Kalamazoo 2014 Call for Papers: Monastic Sexualities


“Monastic Sexualities”

Syon Abbey Society Sponsored Session at the International Medieval Congress, Kalamazoo, MI, 8-11 May, 2014

This session offers an opportunity for scholars to discuss the paradoxical issue of sexuality in medieval monasteries. Though the cloister ostensibly required physical celibacy, monks and nuns found many ways to express varieties of sexuality through their art, writing, and devotion. Christ was lover and spouse; mystical union with him could be figured in terms that would make most lay husbands and wives blush. Desire formed the basis of much metaphorical devotional language, and the praying body became a very much awake and sexualized agent despite the prohibitions against obeying the will of the flesh. The goal of this session is to bring into conversation different case studies of ways in which a variety of sexualities found expression in monastic contexts, throughout medieval Europe.

Please contact Laura Miles (laura.miles@gmail.com) with abstract proposals or any questions regarding this session. Abstracts due Sept. 15th.

For more information on the 2014 Kalamazoo congress, follow this link: http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress/

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