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CFP: Kalamazoo 2012

Here are the sessions we hope to offer next year; the Congress will be on May 10-13.

Next year, all three Lollard Society panels will emphasize comparative study – between disciplines, across the supposed divide between medieval and early modern culture, and between thinkers and movements that have in the past been embedded in particular national histories rather than viewed as parts of a larger picture.

1. Historiographies of Feeling Those engaged in historical study, just as much as anthropologists, are attracted to theories of emotion that emphasize difference and change. It seems obvious to us that even if there are some basic continuities in human affect, nonetheless how people express emotion, how they value and interpret it, and even what it is they feel vary considerably in ways that may on the one hand be broadly shared, or on the other, highly specific—to a narrow historical window, a locale, a community, even a genre of writing or performance. This session invites papers that consider how we write about emotions in the past, as well as how we can investigate the ways people in the past understood and expressed their feelings. Papers addressing lollard writings and papers considering other writers or movements for which similar questions arise are equally welcome. Papers might address continuities or influences between times or places, or focus on a particular example.

2. Religious Practice Scholars used to think of “heresy” and “orthodoxy” as fundamentally opposed to one another over doctrinal issues, and of course in the minds of some schoolmen, bishops, and inquisitors, they were. However, we have come to understand that most people did not experience the religion that formed part of their daily life in anything like this way. Rather than sharply demarcated spheres, both orthodoxy in all its variety and religious movements or trends that might be labelled as heresy (but did not perceive themselves in this way) participated in a range of shared and overlapping practices. Invited for this session are papers that focus on religious practice as a means for considering cultural change, the nature of orthodoxy, popular religion, etc. Papers need not focus on late medieval England, or on lollardy: comparative range would be welcome.

3. Influence or Interchange? Vernacular and Scholarly Cultures in the Fifteenth Century It is now a commonplace that late medieval scholastic thought passed into the vernacular while it circulated in Latin, and lollardy has long provided an example of how not just intellectual content but also a range of scholarly habits of reading and bookmaking and argumentation might be transmitted from the academy to vernacular culture. Yet among the materials remaining to us, any vernacular text containing scholarly content, any vernacular book displaying scholarly habits of annotation and production, and any evidence of popular thought and practice (e.g., within heresy trial depositions, or narrative accounts) will demand that we think beyond a simple, one-way transmission from “the schools” to “the people.” This session invites thoughtful analyses of interchange, as well as influence, between vernacular and scholarly cultures.

To submit a proposal, or for any further questions, please get in touch with Fiona Somerset (somerset [at] duke [dot] edu).

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