IMC 2006: Sessions

Session 1323: Enclosed Images, Images of Enclosure - A Round Table Discussion

Wednesday 12 July 2006, 16.30-18.00

Sponsor:International Anchoritic Society
Organiser:Liz Herbert McAvoy, Department of English Language & Literature, Swansea University
Moderator/Chair:Liz Herbert McAvoy, Department of English Language & Literature, Swansea University
Abstract

Our knowledge of the anchorhold and the anchoritic experience to date has been gleaned largely from historical and literary studies of the phenomenon, with a heavy reliance on guidance texts, hagiographical writing and the evidence of legacies and wills to shape our understanding. What has been largely overlooked is the extent to which the anchorhold, or anchoritic experience and anchoritic discourses more generally, were represented in contemporary iconography – manuscript illustrations and wall-paintings in particular. Moreover, much information can also be harvested from an examination of the architectural vestiges of medieval anchorholds, which are far more numerous in insular churches than is currently believed. The aim of this round table discussion, therefore, is twofold. Firstly, it will bring together important and illuminating research into a variety of iconographic representations of the anchorhold; and secondly it seeks to stimulate further interest and investigation into the materiality of the anchoritic cell, to run alongside our awareness of it as an important conceptual space with a host of both metaphorical and metaphysical meanings.
Participants include Michelle M. Sauer (Minot State University, North Dakota), Karl-Heinz Steinmetz (Universit├Ąt Wien), Sharmain van Blommestein (Midwestern State University), Jennifer Floray Balke (University of Kansas), and Harriet Sayer (University of Oxford).