Call for Papers: ‘Looking Before and After’

‘Looking Before and After’: Cultural Exchange and the Inheritance of Ideas c.1200-c.1700
Saturday 13th June 2009
University of Oxford
In collaboration with the University of Cambridge, Queen Mary University of London, and University College London

Keynote Speakers: Dr Nicola Gardini (Oxford) and Professor Evelyn Welch (Queen Mary, University of London)

This conference seeks to reshape the sense of where boundaries fall between periods and genres, and to open up new perspectives on what establishes as well as what transgresses these boundaries. It is envisaged that a forum for discussion of transferrable approaches and methods will provide new insights for future research. Scholars working in any related discipline are invited to participate and present papers that examine the creative cross-fertilisation between different media and genres, such as written and oral narratives, images and texts, and the visual arts.

Cultural inheritances from any part of the world may be considered, from the medieval age to the end of the seventeenth century. Speakers may wish to consider, among other issues:

• The processes by which ideas are inherited; are borrowings active or passive, deliberate or subconscious?
• Expressions of cross-cultural references; are these debts or legacies, precursors, forerunners or successors?
• The idea of the past as a need or a rule
• How intellectual debts and legacies change over time; reappropriation of or distancing from inherited models
• The ‘influential imagination’; the construction of literary and cultural memory
• Is the assimilation of ideas and ideologies individually or culturally determined?
• Hermeneutics and the nature of interpretation; the reworking of sources in the light of contemporary discourses
• Constructing the idea of the ‘individual’ over time

We invite proposals for twenty-minute papers from scholars in any related discipline. Proposals of no more than 300 words should be emailed to the organising committee at by Friday, 27 February 2009. Please include your name, institutional affiliation, and contact details. For further details, please download the call for papers document here: Looking Before and After