(Drogon destroys the Iron Throne, GoT Final Episode)

(Drogon destroys the Iron Throne, GoT Final Episode)

CFP Kalamazoo 2020

The End of Game of Thrones in History and Literature

55th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, May 7-10, 2020

On May 19, 2019, the final episode of Game of Thrones aired on HBO. Many were surprised with its ending, and others had felt its foreshadowing for some time. Game of Thrones, as a book series and a television series, brought together historical elements from medieval and early modern Europe, English history, the Mediterranean and Atlantic worlds, alongside the existential questions of our modern age, of power, gender, race, and genocide. In addition, GoT included many familiar tropes of medieval chivalric romance, and built on expectations which have been given us by modern fantasy literature—the two largest examples being the Christianity-infused works of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. English departments and medieval programs across the country are beginning offer courses on GoT and to encourage students to engage with the series in numerous ways, and so this panel is an opportunity to bring our new scholarship on this subject, as well as our classroom discussions, to a conversation of scholars at Kalamazoo 2020.

This Call for Papers invites historians and literary scholars, medievalists and early modernists, who have been keen observers of the show, to share our thoughts on the power of its historical and literary allusions. In what ways did Martin and the show’s writers use historical and literary source material? Topics may include, but are not limited to:

 -Pre-modern views of race

-Westeros and the early modern state

-feminism and gender

-The King’s Guard and the Night’s Watch as military orders

-Knighthood and chivalric culture

-Lewis, Tolkien, and Martin?

-The Wars of the Roses

-The English Civil War 

-Slavery in the Mediterranean World

-the message of the series, and of the series’ ending

-Bravos, or Genoa?

-Medievalism and modern fantasy literature

 The Deadline for proposals is September 1, 2019. Please submit an abstract for an 8-10 minute presentation to Elizabeth Terry-Roisin, Assistant Professor of History at Florida International University. She can be reached at eterryro@fiu.edu and/or dartmouthclio@gmail.com.

Submissions should be accompanied by a Participant Information Form, available at http://wmich.edu/medievalcongress/submissions

Proposals that are not accepted for the session will be forwarded to the Congress Committee to consider for inclusion in one of the General Sessions.