Call for Papers – The Old and the Young: Medieval Bodies Ignored

CfP: The Old and the Young: Medieval Bodies Ignored

Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds 
Sponsored Sessions at Kalamazoo, May 10-13 2018

These sessions will concentrate upon the experiences and bodies of the old and the young. Recognising that the medieval normative body (male, middle aged and white) has influenced the way we look at the MA, the intention of these sessions is to highlight the experiences of children and the elderly which are outside the boundaries of said norm. Furthermore, we wish to gain a greater understanding of how other factors (gender, race, ability, wealth, bodily status, power) intersect with and impact upon the experiences of elderly and young people. While medieval childhood studies is by no means a neglected field, historiography has recently turned away from a ‘panhistorical and essentialist’ child-centric model. This allows us to examine the experiences of a child within culturally specific contexts in which it might be neglected, abandoned or dismissed. Meanwhile, the old are often marginalised in scholarship, within the medieval discourse and in our lived reality. The hope is that by examining their experiences in concert with one another, we will be able to build up a clearer understanding of the lived experience of the old and the young in the Middle Ages.

Intersectional, interdisciplinary abstracts would be particularly welcomed.

Possible Topics Include:

Specific historical experiences of being young and old
Body as physical entity and as a site of rhetoric
Dual nature of body: site of discourse and identity
Descriptions of old and young bodies

Please submit a 250-word proposal for a 15- to 20-minute paper as well as a Participant Information Form to by September 15, 2017.