Sessions on Disability History – The 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies – campus of Western Michigan University – May 11-14, 2017.

Sessions on Disability History – The 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies – campus of Western Michigan University – May 11-14, 2017.

 

Friday, May 12 – Evening Events
Society for the Study of Disability in the Middle Ages
=> Valley II, LeFevre Lounge Business Meeting

 

Friday 10 AM

214 – BERNHARD 210

Landscape Approaches to the Plague

Sponsor: Contagions: Society for Historic Infectious Disease Studies
Organizer: Michelle Ziegler, Independent Scholar
Presider: Philip Slavin, Univ. of Kent
1. Michelle Ziegler – Plague in the Sixth-Century Bavarian Landscape
2. Carenza Lewis, Univ. of Lincoln – 44.7%: New archaeological Evidence for the Impact of the Black Death in
England and Its Implications for Future Research
3. Fabian Crespo, Univ. of Louisville – Heterogeneous Immunological Landscapes and Medieval Plague

 

Saturday 10 AM
345 – VALLEY III ELDRIDGE 309
Piers Plowman and Disability
Sponsor: International Piers Plowman Society
Organizer: Curtis Gruenler, Hope College
Presider: Curtis Gruenler
1. Dana Roders, Purdue Univ. – Intersections of Disability and Sin in Piers Plowman
2. Laura Godfrey, Univ. of Connecticut – Must I Here-Wel to Do-Wel? Sensory Impairments in Piers Plowman
3. Richard H. Godden, Loyola Univ. New Orleans – Dismodern Will

 

Saturday 10 AM
393 – BERNHARD BROWN & GOLD ROOM
Fair Unknowns (A Roundtable)
Sponsor: Arthuriana
Organizer: Dorsey Armstrong, Purdue Univ./Arthuriana
Presider: Dorsey Armstrong,
1. Joseph M. Sullivan, Univ. of Oklahoma – What’s So Interesting About Fair Unknown Romances in Germanic Arthurian Literatures?
2. Kevin J. Harty, La Salle Univ. – Rescued from the Archives: The Fair Unknown on CBS TV in 1951: Mr. I. Magina-tion’s “Sir Gareth, Knight of the Round Table”
3. Christopher A. Snyder, Mississippi State Univ. – Jay Gatsby as the Fair Unknown: Arthurian Resonances in Fitzgerald
4. Tory V. Pearman, Miami Univ. Hamilton – (Dis)abling the Fair Unknown: Disability and Gender in Malory’s “Alexander the Orphan”
5. Ryan Naughton, Arizona State Univ.  – Natural Nobility and Fair Unknowns

 

Saturday 10:30 PM
 436 – BERNHARD 158
Space, Place, and Disability (A Panel Discussion)
Sponsor: Society for the Study of Disability in the Middle Ages
Organizer: Joshua Eyler, Rice Univ.
Presider: Tory V. Pearman, Miami Univ. Hamilton
1. Julie Paulson, San Francisco State Univ. – “Fooles that Goon in Goddis Weys”: Mental Disability and Moral Personhood in Late Medieval Literature
2. Danielle Allor, Rutgers Univ.  – “Mobile as Wishes”: Disability, Intersubjectivity, and Community in the Liber confortatorius
3. Leah Pope, Univ. of Wisconsin–Madison – The Grave’s a Fine and Private Place: Death and the Embodied Anglo-Saxon Subject
4. Aleksandra Pfau, Hendrix College – Disability in the Village: Household Care in Late Medieval France

 

Sunday 8:30 AM
527 – BERNHARD 158
Medievalism and Disability (A Roundtable)
Sponsor: Society for the Study of Disability in the Middle Ages
Organizer: Joshua Eyler, Rice Univ.
Presider :John P. Sexton, Bridgewater State Univ.
1. Jess Genevieve Bailey, Univ. of California–Berkeley – Urs Graf ’s Daughter Courage: Violence and Disability in Late Medieval Europe
2. Christopher Baswell, Barnard College – A Visual Database for Medieval Disability
3. Tirumular Narayanan, California State Univ.–Chico – Impaired in Camelot: An Analysis of Ableism in Hal Foster’s Prince Valiant
4. Kisha G. Tracy, Fitchburg State Univ. – Trope or Truth? Medievalism and the Ubiquity of Disability
5. Elizabeth Wawrzyniak, Marquette Univ.  – Life Was Like That: The Grotesque Medieval in the Modern Imagination

