International Symposium Program, "Imagination and Fantasy in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Time"

Program of the 2019 Symposium: Fantasy and Imagination in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Age: Projections, Dreams, and Illusion (also: Monsters and Monstrosity)

THURSDAY, May 2, 2019, 7 p.m.-9 p.m. RECEPTION (Hosted by Albrecht Classen), Ramada by Wyndham Tucson (formerly Riverpark Inn), 777 W Cushing St. (520) 239-2300, next to Interstate 10, south of St. Mary’s Rd. (hospitality suite 235 on the west side of the hotel, second floor, room on the name of our colleague, Daniel Pigg) – we hope to see you all, but feel free to drop in and to stay until ca. 9 p.m. at your leisure. Keep in mind that the room is a suite where one of the participants is staying, so we should not impose ourselves for too long after 9 p.m., except for Saturday when we’ll have our roundtable!

FRIDAY, May 3: Meet in the hotel lobby at 8:15 a.m. Please be punctual. I will purchase the Sun Link streetcar day passes for you (another item for both days covered by the registration). Be at the station at 8:20 a.m.

8:25 a.m. departure with the modern streetcar (Sun Link)

Campus map

We’ll ride to the campus of The University of Arizona and get off at the Sun Link station at Second Street and Olive.This will take in total about 30 minutes. Conference site for both days: Harvill 415, on the north side of Second Street. The building is a little confusing, esp. with the arrangement of the rooms, but it serves our purposes perfectly.

The conference room is located on the south side of Harvill. You can reach it via a staircase directly from the street, or you walk from the street up to a big platform, pass a huge sculpture dedicated to the suffering of people at the border wall, then turn right, get to the elevator. Bathrooms are down the hallway.

Friday meeting will take place in the morning from 9 to 12 in Harvill 415.


Chairs for both mornings: Albrecht Classen and, in the afternoons, Jean Godsall-Myers

CONFERENCE SCHEDULE: Each Speaker will have twenty minutes for the talk, and ten minutes for discussions.

REGISTRATION: 8:50-9:00 A.M. (please write the check to The University of Arizona, $120. You can also mail that to me in advance, which I would appreciate)

9:00-9:10 Albrecht Classen, Welcome and Introduction

9:10-9:40 Daniel F. Pigg, The University of Tennessee at Martin, Martin, TN: Who is Grendel in Beowulf?Ambiguity, Allegory, and Meaning

9:40-10:10 David Bennett and Filip Radovic, Representation and Reality, University of Gothenburg, Sweden: The 9th Century: When Dreams Got Real

10:10-10:35 Isidro Luis Jimenez, University of Arizona: The Myth of the Amazons

Coffee/tea break: 10:35-10:55 

10:55 a.m.-11:25 a.m. Robert Landau Ames, Ph.D.–Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University: On Monstrosity in Iran’s National Epic: Philosophizing with Zahhak 

11:25 a.m.-11:55 p.m. Doaa Omran, University of New Mexico: The Arabic Saif Ben Dhī Yazan and the European King Arthur: Two Folk Heroes and the National Epic (she will skype in b/c she will soon enter her Ph.D. defense next week)

11:55 a.m.-12:10 p.m. Albrecht Classen, University of Arizona: The World of Hybrid Women in Medieval and Early Modern Literature

We walk over to Panera Bread for lunch (a variety of salads, with meats and cheese on the side)
845 North Park Avenue Tucson, AZ 85719; Phone (520) 882-5003

Lunch, 12:15-1:15 p.m. 

1:40 p.m. Resumption of the presentations

Chair for the afternoon: Jean Godsall-Myers (PA)

1:40-2:10 Edward Currie, Cornell University:Beowulf and the Legend of Ingeld: Hero and Monstrous Counsel 

2:10-2:40 Fidel Fajardo-Acosta, Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, The Negative Imagination: William IX’s Song Exactly About Nothing (“Farai un vers de dreit nien”)

2:40-3:10 Scott L. Taylor, Pima Community College, Tucson, AZ: Monstra nobiscum:  Medieval and Early Modern Teratology and the Confluence of Imaginatio and Scientia 

3:10-3:25 Coffee/tea break, back at  

3:25-3:55 Kamran Talattof, University of Arizona: Faith, Facts, and Fantasy: Nezami’s Portrayal of the Story of Ascension

3:55-4:25 Rosa A. Perez, Southern Utah University: The Jewish Body: Aspects of an Imaginary Construction in Medieval France 

4:25-4:55 John Pizer, Louisiana State University: Dream and Prophetic Projection in Andreas Gryphius’s Historical Tragedies: Traces of the Symbol 

