Call for Papers: ‘Decentering the Self: Liminality and Marginality in Self-Presentation’, International Congress on Medieval Studies, deadline 15 September 2021

Recent work on subjecthood and patronage in Byzantine studies has shown the import of formulas and models, especially in light of liturgical and literary ones, for understanding and presenting the self. At the same time, theories of queerness and intersectionality have been used to bring greater awareness to previously overlooked medieval identities. Drawing on these discourses, this panel revisits traditional sites of self-presentation, such as seals, donation images, and objects of commemoration to ask how these issues were visualized. How did patrons with marginal or liminal identities represent themselves? Or why would a patron choose to represent themselves via a figure whose identity did not fit neatly into societally defined categories? For example, why would a man choose an angel as his emblem? At stake is how we recognize and interpret medieval self-identification. Speakers are encouraged to address de-centered subjects, either patrons or iconographies, and ask how the arena of self-presentation can aid our understanding of what liminal and marginal meant to medieval patrons and viewers. 

The organisers welcome papers exploring these themes from Late Antiquity to the Late Middle Ages and from any geographic area.

Please submit abstracts of 300 words via the ICMS Website. For questions please contact the organizers.

Session organizers
Alexis Gorby, University of Oxford
Lora Webb, Stanford University

Session sponsor
Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Stanford University

Published by charlottecook

Charlotte Cook graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in European History from Washington & Lee University in 2019. In 2020 she received her Master’s degree in History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, earning the classification of Merit. Her research explores questions of royal patronage, both by and in honor of rulers, in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century England. She has worked as a researcher and collections assistant at several museums and galleries, and plans to begin her PhD in the autumn of 2022.

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