Masterclass – Gender, Religion, and the Power of Resistance in the High and Late Middle Ages

Masterclass – 16 June 2016
Brussels, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Inscription (avant le 10 juin) :

Organisé en collaboration avec le soutien de l’Henri Pirenne Institue for Medieval Studies (UGent) et de la Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB).

For about thirty years, especially since the publication of Caroline Walker Bynum’s Holy Feast and Holy Fast in 1987, the study of women and gender in medieval religion has been a flourishing subfield. The work of such scholars as Nicole Bériou, John Coakley, Dyan Elliott, Kaspar Elm, Roberta Gilchrist, D. H. Green, Jeffrey Hamburger, Hildegard Elisabeth Keller, Susan Marti, Bernard McGinn, Tanya Stabler Miller, Anneke Mulder-Bakker, Elizabeth Petroff, Sarah Salih, Walter Simons, David Wallace, Nicholas Watson, Karen Winstead, and Jocelyn Wogan-Browne – to name only a few – has radically changed the way we understand such topics as mysticism, heresy, literacy, preaching, sainthood, art and architecture, and the growth of religious orders. Where do we stand now ? Since the old master narrative has crumbled, has a new one taken its place ? Have the “linguistic turn” and the “material turn” played themselves out, or is there still more to be learned from them ? What comes after the old model of authoritative male clerics teaching compliant women and the newer model of a clerical elite suppressing resistant women ? What have we learned definitively about female agency, initiative, and oppression ? What are the hot-button issues and the most fruitful points of departure for future work ?

This masterclass is a joint organisation of the Flemish Medievalist Association (Vlaamse Werkgroep Mediëvistiek) and the Network of French-speaking Belgian Medievalists (Réseau des Médiévistes belges de Langue Française). The History Department of the Vrije Universiteit Brussels will act as host (details to be provided).

Gender religion and the

Barbara Newman is Professor of English, Religious Studies, and Classics and the John Evans Professor of Latin at Northwestern University. She is the winner of a 2009 Mellon Foundation Distinguished Achievement Award and has held fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation at Bellagio, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Prof. Newman is also a Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America and served as its president in 2015-16. Her most recent books are Making Love in the Twelfth Century: Letters of Two Lovers in Context (2016), Medieval Crossover: Reading the Secular against the Sacred (2013), Thomas of Cantimpré: The Collected Saints’ Lives (2008), and Frauenlob’s Song of Songs: A Medieval German Poet and His Masterpiece (2006). Prof. Newman is also the author of God and the Goddesses: Vision, Poetry, and Belief in the Middle Ages (2003), From Virile Woman to WomanChrist (1995), and several books on Hildegard of Bingen, including Sister of Wisdom (1987).

Programme :

Séance du matin

Barbara Newman (Northwestern Univ.) – Opening remarks

Jirki Thibaut (KUL/UGent) – Chaos or Di- versity? The Ambiguous Nature of Female Religious Life in 9th- to 11th-Century Saxony
Adèle Berthout (UNamur/Univ. Strasbourg) – The Role of Women in the Produc- tion and Conservation of Documents in the Convent of Val-Benoît (Liège – 13th-15th c.)
Sheree Hoogenberg (Univ. Utrecht) – Debating the Divine: Theory and Practice of Religious Experience in the 15th Century
Séance de l’après-midi


Katharina Windorfer (KUL/Düsseldorf) – Resisting Reality: Ideas of the Ideal Life for and by Women
Lieke Smits (Univ. Leiden) – “I Sensed that He Desired It”: Consent and a Union of Wills in Medieval Affective Mysticism
Alicia Servier (Lille-3) – Images d’un contre-pouvoir féminin : le cas de la fée Morgane dans les manuscrits du Lancelot du Lac, roman du XIIIe siècle
Anastasija Ropa (LASE, Riga) – Portraying Influential Women in the Manuscripts of the Queste del Saint Graal
Patricia Stoop (UA/Univ. Utrecht) – Female Agency in Late Medieval and Early Modern Sermon Writing

Prof. Barbara Newman will also be the keynote speaker of the conference Social dominance and resistance in the Middle Ages which will be held on June, 17th, at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. Her lecture will be entitled Annihilation and Authorship: Three Women Mystics of the 1290s. More information about this conference will be announced at the beginning of April 2016.

Programme au format PDF : ici

A propos RMBLF

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