Call for Papers: New Perspectives on Catherine of Siena and her Contemporaries

Call for Papers, Kalamazoo International Medieval Congress 2016, 12-15 May

Session: “New Perspectives on Catherine of Siena and her Contemporaries”

Sponsoring Group: Vernacular Devotional Cultures Group

There has been a surge in interest in Catherine of Siena as a result of Heather McWebb’s Speculum article and recent books and articles on Catherine’s life and revelations. This topic provides a useful intersection for many current scholarly concerns, including female-male collaboration, vernacular readers and textual production, prophecy and politics, self-studies, and semi-religious orders and religious vocations, for example. This interdisciplinary session will allow scholars and students to showcase recent ideas about Catherine of Siena and explore how her work expanded traditional patriarchal boundaries, as well as to compare this material with that of other late-medieval female mystics working in the vernacular.

Please submit abstracts for this session to Catherine Annette Grisé, McMaster University, grisec@mcmaster.ca, by September 15, 2015.

Notice of New Society: Vernacular Devotional Cultures Group

Valerie Lagorio’s retirement as editor of Mystics Quarterly has left a gap in the offerings of Kalamazoo sessions for recent work on late-medieval vernacular devotional literature and culture. The sessions presented at Kalamazoo 2015 by Daniel Armenti and Nahir Otano Gracia to celebrate the retirement of Elizabeth Avilda Petroff, a major scholar of European female mystics working in the vernacular, brought together scholars and students who were influenced by her work. These sessions reminded participants of the importance of continuing to highlight the role of vernacular devotional culture–championed by female visionaries, but also written and disseminated by clerics and monks, and read by women religious  as well as by the laity.

We are sponsoring one session in Kalamazoo 2016 for scholars and students of late-medieval, vernacular devotional culture. We wish to complement the work being done by such groups as the Syon Abbey Society, the Lollard Society, and the Anchoritic Society. It is our hope that at the 2016 Congress we will generate enough interest to launch officially a Vernacular Devotional Cultures Group that will have a continued presence at Kalamazoo.

If you are interested in being put on the mailing list for the new Vernacular Devotional Cultures Group please send your contact information, affiliation, and research interests to grisec@mcmaster.ca.

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