This week I have been working hard on studying for the GRE, which has been an adventure in and of itself. Learning more about my weaknesses and strengths as a student and academic is an interesting exercise and has proven to be surprising and difficult. Regardless of my own Sisyphean trials these past couple weeks, I have been working to stay connected, at least marginally, to the community from Kings and Queens 3. One of the best ways to do that has been via Twitter, and from there, I found a fascinating tidbit to share with you today.
Beyond the Dark Ages- A nunnery by any other name
In this post, Sarah Greer give a little information about what she studies, female monasteries. Not nunnery? Well, a nunnery and a monastery were two different things! She does a great job of explaining why she uses the term “female monastery.”
Well, no, not really, but I’m excited to let you know about this opportunity from the Royal Studies Network. A call for papers for the first panel session described, and I am taking all this verbiage directly from the email newsletter from the Royal Studies Network.
Kalamazoo 2015-DEADLINE: September 1, 2014
The Royal Studies Network (RSN) seeks papers and participants to complete the first of two sessions it will sponsor to be presented at the 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University, May 14-17, 2015. We include details of both sessions to communicate the full scope of our congress project.
Session One, A Panel Discussion: Debatable Queens: (Re) assessing Medieval Stateswomanship, Power and Authority, and
Session Two, A Roundtable: Debatable Rule: (Re) assessing Medieval Statecraft, Power and Authority – towards a unified gendered approach (This session is fully allocated)
While recognizing the terms ‘kingship’ and ‘statesmanship’, spell-check tools in computer programs do not acknowledge the terms ‘queenship’ or ‘stateswomanship’. While this is a trivial observation in the larger scheme of things it does provide a neat stepping off point for the sessions Royal Studies Network proposes for the 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies.
The panel discussion will seek to unpick and challenge some of the long-held myths and archetypes regarding medieval rulership; (re)assessing individual queens (and their kings) whose political careers and lives have been understood simplistically to be successes or failures. The Network has consciously suppressed geographical boundaries in a continuing endeavour to open its activities to a wider ‘global’ perspective.
The roundtable is designed both to pull together the themes and ideas raised during the panel discussion AND challenge the traditional tendency to research and study queens and kings in isolation. Thanks to the lucid reflections of Theresa Earenfight (and most recent scholarship in the field), rulership by queens and kings is no longer being examined in episodic ‘vanilla liberal’ isolation. Instead, effective rulership and statecraft are being brought into the light as a product of complementary partnerships and particular contexts: wives and husbands, mothers and sons; elder sisters and younger brothers; and respected advisors and monarchs of both sexes. Rulership (whether queenship or kingship) is a gendered institution, one not uniformly based upon biological sex. Instead it is founded upon nuanced psycho-social ideas of gender; ‘male’ or ‘female’ according to social and cultural distinctions and differences. The most successful political partnerships of the long Middle Ages demonstrate a clear understanding that authority and power were precision tools of statecraft, and they wielded them to great purpose and effect. It is anticipated that the two complementary sessions sponsored by the Royal Studies Network for ICM 2015 will provoke fecund ideas, lively discussion and informed debate.
We invite you to submit an abstract for the panel discussion, and the completed Congress Participant Information Form (PIF)
I’m debating right now on what/if I want to put together to submit… I’m really excited for another opportunity to even attend and hopefully bump into a number of the amazing scholars I met at Kings and Queens 3! 🙂