CFP – ICMS Kzoo 2018 – Disability, Devotion, and Subjectivity in Medieval and Renaissance England

CFP – ICMS Kzoo 2018 – Disability, Devotion, and Subjectivity in Medieval and Renaissance England

This panel invites trans-historical and trans-disciplinary examinations of pre-modern disability studies, focusing particularly on the construction of the devotional subject across the lines of periodicity. Medievalists and early modernists working in the burgeoning field of disability studies have shown that “disability” was an operative category in premodern texts, with subjects constituted by different or “non-standard” bodies, minds, and spirits. This roundtable proposes to extend this conversation by turning to religious experience and devotion, an important discursive field for the construction of identity by marginalized and/or minority groups.

Devotional manuals, spiritual biographies, and hagiographies – both before and after the Reformation – involve disclosures and depictions of impairment, asking their audiences to identify with a construction of ability related to devotional practice. Questions participants might ask include:
· What constitutes a “non-standard” body in pastoral, contemplative, and narrative devotional writing?
· How do figurative and allegorical depictions of disabled bodies in religious literature construct the disabled subject?
· What accommodations should be accepted for a disabled body to attain a recommended devotional posture?
· How does devotional didacticism approach variation in sensory acuity?
· How are devotional communities and cultures defined by conceptions of ability and impairment?
· Under which circumstances is the attainment of a-typical ability the aim of devotional practice?
· How might legal and ethical debates about injury, loss, and retribution be shaped by conceptions of impairment?

This roundtable invites a conversation on how devotional practices, and the very nature of devotion, evolved with (or stubbornly resisted) the Protestant and Catholic Reformations, reshaping the construction of the disabled subject. We invite a range of approaches, including contemporary theoretical lenses on disability studies as well as historical and literary-formal examinations of the subject.

Please send 300-word abstracts for ten-minute roundtable papers to José Villagrana (jvillagr@bates.edu) and Spencer Strub (spencer.strub@berkeley.edu) by September 15, 2017.


Publié par

Ninon Dubourg (sharing info)

Ninon Dubourg is a current PhD candidate researcher in medieval history at the University of Paris Diderot - Paris 7, France. Her research interests include the laical and clerical physical impairments and disability in Medieval Europe (XII – XIV C), based on the petition and papal letters conserved in the Papal Archives of the Archivum Secretum Vaticanum. This kind of ecclesiastical document offers us a significant insight into the Church's comprehension of the social experience of disability. Disabled clerics had to ask the Pope for dispensation to contravene canon law - with regard to income or religious practices – necessitated by the circumstances of their disability. Papal dispensation letters, written in answer to such petitions, offered the cleric a number of ways out, from dispensation to pension, including resignation, in connection with the pope's administration and the potestas the Church had to solve this issues. The real lived experiences of a disabled cleric had to be reformulated in the petition in order to allow the Church to recognise his disability, and thus for him to receive papal grace. Working on many relative questions, she likes to approach new topics as disabled identity, medieval masculinities, medicine in the Middle Ages, biblical studies, canon law, medieval linguistic and so on. (https://univ-paris-diderot.academia.edu/NinonDubourg) She also teach Methodology to first year and Master degree and Medieval History at the University Paris Diderot - Paris 7 as ATER (temporary attaché). She is also a foreign associate member of the research network "Homo Debilis" at the Bremen University (http://www.homo-debilis.de/personen/index-en.html). Also member of the réseau jeunes chercheurs Handicap(s) et Sociétés, Programme Handicaps et Sociétés - EHESS, Paris. She is also in charge of the research blog History of Disease, Disability & Medicine in Medieval Europe, with the aim to promote this filed of research in France and in Europe and will make sure to share latest publishing events, future meeting (such as conference, colloquium, round table), and to relay call for paper or contribution on disability in pre-modern societies, with particular focus on Middle Ages. (https://dishist.hypotheses.org/) Ninon Dubourg est doctorante ATER en histoire médiévale à l'Université Paris Diderot – Paris 7, laboratoire ICT (Identité, Culture et Territoire, EA 337). Ses recherches sont menées sous la direction de Didier Lett (Université Paris Diderot – Paris 7) et de Julien Théry (Université Lumière Lyon 2). Ancienne allocataire chargée d'un mission d'enseignement (École Doctorale Économies, Espaces, Sociétés, Civilisations, ED 382) et boursière de l’École Française de Rome (Novembre 2014), son travail de thèse s'intitule « Handicap et infirmité clérical et laïque dans les suppliques et lettres pontificales de l'Europe médiévale (xiie – xive siècle) ». Ninon cherche dans son travail de thèse à questionner l'intégration de personnes infirmes dans le clergé et dans la société laïque ainsi que l'utilité que retire l’Église à aller contre les lois relatives à l'incapacité physique qu'elle a elle même édicté. Les sources qu'elle utilise, issues des registres de suppliques et de lettres des Archives secrètes du Vatican, entre normes et pratiques, permettent de voir comment la personne handicapée, clerc ou laïque, compte sur l'institution dont elle fait partie pour encadrer sa vie – et inversement, de capter le regard que pose l'institution sur ces personnes. Elle est aussi membre associée au réseau de recherche "Homo Debilis" de l'Université de Brême (Allemagne) (http://www.homo-debilis.de/personen/index-en.html). Aussi membre du réseau jeunes chercheurs Handicap(s) et Sociétés, Programme Handicaps et Sociétés - EHESS, Paris (http://phs.ehess.fr/?page_id=402). Elle est aussi gestionnaire du carnet de recherche hypothèse sur L'histoire du handicap, des maladies et de la médecine dans l'Europe médiévale. Son carnet souhaite promouvoir ce champ de recherche en France et en Europe et propose de veiller à partager les nouveautés éditoriales, les futures rencontres (conférences, colloque, journées d'études, tables ronde), mais aussi de relayer les appels à communication ou à contribution du handicap dans les sociétés pré-modernes, en se focalisant particulièrement sur l'époque médiévale. (https://dishist.hypotheses.org/)

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