CFP: [Medieval] Saints and Sinners of the Middle Ages

full name / name of organization: 
Jack R. Baker
contact email: 

The seventh annual Conference for Medieval Studies, a graduate student
conference sponsored by Comitatus (the Purdue Medieval Studies student
organization) will be held at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana on
February 20-21, 2009. The theme for this year's conference will be "Saints
and Sinners of the Middle Ages."

Ann W. Astell, Professor of Theology at Notre Dame University and author of
The Song of Songs in the Middle Ages (1990), Job, Boethius, and Epic Truth
(1994), Chaucer and the Universe of Learning (1996), and Eating Beauty: The
Eucharist and the Spiritual Arts of the Middle Ages (2006) will be the
keynote speaker for this year's conference.

Our theme looks at the various roles of saints and sinners throughout the
Middle Ages. The literary and historical texts surrounding these medieval
figures are multilingual, fantastic, and spiritually rich-fitting well into
the interdisciplinary approach of our conference. Because saintliness and
sinfulness could be idiosyncratic, they were often expressed in different
and interesting ways in the texts of the Middle Ages. What is more,
saintliness and sinfulness extend beyond words on a page to other areas
such as scribal practices, manuscript creation, art, architecture, and many
other facets of medieval life.

We are inviting both 250-word abstracts for papers and panel proposals from
graduate students and advanced undergraduates. Individual papers should be
kept to 15-20 minutes in length. Possible topics might include, but are
certainly not limited to, the following:

- The lives of saints in vernaculars and their dependence upon the Latin

- The occurrence of marginalia in manuscripts depicting both the sacred and
the sordid.

- The role of saintliness or sinfulness in everyday medieval life.

- The commodification of relics in the Middle Ages.

- Saintliness and sinfulness in detailed illuminations, wall paintings,
architectural reliefs, etc.

- The experiences of holy women and holy men.

Due Date for Abstracts: October 31st, 2008

Please send all abstracts to:
Jack R. Baker (preferred method)
Purdue University
Department of English
500 Oval Drive West Lafayette, IN 47907-2038

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Received on Wed Sep 17 2008 - 11:06:51 EDT