CFP – Illness as Metaphor in the Latin Middle Ages – Leeds International Medieval Congress 2021

… et sermo eorum ut cancer serpit (2 Tim 2:17)

Susan Sontag hoped her thought-provoking essay Illness as Metaphor (1978) to contribute to the „elucidation (…) and liberation” from metaphors in both social attitudes to illness and its individual experience. Although we can hardly think our existence without resorting to metaphorical language, critical analysis may help to understand how and to what extent the contemporary discourse is shaped by the historical figures of disease. This seems all the more important as this imagery will certainly stay with us in the post-pandemic world.

The session seeks to provide a forum for scholars to reflect on the variation and functions of metaphors of illness in the Latin writing of the Middle Ages. We encourage papers that investigate how the imagery of morbus, pestilentia, gangraena etc. structured individual experience and how it shaped self-knowledge and practices of communities. We invite original contributions that critically examine the role that Latin metaphors of illness played in medieval discourse as a tool of explaining reality and as a rhetorical device used to impose specific world views.

Questions we would like to suggest include, but are not limited to:

  • What was the scope of the metaphors? Which fields of individual experience and social life in the Middle Ages were particularly represented in terms of illness?
  • What are the sources, prototypical examples and creative uses of the figures of disease in medieval Latin texts?
  • How did the use of metaphors vary across text genres, times and space?
  • To what aims did medieval Latin writers employ metaphors of illness? What was their role in persuasive writing (religious and political polemics, preaching etc.)?• Could metaphorical discourse shape social attitudes in the Middle Ages? Which aspects of the reality did medieval metaphors highlight and which did they hide?
  • How was the imagery of disease employed in explaining natural and social phenomena? What was its role in structuring individual (religious, emotional etc.) experience?

Please submit abstracts of no more than 300 words to Krzysztof Nowak (krzysztof.nowak@ijp.pan.pl) by the 10th of September 2020. Unfortunately, the project cannot cover congress fees or expenses incurred by the session participants.

Session Sponsor Project eFontes. The electronic corpus of Polish medieval Latin (https://scriptores.pl/efontes)

Session Organizer Krzysztof Nowak, Department of Medieval Latin
Institute of Polish Language (Polish Academy of Sciences)

More on Scriptores website

CFP – In Sickness and in Health: Pestilence, Disease, and Healing in Medieval and Early Modern Art – 14th Annual Imago Conference, University of Haifa, January 12, 2021

In light of the global turmoil caused by the COVID-19 epidemic, the 14th Annual Imago conference will examine the cultural and artistic impact of epidemics, diseases, and healing in the art of the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period. We hope this examination will not only shed new light on the artistic, social, and political mechanisms of both of these periods, but will also produce fresh insights into cultural and artistic responses to the current global health crisis.

Disease is an inevitable part of the human experience. Whether in times of acute crisis, the most familiar of which is the Black Death of the mid-14th century, or as a constant threat at all other times, diseases evoked varied responses, from theological formulations to the transmission of medicinal knowledge; and, not least, to artistic depictions.

We invite papers from broad and diverse points of view: case studies of iconographies dealing with disease or healing, studies of the artistic responses to specific epidemics, and comparative studies between East and West, the Christian and the Islamic worlds, etc. Interdisciplinary studies and those engaging with the production, reception, and interpretation of art concerned with disease and healing are of particular interest. Suggested topics may include, but are not limited to:

· Artistic expressions of medicinal practices

· Visual components in medical manuscripts

· Artistic responses to the Black Death and to other epidemics

· Physical and spiritual health – Medieval and Early Modern expressions

· Disease and otherness – xenophobic, racist, and anti-Semitic polemical visual expressions

· Disease – theological and moral conceptions

· Gendered aspects of disease and healing

· Disease and healing between East and West – artistic expressions

· Leprosy and its cultural and artistic representations

· Saints, relics, pilgrimage, and healing

· Disease and apotropaic practices

· Places of sickness and death: art in hospitals and cemeteries

· Images of doctors and nurses

· Representations of suffering and sickness

The conference will take place on January 12, 2021, at the University of Haifa.

* Should the ongoing Covid-19 situation prevent the conference from being held on campus, it will be held online via Zoom.

* All speakers will be allowed to deliver their paper via Zoom, even if the conference will take place physically on campus.

*We will broadcast the entire conference to participants via Zoom.

Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be sent to Dr. Gil Fishhof (gfishhof@staff.haifa.ac.il) no later than September 1st,2020. Abstracts should include the applicant’s name, professional affiliation, and a short CV. Each paper should be limited to a 20-minute presentation, to be followed by a discussion and questions. All applicants will be notified by October 1st 2020 regarding acceptance of their proposal. For additional information or further inquiries, please contact Dr. Fishhof.

Organizing committee: Dr. Gil Fishhof, Ms. Mazi Kuzi, Prof. Jochai Rosen, Dr. Margo Stroumsa-Uzan.

CFP: Disability Cluster for Yearbook of Langland Studies 35 (2021) – Disability in Pierce Plowman

CFP: Disability Cluster for Yearbook of Langland Studies 35 (2021)


This special cluster will explore the representations of disability and impairment in Piers Plowman. Langland reveals the ambivalent and multifaceted attitude toward disability and impairment in the 14th century. Characters in the poem often treat disabled figures with either love or skepticism. On one hand, those who are too infirm to work are excused from the demands of labor, and are deemed worthy of charity and God’s love. On the other, there are « faitours » who readily assume the guise of impairment in order to deceive and evade the duty to work. Will himself is interrogated by Reason in the C-Text about his inability to work, and he cites his own embodied difference, being too tall, as a justification. This cluster invites essays that examine disability in Piers Plowman from a variety of methodological approaches. Are there different representations of disability across the versions of the poem? How do representations of disability in the poem intersect with legal, theological, or social concerns in the 14th century? What is the role of physical, cognitive, or sensory impairment in the poem? How can we put the poem into conversation with Disability Studies? How does a consideration of disability in Piers Plowman reorient or contribute to current work on Langland? To medieval Disability Studies?


