CFP: Nunneries in Medieval Europe: New Historiographical and Methodological Approaches (Kalamazoo 2015)

Call for Papers:
Nunneries in Medieval Europe: New Historiographical and Methodological Approaches 
Special Sessions at the 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies
Kalamazoo,Michigan, 14-17 May 2015
Deadline: 15 September 2014

Although in the last two decades a large amount of research has pointed out different significant issues regarding female monasticism in Europe, partly overcoming the previous lack of studies, many of them still rely on preconceptions, with a lack of both critical reading and revision and a gender perspective.

In these sessions we aim to address different issues of recent scholarship on female monasticism, questioning some oversimplified and idealised interpretations given by traditional historiography, and redefining some particular points. We will cover a wide timeframe, from the High to the Late Middle Ages (950-1500ca), and this will allow us to consider the evolution and changes in spirituality and liturgy, the gender roles, the relationships of  nunneries with their environment, and the consequences of all this in art and architecture.

nuns-300x244The greater regulation of monasticism and Treaties and Councils of Central and Late Middle Ages involved outstanding  alterations in the roles of religious women, as they tried to undermine women authority and independence, imposing  a more strict control over the administration and religious life.  Likewise, the reform of the religious orders at the end of the Middle Ages insisted also in these restrictions. Nevertheless, we will discuss how religious women managed to overcome this gender limitations, and affirmed their authority taking control over the administration, legislation, liturgy, relationship with the environment and also the artistic  production and commission.

Papers dealing with all these issues are welcome.

Please send your title and abstract (250 words), together with a short CV, to Mercedes Pérez Vidal mercedespvidal@gmail.com and/or Laura Cayrol Bernardo laura.cayrolbernardo@ehess.fr by September 15, 2014.

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