OMS Small Grants TT 2022

The TORCH Oxford Medieval Studies Programme invites applications for small grants to support conferences, workshops, and other forms of collaborative research activity organised by researchers at postgraduate (whether MSt or DPhil) or early-career level from across the Humanities Division at the University of Oxford.

The activity should take place between June 2022 and January 2023. The closing date for applications is Friday of Week 5 of Trinity Term (27 May 2022).

Grants are normally in the region of £100–250. Recipients will be required to supply a report after the event for the TORCH Medieval Studies blog. Recipients of awards will also be invited to present on their events at the next Medieval Roadshow.

Applicants will be responsible for all administrative aspects of the activity, including formulating the theme and intellectual rationale, devising the format, and, depending on the type of event, inviting speakers and/or issuing a Call for Papers, organising the schedule, and managing the budget, promotion and advertising. Some administrative and organisational support may be available through TORCH subject to availability.

Applications should be submitted to  lesley.smith@history.ox.ac.uk  using the grant application form. Applications submitted in other formats or after the deadline will not be considered.

Informal enquiries may be directed to lesley.smith@history.ox.ac.uk

The Oxford Medieval Studies Programme is sponsored by The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH).

For more medieval matters from Oxford, have a look at the website of the Oxford Medieval Studies TORCH Programme and the OMS blog!

Image: OMS Small grant being given to John (or: Bamberg Apocalypse, Staatsbibliothek Bamberg Msc.Bibl.140)

DEADLINE EXTENDED — CFP: Performing Medievalism: Tricks, Tips and Tropes from Early Artistic Practice for the Modern-Day Performer 

The residual influence of the medieval is visible in today’s performance practice in various ways, yet this inheritance is perhaps not valued as highly as it might be, and oftentimes goes entirely unnoticed. Although there has been a soaring in popularity of medievalesque fantasy films and television shows such as The Witcher or Game of Thrones in recent years, as well as a renewal of interest in historical fiction based in the medieval period with television shows such as The Vikings and The White Queen, there are still significant gaps in the understanding and appreciation of the multiple ways in which the medieval has residual impact on creative performance practices today. What associations do the words ‘medieval’ and ‘Middle Ages’ trigger for those working within a performance context? How are performers currently engaging with the medieval, whether purposefully or subconsciously? What might enhanced knowledge of medieval influences offer performers today in practical terms? 

This volume seeks to illuminate the extensive and diverse ways in which the medieval interweaves with, and provides inspiration to, the modern in a wide variety of performance practice, by providing both critical and artistic analysis of the varying forms of medievalism in today’s theatre, dance, music, or television/film performances, as well as practical direction for modern-day performers looking to actively engage with early performance materials (in music, theatre, dance, etc) or to incorporate early tropes and structures into the creation of new medievally-inspired work. This is not limited to working with medieval themes or historical stories but also includes styles of storytelling which hearken back to early forms; many theatre techniques that are becoming popular again today have their roots in the early theatre of the medieval period, from audience participation and immersion to non-linear theatre experiences, as well as genre-busting combinations of theatre with installation, experimental technologies, and performance art. 

The volume invites contributors to actively engage with current creative ideas and artistic practices that relate to or are inspired by the medieval, whether through detailing specific projects, offering tips for modern performers and practitioners when engaging with medieval texts, or commenting on recent performances that draw on medieval tropes or utilise medieval materials. It interrogates the ways in which performers and performance practices variously approach the medieval today: as obscure or primitive, as interesting but distant oddity, or as a worthy and relevant source of inspiration and creative material. It offers a critical appraisal that challenges, provokes, and disrupts ideas around the medieval-as-primitive and the modern-as-innovative, offering both scholarly and practitioner perspectives to provide a useful and in-depth look at the way in which the medieval resurfaces in performance practices of all kinds today. 

Offerings on music, theatre, storytelling, dance or any artistic performance practice are welcome, for critical and scholarly articles of 8,000-10,000 words in length, documentations of performer training/approaches of 4,000-8,000 words (e.g., interviews, performance reviews, documentation of artistic processes), and shorter pieces of 1,500-3,000 words (e.g., artist’s notes). (These word count ranges are inclusive of notes and references.)

