Category Archives: News

Kalamazoo 2015: Hagiography Society session announcement

For the Hagiography Society, I have organized a panel on “Global Sanctity” for the 2015 International Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo.

Global Sanctity: Demons and the Demonic
“Biographical Episodes from the Life of Iblis, the Islamic Satan, as Narrated in Islamic Historical, Exegetical, and Other Literary Sources”
Aram Shahin, James Madison University

“Relics Possessed by Demons: Inter-confessional Conflict in Medieval Syriac Hagiography”
Liza Anderson, Yale University

“The Devil Made Me Do It: Hrotsvit’s Theophilus and Basilius”
Sarah Bogue, Emory University

Kalamazoo 2015: Hortulus session announcement

In my role as the co-editor of Hortulus: The Online Graduate Journal of Medieval Studies, I have organized a Hortulus-sponsored session for the 2015 International Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo. We are excited to announce the papers selected for our panel.

Pilgrimage, Travel, and Exploration
“Inverse Pilgrimage: Wandering Relics in the Hagiographical Tradition of Saint Amand”
Kate M. Craig, University of California, Los Angeles

“‘You take the high road and I’ll take the low road’: Exploring the Experience of Pilgrimage to Monastic and Civic Shrines in Twelfth-Century Apulia”
Amy Devenney, University of Leeds

“The Rise of Pictorial Narrative in the Cult of Saint Ursula”
Andrew R. Sears, University of California, Berkeley

“John Mandeville Travels to British South Africa”
Galia Halpern, New York University

Kalamazoo 2014: Session announcement

I have organized and the Kalamazoo ICMS programming committee has approved two special sessions under the theme, “Speech, Performance, and Authority in Later Medieval Literature,” for the 2014 Congress.

Speech, Performance, and Authority in Later Medieval Religious Literature I
“Who’s Taking Now? Dialogues in the Works of Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe”
Therese Novotny, Marquette University

“Figuring out the Son’s Dede: Julian of Norwich and the Theology of Pun”
James Howard, Emory University

“The Last Words of Robert Henryson’s Fox”
Chad Schrock, Lee University

Speech, Performance and Authority in Later Medieval Religious Literature II
“Texting Yourself: Vernacular Confessional Texts and the Verbalization of Interiority”
Krista A. Murchison, University of Ottawa

The Gast of Gy: Appropriation of a Personal Purgatory”
Deirdre Riley, Binghamton University

“Like an Empty Bubble: Demonic Saints, Illitterata, and Cura Mulierum from the Fourth Lateran Council to the Fifth Monarchy”
Stacie Vos, Yale Divinity School

CFP, Kalamazoo ICMS 2014

Speech, Performance, and Authority in Later Medieval Religious Literature
49th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 8-11 May 2014

This session will explore the use of speech, voice, and dialogue in later medieval religious literature, including texts produced during the high and late Middle Ages (c. 1000-1500). The session will engage with current scholarly discourse from a number of disciplinary angles, including studies of the performativity and rhetoric of medieval religious texts as well as the study of the history of dialogue. The papers in the session will seek to expand upon J.L. Austin’s historic studies of performative speech and also to converse with newer criticism, such as Mary Hayes’s 2011 book, Divine Ventriloquism in Medieval English Literature: Power, Anxiety, and Subversion. Such scholarship on religious literature is burgeoning, as evidenced by the large audience for a similar session at the 2013 Congress, entitled “Voice, Dialogue, and Conversation in Later Medieval Religious Literature.” While limiting itself to religious literature in particular, the session will allow a number of scholars to engage with questions of voice and speech from various perspectives. Scholars of visionary literature may contribute by exploring God’s voice and the mystic’s authorial and visionary “I”. Because this session does not limit itself to the religious literature of a particular language, a paper might engage with the fascinating linguistic and theological question of whether or not God speaks in the vernacular or in Latin. Other presenters may explore the medieval Christian’s voice in prayer and his or her engagement in dialogue with the divine. Later medieval religious writings provide a nearly exclusive avenue through which the typically politically voiceless – namely the laity and women – are able to speak. By engaging with the question of voice, medieval literary scholars will gain the opportunity to enhance their engagement with the performative aspects of religious literature and address questions of listening, speaking, and conversing in the historically-significant genre of religious dialogue literature.

Submit proposals to Jenny C. Bledsoe at by September 10, 2013.