The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York


CFP: Persecution, Punishment, and Purgatory I-II: Methodological Considerations, Historical Explorations

Medievalists –

As the deadline for Kalamazoo abstract submissions grows closer, we’d like to remind everyone of this CFP for two separate panels on the theme of Persecution, Punishment, and Purgatory, sponsored by the Graduate Center’s Medieval Studies Certificate Program. We look forward to reading your submissions!


CFP: Persecution, Punishment, and Purgatory I-II: Methodological Considerations, Historical Explorations

Sponsored by the Medieval Studies Certificate Program, Graduate Center, CUNY

52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 11-14, 2017, Kalamazoo, MI


Societies and cultures shape themselves in part through a series of exclusions, and those exclusions may involve both individual punishment and the persecution of particular groups. Of course, medieval societies and cultures had their own distinct modes of exclusion, punishment, and persecution. R.I. Moore famously, if controversially, argued for the “formation of a persecuting society” in the Central Middle Ages; interestingly, the same moment sees (in Jacques LeGoff’s terminology) “the birth of Purgatory.” These panels consider these issues in two different directions: methodological, asking how we read the limited documentary evidence to understand the position of the persecuted, as well as the persecutor, and historically, looking at representations in a variety of documents (e.g. trial records, art, and literature) to consider these questions through disparate methodologies (Please specify which panel you are applying to).


Please send 250-word abstract and PIF to by September 15, 2016.


Topics might include, but certainly are not limited to:

  • the origins and uses of persecution
  • the experience of religious and ethnic pogroms
  • forced conversions and expulsions
  • persecution as a method of socio-cultural nation and identity formation
  • the character of legal and extra-legal punishment
  • punishment as a form of discipline
  • self-inflicted and devotional punishment
  • the role of punishment in the family
  • the variations of punishment based on class, status, and gender
  • punishment as social control
  • concepts of the afterlife
  • the relationship between sin/punishment and the afterlife
  • liminal spaces
  • peripheries


Pearl Kibre Medieval Study
CUNY Graduate Center Student Organization