CFP: Adapting Violence in/from Classic Texts

A 2-day online workshop to be held 24–25 March 2022, organised by Amy Brown (University of Bern) and Lucy Fleming (University of Oxford). This interdisciplinary event brings together specialists in literature, retelling, and feminist practice to consider how adaptations address various forms of violence in and from their canonical source-texts. Sources and adaptations examined may be in any language, though the workshop will be conducted primarily in English. Please submit proposals for 20-minute conference papers and/or text workshops online or via adaptingviolence@gmail.com. The deadline for submissions is 15 December 2021; we welcome papers from faculty members as well as postgraduates and early-career researchers. The workshop is supported by the University of Bern Fund for Promotion of Young Researchers. Attendance is free.

Plenary Sessions:

  • Urvashi Chakravarty (University of Toronto), Keynote Speaker
  • Maria Sachiko Cecire (Bard College), Plenary Respondent
  • Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (University of Houston), Author Talk
  • Round Table on violence in adaptations (TBA)

Proposal Portal:

Due by 15 Dec 2021. For proposals we ask for a title, a 200 word abstract, and for ‘Text explorations’ an excerpt or description of the media you’ll share. Please submit online through our proposal portal – but if you have any problems, email us ( adaptingviolence@gmail.com ). Do note that the responses cannot be saved to return to later – you’ll want to draft your abstract somewhere else and paste it in.

Rationale:

Jyotika Virdi (2006) described the feminist creator seeking to represent rape in film as caught between a ‘rock and a hard place’’—that is, between the ethical call to represent oppressive reality, and the risk that representing violence may perpetuate harm. Similar concerns underlie the representation—in film, literary retellings, and other forms of adaptation—of racial violence, homophobia and transpohbia, and graphic physical violence, all of which are common in works held in high esteem for their literary and/or cultural value. Violence in these ‘classic’ works thus becomes a flashpoint for social, political, and creative tensions. In response, adaptations may reify violence in these texts, or critique it; they may represent violence in the name of fidelity, or seek to reclaim the text. Both adaptors and scholars must grapple with difficult questions: When is violence in adaptation important or useful? When is it negligent or even harmful? What uses does violence serve when adapting culturally prestigious texts, and how is these texts’ very prestige linked to the violence they contain?  

This two-day, online workshop will bring together specialists in the contemporary adaptation of ‘classic texts’ and adaptation as a premodern cultural practice to consider what concerns shape the reception and re-visioning of violence. We will explore the stakes involved in adaptation, and the uses and abuses of violence in adapting texts of high cultural value.  

We define ‘violence’ broadly, including both physical violence and social oppressions, and are interested in considering adaptation strategies across and in reaction to different axes of power, including but not limited to race, gender, and sexuality. In this workshop we seek to bring together scholars working on adaptations (any period) of ‘high status cultural texts’, where the source texts predate 1865. Those texts religious, mythological, artistic and historical source-texts as well as literary forms, and adaptations may be in widely varying media. These source-texts need not derive from any particular language, region, or literary tradition; rather, we aim to feature studies from a wide range of cultural contexts and time periods, to approach our central questions from many varied perspectives. In asking what it means to (re-)write violence, potential papers could address:  

  • Case studies grappling with the ethics of rewritten violence; 
  • Applying a lens of feminist theory, queer studies, violence studies, trauma studies or other interdisciplinary modes to ‘classic’ texts; 
  • Retellings or adaptations that challenge contemporary/contemporaneous ideas of violence; 
  • Retellings for particular or unusual audiences or readerships;  
  • The canonization of works containing violence;  
  • How adaptations and retellings relate to ‘real-world’ violence; 
  • The act of adaptation as a form of violence; 
  • Rewritings of violence that are radical, liberating, and even empowering acts. 

Workshop Format:

This workshop will be entirely online, with both synchronous and asynchronous participation options possible. Given the nature of global online conferences we anticipate that many participants will alternate between synchronous and asynchronous participation depending on their location, work and/or family commitments, accessibility needs, and other considerations. Some material will be uploaded and professionally captioned in advance; plenary sessions will be recorded, professionally captioned, and uploaded after the fact. Still other sessions will be unrecorded.

Further Information:

For full details, please visit the workshop website.

Symposium: English Perceptions of the Material Text 1300-1600

A free, three day online symposium organised by Dr J.R. Mattison and Eleanor Baker, 9th-11th December 2021.

