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. 

CfP: Textual Cultures in Contact

Early Text Cultures at Oxford, Trinity Term 2022

The Early Text Cultures research group based at the University of Oxford invites papers for its Trinity Term 2022 seminar on ‘Textual Cultures in Contact’, which will bring together scholars whose research focus is the interactions between pre-modern textual cultures. 

Through sessions comprising paired papers, this seminar series will enable participants and attendees alike to gain fresh perspectives on the nature of ‘contact’ among textual cultures, and on the affordances and limitations of their fields’ methods and approaches to the topic.    

Subjects and case studies might include (but are not limited to):   

  • Texts that embed or are shaped by intercultural textual or literary interaction  
  • Texts that consciously reflect on that type of interaction (e.g. translations, adaptations, ancient or modern ethnographic accounts)
  • Histories of terminology and theoretical frameworks used to conceptualise ‘contact’ between textual cultures 
  • Investigations into the material, social and intellectual conditions that determined, and were shaped by, these interactions  
  • Examinations of the power relationships (political or otherwise) implicit in cross-cultural interactions  

If you would like to present a 20-minute paper at one of the seminars, please send an abstract of no more than 250 words to earlytextcultures.ox@gmail.com by Monday 11 April.

Papers by early-career and graduate researchers are particularly welcome. The seminar will be held in a hybrid form, taking place both in Oxford and on Zoom for those joining us from further afield. Speakers and auditors will be welcome but by no means obliged to come to Oxford to attend.  

The organising committee of the Early Text Cultures research cluster includes graduate students and early career researchers from different disciplinary backgrounds such as Classics (Bernardo Ballesteros Petrella, Domenico Giordani), Old-Norse studies (James Parkhouse), Early Chinese (Flaminia Pischedda, Maddalena Poli) and Japanese studies (Tasha Downs), Egyptology (Jordan Miller), and comparative literature (Harry Carter).

More information on our methodology and our past events can be found on our website. To be added to our mailing list, please email earlytextcultures@humanities.ox.ac.uk or earlytextcultures.ox@gmail.com

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 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.

CFP: Passages from Antiquity to the Middle Ages VIII, Experiencing Space

Tampere, August 17-19, 2022

The focus of the Passages conference series lies on society and the history of everyday life. This time we are concentrating on the social construction and experiences of space, aiming to understand how it affected social frameworks, built communities and shaped individual lives. The “Spatial Turn” has directed scholars’ interest towards the interconnection between communities, individuals and space, but larger comparisons between eras and cultures are still mainly missing. We aim to approach space as an analytical tool, “experience” offering a novel conceptual method for the study in this field.

We are interested in everyday interactions within and between communities, groups and individuals and their relations with the environment. How did people negotiate the borders between built and “wild” environments, urban and rural space, the public and the private, the secular and the sacred? How were ideas, ideologies and identities reflected in the built environment and how were they shaped by space and perceptions of it? How did bodily practices and emotions create spaces, and how did space shape rituals and produce emotions? What was the role of sensory perceptions when living in and moving through space? How was space imagined and how did spaces, landscapes, buildings and monuments occupy a place in the private and public imagination? How were space and memories/narrations interconnected: how were spatial experiences inscribed in the preserved sources? In which ways did the political and legal, but equally religious spheres play a role in the formation of social spaces? We invite papers that focus on social topography, the lived experience of space, the normative and legal construction of space, the sensory perceptions of spatiality, and participation in constructing and regulating spaces.

We aim at a broad coverage not only chronologically but also geographically and disciplinarily (all branches of Classical, Byzantine and Medieval Studies). Most preferable are those contributions that have a comparative and/or interdisciplinary viewpoint or focusing on a longue durée perspective. We particularly welcome papers, which have a sensitive approach to social differences: gender, status, health, and ethnicity.

***

If interested, please submit an abstract of 300-400 words (setting out thesis and conclusions) and a short biography (50-100 words) for a twenty-minute paper together with your contact details (with academic affiliation, address and e-mail) https://www.lyyti.fi/reg/passages2022cfpThe deadline for abstracts is January 31, 2022 and the notification of paper acceptance will be made in March 2022. Conference papers may be presented in major scientific languages, together with an English summary or translation, if the language of the presentation is not English. The sessions are formed on thematic coherence of the papers and on comparison between Antiquity and the Middle Ages, thus session proposals focusing on one period only will not be accepted. If the Covid-19 situation so requires, the conference has the option of participation via Zoom.

The registration fee is 130 € (post-graduate students: 60 €), online participation for presenters 50 €. For further information, please contact conference secretary saku.pihko@tuni.fi. The registration opens in April 2022.

