Celestina and Beyond: Exploring the Abject in Medieval and Early Modern Literature Session

Sponsored by the Ibero-Medieval Association of North America

The late fifteenth-century Spanish masterpiece Celestina—originally known as Comedia de Calisto y Melibea (1499?)—has been under research for more than a century, engaging scholars in all the aspects and mysteries of a book that contains wit, obscenity, and a mixture of popular and university cultures. Recent studies have been opening fruitful venues of interpretation of Celestina. To name a few current examples: Joseph Snow is leading the research on the identity of the author/s; José Luis Canet Vallés published the first critical edition of the comedy version in 2011, calling attention to the use of this text for university education in moral philosophy; and Raúl Álvarez Moreno emphasized the importance of rhetoric in Celestina según su lenguaje (Celestina According to its Language, 2015). Furthermore, the journal Celestinesca has been publishing articles and reviews for over forty years, as well as indexing research in other venues, and a new project, Celestina Visual provides a repository of images inspired by this masterpiece.

In this session, we welcome papers on all facets related to Celestina and its literary and historical contexts. In addition, we welcome presentations that deal with repulsive, disgusting, or execrable aspects (and their opposites) in medieval and early modern literature. Proposals can include, but are not limited to, the following categories: cruelty, inhumanity, impurity, misogyny, repugnance, dirt, "wrong" emotions, poverty, disorder, horror, ugliness, etc. The purpose of this panel is to understand what was considered execrable, repulsive, and/or objectionable at a historical moment; why it was deemed worthy of attention; and how the abject, with its uncomfortable questions, may give us a deeper insight into human nature.

If you would like to submit a proposal for this session, please use the Symposium's Call for Papers link. Proposals are due December 31, 2017.

Please direct questions to the session organizer:

Ana M. Montero (Saint Louis University)