CFP: [Medieval] Medieval Skin conference

full name / name of organization: 
Dr Katie Louise Walter
contact email: 



An interdisciplinary conference to be held at the Ruhr-Universität
Bochum, Germany

17-19 July 2009

‘This troubly liif hath al to longe endurid,
Not haue I wist hou in my skyn to tourne’

Thomas Hoccleve, My Compleinte

Skin is a multifarious image in medieval culture: the literal surface for
inscribing texts and illuminating images, human skin (and Christ’s in
particular) also becomes a ‘text’ to be read; wounds in the skin bespeak
the vulnerability of bodily boundaries and become points of entry
(sacred, mundane, and profane) in which bodies and selves mingle and
blur. So too is skin implicated in medieval thinking about the
conditions of being human and the production of subjects and selves, as
Hoccleve’s image of turning in his skin suggests. Recent scholarship has
begun to address these (and other) uses and representations of skin in
medieval contexts in stimulating ways; this conference seeks to bring
together current scholarship from across the disciplines (history,
literary studies, art history, the history of medicine, etc) to invite
new readings of and reflections upon skin.

We welcome proposals for papers (in English) that take up a wide variety
of responses and methodologies, but proposals may like to consider any of
the following themes:

- Manuscript production, parchment-making, and material culture
- Medicine, surgery, and barber-surgery (including anatomy and
- The sense of touch (and the experiences of pleasure/pain)
- Religious and literary images
- Legal and punitive contexts (e.g. branding, flaying, torture)
- Art historical representations
- Animal skin
- Aesthetics and cosmetics
- Clothing
- Race and skin-colour
- Modern theories of skin

Abstracts (300 words) for proposed papers (20 mins) should be submitted
to Dr Katie Walter ( by 31st October 2008. Queries
regarding the conference may also be addressed to Katie Walter.

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Received on Sun Jun 01 2008 - 09:29:34 EDT