“De/Coupling Monstrosity and Disability”
50th International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 14-17 2015.
Sponsored by MEARCSTAPA (Monsters: the Experimental Association for the Research of Cryptozoology through Scholarly Theory And Practical Application)
It has been famously argued that there was no conception in the Middle Ages of the disabled as it would accord with modern notions of embodied difference. In looking for figures of the disabled and the deformed, scholars in medieval disability studies have often looked to monstrosity as an overlapping, if not entirely identical category. We are looking for papers that address the intersection of monstrosity and disability in provocative and searching ways. We especially encourage papers that do not simply collapse these two categories but rather look to interrogate the convergence and divergence of the monstrous and the impaired. What is the effect of reading monsters as disabled and the disabled as monstrous? How does the coupling of these two Othered figures obscure important features? How does reading them together illuminate the social and cultural processes by which difference is constructed? We invite papers from all disciplines and national traditions.
Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words together with a completed Participant Information Form (available here: http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress/submissions/) to session organizer Richard Godden (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Asa Simon Mittman (email@example.com) by September 15. Please include your name, title, and affiliation on the abstract itself. All abstracts not accepted for the session will be forwarded to Congress administrators for consideration in general sessions, as per Congress regulations.