Kalamazoo 2010: "Between Thinking and Feeling: Reading Devotionally in Medieval England"

full name / name of organization: 
Jennifer Garrison / St. Mary's University College

Over the past two decades, medieval literary scholars have largely embraced the term 'vernacular theology' as an alternative to the previous term, 'devotional literature,' in order to describe the diverse array of English religious writings which sought to intellectually engage their readers in theological debates. This opposition between 'theology' and 'devotion,' however, creates a division between thought and affect that is not representative of the diversity of medieval religious writings. By questioning this division, this session will seek to contribute to the growing body of scholarship on medieval reading practices and to expand the ways in which we think about so-called 'devotional' reading. Papers could explore such topics as: the intellectual work of affective piety; the ways in which an Old English or Middle English text depicts and/ or invites a particular model of devotional reading; differences between orthodox and heterodox reading practices; gendered reading practices; religious allegory and affect.

Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words and a Participant Information form (available at www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress) to Jennifer Garrison by Sept. 15, 2009.