Images of Matter: Essays on British Literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance

Images of Matter: Essays on British Literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance

Images of Matter: Essays on British Literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance

Images of Matter: Essays on British Literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance

Synopsis

In Images of Matter, a collection of essays first presented at the Eighth Citadel Conference on Literature, the contributors address the complex relationship between words and images. The book is organized into three parts that illuminate aspects of Francis Bacon's dictum in The Advancement of Learning about the creative act: words are but the images of matter, and except they have life of reason and invention, to fall in love with them is all one as to fall in love with a picture.

Excerpt

During publication of the last Citadel conference collection, the aptly titled Subjects on the World’s Stage, the Citadel became infamous for its mid-1990s battle to prevent Shannon Faulkner from enrolling as the institution’s first female cadet. Finally, in 1996, the Citadel opened admissions to young women and committed itself to coeducation. In 1999, Nancy Mace became the first female cadet to be graduated from the Citadel. And in 2002, as the Department of Justice recognized the progress the Citadel has made toward its coeducational commitment, seven African-Americans were among the twenty young women to be graduated. For this reason, 2002 seemed an auspicious year in which to resume the Citadel conferences on literature and to plan another collection of conference essays.

When I proposed reviving the Citadel’s Conference on Literature series, there were worries that the memory of the Citadel’s gender battles was too strong and too recent for another conference to be held successfully. But the organizing principle of the fifth, sixth, and seventh conferences, all chaired by current Citadel professors David G. Allen and Robert A. White, had been “change and continuity,” a theme chosen to link the two periods of the conferences, the medieval and early modern, by encouraging scholars to examine the literary continuities and discontinuities between them. Their organizing principle lay irresistibly before me as I proposed an eighth Citadel conference, “Icons of Change: Word and Image in the Middle Ages and Renaissance,” to be held in February, 2002. “Icons of Change” was a great success, bringing together established scholars who had participated in previous Citadel conferences with younger scholars and graduate students eager not only to feature their work but curious, perhaps, to experience for themselves the change and continuity that typifies the Citadel environment. The essays collected in this volume are the fruit of labor by scholars established and budding, the result of a union between traditional scholarship and recent trends in early . . .

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