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

Call for Book Chapter Proposals – Intersections of Critical Animal Studies and Critical Disability Studies

This edited volume aims to contribute to an emergent body of literature located at the intersection of critical animal studies and critical disability studies. This volume seeks to illuminate innovative ways to theorize and empirically examine the encounters between disabled/non-disabled human and disabled/non-disabled nonhuman animals, while providing a balanced portrait of the different experiences and perspectives of these social actors. This edited volume will be submitted for consideration as part of the Multispecies Encounters series published by Routledge.

The proposed volume will contain 10 to 12 chapters of approximately 20 pages each. Providing for an interdisciplinary view of current work at the intersections of critical animal and disability studies, we welcome submissions from a wide range of academic fields. At this stage, the editors invite book chapter abstracts (250 words maximum) submitted with a tentative title and brief author biography. Please send abstracts for review by December 15, 2018 in a Word format to: Alan Santinele Martino at santina@mcmaster.ca and Sarah May Lindsay at lindsays@mcmaster.ca. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. We expect to have the book proposal submitted to the publisher by January 31, 2019.

Volume Editors:

Dr. Samantha Hurn (University of Exeter)
Sarah May Lindsay (McMaster University)
Alan Santinele Martino (McMaster University)

CFP – “Disability and the Medieval Cults of Saints: Interdisciplinary and Intersectional Approaches” – edited volume by Stephanie Grace-Petinos, Leah Pope Parker, and Alicia Spencer-Hall

CFP: Disability and the Medieval Cults of Saints: Interdisciplinary and Intersectional Approaches
Discussion published by Massimo Rondolino on Friday, July 27, 2018
Editors: Stephanie Grace-Petinos, Leah Pope Parker, and Alicia Spencer-Hall
We invite abstract submissions for 7,500-word essays to be included in an edited volume on the topic of Disability and the Medieval Cults of Saints. Because saints’ cults in the Middle Ages centralized the body—those of the saints themselves, those of devotees, and the idea of the body on earth and in the afterlife—scholars of medieval disability frequently find that our best sources are those that also deal with saints and sanctity. This volume therefore seeks to foster and assemble a wide range of approaches to disability in the context of medieval saints’ cults. We seek contributions spanning a variety of fields, including history, literature, art history, archaeology, material culture, histories of science and medicine, religious history, etc. We especially encourage contributions that extend beyond Roman Christianity (including non-Christian concepts of sanctity) and that extend beyond Europe/the West.
For the purposes of this volume, we define “disability” as broadly including physical impairment, diversity of bodily forms, chronic illness, neurodiversity (mental illness, cognitive impairment, etc), sensory impairment, and any other variation in bodily form or ability that affected medieval individuals’ role and treatment in their communities. We are open to topics spanning the medieval period both temporally and geographically, but also inclusive of late antiquity and the early modern era. The editors envision essays falling into three units: saints with disabilities; saints interacting with disability; and theorizing sanctity/disability.
We welcome proposals on topics including, but not limited to:
· Phenomenology of saints’ cults with respect to disability, e.g. pilgrimage, feast days, liturgy, etc;
· Materiality of sanctity involved in reliquaries, shrines, and relics;
· Doctrinal approaches to disability in relation to sanctity and holiness;
· Sanctity and bodies in the archaeological record;
· Intersections of disability and race/gender/sexuality/etc in hagiography, art, and material culture;
· Healing miracles and disabling miraculous punishments;
· Cross-cultural approaches to sanctity and disability;
· Saints who wrote about disability;
· Specific saints with connections to concepts of disability, e.g. Margaret of Antioch, Cosmas and Damian, Francis of Assisi, Dymphna, etc;
· Theorizing sanctity in relation to disability; and
· Saintly figures in non-hagiographic genres.
Timeline
Oct. 1, 2018 Proposals due
Oct. 31, 2018 Replies sent to proposals
Nov. 30, 2018 Volume proposal submitted to press (contributors will provide short abstracts and bios)
May 31, 2019 Essays due from contributors
Aug. 30, 2019 Editors deliver extensive feedback to contributors
Jan. 15, 2020 Revised essays due from contributors
April 3, 2020 Full volume manuscript delivered to press
Please submit abstracts of 300–400 words, along with a short author bio and a description of any images you anticipate wanting to include in your essay, to the editors at DisabilitySanctity@gmail.com by Monday, October 1, 2018.

CFP – Skin in Medieval and Early Modern Worlds – Perth Medieval and Renaissance Group/UWA Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies Annual Conference

Skin in Medieval and Early Modern Worlds

Perth Medieval and Renaissance Group/UWA Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies Annual Conference

13 October 2018

From the organisators website :

Keynote Speaker: Dr Lisa Beaven (La Trobe University), ‘Living Flesh: Splendor, Sex and Sickness on the Surface of the Skin’.

Skin as a material served a vital role in premodern economies. It was an essential ingredient in clothing and tools, and it formed the primary material for the manuscripts on which knowledge and ideas were recorded and preserved. Beyond the many uses for the skins of animals, the idea of skin interested artists, scholars, and theologians. As a boundary or surface, skin presented a range of symbolic possibilities. Images of skin, such as its piercing, often acted as metaphors for the uncovering of secrets or the interpretation of allegory. Premodern observers, likewise, often believed that the appearance and colour of an individual’s skin indicated truths about their inner nature. Diseases of the skin, such as leprosy, attracted legislation and intellectual speculation, drawing together the immaterial world of ideas regarding skin and the treatment of actual human skins.

We are interested in papers that address the many premodern uses of skin, as well representations of and ideas about skin. This conference is multidisciplinary and wide-ranging; we welcome papers from the fields of book culture and manuscript studies, history, material culture, medicine, disability studies, race studies, crime and punishment, art, literature, and theology.

The conference organisers invite proposals for 20-minute papers.

Please send a paper title, 250-word abstract, and a short (no more than 100-word) biography to pmrg.cmems.conference@gmail.com by 31 May 2018.

 

 

More infos on the organisators website.