Medieval performance is at once ordinary and extraordinary, a site of
both critical discomfort and affective familiarity. This segment of our
performance past remains “monstrous”, made foreign by history despite
striking similarities to contemporary ways of being. Historians and
practitioners confront this problem of “difference” with regard to
medieval dramatic activity and performance practices, staging patterns
and material conditions, and audience engagement and players’
experience; we simultaneously grapple with our own “difference” from
these cultural and scholarly artifacts, as well.

This session seeks contributions of short scholarly papers that actively
engage with questions of “extra/ordinary bodies” in medieval drama and
performance practices. Although topics that address medieval
constructions of difference are welcome, we particularly encourage
submissions that examine the spaces of discomfort produced through
modern encounters with medieval texts and bodies.

Some possible paper topics:

  • how does the embodied identity of the modern scholar, practitioner, or
    audience member produce difference or sameness relative to historical
    study or to current issues and movements?
  • how do modern actors or audiences negotiate medieval staging practices
    emerging from non-universal tenets or beliefs? gendered bodies? racial,
    religious, or cultural prejudice?
  • what is the work of non-normative physical bodies, genders, or
    sexualities in medieval dramatic activity and its contemporary
    representation? of foreign or heretical bodies? of disruptive or
    subversive bodies?
  • what bodies are excluded from medieval or modern stages and audiences,
    and to what effect?
  • how does medieval performance or its modern incarnation represent
    bodily aesthetics? age and infirmity? class or status? the monstrous or

TO PROPOSE A PAPER: Please submit a 500-word abstract that makes
specific reference to the session’s theme to the conference website
(, selecting “Extra/Ordinary
Bodies and Medieval Performance” as your first choice working group.
Abstracts are due June 1 2017; accepted participants will be notified by June
30; completed papers will be due by September 8 for circulation and

CONTACT: Feel free to contact the co-organizers, Susannah Crowder
( and Jacqueline Jenkins (,
with questions about the session; for general information about the 2017
ASTR Conference, please visit


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s