Thursday, September 10, 2009

CFP : 45th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, 13-16 May, 2010

The Sacred Places of Medieval Monasticism
Organizers : Kristine Kess, University of Chicago ; Cristina Stancioiu, UCLA.

Monasticism played an important role in the Middle Ages, interacting with and shaping social and political structures, as well as peoples' religious life. This panel focuses on the sacred places of medieval monasticism. Individual holy men and communities often located themselves in opposition to the urban population, withdrawing to the desert or mountainous terrain. For example, the "holy mountain" is a persistent notion accompanying both eremitic and cenobitic practices in Byzantium, from Sinai and the Wondrous Mountain of Symeon Stylites the Younger, first settled in the 4th and 5th centuries, to the foundation of Meteora in the 14th century. In the West, along with removal to wilderness places, islands and anchorholds likewise provide important sites for asceticism. Our goal is to bring together papers from a variety of disciplines, in order to question the construction and representation of specific landscapes in relation to monastic life in both Byzantium and the Medieval West. These can include interior as well as exterior spaces.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to : the archaeology of specific sites ; textual / rhetorical construction of space ; artistic patronage and representation of monasteries and their surrounding landscapes ; depictions of monastic life ; solitary vs. communal spaces ; pilgrimage art ; saint's lives ; the construction of place in monastic rules, foundation documents and typika ; spiritualized landscapes and/or devotional practices.

Please send 300-word abstract and completed Participant Information Form (available on line at to :
Cristina Stancioiu
1739 East 1st St., #8
Long Beach, CA 90802

Submissions may be sent electronically or in paper format. Applications must be postmarked no later than September 15, 2009.

Source : BSANA forward from Cristina Stancioiu, UCLA.