This session at the 2019 International Congress on Medieval Studies examines the many valences of wounds in late medieval Christianity, focusing on themes surrounding wounds and wounding both visible (corporeal and/or material) and invisible (rhetorical and allegorical). The image of the wounded body held a central place in late medieval Christian practice and material culture; the wounds of the crucified Christ were tangible reminders of his Passion and served as foci of veneration, while stigmatic saints and maimed martyrs were marked as holy by means of bodily trauma. Papers may also consider the Christian response to physical injury, in the form of saintly intervention through healing miracles and medical intervention through the establishment of hospitals and provision of care by religious orders.
Moving beyond the ample possibilities for discussion stemming from the theme of “visible” wounds in medieval Christianity, this session also encourages a broad examination of “invisible” wounds within the late medieval Christian context. Examples might range from the accusations of metaphorical violence levied against the mendicant orders by antifraternal critics, to the conceptualization of the Western Schism as a wound to the Church. By exploring wounds both “visible” and “invisible,” this session elicits the perspectives of scholars of history, art history, literature, and theology and seeks to expand conceptions of wounds and injury within a late medieval Christian framework.
Please send a brief proposal (300 words max) and a participant information form (currently available at https://wmich.edu/medievalcongress/submissions) to Hannah Wood at Hannah.firstname.lastname@example.org and Johanna Pollick at email@example.com by 15th September 2018.
As per ICMS rules, any abstracts not accepted for our session will be forwarded for consideration for General Sessions.