Gender and Punishment: Gender and Medieval Studies Conference 2012

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University of Manchester

Gender and Punishment: Gender and Medieval Studies Conference 2012

11th - 13th January 2012, The University of Manchester Keynote Speakers: Professor Dawn Hadley (University of Sheffield) and Professor Karen Pratt (King's College, London)

Submissions are now being accepted for 20 minute papers.

Punishment is intrinsically related to the way in which authorities (such as the church, monarchy and state) seek to control, enforce and legislate the behaviour of individuals, communities and nations, and accordingly it plays an integral role in regulating bodies, spaces, spirituality and relationships. Representations of punishment - whether threatened, enacted, depicted or performed - are regularly encountered by medievalists working across the disciplines of literature, history, art and archaeology. This conference seeks to explore functions and manifestations of punishment in the Middle Ages and to consider to what extent these are determined by, or aim to determine, gender identity. How is punishment gendered? How does gender intersect with punishment?

Topics to consider may include but are not limited to:

Punishment in the beginning; the medieval understanding of the Fall.
Punishment, pedagogy and gender: the use of punishment in teaching.
Christianity, gender and punishment; treatment of the sinful body.
Punishment of Jewish, Saracen and heretical men and women.
Personal identity and self-inflicted acts of punishment.
The (gendered) use of space as punishment.
Regal punishments; punishments enacted upon or by medieval rulers.
Punishment and the regulation of perceived sexual deviance.
Punishment and spectacle; performance of punishment on and off the stage.
Gender relations in specific acts of punishment.
Confession and penance (as punishment): gendered role of confessor; issues relating to differences between female and male confession and penance.
Hell, the diabolic, and representations of gender.

We welcome scholars from a range of disciplines, including history, literature, art history and archaeology. A travel fund is available for postgraduate students who would otherwise be unable to attend.

Please e-mail proposals of no more than 300 words to organiser Daisy Black at the email address All queries should also be directed to this address. Please also include biographical information, detailing your name, research area, institution and level of study if applicable.