Simone Wagner presents a working paper on ‚A common History? About the Relation between Collegiate Churches and Cities‘

Superiors of collegiate churches often refered to origin stories in order to gain more authority in conflicts. Aside from arguing with highly symbolical charters of origin they often fashioned themselves as representatives of saints having founded the religious communities. Often such speech acts were embedded in a broader hagiohistorigraphical tradition. While collegiate churches and cities were often constructed as seperate entities their history was depicted as a shared one. A shared history was constructed by creating saints as integrative figures between city and collegiate church as well as linking the foundation of the cities to religious superiors. Historiography of the canons/the canonesses and the citizens could heavily influence each other without necessarily creating a collective identity. It seems that especially imperial cities contested the canon*esses‘ view of the past. However, saints worked less well as integration figures in cities with a more complex infrasctructure of parishes and their relics.

Simone Wagner gives a working paper on ‚The provost / abbot as father, the abbess as mother – punishment and gender‘

One chapter of my dissertation deals with gender-specific discourses shaping the authority of superiors in collegiate churches. In this paper I’ve focused on the discourse of motherly love and lenity in punishment. After summing up the current state of research the paper traces the discourse a) in statutes of the collegiate churches (i.e. internal normative documents) and b) in conflicts with civic authorities (the mayor and city council). The last section analyses how abbesses dealed with gendered expectations and if they could subvert them.

Lenity and severity were not gendered binarily. Male superiors also were supposed to be clement. Nevertheless, they could defy expectations of lenity more easily than abbesses. Only the authority of abbesses was attacked fundamentally by accusing them that they punished too severely. Civic authorities did attack abbesses comparatively harshly by applying gendered discourses. However, citizens weren’t necessarily more misogynist than other medieval actors. Urbanity did influence the abbesses’ authority indirectly. It increased contact between the members of collegiate churches, citizens as well as serfs of the collegiate church and thus opportunities to control abbesses.

Simone Wagner gave a working paper on ‚Authority and gender. Abbesses and priors of collegiate churches in South-Western Germany (15th/16th century)‘

Abbesses and priors of collegiate churches („Stifte“) faced similar conditions of theiroffice. Despite comparable evidence they were treated very differently by academia. Inorder to overcome this deficit this dissertation project takes a comparative approach andfocuses on the authority of abbesses and priors of civic collegiate churches in SouthWestern Germany (15th/16th century). It explores how different agents i.e. the cities,bishops and the chapters helped shaping and dismantle religious authority. Thus,primarily sources produced by conflicts between abbesses or priors and these agents areused. The project’s aim is to show that intersectionality was very important for religioussuperior’s authority. Religious lifestyle, status, gender and civic discourses all played arole in constructing authority