Cognitive Theory @ Kalamazoo: Embodied Mind in the Middle Ages

full name / name of organization: 
49th International Congress on Medieval Studies
contact email: 

Corporeal Consciousness: Embodiment as Means to Enlightenment

Contemporary cognitive theory recognizes the importance of the body to cognitive development, consciousness, and creativity, challenging the dualism that permeates Western thought. Medieval narratives that promote rejection of the body in favor of intellectual and spiritual cultivation, however, cannot be easily dismissed or simplified. Despite the scorn received, the body is essential to enlightenment as demonstrated by such key figures as Ælfred, Julian of Norwich, Margery Kempe, Chaucer's myriad characters, and Thomas Hoccleve—to name a few.

The session, "Corporeal Consciousness: Embodiment as Means to Enlightenment" seeks to illuminate the complexities of the body as the site for intellectual creativity and spiritual awakening by identifying evidence of contemporary theories of mind and consciousness within medieval texts and artifacts.

The 49th International Congress on Medieval Studies takes place May 8-11, 2014 at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan. For more information please consult the website:

The participant information form is found at

Please send a one page abstract and a completed participant information form to by 10 September.