Networks of Song and Story: Convent and Community in Medieval France
This session adopts an interdisciplinary approach to women’s communities centered at French religious houses, and interprets creative, devotional, and other kinds of output inspired by these institutional contexts. How did music, art, liturgies, and literature figure in representations and articulations of these women’s voices? We consider how such works created networks among writers, readers, and performers, and we investigate how convents, functioning as inspiration and narrative loci, shaped lyric and text. We aim to newly demonstrate how particular institutional contexts framed gendered expression and communal life, and how particular works reflected and fashioned women’s voices, within and beyond convent walls.