Submissions are due to the cluster editor, Richard Godden (rgoddenl@lsu.edu), by 30 September, 2020.

CFP – Alter 2020 Conference – 8th to 10th July in Rennes (France)

The Alter conference is directed at everyone involved in human and social science research on disability and the loss of autonomy: including work that addresses conceptional and organisational aspects of research, field research, scientific production, qualitative and quantitative methods, etc. Responses about all social fields are welcome (education, employment, culture and recreation, housing, transport, human and technical assistance, political participation, emotional and sexual life, etc.).

This 9th conference aims to discuss the construction of normality and, more broadly, the system of thought that structures our societies in which being “able” is the norm in the sense of both the most widespread and the most desirable situation. The aim of this critical perspective is therefore to highlight how our societies are structured in relation to the notion of the able individual. While the recent call to build inclusive societies would appear to herald a radical turning point, what is the reality? Have we truly finished with representations of disability that tend towards the negative, the defective or even the tragic? To what extend are the “heroized” figures of disability, omnipresent in the public space, perpetrating the representation of disability as a deviation from the norm? Some researchers and activists refer to this dominant construction of norm and disability as the notion of ableism. How does the research contribute to this analysis of the norm(s) and how can we take it into account in the way we conduct our own researches?

Deadline for the call for proposals<https://alterconf2020.sciencesconf.org/resource/page/id/4> : 20th January 2020.  Submission on the website https://alterconf2020.sciencesconf.org<https://alterconf2020.sciencesconf.org/>

To submit your proposal, please create your sciencesconf account. This account gives you access to the Sciencesconf platform and all the sites of the conference: Sciencesconf-Registration<https://www.sciencesconf.org/user/createaccount?lang=en>.

INFO : The deadline for submission of communication proposals to the 9th ALTER conference (EHESP Rennes, 8-10 July 2020) has been extended to 2 February 2020.

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La Conférence Alter s’adresse à tous ceux et celles qui sont engagé·e·s dans les recherches en sciences humaines et sociales sur le handicap et la perte d’autonomie : conception et animation de la recherche, enquête de terrain, valorisation scientifique, etc. Les réponses pourront s’inscrire dans l’ensemble des domaines sociaux (éducation, emploi, culture et loisirs, logement, transports, aides humaines et techniques, participation politique, vie affective et sexuelle, etc.).

Cette 9ème Conférence Alter propose d’interroger la construction de la normalité et, plus globalement, le système de pensée qui structure nos sociétés, selon lequel être « valide » serait la norme, au double sens de la situation la plus répandue et la plus souhaitable. Cette perspective critique entend ainsi mettre en évidence la manière dont nos sociétés sont structurellement construites en référence à cette figure de l’individu valide. Si l’injonction récente à construire des sociétés inclusives semble signaler un tournant radical, qu’en est-il concrètement ? En a-t-on réellement fini avec les représentations tendanciellement négatives, défectives, voire tragiques, du handicap ?  Les figures « héroïsées » du handicap, devenues omniprésentes dans l’espace public, ne prolongent-elles pas (en les inversant) ces approches du handicap comme écart à la norme ? Certains chercheurs et militants désignent cette construction dominante de la norme et du handicap par la notion de validisme (ableism). Comment les recherches contribuent-elles à cette analyse de la norme/des normes et comment pouvons-nous en tenir compte dans la manière dont nous conduisons nos recherches ?

Les propositions sont attendues pour le 2 février 2020. Elles doivent être déposées sur le site https://alterconf2020.sciencesconf.org (Il est pour cela nécessaire de se créer un compte sciencesconf ou de s’y connecter).

« Monsters and problematic identities » – graduate student conference – The Medieval and Renaissance Student Association (MaRSA) of California State University, Long Beach

MONSTERS AND PROBLEMATIC IDENTITIES


The Medieval and Renaissance Student Association (MaRSA) of California State University, Long Beach is seeking individual papers as well as panel submissions for their graduate student conference.

The conference will be held at the Karl Anatol Center on the campus of CSULB on March I2th, 2020. Medieval and Renaissance monstrosity and identities. As an interdisciplinary conference, we welcome submissions from a wide array of disciplines focusing on the art, literature, and history of the period. Paper and panel topics might address issues (but are not limited to) the following:
Monsters es the other (theories of otherness)

Eco-critIcism and Monsters

Nationalism and Monsters

Identity formation

  • Gender
  • Race
  • Sexuality
  • Religious identity

Psychoanalysis (historical actors)

Post/Modern

Medievalism Fantasy Monsters

  • Zombies
  • Ghosts
  • Dragons
  • Fairies
  • Demons
  • Giants
  • Ogres
  • Werewolves (shapeshifters)
  • Dwarves

Cultural/Social Isolation (outlaw)/ Marginalization

Travel Literature, and Monsters

Colonialism/ Imperialism Trans-AtiaMic

Disabilities (dwarves)

Medieval Imaginary

Monstrous Bodies

Witchcraft (magic)

Ideological Appropriation

 

PRESENTATIONS SHOULD RUN FOR APPROXIMATELY 15 MINUTES. PLEASE SUBMIT ABSTRACTS OF NO MORE THAN 300 WORDS ALONG WITH A CURRENT 1 PAGE CV BY EMAIL TO MEDREN.CSULB@GMAIL.COM BY FEBRUARY 6TH, 2020.