Monday, August 29, 2011

Loving Relations: Familial Love in the Early Medieval World

47th International Congress on Medieval Studies (Kalamazoo)
May 10-13, 2012

Loving Relations: Familial Love in the Early Medieval World

Familial love was a social and cultural foundation, described by some medieval authors as the microcosm for wider social order and interaction. It was also a model used to portray the close bonds of religious relationships, such as the ties between monk and abbot, layperson and priest, or human and God. Descriptions of familial love have much to offer scholars interested in early medieval social and cultural history as well as scholars of gender, as expressions of love varied based on the gender, age, and relative power dynamic of the parties involved.

This session will seek to explore expressions of familial love in the early Middle Ages. We hope to discover how love was expressed or enacted between spouses, parents and children, and siblings in natal, adoptive or foster families. We also encourage explorations of how descriptions of familial love compared to expressions of love between friends, within secular political relationships, religious communities, and even the wider “community of man.” We seek to have an interdisciplinary panel that reflects the various ways that familial love is reflected in the textual and material culture of the early medieval world. The aim of the panel is to bring together scholars who wish to explore how expressions of love and family bonds can deepen our understanding of the literature and emotional, social, cultural, and political history of the early Middle Ages.

Please send proposals and a Participant Information Form (link below) to by September 15th.

The Participant Information Form can be downloaded in MS Word or pdf format from

All the best,
Amber Handy

Amber Handy, PhD
Assistant Professor of History
Mississippi University for Women
1100 College St MUW-1634
Columbus MS 39701

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