eco-criticism, race and ethnicity, animal studies, or the history of science. Papers are encouraged from all fields, and possible topics could include allegories of nature in literature or sculpture, theological arguments over the nature of divinity, alchemy, the history of agriculture, medieval perceptions of the natural world, depictions of animals, or astronomy. We welcome papers considering medieval European, Asian, and African, and cross-cultural perspectives.
We invite 20-minute papers from all disciplines on any aspect of medieval nature. We also welcome proposals for 3-paper sessions on particular topics related to the theme. Proposals for panel topics and threads are due August 31, 2015. Please submit an abstract (approx. 250 words) and brief c.v., electronically if possible, no later than October 30, 2015. If you wish to propose a complete session, please submit abstracts and vitae for all participants in the session. Commentary is traditionally provided for each paper presented; completed papers, including notes, will be due no later than March 1, 2016.
We are also pleased to announce the Susan J. Ridyard Prize ($500), to be awarded to a paper that is especially exceptional in its response to the year’s theme. Prize papers are nominated by respondents. The R.W. Southern Prize ($250) will be awarded for the best paper by a graduate student or recent PhD recipient (degree awarded since July 2013).