CFP: Body/Booty: Medieval Ass-ets (grad) (2/5/07; 3/16/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Wych-Elm Tree
contact email: 

2nd Annual Medieval Studies/CUNY Medievalists
Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference
March 16, 2007
CUNY Graduate Center, New York, NY
Body/Booty: Medieval Ass-ets

The body was central to the configuration of
numerous discourses in the medieval era. Whether
considering corporeal bodies, social bodies, or body
as trope, there was a recurring tendency to assess
the value of the body according to various measures
of worth: sexual, spiritual, economic, etc. We
invite papers from all academic disciplines that
probe questions surrounding the body and its
commodification from late antiquity through the
early modern period. How were ideas about the body
constructed? How did these various constructions
intersect with and inform concepts of class, race,
religion, law, gender, and/or value?
Topics may include but are not limited to:

 * physicality and physiognomy
 * looting, pillaging, and plunder
 * clerical sexualities: celibacy ,
           concubinage, traditions specific
           to women, etc.
 * barter, exchange, and usury
 * the olde daunce
 * intersections of capital with the
 * fasting, stigmata, affective devotional
 * taxation, tribute, banal lordship
 * bestiary, beast fable, fabliau
 * mendicant orders, charity, patronage
 * saintly relics: inventio, translatio,
 * leprosy, sodomy, heresy or other
 * performing identity or performing

 * sacred embodiments in cycle and passion

 * Christian doctrines vis-à-vis the body:
           virgin birth, resurrection, assumption,
           transubstantiation, etc.
 * impact of the plague on art & literature
           within affective devotional practices
 * pilgrimage -- putting one's body in
           proximity to distant relics,sacred
sites etc. through holy travel
* Miraculous bodily healing by saints,
          Virgin Mary, etc.

* textual bodies and a "body of work" (text
          as body /body as text)

* the body in performance / performing the
* bodily rituals
* body as geography
Please submit abstracts of 250 words with
"Body/Booty" in the subject line to
by Monday Feb. 5, 2007.

Professor Valerie Allen (John Jay College of
Criminal Justice, CUNY) will deliver our keynote
address. Her most recent publication is On
Farting: Language and Laughter in the Middle Ages
(Palgrave 2006).
"From Feud to Revenge: Getting Even in Medieval

"Revenge" as a word is not current in England until
the sixteenth century. Even vengeance, although used
earlier, enters English as a French borrowing. Prior
to the Conquest, that cluster of concepts denoted by
vengeance and satisfaccioun involves a different set
of words--wrecnes, fæhð--along with an accompanying
vocabulary of compensation, usually monetary--bot,
wergild, etc. In Anglo-Saxon England, bodies and
pockets were more explicitly commensurable and
fungible than they were in the later Middle Ages. As
one of Æthelred's laws states it: a slave who fails
the ordeal twice will "not be able to make any
amends [ bot] except by his head." In this talk, we
trace the changing process of amendment and getting
even in medieval England; its conflicted relationship
with the state; the nature of bodily punishment; and
the distinctions and equivalences between body parts
and coins.

"Body/Booty: Medieval Ass-ets" is an
interdisciplinary conference organized by the
Medieval Studies Certificate Program and the
CUNY-Medievalists Pearl Kibre Library at the CUNY
Graduate Center.
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Received on Sun Feb 04 2007 - 13:31:07 EST