Symposium 2023: Embodied Histories

We are proud to announce the 2023 CMEMS Primary Source Symposium, titled "Embodied Histories." The workshop will be held in person April 13-14, 2023, and it will be engaging with the theme of embodiment. Read more about why here.

Below is a Call for Papers for the Symposium. Proposals are due December 5, 2022 here. Please provide a title and a 200-word abstract. Questions should be directed to cmemsinfo [at] stanford.educlass="x_ContentPasted0 x_ContentPasted1" target="_blank".

Embodied Histories

How do primary sources embody premodern history? How are embodied realities reflected in primary sources? How do primary sources mediate premodern bodies, and how do we as scholars go about this mediation? For its 2023 Primary Source Symposium, CMEMS seeks papers that engage with this year’s theme of “embodiment” through close analysis of medieval or early modern primary sources, whether music or architecture, text or image, or other objects. This symposium stands at the convergence of more recent trends that consider primary sources as the past materialized in an object and that examine the sensory, spatial, and political dimensions of premodern bodies. For example, papers could consider how orthographic practices provide clues to the embodied world of dialect and accent, and how musical or architectural forms can be taken to embody cultural or political principles. Contributions could discuss how images of specific practices offer a glimpse on their historical embodiment, and how the visual and tactile dimensions of codices can be mobilized to create specific conceptualizations of the past. Presentations might show how written records give insight into the lives of pathologized or racialized people as much as they can obfuscate their lived realities, or they could speculate on how the Covid-19 pandemic changed scholarly attitudes towards bodies – their own and those of people from the past. CMEMS thus invites papers that interrogate how scholars can use primary sources to write embodied histories. We are especially keen on receiving proposals that are interdisciplinary, comparative, and/or expand the scope of medieval and early modern studies to a more global level. Papers from Stanford graduate students and postdocs are especially welcome.