Symposium "Sanctity and Literature", 12-13 November, 2010

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Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany
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Sanctity and Literature

A symposium to be held at the Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany,
12-13 November 2010

Keynote Speaker: Dr Anke Bernau (University of Manchester)

Sanctity is a construct in which text and context each have their roles to play. It owes its existence and survival to it being accepted by believers. Hagiography is the prime example of this mutual relationship. As one of the most prominent genres of the Middle Ages, saints' lives present themselves as fascinating texts firmly grounded in people's everyday lives: they are a means of edification and entertainment, bearers of popular devotion and religion, vehicles of their time and culture as well as important testaments to the interface between Latin and vernacular literature. The different roles texts play in establishing and preserving sanctity is the topic of this conference.

We welcome interdisciplinary proposals for papers which explore the dynamic relationship between sanctity and literature, from both scholars and graduate students (working on the concept of sanctity and/or saints' lives) from late Antiquity through Medieval and Renaissance periods. Papers might address, in particular, the languages of hagiography, questions of gender, genre and reception, transmission history, theological issues, stylistics and literary art.

Proposals of no more than 300 words should be emailed to Eva von Contzen ( by 31 December 2009.

Contact details:
Eva von Contzen
Department of English
Universitätsstraße 150
44780 Bochum, Germany


Phone: +49-234-32-25732