Join the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship at the MLA Convention in Washington, DC, January 6-9, 2022 | PROPOSALS DUE March 15, 2021
1. Magic and Gender in Medieval Literature
Magic was omnipresent in the Middle Ages: theorized by natural philosophers, debated by theologians, written about in a wide variety of practical texts and literary genres, and undertaken by a wide range of practitioners, including what Richard Kieckhefer has described as “a clerical underworld.” Unlike the early modern obsession with witches, most medieval magical instruction books limit the knowledge they hold to learned men. Yet in literature, gender seemingly is no barrier for who can cast spells, create potions, or divine the future. While the “authority” of magic is recorded in books understood as the parvenu of men and in particular, of clerics, the practice of magic throughout the medieval period is undertaken by male and female, alike. In fact, more often women, particularly women of the fey and euhemerized goddesses, are wielders of powerful magic. This panel investigates the gendered slipperiness surrounding depictions of magic in medieval literature.
Submit 300-word abstracts and a brief bio for 15-20-minute papers to Melissa Ridley Elmes (MElmes@lindenwood.edu) and Kersti Francis (firstname.lastname@example.org) by March 15, 2021.
2. Gendered Violence in Old English Literature
The Old English MLA forum and the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship are proposing a jointly-sponsored session on gendered violence in Old English literature. The last decades have witnessed an increased interest in research on the relationship between gender and violence in the Middle Ages, with new studies exploring the construction of gender through violence and women as its victims. Gender theory and feminist studies have done much to refine methodologies used in this research, especially in the late Middle Ages. Still, there is a great deal of work to be done in the area of gendered violence, in particular in the literature of the early English era.
Panel co-sponsored by the Old English Forum and the Society for Medieval Feminist Studies. This panel is not guaranteed.
For more information and suggested topics please see the PDF below.