5:00-6:00: Sharon King and her troup will perform the play: Saint Martin and The Peasant (Sharon King, UCLA, Curt Steindler, and Ian Moulton, ASU)

6:15 departure for dinner with Sun Link from Maingate/University Avenue

6:30 p.m.: La Indita (Mexican), 622 N. 4th Ave, (520) 792-0523 (we will take the Sun Link to the restaurant) – 4th St. stop; buffet style, plenty for vegetarians or vegans

7:45 p.m.: Return to the hotel with the Sun Link streetcar, get off at Cushing and Frontage Road, immediately west of the Interstate 10

Reception: Wyndham, Hospitality Suite #235: 8:00 – 9:45 p.m. Hosted by A. Classen

SATURDAY, May 4, 2018

8:15 a.m. Departure from the hotel (please be punctual). We’ll take the Sunlink Streetcar again to the Campus, which takes about 30 minutes. There is only one Streetcar, so no confusion possible.

Sun Link runs only every 30 minutes on Sat. 8 a.m.-10 a.m. so we must catch the 8:15 a.m. ride. If you miss it, you’ll have, from me, your ticket for the day at any rate and can join us whenever possible.

Campus Map

To reach our conference site for today in 


9:30-10:00  Warren Tormey, Middle Tennessee State University, The Otherworldly, Demonic and Monstrous within the Anglo-Saxon Christian Imagination

10:00-10:30 Sally Abed, Alexandria University, Egypt: Meeting Monsters in Medieval Arab and Medieval Western Travel Writing  

Coffee/tea break: 10:30-11:15

11:15-11:45 Jessica Zeitler, Pima Community College, Tucson, Ladies, Witches, and Warriors: Fantasizing Feminine Power in Medieval Andalusian Narratives

11:45-12:15 Martha Moffitt Peacock, Brigham Young University: The Mermaid of Edam 

12:15-1:30 Lunch (hosted by UA); delivered, Beyond Bread (sandwiches, pasta salad; 520-322-9965), we are staying in the conference room, but I encourage you to find a pleasant shady space outside

1:30-2:00 Siegfried Christoph, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, The Grotesque, the Degenerate, and the Monstrous in the Medieval Imagination 

2:00-2:30 Chiara Benati, Università degli Studi di Genova, Imaginary Creatures Causing Real Diseases: Projective Etiology in Medieval and Early Modern Medicine

2:30-3:00 J. Michael Fulton, Oral Roberts University, OK: Fantasy and Imagination as Coping Mechanisms:  Observations on the Inquisitorial Trial of Fray Luis de León

3:00-3:15 coffee/tea break

Chair for the afternoon: Jean Godsall-Myers, Pennsylvania

3:15-3:45 Emmy Herland, Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies, University of Washington: Phantom Fear: Projections of the Mind and Their Distortion of Reality in Baroque Spanish Theater

3:45-4:15 Tom Willard, The University of Arizona: Fantasy, Imagination, and Vision in Thomas Vaughan’s Lumen de Lumine (1651)

4:15-5:00 Hester Oberman, The University of Arizona: Imagination in the Age of Science: Psychology, Religion, and the Thirst for Certainty in the 21st Century 

End of Symposium

5:30-6:15: Tour of the campus, meet on the east side of Old Main, at the bottom of the main stairway, visit of the Tree Ring Lab

Guide: Donna MacEACHERN <>

6:30 We’ll walk over to the restaurant (this still could change)

6:30 p.m. Dinner at Sinbad Cafe, Tucson, 810 E University Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85719; Phone: (520) 623-4010


Transportation back to the Hotel with Sun Link (Main Gate, just outside of the restaurant on University Ave.), get off the streetcar at Cushing and Frontage Road, which is right next to the hotel after the Interstate 10): streetcar runs every 15 minutes or so.


8:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. Reception, Wyndham, Hospitality Suite 235. Hosted by A. Classen


8:30 p.m.: Roundtable Discussion: What have we achieved? Where do we go from here?


Preparation for publication in “Fundamentals of Medieval and Early Modern Culture” (link is on my webpage under Middle Ages (right hand side), “Fundamentals”

Publication Schedule


Sunday: There are wonderful options to visit the Arizona/Sonora Desert Museum, which I strongly recommend, or of St. Xavier del Bac (transportation a bit difficult, but I’ll help with whatever I can). Inquire with the hotel about transportation options, or get together with some colleagues and get a taxi (ca. 15 min. across the Tucson Mountains)