To register, please follow this link and fill in your details:

https://forms.gle/VZFr1qRuw1Xem7z47

If you have any questions, please contact

medieval.text.perceptions@gmail.com 

Follow us @TextMedieval

 

PROGRAMME:

Thursday 9th December:

Making Material Texts                      

8:00am (PCT)/ 10.00am (CDT)/ 4:00pm (GMT)/ 5.00pm (CET)

Making Manuscripts in the Twenty-First Century: Filling the Gaps in Medieval Recipes

Sara Charles (Institute of English Studies, University of London)

Imagining Medieval Colours: Blue Colour Terms in Cambridge, Trinity College, MS O.9.3

Maryann Pierse (Independent Scholar)

Sheepskins and the Law in Early Modern London

Lily Freeman-Jones (Queen Mary, University of London)

*

  Devotion and Material Texts 

  9:15am (PCT)/ 11:15am (CDT)/ 5:15pm (GMT)/ 6:15pm (CET)

  Lomen to tilde wið þe heorte’: Utility and the Idea of the Book in Ancrene Wisse

  Nia Moseley-Roberts (Jesus College, University of Oxford)

  ‘The fourtenth lefe of thys register’: Channelling Devotional Power at Syon Abbey 

  Julia King (University of Bergen)

  William Caxton and the Creation of Fifteenth-Century English Devotional Canon

  Elizabeth Perry (Texas A&M University)

*

  Authors and Material Texts 

  10:30am (PCT)/ 12:30pm (CDT)/ 6:30pm (GMT)/ 7:30pm  (CET)

  Ovid’s ‘Best Line’: Medieval Responses to the Heroides

  Rebecca Menmuir (Queen Mary, University of London)

  Passing the Buke in Late Medieval Dream Poetry: The Case of Gavin   Douglas’s Palice of Honour

  Laurie Atkinson (Durham University)

  The Imagery of Writing in the First Plantagenet Court

  Joyce Coleman (University of Oklahoma)

Friday 10th December:

Buying, Selling, and Owning Material Texts

8:00am (PCT)/ 10.00am (CDT)/ 4:00pm (GMT)/ 5.00pm (CET)

Second-hand Books

Hannah Ryley (Balliol College, University of Oxford)

Shifting Perceptions of the Library in Late Medieval Durham

J.D. Sargan (Durham University)

 Buying and Selling Books Around St Paul’s Cathedral: ‘Be Dishonest, and tell Lies’

  Benjamin King-Cox (Independent Scholar)

*

  Displaying Material Texts

  9:15am (PCT)/ 11:15am (CDT)/ 5:15pm (GMT)/ 6:15pm (CET)

  “I labour upon a Cobwebbe”: Writing on Display in Early Modern England

  Grace Murray (University of York)

  Taking Stock: William Caxton’s Manuscripts and the Idea of English Readership

  Lindsey Jones (Texas A&M University)

  The Material Forms of Lydgate’s Testament

  Niall Summers (Trinity College, University of Oxford)

Saturday 11th December:

Material Texts in Flux             

8:00am (PCT)/ 10.00am (CDT)/ 4:00pm (GMT)/ 5.00pm (CET)

 ‘Bind this to her’: The Use of Material Texts in English Childbirth, 1400-1540

Róisín Donohoe (University of Cambridge)

And som all ther eynke sched,/And som ther bokes rent’: Ripping, Tearing, and Splitting in the Comic Tale Jack and his Stepdame

Hannah Bower (University of Cambridge)

Chaos Under Control: Introduction to the Problematics of the Expression of Chaos in Medieval Manuscripts from England

 Adrienn Orosz (Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest)

*

  Imagining Material Texts

  9:15am (PCT)/ 11:15am (CDT)/ 5:15pm (GMT)/ 6:15pm (CET)

  The Unequal Powers of Speech and Text: English Charms, 1350-1500

  Katherine Storm Hindley (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)

  Material Evidence, Immaterial Intentions 

  Daniel Wakelin (University of Oxford)

  Imagining the Forbidden Reader

  Alexandra Da Costa (University of Cambridge)

MedievalWiki: Training Workshop and Social Editing Session

Fri, October 29, 2021

1:30 PM – 3:30 PM British Summer Time

Online: via Zoom
FREE booking required https://www.eventbrite.com/e/medievalwiki-meet-up-tickets-182576600527

This workshop is for brand new and experienced Wikipedia editors who are interested in improving Wikipedia according to the aims of MedievalWiki (on which, see below). Lucy Moore (York) and Fran Allfrey (KCL) will be hosting.

