Call for Papers

39th Annual Conference of the Center for Medieval Studies, Fordham University

March 30-31, 2019

Long regarded as among the most esoteric and static aspects of premodern civilizations, religious ritual is now the focus of probing and evocative studies of medieval governmental, social, intellectual, spiritual, and domestic life. Rituals of purification and petition, birth and death, friendship and war are now seen as essential to our understanding of everything from the drama of high politics to the rhythms of quotidian life. Moreover, scholars recognize that practitioners and participants in such rituals were not exclusively members of closed communities of specialist performers preserving ossified rites, but also creative and subversive agents who often sought to effect change in public and private spheres. This conference seeks to continue widening the conversation about ritual and religion in the medieval world by bringing into dialogue contributions from across several religious traditions, including Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. The organizers welcome papers that explore a wide range of themes, including:

  • devotional practices
  • music
  • art and architecture
  • textual production and transmission
  • inter-cultural contacts in a religious context
  • history and archaeology
  • pilgrimage
  • rituals and practical ethics
  • gender and ritual
  • ritual performance, and the senses
  • rites of passage
  • sacrifice
  • ritual and affect theory
  • ritual and poetics
  • pedagogy
  • ascetic practices and disciplines

Plenary speakers will be Thomas F. Kelly (Harvard), Marion Katz (NYU), and Eve Krakowski (Princeton).

This conference is organized in honor of Professor Richard F. Gyug, in recognition of his many contributions to the field of religious history and to the vibrancy of the medieval studies community at Fordham University.

Please submit an abstract and cover letter with contact information by September 15, 2018 to the Center for Medieval Studies, FMH 405B, Fordham University, Bronx, NY 10458, or by email to medievals@fordham.edu, or by fax to 718-817-3987.