Call for Papers – Beyond Exceptionalism

Beyond Exceptionalism

Extended CFP – 22 June 2015

In 1973, Joann McNamara and Suzanne Fonay Wemple wrote “The Power of Women through the Family” which established the paradigm for understanding elite women’s access to power in the early medieval period, and its decline starting in the late eleventh century. Since the early 1980s, the study of elite women (noble and royal) has flourished and undermined both the timing and extent of elite women’s loss of power during the Central Middle Ages.  This body of work has disproved the “exceptional” status accorded to elite women who exercised power.

This interdisciplinary conference aims to foster new avenues and interpretations of elite women and power in the high medieval period, c. 1100-c. 1400 to move the field “beyond exceptionalism”.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

elite women and bureaucracy
networks and alliances

Invited Speakers: Miriam Shadis (Ohio University) & Theresa Earenfight (Seattle University)

This conference will be held at The Ohio State University at Mansfield (Mansfield, Ohio), 18-19 September 2015.

The deadline for proposals [panels, round-tables, graduate student work in progress workshop sessions (pre-circulated papers), or individual papers] is June 22, 2015. Session chairs and individual presenters will be informed of acceptance no later than June 30, 2015. Those wishing to participate should please submit an abstract of approximately 250 words to Please attach your abstract to your email as a Microsoft Word or PDF file. Included with 250-word abstracts or session proposals (including individual abstracts) should be the following information:

• name of presenter(s)
• mailing & email address
• college/university affiliation
• audio/visual requirements & other special requests

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