CfP: Crossing Boundaries with Medieval Saints session at ICMS 2023

Session poster

Please see below for a Call for Papers for the "Crossing Boundaries with Medieval Saints" session at ICMS 2023, hosted by Lauren Adams.

Described by Peter Brown as the "very special dead," the medieval cult of saints resided at a hazy verge between the material world and the spiritual one. From the inception of saint veneration as a new type of religious practice in late antiquity and throughout its expansion over the Middle Ages, this pantheon of powerful figures continually sundered, redefined, and crossed cultural boundaries. Saints blurred conceptual boundaries between earth and cosmos, spatial boundaries between urban and rural, geographical boundaries between kingdoms and regions, social boundaries between classes and groups, boundaries of spiritual power and authority, and, for modern scholars, boundaries of discipline, genre, and source type. This panel will explore a specific aspect within this larger framework: in what ways did medieval saints cross boundaries of gender and sexuality? Studies that investigate this question may turn, for example, to accounts of women saints who lived as monks or male hermits, reformed prostitutes who became exemplars, or saints who were conceived via supernatural or non-sexual methods. With these topical guidelines in mind, we invite papers from any field within the range of late antiquity to the late Middle Ages.

This session is sponsored by the Stanford University Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (CMEMS). All proposals submitted by September 15 will be considered by the session organizer. Paper proposals require the author's name, affiliation, and contact information; a title and an abstract (300 words); and a short description (50 words) that may be made public if the proposal is accepted.

Inquiries and submissions can be sent to Lauren Adams (laurenadams [at] (laurenadams[at]stanford[dot]edu)) or submitted through the ICMS website through the Confex proposal portal (