Loyola University Chicago

Medieval Studies

IMA Conference

Reframing Medieval Bodies

35th Annual Meeting of the Illinois Medieval Association
Loyola University Chicago, Water Tower Campus
February 16-17, 2018 


Medievalists have long engaged in the study of the body, producing some of the most influential contributions to the “bodily turn” of the 1980s and 1990s. The multidisciplinary conference “Reframing Medieval Bodies” invites reflection on past scholarship in this area and elaboration of new approaches and methods. The keynote speaker for the conference is Peggy McCracken, Domna C. Stanton Professor of French, Women’s Studies, and Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan.

Registration and building access

All attendees must register, and may do so at this page. The deadline for early registration is 1 February, after which prices increase. Registration guarantees access to the buildings in which conference events take place. (Access to these buildings is controlled.) The price of registration includes a reception on Friday evening and lunch on Saturday.

Participants who wish to register on-site are asked to pay by personal check. We are unable to process credit card payments for on-site registration.

Locations of conference events

All conference events are held at Loyola University Chicago’s Water Tower Campus, located in River North and easily accessible from the Chicago stop on the Red Line (see further, the section on “Transportation and parking,” below). You may download a campus map here.

The registration desk, plenary, and all paper panels are located in Philip H. Corboy Law Center, 25 E. Pearson Street. Registered conference participants should check in at the security desk on the ground floor, then take the elevators to Kasbeer Hall (15th floor) to claim their conference badge and information packet. The registration desk will be staffed in Kasbeer Hall from 12:30pm to 5:00pm on Friday and 8:00am to 11:00am on Saturday.

Friday’s reception and Saturday’s lunch will be held in Beane Hall, on the 13th floor of Lewis Towers, one block east of Corboy Law Center.

Audio-visual equipment

All rooms are equipped with a computer and projector. Loyola credentials are required to unlock the computers. Conference organizers and student assistants will be on hand to help with this and may be recognized by the Loyola University logo on their name badge.

Transportation and parking

Loyola University Chicago’s Water Tower Campus is easily accessible from the Chicago stop on the Red Line. Parking is available at the many commercial garages near Water Tower Campus. For a list and details see this this page. Additional transportation information is available here.


A list of area restaurants may be found here. To this list, add Marisol, located in the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Newberry Consort performance

On Friday, 16 February, the Newberry Consort will present Forbidden Love: The Passion of Héloïse and Abelard at the Newberry Library, just blocks from our conference venue. The performance begins at 8pm. Details at newberryconsort.org.

There are additional performances on Saturday and Sunday in other parts of the city. The Newberry Consort offers a 10% discount to conference attendees. Use the code IMA2018. (This discount will not apply to student tickets, which are $5. The student rate is offered to students of all ages and from any institution, but available for purchase only at the door.)

Essays in Medieval Studies

Papers presented at “Reframing Medieval Bodies” are eligible for publication in the journal Essays in Medieval Studies. The contents of this journal are selected from papers delivered at the annual meeting of the Illinois Medieval Association. Since 1993 each volume has had a thematic focus based on the topic of the annual meeting.

Presenters who wish to revise their papers for submission to EMS are encouraged to consult past volumes of the journal, which supply models of style and format. Further submission guidelines will be announced in this space. Submissions should be sent to ima2018loyola@gmail.com by April 1, 2018. The editors will announce decisions on or about May 1.


Questions about the conference should be directed to tstabler@luc.edu or icornelius@luc.edu.  

Conference schedule

Friday, February 16

12:30-3:30  registration

Kasbeer Hall (Corboy Law Center, 15th floor)

1:30-3:00  concurrent sessions

1. Textual embodiment

Corboy Law Center 602
Presider: Arthur Russell, Case Western Reserve University

‘Sche myth nevyr expressyn it’: Margery Kempe Embodying Herself. Hannah Byland, University of Pennsylvania

‘To loke as men sholde’: Bodies in English Commentary on John Walton's Boethius. Lex Podell, Loyola University Chicago

The Body that Is Not One: Rethinking the Possibilities of ‘Overclothing’ as Bodily Transformation. Andrea Whitacre, Indiana University Bloomington

2. Monsters

Corboy Law Center 526
Presider: Barbara Rosenwein, Loyola University Chicago

Bloodlines, Babies and the Body Politic: Noble Mothers, Monstrous Children. Barbara A. Goodman, Clayton State University

Grotesque, fascinating, transformative: The power of a strange face. S. C. Thomson, Ruhr-Universität Bochum

