Session1309
TitleBorders of Human Nature, Boundaries of the Imagination
Date/TimeWednesday 6 July 2022: 16.30-18.00
 
SponsorMedieval Ecocriticisms / Oecologies Research Group
 
OrganiserKellie Robertson, Department of English, University of Maryland
 
Moderator/ChairHeide Estes, Department of English, Monmouth University, New Jersey
 
Paper 1309-a Allegorical Gimmicks and Financial Monsters: Border-Fantasies of the Self in Late Medieval Literature
(Language: English)
Tekla Bude, School of Writing, Literature & Film, Oregon State University
Index Terms: Economics - Urban; Language and Literature - Middle English
Paper 1309-b The Mind-Machine: Psychology, Poetry, and the Crafted World in 12th-Century Neoplatonist Allegory
(Language: English)
Jonathan Morton, Department of French & Italian, Tulane University, New Orleans / Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin
Index Terms: Language and Literature - French or Occitan; Science
Paper 1309-c The Weathered Self
(Language: English)
Kellie Robertson, Department of English, University of Maryland
Index Terms: Gender Studies; Language and Literature - Middle English
Paper 1309-d Human Nature: Rational and Mortal
(Language: English)
Karl Steel, Brooklyn College / Graduate Center, City University of New York
Index Terms: Language and Literature - Middle English; Science
 
AbstractThe literary critic Barbara Johnson offers us a provocation: 'One of the most obvious assumptions we make is that the human 'self' is a person, not a thing. But might this assumption be more problematic than it appears?' This panel explores limit cases that test how human nature is constructed in relation to the experiential world. What pressures - material or metaphysical - are brought to bear on what we imagine to be a distinctively human nature? What strategies - allegorical, poetic, natural philosophical, or mathematical - make medieval selves legible?