"The Body in Medieval Culture," Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto

“The Body in Medieval Culture,” Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto, 10-11 March 2006. The last fifteen years have produced both some of the best and some of the worst critical approaches to medieval understandings of the body. These range from anachronistic projections of modern constructions of gender and sexuality onto medieval texts to more nuanced studies that take into account both medieval and modern frameworks in assessing the representation, function, and cultural import of the body. This conference, “The Body in Medieval Culture,” will focus on the ways in which conceptions of the body rooted in theological and medical discourses are manifested in the cultural production of the Middle Ages.

Invited plenary speakers include Peter Biller, Dyan Elliott, and Nicholas Watson.

We invite submissions by scholars working in a range of disciplines, including (but not limited to) history, literature, philosophy, religion, history of science, and art history. To facilitate the exchange of ideas across disciplinary boundaries, sessions will be organized in five strands:

  1. devotional or theological discourse
  2. medical (especially humoural) discourse
  3. rhetorical and literary discourse
  4. discourses of gender and sexuality
  5. civic and political discourse

Please send 250-word abstracts, together with a one-page C.V., to the co-organizers (Suzanne Conklin Akbari and Jill Ross) at bodyconf@chass.utoronto.ca. Abstracts should be received by 20 September 2005.


Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson is an associate professor of Theology at Marquette University, and founded thomistica.net on Squarespace in November of 2004. He studied with James Weisheipl, Leonard Boyle, Walter Principe, and Lawrence Dewan, at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies (Toronto, Canada).