Call for Papers: Experiencing the material body in early modern Europe – Stockholm University, October 7-9, 2020

Call for Papers: Experiencing the material body in early modern Europe

Datum: 31 mars 2020
Plats: Deadline for proposals
Call for papers to a conference held at Stockholm University, October 7-9, 2020.

 

 
Image from Hieronymus Bock, Kreutterbuch, courtesy of the The Hagströmer Medico-Historical Library.

Key-note speakers

Sasha Handley (Manchester)
Craig Koslofsky (Illinois)
Maren Lorenz (Ruhr Universität Bochum)

In the early modern world, society, monarchy and the family were understood in the form of corporeal metaphors. The body was also the site of conflicts over life and death, sin and redemption, and the object of severe punishment and domination. Simultaneously, the period saw rapid change: the European expansion heightened tensions over the body and its transformation in relation to foreign lands, foods and peoples. Mechanical conceptions of the body as a tool governed by the mind, and insistence on the senses as the prime source of knowledge emerged in scientific research and reached a broader audience. Within this context, the body in early modernity is oftentimes described as porous, malleable and in flux. Climate, food, objects, and social interaction are all described as having had corporeal effects, from the changing of skin tones, the movement of bodily fluids, to the honing of performance to suit social and gender roles. From wherever we look, it seems that early modern people’s bodies were under significant pressure from outward influences, as well as from their own ambitions to control them. Using approaches like embodiment, performance, sensory and cognitive history, history of emotions, material culture and history of medicine, scholars have investigated various forms of corporeal experience. This workshop seeks to bring together these interlinked fields in order to reflect upon the lived-in body in early modern Europe.

We aim to draw together research from various fields to consider the status of the material body in relation to its surroundings, to gauge the significance of the various ways it was influenced externally and internally, and to better understand how early modern people of different gender, class, creed and ethnicity understood bodies to work. The workshop will engage with the body within a wide range of contexts, from the profound relationships between the macro- and microcosms, to everyday experience like work, eating and sex. We will consider the body as willed and cultivated, but also highlight the body’s vulnerabilities and propensity to sometimes do unforeseen things.

Information

Abstracts of circa 250 words are invited for papers of 20 minutes to be delivered at the workshop in  Stockholm. Send together with short CV to:  matbod@historia.su.se

Deadline for proposals: March 31, 2020.

All costs for travel and accommodation will be covered for presenters.

For more information, contact Karin Sennefelt, karin.sennefelt@historia.su.se.

Organizers

The workshop is organized by the project The Word made Flesh: The Body in Lutheran Culture, 1600-1750 at the Department of History, Stockholm University and funded by the Swedish Research Council and Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.

More information on the organisator website.

CFP – « Technologies of Disability, Material Histories of the Premodern Body », at Wellcome Collection & the Warburg Institute – 02-03 June, 2020.

Born within a decade of each other, pioneering art historian Aby Worburg and pharmaceutical entrepreneur Sir Henry Wellcome had bold visions for the material and visual study of culture and science. While Warburg was exploring alternatives to stylistic accounts of art through his « laboratory » of a growing library and photo archive inclusive of histories of science, Wellcome was amassing one of the most diverse collections devoted to the history of health. Today, their research communities continue to care for those legacies with a critical eye to their conceptual premises and contested histories.

This two day workshop juxtaposes Worburg’s anthropological thought and his theories on tools or devices developed against the backdrop of the First World War, with Wellcome’s simultaneous collecting of medieval and early modern technologies of disability. Ranging from surgical tools to clappers owned by sufferers of leprosy, from materia medica manuscripts to experiments in metal prosthesis, Wellcome conceived of these objects as part of a « universal » history of the human being. We are interosted in the roles played by such items in framing disabled persons in the past, as well as their use in recovering marginalised histories for the present. Through considering instruments of medical practice, visual means of social exclusion, and technologies of mobility, we hope to challenge conventional accounts of the history of science and art. Workshop participants are encouraged to explore the intellectual potential alongside the affective and inclusive concerns of the material histories of disability. By engaging hands-on with collection and archive materials, we will ask among other questions: Who had the knowledge to produce instruments or tools of disability? How much did makers, health practitioners, and users collaborate in devising them? How practical were these technologies? Whose aesthetic sensibilities did they serve? In what ways did these objects participate in the cultural construction of disability? What are the ethical stokes of terminology in histories of an and science, as well as in our archiving of historical disability? In what ways are our inquiries today shaped by Warburg and Wollcomes turn of the century scholarly enterprises?


