New article – « The Female Condition: Gender and Deformity in High-Medieval Miracle Narratives » by Anne E Bailey, in Gender & History

Abstract

This article explores the intersection of medicine, religion and gender within the context of miracle narratives compiled in England and France in the High Middle Ages. Women in miracle accounts have much to tell us about medieval ideas of gendered sickness and health, yet this is an area which has received little scholarly attention. Focusing on stories of female deformity and disfigurement, it is argued that sickness has a feminising effect on women’s bodies in these sources, but proposed that symptoms of excess femininity were not always seen as the spiritual hindrance that might be expected.

Get access to the publication

First published: 19 February 2021 https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-0424.12519

[Correction added on 20th April 2021, after first online publication: Amendments have been made throughout the text for clarity.]

CFP – Marquette University Interdisciplinary Conference on Disabilities at the Intersection 2022: Disability at the Intersection of History, Culture, Religion, Gender and Health – 3/4 March 2022

Date: March 3-4, 2022

Place: Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI

Disability is a living human experience. It is not merely a medical or biological phenomenon, and it is not only the subject of sciences. Perspectives on disability have evolved historically, theologically, and medically. Academics and disability activists have increasingly come to view disability as more than an individual medical diagnosis, often highlighting it as an issue of social justice and equity. As such, there is a need for further collaboration between the sciences and the humanities to deepen our understanding of disability in all of its complexities. Using interdisciplinary approaches to examine disability as fluid and dynamic condition can help us understand it as an identity and as social construct.

This conference aims to encourage open discussion and better understanding as well as to breakdown stigma associated with disabilities. To accomplish that, the conference aims to generate inclusive dialogues and interdisciplinary interactions between academia, community organizers, social and legal activists, health care service/providers, and religious leaders. The conference will serve as a platform to foster collaboration between various groups engaged in understanding and improving disability conditions.

We invite papers that offer critical analysis of how disabilities have been viewed in historical terms as medical conditions, social/cultural constructs, and as the norms that produce and reproduce perceptions of normalcy or normative bodies. We particularly welcome papers dealing with normalcy narratives, discourse, and issues of stigmas evolving around disabilities in marginalized communities with an emphasis on the intersection of disability (as an identity and minority) with gender, culture, and religion.

Key Topics:

Core conference themes include, but are not limited to:

Disability and identity

Social and cultural construction of disabilities

Religious and cultural perspectives on disability

Bodies and construction of normalcy

Gendered disabilities and feminist approaches to disability

Language terminology and conceptualization of impairment and disability in literary, cultural, and artistic production

Disabilities as social and legal rights issue

Community activism, policy making, and service

Lived experiences, life-writing and narratives of people with disability

We invite proposals of individual papers, panels, workshops, roundtables, and thematic conversation. Graduate student submissions are encouraged. Panels will be composed of 3- 4 presenters (time must be divided equally among panel presenters allowing 10-15 minutes for questions). Roundtable and thematic conversation may consist of more than three participants. The time for all panel types is one hour.

Key Dates:

Abstracts up to 300 words in Word format must be submitted through the electronic system by October 31, 2021.

You will be notified of the decision by December 15, 2021.

Publication

Conference proceedings and selected papers will be published in a special issue of the Journal of Gender, Ethnic, and Cross-Cultural Studies.

Preliminary organizing committee members:

Enaya Othman

Tara Baillargeon

Behnam Ghasemzadeh

Michelle Medeiros

Giordana Poggioli-Kaftan

Dana Fritz

Gülnur Demirci

Stefan Reutter

CFPs on disability for the International Congress on Medieval Studies – Kalamazoo (and online) 2022

Medieval Sermon Studies I: Disease, Health, and Sermons

Contact Person: Jessalynn Bird ; jbird@saintmarys.edu

Principal Sponsoring Organization: International Medieval Sermon Studies Society

This session explores the rhetoric, metaphors, and physical realities of spiritual, mental, and physical illness in the medieval period in pastoral literature and sermons. Discourse between pastoralia and other genres is encouraged (liturgy, hagiography, miracle stories, vernacular literature, hospital records and medical treatises).

