This is a CFP for a lab on viscosity at IONA: Early Medieval Studies on the Islands of the North Atlantic transformative networks, skills, theories, and methods for the future of the field. The IONA conference is held 11-13 April 2019, at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC, Canada; deadline 1 July 2018.
In this IONA lab, we invite scholars and artists to test the theoretical capacity of viscosity. We will begin charting viscosity’s theoretical realm by experimenting with Exeter Book riddles. Old English riddles congeal unsettled identities in a material network of viscous substances: blood, ice, ink, mead. A viscous reading of the Exeter riddles, we propose, resists conventional Western epistemology’s insistence on the duality of active subjects and passive non-subjects. Together, we will discuss the ways in which these riddles may assert a material sociability that ventures beyond a human-hegemonic hierarchy of relation. (Or, indeed, not.)