Wheelchair Accessibility

About this seminar

Join us for this exciting new series "The Object Seminar: Breaking Boundaries" led by Stephanie Grace-Petinos, entitled "The Living Relic and the Disabled Body." The seminar is free and open to the public, but to attend, please RSVP here.

The Living Relic and the Disabled Body

A body becomes a relic when a holy person, typically a saint, dies. In addition, the objects with which the holy person has had contact become relics by association. These relics are objects of devotion and of healing, sacred commodities that circulate and/or attract pilgrims. The power of relics is derived from the divine that flows within the objects and from the ability of these objects to channel and harness that divinity. If relics are marked by having been directly touched by God, then, a body touched by God before death becomes a living relic. The living relics in medieval sources take many forms, including men, women, and animals; and, in many cases, the resulting living relic restores a fractured or severed body, re-enabling a disabled body. These once-disabled bodies do not simply return to being their pre-disabled bodies, but, rather, are relicized, objectified, becoming a sort of divine cyborg with the potential for patriarchal, ecclesiastical, and familial subversion.

About The Object Seminar: Breaking Boundaries

What happens when we incorporate the non-human material world into academic conversations? As part of the Object Library's ongoing inquiry into routes to knowledge beyond traditional methods and existing discourses, this series of seminars co-presented with Henri Peyre French Institute invites the public to join us in study once again, taking material culture as our point of departure. With topics ranging across new areas of research, each presenter is encouraged to bring-a-thing-along or propose an object that might sit in creative tension with the seminar discussion. All are welcome, but a commitment to attend is necessary, as is reading in advance any materials supplied. The final event, held in the Object Library, will lodge seminar-related objects—both suggested by seminar attendees in response to our conversations or brought along to the final session—into our temporary installation, 365 Things. The Henri Peyre French Institute is proud to organize this seminar series in conjunction with the Center for the Humanities at The Graduate Center, CUNY and its Object Library project. The Henri Peyre French Institute is dedicated to promoting a broad, transdisciplinary, and transnational understanding of major cultural issues across French and Francophone studies through public programs concerning the arts, history, society and politics. This current seminar series seeks to showcase work in these areas that breaks disciplinary boundaries, asks new questions, and alters current paradigms.

All events take place at the Graduate Center, CUNY from 5-7PM.

March 8: Frédéric Baitinger, room 9207
March 22: Raphaël Liogier, room 9207
May 3: Nathalie Etoke, French Lounge
May 8: Stephanie Grace Petinos, room 9206
May 10: Jasmine Narcisse, Object Library, followed by special event

For more information about this seminar series, click here.

The Object Seminar: Breaking Boundaries series is co-organized and sponsored by the Henri Peyre French Institute, and The Object Library from the Center for the Humanities at the Graduate Center, CUNY.