The International Association for Robin Hood Studies (IARHS) invites abstract submissions for its Twelfth Biennial Conference, to be held at the University of Montevallo (Montevallo, AL) from 14-17 May 2019. The theme of the conference is “Outlaw Bodies.”
The term “outlaw” is applied to a broad range of entities, in ever expanding contexts. Functionally, an outlaw has become anything that is outside a norm, whether real, perceived, or desired – but the designation of outlaw can have lasting and tangible consequences. The Outlaw Bodies conference, on behalf of the IARHS, invites papers, panel proposals, round table topics, and seminars that discuss those consequences. The IARHS also welcomes and invites papers treating topics and presenting research on outlawry, the Robin Hood tradition, and social banditry.
The conference seeks to center a discussion of the Robin Hood tradition and outlawry through a focus on bodies and tangibility: human, ecological, legal, and social. Human bodies can be branded, marked, and punished for outlawry. Ecological bodies such as swamps, forests, and wastelands are often figured as outlaws and have traditionally been seen as both sheltering and generating outlaws. Legal bodies, whether codes of law or institutions of law, generate punitive force against outlaw bodies. Social bodies defined, celebrated, or suppressed by social constructs including gender and sexuality. Robin Hood Studies and medievalism have begun to move toward the center of academic conventions, giving up their outlaw status. The November 2018 release of Robin Hood (dir. Otto Bathurst), with an additional half dozen treatments of the tradition apparently in development, demonstrates the truism that Robin Hood is an outsider hero, a figure of apparent rebellion and counter culture that is a reliable blockbuster film subject, as well as offering consumers a rich collection of television, novels, poetry, political iconography, and other ephemera. The new film’s outlaw bodies (whether human, ecological, legal, or social) offer new opportunities to explore the consequences of embodiment within the movie and for the Robin Hood tradition more broadly. We therefore explicitly invite papers that explore issues of race, gender, sexuality, power structures, and ableism.
Please send proposals of no more than 300 words to Dr. Valerie Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 2 November 2018.