Call for Papers: Early Book Society

Early Book Society
University of Limerick
11th-15th July 2023 

Meaning, Memory, and the Making of Culture: Manuscripts and Books, 1350–1550 


The 18th biennial conference of the Early Book Society will be hosted by Carrie Griffin and Eleanor Giraud at the University of Limerick from 11th to 14th July 2023, with an excursion on 15th July. Confirmed keynote speakers include John Thompson, Emeritus Professor, Queen’s University Belfast, and Lisa Fagin Davis, Executive Director, Medieval Academy of America. Planned activities include an early music concert and hands-on use of the university’s printing press. Please mark your calendars.  

We invite proposals for 20-minute papers, themed panels (three papers and a chair), roundtables, and 5-minute lightning papers (ideal for work-in-progress updates). Scholars at all levels, including graduate students and early career researchers, are cordially invited to participate. 

Papers can consider any of the following, with an emphasis on physical aspects of the manuscript or book: 

  • Manuscripts and books as memorial artifacts 
  • Manuscripts and books as shapers of literary or historical culture 
  • Study of a specific manuscript or book that memorializes a family (or promotes a dynasty) 
  • Women makers or owners  
  • Readers or networks of readers 
  • Makers of manuscripts and books  
  • Manuscripts and books commissioned as memorials for persons or events  
  • Sammelbände, collected volumes, and early libraries 

We are also particularly interested in hearing about Irish collections and books with Irish connections.  

Abstracts (up to 250 words for papers, 500 words for panels, or 100 words for lightning papers) should be sent to earlybooksociety2023@ul.ie by 1st December 2022.  

Any preliminary queries should be addressed to: earlybooksociety2023@ul.ie. Further information will be posted at www.earlybooksociety.com and www.ebslimerick2023.wordpress.com in due course.  

Call for Papers: Christian Political Cultures in Late Antiquity 

University of Liverpool

Wednesday 21st-Thursday 22nd June 2023

Deadline for Proposals: 30 June 2022, to robin.whelan@liverpool.ac.uk

We invite papers for a conference (and planned edited volume) on Christian Political Cultures in Late Antiquity. The remarkably homogeneous ways of thinking about Christian political authority across the Roman world in late antiquity (c. 250-700 CE)—so carefully reconstructed in classic mid-20th century accounts—mask the immense diversity of the social and institutional contexts in which those ideas mattered. The character of Christian governance could look very different to an official placed at the centre of power as against an ordinary Christian standing in the nave of an urban basilica, a civic grandee sitting in the plush seats of a provincial town council, or an ascetic keeping vigil in a remote monastic cell. In fact, widely divergent visions of what the divine sanctioning of earthly rule meant in practice are visible even across the many different (and sometimes competing) institutions of late ancient states.

This workshop and subsequent volume will build off an increasing tendency to investigate Christian political thought ‘in action’ and root it in the lived experience of governance in the late ancient world. Taking inspiration from recent work on the centrality of social relationships and identities to Roman political thought (esp. notions of gender, family and freedom/unfreedom), it will also seek to develop a more plural notion of Christian political discourse which moves beyond the narrowly constitutional analysis of the relationship between emperors and bishops (or ‘church’ and ‘state’). Above all, the volume will seek to consider the ways in which distinctive Christian political cultures shaped (and were shaped by) specific institutions, environments, and communities, and were made meaningful through concrete interactions between the late ancient people who inhabited them.

We particularly invite papers on:

1.     Distinctive forms of Christian thought or practice (and, indeed, thinking about the importance or otherwise of Christian thought and practice):

  1. within particular political institutions and configurations in specific times and places. (e.g. imperial or royal palaces, official bureaux, army units, governor’s residences, town councils, elite households, villages, estates and peasant communities etc)
  2. amongst the members of those political institutions (e.g. under/around particular empresses/queens, generals, or governors, or amongst chamberlains, soldiers, or office staffs)
  3. amongst non-Christians serving within, or subject to, those political institutions and configurations

2.     Distinctive forms of thought and practice regarding politics and governance within particular Christian communities, institutions and settings (e.g. church factions, episcopal sees, monasteries, ascetic communities)

3.     The interplay of these divergent institutional and communal assumptions as seen in particular events, episodes or moments of conflict (e.g. petitions to court, legal and doctrinal disputes, urban riots)

This conference is designed as a pre-publication workshop for a planned edited volume on Christian Political Cultures in Late Antiquity. Participants will be expected to submit their papers in advance for pre-circulation, read the other papers in advance of the workshop, and be willing to act as the designated respondent for another paper. Each paper will receive a dedicated session with a short presentation from the author, a response, and a general Q&A session/discussion. The deadline to submit draft essays for the edited volume will be 31 July 2024.

The primary format of this conference is in person at the University of Liverpool, but remote participation will be possible for those unable to make it to Liverpool for whatever reason. For those who can travel, we will fund accommodation and meals in Liverpool. We will also be able to pay for UK and international travel for those who need it, although, given the increased costs of travel since the original funding application, we may ask those with access to institutional research funding to pursue support from those sources to help to contribute to those costs.

The deadline for proposals is 30 June 2022. Please send a title and an abstract (no longer than 500 words) to robin.whelan@liverpool.ac.uk. If you have questions, do not hesitate to get in touch with one of the organisers.

Organisers

Dr Richard Flower (r.flower@exeter.ac.uk)

Dr Meaghan McEvoy (meaghan.mcevoy@mq.edu.au)

Dr Robin Whelan (robin.whelan@liverpool.ac.uk)

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.