CFP: Southeastern Medieval Association Conference, November 15-18, 2017, Charleston, SC
IARHS–sponsored panel: "Cities of Gold, Forests of Green: Sacred and Profane Spaces in Outlaw Tales"
Session organizers: Melissa Ridley Elmes and Sherron Lux
Session Presider: Sherron Lux
A traditional reading of outlaw tales might classify them as antithetical to the concept of the biblical city of gold designated for those saved by God’s grace, viewing the outlaws as irredeemable sinners and the forests they inhabit as the liminal spaces where demons and fairies abound. Outlaw tales are typically viewed as more profane than sacred in nature. The International Association of Robin Hood Studies invites papers that go beyond such a view, to consider in more nuanced fashion the relationship between sacred and profane, or between characters and either concept, in the city and/or forest spaces of premodern outlaw tales or in outlaw narratives in the tradition of medievalism. Papers for this session might (re)consider the anticlerical attitudes of medieval and early modern Robin Hood narratives, or Robin’s or other of the merry men’s relationship to the sacred; how outlaws like Hereward and Gamelyn negotiate city/manor spaces; the tensions between the sacred and profane in city spaces; the forest as sacred or profane space; the relationship between ecocriticism, the sacred, and the profane in outlaw tales, or similar, not forgetting that churches, priories or abbeys, and graves are found in both city and forest, and can be sites of events both sacred and profane.