We will gather on Zoom and introduce newcomers to the MedievalWiki project and how to get started. This will be a relaxed and informal workshop, designed to build the confidence of new and new-ish editors and to provide a social space for more experienced editors.

Everyone is welcome! Medievalists and non-medievalists, researchers, and students. If you can’t make the whole two hours, feel free to drop in just for the first or the second hour (let us know when you book when you plan to stop by).

What is MedievalWiki?

MedievalWiki is a project to improve the quality of medieval articles on Wikipedia (and related projects including Wikimedia and Wikidata). The project is specifically dedicated to making and editing articles with citations to medieval scholars whose work is indebted to or develops feminist, queer, and critical race studies methods and theories. Making and editing biographical pages for Black medievalists and medievalists of colour, women and non-binary and queer medieval scholars, and artists whose work remakes the medieval is firmly within the MedievalWiki remit.

You can read more about the MedievalWiki project here https://medievalwomenwiki.wordpress.com/

Please send any questions to Dr Fran Allfrey francesca.allfrey@kcl.ac.uk

CMTC Work In Progress Colloquium

Please join us for two online talks hosted by the Centre for Manuscript and Text Cultures at The Queen’s College in the University of Oxford. Our centre promotes inter-disciplinary discussion among scholars and students interested in manuscripts and material culture in the premodern world. So your participation is most welcome regardless of your field of specialty.

We are meeting on Zoom on Tuesday 19th October at 12,30-2,00pm (UK time).

  1. Laura Banella (Mediaeval & Modern Languages, Wolfson College, Oxford)

“The Materiality and Textuality of Medieval Italian Lyric Poetry”  
The physical act of copying, editing, printing, annotating, and circulating literature has the power to create and construct an intellectual figure as an author, an auctor and an auctoritas, that is, an author as “creator” and “cultural authority”. Through a selection of Dante’s and Petrarch’s texts in material contexts, and specific instances of the circulation and reception of their lyric poetry, this talk explores medieval and early modern authoriality; the qualities of books as “textual objects”, and the ways in which context, form, and annotation in single books may bestow cultural authority upon authors and works, at a time when lyric poetry was a key-genre in the cultural system. In the late Middle Ages and in the Renaissance, Dante and Petrarch were the two main authors governing the Italian cultural field, especially as regards lyric poetry, and they soon enjoyed international success. Dante and Petrarch have been appropriated, rewritten, and repurposed by various literary, political, and ideological movements across centuries, shaping a transnational European cultural identity.  What is more, the in-between space of multi-text and multi-author volumes is a repository of meaning and large cultural discourses: the significance of the order and selection of medieval lyric poems, and the meaning of lyric sequences is one of the crucial issues in literary hermeneutics, both for authorial and non-authorial collections.  

  1. Zhan Zhang (Oriental Studies, St Antony’s College, Oxford)

“Form, Format, and formulae. Scribal conventions in first-millennium central Asia”
Central Asia in the first millennium CE, for the most part, was politically fragmented, and saw the flourishing of a number of (semi-)independent city-states, which produced secular documents in a multitude of languages/scripts, including Gandhari/Kharoshthi in Loulan, Khotanese/Brahmi in Khotan, Tocharian/Brahmi in Kucha, Sogdian/Aramaic in Sogdiana, and Bactrian/Greek in Bactria. A fairly large number of these documents have come to light in the last century or so, and received philological treatments individually or as a group. A synthetic analysis across the linguistic boundaries, however, is still lacking. In my talk, I will demonstrate that these documents display a number of common features in terms of form (materiality), format (diplomatics), and formulae (wording). Examples include notches on double wooden slips, sealing practice, indentations in letters and official orders, clauses and their sequence in purchase contracts, and shared technical lexicons of administration. All of these commonalities point to a shared scribal convention, the origin of which can be traced  back to the Kushan Empire. I will further explore the implication of this attribution for our understanding of the history of first-millennium Central Asia.
Here

Attendance is free of charge but sign-up is mandatory. You can sign-up here.

We will send a Zoom link to all participants by the end of the week.

CFP: Morality, Exemplarity and Emotion in Medieval Insular Texts

We invite papers which explore the relationship between morality, exemplarity, and the expression of emotion in medieval Insular texts, c. 700-1500.


