Upcoming Conference: Ruling Bishops and Ruling Eunuchs, c. 400-1800


Bishop Robert Grosseteste 2Ruling Bishops and Ruling Eunuchs, c. 400-1800: The Gender of Authority: Celibate and Childless Men in Power

Wednesday, August 28 2013 – Friday, August 30 2013

To be held at the University of Zürich in Switzerland

Eighteen papers will be presented during this three day conference, including:

The Bishop as Uncle, 600–1100, by Julia Barrow (University of Leeds)

Eunuchs as Mixed Gender in the Middle East?, by Hans Peter Pökel (FU Berlin)

Celibate, but not Childless – Eunuch Dynasticism in Medieval China, by Michael Höckelmann (University of Münster)

Dr Matthew Mesley, one of the conference organizers, explains how the idea for this conference first emerged: “We basically wanted to look at both bishops and eunuchs because in almost every culture in the premodern world there has been a group of men, who while not following ‘normative’ standards of masculine behaviour, still had important social and political positions and status. We wanted to look at this phenomenon on a global level and ask how such men were perceived and how their gender behaviour was conceptualised. Also whether celibacy and the ability to not procreate does not necessarily mean one cannot build up networks of kinship.”

Click here for more details about the conference from the University of Zuricj