CFP – Sanctifying the Crip, Cripping the Sacred – IMCL 2018

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

CFP – Religious and/or Medicinal definitions of Otherness – IMC

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.

Contacts:
Jenni Kuuliala jenni.kuuliala@uta.fi
Sari Katajala-Peltomaa sari.katajala-peltomaa@uta.fi
Trivium, Tampere Centre for Classical, Medieval, and Early Modern Studies

Call for Papers – ‘For I am a woman, ignorant, weak and frail’: Feminising Death, Disability and Disease in the later Middle Ages – IMC Leeds

‘For I am a woman, ignorant, weak and frail’: Feminising Death, Disability and Disease in the later Middle Ages

International Medieval Congress University of Leeds 3rd – 6th July 2017

Conference Details

The International Medieval Congress is the largest interdisciplinary medieval conference of its kind – attracting over 2,200 attendees from over 50 countries, and boasting approximately 1,700 individual papers within 580 academic sessions. 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. For further information on the Congress, see: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/ims/imc/imc2017_call.html 

Session Details

**Should this session attract enough interest it will become a three-part series, with each session focussing more deeply on the individual themes of death, disability and disease. Within late-medieval society, to be valued was to look and behave according to the societal ‘norm’ – dependency was largely represented as a feminine trait, whereas to be independent was to be masculine. How then did medieval people respond to deviations from these gendered expectations as a result of death (or dying), disabilities and chronic diseases? This session will consider the feminisation of death, disability and disease through an interdisciplinary lens, in order to answer questions about the perceived ‘feminine’ dependency of the marginal ‘third state’ between being fully healthy and fully sick (i.e. to be dying, diseased or disabled). It will hope to consider the contradictory nature of female disease and disability which both engendered an elevated sense of holiness and, conversely, a sense of physical monstrosity; the female response to death, disability and disease as elements of daily life which were (largely) out of their control; the effect of death, disability and disease on medieval constructions of masculinity; and whether – if death, disease and disability dehumanise the body – is it even important to consider the effect of these states on an individual’s gendered identity? We welcome multi-disciplinary papers from all geographical locations, c.1300-c.1500, which engage with themes such as (but not limited to): representations of death, disease and/or (dis)ability; literature either for or by women dealing with the themes of death, disease and/or disability; the tradition of Memento Mori and/or the Danse Macabre; the gendering of ‘Death’ ; the Black Death’s impact on traditional gender roles; obstetric death; female piety and holy anorexia; the effect of chronic disease and/or disability on late-medieval constructions of masculinity; women and disease (as the developers of cures, writers of recipes, carers or patients, etc.); female use of disability aids and/or prosthetics; and self-inflicted disfigurement.

Submission Guidelines

Please send a paper title and an abstract of 100-200 words to Rachael Gillibrand at the Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds (hy11rg@leeds.ac.uk) by 23rd September 2016.

CFP – Leeds 2017 – Leprosy and Power

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 – k.phillips@pgr.reading.ac.uk – by Friday 9th September.

Via Katie Phillips on Academia

CFP – Leeds 2017 – Pilgrimage: restoring physical, mental and spiritual health

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 claire.trenery.2008@live.rhul.ac.uk by Friday 16 September 2016.

Organisers Ruth Salter (University of Reading, ) & Claire Treneryand (Royal Holloway, University of London, )