Marked Bodies, Divine Remnants
54th International Congress on Medieval Studies – Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo—May 9-12, 2019
Sponsored by the Hagiography Society – Organized by Stephanie Grace-Petinos
“[M]iracle is a prerequisite for sainthood, and more often than not miracle involves the marking of flesh” state Molly H. Bassett and Vincent W. Lloyd state in the introduction to their 2015 work Sainthood and Race: Marked Flesh, Holy Flesh (5). In many vitae, the saint’s marked flesh serves as proof of God’s privilege. The divine remnants imprinted upon a saint’s body could take many forms, such as missing limbs, scars, stigmata, suffering and pain, and being healed of— or gaining the ability to heal— impairment. After death, saints continued their embodied demarcation as relics, material remnants capable of channeling the divine that were further distinguished through division, enshrinement, veneration, and circulation throughout various geographical locales. This panel explores the ways in which hagiography represents how the divine is expressed upon saints’ bodies.
Possible questions include, but are not limited to:
- What is the relationship between sainthood and physicality?
- How does a saint’s divinely marked body juxtapose the sacred and the secular?
- What is the role of disability, gender, and/or race?
- What role does performance, spectacle, and/or audience play?
- What limits, transgressions, or paradoxes does a marked body illuminate?
Please send abstracts of 250-300 words, along with a completed Participant Information form, to session organizer Stephanie Grace-Petinos (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Sept 15, 2018. Please include your name, title, and affiliation on the abstract itself. All abstracts not accepted for the session will be forwarded to Congress administrators for consideration in general sessions, as per Congress regulations.