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Call for Papers: Oxford Medieval Studies workshop 2016-17

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Call for Papers: Oxford Medieval Studies workshop 2016-17
Wednesday 15th March
Taylor Institute

Medieval Intersectionality

Medievalists have been interested in diversity, marginality and alterity for some decades. Whole sub-disciplines exist for the study of elements of the medieval, mostly European, population: women, Jews, Muslims, heretics, pagans and other ‘others’, while there are also smaller bodies of work on disability, sexuality, childhood, old age, ethnicity, social class and poverty (poverty, that is, in practice, rather than as an ideology for the spiritual benefit of the wealthy). Priority seems to have been given in modern scholarship to the study of the groups most vehemently marginalized by medieval intellectuals. Each tends to be treated as a discrete, distinct category, and frequently essentialised. They are less often examined in relation to each other, as intersecting or overlapping identities, subjectivities, experiences or externally-constructed, imposed labels; as unstable and shifting within an individual’s lifespan; and as crucial to how people experienced interactions with the various groups, communities and institutional structures which ordered their worlds.

This workshop asks speakers to reflect on ways that we might examine the multiple and complex interactions of these identities, experiences and labels, and how they shed light on the societies in which medieval people lived. It seeks to provide a forum in which medievalists active across a range of different disciplines and faculties in Oxford can explore comparable problems across the medieval world. We particularly welcome papers which present unfamiliar case studies, look beyond Europe or attempt novel methodological approaches. We also ask that all speakers be prepared to consider the problems and possibilities of ‘intersectionality’ as theory, theme or even praxis in the study of the middle ages.

Potential speakers (faculty members, early career researchers and graduate students at Oxford) are asked to send the title of a 10-minute presentation for consideration to, with a short abstract setting out how it connects to the theme. For informal inquiries, contact either Amanda Power ( or Robin Whelan (

Confirmed Speakers:
Ann Giletti (Theology)
Geraldine Hazbun (MML)
Rachel Moss (History)
Nassima Neggaz (Oriental Studies)
Almut Suerbaum (MML)

The deadline for submissions is Friday of 1st Week in Hilary Term (20 January 2017).