CFP – Sponsored Panel on “Gendered Experiences of Pain” at 52nd – ICMS Kalamazoo 2017

CfP – Sponsored Panel on “Gendered Experiences of Pain” at 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, 2017

Panel title: “Everybody’s (Gender) Hurts: Gendered Experiences of Pain”

Sponsored by: Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship

Conference: 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, (MI, USA), 11-14 May, 2017


Following Elaine Scarry’s (1985) seminal work The Body in Pain, researchers from various disciplines have productively studied pain as a physical phenomenon with wide-ranging emotional and socio-cultural effects (e.g. Boddice 2014; Cohen et al 2012; Davies 2014; Morris 1991; Moscoso 2012).  Academics and scientist-clinicians have demonstrated that the experience of pain is highly gendered (see e.g. Bendelow 1993; Bernardes et al 2014; Hoffmann and Tarzian 2001). For example, the severity of women’s pain is often less readily accepted by medics. Women in pain are more likely to be dismissed as attention-seeking or suffering from psycho-somatic conditions than men. Painful conditions that affect many women, such as endometriosis, are woefully under-studied.

Medievalists have also analysed pain, including its’ gendered dimension, elucidating a specifically medieval construction of physical distress (see e.g. Cohen 1995, 2000, 2010; Easton 2002; Mills 2005; Mowbray, 2009). In particular, Caroline Walker Bynum’s ground-breaking feminist scholarship (see e.g. 1988, 1992) has shown the specific ways in which medieval holy women harnessed ascetic suffering as forms of empowering worship praxes.

This panel will examine the gendered experience of pain in the medieval period, engaging with, and moving beyond, the limited context of holy women established by Bynum. It will dissect the ways in which men and women experienced — or were understood to experience — pain differerently, to elucidate the wider framework of gender-specific suffering in the period. The subjective experiences of medieval men and women in pain will be unearthed, allowing their marginalised voices to add context and further urgency to contemporary debates about inadequate medical care for modern men and women in pain.


Relevant questions for this session include:

· How are the pains of  “women’s complaints” — including menstruation and childbirth — depicted, and understood in the medieval era? Are other forms of physical discomfort coded as predominantly feminineeven if they have no direct biological link to womanhood? Are there similar “male” forms of pain?

· How are men and women socialised differently to understand, to contextualise, and ultimately to experience their pain? How do men and women express their pain? And share their pain with those around them? Are specific patterns of lexis, imagery, or metaphor routinely used by either men and women, or both?

· What differences can we observe between the ways in which men and women in pain are treated by medical practitioners, the religious community, and their families? What was the contemporary rationale for classifying and treating men and women’s pain differently? As a counterpoint: what similarities are there in the treatment of pain for men and women? Does the pain experience ever unite suffering men and women as a cohesive group, a group in which pain — and not genderis the most important identity marker?
If you’re interested in speaking on this panel, please submit the following documents to the panel organiser, Alicia Spencer-Hall (a.spencer-hall [at], by 15 September 2017:

1) One-page abstract

2) Completed Participant Information Form (downloadable in .pdf and Word format from the Conference website)
N.B. Conference regulations stipulate that speakers may only present on one panel each year at Kalamazoo. As such, we cannot consider papers from individuals who have already submitted abstract proposals to other sessions at the conference. Nevertheless, if a paper submission is not selected for the “Gendered Experiences of Pain” panel, we will forward the submission to the Conference organisers for potential inclusion in a General Session.

View this CfP online , via @aspencerhall


CFP – Le CESCM à Kalamazoo en 2017 – Signs of Identity, Marks of Otherness: New Approaches to Visual Culture

Le CESCM à Kalamazoo en 2017 – L’altérité (sociale, religieuse, politique, linguistique) et ses implications dans le domaine du visuel – 11  au 14 mai 2017


Le Centre d’études supérieures de civilisation médiévale et l’International Medieval Society-Paris lancent un appel à communication pour une session de communications organisée dans le cadre de l’International Congress on Medieval Studies qui se déroulera à Kalamazoo (USA) du 11  au 14 mai 2017 et qui réunit tous les ans dans le Michigan plus de 3000 médiévistes venus du monde entier. Cet appel conjoint est l’occasion pour le CESCM d’organiser pour la première fois un événement scientifique lors de l’ICMS,  sur le thème de l’altérité (sociale, religieuse, politique, linguistique) et ses implications dans le domaine du visuel.

Les propositions de communication (CV et résumé) sont à adresser à Vincent Debiais avant le 15 septembre 2016 ; merci aussi de renseigner la fiche d’inscription de l’ICMS. Pour tout renseignement, contacter Vincent Debiais :

Signs of Identity, Marks of Otherness: New Approaches to Visual Culture

This session will explore new avenues of research on visual signs marking the identity of social, religious, and political groups in different spaces (real or imaginary), and the ways in which these groups distinguished themselves.  Recent advances in the auxiliary sciences, which take into account social phenomena in the origin, creation and usage of systems of signs, permit  to revisit questions posed by emblems, armor, inscriptions, and images that mark the landscape and establish hierarchical spaces, both separate and connected.  In the dialectic of inclusion/exclusion, signs become references of identity included, integrated, claimed or rejected in reaction to historical circumstances and power relations.  This session brings together specialists from different disciplines to explore how visual signs work in real spaces, such as cities, monasteries, and castles; and literary spaces where such signs appear frequently in motifs and narratives.

This session welcomes interdisciplinary submissions.  Scholars working on original approaches to signs of identity through social history, visual culture, and the auxiliary sciences are encouraged to submit abstracts.  In this way, the session will have very broad appeal to participants at Kalamazoo.  Possible themes are: disputes, divisions, and heraldic claims; banners, standards, and flags; epigraphic marking and destruction; the role of written culture/visual culture in the strength of social groups.


Voir l’appel sur les carnets du CESCM

CFP – Less than two weeks remaining to get your individual paper proposals for IMC Leeds on “Otherness”

The twenty-third International Medieval Congress, Leeds, 3-6 July 2017.

The International Medieval Congress (IMC) is organised and administered by the Institute for Medieval Studies (IMS). Since its start in 1994, the Congress has established itself as an annual event with an attendance of over 2,200 medievalists from all over the world. It is the largest conference of its kind in Europe.

Drawing medievalists from over 50 countries, with over 1,700 individual papers and 580 academic sessions and a wide range of concerts, performances, readings, round tables, excursions, bookfair and associated events, the Leeds International Medieval Congress is Europe’s largest annual gathering in the humanities.

The IMC provides an interdisciplinary forum for the discussion of all aspects of Medieval Studies. Paper and session proposals on any topic related to the Middle Ages are welcome. However, every year, the IMC chooses a special thematic strand which – for 2017 – is ‘Otherness’. This focus has been chosen for its wide application across all centuries and regions and its impact on all disciplines devoted to this epoch.

‘Others’ can be found everywhere: outside one’s own community (from foreigners to non-human monsters) and inside it (for example, religious and social minorities, or individual newcomers in towns, villages, or at court). One could encounter the ‘Others’ while travelling, in writing, reading and thinking about them, by assessing and judging them, by ‘feelings’ ranging from curiosity to contempt, and behaviour towards them which, in turn, can lead to integration or exclusion, friendship or hostility, and support or persecution.

The demarcation of the ‘Self’ from ‘Others’ applies to all areas of life, to concepts of thinking and mentalité as well as to social ‘reality’, social intercourse and transmission of knowledge and opinions. Forms and concepts of the ‘Other’, and attitudes towards ‘Others’, imply and reveal concepts of ‘Self’, self-awareness and identity, whether expressed explicitly or implicitly. There is no ‘Other’ without ‘Self’. A classification as ‘Others’ results from a comparison with oneself and one’s own identity groups. Thus, attitudes towards ‘Others’ oscillate between admiring and detesting, and invite questioning into when the ‘Other’ becomes the ‘Strange’.

