Divine Touch and Relicization within Narrative, Hagiographical, and Visual Representations from the Twelfth through the Fifteenth Centuries
April 23, 2018 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Stephanie Grace Petinos
French, Hunter College
Divine Touch and Relicization within Narrative, Hagiographical, and Visual Representations from the Twelfth through the Fifteenth Centuries is an interdisciplinary investigation of specific moments in various Old French, Middle English, hagiographical, and visual representations, in which individuals—humans, non-human animals, and objects—are divinely touched. The individuals in question are miraculously bodily restored, transforming them into living relics; a process that I refer to as relicization. As relicized bodies are at once living and holy material, functioning in and among the secular and sacred realms, what can they tell us about the hierarchy between humans, non-human animals, and objects? How do they (re)consider the role(s) and limits of the body? What do they reveal about seemingly fixed systems of power—patriarchal, familial, feudal, ecclesiastical—in the Middle Ages?
Stephanie Grace Petinos received her PhD in French with a certificate in Medieval Studies in September 2016 from The City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center. Her dissertation was entitled “Seeking Holiness: The Contribution of Nine Vernacular Narrative Texts from the 12th to the 14th Centuries.” Her main research interests include medieval spirituality, medieval materiality, ecocritical theory, and gender. She has several forthcoming articles related to these fields, including “The Ecology of Relics in Philippe de Remi’s Le Roman de la Manekine.” Ed. Heide Estes. Medieval Ecocriticisms (Amsterdam University Press); “Happiness via Spiritual Transcendence in a Selection of Old French Texts.” Ed. Bryan Turner, Yuri Contreras-Vejar, and Joanna Tice. Exploring Happiness; and “Leprosy as Locus of Divine Touch in Ami et Amile.” Paroles Gelées.
Image: Scene from “Miscellany on the life of St. Edmund.” England, Bury St Edmunds, ca. 1130. Image Credit: Pierpont Morgan Library; MS M.736 fol. 17r.