Hell Studies: Presenting and Representing Hell (ICMS Kalamazoo 2016)

full name / name of organization: 
Societas Daemonetica
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The Societas Daemonetica is accepting proposals for fifteen- to twenty-minute papers for the Hell Studies session Presenting and Representing Hell, to be held at the International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University, May 12-15, 2016.

Representations of Hell appear throughout the Middle Ages, in textual descriptions, manuscript illuminations, portal sculpture, wall paintings - indeed, in nearly every representational medium across Europe from the 5th century to the 15th. How is Hell represented? How are its occupants characterized? From the cold and serpent-filled Hell of the Blickling Homilies to the fiery and torturous one that adorns the façade of Autun, the presentation and representation of Hell has been done in many ways and, it would appear, to many ends. This session seeks to bring scholars from various disciplines together to discuss the ways in which "the other place" is offered up to medieval audiences for consumption, and the insights which can be derived from its study. Despite the vast literature on Hell and its related topics – populated by the likes of J. B. Russell, Henry Ansgar Kelly, Jacques Le Goff, Eileen Gardiner, and so many more – there remains a great deal more to study and address. New scholarship, like Philip Almond's well-received new biography of the Devil published just last year, is constantly being published, adding to our understanding of this dynamic field. With this session, we hope to provide an interdisciplinary forum for new ideas and new perspectives on the looming historical spectre of Hell and what it meant for the people at the time.

We welcome papers from literary, art historical, historical, theological, and interdisciplinary perspectives -- all treatments of the topic are welcome. Please send proposals of no longer than 250 words along with a completed Participant Information Form (http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress/submissions/index.html) to Richard Ford Burley (burleyr@bc.edu) by September 15, 2015. Preliminary inquiries and other questions are also welcome.