Session Title

Nunneries in Medieval Europe: New Historiographical and Methodological Approaches I

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Special Session

Organizer Name

Mercedes Pérez Vidal

Organizer Affiliation

Univ. Nacional Autónoma de México

Presider Name

Laura Cayrol Bernardo

Presider Affiliation

Centre de Recherches Historiques, EHESS-Paris

Paper Title 1

Being in Touch with the Outside: The Economical and Spiritual Exchanges of the Observant Dominican Convent Saint Catherine in Saint Gall (Switzerland)

Presenter 1 Name

Claudia Sutter

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Univ. Zürich/Stadtarchiv der Ortsbürgergemeinde St. Gallen

Paper Title 2

Premonstratensian Sisters in Northern France: Using the Documents of Practice

Presenter 2 Name

Yvonne Seale

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Univ. of Iowa

Paper Title 3

Debating Reform in Tenth- and Early Eleventh-Century Female Monasticism

Presenter 3 Name

Steven Vanderputten

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Univ. Gent

Paper Title 4

Rhetoric under the Cloisters: Teaching and Transmission of Knowledge in Feminine Monasteries

Presenter 4 Name

Sergi Sancho Fibla

Presenter 4 Affiliation

Univ. Pompeu Fabra

Start Date

16-5-2015 1:30 PM

Session Location

Fetzer 1010

Description

Although in the last two decades a large amount of research has pointed out different significant issues regarding female monasticism in Europe, partly overcoming the previous lack of studies, many of them still rely on preconceptions, with a lack of both critical reading and revision and a gender perspective.

In these sessions we aim to address different issues of recent scholarship on female monasticism, questioning some oversimplified and idealised interpretations given by traditional historiography, and redifining some particular points. We will cover a wide timeframe, from the High to the Late Middle Ages (950-1500ca), and this will allow us to consider the evolution and changes in spirituality and liturgy, the gender roles, the relationships of nunneries with their environment, and the consequences of all this in art and architecture.

The greater regulation of monasticism and Treaties and Councils of Central and Late Middle Ages involved outstanding alterations in the roles of religious women, as they tried to undermine women authority and independence, imposing a more strict control over the administration and religious life. Likewise, the reform of the religious orders at the end of the Middle Ages insisted also in these restrictions. Nevertheless, we will discuss how religious women managed to overcome this gender limitations, and affirmed their authority taking control over the administration, legislation, liturgy, relationship with the environment and also the artistic production and commission.

Mercedes Pérez Vidal (CIALC-UNAM) and Laura Cayrol Bernardo (EHESS)

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May 16th, 1:30 PM

Nunneries in Medieval Europe: New Historiographical and Methodological Approaches I

Fetzer 1010

Although in the last two decades a large amount of research has pointed out different significant issues regarding female monasticism in Europe, partly overcoming the previous lack of studies, many of them still rely on preconceptions, with a lack of both critical reading and revision and a gender perspective.

In these sessions we aim to address different issues of recent scholarship on female monasticism, questioning some oversimplified and idealised interpretations given by traditional historiography, and redifining some particular points. We will cover a wide timeframe, from the High to the Late Middle Ages (950-1500ca), and this will allow us to consider the evolution and changes in spirituality and liturgy, the gender roles, the relationships of nunneries with their environment, and the consequences of all this in art and architecture.

The greater regulation of monasticism and Treaties and Councils of Central and Late Middle Ages involved outstanding alterations in the roles of religious women, as they tried to undermine women authority and independence, imposing a more strict control over the administration and religious life. Likewise, the reform of the religious orders at the end of the Middle Ages insisted also in these restrictions. Nevertheless, we will discuss how religious women managed to overcome this gender limitations, and affirmed their authority taking control over the administration, legislation, liturgy, relationship with the environment and also the artistic production and commission.

Mercedes Pérez Vidal (CIALC-UNAM) and Laura Cayrol Bernardo (EHESS)