3. Divine corpus

Corboy Law Center 601
Presider: Emily Cain, Loyola University Chicago

The Word Became Flesh: The Depiction of Jesus’ Nudity in the Gospel Narratives and Christian Art in Antiquity. Scott Brevard, Loyola University Chicago

‘To All Patient Sufferers’: Interpreting the Suffering Body of St. Lydwine of Schiedam. Seth J. A. Alexander, Loyola University Chicago

‘Therefore do Maidens Love You’: Passion and Pluralism in Jewish and Christian Song of Songs Commentaries. Devorah Schoenfeld, Loyola University Chicago

3:00-3:30  coffee service

Kasbeer Hall (Corboy Law Center, 15th floor)

3:30-5:00  concurrent sessions

4. Holy women

Corboy Law Center 526
Presider: Tanya Stabler, Loyola University Chicago

Student Bodies: Gendered Spaces and Embodied Reading in the Iconography of the Education of the Virgin Mary. Julia Finch, Morehead State University

Reframing the Female Body: The N-Town Play as Script for Medieval Women. Therese Novotny, Marquette University

Juliana and Judith: Movement, Stillness, and Two Models of Female Sanctity. Rebecca Straple, Western Michigan University

5. Embodying Salvation

Corboy Law Center 601
Presider: Emily Cain, Loyola University Chicago

The Suffering Body of Saint Macrina: a Privileged Medium of Ministry. Xueying Wang, Loyola University Chicago

Maximos the Confessor on Aesthetics and Ethics of the Body. Wade Casey, Loyola University Chicago

Most Evident to Us, Most Distant from God: The Body as Locus of Salvation in Bonaventure. Matthew Kemp, Loyola University Chicago

6. Marginalized bodies

Corboy Law Center 602
Presider: Justin Hastings, Loyola University Chicago

Synagogues, Town Squares, and Stumbling Blocks: The Marginalized Body in Jewish Medieval Ashkenaz. Emilie Amar-Zifkin, Yale University

Queer States of Exception, Erotic War Machines, and the Traces of Race in King of Tars. Kaitlin Browne, Northwestern University

‘Crespo e Nuu e Negro’: Gomes Eanes de Zurara and the Racialization of Non-Christians by Portuguese Authors. Marcelo Fuentes, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

5:00-6:30  Reception

Beane Hall (Lewis Towers, 13th floor)

Saturday, February 17

8:00-9:00  Breakfast

Kasbeer Hall (Corboy Law Center, 15th floor)

8:00-11:00  Registration

Kasbeer Hall (Corboy Law Center, 15th floor)

9:00-10:30 Concurrent sessions

7. Medieval Studies at the Newberry Library: New Approaches in Challenging Times

Corboy Law Center 522
Presider: Lia Markey, Newberry Library

New Audiences and New Opportunities: Pre-modern Digital Humanities at the Newberry. Christopher D. Fletcher, Newberry Library

What Does That Say?’: Digital Paleography Training at the Newberry. Isabella Magni, Newberry Library

The Medievalist Training Ground: Medieval Workshops and Seminars at the Newberry. Karen Christianson, Newberry Library

8. Pain

Corboy Law Center 601
Presider: Edward Wheatley, Loyola University Chicago

Sexual Diffractions: A Conundrum in Medieval Corporal Chastity. Juliette Bourdier, College of Charleston

‘Learn to Die’: Pain and purgatory in late-medieval English social practice. Colin Fewer, Purdue University Northwest

Where Bodies Break: Reading Pain in the Old French Prose Lancelot. Mae Lyons-Penner, Stanford University

9. Clothing

Corboy Law Center 602
Presider: Mickey Sweeney, Dominican University

‘li vallés mescine’: Pairing Heldris and Silence in Le Roman de Silence. Uta Ayala, Northwestern University

‘Blôz als ein wîp:’ Clothing and Bodily Exposure in Hartmann von Aue’s Conception of Masculine Nobility. John Paul Ewing, Indiana University Bloomington

‘Toute​ ​nue​ ​sous​ ​sa​ ​chemise’:​ ​Griselda’s​ ​Nude​ ​Body​ ​in​ ​La​ ​Cité​ ​des​ ​Dames. Viviana Pezzullo, Florida Atlantic University

10. Corpses

Corboy Law Center 426
Presider: Elizaveta Strakhov, Marquette University

Parts and Whole: Testamentary Strategies and Dispersal of the Body of Two Fourteenth-Century French Queens. Juliana Amorim Goskes, New York University

Recycled Corpses: Case Studies in Late Medieval Longing. Arthur Russell, Case Western Reserve University

‘That owgly careyn lamentable’: Communal Sorrow in Late Medieval Corpse Poetry. Sarah Wilson, Northwestern University

10:30-11:00  coffee service

Kasbeer Hall (Corboy Law Center, 15th floor)

11:00-12:15  Plenary Lecture

Kasbeer Hall (Corboy Law Center, 15th floor)

University Welcome by Dean Thomas J. Regan, S.J.

