Feminist Take On/Construction of the Enclosed Garden (Kalamazoo, 13-16 May 2010)

full name / name of organization: 
M.C. Bodden and Jennifer Borland/ The Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship and The Medieval Feminist Art History Project

Feminist Take On/Construction of the Enclosed Garden (Kalamazoo 2010)

International Congress on Medieval Studies
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo MI
13-16 May 2010

The enclosed or walled garden (hortus conclusus) was read both allegorically as the perpetually virginal (closed) body of the Virgin Mary, and metaphorically as the locus of erotic desires, the body of woman. Operating as a meta-narrative of sexual fulfillment, of male ingenuity of pursuit, of women misdirected through hedged mazes, the garden's privacy intensified its seductive appeal of controlled nature and controlled women. This session will explore the discourses by which controlled nature sanctioned control of women, and consider the relationships between nature, rhetoric and sexual aesthetics.

We invite papers that re-examine the enclosed garden trope in medieval and early modern English (and Continental) textual and visual representations as a way of reconstructing the trope's constructions of gender, courtly love, and attempted conquest of women. We especially invite papers in which this trope is shown to be subverted, humorously inverted, disrupted or reversed.

Please submit abstracts for twenty-minute papers by September 15, 2009. Papers focusing on textual and literary representations, submit to:

Dr. M.C. Bodden

English Department
Marquette University
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881

Papers focusing on visual and graphic representations, submit to:

Dr. Jennifer Borland

Department of Art
108 Bartlett Center for the Visual Arts
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078-4085

Organizers: M.C. Bodden and Jennifer Borland