Monday, August 2, 2010

“Proselytism and Performance”

“Proselytism and Performance”

International Medieval Congress in Kalamazoo, Michigan

12-15 May 2011

Throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance, live performances served to promote religious ideologies and practices among believers, as well as to proselytize to those outside a given faith. At times such proselytism was overtly aimed at conversion, while in other circumstances it was concerned with negotiating the spaces between two or more religious communities or systems of belief. These functions were not restricted to a performance’s text or language, but were also achieved through staging practices, locale, rhythmic and musical elements, visual devices, and other performance tactics. These performative strategies—whether subtle or explicit—could prove especially useful when contact between faiths generated conflict or anxiety.

This panel invites work that considers the relationship between proselytism and performance across the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The organizer conceives of both terms—“proselytism” and “performance”—broadly, and specifically invites topics from across all geographic regions and religions in the Middle Ages and/or Renaissance.

Please submit one-page abstracts and a completed Participant Information form ( to Jill Stevenson at no later than September 15, 2010. Feel free to contact Jill with questions about the session. For general information about the 2011 Medieval Congress, visit:

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