Department of Music

Back Page

Queer Middle Ages
New York, November 1998


************************************************* ~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ ****** QUEER MIDDLE AGES ****** ~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ ****** NOVEMBER 5-7, 1998 ****** ~~~~~~ THE GRADUATE CENTER ~~~~~~ ****** CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK (CUNY) ****** ~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ *************************************************
AN INTERDISCIPLINARY CONFERENCE ALSO ENDORSED BY: The Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship; CEMERS (Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, SUNY Binghamton); the Society for the Study of Homosexuality in the Middle Ages; The Center for Research in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, New York University. This conference is dedicated to "queering" the Middle Ages: to the pursuit of methodologies of interpretation and documentation of the same-sex choices of women and men who resisted heteronormativity in their sexual and affective bonds during the period we have come to call the "Middle Ages." We seek to expand knowledge of resistance to compulsory heterosexuality in a wide range of the globe's cultural areas, such as the Arab and Islamic worlds, China, and the pre-colonial Americas. We understand "middle ages" to be a flexible, not prescriptive term, which can begin, depending on the area under consideration, as early as the 4th century CE and end as late as the end of the 16th century CE. The conference aims to articulate the reasons why the "Middle Ages" have remained separate from far-reaching inquiries in lesbian/gay/ bisexual/transgender studies. While queer studies have made significant impact in the study of the early modern period, the Middle Ages have only sporadically been the object of "queering," and we have only begun to document lives shaped by same-sex desire. This period plays a potentially critical role in current debates over the historical parameters of the construction of homosexuality, offering a counterpoint to theories that deny the possibility of its existence before the modern age. The particularities of same-sex, non- heteronormative behaviors in the Middle Ages also provide rich material for a better understanding of many aspects of gendered identities. Four plenary speakers have agreed to participate in the conference: *Judith Bennett *Michael Camille *Carolyn Dinshaw *Everett K. Rowson Sessions are being organized in the following areas: Art history/visual cultures. Brooten's Work and its Relevance to the Queer Middle Ages. China. Crossdressing. Feminist Theory and Queer Theory. Homoaffectivity in German Culture. India. Islam and the Arab World. Judaica. Law. Modern Queer Appropriations. Music. Pedagogy. Pre-Colonial Americas. Spirituality. Queer Iberia. Sessions will also be organized covering the entire range of medieval European literatures and histories. We welcome paper proposals for the sessions listed above, as well as proposals for new sessions. All work on the Queer Middle Ages will be given consideration. Detailed proposals for sessions are due by September 15, 1997; two-page abstracts of papers are due by December 31, 1997. INQUIRIES, ABSTRACTS FOR PAPERS OR SESSIONS, AND IN-PROGRESS PROPOSALS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO THE CONFERENCE CO-CONVENERS: Francesca Canade Sautman Steven Kruger Departments of French & Women's Studies Department of English Hunter College and Queens College and CUNY Graduate Center CUNY Graduate Center