Human Being and Animal Becoming: Embodiment and Metamorphosis

Peggy McCracken, University of Michigan

12:15-1:30  Lunch

Beane Hall (Lewis Towers, 13th floor) 


12:30-1:30 Counselor's Meeting

 Corboy Law Center 426


1:30-3:00  Concurrent sessions

11. The long middle ages

Corboy Law Center 522
Presider: Christopher D. Fletcher, Newberry Library

Corpus Dei: An Angelological Approach. Edina Eszenyi, Rome Art Program

The Achy Break-y Melancholic Hearts of As You Like It and Shakespeare’s Medieval Body. Elizabeth Hornsey, University of Cincinnati

Grotesque Geographies: Anthropomorphic Representations of Place in Medieval and Renaissance Texts. Monica O’Neil, Purdue University

12. Medicine

Corboy Law Center 426
Presider: Karen Christianson, Newberry Library

Marginal Bodies: Anonymity, Naturalism, and Anal Fistulae in John Arderne’s Liber Medicinalium. Carly Boxer, University of Chicago

Disembodied: Visual Approaches to Women's Bodies in Medieval Anatomical Manuscripts. Taylor McCall, Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art

Christian Lovesickness: Richard of St Victor’s On the Four Degrees of Violent Love. Travis Stevens, Pacific School of Religion

13. Gesture

Corboy Law Center 601
Colin Fewer, Purdue University Northwest

The Laughing Body in the Twelfth Century. Peter J. A. Jones, School of Advanced Studies, University of Tyumen, Russia

The Ear, the Foot, the Gut: The Intuitive Body of the Timer Tradition of Old English Metrics. David O’Neil, Purdue University

Cistercian Sign Language: The Grammar of Bodies at Work. Tacy Stephens, Princeton University

14. Performing masculinity

Corboy Law Center 602
Presider: Andrew Miller, DePaul University

Bodily Transition and Gender Identity in Ælfric’s Life of Saint Eugenia. Alexandra Bauer, University of Toronto

Unintended Discursive Consequences: the Feast of Corpus Christi and the Myth of Jewish Male Menstruation. Justin Hastings, Loyola University Chicago

‘For love and nat for hate, thou most be deed’: Virginia’s Death and Contested Male Identity in the Physician’s Tale. Elizabeth Maffetone, Indiana University

3:00-3:30  coffee service

Kasbeer Hall (Corboy Law Center, 15th floor)

3:30-5:00  concurrent sessions

15. Medievalism in the twentieth century

Corboy Law Center 522
Presider: James F. Knapp, University of Pittsburgh

Body and Mind under the Lens: Joan of Arc as a Human Subject in Dreyer’s La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc. Paula Leverage, Purdue University

Embodied Patriarchy and the Contemporary Satire: Juxtaposing Agbabi’s ‘Emily’ and Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale. Susan Meeler, University of South Florida

American Valkyries: Viking and Norse Imagery in Women's Rights Movements. Zachary J. Melton, University of Iceland

16. Chaucer and romance

Corboy Law Center 601
Presider: Peggy A. Knapp, Carnegie Mellon University

On Rape & Reform: What the Wife of Bath Still Has to Teach Us. Emily McLemore, University of Notre Dame

Between Women: Interpreting the Interplay of Sounds and Silences in Troilus and Criseyde. Kortney Stern, Indiana University

Reframing bodies: miracle or mayhem? The power of the body to sin or save in Romance. Mickey Sweeney, Dominican University

17. Disciplining clerical bodies

Corboy Law Center 602
Presider: Theresa Gross-Diaz, Loyola University Chicago

Lectio Corporis: Henry Suso, Mystic Speech and the Practice of Embodied Suffering in his Vita. Samuel Baudinette, University of Chicago

The Theologian, the Priest, and Violence: Ecclesiastical Attitudes toward Striking in Parisian Confessors’ Manuals during the Thirteenth Century. Andrew Miller, DePaul University

Six Reprehensible Ways of Walking, or Why the Body Mattered in Religious Formation. Barbara Newman, Northwestern University