“The Poetics and Politics of Nature: Rethinking Alan of Lille” organized by N. Largier, F. Bezner, and Beate Kellner (LMU Munich) Dec 8 (4337 Dwinelle), 10am-4pm and Dec, 9 (5303 Dwinelle), 9.30am to 1.30pm. Lunch will be provided

The importance of the concept of nature for Medieval thought and literature is well-known but scholars have so far mostly concentrated on its philosophical, visual and literary (especially allegorical) dimensions.

But constructing and negotiating Natura also implies what could be called the political power of ‘naturalization’ – a power at the core of concepts of gender, clerical and lay identities, social hierarchies, and claims for dominance and superiority. This workshop is meant as a first step in a collaborative project between UC Berkeley and LMU Munich to analyze this understudied dynamics of natura in Medieval literatures. Our first main focus will be on the well-known thinker and author Alan of Lille whose allegorical constructions of nature in his Complaint of Nature and Anticlaudian are among the most influential and pervasive negotiations of the concept. In a mixture of introductory talks and close-readings, we will analyze and discuss these works as well as their rich and fascinating reception in vernacular German literature, with a special focus on Frauenlob and Heinrich of Muegeln. The workshop is open to all interested students and scholars. As we will provide translations, no knowledge of Latin nor Middle High German is required and you are most welcome to attend single sections. Please email Frank Bezner (fbezner@berkeley.edu) for any questions regarding attendance, program etc.  Lunch will be provided.


December 8, 2016

4337 Dwinelle Hall

(Comp Lit Library)

10:00 Opening Remarks

11:15 B. Kellner, Nature in Concepts of Political Order: The Poetics and Politics of Nature in the Middle Ages

11:15 F. Bezner, Rethinking Alan of Lille

12:15 Lunch Break

13:15 N. Largier, Frauenlob’s ‘Marienleich’

14:15 B. Kellner, Frauenlobs ‘Minneleich’

15:15 Coffee break

15:45 A. Urban, Nature, Virtue and Emperor in Heinrich of Mügeln

December 9, 2016

5303 Dwinelle Hall

(German Conference Room)

9:30 F. Bezner, Reading Alan of Lille

10:30 Coffee break

11:00 H. Runow/J. Zimmermann, Reading Heinrich of Mügeln

12:30 Lunch

13:30 M. Butz, Reading Bruno Latour / General discussion