[Appel à contribution] – Premodern Otherness: Encounters with and Expressions of the Other in Classical Antiquity, Medieval, and Early Modern Periods, 01/02/2022

Otherness: Essays and Studies publishes research articles from and across different scholarly disciplines that critically examine the concepts of otherness and alterity. We particularly appreciate dynamic cross-disciplinary study.

This special issue will focus on representations and ideas of Otherness in classical antiquity, medieval, and early modern periods. Confrontations with and distinctive conceptualizations of otherness were also present in the premodern era. The papers in this issue will focus on the different ways in which otherness was expressed in thought, representations, and processes during this period. This can include but is not limited to, philosophical or literary works, material culture, historiography, treatises, etc.

Thinking about Otherness is not limited to contemporary identity politics nor Orientalism in the modern era. Socrates based his anamnesis principle, the idea that we have known everything in a previous life but have simply forgotten it, on his questioning how to deal with the Other and the unknown. However, the relevance of this theory and other premodern thoughts and texts on otherness is often overlooked. When we discuss Otherness today, we mention modern thinkers such as Levinas or Derrida and might then discount the role Socrates and other premodern philosophers have had. The ideas of ancient thinkers have long remained relevant throughout the Middle Ages too and left their traces in the cultural production of that period and beyond. Think, for example, of the interactions in the Old English poem Beowulf between the monster Grendel and his surroundings, or encounters with the Faërie in Arthurian romances. The way in which these unnatural or unfamiliar phenomena are treated can generate fruitful discussions when it comes to Otherness and how it has been conceptualized through time. How can we now study and interpret these traces and what exactly are they? How are the encounters with otherness or the Other visualised, presented, and described in premodern artwork or treatises? What can we learn from looking at representations of Otherness in the past and use those in our own dealings with Otherness now?

For this special issue of Otherness: Essays and Studies, we invite papers that explore representations and conceptualisations of the Other in the premodern period. These representations can be historiographical, literary, architectural, artistic, or interdisciplinary. We seek practice-led research outcomes, cross-disciplinary theoretical considerations, conceptualizations and theory formations and critical and analytical readings of source material.

Welcome topics include but are not limited to:

Representation and Reception of Otherness in Classical and Medieval Philosophy Translation of Otherness in Premodern Literature
Theoretical Frameworks for Premodern Alterity
Framing the Other in Premodern Historiographical Texts

Representations of the Other in Premodern Material Culture Spatial Practices in the Premodern Periods and the Other Encounters with Monstrosities in Premodern Art
The Treatment of Women in Premodern Texts Marginalisation of Race in Premodern Treatises

Articles should be between 5,000 – 8,000 words. All electronic submissions should be sent via email with Word document attachment formatted to Chicago Manual of Style standards to the guest editor Bregje Hoed at otherness.research@gmail.com

Further information: http://www.otherness.dk/journal/ The deadline for submissions is 1 February 2022.