Panel title: “Sanctifying the Crip, Cripping the Sacred: Disability, Holiness, and Non-Normative Bodies”
Sponsored by: Hagiography Society
Conference: International Medieval Congress, Leeds (UK), 2-5 July 2018
In her 2006 monograph Disability in Medieval Europe, Irina Metzler conducted the first in-depth analyses of medieval miracle narratives in the context of disability studies. This ground-breaking work demonstrated the ways in which such an approach productively expands – and complicates – out understanding of medieval impairment and medieval hagiography alike. This panel seeks to harness the methodological vigour of Metzler’s intervention, and move the discussion forward to reap the benefits of the efflorescence in medieval disability studies that has taken place since 2006. What can frameworks from disability studies add to studies of medieval holiness, and vice versa? What happens when we sanctify the crip, and crip the sacred?
A vast amount of our knowledge of the experience of impairment in the Middle Ages comes from religious works. An important manifestation of a presumptive saint’s holiness was their capacity to perform mystically curative healings, to return their devotees to an able-bodied state. But medieval saints did not just tend to those with impairment. Some saints were themselves explicitly physically impaired, either permanently or temporarily. Saints’ ascetic self-mortification could also lead to impairment. In all instances, the saint’s body is divergent to the able-bodied norm of those around them, the non-saintly. It operates as a vector of the divine in miraculous healing of others; a receptacle of the divine in their ability to withstand extreme ascetic degradation. What is at stake if we consider the medieval saint’s body as impaired, disabled, emphatically non-able-bodied?
If you’re interested in speaking on this panel, please submit an abstract of roughly 250-300 words, and a brief bio to the panel organiser, Alicia Spencer-Hall (a.spencer-hall [at] ucl.ac.uk), by 1 August 2017 [extended deadline 25 august]. Please also stipulate your audio-visual requirements in your submission (e.g. projector, speakers, and so forth).
N.B. Conference regulations stipulate that speakers may only present on one panel each year at Leeds. As such, we cannot consider papers from individuals who have already submitted abstract proposals to other sessions at the conference.
Link to the organisator’s website
Religious and/or Medicinal definitions of Otherness,
IMC Leeds 2017
Religion and medicine were in many ways intertwined in the Middle Ages, both in explaining deviance, illness and impairment as well as in the healing practices. They are not anymore seen as competing but rather as supporting, even complementing each other. Both religion and medicine had their own ways of defining the undesirable, which could lead to the construction of ‘The Other’ – be it disability, mental disorder, or heterodoxy. Some features, like lunacy, leprosy, impotence, or infertility were in the nexus of both religious and medicinal explanations. Both religion and medicine could also offer methods for cure and ways to integrate the deviant persons back into a community. The interconnection of both concepts can be found, for example, in hagiography, sermons, medical treatises and herbals. These sessions aim to analyse healing as cultural practice; the focal questions are how religious and medicinal explanation intermingled in the construction of ‘the Other’ and in what ways they complemented or competed in explaining, categorizing and treating different spiritual, mental and bodily conditions.
We aim at organizing a double session focusing on following questions:
- Role of medicine and/or religion in constructing the Other
- Role of medicine and/or religion in experiences of the patient
- Religion and medicine – rivalling, complementing or symbiotic?
- Treating the patient, curing the ailment – integration or permanent marginalization?
- Faith healing and placebo – synonyms, interconnection, anachronisms?
We encourage proposals sensitive to temporal and/or geographical changes focusing on various cultural levels and social contexts. Those interested in presenting a paper in this panel, please submit an abstract of roughly 250-300 words to the organisers by 23 September 2016.
Jenni Kuuliala firstname.lastname@example.org
Sari Katajala-Peltomaa email@example.com
Trivium, Tampere Centre for Classical, Medieval, and Early Modern Studies
Leeds IMC 2017 – Leprosy and Power
As next year’s IMC theme of ‘Otherness’ lends itself perfectly to the topic of medieval leprosy, I would like to propose a session on the subject of Leprosy and Power, following on from this year’s successful sessions about Leprosy and Identity. In this session, I would like to explore the various ways in which lepers interacted with medieval authorities – how authorities may have attempted to control the behaviour of lepers in their community, how lepers related to those in power, and how they fitted into a social hierarchy.
Possible topics could include:
· Leprosy and the elite
· Municipal authority and common law
· Canon law and the church
· The power of leprosy in society
· Lepers and social status – before / after diagnosis
Proposals should include a title, abstract (approximately 100 words), and institutional affiliation.
Please submit paper proposals by email to Katie Phillips, University of Reading – firstname.lastname@example.org – by Friday 9th September.
Via Katie Phillips on Academia
Call for Papers: IMC Leeds 2017
Pilgrimage: Restoring Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Health
Sponsored by the Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Reading.
The thematic strand for the next International Medieval Congress (3-6 July 2017) at University of Leeds is Otherness. We invite you to submit proposals for 20-minute papers to take part in one or more sessions on the theme of pilgrimage as a restorative process between physical, mental, and spiritual sickness and health. We are particularly interested in papers that address identifications of pilgrims as “others” who were undertaking a unique physical and spiritual journey. Relevant topics include but are not limited to:
• Miraculous healing.
• Penitential pilgrimage.
• Proxy pilgrimage.
• Pilgrimage journeys.
• Experiences of pilgrims at shrines.
• Relics and saintly intercession.
• Monastic and lay interactions with the cult of saints.
If you would like to take part in these sessions, please send an abstract of no more than 200 words as well as a short bio to email@example.com by Friday 16 September 2016.
Organisers Ruth Salter (University of Reading, ) & Claire Treneryand (Royal Holloway, University of London, )