CFP: Kalamazoo Medieval Congress 2012

The Syon Abbey Society will once again be hosting a sponsored session at the Kalamazoo Medieval Congress in May, 2012. Here is the official CFP.

This year our session is titled MONASTIC VERNACULARITIES and we are seeking a wide range of papers – not necessarily limited to Syon Abbey.  A more detailed description:

The late-medieval English Birgittine house of Syon Abbey fostered a rich tradition of religious vernacular literature and translation within its walls. ‘Monastic Vernacularities’ is in the spirit of the Birgittines’ vernacular tradition, but open to papers concerning any order of medieval Western Europe. We encourage submission of a broad range of abstracts related in some way to the idea of the vernacular within a monastic context.

Recent scholarship has explored the idea of the vernacular in terms of lay devotion, secular literature, and the gendered reader, and this session will both extend and build off these in order to more precisely understand how the vernacular operated for different communities of cloistered readers.

 What was the relationship between the use of the vernacular and rates of literacy within monastaries and convents? Did individual houses foster distinctive ‘vernaculars’? How did the use of the vernacular evolve over time, in relation to the shifting sands of devotional trends and political climates? How did the vernacular operate in liturgy? We hope to foster an interdisciplinary discussion probing the multiplicity of vernaculars operating within the predominantly Latin monastic culture of the Middle Ages. 

CFP deadline: Sept. 15. Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words to laura.miles@gmail.com.

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