San Apollinaris in Classe, Ravenna
San Apollinaris in Classe, Ravenna
(Photograph: Andrew Stephenson)


23-26 August 2018

We are pleased to announce that the 24th biennial conference of SASMARS will be held at Mont Fleur in Stellenbosch, South Africa from Thursday the 23rd to Sunday the 26th of August 2018.

“Ancestry and Memory in Medieval and Early Modern Worlds”

Keynote Speaker: Professor Alexandra Walsham, University of Cambridge

Medieval and early modern societies weathered various socio-cultural changes, including religious, economic, and political transformations, across a range of different geographies and in both urban and rural spaces. We seek papers from any applicable discipline that explore ancestry and memory within a variety of geographic locales in the medieval and/or early modern eras. We shall welcome broad and imaginative interpretations of “ancestry” and “memory”.

Deadline: Please send a conference proposal and a short biography to Retha Knoetze: by 18 February 2018. Any inquiries can be directed to the same email address.


Conference at Victoria University of Wellington, 27-29 August 2018.

First Call for Papers

Readers have been attracted to the remarkable and wondrous, the admirable and the uncanny in Tacitus. But in order to appreciate what is mirum or novum, we also need to understand the apparently mundane material between the monstra. Tacitus famously derides the praises of new public buildings as a topic more worthy of the daily gazette than illustres annales (A. 13.31.1); his own criteria for selection, however, and his own judgments on what is worthy of note, have often differed in interesting ways from the preoccupations of his readers.

Abstracts (250 words) are invited on the topic of Tacitus’ wonders.

Submissions on comparative material are very much welcome.

Reflection is invited on the consequences of different methods of dividing or reconciling historical events and historiographical representation, e.g. Woodman (1993), O’Gorman (2001), Haynes (2003), and Sailor (2008). In preparing abstracts, it will be helpful to consider the challenge extended by Dench (in Feldherr, 2009), the ‘awkward question’ of whether the much admired Tacitean text ‘represents anything other than itself’. Papers treating the Classical tradition, reception and history of scholarship are welcome.

Please send abstracts to James McNamara at Victoria University of Wellington ( by Friday 26 January 2018.

Professor Arthur Pomeroy
Dr James McNamara

Classics Programme
School of Art History, Classics and Religious Studies
Victoria University of Wellington
New Zealand


British Archaeological Association Annual Conference 2018, Cambridge, UK, 1-5 September 2018

The Association holds an annual conference at a centre of established importance in the medieval period, usually in the British Isles and occasionally in mainland Europe.

The annual conferences focus on the medieval art, architecture and archaeology of one location, and visit all the city’s or areas most important medieval sites, including some not usually accessible to the public.

All our conferences welcome professional scholars and amateur enthusiasts alike who are members of the association.

For more information please see the British Archaeological Association Annual Conferences web page.

Abstracts due: 1 February 2018.


Sacred Science: Learning from the Tree

European Society for the History of Science Biennial Conference September 14-17 2018

We are pleased to announce that Trames Arborescentes is preparing a symposium for the European Society for the History of Science’s conference that will take place in London on September 2018.

"Unity and Disunity" has been chosen as the main theme for the aforementioned meeting. Within this framework, Trames Arborescentes has decided to participate by proposing a commented panel that will gather four speakers around the subject "Sacred Science: Learning from the Tree".

Proposals containing personal information (including academic affiliation), an abstract and a short bio are welcome for this panel. The document may be submitted to our email address before December 12.

Symposium Abstract

Sacred Science: Learning from the Tree

This panel traces the arboreal motif through time, using it as a means to reflect on unity and disunity of interaction between science, art and the sacred. Indeed, the figure of the tree has been used as a visualization tool to structure knowledge since Antiquity. However, it turns out that the tree of the Arts and Sciences is a deciduous tree. Its holy leaves, metaphorical expressions of unseen secrets, have been shed as science gradually broke away from the sacred. The apparent unity of its branches, the Arts and the Sciences, became exposed and fractured. What was the role of the arboreal structure in this process?

Three points will stand in our proposal. Firstly, we will question how the treediagram was used to articulate the conjunction of the Arts, the Sciences and the Sacred. During the Middle Ages, tree diagrams were commonly used in the arts degree as tools to study arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, music theory, grammar, logic and rhetoric. These frameworks of learning in the universities were infused with the sacred, they sprang from the sacred. Gradually though, the Arts and Sciences began to be distinguished, subjects changed categories. But even as Darwin was developing his theory of life, the sacred continued to play a role in scientific discovery and communication. How was this distinction nuanced in every period?

The second point will focus on the loss of the sacred and the sacralization of knowledge. In effect, step by step, the distinction between the arts and sciences gradually became a divide and the concept of sacred changed in this learning context. The sacred was given less space in the hierarchies of knowledge, it no longer penetrated every aspect of learning. At some point knowledge itself became sacred. When and how did this happen? What rapport did the sacred have in this dramatic change in our perception of knowledge? Was this new knowledge disruptive? Did it bring about unity or disunity? Is the current dissociation between the Arts and Sciences a consequence of divorcing knowledge from the sacred?

Thirdly, we will examine arboreal motifs in our contemporary era, when encyclopedic knowledge and three-dimensional mind maps, once again seek to chart the infinite, the unknown, what is not seen by the naked eye. Are these new worlds in new dimensions still shown shaped in a tree-form? If so, what knowledge does the tree convey? Why is the arboreal structure effective? How is the sacred expressed (if at all) in this structure?

The dialectic relationship between unity and disunity seems perfectly tailored to the branching of the tree-diagram, which also allows expression of a hierarchical combination ad infinitum. The centrality and unity – concepts in which the trunk of these diagrams was firmly rooted, has been shifted for new multifocal tree-figures, which grant us plenty of new possibilities that adapt well to current models of information visualization. This panel uses arboreal constructs as a means to look into the sacred/knowledge relationship in order to question the forthcoming cognitive patterns of unity and disunity that will shape our near future.


20-21 September 2018 King’s College London

The surfaces of natural things invite observation, manipulation, measurement, and reconfiguration, with the promise to unveil the knowledge of depths. In early modern Europe, artisans of all kind used their hands to work on, and with, the surfaces of human and non-human matter. They captured the attention of everyday and learned contemporary commentators, but traditionally, historians have failed to consider them when establishing the ways in which knowledge was produced in that period. But in recent decades, historians have placed new emphasis on artisanal knowledge procedures and on what has been termed ‘vernacular science’. Today, the Scientific Revolution is characterised by an exchange between humanist erudition and a passion for practice, or between ‘high’ and ‘low’ arts. Much work has been done to show how in the seventeenth century the so-called ‘mixed mathematics’ (military sciences, engineering, navigation sciences, etc.) contributed to the development of the fields of mathematics, astronomy, and geometry. Equally, alchemical procedures and metallurgy informed the theories of contemporary canonical heroes.

In the same spirit, this workshop focuses on the practices of artisans such as tailors, barbers, cooks, cheesemakers, gardeners, and agronomists, and on their relationships with the fields of meteorology, botany, natural history, medicine, earth sciences, and veterinary medicine. All these artisans and artisanal practices shared a set of skills on how to observe and manipulate human and non-human surfaces – from skin to bark, from rinds to animal flesh, from the surface of a landscape to dyes, or from cloth to hair. We are interested in exploring how, and if, practical knowledge about the surface of things and bodies (and their storage and preservation in relation to specific environmental conditions) led to the concept of nature and matter as composed of layers, and how such a framework contributed to the demise of traditional Galenic and Aristotelian views on nature.

This workshop also aims at moving beyond the dichotomies between quantitative and qualitative knowledge and between natural philosophy and the arts, and so we intend to broaden the focus to include a set of artisans who have traditionally remained invisible from accounts of this ‘age of the new’. We will explore the many different ways in which ‘modern science’ emerged, the relationships between social and cognitive practices, and the contribution that non-mathematical sciences gave to the mental habits of observing, collecting, experimenting with, and manipulating natural matter.

Confirmed speakers are Emanuele Lugli (York) on tailors, Elaine Leong (MPIWG, Berlin) on domestic health practices, Bradford Bouley (UC Santa Barbara) on butchers, Maria Conforti (La Sapienza) on the surface of the earth, and Carolin Schmiz (EUI) on barber-surgeons. Sandra Cavallo (Royal Holloway) will offer final remarks.

We welcome proposals that complement these topics, in particular those that address the relationships between gardening, natural history, and medicine; cooking and knowledge; work on animal skin; leatherwork; or veterinary medicine. Presentations will be followed by ample time for discussion and reflection, and so we are happy for works in progress.

Proposals (up to 250 words) for 20-minute papers should be sent to Paolo Savoia at by 8 June 2018.

We may be able to provide speakers with reasonable accommodation and travel costs. Please indicate when you apply if you will require assistance with expenses.

The two-day workshop is organised as part of the Renaissance Skin project. For more information visit the website or follow us on Twitter @RenSkinKCL and use #surfaceartisans


Ghent University (Belgium), 20-22 September 2018

Confirmed keynote speakers: Michelle Warren (University of Dartmouth) - Mark Vessey (University of British Columbia) - Irene Zwiep (University of Amsterdam)

“Der einzige Weg für uns, groß, ja, wenn es möglich ist, unnachahmlich zu werden, is die Nachahmung der Alten.” Johannes Winckelmann

Classics played a major and fundamental role in the cultural history of Western Europe. Few would call this into question. Since the Carolingian period, notably ‘classical’ literature has served as a constant source and model of creativity and inspiration, by which the literary identity of Europe has been negotiated and (re-)defined. The tendency to return to the classics and resuscitate them remains sensible until today, as classical themes and stories are central to multiple contemporary literary works, both in ‘popular’ and ‘high’ culture. Think for instance of Rick Riordan’s fantastic tales about Percy Jackson or Colm Tóibín’s refined novels retelling the Oresteia.

At the same time, this orientation and fascination towards the classics throughout literary history has often —implicitly or explicitly— gone hand in hand with the cultivation of a certain normativity, regarding aesthetics, content, decency, theory, … Classical works, and the ideals that were projected on them, have frequently been considered as the standard against which the quality of a literary work should be measured. Whether a text was evaluated as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ depended on the extent to which it could meet the ‘classical’ requirements. Probably the most famous example of someone advocating such a classical norm was the German art critic Johannes Winckelmann (1717-1768), whose death will be commemorated in 2018. His Geschichte der Kunst des Altertums may be considered as the embodiment of the idea that the classics should be the norm for aesthetic or even any evaluation, such as, in Western Europe, it has recurrently cropped up, to a greater or lesser degree, from the Early Middle Ages until modern times.

Almost inevitably, this normativity has implied, shaped and fed prejudices and thoughts of exclusion towards literary features and aesthetic characteristics that seemed to deviate from classical ideals. Throughout literary history, examples occur of literary works, styles and genres that were generally appreciated within their time or context of origin, yet whose quality was retrospectively called into question because they were said not to be in accordance with the classical norm as it prevailed at the moment of judgement. Sometimes, this has even applied to whole periods. The persistence of similar assessments up until today is telling for the impact classical normativity still exercises. Besides, literary texts, though clearly not created to conform to the ‘classical’ standard, have been ‘classicized’ during judgement, being forced by a critic to fit into a classical framework and celebrated for its so-called imitation of antiquity. Even the Classics themselves often had and have to obey to this process of ‘classicization’. Therefore, with a sense for drama, one could say that all these works, literary forms, periods, etc. have seriously ‘suffered’ from the prejudices born from classics-based normativity, being the ‘victims’ of Winckelmann-like ideas concerning ‘classical’ standards.

This conference aims to consider classical normativity with its including prejudices and exclusions as a case-study for cultural self-fashioning by way of European literature. It seeks to explore how the normative status ascribed to the classics and the ensuing prejudices have, from the Early Middle Ages to modern times, influenced and shaped thoughts and views of the literary identity of Western Europe. Therefore, we propose the following questions:

  • What are the processes behind this normativity of the Classics? Is it possible to discern a conceptual continuum behind the time and again revival of the Classics as the norm for ‘good’ literature? Or, rather, are there clear conceptual and concrete divergences between succeeding periods of such ‘classical’ normativity?
  • What are the links (conceptual, historical, aesthetic, political, …) between the normativity of the Classics and the excluded ones, both in synchronic and diachronic terms? How does literary normativity of the Classics imply literary prejudices and exclusions?
  • How has normativity of the Classics with its prejudices and exclusions imposed an identity on European literature (and literary culture)?
  • What does this normativity of the Classics with its prejudices and exclusions mean for the conceptualization of European literary history?

Besides these conceptual questions, we also welcome case studies that may illustrate both the concrete impact of classical normativity and concrete examples of prejudice and exclusion as resulting from this normativity. We think of topics such as

  • the Classics themselves as victims of retrospective ‘classical’ normativity
  • the exclusion of literary periods that are considered non- or even contra-classical (baroque, medieval, …) and the clash with non-European literature
  • literary ‘renaissances’ and their implications
  • classical normativity and its impact on literatures obedient to political aims (fascism, populism,…)
  • literary appeal to the classics as a way of structuring and (re-)formulating society (‘higher’ liberal arts vs. ‘lower’ crafts and proficiencies, literary attitudes towards slavery, …)

We accept papers in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. Please send an abstract of ca. 300 words and a five line biography to by 15 April 2018.

Organisation: Wim Verbaal, Paolo Felice Sacchi and Tim Noens are members of the research group RELICS (Researchers of European Literary Identities, Cosmopolitanism and the Schools). This research group studies historical literatures and the dynamics that shape a common, European literary identity. It sees this literary identity as particularly negotiated through languages that reached a cosmopolitan status due to fixed schooling systems (Latin, Greek and Arabic), and in their interaction with vernacular literatures. From a diachronic perspective, we aim to seek unity within the ever more diverse, literary Europe, from the first to the eighteenth century, i.e. from the beginning of (institutionally organized) education in the cosmopolitan language to the rise of more national oriented education.


42nd Annual Conference, University of Kansas, Lawrence, 22 September 2018

Plenary: Dr Andrew Beresford, University of Durham: “Dermal Identities in the Legend of St Bartholomew”

We construe the notion of skin, or skins, as having multiple meanings, contexts, and sites of enquiry; it could pertain to humans or animals; as a covering or a disguise, revealing or concealing identity, a marker of difference and similarity, race, class, and gender; the mutilated witness to heroic and saintly deeds, or the epitome of idealized beauty; it can be sacred or profane; it may also evoke science, medicine, and the body; skin as writing surface and manuscript; as palimpsest, the scraping away of layers of meaning; it may allude to blank spaces and lacunae; skin as the polychrome surface of a statue, or a fresco; architectural skins and façades; it could relate to surfaces, spaces, and landscapes; to the veneers of civilization and society.

We invite papers that engage these topics, or any related to the field of medieval studies.

Please send proposals of 250 words by 1 June to Caroline Jewers at


26-28 September 2018
Malmö University, Sweden
The deadline for paper proposals is 15 December 2017.
Proposals with an abstract of maximum 100 words to Sara Ellis Nilsson.

Conference call for papers


The Second ASA International Conference in Yerevan, Armenia, 27-30 September 2018.

Dedicated to the 130th anniversary of legendary actor Vahram Papazian (1888-1968).

