Session Title

Holy Celebrity: Saints and/as Social and Economic Capital

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Hagiography Society

Organizer Name

Alicia Spencer-Hall

Organizer Affiliation

Queen Mary, Univ. of London

Presider Name

Barbara Zimbalist

Presider Affiliation

Univ. of Texas-El Paso

Paper Title 1

Catherine of Siena and Her Critics

Presenter 1 Name

Catherine Mooney

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Boston College

Paper Title 2

Myroblytes: The Power and Appeal of Holy Oil

Presenter 2 Name

Sylvia E. Mullins

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Georgetown Univ.

Paper Title 3

Becoming a Saint in the Mystical Diary of Katherina Tucher (d. 1448)

Presenter 3 Name

Jacob M. Baum

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Texas Tech Univ.

Paper Title 4

I'll Tell You What I Want, What I Really, Really Want: Margery Kempe as the Ultimate Saintly Wannabe

Presenter 4 Name

Alicia Spencer-Hall

Start Date

12-5-2016 1:30 PM

Session Location

Schneider 1360

Description

Scholars have often commented on the link between sanctity and celebrity. Both the saint and the celebrity are elevated above the everyday, with identities carefully crafted by cultural producers to respond to the needs and desires of an audience, region, or temporality. Sacralisation/celebrification entails a series of processes which (re)formulate a subject into a product fit for social, political, and economic consumption. Yet sanctity/celebrity is not simply exploitative, but enjoyable and perhaps even empowering. What does it really mean to be a medieval celebrity? How does celebrity intersect with sanctity? What does such a categorization add to the study of hagiography? Can fame resonate on both a social and spiritual level, and how does the medieval idea of fame generate, overlap with, and inform contemporary discourses of fame, celebrity, and sanctity?

Sara Ritchey

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May 12th, 1:30 PM

Holy Celebrity: Saints and/as Social and Economic Capital

Schneider 1360

Scholars have often commented on the link between sanctity and celebrity. Both the saint and the celebrity are elevated above the everyday, with identities carefully crafted by cultural producers to respond to the needs and desires of an audience, region, or temporality. Sacralisation/celebrification entails a series of processes which (re)formulate a subject into a product fit for social, political, and economic consumption. Yet sanctity/celebrity is not simply exploitative, but enjoyable and perhaps even empowering. What does it really mean to be a medieval celebrity? How does celebrity intersect with sanctity? What does such a categorization add to the study of hagiography? Can fame resonate on both a social and spiritual level, and how does the medieval idea of fame generate, overlap with, and inform contemporary discourses of fame, celebrity, and sanctity?

Sara Ritchey