The conference is organized by Trivium – Tampere Centre for Classical, Medieval, and Early Modern Studies (Faculty of Social Sciences/Tampere University) in collaboration with the ERC project Law, Governance and Space: Questioning the Foundations of the Republican Tradition (SpaceLaw.fi, University of Helsinki). This conference has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 771874).

Call for Papers: New Visions of Julian of Norwich

Somerville College, Oxford, 15th and 16th July 2022
Organisers: Antje Chan (Lincoln College, Oxford), Dr Godelinde Gertrude Perk (Somerville, Oxford), Raphaela Rohrhofer (Somerville, Oxford), Alicia Smith (English Faculty, Oxford).


In May 1373, Julian of Norwich (c.1343‒ after 1416) received a series of visions that engage with the mysteries of the divine-human relationship, inspiring the composition of A Vision Showed to a Devout Woman and, decades later, its revision, A Revelation of Love, now recognised as one of the most important texts in the medieval contemplative tradition and Middle English literature. Both have attracted numerous interpretations as visionary as Julian’s work itself, focusing on the significance of anchoritic enclosure, the radical originality of her vernacular theology, the historical and codicological context, as well as potential textual influences. Recent scholarship has explored Julian’s role in the global Middle Ages, her treatment of health, and her ecological poetics. Her texts have also sparked investigations of the role of materiality and provocative encounters between Julian and queer and trans theory.

This international hybrid conference will be the first academic event to focus solely on Julian’s writing, life, contexts, and influence long after her death. It seeks to consider the plurality of approaches towards her work’s interpretation and forge novel pathways of discussing the anchoress both in her own context and in the many scholarly and popular guises of her cultural afterlife. Aimed at established and early-career researchers alike, this interdisciplinary conference will bring together scholars from various disciplines to map out new and emerging dimensions in Julian scholarship. It will interrogate received assumptions and re-evaluate traditional disciplinary methodologies.

In addition to academic work on Julian’s writing, this conference also seeks to reach out of academe in responding to pastoral and contemplative engagement with her texts, particularly in the light of the pandemic. Two roundtables will bring lived religious practices and critical responses into dialogue. Creative explorations will also help invigorate Julian studies. We look forward to hosting Cindy Oswin’s one-woman play “Cell” about the anchorite as an older woman, and to showing a recording of the 2021 Oxford reconstruction of the medieval rite of enclosure held at St. Mary the Virgin, Iffley.


 The opening lecture will be given by Professor Nicholas Watson (Harvard) with responses from Professor Laura Saetveit Miles (Bergen) and Professor Barry Windeatt (Cambridge). Professor Liz Herbert McAvoy (Swansea) will close the conference.

We invite papers from any or multiple disciplines and deploying a wide range of methodologies, focusing on all aspects of Julian’s writing, life, contexts, or afterlife. We especially encourage proposals from graduate students and early-career researchers.

Possible themes include but are not limited to:

  • Emerging approaches to Julian’s texts
  • Illness, health, and disability  
  • Visual and material culture     
  • Queer, genderqueer, and trans theory approaches                                                                   
  • Julian’s wider intellectual and cultural contexts; e.g., Revelation and Vision in the movements of church reform across Europe during and after the western schism, or against the backdrop of continental vernacular literature                                
  • Interdisciplinary approaches to Julian
  • Julian and apocalypse                                                                          
  • Vision and Revelation as literary landmarks in medieval and post-medieval literature
  • Conversations with well and lesser-known vernacular visionaries and theologians in the British Isles, on the Continent, and beyond                                                                          
  • The history of emotions                                                               
  • Life-writing                                                                 
  • Creative engagement with Vision and Revelation: poetic, dramatic, visual arts    
  • Ecological concerns and themes                                                                                      
  • Issues of materiality, space, and embodiment in Vision and Revelation        

We also welcome proposals for contributions to the two roundtables. Potential topics include:

  • Retrieving Julian’s writings to renew contemplative and spiritual practices                        
  • Vision and Revelation and the pandemic moment       
  • Julian as a voice for the voiceless
  • Julian beyond the academy: contemplative practices, popular imagery, political uses

Please submit abstracts (up to 300 words) for a 15-minute paper or 10-minute round table contribution, accompanied by a short biography, to julianofnorwichconference@gmail.com by 1 February 2022.

In light of the pandemic, this conference will be a hybrid event combining in-person and online papers. We plan to stream the in-person papers live where possible for online attendees.

Reduced registration will be offered for postgraduate students and unwaged delegates. In addition, some travel bursaries for postgrads and unwaged delegates may be available.

This conference is part of “Women Making Memories: Liturgy and the Remembering Female Body in Medieval Holy Women’s Texts”, Dr Perk’s MSCA-IF project at the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages at the University of Oxford. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 842443.