Contributions may address, but are not limited to: 

  • The medieval in modern storytelling e.g. medieval tropes and how they’re utilised; 
  • “Artist’s notes” style essays on own medievally-rooted artistic projects; 
  • Skill and training of medieval performers; 
  • Approaching medieval materials: tips for actors/musicians/dancers; 
  • Approaching contemporary artistic performance practices (acting, storytelling, dancing, performing music etc) via a medieval lens; 
  • Analysis of acting/performances of medieval historical fiction in television, theatre, film; 
  • Tracing medievalisms in the performance of modern fantasy characters; 
  • Intersectional feminist perspectives on medieval performance practice; 
  • Critical appraisement of modern performances of medieval plays/music/stories/other material (e.g. Chester Mystery Plays, Sheffield Mysteries, Everyman (NT), Lincoln Mystery Plays); 
  • Material culture and medieval performance practice; 
  • Medieval performance and the archive (e.g. analysis of the University of Bristol Theatre Collection’s Medieval Players archive; York Mystery Plays archive; Poculi Ludique Societas (https://pls.artsci.utoronto.ca/); performances associated with REED-NE (Durham); analysis of personal archives relating to own artistic practice; etc). 

Please send abstracts of up to 400 words along with a short (c. 100 word) biography to Ellie Chadwick and Ollie Jones at e.chadwick@bristol.ac.uk and oliver.jones@york.ac.uk. Deadline: 31st March 2022. 

Late Rome, Byzantium and the Early Medieval West: A Graduate Student Conference

Princeton, Oxford, University of Vienna, Mainz, Free University Berlin

2 -3 June 2022, Vienna

In the spirit of fostering closer links between the participating universities, their teaching staff and their students, and building on their research strengths in Late Antique, Byzantine and Early Medieval studies (roughly defined as extending to the year 1000), this conference invites contributions from graduate students (MA and doctoral level) that deal with any aspect of these cultures.  A total of 18 students and about 9 teaching staff will participate from across the five universities.  Vienna will host the event, including offering lunch and dinner on Friday, 3 June. Vienna will also be able to pay for the accommodation for ca. 20 people for two nights each.  Papers are allocated 20 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of discussion.

Julia Smith and David Addison will lead the Oxford contingent.  The Faculty of History has made available funding to cover the travel for 3 students, who will be selected on the basis of this Call for Papers. To be considered for inclusion, please send the following

Information to both Julia.smith@history.ox.ac.uk and David.Addison@all-souls.ox.ac.uk by 28 March 2022:  

  1. Your name and the degree for which you are registered; the name of your supervisor; the date you began your study for this degree and, if appropriate, the date when you passed Transfer of Status.
  2. Your paper title and an abstract (300 words max)
  3. A confirmatory email from your supervisor approving your participation.

Outline programme

Thursday, 2 June

14.00    Coffee

14.30-18.30

6 papers plus breaks

Friday, 3 June

9.00-13.00

6 papers plus breaks

Lunch

14.30-18.30

6 papers plus breaks

19.00 Conference Dinner

Saturday, 4 June

10.00 Guided visit of the Papyrussammlung (Austrian National Library), with Bernhard Palme (optional)

11.30 Student-organized sight seeing (optional)

CALL FOR PERFORMERS

THE EXECUTION OF JOHN THE BAPTIST [IN MEDIEVAL FRENCH]

This will be a contribution to the festival of 20-minute medieval plays performed in the gardens of St Edmund Hall on Saturday April 23, with a subsequent performance in Iffley churchyard on the morning of Sunday April 24.

John the Baptist preaches to the masses about the corruption of those who rule the state, King Herod throws a birthday party, and young Salome induces him to promise her any gift she chooses. The gift is of course John’s head, and medieval theatre delighted in the use of stage blood. The language is accessible enough to speakers of modern French, and we will concentrate on rhythm and expression rather than antique vowel sounds.

Rehearsals will be one evening a week through term. Some of the cast will be actors from Iffley village. If you’d like to join in, and bring to life a text that has probably not been played for 500 years, please e-mail the director David Wiles at d.wiles@exeter.ac.uk, or come along to St Edmund Hall on Thursday 20 Jan at 6.00 (where the porter will direct you).

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION: Indian Ocean Figures that Sailed Away


A range of archaeological finds of South Asian manufacture from sites in the Horn of Africa, and in the Italian and Arabian peninsulas—some long known and some newly excavated—can expand our knowledge of the Indian Ocean cultural milieu.  ISAW is pleased to announce an online seminar series in Spring 2022 to reconvene an international conversation on these figures that sailed out of India to points west during the early first millennium CE.  The series is open to advanced research students, scholars, and academics; please note that this event is not intended for the general public. 

By hosting the conversation online, we hope to include regional specialists knowledgeable about and from different parts of the world. Advanced registration is required, and the number of participants will be limited to facilitate discussion, which will be led by participants who have written about the specific object or its context.  We will closely consider the Pompeii Yakshi, formerly “Lakshmi” (Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli), the Khor Rori Yakshi (Smithsonian, National Museum of Asian Art), a stone head from Berenike, a stone torso from Adulis, several ivory combs from, e.g., Dibba, as well as representations of ships. 

