2017 Conference

Gender, Places, Spaces, Thresholds

Christ Church University, Canterbury
12th – 15th January 2017

Keynote speakers: Anthony Bale, Leonie Hicks, Sheila Sweetinburgh

Welcome to this year’s Gender and Medieval Studies Group Annual Conference. Our venue is Canterbury Christ Church University, built fifty years ago on the site of St Augustine’s Abbey and close to Canterbury Cathedral. We are very grateful to the GMS Steering Committee, the CCCU Centre for Kent History and Heritage, and the School of Humanities for all their support.

Our theme is ‘Gender, Places, Spaces, and Thresholds’ and our papers explore the relationships between gender and medieval geographical, cultural, social, spatial, and imagined locations as well aspects of gender and liminalities. In viewing the materiality of place and space through the lens of gender we shall investigate both cross- and trans-disciplinary discourses concerning how gender is rendered stable and unstable via networks, individuals, communities, and exchanges in the Middle Ages.

The conference has three keynote lectures, a plenary and twelve panel sessions, a practitioner-led dramatization of the Bayeux Tapestry, and a visit to the Cathedral Archives and Library. There will be opportunities to explore Canterbury’s unique standing archaeology and also to attend Cathedral Evensong (the modern equivalent of the medieval monastic office of Compline).

I wish you an exciting and absorbing time of discourse and debate.

Diane Heath
GMS 2017 Conference Organiser
Assistant Lecturer in Medieval and Early Modern History,
Centre for Kent History and Heritage, School of Humanities,
Canterbury Christ Church University, North Holmes Road, Canterbury


Gender, Spaces, Places, Thresholds Programme

Thursday Afternoon

Registration: noon

Location: Old Sessions House Foyer, Old Sessions House, Longport, Canterbury


Sandwich Lunch: 12.00-13.00

Location: Old Sessions House, First Floor Seminar Room Of50


Plenary Session: 13.00-14.00

Dr Sheila Sweetinburgh, Canterbury Christ Church University

‘Religious women in the landscape: their roles in medieval Canterbury and its hinterland’

Location: Old Sessions House, Lecture Theatre Og46


Tea / coffee 14.00-14.25

Location: Old Sessions House, Of50


Short Parallel Sessions 1 and 2: 14.25 and 15.25


Session 1: Literature and Landscape

Location: Old Sessions House, Of50

Gillian Adler, St Peter’s University, NJ:

‘The Vision and Revision of History in Christine de Pizan‟s Le Livre de la Cité des Dames’

Michael Bintley, Canterbury Christ Church University,

‘Gender and Urban Space in Old English Poetry’


Session 2: Monastic Landscapes

Location: Old Sessions House, Of42

Tracy Collins, Aegis Archaeology,

‘Space and Place: Archaeologies of female monasticism in later medieval Ireland’

Kimm Curran, University of Glasgow, Theology & Religious Studies,

‘Female religious houses and reassessing definitions of gendered landscapes’


Cathedral Archive and Library Visit: 15.45-16.45


Optional attendance at Canterbury Cathedral Evensong: 5.15



Friday Morning’s Programme


Parallel Sessions 3 and 4: 9.15-10.45


Session 3: Elite networks

Location: Laud, Seminar Room Lg25

Alison Creber, King’s College London,

‘Adelaide of Turin‟s female network, and the spread of reformed monasticism from northern Italy into Germany’

Rachel Delman, Oxford University,

‘Between Women: Enclosed Gardens and Female Networks in Late Medieval England’

Santa Jansone, University of Latvia,

‘Scandinavian Women in Grobina: Merely Wives and Passive Members of the Household?’


Session 4: Bodies, Sex and Death

Location: Laud, Seminar Room Lg45

Lucy Allen, Cambridge University,

‘Walled Desire and Lesbian Anxiety in Chaucer’s Legend of Thisbe’

Carla Cannalte, Colorado University,

‘Corruption Contained: The Enshrinement of Body in Pearl

Martin Laidlaw, Dundee University,

‘’Thou woldest ben a trede-foul‟: Sacerdotal Celibacy in The Canterbury Tales


Tea/coffee 10.45-11.15

Location: Laud, Seminar Room Lg45


Plenary Session: 11.15-12.30

Professor Anthony Bale, Birkbeck, University of London

‘The Invention of Virginity: The Virgin of Bethlehem and other stories’

Location: Ramsey Lecture Theatre, Rg38


Lunch 12.30-14.00

Location: Laud, Seminar Room Lg45


Friday Afternoon’s Programme


Parallel Sessions 5 and 6: 14.00-15.30


Session 5: Liminalities: Margery Kempe

Location: Laud Seminar Room Lg25

Einat Klafter, Tel Aviv University,’The Feminine Mystic –Margery Kempe‟s Pilgrimages to Rome and Jerusalem in the footsteps of Holy Mothers’

Laura Varnam, Oxford University,

‘“Thu hast many awngelys abowte the, to kepyn the bothe day and nygth”: Margery Kempe‟s Body as Sacred Space’

Laura Kalas Williams, Exeter University,

‘Between Two Deaths: The Liminal Threshold of Mystical Death and the Medical ‘synges of deth’ in The Book of Margery Kempe’


Session 6: Bedrooms

Location: Laud Seminar Room Lg45

Roisin Donohoe, Trinity College Dublin,“…unbynde her anoone”: The Lives of St Margaret of Antioch and the Lying-in Space in Late Medieval England‟

Kathryn Loveridge, Swansea University,

‘Gendered spaces, Messianic prophesies and female filth: the case of Aude Fauré

and an unnamed Jewish prophetess’

Amy Morgan, University of Surrey,

‘Transgressing Boundaries: The Queer Bedchamber in



Tea/Coffee 15.30-16.00

Location: Laud Seminar Room Lg45


Plenary Session 7: Nuntastic!