The Armenian Shakespeare Association (ASA) is delighted to invite Shakespearean scholars, translators, theatre critics, directors, actors and research students across the world to its second international conference in Armenia’s capital Yerevan.

The conference is organised in partnership with the American University in Armenia (AUA) and the National Museum of Theatre and Literature (NMTL), where seminar discussions will take place. At the same time, conference guests will be able to attend HIFEST, an annual International Theatre Festival in the capital of Armenia since 2003. ASA will also arrange sightseeing tours and evening entertainment each day during the conference.

Expenses covered: the transport between Yerevan International airport and the hotel, lunches and breaks, daily sightseeing tours and visits to museums with multi-lingual guides as well as evening entertainment. Flights to and from Armenia, accommodation and evening meals are not covered. No visa required for EU and USA citizens for travelling to Armenia.  Visas for other countries.

The registration form and the conference fee of £80 must be sent via our website as soon as possible. Abstracts of around 300 words should be submitted via email before 30 April 2018. International scholars are encouraged to propose their own panel, please register your interest before 30 March. The conference proposes the following panel discussions, however other suggestions are welcome:

· 2018 spotlight on Othello: global/local variations and their significance in adoptive countries

· Reviewing Shakespearean performances: dramatic, cinematic, musical and ballet adaptations

· Translating Shakespeare: linguistic, geographic and poetic challenges (translators particularly welcome)

· Shakespearean collections across the world: public and private libraries, research centres and digital collections (libraries, professional and amateur collectors welcome)

· Round table: why teach Shakespeare, how to engage the new generation in Shakespearean studies

For all inquiries contact:

Download the application form.


Split, Croatia, 28-30 September 2018

Croatian Society for Byzantine Studies & Department of History, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Split

The field of Byzantine Studies has recently gained impetus in Croatia from the establishment of the Croatian Society for Byzantine Studies, which aspires to become a cross-disciplinary research hub for experts in manifold disciplines related to Byzantine Studies not only in Croatia but in the region as well. Following the auspicious first steps of bringing Byzantine Studies into the focus of Croatian academia and the research community, the Croatian Society for Byzantine Studies now aims to attract internationally acclaimed researchers of diverse disciplinary backgrounds to a forum that will offer an opportunity to discuss a plethora of research topics and questions bearing on the presence of Byzantium in the Adriatic, and specifically to analyze the profile, genesis and transformation of the region in response to the Byzantine world system. The aim is to present and examine old as well as fresh ideas in an innovative way to provide a more complete and in-depth picture of the political, socio-economic, religious, legal, cultural aspects of Byzantine influence, both direct and indirect, detectable in the Adriatic, and particularly the eastern Adriatic coastal area, with a chronological span from the Age of Justinian I to the final disappearance of all vestiges of Byzantine authority and political sway in the region in the twelfth century.

It is with great pleasure that we invite you to participate in an international conference ‘Byzantium In The Adriatic From The Sixth To Twelfth Centuries’, organized by the Croatian Society for Byzantine Studies in close cooperation with the Department of History, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Split. The conference will take place on September 28-30 in Split, to coincide with the opening of the exhibition Byzantium on the East Adriatic at the Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments in Split.

The conference’s special thematic strands include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • defining ‘Byzantium’ and its influence in the Adriatic context
  • (dis)continuity of the Byzantine presence in the Adriatic region
  • Adriobyzantinism, Latin Byzantinism, Slavic Byzantinism
  • overlapping zones of influences: problems of centre, periphery and province
  • comparative studies: Ravenna, Pentapolis, Roman Duchy, Venice, Istria, Greece, Sicily, Sardinia, Apulia, Calabria, Benevento, Marche, etc.
  • Byzantium’s influence on the ethnogeneses in the Adriatic coastal area
  • transmission of texts
  • conversion, Christianization and the Church (the interference of jurisdictional and liturgical influences from Constantinople, Rome, Aquileia/Grado; the network of bishoprics; the Cyrillo-Methodian Mission)
  • Byzantine legal traditions
  • Byzantine traditions in diplomatics, language, anthroponymy, toponymy, hagiography
  • Byzantine traditions in social structures (urban elites, aristocracy, family and society)
  • manifestations of Byzantine authority: public institutions, administrative structures, circulation of Byzantine money, seals
  • Byzantine cultural circles in the Adriatic (Justinianic Age, Macedonian dynasty, etc.)
  • settlements, towns, urban history, spatial organization
  • material culture with Byzantine characteristics and provenance in the Adriatic (archaeology, cemeteries, jewellery, weapons, tools, costumes)
  • the so-called Byzantine limes marittimus in the Adriatic (forts, castra, defence systems)

The conference encourages a broad interdisciplinary approach open to specialists and researchers of various profiles: historians, archaeologists, art historians, liturgists, epigraphists, linguists, classical philologists, etc.

Paper Submission

Deadline for submitting the letter of intent for participation: 25 April 2018. First Deadline for submitting the abstracts of the papers: 25 June 2018.
Presentation of the papers will be limited to 20 minutes.
Working Language: English.

All participants are required to pay the participation fee in amount of 50€. The participation fee includes accommodation during the Conference and a gala dinner. A visit to the exhibition Byzantium on the East Adriatic is free of charge for all participants.

To participate in the conference you should send a title and a short abstract in English to the following email address: The proposals will be considered and selected by the organizing committee.

Organisation Committee

Ivan Basić (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Split)
Hrvoje Gračanin (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb)
Marko Petrak (Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb)
Trpimir Vedriš (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb)


Submission online by: February 15, 2018, Thursday, 11:59 EST
Notification email by: March 15, 2018, Thursday

The Forty-fourth Annual Byzantine Studies Conference (BSC) will be held in San Antonio, Texas, October 4-7 2018.

For information on BSANA, please consult the BSANA website,; for details on the conference, please consult the 2018 BSC website, which will be further updated as new information becomes available.

The Local Arrangements Chair for 2018 is Dr. Annie Labatt of the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

The BSC is the annual forum for the presentation and discussion of papers on every aspect of Byzantine Studies and is open to all, regardless of nationality or academic status. It is also the occasion of the annual meeting of the Byzantine Studies Association of North America (BSANA), conducted by its officers:
President: Emmanuel Bourbouhakis, Literature (Princeton University, NJ) (ebourbou@Princeton.EDU)
Vice President: Jennifer Ball, Art History (City University of New York, NY) (
Secretary: Marica Cassis, Archaeology (Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada) (
Treasurer: Betsy Williams, Dumbarton Oaks (

We welcome proposals on any aspect of Byzantine studies. Call for papers.


As part of its ongoing commitment to Byzantine studies, the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture seeks proposals for a Mary Jaharis Center sponsored session at the 44th Annual Byzantine Studies Conference to be held in San Antonio, TX, October 4–7 2018. We invite session proposals on any topic relevant to Byzantine studies.

Session proposals must be submitted through the Mary Jaharis Center website ( The deadline for submission is February 5, 2018. Proposals should include:

  • Proposed session title
  • CV of session organizer
  • 300-word session summary, which includes a summary of the overall topic, the format for the panel (such as a debate, papers followed by a discussion, or a traditional session of papers), and the reasons for covering the topic as a prearranged, whole session
  • Session chair and academic affiliation. Please note: Session chairs cannot present a paper in the session
  • Information about the four papers to be presented in the session. For each paper: name of presenter and academic affiliation, proposed paper title, and 500-word abstract. Please note: Presenters must be members of BSANA in good standing

Session organizers may present a paper in the session or chair the session. If a co-organzier is proposed for the session, the co-organizer must also give a paper in the session or chair the session.

Applicants will be notified by February 9, 2018. The organizer of the selected session is responsible for submitting the session to the BSC by February 15, 2018. Instructions for submitting the panel proposal are included in the BSC Call for Papers.

If the proposed session is approved, the Mary Jaharis Center will reimburse session participants (presenters and chair, if the proposed chair is selected by the BSC program committee) up to $600 maximum for North American residents and up to $1200 maximum for those coming from abroad. Funding is through reimbursement only (check issued in US dollars or wire transfer); advance funding cannot be provided. Eligible expenses include conference registration, transportation, and food and lodging. Receipts are required for reimbursement.

Please contact Brandie Ratliff (, Director, Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture with any questions.


October 12-13 2018, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON, Canada

St Catharines, Ontario, Canada, the location of Brock University, is just 19 kilometres from the Niagara River, the boundary between Canada and the United States of America. In this location, then, it seems appropriate to think about medievalism and boundary crossing. Plenary sessions will cross disciplinary boundaries by investigating similarities in concerns, methods, and themes between the fields of (neo)medievalism(s) and the Neo-Victorian. For regular conference sessions, proposals are invited on the conference theme. Papers might address the ways in which medievalism crosses the boundaries of, or is used to interrogate the boundaries of

  • genres/subgenres
  • national designations
  • temporal periods
  • academic disciplines
  • the academic and the popular
  • gender
  • sexuality
  • class
  • race
  • human / non-human

Please send one-page proposals to Dr Ann F. Howey, Associate Professor at Brock University (, by March 26, 2018.

St Catharines, in the Niagara Peninsula, is located midway between Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and Buffalo, New York, USA; both cities have international airports, and airport shuttles service the Niagara region from both airports. St Catharines is located in the heart of Niagara’s wine producing region and is also close to tourist attractions such as Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake, with its famous Shaw Festival theatre productions.


Perth Medieval and Renaissance Group/UWA Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies Annual Conference
13 October 2018
The University of Western Australia

Conference Website

Keynote Speaker: Dr Lisa Beaven (La Trobe University), ‘Skin and Stone: Metamorphosis and the Villa Culture of Seventeenth-Century Rome’.

Skin as a material served a vital role in premodern economies. It was an essential ingredient in clothing and tools, and it formed the primary material for the manuscripts on which knowledge and ideas were recorded and preserved. Beyond the many uses for the skins of animals, the idea of skin interested artists, scholars, and theologians. As a boundary or surface, skin presented a range of symbolic possibilities. Images of skin, such as its piercing, often acted as metaphors for the uncovering of secrets or the interpretation of allegory. Premodern observers, likewise, often believed that the appearance and colour of an individual’s skin indicated truths about their inner nature. Diseases of the skin, such as leprosy, attracted legislation and intellectual speculation, drawing together the immaterial world of ideas regarding skin and the treatment of actual human skins.

We are interested in papers that address the many premodern uses of skin, as well representations of and ideas about skin. This conference is multidisciplinary and wide-ranging; we welcome papers from the fields of book culture and manuscript studies, history, material culture, medicine, disability studies, race studies, crime and punishment, art, literature, and theology.

The conference organisers invite proposals for 20-minute papers.

Please send a paper title, 250-word abstract, and a short (no more than 100-word) biography to by 31 May 2018.


One $500 travel bursary is available on a competitive basis for an ECR (no more than 5 years from the award of their PhD) who does not have substantive academic employment and whose conference paper is accepted. The bursary will be awarded on the basis of merit and the paper’s relevance to the symposium topic. Should you wish to apply for the travel bursary, please send a short CV (no more than 1 page), along with your paper title, abstract, and biography by 31 May 2018.


Deadline for submissions: February 15 2018

University of Milan, Department of Cultural Heritage and Environment, Chair of History of Medieval Art, 16-18 October 2018.

Contact email:

The Chair of History of Medieval Art, Department of Cultural Heritage and Environment, University of Milan, organises an International Conference concerning the Old Testament narrative in medieval wall painting. Four thematic sessions are scheduled, calling for 20 minutes papers to be presented in Italian/English/French.

1st session: Early Christian Pictorial Tradition and Early Middle Ages

The aim is to bring into focus the relationship between the monumental pictorial tradition set up in the early Christian Rome and its reworking in the early Middle Ages. To what extent did the paradigm of Santa Maria Maggiore, Old St. Peter’s and San Paolo fuori le Mura expressed its leading role in Old Testament sequences like those in Santa Maria Antiqua and Santa Maria in via Lata in Rome, in the Crypt of the Original Sin in Matera, or in St. John in Müstair? On the other hand, what was the impact of different models (also Byzantine), of patronage and liturgical space in setting the iconographic programme?

2nd session: The Thematic and Narrative Development in the Romanesque Period

The widespread revival of early Christian iconography in the Romanesque period is reflected by the Old Testament narrative, which regains room in church decorations, especially dealing with the first part of the Genesis: mainly in the Roman area (Santa Maria in Ceri, San Tommaso in Anagni, San Paolo inter vineas in Spoleto, Castro dei Volsci, Ferentillo, San Giovanni a Porta Latina), but also in the South (Sant’Angelo in Formis, Santa Maria d’Anglona), in the northern Italy (Galliano, Agliate, Carugo, Muralto, Acquanegra), north of the Alps (Saint-Savin and Château-Gontier in France; Idensen, Brauweiler and Berghausen in Germany; Gurk and Matrei in Austria), and in the Iberian Peninsula (Bagüés, Sigena). The session will offer the opportunity to compare subjects, themes and solutions on a European scale, highlighting continuity, recurrences, peculiarities, deviations and anomalies.

3rd session: Old Testament Cycles and Multi-layered Meaning

Universal chronicles remind us that an Old Testament cycle was primarily a historical and chronological depiction of the humankind on the path to salvation: the ‘visual device’ in the nave of Acquanegra is a clear example. Still, the events before the Incarnation shall be understood in a figurative sense, what is depicted in Agliate lining up the Creation of Adam and Eve precisely above the Annunciation and the Nativity. This does not preclude a manipulation driven by political claims, as seems to be expressed in the cycle of Joseph in San Marco in Venice. Therefore, a full account of the visual relationships within the liturgical space is required.

4th session: The Role of Patriarchs, Judges, Prophets and Kings

Since at least the mid 5th century, with the mosaic panels in the nave of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, the Hebrew Scripture has also been illustrated through the stories of its protagonists: Patriarchs (Moses and Joshua in San Calocero in Civate), Judges (Samson in Galliano and Civate, Gideon in Civate and Sant’Angelo in Formis), Prophets (Ezekiel and Daniel in Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Rome), Kings (David in Müstair and Malles), involving a wide range of meanings, relationships and implications, which are still waiting to be figured out.


Proposals should cover a wide range of aspects concerning each session, giving priority to the iconographic approach, to the relationships with the liturgical space and to the historical-institutional frame. Topics dealing with the monumental contexts mentioned above are especially welcome.

Proposals will be evaluated by the conference scientific committee.

Submissions for a 20 minutes paper (in Italian/English/French) should include: paper title, abstract of around 300 words, a short CV including current affliation and full contact details. All documents should be merged into a single PDF file.
Proposals and enquiries should be sent to:


Deadline for submissions: 15 February 2018.
Notification to the applicants: by 31 March 2018.
Final programme: by September 2018.
It is expected to publish in a double-blind Peer review Series.
Speakers will be asked to provide a final paper by 30 June 2019.

Practical Information

There is no registration fee for participation or attendance.
Coffee breaks, lunches, and dinners will be provided to all speakers. Travel and accommodation expenses cannot be covered, but every effort will be made to secure special hotel rates.