The reception history of these objects both in antiquity and in museums has led to the association of only certain meanings with these objects in their afterlife. By looking again at these objects, we can distinguish other meanings: they hint at the identities of people who moved such objects overseas during the first millennium CE, thereby shedding light on the hybridity of both artifacts and their cultural context(s). This material record offers a complementary reading to literary accounts and historiographies of Indian Ocean trade routes.  

The online “lunchtime” roundtable series will include a total of five 1-hour Friday ‘lunchtime’ (in New York) talks, conducted via zoom, from February 25th to April 25th, 2022 (see schedule below).  We will reconsider individual figurines as types and as part of a collection of interrogated objects with very specific afterlives.  Through our discussions, formerly occluded layers of reception will offer insight on larger questions of the first millennium Indian Ocean, its people, its cultures, its complexities, and its hybridities, Through such close looking at these and similar objects and their contexts, the series and culminating public lecture seek to integrate archaeological finds with ongoing studies of Indian Ocean travel, trade, and the broader cultural milieu of the Indian Ocean World with a special focus on religious attitudes, merchant identities, and material culture.  We plan to develop an edited volume based on the discussions as well as initiate longer-term scholarly communities with this event.

If your area of research interest overlaps with this project, we invite you to join us by filling out this registration form (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSem_X_vTtos7S1emfl69G2FrIFV3q_i4kUiTp9igePzx6tgLw/viewform?usp=sf_link).  Please include a short abstract describing your research interests and key conference papers and/or publications.  We will be in touch with a confirmation and more details during the first week of February.  

For any additional information, or if you have any questions, please email: indianoceanfigurines@gmail.com.


Dates and Sessions:

February 25, 2022: 11am EST “Comparanda as context?” — The Pompeii Figurine and Indian Yakshis
March 4, 2022: 11am EST“Cultural milieu as context”? — The Khor Rori Bronze, a Dancing Yakshi
March 11, 2022: 11am EST“What other contexts?” — Liquescent Bodies and Coiffed Heads
March 25, 2022: 11am EDT“What do images of ships tell us?” — (Re)presenting Shipping 
April 1, 2022: 11am EDT “How did we receive these objects into our mental world?”  — Curation and Conclusions

Organizers: 

Divya Kumar-Dumas, PhD, Visiting Research Scholar, ISAW

Valentina A. Grasso, PhD, Visiting Assistant Professor, ISAW

Lylaah Bhalerao, PhD Student, ISAW

Priya Barchi, PhD Student, ISAW

Spriha Gupta, PhD Student, IFA NYU

Call for Papers: Reimagining the Medieval Double Monastery in Interdisciplinary Perspective

To be held at the Monastery of Admont in Steiermark, Austria, 14-16 October 2022.

The conference will bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars with broad interest in dual-sex monasticism in the Middle Ages. The conference aims to put research on double monasteries on a new footing and to provide new perspectives in this not yet fully explored world.

The conference will be organized thematically, and we welcome abstracts for papers that focus on:

  •   Theoretical Discourses and Ideological Justifications for Dual-Sex Monasticism: Theology, History, and Literature
  •   Interaction, Interference, and Reciprocal Influence between the Sexes: Customaries, Rules, Liturgy, and Music
  •   Coexistence, Collaboration, and Challenges between the Sexes: Archaeology, Architecture, and Art

The conference will mark the twentieth anniversary of Admont I — Manuscripts and Monastic Culture: Admont and the Twelfth-Century Renaissance (2002). Like Admont I, Admont II will emphasize collegiality and the informal exchange of ideas among colleagues of various disciplines, ranks, and career paths.

Participants are welcome to present in English or German. Each session will comprise two thirty-minute presentations, comments from an invited respondent, and an informal discussion.

Organizers: Alison I. Beach (University of St Andrews), Cristina Andenna (University of Graz), Father Prior Maximilian Schiefermüller (Librarian and Archivist, Stift Admont), and Karin Schamberger (Assistant Librarian, Stift Admont)

Submissions should include a brief abstract (max. 300 words) and a curriculum vitae.  Please use the following link to upload this material by March 31, 2022: https://form.jotform.com/213412914963355

Call for Papers: Gender Identities in Early and Premodern Text Culture

The Early Text Cultures research group based at the University of Oxford invites abstracts for its research seminar in Hilary Term, running from January to March 2022, which will be on ‘Gender Identities in Early and Premodern Text Cultures.’    

