CFP Jul 10, 2023

Session at Internat. Congress on Medieval Studies (online, 9-11 May 24)

59th International Congress on Medieval Studies by Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, May 9–11, 2024
Deadline: Sep 15, 2023

Julie Roussel

Special session at the 59th International Congress on Medieval Studies (hybrid event):
Virgin Mary's relics - Prestige, Rivalry, Forgery and Reproducibility.

This special online session wishes to analyze the power of the Virgin Mary’s relics as triggers not only to processions and pilgrimages but also to Marian cults competition. The scientific importance of the session lies in understanding how these devotional objects could be perceived as activators of civic prestige. The possession of these relics encouraged a deep local cohesion outside the church. Therefore, how did the custody of a Marian relic interact and enhance rivalry between cities? And finally, how did the forgery and reproducibility of these relics contribute to developing the Marian cult by enhancing the creation of sacred topographies?
The session will encourage an interdisciplinary approach. Civic, political, and religious powers were deeply interconnected to control devotion to Marian relics. For this reason, these aspects will be examined in relation to the instauration of civic identity and religious authority to understand the adaptation of the Virgin’s cult to the local needs. This approach provides the groundwork for new perspectives on Medieval relics' devotion in general. Moreover, the analysis of case studies will not only aim to highlight specific aspects and general phenomena in Late Medieval Europe but also to define identities and devotees’ experiences about relics.

Scholars are invited to submit a 300-word abstract, excluding references. Proposals should also include name, affiliation, email address, the title of the presentation, 6 keywords, a selective bibliography, and a short CV. Please send the documents to by September 15, 2023.

CFP: Session at Internat. Congress on Medieval Studies (online, 9-11 May 24). In:, Jul 10, 2023 (accessed Apr 16, 2024), <>.