Conference Director
Fabio Scirea
PhD, Lecturer in History of Medieval Art

Conference Scientific Committee
Mauro della Valle, Stella Ferrari, Paolo Piva, Fabio Scirea, Andrea Torno Ginnasi
History of Medieval Art, University of Milan


Providence, Rhode Island, October 25-28, 2018

Deadline: 30 March 2018

The NACBS and its affiliate, the Northeast Conference on British Studies, seek participation by scholars in all areas of British Studies for the 2018 meeting. We will meet in Providence, Rhode Island, from October 25-28, 2018. We solicit proposals for presentations on Britain, the British Empire, and the British world, including topics relating to component parts of Britain and on British influence (or vice versa) in Ireland, the Commonwealth, and former colonies in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean (etc.) Our interests range from the medieval to the modern. We welcome participation by scholars from across the humanities and social sciences, from all parts of the globe (not just North America), and from all career stages and backgrounds. We reaffirm our commitment to British Studies broadly conceived, and welcome proposals that reflect the diversity of scholars and scholarship in the field.

We invite panel proposals that address selected themes, methodology, and pedagogy, as well as roundtable discussions of topical and thematic interest, including conversations among authors of recent books, reflections on landmark scholarship, and discussions about professional practice.  We are particularly interested in submissions that have a broad chronological focus and/or interdisciplinary breadth.  Standard panels typically include three presenters speaking for 20 minutes each, a commentator, and a chair, while roundtables typically include four presenters speaking for 15 minutes each and a chair. We are open to other formats, though; please feel free to consult with the program committee chair.

We hope to secure as broad a range of participation as possible and will thus consider individual paper proposals in addition to the standard full panel proposals. Our preference is for panels that include both emerging and established scholars; we welcome the participation of junior scholars and Ph.D. candidates beyond the qualifying stage. To foster intellectual interchange, we ask applicants to compose panels that feature participation from multiple institutions. In an effort to allow a broader range of participants, no participant will be permitted to take part in more than one session in a substantial role. (That is, someone presenting or commenting on one panel cannot also present or comment on another, though individuals presenting or commenting on one panel may serve as chairs for other panels, if need be.) Submissions are welcome from participants in last year’s conference, though if the number of strong submissions exceeds the number of available spaces, selection decisions may take into account recent participation.

As complete panels are more likely to be accepted, we recommend that interested participants issue calls on H-Albion or social media (e.g., @TheNACBS on Twitter or on the NACBS Facebook page) to arrange a panel. If a full panel cannot be arranged by the deadline, however, please do submit the individual proposal and the program committee will try to build submissions into full panels as appropriate.

In addition to the panels, we will be sponsoring a poster session. The posters will be exhibited throughout the conference, and there will be a scheduled time when presenters will be with their posters to allow for further discussion.

The submission website is now open - submissions will close as of March 30 2018.

All submissions are electronic, and need to be completed in one sitting.   Before you start your submission, you should have the following information:

Names, affiliations and email addresses for all panel participants. PLEASE NOTE: We create the program from the submission, so be sure that names, institutional titles, and paper titles are provided as they should appear on the program.  
A note whether data projection is necessary, desired, or unnecessary.
A brief summary CV for each participant, indicating education, current affiliations, and major publications. (750 words maximum per CV.)
Title and Abstract for each paper or presentation. Roundtables do not need titles for each presentation, but if you have them, that is fine. If there is no title, there should still be an abstract - ie “X will speak about this subject through the lens of this period/approach/region etc.”
POSTERS: Those proposing posters should enter organizer information and first presenter information only.
All communication will be through the panel organizer, who will be responsible for ensuring that members of the panel receive the information they need.

All program presenters must be current members of the NACBS by September 28, one month before the conference, or risk being removed from the program.

Some financial assistance will become available for graduate students (up to $500) and for a limited number of under/unemployed members within ten years of their terminal degree ($300). Details of these travel grants and how to apply will be posted to the NACBS website and emailed to members after the program for the 2018 meeting is prepared.


The Haskins Society is an international scholarly organization dedicated to the study of the history of the early and central Middle Ages, with special emphases on Viking, Anglo-Saxon, Anglo-Norman and early Angevin history as well as the many other fields encompassed by the scholarly interests of the American medievalist, Charles Homer Haskins (1870-1937). These traditional fields of interest have expanded over the years via the scholarship of our members and the Society welcomes new contributions in all related fields.

The call for papers is now open for the 37th International Conference of the Haskins Society.

26–28 October 2018
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Featured speakers:

William Chester Jordan (Princeton University)
Alice Rio (King’s College London)
Theodore Evergates (McDaniel College)
Katherine Smith (Puget Sound) (25 October)

For paper proposals, please send a 250 word abstract and c.v. to by 10 July 2018.

Further information.


Symposium website.

University of Pittsburgh’s History of Art and Architecture 2018 Graduate Symposium, 2-3 November 2018.  We’re especially interested in the function of monuments and monumentality in the premodern world.  Abstracts for a 20 minute presentation are due midnight 30 March 2018 at  Feel free to use Facebook or twitter to contact us or follow us for updates @pitthaagradsymp


Administrative Accountability in the Later Middle Ages: Records, Procedures and their Societal Impact, Bucharest, 16-17 November 2018

The emergence of new types of financial records, the creation of institutional procedures, and the birth of a bureaucratic corps in a society in which accountability had been largely social and moral represent key developments in the history of the later Middle Ages. The colloquium will explore the multifaceted reality of administrative accountability in Western Europe, c. 1200-1450. Because the renewed interest in the subject makes methodological exchanges all the more timely, the colloquium will provide a venue for testing new approaches to the sources. Special attention will be given to underexplored archival documents, such as the castellany accounts (computi) of late-medieval Savoy, and to topics that have hitherto received less attention, such as the social impact of institutional consolidation. Comparisons with better-known texts, such as the English pipe rolls, are also encouraged.

The colloquium is organised in the frame of the European Research Council Starting Grant no. 638436, ‘Record-keeping, fiscal reform, and the rise of institutional accountability in late-medieval Savoy: a source-oriented approach’ (University of Bucharest)

Proposals for 30-minute papers are invited on topics including:

  • the institutional dialogue between the central and local administration
  • the impact of administrative and fiscal reform on local communities
  • accounting practices and the auditing of financial records
  • the cultural underpinnings of medieval accountability
  • prosopography: background and career of administrators, from auditing clerks to castellans
  • methodological advances, from manuscript studies to sociological frameworks
  • the transfer of administrative models across medieval Europe

The colloquium papers, which will collected in an edited volume published with an international academic press, should reflect original, unpublished research. The authors will be given the opportunity to revise their contributions for publication.

Papers can be presented in English or French; if delivered in French, it is the author’s responsibility to have the paper translated into English for publication.

For inquiries, contact Ionuț Epurescu-Pascovici ( or Roberto Biolzi (

Proposals of circa 300 words, outlining the source material, methodology, and anticipated findings, should be emailed to by 30 March 2018.

The organisers will provide three nights hotel accommodation and help defray travel expenses.

Administrative accountability in the later Middle Ages website


Conference website

The Middle Ages in the Modern World is a biennial conference about the ways in which the Middle Ages have been received, imagined, invoked, relived, used, abused and refashioned in the modern and contemporary worlds.

Hosted by John Cabot University and the Ecole française de Rome, MAMO 2018 will take place for the first time outside of Great Britain, in the historic center of Rome, on 21–24 November 2018.

Proposals for twenty-minute papers pertinent to medievalism in all parts of the world are warmly welcome, as are planned panels of three twenty-minute papers each. Proposals and papers may be presented in English, Italian or French.

Paper and panel proposals are especially welcome in the following areas:


  • Medievalism in contemporary public discourse
  • Southern Europe and the Mediterranean
  • North South East West
  • Comparative periodization
  • Early Modern medievalism
  • Non-European perspectives


  • Medievalism in modern and contemporary arts: visual, musical, architectural, theatrical
  • Experimental archaeology
  • Public history
  • Festivals and re-enactments
  • Re-inhabiting medieval spaces
  • Medievalism and tourism
  • Medieval material heritage: loss,restoration, adaptation
  • How science and technology are transforming modern perceptions of the medieval world

For individual papers, please send abstracts of 250 words to:

Panel proposals should include abstracts, names, and contact details of presenters and a short (c. 200 word) description of the panel itself and the organiser’s contact details.


The University of Adelaide, 23 November 2018

Symposium Website

Keynote: Professor Thomas A. Fudge (University of New England)

In the medieval and early modern world, religious belief and practices were expressed with passionate commitment out of an emotional attachment to the divine. Institutional religion cultivated and prescribed certain emotions and emotional styles, through media such as literature, sermons, rituals and art. At the same time, the individual’s own relationship with both God and the Church was underpinned by emotion, in ways that could either, in the words of John Corrigan, ‘confirm or challenge the authority of [this] religious emotionology’. This one-day symposium seeks to explore the emotional dimensions of both institutional and individual religious belief, experience and practice, as well as the relationships between them. It aims to bring together scholars already working on emotions, and those interested in exploring how a focus on emotion may enhance their research on medieval and early modern religion, broadly conceived.

We invite proposals for 20-minute papers from any discipline dealing with religion and emotion within a European context between 1100 and 1800. We particularly encourage proposals from postgraduates and ECRs. Papers may wish to explore, but are not limited to:

  • Rituals, practices and performance
  • The language of religious emotions
  • How religious imagery, objects and music conveyed or embodied emotional messages
  • Comparisons between different institutions or denominations
  • Links between religion, emotion and morality
  • The emotional dynamics of religious vocations and communities
  • The emotional dynamics of lay religion
  • The role of gender

Abstracts of no more than 250 words, and a short biography, should be emailed to both Stephanie Thomson ( and Jessica McCandless ( Questions or queries can also be addressed to the above.

Deadline for proposals: 31 July 2018
Notification of acceptance: 15 August 2018
Registration deadline: 2 November 2018
Opening public lecture: 22 November 2018
Symposium and dinner (dinner at own expense): 23 November 2018


1 December 2018

The 26th Biennial Conference of the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program of Barnard College

Plenary Speakers

Lorna Hutson (University of Oxford)
Dyan Elliott (Northwestern University)

The capacity of language both to communicate truth and to manipulate perceptions of it was as vexed a problem for the Middle Ages and Renaissance as it is today. From Augustine to Erasmus, enthusiasm for the study of rhetoric was accompanied by profound concern about its capacity to mask the difference between authenticity and deceit, revelation and heresy, truth and truthiness. Even the claim of authenticity or transparency could become, some thinkers argued, a deliberate form of manipulation or “spin.” In our current era when public figures aim to create effects of immediacy and authenticity, this conference looks at the history of debates about rhetoric and, more generally, about the presentation of transparency and truthfulness. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, this conference considers the role of the verbal arts in the history of literature, law, politics, theology, and historiography, but also broadens the scope of rhetoric to include such topics as the rhetoric of the visual arts and the language of the new science to produce effects of objective access to “things themselves.”

Please submit an abstract of 250-300 words and a 2-page CV by April 30 2018 to Rachel Eisendrath,


Paris, Fondation Deutsch de la Meurthe, 10-12 January 2019

Conference website

In the title of a book published in 1973, Terence Hawkes spoke of “Shakespeare’s talking animals”. Language and communication are not, by far the only features which, for the playwright, served to differentiate men from animals. As the son of a Stratford glover, who, in his young days, must have attended the slaughter and suffering of beasts while being made an apprentice in the treatment of their skins, Shakespeare developed a personal sensibility and a particular attention to animals.

Animals occupy a prominent place in the canon, both by their presence on stage (one may here think of Crab, Lance’s dog in The Two Gentlemen of Verona or the bear in The Winter’s Tale) and in the reminiscence of the medieval world of heraldry and of the bestiaries, of hunting and sacrificial rites. In the historiae animalium of Aristotle, Pliny the Elder, Conrad Gesner or Edward Topsell, but also in the contemporary emblem books, Shakespeare and his fellow playwrights found many examples for his animal imagery as well as for various proverbs and ironical fables. Ovid’s Metamorphoses were another important source for the ass Bottom, the wolf Shylock, Orsino comparing himself to Acteon, Macbeth’s currish murderers, Lear’s ‘pelican daughters’ as well as Caliban, the fish-man of The Tempest. Desdemona and Othello, according to Iago, “are making the beast with two backs” and their “unnatural” love threatens Venice with a whole generation of monsters. But through its masks and many disguises, theatre encourages such metamorphoses, for laughs, but also in order to frighten the spectators or to give them food for thought, as in the case of De Flores’s dog face (in Middleton’s The Changeling) or the animal-coded names of the characters in Ben Jonson’s Volpone.

Is man “the paragon of animals” as Hamlet says to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in a fit of bitter irony? Beyond feelings of real compassion for the suffering, sentient beast which serve to illustrate melancholy or taedium vitae, animals are presented as possible models for man. In Henry V, the archbishop of Canterbury claims that honey-bees “teach / The act of order to a peopled kingdom”, while, for Cleopatra, the beauty and bounty of Antony is encapsulated in the image of the dolphin showing “his back above / The element”.

The word “beast”, which has 75 occurrences in the canon, differs from the word “animal” (only 8 occurrences) which etymologically refers to the breath of life (anima) responsible for motion. This raises the issue of taming and domestication, and thus that of the opposition between socialised and savage creatures. In The Taming of the Shrew, the Lord, who returns from a hunting party, takes loving care of his dogs while feeling nauseated by the sight of the drunken beggar Christopher Sly: “O monstrous beast, how like a swine he lies!” Shakespeare proves attentive to the singularity and diversity of individuals more than to the species or category to which they are supposed to belong, so that his animal kingdom leads to a dizzying multiplication of appellations as well as to great linguistic virtuosity. This world, for him, illustrates the idea of hierarchy and symbolises law and order as much as such subversive ends as Hamlet’s referring to the worm, “the only emperor for diet”, which, through the fish which it serves to catch, allows the beggar to eat of the flesh of the king.

The very same animals that are presented onstage as scenic objects or instruments at the service of living performances are also at the origin of the production of tools and objects of daily life. The drum, for instance, over which skins of goats, lambs, cows, fishes or reptiles had been stretched since early antiquity, retained in its emblems the characteristics of the animal used for its manufacturing. Contrary to this warlike instrument, the lute materialises the celestial power of harmony which elevates the soul and takes it closer to God. But with its strings made with animal guts and its tortoise-shaped sound-box, the instrument also connoted suspicious animal qualities, poles apart from the supernatural virtues attached to it.

This conference invites a vast range and variety of proposals on Shakespeare and his contemporaries. The following list, which by no means claims to be exhaustive, may serve to suggest possible topics and fields of investigation:

  • The role of animal heraldry;
  • The tradition of the fable and its subversion;
  • The hunt, its rites, vocabulary and imagery;
  • Domestication and savagery; domestic animals and wild beasts;
  • The function of metamorphosis; animals in the world of imagination, of the dream or of the unconscious; hybrids and fantastic beasts; esoteric lore and its chimeras;
  • Animal images of madness, possession and witchcraft;
  • The animal kingdom as related to climate and the environment;
  • The animalisation of man (and woman) and the humanisation of the animal;
  • Puns, terminology, insults, lexical and linguistic combinations in the field of the animal kingdom;
  • Meat consumption, slaughter and butchery; cruelty against vs. love of and pity for animals;
  • Animals in sports, games and festivities; animal imagery in popular riots, carnivals and the world upside down;
  • Animals as providing models or counter-models for social and political organisation; the animal kingdom as a mirror of law and order vs. the animal kingdom as image of chaos;
  • Classifications, inventories and hierarchies: from the king of animals to pest, from nobility to the ignoble, from the admirable to the frightening or the revolting;
  • Animality, bestiality, sexuality;
  • Objects related to the animal world: pelts, furs, objects made out of horn, fetishes, weapons, musical instruments;
  • Animals and music;
  • Animals on stage and on screen.