As is often recognised, the dominant voices in the premodern world have been men’s voices. Yet textual sources––from the literary to the administrative––are critical to recovering the heterogeneity that in many cases characterised ancient and premodern societies. Women were inspiring muses; but they also expressed themselves in poetry and participated in cultural productions. In some cases, there is ample evidence that they held leading roles in politics and the economy. We invite papers from graduate and early career researchers that give a stage to these voices, as they speak to us from premodern textual cultures. We also welcome proposals that consider the varying intersections between gender and identity, as well as on how gender representation interacted with that of other (potentially) marginalised social groups. Topics include, among others:    

·  Authors and/or texts that represent genders;    

·  How the presence of women’s authorship (factual or attributed) affects the reception of texts;    

·  The role of texts in presenting alternatives to a patriarchal, aristocratic world;  

·  How texts may have acted as instruments to shape normative social views, or to uproot them;  

·  The nexus between gender, marginality and oppression;  

·  The relationship between language and gender;    

·  How texts were read and performed to express genders and social identities.    


Presenters will speak alongside another contributor treating a different early or premodern text culture. They are encouraged to engage with theoretical perspectives and to draw out productive points of comparison with the research of their fellow speaker. These papers will serve as starting points for a discussion with the other participants in each session, which will promote an interdisciplinary and intercultural approach to the material under consideration.    

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words to earlytextcultures@humanities.ox.ac.uk by Friday 7 January. The seminar will be held in a hybrid form, with Zoom connection complementing a limited on-site presence in Oxford. Speakers and auditors may choose whether to attend in person or online. Persons of all backgrounds are extremely welcome, and women and non-binary academics are highly encouraged to submit papers and attend the seminar.  

CFP: Consuming the Middle Ages: 2022 Medieval Studies Student Colloquium

The Medieval Studies Program at Cornell University is pleased to announce its thirty-second annual graduate student colloquium (MSSC), which will focus on the theme of ‘Consuming the Middle Ages’. The conference will take place on the 23rd of April, to be held virtually over Zoom. The colloquium will be preceded by a small lecture series. 

We invite 20-minute papers that investigate consuming the Middle Ages as defined within a range of different disciplines and perspectives. Consuming can denote both physical consumption as well as the act of consuming and making sense of the medieval past through scholarly productions, creative media, and cultural phenomena and practices. How were medieval feasts organized and what socio-cultural function did food and the act of consuming it serve? What are possible connections between the life cycle stages of consumed goods (e.g., from cultivation to processing, to consuming, to disposal, etc.) and climate, migration, economics, etc.? What material and immaterial substances were subject to consumption and what religious or cultural roles did they play? How do postmedieval writers and thinkers configure the medieval? What are the ramifications of consuming the past and is this the nature of periodization? How are the traces, artifacts, or influences from the medieval past consumed by later or contemporary individuals, communities, and cultures? Papers may respond to (but are not limited to) one of these questions. 

Preference will be given to papers from underrepresented backgrounds and disciplines. We strongly encourage submissions that expand these themes and categories of inquiry beyond Christian, Western European contexts. We invite submissions in all disciplines allied to Medieval Studies, including Asian Studies, Africana Studies, Critical Race Studies, Indigenous Studies, Near Eastern Studies, literature, history, the history of art, archaeology, philosophy, classics, theology, and others. Abstracts on all topics will be considered, though priority will be given to those which address our thematic strand. 

Please send abstracts by January 30, 2021, to Sarah LaVoy at sfl39@cornell.edu. 

Oxford Medieval Graduate Conference 2022

The Oxford Medieval Graduate Conference committee is thrilled to announce that the theme for 2022 will be Medicine and Healing. We look forward to hearing talks from our keynote speakers, Professor Emilie Savage-Smith and Dr Hannah Bower. The conference will be held in person (with limited measures in place for online papers) at Ertegun House, Oxford, on 21 and 22 April. We are pleased to call for papers which relate to all aspects of medicine and healing in Medicine and the medieval world.

Examples of areas of interest include but are not limited to:
o Ecocriticism
o Theology; faith as healing
o Humours
o Plague
o Childbirth
o Veterinary medicine
o Mental health
o Magic and amulets; folklore
and belief
o Manuscripts
o Hagiography
o Gendered approaches
o Technologies of healing

Papers should be a maximum of 20 minutes. We intend to provide bursaries to help with speaker travel costs, and we are welcoming applications from graduate students at any university. Please email abstracts of 250 words to
oxgradconf@gmail.com by 15th January.