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Wars of Words: Conflict/ing Narratives, Myth, and Folklore

May 31, 2019 - Jun 1, 2019
Royce Hall 314,

This conference explores representations of conflict in popular narratives, myth and folklore, with emphasis on the reciprocal relationship between social antagonisms—individual, local, or international—and the stories that help process, shape, or perpetuate them. Drawing on a variety of literary sources including ancient epics, Anglo-Saxon poetry and medieval romance, Celtic mythology, and early modern drama, as well as premodern medical and natural-scientific materials, speakers explore folkloric materials that depict literal clashes between nations, groups, or individuals, as well as more abstract iterations of martial imagery in erotic, medical, psychological and linguistic contexts.

Organized by Sara Burdorff (Undergraduate Education Initiatives, UCLA), Stephanie Jamison (Asian Languages & Cultures, UCLA), and Olga Yokoyama (Linguistics, UCLA). This colloquium is a joint endeavor with Undergraduate Education Initiatives and the GE30 Cluster Course, “Never-Ending Stories.”

All panels will be chaired by students currently enrolled in the first-year Myth Cluster course.

Please click this link to register to attend. No fee. Limited seating.

Image: Der Herzog von Anhalt, Große Heidelberger Liederhandschrift (Codex Manesse), Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg, Cod. Pal. germ. 848, Bl. 017r.

Funding for this event is provided by the Armand Hammer Endowment for the UCLA Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies.

Friday, May 31, 2019

9:00 Refreshments

9:15 Welcoming Remarks, Stephanie Jamison (UCLA)

9:30 Heather James (University of Southern California)
The Graveyard and the Frontier: Hamlet and the Myth of the American West

10:30 Trevor Kann (UCLA)
Humor as Defensive and Offensive: Manipulating Linguistic Perspective in Political and Social Media Exchanges

11:00 Break

11:15 Wendy Hennequin (Tennesee State University)
The Confining Crown of Champions: Women’s Aggressive Speech and Containment in Seinte Katerine and The Wife of Bath

12:15 Hanna Young (UCLA)
Language for the “Other”: Linguistic Representations of Colonized and Othered Peoples

Saturday, June 1, 2019 | UCLA Royce Hall Room 314

9:00 Refreshments

9:30 Hilaire Kallendorf (Texas A&M University)
Lycanthropy and Free Will: The Female Werewolf in Cervantes’ Persiles

10:30 Jonathan Bellairs (UCLA)
Language as Warfare in Layamon’s Brut

11:00 Break

11:15 Richard Martin (Stanford University)
Wingman for Herakles: Pindar and the Art of Verbal War

12:15 Stefanie Matabang (UCLA)
Cân Rolant, Doce Pares and the Memory of Conquest

12:45 Lunch Break

1:45 Kristina Markman (University of California, San Diego)
Holy and Chivalric Knights: The Teutonic Order’s Polemic against the Lithuanians

2:45 Anahita Hoose (UCLA)
Mordred in Gondolin: Arthurian Reception in Tolkien’s Legendarium

3:15 Break

3:30 Armando Maggi (University of Chicago)
The Melancholic Princess and the Pregnant Slave Buried Alive: Folklore, Myth, and History in Giambattista Basile’s The Tale of Tales (1634-36)

4:30 Laura Lorhan (UCLA)
”Since it is playing, kill us” : Discursive Violence in Helen Oyeyemi’s Mr. Fox

5:00 Break

5:15 Closing Remarks, Sara Burdorff (UCLA)


May 31, 2019
Jun 1, 2019
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Royce Hall 314
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