Submission Procedure

Please send your proposals to by 10 May 2018, with a title, an abstract (between 500 and 800 words) and a brief biographical notice. A few words in the abstract should explain in what way(s) your paper intends to address the topic of the conference.


Shakespeare FuturEd is an international conference exploring the nexus of Shakespeare Studies and Education to be held at the University of Sydney on Friday 1–Saturday 2 February 2019.

We are seeking proposals for papers, panels and workshops that interrogate and experiment with new directions in Shakespeare pedagogy in theory and practice. We welcome proposals from primary and secondary teachers, tertiary educators, researchers, theatre practitioners, and anyone with an interest in Shakespeare and education.

Please send 250 word proposals (and a short biography) to: CFP closes 31 October 2018.

For more information and a list of confirmed keynotes, please visit the website.

ASCS 40 (2019)

The Australasian Society for Classical Studies (ASCS) will hold its 40th Annual Meeting and Conference at the University of New England in Armidale, NSW, Australia, ‪from 4-7 February 2019.  We welcome abstracts on all aspects of the classical world, its reception, and traditions.

The deadline for the submission of abstracts is ‪Tuesday 31 July 2018.

The abstract coversheet, instructions for submitting abstracts, and guidelines for papers and panels can be found on the ASCS website.

The conference convenors are Drs Graeme Bourke, Bronwyn Hopwood and Clemens Koehn.  Please direct enquiries prior to ‪31st July to Bronwyn Hopwood (, or to all three convenors thereafter.

2019 will be an auspicious year. It marks the 40th Annual Conference of ASCS, the 50th Anniversary of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, and 60th Anniversary of the UNE Museum of Antiquities.  We are delighted, therefore, to announce four special events as part of ASCS 40 (2019):

The 40th ASCS Annual Conference Keynote Lecture will be delivered by the 2019 ASCS Keynote Speaker, Professor Theresa Morgan (Oriel College, Oxford).

The 21st A. D. Trendall Lecture of the Australian Academy of the Humanities will be delivered jointly by Dr Lea Beness and Associate Professor Thomas Hillard (Macquarie University).

The 23rd Maurice Kelly Lecture of the University of New England Museum of Antiquities (UNEMA), will be delivered by Dr Julie Anderson, Assistant Keeper (Curator), Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan (The British Museum).

UNEMA will also unveil the UNEMA 60th Anniversary Commemorative Artefact.

A conference website, including detailed information about the conference venue, transport, accommodation and registration will be available shortly and linked from the ASCS page.


Conference website.

The Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (ANZAMEMS) and the organising committee invite proposals for presentations at the Association’s 12th Biennial Conference to be hosted at the University of Sydney from 5-8 February 2019.

The theme for ANZAMEMS 2019 is Categories, Boundaries, Horizons. Categories and boundaries help us to define our fields of knowledge and subjects of inquiry, but can also contain and limit our perspectives. The concept of category emerges etymologically from the experience of speaking in an assembly, a dialogic forum in which new ways of explaining can emerge. Boundaries and horizons are intertwined in their meanings, pointing to the limits of subjectivity, and inviting investigation beyond current understanding into new ways of connecting experience and knowledge. Papers, panels, and streams are invited to explore all aspects of this theme, including, but not limited to:

  • the limitations of inherited categorization and definition
  • race, gender, class, and dis/ability boundaries and categories
  • encounters across boundaries, through material, cultural, and social exchange
  • the categorization of the human and animal
  • national and religious boundaries and categorization
  • the role of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research
  • temporal boundaries and categories, including questions of periodization

Proposals for papers on all aspects of the medieval and early modern are also welcome.


Please send proposals to

Submissions close on 31 August 2018.

You may submit a proposal for a paper (20 minutes), a session (normally three 20 minute papers) or a strand of sessions (normally limited to four sessions). Individual paper abstracts will be anonymised for peer review.

When submitting a proposal, you will need to include the following information:

*    Name
*    Affiliation (if any)
*    Preferred email
*    Is this a proposal for a paper/session/strand?
*    Is there a day(s) of the conference on which you will NOT be able to give your paper? (The committee will work to accommodate your request.)
*    Do you have any audiovisual requirements?
*    Paper/Session/Strand Title
*    Abstract (up to 300 words)

Abstracts submitted for strands or sessions should indicate the name of the strand or session proposed. Proposals for strands should indicate the number of sessions required.

Strand and session organisers are encouraged to be mindful of the ANZAMEMS Equity and Diversity guidelines which state that “ANZAMEMS’ preference is for diversity among the speakers in an individual session or panel”. More information on Equity and Diversity at ANZAMEMS.


A PATS will precede the conference on February 4-5 2019 at the University of Sydney. Details will follow in a separate email inviting expressions of interest from postgraduates and early career researchers.


To keep up to date with full information on the conference including keynote speakers, venue, and registration details please visit the website.


The theme for the 2019 Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (ANZAMEMS) conference is Categories, Boundaries, Horizons. This offers an excellent opportunity to explore medieval and modern perceptions of the crusades and crusading, examine the implications of categories and boundaries in our field, and discuss the future horizons of the field in a series of linked panels.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Boundaries and the liminal in crusade sources
  • Categories and boundaries in scholarship (e.g. restriction, anachronism)
  • Future horizons of crusades scholarship

These sessions are organised by Megan Cassidy-Welch (University of Queensland) and Beth Spacey (University of Queensland). If you would be interested in applying to give a 20-minute paper as part of these sessions, please send a paper title and a 200-word abstract to Beth Spacey ( by 31 July 2018.

The Conference

The twelfth biennial ANZAMEMS Conference will be held in Sydney, Australia, 5-8 February 2019 at the Camperdown Campus of the University of Sydney. More information.


Proposals for 20-minute papers are invited for a panel on Music, Emotions, Medievalism to be convened at the ANZAMEMS 2019 conference, University of Sydney, 5-8 February 2019.

The panel asks: What is distinctive about musical medievalism? What can the post-medieval reception, invention, representation or ideological employment of medieval music tell us about medievalism’s desires, emotions and enjoyments that differs from, qualifies, or complements what we find in medievalist literature, art, architecture, film or gaming? What emotions come into play when music supplies the medium or the matter of medievalist creation?

For further details and to submit an abstract, please contact


Call for papers: due 17 August 2018

Identity is a cultural marker that is almost ephemeral, so hard is it to pin down in the sources. It is a
quality which varies over time, has different meanings depending on the intended audience, and an
individual can hold multiple identities. Yet in the early medieval world, a person's identity could be
readily discerned from various visual and aural markers. This session will seek to uncover how
identity was understood among early medieval communities, tribes, and kingdoms within the Celticspeaking
lands of Europe.

Proposals are invited for 20 minute papers on any aspect of Celtic cultural identity including, but not
limited to:

  • Etymology, Categorisation, and the description of identity in the early medieval period
  • The changing nature of cultural boundaries and horizons over time
  • Modes of change for cultural and/or personal identity across time and space
  • The individual within society: definitions of self
  • How did individuals change their identity: war, migration, conversion, marriage and death
  • How were strangers identified in the context of pilgrimage, mercantile travel, or war
  • The limitations of modern categories of cultural identification
  • The role of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research

Please note that depending on the number of papers received and breadth of topics there may be
the opportunity for a second panel.

Please email your completed proposal to:

Erica Steiner (University of Sydney) at ( by 17 August 2018

Please include the following information:

  • Name
  • Affiliation (independent scholars welcome)
  • Email
  • Day or days of the conference on which you will NOT be able to give your paper?
  • Audio-visual requirements
  • Abstract (up to 300 words)

This panel will convene at the ANZAMEMS conference on 5-8 February 2019 at the University of
Sydney, Australia. Please visit the conference website for any further conference information.


Call for papers: due 3 August 2018

Scandinavian migration and settlement in the British Isles and Ireland in the early Viking Age effected significant cultural and social change among communities as cultures interacted, assimilated and, at times, rejected one-another. For scholars, categorising the resultant cultural groups has proved contentious, with a proliferation of overlapping terms such as ‘Anglo-Dane,’ ‘Anglo-Scandinavian', ‘Hiberno-Norse,’ ‘viking,’ ‘Norse,’ and ‘Dane,’ used interchangeably as ethnic identifiers. Contemporary sources, in contrast, do not clearly ascribe identity to ethnicity, but rather by cultural origin or religion. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, for example, primarily refers to those of a Scandinavian cultural identity simply as Dene [Dane] or, at times when interactions were hostile, as hæðene [heathen]. Which gives rise to the question: how was cultural identity perceived in the Early Medieval Anglo-Scandinavian world and to what degree was self-identity associated with ethnicity, religion, or language?

Proposals are invited for 20 minute papers on any aspect of Anglo-Scandinavian cultural identity
including, but not limited to:

  • Migration and the inter-cultural exchange of ideas
  • Religious identity and Christianisation
  • Linguistic identity and cross-cultural communication
  • Characterisations of the foreign in saga literature
  • The utility of modern categories of cultural identification

Please note that depending on the number of papers received and breadth of topics there may be the opportunity for a second panel: Religious Identity in the Anglo-Scandinavian World.

Please email your completed proposal to Matthew Firth ( by 3 August 2018.

Please include the following information:

  • Name
  • Affiliation (independent scholars welcome)
  • Email
  • Day or days of the conference on which you will NOT be able to give your paper?
  • Audio-visual requirements
  • Abstract (up to 300 words)

This panel will convene at the ANZAMEMS conference on 5-8 February 2019 at the University of Sydney, Australia. Please visit the conference website for any further conference information and for the ANZAMEMS Equity and Diversity guidelines.


The 2019 conference of the Medieval Association of the Pacific will be held 6-9 February at the Phoenix-Scottdale Embassy Suites Hotel. This year’s meeting will be hosted jointly by MAP and the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (ACMRS).

The program committee welcomes submissions on any topic related to the study and teaching of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. We particularly encourage proposals for papers or panels that focus on the conference theme: “Magic, Religion, and Science in the Global Middle Ages and Renaissance.”

Proposals accepted on a rolling basis until 1 November 2018

Registration Information:

The registration fee is $200; the graduate student rate is $100. The first 20 graduate students to register with accepted paper proposals will have their registration fees waived. To be eligible, students must be current members of MAP.

Refunds for registration fees (less $20 handling charge) are made up until two weeks prior to the start date of the conference. No refunds are made after that date.

For more detailed information, see the ACMRS website or send an email inquiry to

Pre-Conference Professionalization Workshop:

Speak with interdisciplinary experts about how to market yourself, make connections, and deliver a polished presentation at an upcoming conference or professional venue. We especially encourage graduate students, junior faculty, advanced undergraduates, and anyone interested in making a strong impression, networking, and presenting your work to attend and bring your most burning professionalization questions. The workshop will be held on the afternoon of Wednesday, February 6, and participation will be limited to the first 25 individuals to register. Registration is free.

Pre-Conference Manuscript Workshop:

ACMRS will host a workshop on manuscript studies led by Dr Timothy Graham, Director of the Institute for Medieval Studies at the University of New Mexico. The workshop will be held on the afternoon of Wednesday, February 6, and participation will be limited to the first 25 individuals to register. The cost of the workshop is $50 ($25 for students) and is in addition to the regular conference registration fee.

The Beowulf Project by Chris Vinsonhaler:

Professor Chris Vinsonhaler, City University of New York, presents Beowulf: the Grendel episode, a new translation which gives its audience a darkly comic experience that is both heroic and ironic.

Conference Publication:

Selected papers focused on “Magic, Religion, and Science in the Global Middle Ages and Renaissance” will be considered for publication in the conference volume of the Arizona Studies in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance series, published by Brepols Publishers (Belgium).


Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis until midnight, Mountain Standard Time on November 1, 2018. Responses will be given within a week of submission. Please submit an abstract of 250 words and a brief CV to Proposals must include audio/visual requirements and any other special requests; late requests may not be accommodated. Full panel submissions are welcomed.

Selection Committee:

Ayanna Thompson, Director of ACMRS, Arizona State University
John Ott, President of MAP, Portland StateUniversity
Susan J. Dudash, Assistant Director of ACMRS, Arizona State University
Anthony Perron, Secretary of MAP, Loyola Marymount University
Ryan Kashanipour, Conference Volume Editor, Northern Arizona University

MAP Membership:

MAP members are encouraged to renew their memberships before attending the conference.Graduate students and independent scholars wishing to be eligible for registration subventions or MAP’s prizes must be currently registered members of the organization. Membership costs are $35 for regular members and $15 for students. In order to renew, please visit the MAP website. If you have questions about membership or would like to ask whether your dues have been paid, please contact the MAP treasurer, Edward Schoolman at


Deadline: April 15 2018

Proposals are invited for a two-day international symposium coinciding with the launch of the digital platform “Early Modern Songscapes” to be held 8-9 February 2019 at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies in Toronto, Canada.

We invite contributions from scholars of music, literature, theater, and digital humanities interested in “intermedia” approaches to sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English song and its performance—that is, methodologies that foreground points of connection between music, lyric, and performance, and their presentations and transformations across different media. Proposals could outline new ways of conceiving of song’s media and performance history, discuss formats or methodologies for curating song, reflect upon book history and media studies as they pertain to song, or consider the role of the digital humanities in scholarship on early modern song. The conference will incorporate a range of formats, including traditional paper sessions, roundtable discussions, and digital media presentations.Featured keynote speakers include Patricia Fumerton (Professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara), Whitney Trettien (Assistant Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania), and Amanda Eubanks Winkler (Associate Professor of Music History and Cultures at Syracuse University).

Formal presentations will be limited to 20 minutes each, and digital salon or poster session pieces may be on display for a longer period. Please indicate the desired format of your proposal and include a clear statement of its originality and significance. Proposals should not exceed 300 words and should include the following information: contributor’s full name and contact information, institutional affiliation, academic status, nationality, and any audio/visual requests.

Proposals should be sent via email in Word format by midnight EST on 15 April 2018 to the Program Committee at with the subject header “Early Modern Songscapes Proposal.”

Program Committee: Katherine Larson, University of Toronto; Scott Trudell, University of Maryland; and Sarah F. Williams, University of South Carolina.

The online platform “Early Modern Songscapes,” which will be launched at the conference in beta form, is co-developed by the University of Toronto Scarborough Library’s Digital Scholarship Unit and the University of Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities. It aims 1) to provide insight into song’s versatility in diverse textual and performance contexts; 2) to produce Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) and Music Encoding Initiative (MEI) editions of a selected corpus of early modern songs, together with audio and video recordings of those songs in performance; 3) to animate the acoustic and visual facets of early modern English song culture; and 4) to generate an interdisciplinary and collaborative hub for work on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English songs.


University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 7-9 March 2019

The 94th Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America will take place in Philadelphia on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. The meeting is jointly hosted by the Medieval Academy of America, Bryn Mawr College, Delaware Valley Medieval Association, Haverford College, St. Joseph’s University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Villanova University.

