White Wombs, Jewish Doctors and Saracen Mummies (Seminar, 30th October)

When: 30th October, 17.30-19.00
Where: Seminar Room, Hallgarth House, Durham University
Share: Let us know you are coming via the Facebook event.

Our next Inventions of the Text seminar comes from Dr Lucy Allen-Goss (Trinity College Dublin). This seminar is open to all but spaces may be limited, so please arrive early and let us know you’re planning to attend via the Facebook event.

About this seminar

Medieval drama dwells upon miraculous gestation: saints Anne and Elizabeth conceive in old age; a Virgin bears a Son. Their stories claim centre stage, but around them jostle discourses relating to far more quotidian or even sinister manifestations of infertility, which end not with conception but with gruesome medical treatment, sinister intervention, or pregnancy loss. In this paper, I argue that ‘barrenness’ is mobilized as a paradoxical marker of sacred virtue within the late medieval Christian tradition, demonizing, erasing and consuming Jewish and Muslim bodies and the fertility they promise.

The seminar will be followed by dinner in town – please send a brief email to elizabeth.h.doherty@durham.ac.uk if you would like to attend the dinner, in order that we can book a table with the right amount of seats.

This is part of the Department of English Studies’ Inventions of the Text series, convened in 2019-20 by PhD researchers Francesco Marchionni, Beatriz Lopez, and Hope Doherty.

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