Participants are invited to join research staff, fellows, and faculty for two days devoted to Wellcome’s rich collections and the Worburg’s intellectual resources in premodern European culture. Due to work with original objects, space is limited. We are seeking researchers from across the arts, humanities, and social sciences to join programmed speakers. PhD students, postdocs, and other early career scholars are especially encouraged to apply.

Please send a 300 word proposal outlining the relevance of the workshop to your research and your motivations for attending along with any accessibility needs and a CV to Jess Bailey (j.baileyewellcome.ac.uk) by 03 April 2020. The workshop is generously supported by Wellcome Collection and the Warburg Institute. It is organized by Jess Bailey (WellcomeTrust, University of California at Berkeley) and Felix Jager (Bilderfahrzeuge, The Warburg Institute, London.)

CFP – ICMS 2020, Kalamazoo – Saintly Wounds – Sponsored by the Hagiography Society

CFP: ICMS 2020, Kalamazoo (May 7-10) CFP
Sponsored by the Hagiography Society
 
Saintly Wounds
 
Saints are inextricably linked with healing and healing miracles. Often, these miracles involve some type of wound. Wounds can be inflicted upon the saint him/herself, cured by the saint, or even intentionally caused by the saint. This session seeks to address this discussion of saintly wounds as a way to read hagiography, saints in context, and what saintly bodies can do. This panel aims for interdisciplinary and intersectional discussions, encouraging submission by those working in a wide variety of theoretical fields.
 
Possible questions include, but are not limited to:
· What is the relationship between sainthood and physicality and/or physicality and the divine?
· What is the role of disability, gender, and/or race?
· What role does performance, spectacle, and/or audience play?
· What limits, transgressions, or paradoxes do wounded bodies illuminate?
· What does the saint’s wound(s) reveal about attitudes toward the body?
 
Please send abstracts of 250-300 words, along with a completed Participant Information form, to session organizer Stephanie Grace-Petinos (stephanie.grace.petinos@gmail.com) by Sept 10, 2019. 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.
 
For this, and the other HS sessions, visit: https://www.hagiographysociety.org/?page_id=97

CFC – Dis/ability in the medieval Nordic world – A special issue of Mirator Editors: Anna Katharina Heiniger and Christopher Crocker

The special issue emerges from the interdisciplinary research project Disability before disability (Icel. Fötlun fyrir tíma fötlunar) situated at the Centre for Disability Studies at the University of Iceland, initiated in 2017, and supported by the Icelandic Research fund (Icel. Rannsóknasjóður) Grant of Excellence No 173655-05.

Recent years have seen growing interest in the exploration of disability in premodern societies and cultures. In line with the now commonly accepted (working) premise that disability is a multi-factorial phenomenon, scholars have come to realise that there can be no fixed, atemporal or acultural definition of disability. Thus, in order to consider whether and how premodern societies may have conceptualized disability, scholars must shed presentist preconceptions, cast a wide net, and be prepared to read between the lines. Equipped with an understanding of disability as a tool of sociocultural analysis, scholars today commonly make use of the concepts of ‘embodied difference’ and ‘marked or unusual bodies’ to yield more fruitful results as they do not imply pre-defined notions of disability. Although the body becomes a central platform on whose basis disability is negotiated, scholars are in no way limited to speaking only of the physicality of bodies. Rather the body is understood as a medium which materialises and translates physical, psychic, and intellectual differences in a way that societies can identify them as deviations from what is considered ‘normal’ in specific historical and socio-cultural contexts. Indeed, the phenomenon of disability cannot be studied without the contrast of what a culture or society conceptualizes as ‘ability’ and identifies as ‘normal’. The term ‘dis/ability’ can be used to express this inherent relationship and to remind us that it is not possible to understand one without recognizing the other.

