The 62nd Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America
31 March–2 April 2016
Trilingualizing Iberian Epic: Intersections and Interactions between Latin and the Vernacular in Early Modern Iberian Epic Poetry: The First of a Two-Part Session Sponsored by the Society for Renaissance and Baroque Hispanic Poetry
The epic of early modern Iberia and Iberoamerica has enjoyed a welcome rehabilitation over the past two decades, with increasingly enthusiastic uptake in recent years. The linguistic profile of this tradition, as it has been presented so far, is essentially always bilingual: Spanish and Portuguese. Now that Iberian epic studies have gained a secure foothold and established themselves as a vital new area of study, however, the time is ripe to add a third element to the picture: Latin. By this we do not, on this occasion, mean the Latin of the Greco-Roman epic tradition—a tradition which is of course central to the study of early modern Iberian epic in its own right—but rather the Latin-language (‘Neo-Latin’) epic production of the early modern period itself. The linguistic and literary landscape then was different from our own, and countless early modern epicists writing in, or about, the Iberian world chose to do so in Latin instead of (or as well as) the vernacular. To speak of early modern Iberian epic without ever mentioning the word “Latin” is thus to tell only part of the story. This is particularly so as the Latin-language material is just as committed to exploring the contemporary Iberian world, American questions, Atlantic concerns—precisely the same themes, in other words, as we identify in all the vernacular material. Submissions are sought from those working at the intersection—however defined—between Latin and the vernacular in early modern Iberian (or Iberian-themed) epic. How does adding Latin to the picture complement—and complicate—our existing view of the early modern Iberian epic scene? What new topoi and traditions can be seen to crystallize if we consider the material cross-linguistically in this way? And what does this signal to us about possible new directions for the study of early modern Iberian epic in the future?
Papers will be read in English or Spanish. Please send abstract of 250 words and a brief, standard format CV to Maya Feile Tomes (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Elizabeth B. Davis (email@example.com). Graduate students submitting an abstract should indicate the title of their dissertation, if available. Proposals must be received by May 25, 2015.
Heroes of Epic Proportions: Examining the Figure of the Explorer–Discoverer in Early Modern Iberian Epic Poetry: The Second of a Two-Part Session Sponsored by the Society for Renaissance and Baroque Hispanic Poetry
It can be argued that the two best-known examples of early modern Iberian epic—Alonso de Ercilla’s La Araucana and Luis de Camões’ Os Lusíadas—center around particular heroes whose trajectories the epics are dedicated to exploring, and who have, in turn, been the subject of extensive exploration in the literature on these poems. But what about all the other heroes—and all the other epics? Many are the Iberian and Iberoamerican epic poems that take the figure of the explorer–discoverer–seafarer and place him at the heart of the work, giving rise to poems dedicated to such figures as Columbus, Cortés and Magellan, to name only the most obvious. Allied to this is an intense preoccupation with issues and themes of discovery, navigation and exploration and with how the heroes respond to classical, medieval and contemporary idea(l)s of heroism, nautical prowess and expeditionary success. These heroes all vie with their literary forebears—and with each other. This session examines such heroic figures in their spaces and places, which raises inevitable, important questions about colonialism, centers and peripheries. How do the heroes situate themselves in—or in relation to—the landscapes they traverse? How should the hero behave when he is ‘abroad’? What happens when the critic de-centers—or re-centers—a hero? How does the epic ‘anti-hero’—the pirates, marauders and other countercultural figures—fit within this framework? How are their activities to be construed? Do they destabilize or reinforce, those of the principal epic heroes? From an examination of these and other questions, we hope to develop a better understanding of the role of the hero at the heart of the early modern Iberoamerican epics of exploration and discovery.
Papers will be read in English or Spanish. Please send an abstract of 250 words and a brief, standard format CV to Elizabeth Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Maya Feile Tomes (email@example.com). Graduate students submitting an abstract should indicate the title of their dissertation, if available. Proposals must be received by May 25, 2015.