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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

CFP:  Special session, 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies

Western Michigan University, May 14-17, 2015



*Figurations of Male Beauty in Medieval Culture*

Please send one-page proposals to Gerry Guest ([log in to unmask])



During the central and later Middle Ages, there existed a complex set of
typologies for understanding male beauty.  Although often problematized,
physical beauty could be seen as a positive trait in men.  Thus, male
saints could be described as physically beautifully, their outward
appearance reflecting their inner sanctity.  Knights might be described as
beautiful, either in their physical proportions or for their glittering,
colorful armor and accoutrements.  Youthful male beauty was seen in still
other ways.  Elsewhere, male beauty could be also be seen as being
intertwined with pride and other sins.  Despite this provocative diversity
of attitudes, little has been published on the ways in which medieval
people understood the complex intersection of masculinity and beauty at
this time.  This session hopes to offer a start toward remedying that gap.
A diversity of approaches and topics is hoped for.

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