Karl Steel

On Friday April 14 at Union South, Dr. Karl Steel, Associate Professor of English, Brooklyn College, CUNY will give a keynote lecture entitled: “Medieval Muteness: Disability, Objects, and Animals”

April 14, 2017 – Union South TITU – 4pm – 5:30pm

For medieval writers, “muteness” might mean the absence of sound, but it just as well might mean a senseless sound. My paper builds out from this observation to explore three aspects of muteness: mute people, mute objects, and mute animals, and three possible responses to each. The first, a “liberal” approach, explores the schoolboy “muteness” of Aquinas; the second, the “posthuman” approach, Augustine’s commentary on the voice of mute stones; and the third, a disability and ecological studies approach, the gestures of noisy birds in a story of Saint Cuthbert and the ravens. Ultimately, thinking with the work of Mel Y. Chen and Rosamarie Garland-Thomson, I will argue for “misfit ecology” that decenters questions of muteness and agency in favor of an imperfect making do.

Part of the Fourth Annual Medieval Studies Colloquium
Presented by the Graduate Association of Medieval Studies

April 14, 2017
Union South TITU
University of Wisconsin-Madison

9AM Coffee and Conversation
10AM – 11:30AM Morning Panel: Survival and Afterlife
12PM – 1:30PM Lunchtime Workshop (by RSVP)*
2PM – 3:30PM Afternoon Panel: History and Culture
4PM-5:15PM Keynote Lecture followed by Q&A, Dr. Karl Steel, Associate Professor of English, Brooklyn College, CUNY, “Medieval Muteness: Animals, Disability, and Objects”
5:15PM-6PM Reception

*RSVP to Maxwell Gray at mgray5 (at) wisc (dot) edu for a seat at the workshop and to receive the readings