The Global Turn in Medieval Studies

Medievalists across various disciplines are taking a more geographically and methodologically global approach to the study of the Middle Ages. While the Organizing Committee invites proposals for papers on all topics and in all disciplines and periods of medieval studies, this year’s conference spotlights the “global turn” in medieval studies. To this end, we encourage session and paper proposals that treat the Middle Ages as a broad historical and cultural phenomenon, encompassing the full extent of Europe as well as the Middle East, southern and eastern Asia, Africa, and beyond.  We also invite proposals that explore departures from traditional teleological discourses rooted in national interests, ones that apply disciplinary and interdisciplinary methods to study a broad array of subjects.

We especially encourage proposals that provoke explorations of the following “big questions”:

1) Periodization and the drawing of geographic borders in medieval studies can be helpful, but can also limit our ability to make connections, see patterns, or entertain dialogue among specialists in individual sub-fields. What do we mean when we speak of the “Middle Ages” in geographic, temporal, or disciplinary terms? What do we mean when we use contemporary geographical concepts, such as Europe or Asia? What do we mean when we say “Global Middle Ages”? What is in and what is out?

2) If we are to turn away from national models, what is an alternative?  For instance, how can methodologies that highlight networks further our understanding of the “Global Middle Ages”? How might they contribute, for example, to understanding mechanisms of knowledge sharing and the development and use of religious, economic, and political systems?

3) Across all cultures in the medieval world, philosophers, theologians, scholars, healers, poets, artists, and musicians sought to understand the natural world and to apply that understanding to concrete ends. How do we make sense of their efforts? How might traditional paradigms of what we call “science,” philosophical inquiry, literary, and artistic practice be challenged?

4) Medieval studies has been at the forefront of the “digital turn” over the past few decades. How have digital approaches to scholarship altered the landscape for better or worse? In a global context, have new technologies broken barriers or created new ones? How do we create and evaluate digital scholarship in medieval studies vis à vis traditional methods?

Within the framework of these “big questions”, the organizing committee proposes the following threads:

  • Uses of the Medieval
  • Expanding Geographies of the Medieval
  • Re-thinking Periodization: Beyond Eurocentrism and Postcolonialism
  • Medieval Foundations of Contemporary Politics
  • Alexander the Great and World Thinking
  • Medieval Cosmologies
  • The Trojan Myth and Genealogies
  • What is Medieval/European/Literature?
  • Transmission and Technologies of Knowledge
  • Doing Science at Court
  • The Locations of Learning
  • Myths and Legends of Languages and Letters
  • Dante, Local and Global: Towards 2021
  • Deconstructing “National” Legal Traditions
  • Gender Matters
  • Ars/Arts: Intersections Across Disciplines and Borders
  • Global Manuscript Markets and Movements
  • Digitizing the Global Middle Ages: Practices, Sustainability, and Ethics
  • Approaches to Historiography
  • Interfaith Encounters, Real and Imagined
  • Religious and Cultural Ethics across Cultures: Conversation or Confrontation?
  • Saints and Sages
  • Words and Music


Individuals may propose a:

  • single paper for a listed thread
  • full session on a listed thread
  • single paper not designated for a specific thread
  • full session on a topic outside the listed threads
  • poster, paper, full session, or workshop that explores the role and uses of digital technologies

Sessions are 90 minutes long, and typically consist of three 20-minute papers. Proposals should be geared to that length. The committee is interested in other formats as well: poster sessions, roundtables, workshops, etc. The Program Committee may suggest a different format for some sessions after the proposals have been reviewed.

Any member of the Medieval Academy may submit a proposal; others may submit proposals as well but must become members in order to present papers at the meeting. Special consideration will be given to individuals whose field would not traditionally involve membership in the Medieval Academy.
In order to be considered, proposals must be complete and include the following:

(1) A cover sheet containing the proposer’s name, statement of Medieval Academy membership (or statement that the individual’s specialty would not traditionally involve membership in the Academy), professional status, email address, postal address, home or cell and office telephone numbers, fax number (if available), and paper title;

(2) A second sheet containing the proposer’s name, session for which the proposal should be considered, title, 250-word abstract, and audio-visual equipment requirements.

(3) Additional sheets as necessary containing all of the above information, plus a session abstract, when a full panel for a session is being proposed.

Submissions: Proposals should be submitted as attached PDFs to the MAA Program Committee by email to

The deadline is 15 June 2018.

Please do not send proposals directly to the Organizing Committee members.

Selection Procedure: Paper and panel proposals will be reviewed for their quality and for the significance and relevance of their topics. The Organizing Committee will evaluate proposals during the summer of 2018 and the Committee will inform all successful and unsuccessful proposers by 10 September 2018.

Organizing Committee Members

  • Lynn Ransom & Julia Verkholantsev, University of Pennsylvania (co-chairs)
  • Daud Ali, University of Pennsylvania
  • Chris Atwood, University of Pennsylvania
  • Kevin Brownlee, University of Pennsylvania
  • Mary Caldwell, University of Pennsylvania
  • Linda Chance, University of Pennsylvania
  • Paul M. Cobb, University of Pennsylvania
  • Catherine Conybeare, Bryn Mawr College
  • Talya Fishman, University of Pennsylvania
  • Fr. Allan Fitzgerald, Villanova University
  • Scott Francis, University of Pennsylvania
  • Nicholas Herman, University of Pennsylvania
  • Tom Izbicki, Rutgers University & Delaware Valley Medieval Association
  • Ada Kuskowski, University of Pennsylvania
  • Ann Matter, University of Pennsylvania
  • Maud McInerney, Haverford College
  • Paul Patterson, St. Joseph’s University
  • Montserrat Piera, Temple University
  • Dot Porter, University of Pennsylvania
  • Jerry Singerman, University of Pennsylvania Press
  • Emily Steiner, University of Pennsylvania
  • Eva del Soldato, University of Pennsylvania
  • Elly Truitt, Bryn Mawr College
  • David Wallace, University of Pennsylvania (ex officio as MAA president)


The Renaissance Society of America Meeting in 2019, which will take place in Toronto, 17-19 March 2019, is launching new seminar sessions.  Seminars will be a discussion of 3-6 pre-circulated papers (approx. 4000 words) dealing with the period 1300-1700 from any discipline.  Seminars are open to attendees although the assumption is that everyone will read the papers in advance.

Please see below for the seminar description that Janine Peterson (History) and Patricia Ferrer-Medina (Spanish) are convening on “Sex, Gender, and Race in the Atlantic and Mediterranean Worlds: A Comparative View”. For further information, please contact

This seminar will explore how Europeans constructed the identities of non-European and non-Christian peoples in the early modern Atlantic and Mediterranean worlds.  We invite papers that examine how Europeans racialized, sexualized, or in any way “othered” Jews and Muslims in Southern Europe, the indigenous peoples of the Americas, and the peoples of North/West Africa that they encountered in Africa in addition to those encountered as slaves when traveling to the Caribbean and Central America.  Renaissance and early modern European views of different peoples was closely connected to, and constructed by, prevailing ideas about gender and sexuality as well as notions of civilization and nature.  This panel aims to explore these conceptions comparatively by fusing European Renaissance studies to date with new Atlantic world and transatlantic scholarship.  We welcome papers that bridge the geographical and disciplinary divisions inherent in much of the literature to date of the period from 1300-1700.

Any RSA member may submit an abstract for consideration for a seminar through the standard submissions website (opening 1 July 2018). These abstracts will count as the one allotted paper submission per member for the annual conference cycle, and will be vetted by the seminar organizers. Any abstract not selected for a seminar will then be rolled over for consideration by the conference program committee, during its review of regular submissions.  The deadline for submission is 15 August.  You will be notified about acceptance by 31 August. If not accepted, your submission will be sent to general submission pool with notification about possible inclusion on another panel in September.


Call for proposals for a panel on “Friends, Neighbours, Allies: The Networks of Non-Elite Women in Early Modern Societies” at the at the 2019 meeting of the Renaissance Society of America (Toronto, 17-19 March 2019).

An ever-richer scholarship has explored the social relationships and cultural collaborations of literate and elite early modern women. This panel seeks to broaden our understanding of homosocial networks to include working, poor, and marginalized women between 1500 and 1700. Representations drawn from literary texts, visual imagery, and archival sources are welcome. Themes of interest might include: the role of gender in female same-sex relationships; relationships between peers or across social categories, such as mistress and servant; meanings of friendship among plebeian women; emotions, especially empathy; instrumentality and collaboration; material exchanges; and coping strategies, including the illegal. Papers about a mix of geographical and cultural settings will advance discussion of similarities and differences in the homosocial networks of early modern women.

Professor Elizabeth Cohen (York University), collaborating on this CFP, will chair the panel.

Please email paper proposals, including a title and abstract of 100-150 words, as well as a one-page C.V. (300 words) to Marlee Couling by 14 July 2018. 

Contact Info:

Marlee Couling
PhD Candidate, ABD
York University
Toronto, CA

Contact Email:


The Canadian Society for Renaissance Studies / Société canadienne d’études de la Renaissance (CSRS/SCÉR) will be sponsoring up to four panels at the 2019 meeting of the Renaissance Society of America, in Toronto, 17-19 March 2019.

We invite proposals for individual papers and panels in any topic that falls within our period, from all disciplines.

Proposals must be submitted by July 10, and decisions will be made by the end of July. Any proposals that do not fit into the CSRS/SCÉR panels may be submitted to the general RSA submissions website, which closes August 15.

Anyone making a proposal must be a member of CSRS/SCÉR, and must also be a member of RSA in 2019.

Please send proposals to:

Paul Dyck
Professor of English
Canadian Mennonite University

Individual paper proposal:

  • paper title (15-word maximum)
  • abstract (150-word maximum) abstract guidelines
  • curriculum vitae (.pdf or .doc attachment)
  • PhD completion date (past or expected)
  • general discipline area (History, Art History, Literature, or other)
  • keywords
  • full name, current affiliation, and email address
  • a/v requests

Panel proposal:

  • description of the panel as a whole (maximum 150 words)
  • panel title (15-word maximum)
  • panel keywords
  • a/v requests
  • panel chair
  • general discipline area (History, Art History, Literature, or other)
  • individual paper requirements, as above


Proposals are invited for a session on Fraud, Mockery, Jest, and Cony-Catching in the Early Modern Period, to be convened at RSA 2019 conference, Toronto, 17-19 March 2019.

To what extent is a jest also a lie? Are frauds funny? Taking a cue from “mockery” as mimic, sham, and spoof, this panel is interested in the ways fraud, imposture, and deceit function as ludic entertainment – whether intentionally or as byproduct.

This panel invites submissions that consider the jocularity of fraud, counterfeit, trickery, disguise, quackery, and cozenage. Papers are welcome to explore the theme in regards to:

  • Material culture including trick objects like blow books, mock almanacs, or fraudulent copies of famous works
  • Gendered experiences of deception or artifice
  • Jestbooks, ludic ballads, mock pamphlets
  • Mountebanks, street performers, gambling games, and pick-pockets
  • Medicine, especially the preoccupation with quack physicians
  • Natural philosophy and debates pushing back against charges of superstition
  • Magic, either through a focus on prestidigitation or representations and discussions of witchcraft
  • Satire
  • Parody
  • Religious debates including displays of anti-Catholic sentiment and fears as well as fetishizations of “Popery”
  • Theatre, stagecraft, and/or anti-theatrical sentiment

Proposals should be for 20-minute papers, and should include:

  • title for the paper
  • abstract of 150 words
  • 1-page CV
  • current contact information
  • A/V requirements

Submit proposals to by 10 August, 2018. Subject line: “RSA – Fraud and Mockery.”


29-31 March 2019

Macquarie University, Sydney

The conference seeks to bring together historians, archaeologists, epigraphists and other scholars interested in the cultural ideologies that shaped the character of Seleucid rulership from its foundation to its end. The renewed interest in Seleucid studies in the past two decades, anticipated by Andreas Mehl and his Seleukos Nikator und sein Reich (1986), has certainly restored its early obscure scholarly profile as a dynasty that spiraled into decline soon after the death of its founder (E.R. Bevan, 1902, The House of Seleucus, 1.76). More recently, the appreciation and sensitivity of the Seleucids to the cultural symbols and traditions of the regions they ruled has attracted significant scholarly attention (for example, see D. Ogden, The Legend of Seleucus, 2017; K. Erickson, “Seleucus I, Zeus and Alexander,” in Every Inch a King, 2013 and id. “Apollo-Nabû: the Babylonian Policy of Antiochus I,” in Seleucid Dissolution, 2011; N. Wright, Divine Kings and Sacred Spaces, 2012; P.A. Beaulieu, “Nabû and Apollo: the Two Faces of Seleucid Religious Policy,” in Orient und Okzident in hellenistischer Zeit, 2014; P.J. Kosmin, “Seeing Double in Seleucid Babylonia,” in Patterns of the Past, 2014).

Equally, Seleucid archaeology has made huge strides, not only in the Levant, Turkey and Central Asia, but also in Syria and Mesopotamia; as the 2018 SCS “New Directions in Seleucid Archaeology” panel showcased, “Numerous surveys and excavations that have been initiated in the last 5-10 years in Iraq and the Gulf are producing great quantities of material of Seleucid date.”

We now think it is time to enrich the scholarly debate on the Seleucids by inviting voices from all disciplines studying the Seleucid phenomenon to contribute to it. Confirmed speakers (in alphabetical order) include:

Paul-Alain Beaulieu (Toronto)
Andreas Mehl (Halle-Wittenberg)
Rachel Mairs (Reading)
Daniel Ogden (Exeter)
Stefan Pfeiffer (Halle-Wittenberg)

Our aim is to initiate an interdisciplinary network of scholars interested in the Hellenistic successors and their regimes so that this conference can be repeated every two years in universities across the world and pave new lines of communication and new research agendas across disciplines. The Seleucids were proud of their mixed cultural background and therefore, to be able to appreciate them we need to expand our lenses of studying them.

Individual abstracts or thematic panels are invited to submit their abstracts to by July 29 2018.


Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC, Canada,  April 11-13 2019

IONA: Seafaring is a three-day international conference on the islands of the North Atlantic that brings together scholars of early medieval Ireland, Britain, and Scandinavia to imagine cooperative, interdisciplinary futures for the study of North Atlantic archipelagos during the early medieval period. The conference will be held at Simon Fraser University at the downtown campus in Vancouver, BC, April 11-13, 2019.

Designed less around traditional conference presentations and more as a “workspace,” IONA: Seafaring is designed to provide time and space for nascent and developing work, intellectual risk-taking, collaboration and cooperation. In addition to workshops, seminars and labs, three plenary themes with speakers and workshops will shape the conference; our tentatively slated plenary speakers are indigenous studies/medieval studies with Abraham Anghik Ruben, an artist whose work fuses Inuit story and Old Norse myth; Nicola Griffiths, award-winning novelist of Hild (2013), set in seventh-century Britain; and Elaine Treharne, the Roberta Bowman Denning Professor of Humanities, Professor of English, and Director of Stanford’s Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis whose work is in book history, text technologies and early English and Welsh literature. With its non-traditional formats and inclusive experimental approaches, IONA: Seafaring aims to forge reciprocal connections between artists and scholars in contemporary art and poetics, indigenous studies, and new media, broadening, complicating, and enriching those fields in counterpoint to academic work in early medieval North Atlantic studies. These kinds of networks between early medievalists, and between early medieval studies and other disciplines can give scholars foundations to build robust and productive new knowledge in the field and reshape its role in the contemporary academy, society, and politics.

