Call for Papers: 47th International Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo, Michigan, 10-13 May 2012*
"Noble Suffering: Representations of the Experience of Pain"
Sponsor: Medica: The Society for the Study of Healing in the Middle Ages
This session will examine the redemptive potential for pain and suffering as evidenced in the material and literary culture of medieval Europe. We invite proposals that investigate portrayals of both emotional and physical suffering in religious and secular art and literature. Speakers are encouraged to explore representations of redemptive pain as expressed in images, objects, and texts from a broad range of perspectives, from saint to sinner, romantic hero to base criminal.
Possible topics include:
- Images of pain in religious art and texts, such as renditions of scripture, the lives of the saints, etc.
- Representations of pain in literature, such as romance, drama, fabliaux, etc.
- Images and treatment of pain in medical texts
- Associations of pain and suffering with specific diseases, such as leprosy
- Pain and suffering in secular punishment
Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words and a completed Participant Information Form (PIF) by e-mail to Linda Migl Keyser
by *15 September 2011*.
Additional information for applicants and the PIF are available at http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress/submissions/index.html.
(h/t H-SCI-MED-TECH listserv)
Although I am an amateur and an interloper, I maintain an intense, long-standing interest in medieval history, both in terms of its dialectic relationship with the studia humanitatis -- which, contrary to popular belief, really originated in the late Middle Ages rather than exclusively in the Renaissance -- and as to several topics in medieval medicine, most notably the history of pain in medieval culture. My understanding is that the Kalamazoo conference is the landmark medieval studies conference in the U.S., and it is very cool to see a panel being proposed on pain.
For those wishing further reading on this subject, please do check out Esther Cohen's masterful recent monograph on pain in late medieval culture.