Monday, August 2, 2010

Generational Difference and Medieval Masculinity (2 sessions)

The following sessions will be of considerable interest to several list
members, I think. I send it along to you with the usual pleas for
forgiveness for cross-posting. Please feel free to forward to other interested parties!

Generational Difference and Medieval Masculinity (2 sessions)
1: Fathers and Sons in the Early Middle Ages
2: Fathers and Sons in the Later Middle Ages

These sessions have two aims. First, they will focus on masculinity, which
functions as an unexamined given in much gender scholarship; second,
they will
integrate cross-generational relations into the discussion by exploring
relations between fathers and sons. The paradigmatic father-son
relationship is
that of Abraham and Isaac; the standard reading explores kinds and degrees of
obedience. When the issue of obedience is decentered, however, father-son
relationships become a framework for a wider, more culturally complex inquiry
into law; labor; the history of the family, of motherhood, of childhood;
education in the craft shop or in the home; and others. There are
also affilial
relationships that acquire filial overtones, e.g., in monastic contexts, the
relationship between an abbot and his “son,” the monk. Many
behavioral traits
not necessarily raised in scriptural examples, including competition between
fathers and sons, Oedipal desire, homosociality, and others,
nonetheless figure
into medieval history, literary texts, and iconography.

One of the premises of the session is that father-son relationships raise
questions of masculinity in which one party poses a standard the
other must try
to reach. Not every father is an example to his son, however, and the
generational advantage of age does not establish the higher standard in every
case. Two-page abstracts for 20-minute papers are invited by August 31. For
more information and submissions, please contact Allen J.
Frantzen (

1 comment:

Jonathan Jarrett said...

Context-dependent I think! Where are these sessions occurring?