Deadline for New Submissions: Wednesday, September 15, 2021
 
 
_______________________
 
 
 

Of Pestilences and Plagues: Sickness in the Medieval Court

Contact Person: Shawn Cooper

Principal Sponsoring Organization: International Courtly Literature Society (ICLS), North American Branch

The International Courtly Literature Society (North American Branch) invites paper proposals for a sponsored session: Of Pestilences and Plagues: Sickness in the Medieval Court. We welcome submissions addressing the depiction of illness in courtly literatures, chronicles, histories, and other artistic media. Comparative readings of medieval and modern depictions of sickness in the setting of the medieval court are also welcome. Presenters will receive a year’s membership in the ICLS-NAB, and may be eligible for presentation-related grants and awards of the society.

Deadline for New Submissions: Wednesday, September 15, 2021
 
 
_____________
 
 
 

Trauma, Disability, and the Anchorhold

Contact Person: Michelle Sauer

Principal Sponsoring Organization: International Anchoritic Society

Trauma studies and work that links studies of disability and trauma finds ample representation in the texts and contexts of anchorites, and their frequent citation of Christ’s wounds and the valorization of sickness, pain, and distress in the anchorhold. For this panel, we are seeking papers that interrogate the role and use of trauma and its attendant concerns—witnessing, wounds, pain—in the study of anchorites, their texts, and the responses to both. Papers are welcome that touch on the material realities of these figures and their receptions, or which concentrate on the figurative significance of trauma.

Deadline for New Submissions: Wednesday, September 15, 2021.
 
 
___________________
 
 
 

The « New Paradigm » of Plague Studies: Expanded Geographies and Chronologies of the Medieval Pandemics

Contact Person: William York

Principal Sponsoring Organization: Medica: The Society for the Study of Healing in the Middle Ages

In 2014, Monica Green wrote “the field of historical plague studies … must be redefined in three dimensions: its geographic extent, its chronological extent, and the methodological registers we use to investigate it.” Since then, work on the full extent of both the 1st and 2nd Plague Pandemics has continued as Green anticipated, now encompassing the Mongol Empire (and perhaps the Xiongnu before them) and extending, perhaps, into sub-Saharan Africa. Whereas prior scholarship focused on the Mediterranean and Europe, pandemic studies must necessarily cast a wider net. This panel invites presentations of the latest work in the field.

Deadline for New Submissions: Wednesday, September 15, 2021.
 
 
__________
 
 

The Globalization of Medieval Medicine: Ideas, Authorities, and Products 1000-1600

Contact Person: William York

Principal Sponsoring Organization: Medica: The Society for the Study of Healing in the Middle Ages

This panel explores the globalization of medieval medicine, beginning in the eleventh century via the Silk Road and continuing through the early modern era of exploration and discovery. It will look at how medieval European medical practice and theory changed due to the influx of new ideas, practices, and pharmaceutical products. Panelists will also consider how medical consumerism and the transmission of ideas were affected by economic, religious, cultural, political, and technological changes, such as the advent of printed medical texts and the popularization of medical authorities outside of the ancient canon.

Deadline for New Submissions: Wednesday, September 15, 2021.
 
 
_________________
 
 

Age in Monastic Life

Contact Person: Amelia Kennedy ; amelia.kennedy@uni-graz.at

From child oblates to venerable seniors, age plays a crucial role in monastic life. Yet it is easy to overlook mentions of age in historical sources as merely recording objective facts. This panel explores age as a socially constructed category within the monastery, asking how “age” was calculated, asserted, and negotiated. We invite proposals for 15-20-minute papers analyzing concepts of age and the life-cycle in medieval monasticism: How did monastic authors understand the aging process? How were relationships among different generations governed? What are the relationships between age and gender, authority, disability, or spirituality?

Deadline for New Submissions: Wednesday, September 15, 2021
 
 
__________________
 
 

From Farm to Sick Bed: Food, Illness, and Medicine in the Medieval West

Contact Person: John Bollweg ; admin@mensetmensa.org

Principal Sponsoring Organization: Mens et Mensa: Society for the Study of Food in the Middle Ages

From epidemics traced to so-called “wet markets” dealing in food and medicine to the pursuit of longevity through the “Mediterranean Diet” — foods, diet, and regional foodways to be presented as both a cause and cure of illness. For this session, we seek papers on any examples (historical, literary, natural philosophical, religious, etc.), from Europe or the Mediterranean basin, in the years 500 C.E. through 1600 C.E., of food or drink as either the creator or the corrector of diseases physical or moral, individual or communal. This session continues the theme of a Fall 2021 conference.

