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>
>
>Special Session: "Metaphors and Allegories of the Body and Disease" 
>at the
>43rd International Congress on Medieval Studies
>
>at Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 8-11, 2008. All submissions may be 
>considered
>for a future collection of essays on this topic
>
>spanning 700-1700.
>
>
>
>Please submit 250-word abstracts by September 1 via e-mail to Jennifer
>Vaught at [log in to unmask] or by post to:
>
>
>
>Jennifer Vaught
>
>Dept. of English
>
>PO Box 44691
>
>University of Louisiana at Lafayette
>
>Lafayette, LA 70504
>
>
>
>Special Session Description:
>
>
>
>This session will examine how metaphors and allegories of the body and
>disease inform medieval and early modern discourses. Susan Sontag in 
>Illness
>as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors points to the vital connection
>between metaphors and bodily illnesses in contemporary works. 
>Medieval and
>early modern texts-a number of which were written during the plague
>years-further underscore the interlacing of metaphors of the body and
>disease in a wide range of literary and cultural contexts. The very term
>'consumption,' for instance, highlights the link between a bodily 
>disease
>and an economic practice; likewise, the common phrase, 'body politic'
>emphasizes the metaphorical connection between individual bodies and the
>larger political, sometimes illness-ridden spheres they inhabit. The
>allegorical mode that was widely established and practiced by literary
>writers such as Langland and Spenser during the medieval and early 
>modern
>periods also lends itself to such figurative representations of the 
>body and
>disease. The overall goal of this session is to illustrate the extent to
>which a global awareness of bodily ailments from 700-1700 informs a 
>variety
>of texts and contexts during this period. The palpable anxieties among
>writers, readers, and audience members in response to diseases so 
>prevalent
>before the advent of modern medicine mirror contemporary fears in 
>response
>to the threat of pandemic illnesses such as AIDS and the Asian flu. 
>The very
>metaphors we continue to use today remind us of the dis-ease we 
>inherit from
>our medieval and early modern predecessors.
>
>
>Please submit 250-word abstracts by September 1 via e-mail to =
>Jennifer
>Vaught at
>[log in to unmask]">Jennifer Vaught



>Dept. of English

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