Session Title

Ingestion and Excess: Consumption, Regurgitation, and Excretion in Medieval Europe

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Special Session

Organizer Name

Katherine Gubbels

Organizer Affiliation

Adams State Univ.

Presider Name

Martha Daas

Presider Affiliation

Old Dominion Univ.

Paper Title 1

With Every Bite: Consumption, Anxiety, and Violence in Anglo-Saxon "Beasts of Battle"

Presenter 1 Name

Sarah Sutor

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Univ. of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign

Paper Title 2

"A Wel Fair Abbei": Abundance and Excess in The Land of Cocaygne

Presenter 2 Name

Bethany Smith

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Univ. of Iowa

Paper Title 3

Maria/Hari'a: Purging Effluvia in "The Miracle of the Boy Singer"

Presenter 3 Name

Thomas Blake

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Univ. of Iowa

Paper Title 4

Consumption and Embodiment in The Booke of Margery Kempe

Presenter 4 Name

Katherine Gubbels

Start Date

10-5-2014 3:30 PM

Session Location

Valley I Hadley 102

Description

• What role do acts of ingestion, digestion, regurgitation, and excretion play in the medieval period?

• How do such acts vary in differing circumstances and communities?

• How does the digestion of the Eucharist compare to other consumables?

• What does it mean (both literally and metaphorically) to ingest a foreign object into one’s body in this time period?

• What possible effects might such ingestion have?

• How do instances of cannibalism compare to, and complicate, our understanding of medieval consumption?

• What are the uses (physiological, ecological, and/or cultural) of human waste?

• Overall, how do acts of ingestion, regurgitation, and excretion challenge our understanding of the borders and limits of medieval bodies?

In responding to these questions, the panel will not only add to our understanding of the practices of ingestion, digestion, regurgitation, and excretion, but also question and complicate these seemingly simple bodily functions. Thus, the papers presented in the session will hopefully draw from, and contribute to, larger theoretical schools, such as those concerned with the body, food studies, and even eco-criticism. As such, the panel will be both timely and informative, engaging in contemporary critical theories to analyze and expand our knowledge of these bodily acts and their significance in the medieval period.

Katherine Gubbels

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May 10th, 3:30 PM

Ingestion and Excess: Consumption, Regurgitation, and Excretion in Medieval Europe

Valley I Hadley 102

• What role do acts of ingestion, digestion, regurgitation, and excretion play in the medieval period?

• How do such acts vary in differing circumstances and communities?

• How does the digestion of the Eucharist compare to other consumables?

• What does it mean (both literally and metaphorically) to ingest a foreign object into one’s body in this time period?

• What possible effects might such ingestion have?

• How do instances of cannibalism compare to, and complicate, our understanding of medieval consumption?

• What are the uses (physiological, ecological, and/or cultural) of human waste?

• Overall, how do acts of ingestion, regurgitation, and excretion challenge our understanding of the borders and limits of medieval bodies?

In responding to these questions, the panel will not only add to our understanding of the practices of ingestion, digestion, regurgitation, and excretion, but also question and complicate these seemingly simple bodily functions. Thus, the papers presented in the session will hopefully draw from, and contribute to, larger theoretical schools, such as those concerned with the body, food studies, and even eco-criticism. As such, the panel will be both timely and informative, engaging in contemporary critical theories to analyze and expand our knowledge of these bodily acts and their significance in the medieval period.

Katherine Gubbels