 

Sunday 10:30 AM

556 – SCHNEIDER 1325
Gray Matter: Brains, Diseases, and Disorders
Organizer: Deborah Thorpe, Univ. of York
Presider: Aleksandra Pfau, Hendrix College
1. Wendy J. Turner, Augusta Univ. – Treatment of Learning Disabilities and Other Mental Health Issues in Medieval English Medicine and Law
2. Agnes Karpinski, Univ. des Saarlandes  – Madness, Nightmares, Melancholy: Exceptional Mental States in Medieval Com-
mentaries on Aristotle’s De somno
3. Eliza Buhrer, Loyola Univ. New Orleans – Attention and Distraction in Medieval Thought

 

 

Full program of the Medieval congress here

Podcast – Amputer au Moyen Âge par Patrice Georges

Archéologie de la santé – anthropologie du soin – Colloque international organisé par l’Inrap, en partenariat avec le Musée national de l’homme.
Les  30 novembre et  1er décembre 2016 à l’Auditorium Jean Rouch – Musée de l’Homme

par Patrice Georges, archéo-anthropologue à l’Institut national de recherches archéologiques préventives (Inrap) et membre de l’UMR 5608 TRACES

L’ensemble des sources disponibles pour le Moyen Âge, dans l’acception la plus large du terme, permet de documenter l’opération chirurgicale de l’amputation (« ablation d’une extrémité du corps, voire d’une partie du corps »), tant sur le plan théorique que pratique. Sources historiques et archives du sol montrent un acte chirurgical réfléchi, maîtrisé, avec des outils appropriés et accompagné des soins concomitants.

Patrice Georges est archéo-anthropologue à l’Institut national de recherches archéologiques préventives (Inrap) et membre de l’UMR 5608 TRACES « Travaux et recherches archéologiques sur les cultures, les espaces et les sociétés » (équipes Terrae et Pôle Afrique).

À ce titre, il consacre principalement ses recherches sur les pratiques funéraires et les gestes portés sur et autour du corps, en France comme à l’étranger. Il dirige la collection « Mourir à travers les siècles » aux éditions L’Harmattan.

Link for the podcast

CFP – ‘“Why is my pain perpetual?” (Jer 15:18): Chronic Pain in the Middle Ages’ – London – 29 september 2017

Conference: ‘“Why is my pain perpetual?” (Jer 15:18): Chronic Pain in the Middle Ages’
Location: Institute of Advanced Studies, University College London, London, UK
Date: Friday, 29 September 2017

Extended deadline : Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Pain is a universal human experience. We have all hurt at some point, felt that inescapable sensory challenge to our physical equanimity, our health and well-being compromised. Typically, our agonies are fleeting. For some, however, suffering becomes an artefact of everyday living: our pain becomes ‘chronic’. Chronic pain is persistent, usually lasting for three months or more, does not respond well to analgesia, and does not improve after the usual healing period of any injury.
Following Elaine Scarry’s (1985) seminal work The Body in Pain, researchers from various humanities disciplines have productively studied pain as a physical phenomenon with wide-ranging emotional and socio-cultural effects. Medievalists have also analysed acute pain, elucidating a specifically medieval construction of physical distress. In almost all such scholarship – modern and medieval – chronic pain has been overlooked.
The new field of medieval disability studies has also neglected chronic pain as a primary object of study. Instead, disability scholars in the main focus on ‘visible’ and ‘mainstream’ disabilities, such as blindness, paralysis, and birth defects. Indeed, disability historian Beth Linker argued in 2013 that ‘[m]ore historical attention should be paid to the unhealthy disabled’, including those in chronic pain (‘On the Borderland’, 526). This conference seeks specifically to pay ‘historical attention’ to chronic pain in the medieval era. It will bring together researchers from across disciplines working on chronic pain, functioning as a collaborative space for medievalists to enter into much-needed conversations on this highly overlooked area of scholarship.

