Call for Papers: Hortulus: The Online Graduate Journal of Medieval Studies

Hortulus: The Online Graduate Journal of Medieval Studies
Special Call For Papers for 2010
Issue on Exile in the Middle Ages

Hortulus: The Online Graduate Journal of Medieval Studies is a refereed journal devoted to the literature, history, and culture of the medieval world. Published electronically once a year, its mission is to present a forum in which graduate students from around the globe may share their ideas. Article submissions on the selected theme are welcome in any discipline and period of medieval studies. We are also interested in book reviews on recent works that reflect on some aspect of our theme: an abbreviated list of possible review titles appears on our website. Given the wide scope of the theme, we invite additional proposals for reviews. For further information please visit our website at

Our upcoming issue will be devoted to representations and interpretations of exile – political, spiritual, or intellectual – in art, chronicles, letters, literature, and music from the Middle Ages. Expulsion, banishment, or prolonged separation from one’s homeland was experienced by many in the medieval world; it is likewise one of the earliest topics in literature. From the Biblical depiction of Adam and Eve, to the Life of St. Brendan, Grettir’s Saga, and the works of Dante, the pain and difficulty inherent in the experience of exile lent itself to metaphoric exploitation. Exile appears, too, in various religious traditions as a symbol of separation, alienation, and the need for redemption. Hence, an expanded definition of exile might encompass any forced displacement, be it political, social, cultural, or spiritual. Though loss is inherent in the experience of exile, it may also represent an opportunity for change and growth. Self-imposed exile could be a form of protest against, or a search for something in opposition to, known experience.

Possible article topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Literary and artistic depictions of exile
  • Kings, conflicts, and legal exile
  • Cultural aspects of separation: ethnicity, religion, gender
  • Christian exile in the Celtic tradition
  • The depiction of Classical exile in medieval literature
  • Exile in the Jewish imagination
  • Exile in hagiography
  • Religious exiles: interdict, excommunication, anathema, the expulsion of heretics
  • Treatments of the Garden of Eden; the concepts of Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory
  • Self-imposed exile: quest and transformation; exile as a form of political protest, as pilgrimage, in anchoritic monasticism
  • Diseases, such as plague and leprosy, and exclusion
  • Women as migrants and exiles

The 2010 issue of Hortulus: The Online Graduate Journal of Medieval Studies will be published in May of 2011. All graduate students are welcome to submit their articles and book reviews or send their queries via email to by March 1, 2011.

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