Saturday, December 11, 2010

Call for Papers Medievalists @ Penn (M@P) Third Annual Graduate Student Conference "Mater(ia) familias: Family Matters"

Call for Papers

Medievalists @ Penn (M@P) Third Annual Graduate Student Conference
"Mater(ia) familias: Family Matters"
April 1-2, 2011, University of Pennsylvania

Keynote speaker: Ann Marie Rasmussen, Duke University

From the nuclear to the royal to the holy, families fill the Middle
Ages. As a dominant structuring principle of society, the concept of
the family knits together the prevalent social, political and economic
relations attending the formation and development of the medieval
subject. As an ideological construct, the family motif pervades all
spheres of cultural _expression, from theological and philosophical
debates to literary creations, visual productions and musical
compositions. As a taxonomizing unit, the notion of family organizes
our understanding of language, of material texts and of literary
categories. This year’s theme asks us to probe and complicate the
questions of gender, structure and power raised by the idea of the
family in order to illuminate the complex discursive relations at the
heart of medieval society.

Our conference invites submissions concerning one or more formulations
of the idea of family. Proposals might look at actual families,
whether functional or dysfunctional, real or supernatural, or seek to
theorize more abstract concepts of family in relation to linguistic
groups, manuscripts and textual transmission. As per our group's
mission, we welcome a plurality of perspectives from across all fields
of study in recognition of the profound interdisciplinarity of our
common object of inquiry: the Middle Ages.

Topics might include, but are not limited to, the following:
text and manuscript families
families of believers
divine families, the Trinity
monastic orders
gender roles
supernatural/monstrous families
genre and canon formation
arranged marriages
marriage as economic transaction
kinship structures
nontraditional/non-nuclear families
sibling rivalry
conduct manuals, didactic texts
wills, legacies, inheritances, posterity
language families
ruptures, estrangement, long distance
childbearing and childrearing

Please send 300-word abstracts to by January 15, 2011


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