Deadline for New Submissions: Wednesday, September 15, 2021
 
 
____________
 
 

Disability, Disease, and Health: New Voices, New Directions

Contact Person: Leah Parker

Principal Sponsoring Organization: Society for the Study of Disability in the Middle Ages

Paper proposals on any topic relating to disability, disease, and/or health will be welcomed, on any period between c. 500–1500 and on any geographical area. Topics might include, but are not limited to: lived experiences of impairment, medicine, healing, stigma, pandemic, contagion, textual or visual representations of bodily difference, archaeological evidence of impairment, theological/political/social attitudes toward disability, the body in law, etc. Presenters may be emerging in terms of their career (e.g., graduate students or early career researchers) or emerging by bringing their research into a new direction (i.e., newly engaging with the study of disability, disease, and/or health).

Deadline for New Submissions: Wednesday, September 15, 2021
 
 
_______________________
 
 

Medicine and Health Care in Medieval Iberia

Contact Person: Elisa Manzo

Principal Sponsoring Organization: Association of Graduate and Early Career Scholars of Medieval Iberia (AGECSMIberia)

Studies on premodern medicine have had a remarkable increase in the last decades and the recent global pandemic has done no more than further increase this trend. This session invites contributions on medicine and health care in Medieval Iberia from graduate and early career scholars, coming from a range of backgrounds and working on different aspects of this field. Potential topics may include: continuity or disruption in the medical practice between Roman and Post-Roman Iberia, regulations to safeguard physicians and patients, Jewish medicine in Christian and Arabic milieus, women healers’ status, the social effects of the so-called “medical pluralism”.

Deadline for New Submissions: Wednesday, September 15, 2021
 
 
_________________
 
 

Medicine in the Global Middle Ages

Contact Person: Meg Oldman ; oldman@tarleton.edu

Principal Sponsoring Organization: Medieval Makars Society

After a year, the world is beginning to see an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout it all, we have heard various ways to cope with or test our resilience against the novel coronavirus, from logical public health recommendations such as mask wearing and hand washing to abstract suggestions like injecting bleach and holding our breaths for 10 seconds. Suggestions such as these are nothing new. Prior to public health initiatives we know today, folklore was an important method of transmission for medical knowledge. We are looking for papers that explore global transmissions of medical knowledge through folkloric methods.

Deadline for New Submissions: Wednesday, September 15, 2021
 

Call for Papers — Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies/Journal of Gender Studies – Dis/abling Gender – ed. by Amsterdam University Press and Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies

Special Issue Guest Editors: Evelien Geerts, Josephine Hoegaerts, Kristien Hens, Daniel Blackie

The recent, and ongoing, COVID-19 pandemic has made explicit what many of us already knew: good health and able-bodiedness are fluid and uncertain states. We can only ever hold them precariously (Butler 2004; Scully 2014), as their value and definition are intrinsically unstable and intersectionally linked to situated intelligibility systems that attribute meaning to gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, class, and many other lived identity categories and labels (Parker 2015). What it means to be dis/able(d) has changed radically over time—and is still changing—under the policing influence of normalcy-dictating medical-psychiatric discourses and neoliberal bio-/necropolitical regimes (Tremain 2006; Chen 2012), while simultaneously being positively impacted by grassroots intersectional disability justice activism (Mingus 2011; Piepzna-Samarasinha 2018), critical disability studies, and critical pedagogical frameworks.

The COVID-19 crisis has had a brutal impact on the world and its population, and specifically on those whose bodies were already constructed to matter less through the intertwined, negatively constructed binaries that uphold the exclusivist notion of the ‘pure’, ‘neutral’  and healthy human subject. At the same time, the crisis also has demonstrated the porosity of these oppositional boundaries, such as the boundaries drawn between the human, non-human, more-than-human, and the perpetually dehumanised, the personal/political, and the able/disabledbodied: The SARS-CoV-2 virus and the patchwork of crises it has created (and reinforced) does not only point at human identity and subjectivity being more in flux and in conjunction with (more-than-human) others than the Cartesian self tells us, but also demonstrates that the condition of vulnerability is an existentially shared one and therefore cannot be subsumed under one linear temporal framework. Long COVID, for instance, demonstrates how vulnerable we all are, in the end, and how the linear temporal framework backing up the (dis)abledness narrative needs to be urgently queered, and also placed in the context of longer histories of crisis, in which experiences of ill health, mutilation, and various dis/abilities have played an important role (Bourke 1996; Nair 2020). Another aspect that the pandemic crisis has underlined sharply, is the fact that both the experience of—and the care for—able and disabled bodies is an intrinsically gendered affair (Forestell 2006). These experiences are furthermore deeply bound up with equally gendered notions of labour, authority, and autonomy (Rose 2017); a topic that has been central to the discipline of gender studies from the outset.

