Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Call for Papers: Intimacy: Family, Fealty, and Friendship in the Middle Ages

The City University of New York-Graduate Center in New York is hosting the Annual Graduate Student Conference on Medieval Studies on Friday, March 12, 2010.

The theme for this year's conference is Intimacy: Family, Fealty, and Friendship in the Middle Ages

Organizers provided these details about the conference: "According to Aristotle, the social unit upon which political states depend is the family. Indeed, the family is a microcosm of human activity, an environment that, in many ways, determines how its members interpret the realities of their social, cultural, political, economic, and religious circumstances.

"The family, however, is not a static social construct. From Late Antiquity to the Late Middle Ages, the changing landscape of the medieval world has helped to shape the nature and objectives of various kinship structures. Whether in the political and economic conflicts between the entrenched nobility and rising mercantile class, or in the religious conflicts resultant from the proliferation of heterodoxical or heretical groups, the Middle Ages involved constant attempts to renegotiate and redefine relationships among people both within and without the networks.

"We invite papers from graduate students in all academic disciplines that address the role of the family and gender and the ways these categories relate to the construction of various cultural and socio-political identities. The CUNY Graduate Center Annual Medieval Studies Conference is one of the only student-run conferences in the Northeast. We hope to provide a stimulating and encouraging atmosphere within which students can share new work, shape ideas, and create new discourses.

"Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes (approximately 8-9 pages of double-spaced text). Please submit a 250-word abstract and a brief biography (1-3 sentences) as an attached Word document to medieval.study@gmail.com by January 20, 2010. Please include the title of your paper and your e-mail address along with your submission."

Possible topics include: Spiritual Devotion, Bridal Mysticism, Ecstatic Union Family, Bonds and Marriage Beds, Husbands and Wives, The extended family, Parents and Children, Fealty, Liege-Lord Bonds, Chivalric Code, Romance, Courtly Love, Friendship, Adulterous Bonds, The value of friendship, Conflicts of Love and Loyalty, Heterosexual/Homosexual Relationships, Homosocial/Heterosocial Bonds, and The priority of friendship over other intimate bonds.