The Outlaw, Sewanee Medieval Colloquium – Call for Papers

Medievalists, please consider submitting an abstract to our exciting group of panels on Outlaw Rhetorics and Outlaw Acts and join the lively conversation at the Sewanee Medieval Colloquium! The deadline is October 26.

The Outlaw: Outlaw Rhetorics/Outlaw Acts

Organizer (Outlaw Rhetorics): Lydia Yaitsky Kertz, Columbia University (

Organizers (Outlaw Acts): Jeremy DeAngelo, Carleton College (; Valerie Johnson, University of Montevallo (

The outlaw is banished from society for real or alleged crimes, and in literature becomes an expression of resistance, whether to law, order (or disorder) of any type, culture, or periodization. This sub-theme encourages papers that take up the concept and of the outlaw or outlawry more generally. We particularly encourage papers that address the political status of the greenwood – the space offering safe harbor to the displaced, the ostracized, and the dispossessed – or well known outlaws (fictional or historical) including Robin Hood, Hereward the Wake, Eustace the Monk, and Fouke Fitz Waryn. Additionally, we also seek papers that treat these figures or the concept of outlawry in new and innovative directions, and encourage creative interpretation of the outlaw as rogue or deviant, with a particular emphasis on thinking, action, cultural exchange, and material ecologies.

We seek to place papers in two tracks, Outlaw Rhetorics and Outlaw Acts. To this end, we propose a series of questions: Is there such a thing as a good outlaw? To what extent are the deeds of criminals to be commended? How does outlaw rhetoric comment upon the justice system and its representatives? How might tales of resistance be used to normalize tyrannical actions? Is there such a thing as outlaw space? Can the material or environmental even be outlaw, or is such roguery limited to the human or animal?

Comment: Jennifer Jahner, California Institute of Techology (Outlaw Rhetorics); Alexander Kaufman, University of Auburn, Montgomery (Outlaw Acts)