Taking the foregoing into account, this special issue of Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies (Journal of Gender Studies), wishes to explore the intersections between complex lived experiences of dis/ability and gender through an explicit engagement with the links and tensions between the scholarly and activist fields of gender studies and critical disability studies (see e.g., Meekosha & Shuttleworth 2009) while taking stock of important present-day turns and debates in and at the intersections of both fields.

More concretely: What happens, this issue wonders, if we take the call—contested by scholars such as Bone (2017) but at the same time emphasised by Kafer (2013)—for ‘cripping’ scholarship, policy, and practice seriously in gender studies and feminism? What happens if we think beyond transdisciplinary exchange, and purposefully stretch towards a theoretical framework and grounded practice of dis/abling gender studies? How can the insights and methods of critical disability studies, with its radical turn toward vulnerability, diversity, and resilience push gender studies toward new understandings of identity, corporeal praxis, labour, and care? How can gender studies, and specifically, novel approaches within contemporary feminist theory, assist critical disability studies with the intersectional conceptualisation of specific lived experiences, surveillance and (in)visibility regimes, and a more affirmative understanding of identities-in-flux and (reappropriated) labels? In short, can we not only ‘gender’ disability (Smith & Hutchinson, 2004), but also dis/able gender?

We particularly welcome submissions that address the following questions and issues:

  1. The challenges and rewards of interdisciplinary dialogue between gender studies and critical disability studies;
  2. Intersections of gender, dis/ability, and ethnicity/race from a theoretical and/or experiential perspective (e.g., Samuels 2011).
  3. How to study dis/abilities on both an experiential and representational level;
  4. Changes in philosophical, historical (Stiker 1999), and sociological (e.g., Thomas 2007) models of dis/ability;
  5. New materialist, posthumanist, and affective theoretical approaches (e.g., Goodley et al. 2014; Feely 2016);
  6. Changes in terminology within gender studies and critical disability studies (e.g., ‘crip’ as a reappropriated term);
  7. ‘Bodies that are made to (not) matter’, for example in the context of health crises;
  8. The potential of historical studies to generate new theoretical insights on dis/ability and gender (e.g., Rembis 2019);
  9. (Neoliberal) academic spaces, ablebodiedness, normativity and critical pedagogical approaches (including neurodiversity & neurotypicality)
  10.  Dis/ability and the questions of labour and care (i.e., who is supposed to request accommodations; provide care; …)
  11.  Links and tensions between the women’s and disability rights movements, and the role of activism in practices of dis/abling gender (‘everyday activism’)

References used:

