Workshop – Medieval Devotional Texts: Technologies Old and New

Call for Papers

07.-08.th March 2019, Schloss Mickeln, Düsseldorf

Organisers: Sheri Smith and Miriam Edlich-Muth, Department of Medieval English and Historical Linguistics, Heinrich Heine Universität, Düsseldorf
Keynote speakers: Dr Olivia Robinson (Université de Fribourg) and Dr Kate Thomas (British Library)

Devotional texts, texts that are intended to encourage prayer, spiritual reflection or contemplation, dwell at the intersections between the literary, the historical and the theological. As one example, a prayer can be a lyric, an essential component of liturgy, or a personal text expressing the reader’s specific hopes and fears. It can stand alone or form part of competing networks of intertextuality, accommodating a wide range of different readings and significant contexts. While devotional texts may appear formulaic in that they are often characterised by formal qualities and constrained by the expectations of genre, the distinctive features of these texts also allow them to remain recognisable even as they are adapted to the demands of new reading communities and new media.

We welcome papers addressing early and late medieval devotional genres or texts alongside the technologies employed in their creation, transmission and use. Correspondingly, we are also interested in papers discussing digital approaches to studying the production and reception of these texts.

Abstracts are invited from researchers working in literary and related fields addressing any of the following topics:

  • manuscript studies
  • textual transmission
  • devotional texts and material culture
  • the place of devotional texts in miscellanies
  • confessional practice
  • prayer collections and compilations
  • digital approaches to devotional texts in medieval literature

Please send a 300-word abstract for a 25-minute paper to Sheri Smith at smiths@uni-duesseldorf.de by 1st February 2019. We will be confirming participation by February 7th. We particularly welcome papers from graduate students and early career scholars and will cover the cost of one night of accommodation at our conference venue Schloss Mickeln for all speakers.

CfP Medieval Devotional Texts

Add. 24686, f. 4v Full-page miniature with six scenes from the life of Christ.
The Alphonso Psalter, British Library, MS Additional 24686, fol. 4v
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