CFP: Preach It, Sister! A Roundtable about Women and Homiletics

CFP: Preach It, Sister! A Roundtable about Women and Homiletics
Sponsored by the Society for the Study of Anglo-Saxon Homiletics at the 53rd International Congress on Medieval Studies
Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo, MI), May 10-13, 2018

Hildegard of Bingen receiving a vision and dictating to her scribe and secretary. From the Rupertsberger Codex Scivias.

For over ten years at the International Congress on Medieval Studies, the Society for the Study of Anglo-Saxon Homiletics (SSASH) has thrived in its aims to promote scholarship related to the sources, compositions, appropriations, and early studies of Anglo-Saxon homilies. In 2016, the session sponsored by SSASH gathered nearly 40 attendees, providing evidence for continued relevance and support. For a number of reasons, SSASH was unable to organize a panel for the 2017 Congress, although there was interest from several scholars in the proposed roundtable. The session proposed for 2018 seeks to continue this presence at the ICMS, as well as the vibrant scholarship and collaborative discussions that Anglo-Saxonists have come to expect from the Society.

2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the publication of Janet Bately’s handlist titled Anonymous Old English Homilies: A Preliminary Bibliography of Source Studies (1993), which remains an invaluable resource in the field. Yet this publication is just one representative of how women have been integral to the study of Anglo-Saxon preaching. For example, we also continue to rely on foundational editions and studies by Dorothy Bethurum, Mary Clayton, Helen Foxhall Forbes, Mechthild Gretsch, Joyce Hill, Susan Irvine, Clare Lees, Joyce Tally Lionarons, Mary Swan, Elaine Treharne, Dorothy Whitelock, and Samantha Zacher. The past decade has brought about the publications of major books by women featuring sermons, such as Zacher’s Preaching the Converted: The Style and Rhetoric of the Vercelli Book Homilies (2009); Lionarons’s The Homiletic Writings of Archbishop Wulfstan (2010); Treharne’s Living Through Conquest: The Politics of Early English, 1020-1220 (2012); and Forbes’s Heaven and Earth in Anglo‑Saxon England: Theology and Society in an Age of Faith (2013). The proposed roundtable will feature reflections about the work of women on Anglo-Saxon homiletics, allowing for not only showcasing past scholarship but also a forum for lively discussion of future directions. At a time when the study of gender is at the foreground in Anglo-Saxon studies, this roundtable will provide an intervention in historiography meant to celebrate the legacy of women in the field.

Please send abstracts of no more than 500 words with a completed Participant Information Form (available here) to Brandon Hawk by September 15, 2017. For more general information about the ICMS, please visit the conference website here.


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