  • Bone, K. (2017). Trapped Behind the Glass: Crip theory and Disability Identity. Disability & Society 32(9).
  • Bourke, J. (1996). Dismembering the Male: Men’s Bodies, Britain and the Great War. The University of Chicago Press.
  • Butler, J. (2004). Precarious life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence. Verso.
  • Chen, M. Y. (2012). Animacies: Biopolitics, Racial Mattering, and Queer Affect. Durham University Press.
  • Goodley, D., R. Lawthom, and K. Runswick Cole (2014). Posthuman Disability Studies. Subjectivity 7 (4).
  • Feely, M. (2016). Disability Studies After the Ontological Turn: A Return to the Material World and Material Bodies Without a Return to Essentialism. Disability & Society 31(7).
  • Forestell, Nancy M. (2006). ‘And I Feel Like I’m Dying from Mining for Gold’: Disability, Gender, and the Mining Community, 1920-1950. Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas 3(3).
  • Kafer, A. (2013). Feminist, Queer, Crip. Indiana University Press.
  • Mingus, M. (2011, February 12). Changing the Framework: Disability Justice: How Our Communities Can Move Beyond Access To Wholeness. Leaving Evidence. https://leavingevidence.wordpress.com/2011/02/12/changing-the-framework-disability-justice/.
  • Nair, A. (2020). ‘These Curly-Bearded, Olive-Skinned Warriors’: Medicine, Prosthetics, Rehabilitation and the Disabled Sepoy in the First World War, 1914-1920. Social History of Medicine 33 (3).
  • Parker, A. M. (2015). Intersecting Histories of Gender, Race, and Disability. Journal of Women’s History 27 (1).
  • Piepzna-Samarasinha, L. L. (2018). Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice. Arsenal Pulp Press.
  • Meekosha, H., and R. Shuttleworth (2009). What’s so ‘Critical’ about Critical Disability Studies?  Australian Journal of Human Rights 15 (1).
  • Rembis, M. (2019). Challenging the Impairment/Disability Divide: Disability History and the Social Model of Disability. In: N. Watson and S. Vehmas (eds). The Routledge Handbook of Disability Studies, 2nd Edition. Routledge.
  • Rose, S. F. (2017). No Right to be Idle: The Invention of Disability, 1840s-1930s. The University of North Carolina Press.
  • Scully, J. L. (2014). Disability and Vulnerability: On Bodies, Dependence, and Power. In: C. Mackenzie, W. Rogers, and S. Dodds (eds.). Vulnerability: New Essays in Ethics and Feminist Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
  • Samuels, E. (2011). Examining Millie and Christine McKoy: Where Enslavement and Enfreakment Meet. Signs 37 (1).
  • Smith, B. and B. Hutchinson (eds) (2004). Gendering Disability. Rutgers University Press.
  • Stiker, H. J. (1999). A History of Disability. University of Michigan Press.
  • Thomas, C. (2007). Sociologies of Disability and Illness: Contested Ideas in Disability Studies and Medical Sociology. Palgrave Macmillan
  • Tremain, S. (ed.). (2006). Foucault and the Government of Disability. The University of Michigan Press.

About the Journal:

Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies (Journal of Gender Studies) is a Dutch and English language forum for the scientific problematisation of gender in relation to ethnicity, sexuality, class, and age. The journal aims to contribute to debates about gender and diversity in the Netherlands and Flanders. The journal is an interdisciplinary medium operating at the intersection of society, culture, the humanities, health, and science.

Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies (The Journal of Gender Studies) is published by Amsterdam University Press: Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies | Amsterdam University Press (aup.nl)

Guest editors:

Evelien Geerts, University of Birmingham, e.m.l.geerts@bham.ac.uk

Josephine Hoegaerts, University of Helsinki, josephine.hoegaerts@helsinki.fi

Kristien Hens, University of Antwerp, kristien.hens@uantwerpen.be

Daniel Blackie, University of Helsinki, daniel.blackie@helsinki.fi

Preparing your submission:

We invite potential contributors to submit an abstract of 500 words by the 1st of May 2021. The final paper should be 6000 words maximum. Abstracts for traditional scholarly articles should outline the theoretical/praxis-related contribution, method of analysis, and a selection of references (the latter do not have to be included in the word count). Suggestions for non-traditional, critically, and scholarly informed contributions are welcome as well. Please include the contact details of all of the contributors on the abstract document. Abstracts (and manuscripts) can be written in English or Dutch. Please note that the initial acceptance of an abstract does not guarantee publication and that the manuscripts will undergo a double-blind review process. We strive toward diversity among our contributors in terms of career-stage, disciplines, self-identification, and scholarly or activist affiliation. We are happy to accommodate different accessibility needs or diverse styles of communication. Please get in touch with (one of) the editors for any of these issues.

The author(s) should email their abstract proposal as a Word file to all of the guest editors: e.m.l.geerts@bham.ac.uk, josephine.hoegaerts@helsinki.fi, kristien.hens@uantwerpen.be , daniel.blackie@helsinki.fi. For specific questions or more information, contact the guest editors.

Submission timeline:

May, 1, 2021: Abstract submission deadline.

May, 14, 2021: Notification of acceptance/rejection and feedback from the guest editors for accepted abstracts.

August, 14, 2021: Manuscript submission deadline.

August, 14, 2021 – September 14, 2021: Double-blind review process plus feedback from the guest editors.

October, 14, 2021: Full and finalized manuscript submission deadline.