The Medieval and Renaissance Drama Society (MRDS) will be sponsoring 4
sessions at the International Medieval Congress in 2006 and co-sponsoring
a fifth session with MEDICA. We're hoping that you'll find something to
interest you in our varied assortment. Abstracts are now being accepted
for the following topics:
1) Performance in German-Speaking Lands
Recent scholarship on early German theater has focused on plays'
performative aspects exploring gesture, ritual, staging, and audience
engagement within local contexts. European colleagues draw on
Anglo-American theories of performance, but modify them in accordance
with the distinct performance traditions of Germany, Switzerland, and
Austria. New approaches to the study of early theater in German-Speaking
lands warrant closer attention by American colleagues.
2) What Theater Studies Brings to Medieval Studies
Discussions of medieval theater history often focus primarily on text.
This panel considers ways in which interdisciplinary work in performance
history and the study of theater--its practice, language, communal
nature--enlivens and enriches the study of medieval history.
3) Liturgical Drama Performance: A Session in Memory of Fletcher
Fletcher Collins, Jr. (d. 6 May 2005), was crucial to spurring
interest in production of the larger repertoire of medieval music-dramas.
His _Production of Medieval Church Music-Drama_ challenged scholars to
present the liturgical repertoire as visual shows consistent with
iconographic evidence, while his edition of sixteen plays with music was
a collection of performable transcriptions intended to encourage others
to solve problems of transcription. This session focuses on production of
liturgical drama, its music, and the embedding of individual plays in the
liturgy. These matters have seen considerable development since they were
last discussed at Kalamazoo and now merit discussion in an
interdisciplinary memorial session.
4) Performance in the Early Modern Household
Among the most significant discoveries of the past decade is the
wealth of documentary evidence of dramatic performances in the great
households of late medieval and early modern England. This session
will focus on the plays, personnel, and performing spaces of these
We are also co-sponsoring a session with MEDICA this year:
(5) Jointly sponsored session organized by MEDICA: Performing Medicine
on the Early Page and Stage
This session will add a new dimension to ongoing discussions of two
current areas of scholarly interest: the early body as metaphor and the
physicality of the stage. Papers will employ interdisciplinary approaches
to explore the performative aspects of early medicine and the medical
aspects of early drama: emphasis will be on doctors, doctoring, health
and disease as they are depicted in early texts and performances.
MEDICA representative Gerard NeCastro <[log in to unmask]> will
accept abstracts for this session.
MRDS welcomes papers on any aspects of performance suited to these
Please submit abstracts for topics 1-4 above by September 15th (sooner is
better) to Gloria Betcher at the address below. E-mail submissions are
preferred because we need to send any abstracts not accepted by MRDS to
the conference organizers for general sessions. If you send an abstract,
please remember to provide the following:
You can fill in the interactive abstract cover sheet online, save a copy, and send it as an E-mail attachment. NOTE THAT WE MUST HAVE AN ABSTRACT COVER SHEET TO PLACE YOUR PAPER IN A SESSION.
- your name and affiliation,
- a title for your paper,
- your contact information (including office and home phone numbers,
fax number, and e-mail address),
- an abstract cover sheet available at
- your A/V or computer needs as required on the abstract cover sheet.
We look forward to your submissions!