Premodern Transgressive Literatures

Series introduction

Leiden, University Library, 583, printed work (16th century) with medieval fragments inside (12th century). Photo by Erik Kwakkel. (CC BY 4.0)

Leiden, University Library, 583, printed work (16th century) with medieval fragments inside (12th century). Photo by Erik Kwakkel. (CC BY 4.0)

Premodern Transgressive Literatures takes a decisively political, intersectional, and interdisciplinary approach to medieval and early modern literature. The series supports scholarship which transgresses normative bounds along various axes. This includes the transgression of temporal boundaries which superficially separate the premodern era from our twenty-first century moment.

We aim to show, with insistent urgency, the ways in which the premodern can help us make sense of the modern, and the ways in which cutting-edge modern paradigms can help us better understand established, canonical premodern texts.

This series is acutely aware of the role of the scholar in the production of history and the crucial importance of the context of scholarly work: the Academy, with its unique characteristics, both positive and negative. As such, Premodern Transgressive Literatures makes space for provocative discussion about the business of producing—and teaching—transgressive work in the neo-liberalized Academy.

Medieval Institute Publications welcomes monographs from established and early career researchers, collections of thematic essays, scholarly editions and translations with substantial introductions and apparatus.

principle strands

Transgressive Literatures welcomes projects in its three principle strands: Transgressive Canon, Transgressive Texts and Approaches, and Transgressive Academy.

Transgressive Canon: Rethinking canonical, establishment authors and, where relevant, problematizing past approaches and assumptions. Projects in this strand deconstruct the canon from an “insider” position, one founded upon close attention to canonical texts and their authors. Volumes in this strand work to show both the richness of the material at hand, whilst also allowing for nontraditional and overlooked approaches with which to reconsider and reorient the canon itself.

We seek editors for the following volumes:

  • Transgressive Chaucer
  • Transgressive Gower
  • Transgressive Langland
  • Transgressive Arthur
  • Transgressive Tristan
  • Transgressive Marie de France
  • Transgressive Christine de Pizan
  • Transgressive Margery Kempe
  • Transgressive Readers
  • Transgressive Piety

NB. Transgressive Canon (TC) volumes require an overall Introduction (typically produced by the volume editor) summarizing, if briefly, the ways in which a given author, text, or key concept has been understood in scholarship historically. Whilst there is no set structure for TC volumes, appropriate thematic groupings could include: 

  • Author
  • Key Texts
  • Reader Reception
  • Manuscripts and Material Culture
  • Pedagogy (i.e., approaches to teach a given text or author). 

We invite applications from scholars who wish to take on the role of editor of any of our TC volumes. Alongside application for listed titles, we welcome pitches for volumes on relevant topics and authors. In both instances, please send a proposal portfolio, as detailed below, to  Shannon Cunningham. Shannon is also happy to hear from scholars with queries about the series, TC volumes or the application process.

Please ensure that your proposal portfolio contains the following:

  • Title of TC volume to which the proposal relates.
  • 500-word statement of interest from the prospective editor: Why would the editor like to take on this particular TC volume? Why they are suited to do so?
  • 500-word precis of volume ethos: How does this volume fit into or fill a gap in existing scholarship on its topic? How does the volume innovate and provide a new contribution to its topic? Why this topic, and why now? What are the key issues that need addressing, if we are to (re)consider this subject from an intersectional perspective?
  • Prospective editor’s CV.
  • Chapter abstracts (max. 250 words) and brief author bios (max. 150 words) for minimally three contributors who have confirmed their interest in publishing their work in the TC volume.
  • Potential timeline for the volume, including date of manuscript delivery to the Press. This need not be the finalized timeline, but should be indicative of feasible deadlines for authors and editor(s). Key deadlines may relate to: circulation of a Call for Papers to source contributors; submission of first drafts to the editor; editor’s return of reviewed drafts with feedback to authors; submission of revised drafts to the editor; delivery of final manuscript to the Press.

Process for Selecting Editors for TC volumes

Premodern Transgressive Literatures is committed to a transparent, ethical selection process. For that reason, we follow the steps below when selecting editors for TC volumes:

  1. A prospective editor submits their proposal portfolio for a given TC volume (“TC X”). OR, the Academic Board invites a specific scholar to submit a proposal portfolio for TC X.
  2. This triggers the circulation of a Call more generally for submissions to edit TC X. The Call will be distributed via scholarly email lists, and on relevant social media channels. The Call simply asks for submissions, it does not contain any “extra” information from the Board about TC X. Each Call will have a deadline for submitting applications of no less than 8 weeks hence.
  3. Once the Call closes, the PTL Academic Board reviews all submitted proposals, and issues their decision in a timely manner, notifying all prospective editors of the outcome. We aim to make such decisions in 4-6 weeks from receipt of the proposals.
  4. Responsibility for pulling TC X together is then handed over to the successful volume editor. The proposal portfolio should then form the basis of material for inclusion in the standard Medieval Institute Publications proposal form. The latter form represents the editor’s official submission to the Press to secure a contract for the volume. The form is straightforward, giving clear guidelines on required content and word limits for each section. Additional information required in this form includes: a full Table of Contents and details of confirmed contributors; more detail on the scope of the volume; marketing information, including potential competitors and unique selling points. 

Transgressive Texts and Approaches: Studies of subversive, understudied, and weird medieval texts are solicited here, drawing sustained attention to material which has otherwise been neglected, dismissed, or misunderstood. In parallel, this strand highlights innovations in methodological and theoretical approaches to premodern material, drawing out why such interventions are important and what they have to offer to today’s readers.

Transgressive Academy: Extended discussions of transgressive and progressive pedagogy and scholarship in the Academy, including—e.g., teaching practices to combat white supremacy, talking about sexual assault in the classroom, and innovative methods to inspire a new generation of scholars. We also embrace projects which speak openly about what it means to transgress the normative blueprint of a “typical academic”—i.e., those of us who do not look much like the “default” of a cis-het able-bodied white older man, and how that impacts our careers, our pedagogy, and our scholarship.

Keywordsintersectionality, interdisciplinary, literature, culture, medieval, early modern, pedagogy

Geographical scope: Global, including but not limited to Europe, the Mediterranean, Asia

Chronological scope: Medieval and early modern world

SERIES EDITORIAL BOARD

Shannon CunninghamProposals or completed manuscripts to be considered for publication by Medieval Institute Publications should be sent to Shannon Cunningham, acquisitions editor for the series.

Board members comprise:

  • Alicia Spencer-Hall, Queen Mary, University of London, UK, Series Editor
  • Blake Gutt, University of Michigan, USA
  • Carissa Harris, Temple University, USA
  • Jonathan Hsy, George Washington University, USA
  • Roberta Magnani, Swansea University, UK
  • Elizabeth Robertson, University of Glasgow, UK

 

Forthcoming in this series

This series is currently under development. Medieval Institute Publications welcomes proposals for this series.