We invite proposals for (at least) three kinds of sessions: seminars, labs, and workshops (not paper proposals at this stage). These sessions will meet for two days of the conference in order to foster extended discussion. These sessions will be designed to develop competencies and skills, enrich interdisciplinary and comparative methods, and widen geographic and temporal scope for early medievalists.

  • Seminars will take up a specific focus on an issue, question, methodology, or problem and consist of a group of around 8 to 12 scholars, sharing work on the seminar’s focus. Organizers will circulate their own CFP for their seminar (but we at IONA will help!), and choose their own participants
  • Labs will put scholars into conversation to test out new theoretical engagements, methods, or approaches. An organizer might want to assign an instrumental text beforehand or ask participants to take on a particular kind of methodological or theoretical angle to produce a collaborative learning experience and opportunities for discovery. Organizer of a lab may want to select or solicit participants with a CFP of their own
  • Workshops will be run by an expert in a particular competency - eg early medieval palaeography or critical race theory or Old Norse as a kind of bootcamp for scholars in the field. These could include active learning, a tutorial on a subject, or a masterclass in a particular skill

For all three, organizers will have complete autonomy in organizing their session, from soliciting proposals to running the seminars. For all three of these kinds of sessions, organizers may wish to ask participants to pre-circulate materials. The conference is open to other types of session proposals as well.

To propose a seminar, workshop or lab, please send a 250-word proposal to Matt Hussey ( by March 15, 2018.

The conference is subject to several grant applications, but the current plan is to make funding available to session organizers.


Proposals are invited for sessions on “From Fiber to Decorated Textiles in the Early North Atlantic: Making, Methods, and Meanings,” to be convened as part of IONA: Early Medieval Studies on the Islands of the North Atlantic. Transformative networks, skills, theories, and methods for the future of the field. The conference will be held at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 11-13 April 2019.

Textiles are a ubiquitous part of life, essentially so in eras when they had to be produced by hand. In early medieval Europe the making and use of textiles also had symbolic, metaphorical, and even allegorical meanings, in additional to the functional. We wish to spend time exploring the connections between the act of making and understanding how something is being made as well as connections among disciplines, approaches, and interpretations.

We are envisioning a series of linked sessions in which participants first learn generally about the textile-making process in the Early North Atlantic, before choosing one skill to learn more deeply, which they will then proceed to practice for the remainder of the sessions. During this final part, scholars will also present their research findings and interpretations, most likely in a modified roundtable format, culminating in a final large discussion that brings together the insights of making through practice and how this might influence interpretation.

We invite proposals of two kinds. First we seek those versed in the making of early medieval textiles and the teaching of those skills. We are specifically interested in scholars accomplished in one of the following: nalbinding, lucet braiding, tablet weaving, inkle weaving, sprang, upright loom weaving, and other fabric and fiber arts. The organizers will be instructing in the use of the hand spindle and loop stitch embroidery. We also welcome other textile skills that were employed in the early North Atlantic world. The session organizers hope to be able to provide basic materials such as yarn, needles, fabric, and thread, and may be able to help provide larger specialty equipment.

The second kind of proposal we invite is from interpreters of early medieval textiles in the North Atlantic and the methods of making them. We hope to gather an interdisciplinary group of researchers, teachers, curators, and artists working in this area to spark a dialogue about how one can practically and metaphorically come to understand any of the following:

  • textile and textile tool remains
  • literary and artistic depictions of textile-making processes
  • how gender, region, religion, or economics were part of meaning making in textiles and the how the making process was experienced by medieval people or how these categories of analysis impact our contemporary understanding
  • the role of trade and/or migration in disseminating or adapting textile making processes, decoration, and raw and finished materials
  • how access to resources impacted the making of textiles
  • methods of decorating textiles (embroidery, braid, trim, and so forth)

If one is both a maker and an interpreter, one may submit a joint proposal.

Questions may be addressed to Karen Agee (, Erika Lindgren (, or Alexandra Makin ( Please submit a 250 words proposal/abstract to Karen Agee ( by 25 July, 2018. Please use Textiles IONA in the subject line.

The full website with all the CFPs and conference information.


IONA: Early Medieval Studies on the Islands of the North Atlantic - transformative networks, skills, theories and methods for the future of the field.

Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 11-13 April 2019

Seminar organisers: Dr Pamela O'Neill and Associate Professor Jay Johnston (University of Sydney)

This seminar will draw together academics and practitioners to investigate how we experience, represent and ultimately construct history. It will consider the creative processes that are triggered when the subject is physically immersed in the landscape: archaeologists who seek to authentically reproduce artefacts and sites, historians and toponymists who travel hypothesised early routeways, folklorists who seek to replicate encounters with the otherworld, artists who create through physical immersion in landscape, religious practitioners who (re)enact pilgrimage, heritage bodies who curate historic sites, writers who publish or blog their travel experiences. This seminar aims to explore multiple questions regarding the relationship between discursive academic and creative modes of enquiry including:

* In what ways do we create historical, artistic and other narratives in response to immersion in landscape?

* In what ways do such narratives differ from those created in a disengaged, physically separate context traditionally espoused by scholarship?

* Of what value are such narratives to historians and other scholars working in the traditional mode?

* What does a close physical experience of landscape add to scholarly understanding?

* What could be the ultimate effect of a physically immersive model of scholarship being integrated into the academic endeavour?

* How do these modalities of research and exploration relate to Critical Practice (practice-based methodology)?

* What could such scholarship contribute to the understandings and experiences of the general public?

We invite expressions of interest from all who are keen to take part. Please include:

* a very short biographical statement (100 words),

* a brief explanation of your interest in the seminar

* and a suggestion for a presentation you could contribute (200 words).

Please send expressions of interest to AND by 31 July 2018.


The Sewanee Medieval Colloquium, University of the South in Sewanee, TN, 12-13 April 2019

Conference Website

The Sewanee Medieval Colloquium invites proposals for panel themes engaging with the lives and afterlives of medieval cultures for its 2019 meeting. These sub-themes address a particular aspect of our general theme, and could be the basis for either one or two panels. As a rule of thumb, panel themes should be broad enough to encourage numerous applicants, and interdisciplinary proposals are particularly encouraged. Possibilities might include the theologies of heaven, medieval ecologies, everyday life in the Middle Ages, the production of reliquaries, ordering of public space, and popular medievalism. If a panel theme is accepted, organizers will be responsible for selecting participants (from abstracts submitted through the website by October 26, 2018) and choosing a commenter (a well-established expert in the field) to respond to the papers at the panel session.

Panel theme proposals should include a description/rationale of the panel theme, a list of possible commenters (organizers may serve as commenters), and the CVs of the organizers, all submitted via e-mail to Panel proposals are due 27 July 2018. Commenters are generally established figures in the field with a significant record of publication; participants in the Colloquium are generally limited to holders of a Ph.D. and those currently in a Ph.D. program.

The Sewanee Medieval Colloquium also invites proposals for individual papers engaging with any aspect of our 2019 theme, ‘Lives and Afterlives.’ Possibilities might include the theologies of heaven, medieval ecologies, everyday life in the Middle Ages, the production of reliquaries, ordering of public space, and popular medievalism. Papers should be twenty minutes in length, and commentary is traditionally provided for each paper presented. We invite papers from all disciplines, and encourage contributions from medievalists working on any geographic area. A seminar will also seek contributions; please look for its separate CFP soon. Participants in the Colloquium are generally limited to holders of a Ph.D. and those currently in a Ph.D. program.

Please submit an abstract (approx. 250 words) and brief c.v., via our website (, no later than 26 October 2018. If you wish to propose a session, please submit abstracts and vitae for all participants in the session. Completed papers, including notes, will be due to commenters no later than 12 March 2019.

You may also propose a complete panel of either two or three papers; please submit all abstracts together, and attach all relevant CVs. Complete panel proposals will be due at the same time as our general call, 26 October 2018.


McGill University, April 13-15 2019

Conference website

“Angelical Conjunction” was the term coined by the seventeenth-century New England Puritan Cotton Mather to denote the mutual affinity of medicine and religion. Indeed, medical and spiritual practices have a long history of coexistence in many religious traditions. This connection took many forms, from the pious provision of health care (in person or through endowed charity), to the archetypal figure of the healing prophet. Yet despite decades of specialized research, a coherent and analytical history of the “angelical conjunction” itself remains elusive. This conference therefore aims to explore the connection between medicine and religion across the time-span of the late medieval and early modern eras, and& from an intercultural perspective. Taking as our focus the Mediterranean, the Islamic World and Europe, and the various Christianities, Islams and Judaisms that flourished there, we aim to develop methodological and theoretical perspectives on the “angelical conjunction(s)” of these two spheres. How did the entanglement of religion and medicine shape epistemologies in both of these spheres? What are the conceptions of the body and its relationship to the soul that these entanglements assumed or envisioned? What were the limits to coexistence? How did the “conjunction” change over time?

We invite papers on a range of themes that include, but are not limited to:

  • The relationship between spiritual charisma and medical practice
  • The involvement of medical practitioners in theological debates
  • Medicine and “fringe” religious traditions (eg Hermetic, heretical, “occult”…)
  • Representations of the healer-prophet or healer-saint in art
  • Debates on body and soul informed by medical and theological knowledge
  • Spiritualization of physical illness
  • Devotion as therapy, and (the provision of) therapy as devotion

Accommodation and meals will be provided. We are seeking grant support to subsidize travel.

Please submit an abstract of 300 words and a CV to Dr Aslıhan Gürbüzel at by January 10, 2018.


A Bloomfield Conference, English Department, Harvard University, 18-20 April 2019

In the sixteenth century reading, or at least hearing, the Word became identified with salvation. That remarkable phenomenon was coterminous with, and possibly produced by, the information technology revolution of print. In Anglo-American scholarship, the reading revolution of the Reformation remains a key platform of still vital Whig triumphalism, notably as a sign of interpretive liberty. Whether or not the Reformation was a moment of interpretive liberty, Protestant reading practice certainly produced, in time, a secular culture of reading whereby “salvation” of a (secular) kind continued to be identified with reading. It thereby produced, and legitimated, university departments of literature. The 500 years from the Reformation to the present have witnessed, in Anglo-American culture at least, the undisputed dominance of the Word, whether secular or sacred.

The second great information technology revolution, through which we are currently passing, may herald the end of that 500 year period of verbal dominance. As our own information technologies become virtual, we have witnessed at least two responses within universities: (i) a burgeoning scholarly attention, at the research level, to the material history of the book; and (ii) a heightened anxiety, at undergraduate level, concerning the ends of reading (in both related senses of “ends”). The response we have not so far witnessed with any force is to connect the extremely rich and subtle practices of pre-modern reading (practices for the most part dismissed as “allegorical”) to our contemporary predicaments.

The conference proposed here addresses both these recent responses to virtual technologies. It does so by looking to the longer, pre-modern history of reading leading up to the print revolution of early modernity. We do so driven by three persuasions: (i) that the early modern histories of the book and of reading have long pre-modern histories; (ii) that advance in the material history of the book as a scholarly field needs to be nourished by the so-far much less developed history of reading; and (iii) that genealogies of reading practice can help us orient our understanding of how we, and our undergraduates, read now.

The following adverbs and adverbial phrases serve as a by no means exhaustive shorthand to reading practices of current concern, each of which have pre-modern genealogies: postcolonially, cognitively, ethically, politically, post-imperially, as supercessionists, allegorically, tropologically, anagogically, literally, formally, closely, distantly, materially, philologically, suspiciously, critically, trustingly, performatively, interlingually, deeply, pleasurably, lovingly, privately, collectively (say). For this conference we invite papers focused on pre-modern practices that bear upon issues of contemporary scholarly reading and pedagogy. Our principal geographical and historical focus will be the British Isles, 7-16 centuries.

We aim to mount this conference in Spring Term (April 18-20, 2019). The following speakers have kindly agreed to offer plenary papers: Katherine O’Brien O’Keeffe (Bloomfield Lecture); Suzanne Akbari; Amy Appleford; and Catherine Sanok. We would be able to subsidize speakers and graduate student attendees with vouchers for on-site and some travel expenses.

Proposals for 20-minute papers are welcome. Please submit proposals to James Simpson ( by Friday 28 September.


The 54th International Congress on Medieval Studies takes place 9-12 May 2019 at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo.


CFP for session Roundtable at Kalamazoo/International Congress on Medieval Studies, 9-12 May 2019, Western Michigan University: Father Chaucer and the Critics: The Problems of Chaucerian Biography in the 21st Century.

Organisers: Sarah Baechle and Carissa Harris

Please send a one-page abstract to and by 15 September 2018.

The 1380 document, enrolled in the Chancery by Cecily Chaumpaigne and releasing Geoffrey Chaucer from all charges “de raptu meo” [relating to my rape], has long been a thorn in the side of Chaucer scholars looking for ways to explain Chaucer’s actions. Chaucer has been imagined to have perpetrated various lesser offenses, including the termination of a love affair, an ill-advised youthful seduction, or an attempt to remedy “the heat of passion or exasperation [in which] he may indeed have raped her” (Howard, Chaucer: His Life, His Work, His World 319). Chaucer’s oeuvre poses similar challenges: scholarship on the Reeve’s Tale seeks ways to understand the clerks John and Aleyn’s actions toward the Miller’s wife and daughter outside the rubric of sexual violence, while the antisemitism of the Prioress’ Tale is varyingly blamed on other figures—The Prioress, Chaucer’s fictional pilgrim self—rather than the author, or even removed from conversation altogether as anachronism (Blurton and Johnson, The Critics and the Prioress 4).

This roundtable seeks to interrogate the ways in which current scholarship responds to ethical difficulties in Chaucer’s life records and in his literature. We invite short five-to-seven-minute talks investigating the areas in which Chaucer scholarship continues to fear to (metaphorically) tread.  Panelists might consider new or unexpected biographical details or Chaucerian attitudes which scholars continue to excuse; they can explore the rhetorical strategies that scholarship uses to deflect unsavory interpretations of Chaucer and his life records; or they might read Chaucer’s biographical shortcomings alongside the complexities of his controversial texts. We particularly welcome talks which address the assumptions about Chaucer, the canon, and authorship that attempt to reinscribe the poet as a figure above reproach; talks considering what modern readers imagine to be at stake in calling Chaucer a rapist, a racist, or an anti-Semite; and talks which take intersectional approaches, considering the problems of Chaucerian racism and rape as they inform one another.

In exploring Chaucerian scholarship’s discomfort with the Chaumpaigne release and the Prioress’ Tale’s antisemitism, this panel extends the work of scholars like Susan Morrison, Heather Blurton, and Hannah Johnson. We seek to respond to and advance their efforts to suggest new interventions in Chaucer criticism that accommodate a more complex picture of the poet and his work.


To encourage the integration of Byzantine studies within the scholarly community and medieval studies in particular, the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture seeks proposals for a Mary Jaharis Center sponsored session at the 54th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, 9-12 May 2019. We invite session proposals on any topic relevant to Byzantine studies.

