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Blogging Kalamazoo 2021: Session 458 - Appropriation and Reimagination: New Models of Female Sanctity and Devotion in Medieval Europe

Saturday, May 15, 2021 - 14:37

Nothing really strongly caught my interest in this time-slot. A couple of the session had intriguing session titles but the specific papers didn’t hit my interest-targets. I picked this one more or less at random because it had a textile-related paper. This is the last serious session of the conference. (The next time-slot is devoted to the humorous Pseudo-Society presentation.)

"Ego volo et ordino": Devotion and Women's Charitable Bequests of Textiles in Fourteenth-Century Dalmatia - Giulia Giamboni, University Of California, Santa Barbara

An analysis of bequests in wills, with consideration of the textile content and the specified purposes for them. By specifying, for example, use as vestments, women were able to “occupy space” within the church that was denied to them as women. There is a summary of existing work on this topic in various medieval contexts. This paper will look at three specific case studies.

Noblewoman who made gifts to 6 monasteries, including a garment of red silk enriched with pearls, given to a Franciscan monastery. Also gave garments of samite, fabric ornamented with precious stones, also non-textile gifts. Sometime combinations of garments, textiles, and objects were specified to be given together. There is a suggestion that the gifts were intended to be visually recognizable as her possessions, creating a personal presence.

Second example: wealthy family had donated to create Franciscan establishment and hospital. Woman from this family established school for (?girls -- unclear?) as well as donating rich textiles specified for particular uses, including liturgical garments. Also donated more ordinary fabric intended for everyday clothing for the monks, inserting herself into their personal experience.

Third example: less wealthy woman donates textiles for one specific garment to be worn while celebrating mass “in perpetuity” in the church where she will be buried.

Discussion of political symbolism, given the context – political control by Venice, with local notables aligning themselves with ?Hungary? as a form of resistance. Within this context, the donation of textiles by women to urban monastic institutions they show specific political allegiances, given that the religious institutions were actively involved in political alignments and encouraging the population to resist Venetian rule. There is a discussion of the specific political experiences of the families of the women discussed above.

"Reform Hagiography" in the Twelfth Century: Redefining Female Sanctity During the Gregorian Reform Era - Anna Katharina Rudolph, University of California, Santa Barbara

(I’m going to passively listen to this one because it’s outside my area of interest and my brain is really kind of fried at this point.)

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