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.

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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.
 
 




CFP: CCASNC 2022 ‘Marvels and Miracles’

We are pleased to announce that the call for papers for CCASNC 2022 is now open. The Cambridge Colloquium in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic is an annual interdisciplinary graduate conference encompassing all aspects of the British Isles, Ireland, and Scandinavia in the Middle Ages. A selection of the papers will be published in the departmental journal Quaestio Insularis.

This year’s theme will be ‘Marvels and Miracles’’. Our keynote speaker will be Professor Alison Finlay, from Birkbeck University of London. We invite graduate students and recent graduates to submit abstracts of 250 words for papers no longer than 20 minutes to ccasnc@gmail.com by the 1st of December 2021.

The conference will be held on the 5th of February 2022, and it will be a hybrid conference, with the in-person component pending conditions at the time. Further details, including registration details, will be forthcoming. We hope the theme will inspire a wide range of interpretations and discussions. Potential papers could discuss wonders in many spheres: from hagiographical miracles and supernatural marvels to wonders in natural science. It could also include things that seem more marvellous to the modern reader and scholar than to a medieval audience, or to the absence of the marvellous or miraculous where it might be expected. We would like to encourage potential speakers to be as imaginative as they like with the theme. 

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.

Call for Papers: Reshaping the World: Utopias, Ideals and Aspirations in Late Antiquity and Byzantium

24th International Graduate Conference of the Oxford University Byzantine Society

25th—26th February 2022, in Oxford and Online

There is nothing better than imagining other worlds – he said – to forget the
painful one we live in. At least so I thought then. I hadn’t yet realized
that, imagining other worlds, you end up changing this one’.

– Umberto Eco, Baudolino

It is the creative power of imagination that Baudolino described to a fictionalised Niketas Choniates in this dialogue from Eco’s homonymous novel (2000). The creation of idealised imaginary worlds has the power to change the past, the present and the future. When imagination is directed towards more worldly goals, it becomes aspiration and such aspiration can influence policies of reform. When imagination is unrestrained, utopias are born.

The Oxford University Byzantine Society’s twenty-fourth International Graduate Conference seeks to explore the impact utopias, ideals and aspirations had in changing the course of history and, therefore, how imagined or alternative realities shaped the Late Antique and Byzantine world(s), broadly understood.  

Our conference provides a forum for postgraduate and early-career scholars to reflect on this theme through a variety of cultural media and (inter)disciplinary approaches. In doing so, we hope to facilitate the interaction and engagement of historians, philologists, archaeologists, art historians, theologians and specialists in material culture. To that end, we encourage submissions encompassing, but not limited to, the following themes: 

  • Theological and/or philosophical usage of utopias in the depictions of the ideal society, of the afterlife, or to serve a particular worldview; 
  • Political, administrative, martial, economic and religious reforms as embodiments of aspirations or ideals;  
  • Allegory as both a literary and philosophical tool that endowed texts with new and original meanings; 
  • The ‘Byzantine novel’ and utopias: sceneries, characters and endings; 
  • ‘Chivalry’ in Byzantium as a form of utopia, for example in works such as Digenis Akritis
  • Language purism as a form of utopia; 
  • Encomia, hagiography and historiography used to cater to and curate idealised images; 
  • Numismatics, for example the depiction of harmonious imperial families on coinage in defiance of ‘reality’; 
  • Gift-giving and exchange of luxury goods to communicate ideals or aspirations; 
  • The performance of ceremony and ritual to suggest the continuity, legitimacy and permanence of imperial power; 
  • The ideal city in various artistic media, for example frescos and manuscript illuminations; 
  • Utopian ideas conveyed through material objects like seals or epigraphs; 
  • Utopia and manuscript culture, for example the ‘perfect book’, illuminations of utopia/dystopia, and ‘idealised’ writing styles; and, 
  • Byzantium as a utopia in the post-1453 imagination.  

Please send an abstract of no more than 250 words, along with a short academic biography in the third person, to the Oxford University Byzantine Society by Friday 19th November 2021 at byzantine.society@gmail.com. Papers should be twenty minutes in length and may be delivered in English or French. As with previous conferences, selected papers will be published in an edited volume, chosen and reviewed by specialists from the University of Oxford. Speakers wishing to have their papers considered for publication should aim to be as close to the theme as possible in their abstract and paper. Nevertheless, all submissions are warmly invited.  

To read the full text of the call for papers, please visit the OUBS website here.

The conference will have a hybrid format, taking place both in Oxford and online. Accepted speakers are strongly encouraged to participate in person, but livestreamed papers are also warmly welcomed. 

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

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