Digital Seminar – Gender and Ageing in Premodern Europe – organized by Laura Cayrol-Bernardo

Gender and Ageing in Premodern Europe
16-18h


17/02/2022 Ninon Dubourg (Université de Liège),

« Religious Experiences of Older Women during the Late Middle Ages – How elderly women were involved in Christian practices and conventual life »


31/03/2022 Jón Viðar Sigurðsson (Universitetet i Oslo),

« Old Age and Aging in Medieval Iceland »


28/04/2022 Lynn A. Botelho (Indiana University of Pennsylvania),

« Medically Male: Old Women in Early Modern Medicine »


26/05/2022 Camille Brouzes (Université Grenoble Alpes),

« Obscene Old Age: Senescence and Sexuality in Late Medieval French Poetry »


16/06/2022 Mireia Comas-Via (Universitat de Barcelona),

« Waiting for the End: The Old Age of Sança Ximenis de Foix (c.1397-1474) »

 

Inscription (pamelding) on the University of Bergen wesbite !

 

New book – Literature and Intellectual Disability in Early Modern England: Folly, Law and Medicine, 1500-1640 by Alice Equestri, published by Routledge

Fools and clowns were widely popular characters employed in early modern drama, prose texts and poems mainly as laughter makers, or also as ludicrous metaphorical embodiments of human failures. Literature and Intellectual Disability in Early Modern England: Folly, Law and Medicine, 1500-1640 pays full attention to the intellectual difference of fools, rather than just their performativity: what does their total, partial, or even pretended ‘irrationality’ entail in terms of non-standard psychology or behaviour, and others’ perception of them? Is it possible to offer a close contextualised examination of the meaning of folly in literature as a disability? And how did real people having intellectual disabilities in the Renaissance period influence the representation and subjectivity of literary fools?

Alice Equestri answers these and other questions by investigating the wide range of significant connections between the characters and Renaissance legal and medical knowledge as presented in legal records, dictionaries, handbooks, and texts of medicine, natural philosophy, and physiognomy. Furthermore, by bringing early modern folly in closer dialogue with the burgeoning fields of disability studies and disability theory, this study considers multiple sides of the argument in the historical disability experience: intellectual disability as a variation in the person and as a difference which both society and the individual construct or respond to. Early modern literary fools’ characterisation then emerges as stemming from either a realistic or also from a symbolical or rhetorical representation of intellectual disability.

Introduction: Fools, from Popular Culture to Disability Studies

Section 1: Law

2. The Legal Discourse of ‘Idiocy’ on the Stage and Page

3. ‘A fool and his money are soon parted’: the Fool and Property

4. ‘An you knew my properties somebody would ha’ me’: the Fool as a Ward

Section 2: Medicine and Physiognomy

5. Nature, Wits and Skulls: the Fool’s Head

6. Intellectual, Sensory and Physical Disability: the Fool’s Body and Face

7. Rationalising Fools’ Disability: Causes and Risk Factors

8. Epilogue: Intellectual Disability, Embodiment and Humour in Early Modern Literature

Alice Equestri is a researcher and lecturer in early modern English literature at the University of Padua. Between 2017 and 2019, she was a Marie Sklodowska-Curie researcher at the University of Sussex. She is the author of ‘Armine… Thou Art a Foole and Knave’: The Fools of Shakespeare’s Romances (2016) and has published on folly in early modern culture, on Shakespeare’s last plays, and on Renaissance translation.

CFP: Disability Cluster for Yearbook of Langland Studies 35 (2021) – Disability in Pierce Plowman

CFP: Disability Cluster for Yearbook of Langland Studies 35 (2021)


This special cluster will explore the representations of disability and impairment in Piers Plowman. Langland reveals the ambivalent and multifaceted attitude toward disability and impairment in the 14th century. Characters in the poem 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 guise 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 cluster invites essays that examine disability in Piers Plowman from a variety of methodological approaches. Are there different representations of disability across the versions of the poem? How do representations of disability in the poem intersect with legal, theological, or social concerns in the 14th century? What is the role of physical, cognitive, or sensory 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?


Submissions are due to the cluster editor, Richard Godden (rgoddenl@lsu.edu), by 30 September, 2020.

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

CFP – The Body and the Text: Medical Humanities and Medieval Literature, c. 1150 – 1550 Leeds International Medieval Congress, 1-4 July 2019

The Body and the Text: Medical Humanities and Medieval Literature, c. 1150 – 1550

Leeds International Medieval Congress, 1-4 July 2019

Recent years have witnessed a surge in scholarship in the field of the Medical Humanities. In considering medicine in its cultural and social contexts, the Medical Humanities has symbolised a ‘paradigm shift away from what might be called medical reductionism to medical holism, where patients are not reduced to diseases and bodies but rather are seen as whole persons in contexts and in relations’ (Cole et al, 2015:8). In seeking to merge disciplines and foster interactive dialogues, this area of research is inherently inclusive, dynamic, and elastic. Furthermore, since the topics of science, medicine, eith physiology, religion, astrology, and magic were often discussed withinh the same medieval texts and contexts, te multidisciplinarity of the Medical Humanities is particularly apt for Medieval Studies.

We therefore seek to put together a session or sessions on Medieval Literature and the Medical Humanities. Our focus is global and will include proposals from two complementary directions: how are medicine, health and wellbeing represented in medieval and early modern literature? How may literary texts from this period contribute to training and practice in the Medical Humanities?

Proposals may include but are not confined to the following: Representations of health and sickness in literary texts;

  • Depictions of medical knowledge, practice and practitioners in literary texts;
  • Representations of the senses and / or emotions;
  • The relationship between medicine and religion in the Middle Ages;
  • Engagement with texts (reading and listening) as a therapeutic practice in the Middle Ages;
  • A consideration of how medieval literature might contribute to training and practice in the Medical Humanities;
  • Defining the Medical Humanities in a medieval context.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be submitted to the session organisers Dr Alison Williams (a.j.williams@swansea…uk) and It Laura Kalas Williams (I.e.williams@swansea.ac.uk) by 31 August 2018.