The behaviours, ideas, and emotions that medieval writers, translators, and authors present as (im)moral and exemplary naturally fluctuate depending on time, place, genre, and language. Similarly, the textual representation and expression of emotion is culturally, temporally, and socially determined. This conference seeks to explore the nexus of morality, exemplarity, and emotion as presented throughout the medieval Insular world (Ireland and the British Isles), c. 700-c. 1500. In an effort to bring different types of texts into conversation with each other, and to probe generic boundaries, we encourage papers on a range of genres, including religious, heroic, romantic, and historic, written in Latin or the vernacular(s). In particular, we welcome papers which explore how the expression of emotion within texts was used to signal exemplary and/or (im)moral behaviour.


Topics include, but are not limited to, the following suggestions:

  • Methodological approaches to identifying emotion(s) and/or exemplary/moral behaviour.
  • The effectiveness of genre as an interpretive frame when examining morality, exemplarity, and/or emotion.
  • The implications of time, place, language, gender, and/or race on morality, exemplarity and/or emotion(s).
  • The expression of emotion(s) to provoke an affective response to different types of behaviour within texts.
  • Explicit or implicit tensions between morality, exemplarity, and the expression of emotion(s).
  • Moral and/or emotional ambiguity.
  • Emotional and/or moral standards (or transgressions) of behaviour (for religious/lay person, saint, lover, hero, knight, etc).
  • The moral implications for the restraint of emotion.


In addition, we seek participants for a roundtable discussion on:

  • The reception of medieval morality and/or emotions in the classroom, especially issues that arise when teaching texts that include emotionally and/or morally one-dimensional figures.


Please send abstracts of approximately 200 words for a twenty-minute paper and a short bio to Dr Niamh Kehoe (Heinrich Heine Universität) (niamh.kehoe@hhu.de) by the 10th December 2021. If you have any queries, please email Niamh. While we currently anticipate that this will be an in-person event at Heinrich Heine University, we may decide to switch to an online event

Medieval Matters: Week 0 and Booklet

Michaelmas Term is finally here, which means that our Medieval Booklet has now arrived! Inside you will find details of all of the seminars, events and reading groups happening this term, as well as some CFPs and save the dates for future events. Please do peruse and fill your calendars up!

I’d also like to take this opportunity to remind you of our blog, which not only includes an archive of the Medieval Matters newsletters, but also CFPs, posts from Oxford Medievalists, and a handy calendar so that you can always keep an eye on upcoming events and copy the details to your own online calendar. We would love to receive submissions for blog posts, whether these are events, reports on ongoing projects or conferences. If you have an idea for a blog post, please email luisa.ostacchini@ell.ox.ac.uk or lesley.smith@history.ox.ac.uk.

A new term means new faces around Oxford. If this is your first Medieval Matters email, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to the Oxford Medievalist community on behalf of the OMS team! If you are a course convenor for a medieval MSt, please block-enrol your students for the newsletter (or send me names for block enrolling) so that we catch all new MSt and doctoral students in medieval subjects and ensure that everyone receives all of the latest Oxford Medieval updates. If you know of any new medievalists who have joined Oxford and wish to have them added to the mailing list, please do contact me on luisa.ostacchini@ell.ox.uk. Alternatively, anybody can subscribe themselves to the Medieval Matters newsletter via the ‘About’ section of the blog – please do share the link with your incoming students.

Onto the announcements for this week:

  • Medieval Roadshow: We are still taking submissions for this year’s Medieval Roadshow, which is a great way for all seminar/reading group/medieval event convenors to publicise their wares. Come and give a two-minute in-person advert at this term’s Roadshow: Tuesday 12th October, 5-7 pm, at Teddy Hall. Please email luisa.ostacchini@ell.ox.ac.uk so she can get an idea of who’ll be talking — but if you haven’t ‘booked’ don’t worry – turn up anyway and we’ll fit you in. The Roadshow is an excellent way re-connect with our medieval community after so many months of virtual events. We are also happy to host virtual speakers via a Teams link: if you would like to present, but would prefer to do so remotely, please just let Luisa know so that arrangements can be made.
  • Oxford Medieval Graduate Conference: We are delighted to announce that the theme of the Eighteenth annual Oxford Medieval Graduate Conference will be Medicine and Healing, and that we are looking for new committee members! Please email oxgradconf@gmail.com, if you are interested!
  • Oxford Medieval Commentary Network: The first workshop and initial meeting of the Medieval Commentary Network will take place on 9th October, Christ Church, Research Centre., 8:30-5:30pm. Please email medievalcommentarynetwork@gmail.com with any questions and for further information.