Prof Esther Cohen (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), one of the foremost scholars on pain in the Middle Ages, will deliver the keynote address at the conference.

Relevant topics for this conference include:
· Medieval conceptions and theories of chronic pain, as witnessed by scientific, medical, and theological works
· Paradigms of chronic pain developed in modern scholarship – and what medievalists can learn from, and contribute to, them
· Comparative analyses of chronic pain in religious versus secular narratives
· Recognition or rejection of chronic pain as an affirmative subjective identity
· Chronic pain and/as disability
· The potential share-ability of pain in medieval narratives, such as texts which show an individual taking on the pain of another
· The relationship between affect and the severity, understanding, and experience of pain
· The manner in which gender impacts the experience, expression, and management of an individual’s chronic pain

If you’re interested in speaking at the conference, please submit an abstract of 250-300 words and a brief bio to the organiser, Alicia Spencer-Hall (a.spencer-hall [at] qmul.ac.uk), by 15 January 2017. Please also stipulate your audio-visual requirements in your submission (e.g. projector, speakers, and so forth).

NB Speakers will need to register for the conference in due course. The registration fee is £20. The fee is waived completely for concessions (students, the unwaged, retired scholars).

If you have any queries, including access requirements, please do not hesitate to contact the organiser.

This conference contributes to the ‘Sense and Sensation’ research strand at UCL’s Institute of Advanced Studies. This strand also comprises a Reading Group focused on chronic pain. To join the Reading Group, please email the organiser, Alicia Spencer-Hall.

More info on Alicia’s blog

CFP – Wounding and Caring: Vulnerable Bodies in Narrative at the American Comparative Literature Association – Utrecht University in Utrecht, the Netherlands July 6-9, 2017.

Seminar – Wounding and Caring: Vulnerable Bodies in Narrative at the American Comparative Literature Association – Utrecht University in Utrecht, the Netherlands July 6-9, 2017.

Organizer: Andreea Marculescu

Co-Organizer: Amit Baishya

 

Vulnerability is a key term in a strand of recent feminist scholarship (Adriana Cavarero, Judith Butler, Rosalyn Diprose, Kelly Oliver, Ann Murphy). Vulnerability is not defined here as a temporary situation specific to certain subjects; rather, as Butler points out in Frames of War, it is a condition of social life, one where the subject is exposed to forms of violence that she cannot anticipate or pre-empt. In this sense, vulnerability is intrinsic to definitions of the “human” and captures the subject in intersubjective relations with a host of (unknown and, possibly, unknowable) others. Consideration of vulnerability entails, thus, both the recognition of one’s own dependency on others and the designing of collective mechanisms and frameworks of care for bodies. Furthermore, following the etymological root of the word vulnerability (the Latin vulnus), Cavarero underlines that this category designates a susceptibility to both wounding and caring. As a wounded body, the subject is unilaterally exposed to pain and suffering. The subject afflicted by such violence is trapped in the reality of her own suffering; she cannot step away or fight against the infliction of suffering upon her. Yet, this suffering body can also be cared for by others.

 

Therefore, while the risk of violence done by the other is a crucial factor in the analysis of vulnerability, frames of care that recognize the existence of particular vulnerable bodies should also be part of the critical discourse about the ethical and ontological status of precarious subjects. Indeed, external socio-political frameworks are crucial in validating which subjects can be placed (or not) under the category of vulnerability. Hence the need, according to Butler, for the introduction of a term such as « grievability »—the condition of possibility that determines whether a life is encompassed within the frames of vulnerability, risk and precariousness. « Wounding, » « caring, » « grievability, » and « responsibility » become, therefore, key terms that must be critically elaborated in tracing the physico-emotional profile of vulnerable bodies and also the recognition of their socio-cultural value.

 

Keeping these insights in mind, this seminar seeks to discuss the narrative production, valuation and circulation of vulnerable bodies belonging to different historical, social and political contexts. As we mentioned above, vulnerability should be understood as a shared condition that places us in relationships of dependence and linkage to others. We would like to initiate a transhistorical and cross-cultural discussion about the representation of vulnerable bodies in the dual sense outlined above in this seminar.

Contact the Seminar Organizers

Submit a paper for this seminar.