Victoria Blud, University of York,

‘Soul Sisters: Medieval Mystics, Recusant Readers and Women‟s Literary Communities’

Philippa Byrne, Oxford University,

‘Making space for leprous nuns: Matthew Paris and foundation of St Mary de Pre, St Albans’

Louise Campion, Warwick University,

‘Shopping or Scrimping? The Contested Space of the Household in Middle English Devotional Literature’

Location: Laud Seminar Room Lg45


Conference Dinner:18.00-21.00

Location: Claggett Auditorium, Canterbury Lodge


The Conference Dinner is preceded by

Dr Daisy Black’s Bayeux Tapestry Dramatization



Saturday Morning’s Programme


Plenary Session: 9.30-10.45

Dr Leonie Hicks, Canterbury Christ Church University

‘In and Out of Place: Gender and Landscape in Norman Chronicles’

Location: Laud Lecture Theatre Lg16


Tea/Coffee 10.45-11.15


Parallel Sessions 8 and 9: 11.15-12.45


Session 8: Gendering Medieval Spaces

Location: Laud Seminar Room Lg48

Claire Kennan, Royal Holloway College, London,

‘On the Threshold? The Role of Women in Lincolnshire‟s Late Medieval Parish Guilds’

Hanna Kilpi, University of Glasgow,

‘The space and place of lesser aristocratic women landholders in twelfth-century England’

Katherine Weikert, University of Winchester,

‘A Day in the Life of the Men on the Watch: Motte d‟Olivet, Normandy, 1040s-1050s’


Session 9: Gender, Places, and Spaces from Art History Perspectives

Location: Erasmus Seminar Room Eg01

Pamela Bianchi, University of Paris VIII Vincennes–Saint Denis,

‘The figurative Dimension of Pictorial Space in the Late Italian Middle Ages’

Kristen Streahle, Cornell University,

‘A mirror for princes and rebels: The painted ceiling of the Palazzo Chiaramonte-Steri’

Jayne Wackett, University of Kent,

‘Women in the medieval wall-paintings of Kent‟s cathedrals’


Lunch 12.45-14.00

Location: Laud Seminar Room Lg48


Saturday Afternoon’s Programme


Parallel Sessions 10 and 11: 14.00-15.30


Session 10: Mapping, Drama, Movement

Location: Laud Seminar Room Lg48

Daisy Black, Swansea University,

‘Commanding Un-Empty Space: Silence, Stillness and Scopic Authority in the York Trial Plays’

Franc Ruvolo, Scuola Secondaria, Milano,

‘A new Jerusalem in Eustochia Messina and Antonello’

Hannah Shepherd, University of Edinburgh,

‘Physical boundaries and gendered movement: windows, doors and gateways in saints‟ vitae from the thirteenth-century Low Countries’


Session 11: Gendered Networking

Location: Erasmus Seminar Room Eg01

Ana Del Campo, University of St Andrews,

‘The Gendered Role and Position of Women and Men in Late Medieval Funerals of the Iberian Peninsula’

Anne Foerster, Kassel University,

‘Gendering the king‟s widow: Behind closed doors and on open stages’

Delfi Nieto-Isabel, University of Barcelona,

‘Gendered networks: The Role of Men and Women in the Shaping of the Beguin Movement of Languedoc’


Tea/Coffee 15.30-16.00

Location: Laud Seminar Room Lg48


Parallel Sessions 12 and 13: 16.00-17.30

Session 12: Romance Landscapes

Location: Location: Laud Seminar Room Lg48

Sari Katajala-Peltomaa, University of Tampere, Finland,

‘Overcoming Liminality? Pilgrimages and Demonic Possession in Late Medieval Hagiography’

Hannah Piercy, Durham University,

‘Safe spaces? Medieval Romance, transgression, and enclosure‟

Grace Timperley, University of Manchester,

‘Landscapes of exile: women and disinheritance in medieval romance’


Session 13: Gender and Punishment

Location: Erasmus Seminar Room Eg01

Eivor Bekkhus, University of Oslo,

‘“Why shouldn’t you take women on your island?” Pilgrimage and punishment at sea in early medieval Ireland’

Inna Matyushina, University of Exeter,

‘Place as Punishment in Medieval Chastity Tests’

Patricia Turning, Albright College, PA,

‘From Gate to Gate: Forging Connections between Gender, City Space and Punitive Spectacle in Late Medieval Toulouse’


Wine Reception: 17.30-18.00

Location: Laud Seminar Room Lg48


Optional Film showing and critique: 18.00-20.00

Location: Laud Seminar Room 45

Eric Rohmer, The Romance of Astrea and Celadon


Sunday’s Programme


Brunch from 11.30


Closing Roundtable Discussion 12.00-13.00

Business meeting 12.30-13.00


Walking tour of Canterbury 13.00-14.30


Cathedral freely open to visitors: 14.30