Finally, a little wisdom from Alcuin to inspire you this week:

o quam dulcis vita fuit, dum sedebamus quieti inter sapientis scrinia, inter librorum copias

[‘Oh, how sweet life was, when we sat at leasure amongst the stacks of a learned man, amongst an abundance of books’ Ep. 281 ]

May your Michaelmas term be filled with such joys as these!

A manuscript illumination of a coot making its nest on water and on a rock
A coot kindly delivers the Michaelmas Term booklet to the email inbox of Oxford’s Medievalists: Merton College, MS 249, f. 10v. [view image and text in the Taylor Edition by Sebastian Dows-Miller
https://editions.mml.ox.ac.uk/editions/bestiary/#Fullica

Workshop on the Murbach Hymns and MS. Junius 25

When?        17th/18th February 2022 (week 5, HT)

What?         In this workshop, the fascinating Murbach hymns – a Latin hymnal with Old High German interlinear glosses from the 8th/9th century – and their manuscript (Oxford, Bodleian Library MS. Junius 25) will be carefully examined regarding their translation technique, use and function, cultural background and transmission. Expect two days full of presentations and discussions, a consultation of this and other manuscripts and a live recitation of the hymns.

Updates and official registration will follow soon!

Convenor: Luise Morawetz (luise.morawetz@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk)

Image: fol. 122v, Oxford, Bodleian Library MS. Junius 25

Region and Enmity: A RaceB4Race® Symposium


The symposium is being held virtually from October 19-22, 2021 and will include panels, informal coffee talks, an editor roundtable, and 1-on-1 sessions with invited editors. 

Enmity is a sustaining force for systemic racism, a fervent antipathy toward a category of people. Enmity exists at the nexus of individual and group identity and produces difference by desiring opposition and supremacy, imagining separation by force, and willing conflict. Enmity unfolds in different ways in different places, according to local logics of territory, population, language, or culture, even as these geographical divisions are subject to constant change.

This interdisciplinary symposium, hosted by Rutgers University, focuses on how premodern racial discourses are tied to cartographical markers and ambitions. The notions of enmity and region provide a dual dynamic lens for tracing the racial repertoires that developed in response to increasingly hostile contention between premodern cultural and political forces. The symposium will invite scholars to take up this intersection between region and enmity, and to examine how belief in difference, or the emergence of polarizing structures and violent practices, configured race thinking and racial practices in ways that are both unique to different territories and that transcend them.

Register for the event: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/region-and-enmity-a-raceb4race-symposium-tickets-165791636247

Learn more about RaceB4Race: https://acmrs.asu.edu/RaceB4Race

Call for Papers: Spirits and Spirituality in Medieval Britain and Ireland C. 600 – 1400

An Interdisciplinary Online Conference at the University of Nottingham.

Wednesdays, 9th, 16th and 23rd March 2022

A medieval illustration of a person praying.

Call for Papers

We invite papers which explore representations of spirits and spirituality in the medieval period from c. 600-1400 in Britain and Ireland, including, but not limited to, the following suggestions:

  • The influence of Eastern and / or Western patristics
  • Representations of spirits and demons
  • Approaches to spirituality
  • How spirits and spirituality are represented in medieval texts, artefacts, art and material culture
  • Alternative spiritualities

Please send abstracts of no more than 200 words to: eleni.ponirakis3@nottingham.ac.uk by the 30th November 2021.

For more information, please visit: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/english/spirits-and-spirituality.aspx

Seminar on the History of Domestic Violence

The 5th Seminar in History of Domestic Violence and Abuse series, organized by Juliana Dresvina & Anu Lahtinen, University of Oxford & University of Helsinki.

October 1, 2021 at 10am GMT

Elena Chepel, ‘How to complain about violence if you are a woman: language and gender in Ptolemaic papyrus petitions

Despina Iosif, ‘Populus Exasperatus: The violent Graeco-Roman crowd

Annette Volfing, ‘Beating the bride into Shape: Domestic violence within bridal mysticism

Juliana Dresvina ‘The Uncomfortable Liber Confortatorius: Grooming in a monastery?’

Since January 2021, Lahtinen & Dresvina have been organizing online seminars on the long history of domestic violence and abuse. For more information about the following events, please follow the updates via https://tinyurl.com/histviolence

Register in advance for this meeting: https://helsinki.zoom.us/meeting/register/u5Mlc-CqqjMqGdPNvsw1b_wOS84lyG6YlkgI