AàP | Animal Languages in Middle Ages | 1 août 2015

Animal Languages: Interspecies Communication in the Middle Ages

 

Editor : Alison Langdon, Western Kentucky University

Date limite des propositions (300-500 mots) : 1 août 2015

 

Until relatively recently, scholars have tended to focus on the symbolic
valence of nonhuman animals, to read their behavior and characteristics
as representative of explicitly human interests and concerns. With the
advent of critical animal studies, new work has begun to critique
traditional humanist scholarship by challenging any absolute distinction
between the categories of ³human² and ³animal.” This has led to new
readings of animals in the medieval world as living creatures rather
than merely figurative representations of human experience and values.Language provides a particularly rich locus for this exploration.
Drawing on a tradition stretching back to Genesis, many medieval writers
identified the capacity for language as evidence of possession of
reason, that faculty which was seen to separate humans from all the rest
of God¹s creation. At the same time, many animals were understood to
possess language of their own and in some cases to participate in human
language. Although medieval philosophers generally deny intention and
significance in animal vocalizations, a range of medieval textual
traditions suggests that animals were commonly seen to communicate
within and between species.

This interdisciplinary volume seeks articles of 6,000-9,000 words from
all fields of medieval studies exploring language, broadly construed, as
part of the continued interrogation of the boundaries of human and
nonhuman animals in the Middle Ages. How, when, and with whom did
animals talk in the medieval world? What kinds of communicative
strategies did medieval people recognize in the animal world, and how
were they interpreted? How was human meaning imposed on animal
vocalizations? How does the use of animals as symbolic language in
verbal and visual texts draw upon empirical understanding of nonhuman
communication (body language, etc.)? How might nonhuman animals remind
us of the embodied nature of language itself?

 

Proposals of 300-500 words should be submitted by e-mail to Dr. Alison Langdon at the following address: alison.langdon@wku.edu

Deadline for proposals is August 1, 2015. Notification of accepted proposals will be made by August 15, 2015, with complete chapters due by June 1, 2016. The volume has been invited for submission to Ashgate and Amsterdam University Press.

Honorine Tellier

Rédaction et aide à la conception du carnet

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