Session proposals must be submitted through the Mary Jaharis Center website. The deadline for submission is May 27, 2018. Proposals should include:
**Session abstract (300 words)
**Intellectual justification for the proposed session (300 words)
**Proposed list of session participants (presenters and session presider)

Successful applicants will be notified by May 30, 2018, if their proposal has been selected for submission to the International Medieval Congress. The Mary Jaharis Center will submit the session proposal to the Congress and will keep the potential organizer informed about the status of the proposal.

The session organizer may act as the presider or present a paper. The session organizer will be responsible for writing the Call for Papers. The CFP must be approved by the Mary Jaharis Center. Session participants will be chosen by the session organizer and the Mary Jaharis Center.

If the proposed session is approved, the Mary Jaharis Center will reimburse up to 5 session participants (presenters and presider) up to $600 maximum for North American residents and up to $1200 maximum for those coming abroad. Session organizers and co-organizers should plan to participate in the panel as either a participant or a presider. Funding is through reimbursement only; advance funding cannot be provided. Eligible expenses include conference registration, transportation, and food and lodging. Receipts are required for reimbursement.

Please contact Brandie Ratliff (, Director, Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture with any questions. Further information about the International Congress on Medieval Studies.


The Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship (SMFS) is (co-)sponsoring six panels at the 2019 International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 9-12 May 2019. Details of individual panels and organisers follow.

1. Complicit: White Women and the Project of Empire

Women in medieval texts are often read as oppressed, powerless, and without agency. This panel asks how our readings of women, such as Constance in Chaucer’s Man of Law’s Tale or the Princess of Tars from The King of Tars, change when we view these women as not simply acted upon, but as complicit in the scenes of conversion and imperial power that dominate these narratives. This panel seeks papers that move beyond reading women in narratives of imperial dominance as solely victims of patriarchal structures of power, and asks what it means to recognize complicity with the project of empire alongside patriarchal oppression. The goal of this panel is to offer intersectional analyses of the project of patriarchy alongside the project of empire through a reexamination of how we define and understand women’s agency.

Send abstracts, Participant Information Form, and other inquiries to Shyama Rajendran (

2. Dysphoric Pedagogies: Teaching About Transgender and Intersex in the Middle Ages (co-sponsored by The Teaching Association for Medieval Studies (TEAMS))

Students have long seemed curious about the non-binary and non-cisgender lives that appear in courses on pre-modern periods. This panel will offer a range of pedagogy techniques, lesson plans, assignments, reading lists, and anecdotes for those interested in enhancing how they teach about transgender and intersex in the Middle Ages. The concept of “Dysphoric Pedagogies” is drawn from the DSM-5 diagnostic language that describes the experience where one’s identified or expressed gender conflicts with the gender assigned by society. Scholars will share their experiences teaching dysphoria within the art, history, and literature in an era before the DSM-5 and its various diagnoses, or the coinage of the words “transgender” or “intersex.”  How have these moments of gender diversity and conflict provoked conversations about self and society, expression and audience, nature and nurture, gender norms and non-conformity, past and present?

Send abstracts, Participant Information Form, and other inquiries to Gabrielle M.W. Bychowski (

3. Critical Approaches to Medieval Men and Masculinities

In recent decades, there has been increasing engagement in medieval studies with questions of gender, space and identity as they relate to medieval men and masculinities. From the hypermasculine heroes of romance to Abelard’s eunuch body, performative medieval masculinities both uphold and challenge the structural frameworks that define medieval culture and society. As such, an understanding of medieval masculinities and their role in shaping culture and society is vital to a full reading of masculinities in the twenty-first century. This panel invites papers which contribute to and extend scholarship on medieval men and masculinities, particularly those which explore queer and intersectional masculinities.

Send abstracts, Participant Information Form, and other inquiries to Amy Burge (

4. Girls to Women, Boys to Men: Gender in Medieval Education and Socialization

Regardless of access to formal education, children learned how to become adults in medieval society from a variety of sources. Ruth Mazo Karras’s From Boys to Men: Formations of Masculinity in Late Medieval Europe traces some of the influences and ideologies surrounding the ways medieval boys were socialized to become men, contributing to critical masculinity studies by examining the formation in addition to the manifestation of masculinity. The manifestation of medieval concepts of femininity has been extensively studied, but more attention needs to be paid to the ways in which girls were socialized to become women. This panel will expand discussions about children and childhood, gender, and education. Questions that might be raised include: How were girls trained to become women? How were girls taught to view themselves? How were they taught to view men? How were men taught to view women? What ideologies and structures played a role in the ways girls were trained or taught? How do texts reinforce or defy the dominant models of feminine training and socialization?

Organizer: Dainy Bernstein. Send abstracts, Participant Information Form, and other inquiries to

5. #MEditerraneanTOO (co-sponsored by the Association of Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies)

Neither rape culture nor women’s collective activism against sexual harassment and gender-based violence are 21st century phenomena, nor are they exclusive to the US. As a collaboration between the Association of Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies and the Society of Medieval Feminist Scholarship, this panel seeks papers that examine these topics transregionally, specifically around the multi-religious environment of the medieval Mediterranean. A range of methodologies is welcome – literary assessments of the querelle des femmes, court cases on the definition of rape, archival work on sex workers and violence, laws on forced concubinage between religious traditions, analysis of hagiographic tropes of forced marriage, etc.

Organizer: Jessica Boon. Send abstracts, Participant Information Form, and other inquiries to

6. Nasty Women: Villains, Witches, Rebels in the Middle Ages (co-sponsored by the Society for the Study of Homosexuality in the Middle Ages (SSHMA))

Recent debates in modern discourse have centered around appropriate boundaries of feminine behavior. “Nastiness” has become a by-word for a specific type of womanhood, one that pushes the boundaries of acceptable sexual agency, political power, and social hierarchies. This panel will explore the various ways in “nastiness” existed in the Middle Ages, with a particular focus on gender and sexuality. How did contemporary authors, philosophers, or courts depict or deal with subversive women? How did women conceive of their own power in terms of sexual acts, gender expression, and other forms of socially-rebellious behavior? The papers in this session will address these issues through several lenses, providing new insight in the critical discourses of queer and feminist medieval scholarship.

Send abstracts, Participant Information Form, and other inquiries to Graham Drake (


This session at the International Congress on Medieval Studies 9-12 May 2019 examines the many valences of wounds in late medieval Christianity, focusing on themes surrounding wounds and wounding both visible (corporeal and/or material) and invisible (rhetorical and allegorical). The image of the wounded body held a central place in late medieval Christian practice and material culture; the wounds of the crucified Christ were tangible reminders of his Passion and served as foci of veneration, while stigmatic saints and maimed martyrs were marked as holy by means of bodily trauma. Papers may also consider the Christian response to physical injury, in the form of saintly intervention through healing miracles and medical intervention through the establishment of hospitals and provision of care by religious orders.

Moving beyond the ample possibilities for discussion stemming from the theme of “visible” wounds in medieval Christianity, this session also encourages a broad examination of “invisible” wounds within the late medieval Christian context. Examples might range from the accusations of metaphorical violence levied against the mendicant orders by antifraternal critics, to the conceptualization of the Western Schism as a wound to the Church. By exploring wounds both “visible” and “invisible,” this session elicits the perspectives of scholars of history, art history, literature, and theology and seeks to expand conceptions of wounds and injury within a late medieval Christian framework.

Please send a brief proposal (300 words max) and a participant information form (currently available at to Hannah Wood at and Johanna Pollick at by 15 September 2018.

As per ICMS rules, any abstracts not accepted for our session will be forwarded for consideration for General Sessions.


The Material Collective is sponsoring a roundtable at the International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo 2019 (Western Michigan University, 9-12 May 2019) on 'The Middle Ages: What Does it Have to Do with Me?'

What does medieval art, culture and history have to do with my life; what is the point of knowing this stuff? Immersed in the study of the Middle Ages as we are, we may lose sight of the fact that for many people the material to which we are passionately devoted holds little to no interest. It is our hope that this roundtable discussion can produce some strategies for countering this disengagement.

As we consider how to expand access to and engagement with the field, we invite consideration of the roles identity can play in both academic and popular engagement with Medieval Studies. From its antiquarian origins to today, the field has been shaped by nationalist identities, impulses, and agendas. In more recent decades, scholarly attention to gender, racial, ethnic, religious, and sexual identities has expanded and re-shaped the field and created opportunities for multiple identifications with the past. We also wish to question this paradigm: must engagement be structured by identity?

We welcome contributions treating all aspects of fostering access to and engagement with Medieval Studies both in the classroom and beyond. This includes consideration of the way we as scholars talk about Medieval Studies—where our voices are heard and what we can be heard to say. With humanities fields under constant threat, we may also wish to consider the various publics with whom we might profitably engage. Beyond undergraduate students are the parents, administrators, and legislators whose voices sway what does and does not get taught at colleges and universities; there are also the primary and secondary school students who may enter our classrooms someday in the future.

A discussion of public engagement is also an opportunity to reconsider the way we conceive of our field. Ongoing efforts to decolonize Medieval Studies are essential to the mission of making the field accessible to a more diverse public. This includes engaging colleagues to recognize the need for change as well as the need to support medievalists marginalized by race, LGBTQ identity, or employment status.

Topics for consideration may include but not be limited to:

  • Engaging students
  • Engaging the public beyond the classroom
  • Medieval Studies and modern identities
  • Medieval Studies in the neoliberal academy
  • Promoting access to Medieval Studies
  • Role of public scholarship within the academy

Please submit abstracts of 300 words by 15 September 2018 to Rachel Dressler ( and Maeve Doyle (DOYLEMAE@EASTERNCT.EDU).


De Re Militari: The Society for Medieval Military History is seeking proposals for five sessions at the International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo 2019 (Western Michigan University, 9-12 May 2019).

De Re Militari is interested in papers on all aspects of warfare, broadly defined. Papers from the Kalamazoo sessions may be considered for publication in the Journal of Medieval Military History.

The five sessions are:

  1. Annual Journal of Medieval Military History Lecture
  2. War and Chivalry
  3. Early and High Medieval Military History
  4. Late Medieval Military History
  5. Medieval Military Technology

Proposal deadline is 15 September 2018. Proposals should be sent to Dr Valerie Eads, Department of Humanities and Sciences, School of Visual Arts, New York:


Proposals are invited for a roundtable on ‘Encountering Medieval Iconography in the Twenty-First Century: Scholarship, Social Media, and Digital Methods’, to be convened at the International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, 9-12 May, 2019.

Organizers: M. Alessia Rossi and Jessica Savage (Index of Medieval Art, Princeton University)
Sponsored by the Index of Medieval Art, Princeton University

Stemming from the launch of the new database and enhancements of search technology and social media at the Index of Medieval Art, this roundtable addresses the many ways we encounter medieval iconography in the twenty-first century. We invite proposals from emerging scholars and a variety of professionals who are teaching with, blogging about, and cataloguing medieval iconography. This discussion will touch on the different ways we consume and create information with our research, shed light on original approaches, and discover common goals.

Participants in this roundtable will give short introductions (5-7 minutes) on issues relevant to their area of specialization and participate in a discussion on how they use online resources, such as image databases, to incorporate the study of medieval iconography into their teaching, research, and public outreach. Possible questions include: What makes an online collection “teaching-friendly” and accessible for student discovery? How does social media, including Twitter, Facebook, and blogging, make medieval image collections more visible? How do these platforms broaden interest in iconography and connect users to works of art? What are the aims and impact of organizations such as, the Index, the Getty, the INHA, the Warburg, and ICONCLASS, who are working with large stores of medieval art and architecture information? How can we envisage a wider network and discussion of professional practice within this specialized area?

Please send a 250-word abstract outlining your contribution to this roundtable and a completed Participant Information Form (available via the Congress Submissions website) by 15 September 2018 to M. Alessia Rossi ( and Jessica Savage (

More information about the Congress.


Balliol College, University of Oxford, 15 June 2019

This one-day multidisciplinary conference will explore the manifold afterlives of waste paper in early modern England. Manuscript and printed sheets were frequently reused to wrap later volumes, to stiffen spines and cover the inside of bindings, to line boxes, to serve as notepaper, or (in the words of the poet Henry Fitzgeffrey) ‘to wrap Drugg’s’, ‘dry Tobacco in’, and package ‘Pippin-pyes.’ While this cycle of use has long been understood as destructive, it also speaks to a distinctly pre-modern sense of how texts might endure beyond their initial form and function. The archive of waste can help us think about the shifting fate of books across time and within distinct institutional settings, exposing a partially hidden record of the past. How should literary and textual histories incorporate these materials that were cast aside in their own moment?

We seek 15-minute papers that consider the origins, functions, and legacies of waste paper, as well as related practices of textual use, destruction, and care. Multidisciplinary approaches are particularly welcome, as are both archival and theoretical presentations.

Possible topics might include:

  • the archival discovery of waste paper;
  • the thick and multitemporal histories of waste objects;
  • the juxtaposition of waste and host texts;
  • ways in which waste unsettles linear narratives of periodization and national boundaries;
  • best practices for cataloguing and conserving fragmentary texts;
  • waste paper and the literary imagination.

With plenary papers from Kate Bennett (University of Oxford) and Whitney Trettien (University of Pennsylvania).

This conference is being organized by Megan Heffernan (DePaul University), Anna Reynolds (University of York), and Adam Smyth (University of Oxford).

Please send an abstract (with title) of approximately 200 words and a brief CV to, by 1 October 2018. Papers will be 15 minutes.


Conference Website

The twenty-sixth International Medieval Congress will take place in Leeds from 1-4 July 2019.


Proposals are invited for sessions on The Body and the Text: Medical Humanities and Medieval Literature, c. 1150 – 1550, to be convened at the Leeds International Medieval Congress, 1-4 July 2019.

Recent years have witnessed a surge in scholarship in the field of the Medical Humanities. In considering medicine in its cultural and social contexts, the Medical Humanities has symbolised a ‘paradigm shift away from what might be called medical reductionism to medical holism, where patients are not reduced to diseases and bodies but rather are seen as whole persons in contexts and in relations’ (Cole et al, 2015:8). In seeking to merge disciplines and foster interactive dialogues, this area of research is inherently inclusive, dynamic, and elastic. Furthermore, since the topics of science, medicine, physiology, religion, astrology, and magic were often discussed within the same medieval texts and contexts, the multidisciplinarity of the Medical Humanities is particularly apt for Medieval Studies.

We therefore seek to put together a session or sessions on Medieval Literature and the Medical Humanities. Our focus is global and will include proposals from two complementary directions: how are medicine, health and wellbeing represented in medieval and early modern literature? How may literary texts from this period contribute to training and practice in the Medical Humanities?

Proposals may include but are not confined to the following:
  • Representations of health and sickness in literary texts;
  • Depictions of medical knowledge, practice and practitioners in literary texts;
  • Representations of the senses and / or emotions;
  • The relationship between medicine and religion in the Middle Ages;
  • Engagement with texts (reading and listening) as a therapeutic practice in the Middle Ages;
  • A consideration of how medieval literature might contribute to training and practice in the Medical Humanities;
  • Defining the Medical Humanities in a medieval context.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be submitted to the session organisers DrAlison Williams ( and Dr Laura Kalas Williams ( by 31 August 2018.


