CFP: Putting Women in the Pulpit: A Roundtable about Women and Preaching

CFP: Putting Women in the Pulpit: A Roundtable about Women and Preaching
Sponsored by the Society for the Study of Anglo-Saxon Homiletics at the 54th International Congress on Medieval Studies
Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo, MI), May 9-12, 2019

For over ten years at the ICMS, 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 studies of Anglo-Saxon preaching. In 2018, the roundtable session about women and preaching sponsored by SSASH gathered nearly 40 attendees, providing evidence for continued relevance and support. The session proposed for 2019 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.

Women cannot be separated from the study of Anglo-Saxon preaching. They appear directly or implicitly throughout the corpus of Anglo-Saxon preaching texts, as well as much of the evidence about preaching in early England. Throughout the twentieth century and up to the present, female scholars have been integral to the study of Anglo-Saxon preaching. We find significant editions and studies by Dorothy Bethurum, Mary Clayton, Helen Foxhall Forbes, Mechthild Gretsch, Antonette diPaolo Healey, Joyce Hill, Clare Lees, Joyce Tally Lionarons, Amity Reading, Mary Swan, Elaine Treharne, Dorothy Whitelock, and Samantha Zacher. The past decade has brought about the publications of major books by women featuring sermons–and many of them featuring medieval female voices–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); Forbes’s Heaven and Earth in Anglo‑Saxon England: Theology and Society in an Age of Faith (2013); and Reading’s Reading the Anglo-Saxon Self Through the Vercelli Book (2018).

The proposed roundtable, then, will feature reflections about women in Anglo-Saxon and related preaching texts as well as the work of women on medieval homiletics, in order to showcase medieval female voices, past scholarship, and a forum for lively discussion of future directions. With the hopes of foregrounding the study of gender 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 300 words with a completed Participant Information Form (available here) to Brandon Hawk by September 15, 2018. For more general information about the ICMS, please visit the conference website here.

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