Proposed Session for the 55th International Congress on Medieval Studies,
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI (May 7 to 10, 2020) :
Women in Learned Circles and Communities (1400-1650)
Organizer: Anne Larsen
Sponsoring Organization: The Society for the Study of Early Modern Women and Gender
During the past decade, there has been increased scholarly attention to women’s participation in cultural production through groups—salons, literary circles, scientific and philosophical circles and academies, religious circles, medical communities, artists’ and performing artists’ communities, correspondence networks, and patronage networks. Such groups provided women key points of entry into public discourses of many sorts. This session will explore the longue durée of learned circles and communities in which women participated over the course of two and a half centuries.
Please send by Friday 6 September an abstract and a brief CV to Anne Larsen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just and Unjust Political Power in Christine’s Time
In Memory of Susan Groag Bell: Christine’s Legacy in Material Objects.
Organizer: Benjamin Semple
Sponsoring Organization: North American Branch of the International Christine de Pizan
Below my signature, you will a description of each session. If you wish to propose a paper, please send to Benjamin Semple (email@example.com) a title and abstract (300 words maximum) by September 15, 2019.
- Just and Unjust Political Power in Christine’s Time
Writing in a time of political turmoil, Christine de Pizan often reflects in her works on the nature of political power, how it functions within the structures of a state, how it is distributed, and how to exercise it. She authored explicit political treatises such as The Book of the Body Politic and The Book of Peace, important texts in the “Mirror for Princes” genre; in other works, such as her biography of Charles V, she addresses political power more implicitly. This session seeks to explore late medieval views of just versus unjust political power, not only in Christine de Pizan but also in the thought of her contemporaries. The papers in this section may (but are by no means required to) draw parallels with contemporary notions of just and unjust political power.
- In Memory of Susan Groag Bell: Christine’s Legacy in Material Objects
The independent scholar Susan Groag Bell, who passed away in 2015, was a forerunner of many of today’s medievalists who focus on the study of women’s writings and lives. Of specific interest to Christine de Pizan scholars was her final book, The Lost Tapestries of the City of Ladies: Christine de Pizan’s Renaissance Legacy, which explored the late medieval and Renaissance reception of Christine through tapestries owned by influential women (such as Elisabeth I, Queen of England, and Anne of Brittany, Queen of France). Inspired by Groag Bell’s scholarship, this session is dedicated to the exploration of material objects – manuscripts, incunabula, tapestries, and so on – in which Christine de Pizan’s legacy persisted through the late medieval and into the early modern period.