Australian Early Medieval Association (AEMA) panel at IMC Leeds, 1-4 July 2019.

Antipodes are periphery to the European core, and recent developments in decolonization and the Global Middle Ages have contributed to understanding the inherent nature ofthe core/periphery dialectic that subsists in medieval studies. Access for antipodal scholars (however defined) to the materialities (the products, the evidence) of medieval cultures of the northern hemisphere is heavily mediated, through hegemonic and competing mechanisms of scholarship (such as the academy) as well as through non-formal means, including popular and social media.

This panel will explore the challenges arising from the study of medieval cultures and societies when the scholar is peripherally located (academically, physically, culturally, theoretically, psychologically), what this might mean for the old hegemonies of medieval studies in Northern Europe and how we even define and do ‘medieval’ into the future. Papers will consider the varied materialities that impinge on antipodal/peripheral scholars, from any relevant discipline, looking at theoretical implications and/or exemplar case studies/analyses of relevant texts/objects/institutions.

Submissions may address one or more of the following sub-themes:
(i) the nature and impact of skewed or constrained access to the materials of medieval studies due to peripheral/antipodal location.
(ii) regimes of circulation and consumption and the links, networks, and systems that underpin or undermine material access for the antipodal/peripheral scholar.
(iii) power, hegemony and post-colonial perspectives on global scholarship.
(iv) the impact of materialities on memory, and how selective, skewed or constrained access to these shape/skew an antipodal/peripheral view of the past.
(v) the impact of antipodal/peripheral displacement on textual scholarship, considered in itself or in comparison with other types of medieval materialities.

Please send submissions to Roderick McDonald by Monday 10 September 2018.


9-12 July 2019, Roma Tre University

Convenors: Professor Maria Del Sapio Garbero and Professor Maddalena Pennacchia

ESRA 2019 will have a special focus on processes of remapping, with consequences for early modern discourses on borders, nations, territories, the world. It will prompt discussions of the place held by such processes in the culture of the period, but it will also foreground the various ways in which they are relevant for current preoccupations and concerns.

As we know, early modern European geography was shattered by a series of disruptive events which resulted not just in a remapping of borders, nations, and world, but had a bearing in problematizing the very notion of space and the place human beings held in a changing order of the universe. Discoveries of new lands and new perimeters, originating from a thirst for knowledge, political ambition, wars, not to mention wars of religion and the reshuffled and transversal geographies designed by faith in post-Reformation Europe, were such as to redefine the sense of belonging, physically as well as mentally, and spiritually.

Questions related to this topic are at the core of Shakespeare’s figurations of multifaceted physical and mental landscapes. And the geographical turn of the past few decades has made us aware of the wide range of thematic, ideological, and theoretical issues related to it.

Our European contemporary geography, constantly redefined by new walls as well as the trespassing movement of massive flows of migrant human beings, invites us to interrogate anew the heuristic and ethical potential of that turn; it also encourages us to bring to the fore and reassess the pervasiveness and problematics of the experience of exile, displacement and dispossession in Shakespearean drama. Thus the topic should be found engaging and compelling by the ESRA community, now that our geopolitics and sense of belonging are being challenged and readjusted, daily, by the crises of human mobility.

All in all the chosen topic should provide ample scope for epistemological approaches as well as for discovering new proximities with the Souths of the world and between Northern and Mediterranean seas, daily crossed and redesigned by thousands of stories of outcasts and shipwrecks.

The topic should also be useful for discovering new contiguities between past and present. Ancient Rome, with its expanded geography, looms large on Shakespeare’s imagination. Rome was a world-wide stage on which to projectthe performances of the Elizabethans’ growing imperial ambitions, in a logic oftranslatio imperii, or of “cultural mobility” in the terms it is being re-conceptualized nowadays.But Rome was also a global stage on which to address issues as crucial as centre, periphery, edges, borders, landmarks, elsewheres, otherness, hybridity, cross-cultural encounters and dynamics.

Thus the topic suits productively the variety of Shakespeare’s geographies as well as the chosen Roman venue.

Potential topics to be addressed may include (but are not limited to):

  1. Geographies of exclusion: centre and peripheries
  2. Narratives of migration and exile
  3. Cartographies of gender and race
  4. Vagrancy and hospitality
  5. Walls and border-crossings
  6. Europe and global Souths
  7. Wilderness, exoticism and liminal places
  8. Translation as geography
  9. Translating and re-translating Shakespeare
  10. Shakespearean migrations across media
  11. Displacing performance
  12. Conflicting geographies of the soul
  13. Geographies of the sacred
  14. Explorations and geographies of the self
  15. Wars of religions and reconfigured geographies
  16. Digital remappings of Shakespeare
  17. Mobile Shakespeare across genres
  18. Circulating books and translation
  19. Universal libraries and local libraries
  20. Translatio Imperii and Cultural Mobility
  21. World and National Shakespeares
  22. Sea-routes and cultural encounters
  23. Shipwrecked identities
  24. Local Shakespeare in performance in the digital space

Members of ESRA are invited to propose a panel and/or a seminar that they would be interested in convening. Proposals of 350-400 words (stating topic, relevance and approach) should be submitted by a panel convenor with the names of the participants (no more than four speakers); as for the seminars, we expect proposals of 250-300 words by 2 or 3 potential convenors from different countries for each seminar.

Please submit proposals by 31 May 2018 via the dedicated platform on the website of the Conference. Address available from the first week of February.

The conference organisers and the Board of ESRA will confirm their final choice of panels and seminars by the first week of July 2018. All convenors will be personally informed of the choices made and the list of seminars will be made available on the ESRA and the Conference websites.

Organising and advisory committee, ESRA 2019

Professor Maria Del Sapio Garbero (convenor) (Roma Tre University)
Professor Maddalena Pennacchia (convenor) (Roma Tre University)
Professor Maurizio Calbi (University of Palermo)
Dr Lisanna Calvi (conference secretary) (University of Verona)


The Durham Early Modern Studies Conference 2019 will be held at Durham University, Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies on 22-24 July 2019.

An interdisciplinary conference on the early modern period is well established at Durham, first as a biennial conference on The Seventeenth-Century, and more recently as a broader Early Modern event. The 2019 Durham Early Modern Studies Conference aims to build on this tradition, establishing an annual conference which will offer a broad and inclusive interdisciplinary forum for the discussion of the period c.1450 to c.1800.

We welcome proposals for panels, strands and seminars from scholars interested in any aspect of the early modern period.

Deadline for submissions: 30 September 2018.


Call for Panel Proposals:

We welcome proposals both for Panels comprising three or four 20-minute papers.

Panel proposals should comprise:

  • A cover sheet, detailing the title of the panel, a short summary of its scope and purpose (no more than 200 words), the names of the participants, and the name and e-mail address of the panel organizer (who will be the contact with the conference committee)
  • A 200 word synopsis of each of the three/four papers
  • Short cvs (one page) of the 3/4 presenters, the panel chair and the commentator (the chair and commentator may be the same person)

The conference committee encourages panels which include papers from participants at a range of career stages. We are open to the submission of panel proposals including papers not in English, but encourage organisers to contact the Conference Committee first. Panel discussions will be in English.

Call for Strand Proposals:

The Conference Committee encourages the submission of proposals of ‘strands’ of between three and six panels, which would then be scheduled to run through the conference.

Strand proposals should include a short rationale for the ‘strand’ and the name and contact details of the organiser, together with the panel proposals as detailed above.

Call for ‘Seminar’ Proposals:

Seminars will be two-hour sessions, including anything from six to twelve ‘participants’. Each ‘participant’ will write a paper (3,000–3,500 words, excluding references), which will be circulated in advance. ‘Participants’ will be expected to read all the papers in advance. The first 1–1.5 hours of the seminar will then consist of a moderated discussion by the ‘participants’. The seminars will also be open to ‘auditors’ from the conference delegates, who will be able to ask questions and join in the discussion for the latter part of the seminar.

Outline Seminar proposals should comprise:

  • The names and brief cvs (one page) of the seminar organisers. There may be up to three organisers, one of whom should be identified as the point of contact for correspondence
  • The rationale for the seminar (maximum 300 words)
  • Titles, 200-word synopses and brief author cvs for a minimum of three papers to be presented at the seminar (conference organisers may present papers, but do not have to do so)

The chair and details of further papers/participants (a minimum of six and a maximum of twelve) can by supplied following notification of the acceptance of the seminar for the Conference Programme. The deadline for the submission of the full list of papers and participants will be 30 November. Between 30 September and 30 November details of all seminars accepted for the Conference will be posted on the Conference website, with an invitation to submit proposals for papers to the seminar organiser(s).


Proposals for panels, strands and seminars should be submitted by 30 September 2018 to

Replies to all submissions will be circulated by the middle of October 2018. Details of the process for the submission of full seminar proposals will be circulated at the same time.

Further Information:

Visit the dedicated conference page.

Academic enquiries to:


Lisbon, 23-25 July 2019

The (re)emergence of populism(s), the increase in hate speech, and the resurgence of ethnic and religious violence and xenophobia—in what Pankaj Mishra has called “the age of anger”—all evince a complex web of relations and gestures toward the Other, which call the project of modernity into question.

In the face of this resurgent social, political, and religious instability, as well as the impending threat of ecological catastrophes, it seems urgent to recuperate the “lost voices” of humanity. These lost voices belong to two different groups: those that have been buried or forgotten throughout time and those that have been marginalized or othered on the grounds of their perceived foreignness. All these voices contribute to a culture of debate and dissension against and within emerging paradigms centered on intolerance and conformity, oftentimes propelled by technological developments that elide difference and naturalize absolutist ideas about the uses and misuses of power.

Re-membering (in both senses of recalling and assembling) lost voices is a way of acknowledging and bringing them to the forefront of cultural discussions as an act of resistance and as a creative impulse. In the words of the poet Tolentino Mendonça, it entails the opportunity to be filled with awe.

Inspired by Proust’s search in À la recherche du temps perdu, and with the goal of re-membering marginal voices, the 2019 MLA International Symposium calls for paper and session proposals that place the humanities at the center of world affairs and encourage debate about the circumstances and potentialities of being in awe of the other that inhabits the self and others. This “being in awe” may produce new forms of conviviality in a world devastated by hatred, poverty, bigotry, and environmental dead ends.

Thus, in the hope that a new version of George Steiner’s “humane literacy” can come into existence, we invite humanities scholars to search for “lost voices.”

Proposals may address diverse historical periods, disciplines, texts, and practices that represent, interact with, and interrogate a wide range of models of thought.

The conference will feature the following formats:

  • panel sessions and discussions
  • paper sessions composed of 3–5 individual papers
  • roundtable conversations including 3–6 participants

We invite proposals for any of the above formats. Sessions will be ninety minutes long, including time for discussion. The conference languages will be English, Portuguese, French, and Spanish.

Paper proposals should include the paper title, a brief abstract, and the speaker’s institutional affiliation (if any).

Proposals for panels and roundtables should contain the above items as well as a session chair, abstract, and title.

Please use the MLA International Symposium’s submissions portal to submit your paper, session, or roundtable proposal(s). All submissions must be received by 21 September 2018, and participants will be notified of the outcome of the selection process by 3 December 2018.

Further information.


The Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture seeks proposals for a Mary Jaharis Center sponsored session at the 5th Forum Medieval Art, Bern, September 18–21, 2019. The biannual colloquium is organized by the Deutsche Verein für Kunstwissenschaft e.V.

The theme for the 5th Forum Medieval Art is 'Peaks, Ponti & Passages'. Bern—looking out to peaks Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau, situated at the border to the Romandy, and having a long-standing tradition in bridge-building—embodies certain notions of translations, entanglements, and interactions. The conference will highlight such themes, focusing on forms and means of exchange, infrastructure, political and religious relationships, and the concrete reflections of these connections through objects. Methodological challenges will also be paramount, such as questioning how to write a history of encounters between artists, artworks, materials, and traditions.

Many mountain regions, and especially the Alps, have a long history as sites of transfers and interferences. Today, mountains and glaciers are the locations revealing most rapidly the consequences of climate change. They raise our awareness of similar changes in the past. Mountain regions were and are traversed by several ecological networks, connecting cities, regions, and countries, as well as different cultures, languages, and artistic traditions. Mountains, with their difficult passages and bridges, structured the ways through which materials and people were in touch. Bridges were strategic targets in conduct of war, evidence of applied knowledge, expression of civic representation, and custom points—both blockades and gates to the world.

Peaks in the historiography of Art History mark moments of radical change within artistic developments, the pinnacles of artistic careers, and high moments in the encounters of different traditions. Since the unfinished project of Walter Benjamin, who obtained his PhD in Bern, the passage has also been introduced as a figure of thought in historiography. The passage describes historical layers as spatial constellations, in which works of art, everyday culture, religious ideas, definitions of periods and theories of history encounter.

We invite session proposals that fit within the Peaks, Ponti & Passages theme and are relevant to Byzantine studies. Additional information about the Forum Medieval Art.

Session proposals must be submitted through the Mary Jaharis Center website. The deadline for submission is May 30, 2018. Proposals should include:

Session abstract (500 words)
Proposed list of session participants (presenters and session chair)

Applicants will be notified of the status of their proposal by June 1, 2018. The organizer of the selected session is responsible for submitting the session proposal to the Forum by June 8, 2018.

If the proposed session is approved, the Mary Jaharis Center will reimburse will reimburse a maximum of 5 session participants (presenters and session chair) up to $300 maximum for residents of Switzerland, up to $600 maximum for EU residents, and up to $1200 maximum for those coming from outside Europe. In order to receive funding, session organizers and co-organizers must participate in the panel as either a participant or the session chair. Funding is through reimbursement only; advance funding cannot be provided. Eligible expenses include conference registration, transportation, and food and lodging. Receipts are required for reimbursement.

Please contact Brandie Ratliff (, Director, Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture with any questions.


Université Clermont Auvergne (UCA), France, 11-13 October 2019

Organizers: Professor Sophie Chiari and Dr Samuel Cuisinier-Delorme

Under the aegis of the French Shakespeare Society


  • Dr. Richard Kerridge (Bath Spa University)
  • Dr. Amanda Herbert (Folger Institute and Amherst College)
  • Pr. Tiffany Stern (Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham)
  • Dr. Tiffany J. Werth (UC Davis, University of California)

Water has been used for recreational or therapeutic purposes, shaping landscapes, cleansing bodies and spirits alike throughout the centuries. Cities such as Bath in England, Spa in Belgium, and Vichy in France, have prospered because of their spa activities. While balneology has frequently been studied in connection with classical Antiquity or with more recent times (in particular the nineteenth century, often seen as the Golden Age of spa activities), much work remains to be done regarding its significance in the early modern period. This conference will highlight the various uses of water in sixteenth-, seventeenth-, and eighteenth-century England, while exploring the tensions between those people who praised the curative virtues of waters and those who rejected them for their supposedly harmful effects.

During the Middle Ages, steam baths, whose purpose was more recreational than regenerative, flourished in many Christian cities. Yet the bad reputation of stews (dry or moist heated baths) was early established: over time they were increasingly regarded as places that facilitated prostitution and promiscuity. No wonder that, in Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, Vincentio describes how corruption will ