CFP – « Gender and ‘Aliens' » – Gender and Medieval Studies Conference 2019

« Gender and ‘Aliens' » –

Gender and Medieval Studies Conference 2019

 

In recent years discourse around ‘aliens’, as migrants living in modern nation-states, has been highly polarised, and the status of people who are technically termed legal or illegal aliens by the governments of those states has often been hotly contested. It is evident from studies of the past, however, that the movement of people is not a recent phenomenon: in the medieval west, one of the Latin terms applied to such people was alieni (‘foreigners’, or ‘strangers’), and it is clear from the surviving evidence that there were many people in the Middle Ages who could be, and indeed were, identified as aliens. This conference aims to stimulate debate about the ways in which gender intersected with and related to the idea of such aliens – and, more broadly, alienation – in the medieval world. Social, political and religious attitudes to aliens and the alienated were not constant over the centuries from c. 400 to c. 1500, and nor were they uniform across the whole world. Some foreigners, as aliens, might end up integrated into the societies they entered; others might find themselves marginalised, lonely or alone; or oppressed, as outlaws, outcasts, or slaves. Gender might exacerbate or mitigate this, depending on time, place and context. Authors or artists depicting parts of the world far from and alien to their own often filled them with people or beings not like them, demonstrating the imaginative power of alterity, while the reactions of those who encountered people from distant places and observed or participated in their customs could include recognition of similarity as well as difference. Foreigners were also not the only people who might find themselves alienated from, or within, certain societies or cultures: the medieval world included many marginalised groups. The issues of aliens and alienation may be differently construed in the modern world, but they are certainly not new. The relationship of gender to these topics is complex, variable and significant.

The conference aims to enable discussion of these issues as they relate to the whole medieval world from c. 400 to c. 1500. The organisers welcome proposals for papers on any topic related to gender and aliens or alienation, broadly construed, and encourage submissions relating to the world beyond Europe. Papers might consider issues such as:

* refugees, immigrants, emigrants

* inclusion and exclusion

* alterity and difference

* outlaws, the law, legality

* marginalised or disenfranchised groups

* non-normative bodies, illness, disability

* acculturation

* imagined geographies

* borders and frontiers

* ethnicity and identity

* slavery and slaves

In addition to sessions of papers, the conference will also include a poster session. Proposals for a 20-minute paper or for a poster can be submitted at https://tinyurl.com/gms2019submit by September 30th 2018. The conference organisers are also happy to consider proposals for other kinds of presentation: please contact the organisers at gmsconference2019@gmail.com to discuss these. Some travel bursaries will be available for students and unwaged delegates to attend this conference: please see http://medievalgender.co.uk/ for details.

CFP – International Piers Plowman Society – Miami April 4 – 6 , 2019

Call for Papers – International Piers Plowman Society

Meeting Miami, April 4 – 6 , 2019 – Due Date for Submissions: September 7 , 2018

 

7. Medicine and the Body in Piers Plowman : A Roundtable

Organizer, Laura Godfrey, University of Connecticut (la ra.godfrey@uconn.edu)

Scholars have traditionally read the medical language, characters, and practices in Piers Plowman as symbolic of salvation, reducing actual medical practice to metaphor and symbolism. Recent scholarly turns to the body recenter the body in literary texts through attention to the somatic experiences described through allegory, satire, and personification. This roundtable invites papers that interrogate illness and remedy, the body and embodiment, the senses, and the theory and practice of medicine in Piers Plowman and alliterative poetry.

 

16 . Disability in the Age of Piers Plowman

Organizer: Rick Godden, Louisiana State University (rgodden1@lsu.edu)

This session will explore the representations of disability and impairment in the fourteen th century, especially withi n Piers Plowman or related texts. Langland reveals the fourteenth century’s ambivalent and multifaceted attitude toward disability and impairment. Characters in the poe m 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 g uise 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 session invites papers that examine disability in medieval literature from a variety of methodological approaches. Are there different representations of disability across the versions of Piers Plowman ? How do representations of disability in the poem intersect with legal, theol ogical, or social concerns in the fourteenth century? How do writers contemporary to Langland treat disability? What is the role of physical, cognitive, or s omatic 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?

 

More info on the conference’s website

Call for Papers – ICMS Kalamazoo 2019 – « More Fuss about the Body: New Medievalists’ Perspectives ».

Call for Papers: International Congress on Medieval Studies Kalamazoo, MI — May 9-12, 2019

« More Fuss about the Body: New Medievalists’ Perspectives »

Organizers: Stephanie Grace-Petinos and Leah Pope Parker

 

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 invites increasingly nuanced approaches to medieval embodiment. This panel seeks to honor Bynum’s seminal essay, while using it as a springboard for future investigations concerning the body, both medieval and modern.

We seek papers that deal with personhood, identity, and the material body, updating histories of the body through arms of study that have grown in popularity New York, Plerpont Morgan Library, MS NI. 736 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 paper 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 (e.g. the television shows Supernatural or Game of Thrones);

• 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 to amplifying voices that are too often marginalized by systemic discrimination in academic employment, publishing, funding, and conference programming. 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. Given the limitations of a single conference panel, submissions will also receive early consideration for an edited volume on the same range of topics. Please submit abstracts of 200-300 words to More.Body.Fuss.Kzoo19@gmail.com by Friday, September 14, 2018, along with a completed Participant Information form. 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. The organizers are happy to answer any questions via the aforementioned email address.

‘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 Leah Pope’s website !

CFP – ‘Deformis Formositas ac Formosa Deformitas. The Ugliness of Beauty and the Beauty of Ugliness: Materializing Ugliness and Deformity in the Middle Ages’ – International Medieval Congress 2019 – July 1 – 4, 2019, University of Leeds.

‘Deformis Formositas ac Formosa Deformitas. The Ugliness of Beauty and the Beauty of Ugliness: Materializing Ugliness and Deformity in the Middle Ages’

Call for Papers for Session Proposal at the International Medieval Congress (IMC 2019)

July 1 – 4, 2019, University of Leeds.

The proposed session will discuss and debate on the various definitions and functions of the concept of “ugliness.” What is ugliness and how is it conceptualized? This session seeks original research which investigates debates on the concept of “ugliness” in various contexts:

  • Spiritual/physical/material ugliness;
  • Paradoxical nature of ugliness/irony/allegorical discourse;
  • Emotions and ugliness;
  • Functional aspects/Contrasts/Status and ugliness;
  • Didactic/moralistic functions;
  • Gendered aspects: ugliness belonging to other creatures;
  • Description/nature/character of ugliness;
  • Symbolism and patterns of transmission;
  • Comparative aspects of medieval beauty and ugliness;
  • Beauty within the context of ugliness in visual and textual sources;

Please submit a working title and a 250-word proposal for a 15-20 minute pape presentation by september 15th, 2018, the latest.

Contact informations :

Andrea-Bianka Znorovszky, Ca’Foscari university, Venice, Italy (andrea.znorovszky@unive.it)

Theodora C. Artimon, Trivent Publishing, Budapest, Hungary

Call for papers – Messy Bodies: An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Body in Pre-Modern Culture – ICMS – May 9-12, 2019

Messy Bodies: An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Body in Pre-Modern Culture.

Call for papers
54th ICMS | May 9-12, 2019

Following our end-of-the-year symposium, the Medieval and Renaissance Graduate Interdisciplinary Network welcomes papers for our two sessions on Messy Bodies: An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Body in Pre-Modern Culture.

Messy bodies are all of our bodies. Once we take a good look at them, it becomes clear that the instantly legible body is nothing more than a construct. Bodies resist categorization, they push against their own boundaries, they complicate our understanding of medieval and Renaissance subjectivity and individuality; ultimately, they show how we—modern scholars—still need to consider what constitutes the often radicalized or gendered body. They remind us that no “body” may be taken as a given, requiring (even while confounding) construction in discourse, images, and other media.
On the one hand, we are particularly interested in the ways in which the psychological, emotional, and sensorial potentials of the human body express themselves semiotically and semantically. On the other, we want to explore what constitutes human or non-human bodies, following discussions on materiality, animal studies, and critical theory.
We envision our double session as a forum for discussion that engages with premodern bodies as physical and symbolic entities that both stand for and disrupt prescriptive discourses on bodily and social functions, including sexuality, and political participation. Following our mission to foster collaboration across disciplines, we welcome submissions from all fields, from any and all areas of the globe.

Submissions may focus on topics including, but not limited, to:

  • humoral and medical theories and practices queer and trans* bodies
    critical race theory
  • disability studies
  • object-bodies and objectified-bodies
  • post-humanisms (including considerations of ontology, networks, animal studies, and cybernetics)
  • pre-, early-, and post-modern theories of embodiment, subjectivity, and agency
  • violence to the body
  • dynamics of mind, body, and soul
  • modern responses to pre-modern bodies (in film, art, literature)

Please submit a 200-word abstract with a short bio (.pdf or .docx preferred) to nyumargin@gmail.com with “Kalamazoo submission” in the subject line, by September 15. Questions can also be addressed to the same e-mail. Abstracts not accepted to our sessions will be forwarded to the IMCS for consideration in general sessions.