IMC 2017: Sessions

Session 714: Let's Do Theory: Intersectionality and Othering in the Middle Ages, I

Tuesday 4 July 2017, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:Universität Bayreuth
Organiser:Kristin Skottki, Lehrstuhl für Mittelalterliche Geschichte, Universität Bayreuth
Moderator/Chair:Stuart Airlie, School of Humanities (History), University of Glasgow
Paper 714-aIntersectionality and Othering the Middle Ages: How Does That Work?
(Language: English)
Kristin Skottki, Lehrstuhl für Mittelalterliche Geschichte, Universität Bayreuth
Index terms: Gender Studies, Historiography - Modern Scholarship
Paper 714-bBarbarians and Romans: Social Structures, Symbolic Representations, Identity Construction
(Language: English)
Roland Steinacher, Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut, Freie Universität Berlin
Index terms: Gender Studies, Historiography - Medieval, Political Thought
Paper 714-cApproaching Procopius through Intersectionality: The Digression on the Heruls (Wars VI, 14-15) as a Case Study
(Language: English)
Jakob Ecker, Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut, Freie Universität Berlin
Index terms: Gender Studies, Historiography - Medieval
Abstract

If we assume that otherness is created through a process of othering, this automatically leads to the question of which categories and clusters are used to determine the difference between self and other, between identity and alterity. Classically these categories would be gender, class, ‘race’ (and body). According to F. Schnicke, analysing intersectionality means to describe and systematically explain social inequalities focusing on the internal plurality and simultaneousness of these (and other) categories of difference. According to G. Winker & N. Degele, intersectionality may also be understood as a system of interactions on three different levels: a) between inequality-creating social structures (i.e. of power relations), b) symbolic representations, and c) identity constructions that are context-specific, topic-orientated, and inextricably linked to social praxis. In both sessions we would like to put this theoretical approach to the test: Proceeding from the evidence of different sources reaching from Late Antiquity to the late Middle Ages we will investigate how these sources portray, enshrine, and legitimise (or criticise) inequality on the levels of identity, structure, and representation: Which clusters/categories do they use? How are these representations of inequality reconciled with images of integration and equality (e.g. image of God, baptism, common lineage)? Can we discern trends in the usage of certain categories in specific fields, times etc.?