The aim of the IMC is to cover the entire spectrum of ‘Otherness’ through multi-disciplinary approaches, on a geographical, ethnic, political, social, legal, intellectual and even personal level, to analyse sources from all genres, areas, and regions.

Possible entities to research for ‘Otherness’ could include (but are not limited to):
• Peoples, kingdoms, languages, towns, villages, migrants, refugees, bishoprics, trades, guilds, or seigneurial systems
• Faiths and religions, religious groups (including deviation from the ‘true’ faith) and religious orders
• Different social classes, minorities, or marginal groups
• The spectrum from ‘Strange’ to ‘Familiar’
• Individuals or ‘strangers’ of any kind, newcomers as well as people exhibiting strange behaviour
• Otherness related to art, music, liturgical practices, or forms of worship
• Any further specific determinations of ‘alterity’

Methodologies and Approaches to ‘Otherness’ (not necessarily distinct, but overlapping) could include:
• Definitions, concepts, and constructions of ‘Otherness’
• Indicators of, criteria and reasons for demarcation
• Relation(s) between ‘Otherness’ and concepts of ‘Self’
• Communication, encounters, and social intercourse with ‘Others’ (in embassies, travels, writings, quarrels, conflicts, and persecution)
• Knowledge, perception, and assessment of the ‘Others’
• Attitudes and behaviour towards ‘Others’
• Deviation from any ‘norms’ of life and thought (from the superficial to the fundamental)
• Gender and transgender perspectives
• Co-existence and segregation
• Methodological problems when inquiring into ‘Otherness’
• The Middle Ages as the ‘Other’ compared with contemporary times (‘Othering’ the Middle Ages).

The Special Thematic Strand ‘Otherness‘ will be co-ordinated by Hans-Werner Goetz (Historisches Seminar, Universität Hamburg).


Please find by cliking this link or below all informations:

Session Proposal

Paper Proposal

Round Table Proposal

CFP – The Digital Medieval Disability Glossary working group

Call for papers: 2016-2017

The Digital Medieval Disability Glossary working group invites graduate and undergraduate course projects exploring specific disability-related terms for potential inclusion in the glossary. Participants in courses on the history of the English language and in medieval languages and cultures are particularly encouraged to submit contributions to this collaborative project.

The glossary seeks to tell the story of medieval terms used for embodied difference, illness, and impairment. Building on existing resources such as the Dictionary of Old English, the Middle English Dictionary, and the Oxford English Dictionary, the Glossary will function as an open-access reference that demonstrates the complexity of medieval attitudes towards bodies, minds, and communities.

As indicated in this preliminary Wiki version, the Glossary contains entries developed by faculty and students at Southeastern University (guided by Dr. Cameron Hunt McNabb), Miami University at Hamilton (Dr. Tory. V. Pearman), and George Washington University (Dr. Jonathan Hsy). In each instance, entries provide straightforward definitions of the terms under consideration, broader insights into each word’s use and evolution, and a list of works cited and resources for future study. The working group is currently engaged in converting the Wiki into a full web resource.

The project, therefore, offers students and faculty the opportunity to participate in the creation of a vital new resource in the digital humanities. Entries should focus on how a particular term functions within a particular medieval context (ca. 700-1500 CE). Analysis of terms from a wide variety of medieval languages are welcome, but, at this point, we ask that the entries be written in English. Sample assignments that have been used to generate existing entries are available on request.

The Glossary working group will conduct open peer review of all entries, and all faculty and students will be credited by name and institution on the site. Proposed entries may be sent on a rolling basis. Ideally, though, material from Fall 2016 courses would be sent by 31 January 2017, and from Spring 2017 courses by 30 June 2017.

To learn more about this project or contribute an entry, please contact the current editor Karen Bruce Wallace at

Find the call for papers online here.