Within this theoretical context, we invite proposals for essays (c. 7000 words) for a special issue of the journal Mirator that seeks to expand upon growing interest of dis/ability in the context of the medieval Nordic world. Contributors to the special issue will explore dis/ability within the context of different social arrangements and cultural conventions in the medieval Nordic world. We will especially welcome contributions that focus on close reading of specific texts (historical, legal, literary, etc.) as well as suggestions for broad, methodological approaches towards the study of dis/ability in the medieval Nordic world. Contributors will be encouraged, where possible, to expand the scope of their research to include related aspects from the fields of cultural studies, social theory, history, art, etc. In the context of the medieval Nordic world, possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Approaches to the experience of dis/ability (i.e. sources, methodology)
  • Dis/ability and society
  • Religion and dis/ability
  • Dis/ability and medical knowledge
  • Intersections of dis/ability with age, gender, social status, etc.
  • Dis/ability and the law
  • Narrating experiences and perceptions of dis/ability
  • Dis/ability, assistive technology, and care
  • Terminology or language of dis/ability

Contributions dealing with geographic regions in the medieval Nordic world, including Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and/or Sweden, are welcome. We hope to represent all of these regions in the special issue and are particularly eager to field proposals dealing with Danish and Finnish material.

Please send one-page essay proposals accompanied by brief author bio (c. 100 words) to annakh@hi.is by June 1, 2019. In order to achieve an expeditious production timeline, essay drafts will be due in January 2020. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you might have in the meantime.

CFP: ‘More Fuss about the Body’ Volume – deadline February 1!

Call for Proposals for an Edited Volume:

More Fuss about the Body:
New Medievalists’ Perspectives

Editors: Leah Pope Parker and Stephanie Grace-Petinos

In her 1995 essay “Why All the Fuss about the Body?: A Medievalist’s Perspective,” Caroline Walker Bynum presented a nuanced picture of embodiment in the past in order “to suggest that we in the present would do well to focus on a wider range of topics in our study of body or bodies.”* The same year saw the release of Bynum’s magisterial exploration of the body, identity, and medieval Christian eschatology in The Resurrection of the Body in Western Christianity, 200–1336. Almost 25 years later, Bynum’s call for diversity with respect to histories of the body still inspires increasingly nuanced approaches to medieval embodiment.

 London, British Library, “Harley Psalter” Harley MS 603, fol. 6v

London, British Library, “Harley Psalter” Harley MS 603, fol. 6v

We invite proposals for short essays of approximately 5,000 words for a volume of original research that seeks to revisit, expand, and update the ideas presented in Bynum’s seminal essay, while using it as a springboard for future investigations concerning the body, both medieval and modern. We seek essays that deal with personhood, identity, and the material body, updating histories of the body through areas of study that have grown in popularity since the mid-1990s, including disability studies, trans studies, queer theory, postcolonial studies, posthumanism, ecocriticism, animal studies, and the global Middle Ages, along with new developments in feminist and critical race theory. Possible essay topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Bodily integrity and the limits of the body, healing damage to the body, or bodies and borders (i.e. the treatment of bodies in immigration/incarceration);
  • Theologies of death and resurrection and rituals of burial and remembrance;
  • Bodies centered and marginalized—including discussion of recent movements such as #metoo and Black Lives Matter;
  • Gender expression and/through the body;
  • Normativity (cisheteronormativity, compulsory ablebodiedness, etc);
  • Flora and fauna, cyborgs and prosthesis;
  • Present-day concepts of embodiment and their medieval predecessors as presented in popular culture;
  • Comparative and cross-cultural concepts of the body; and/or
  • The body in queer/crip time.

The organizers of this panel are committed to including perspectives representative of the diversity of the field, and especially welcome proposals from “new” medievalists, that is in broad terms, those who have joined the field since 1995. In the spirit of Bynum’s invitation to consider “a wider range of topics in our study of body or bodies,” we welcome papers that offer critical reflections upon the field of medieval studies, and which represent diverse and innovative perspectives on medieval histories of the body and contemporary medievalisms.

Please send abstracts, accompanied by an author bio of no more than 200 words, to leahpopeparker@gmail.com by February 1, 2019.

NB: In order to achieve an accelerated production timeline, essay drafts will be due to the editors in fall 2019.


*Caroline Walker Bynum, “Why All the Fuss About the Body? A Medievalist’s Perspective,” Critical Inquiry 22 (1995): 1–33, p. 8.

More infos on the editor website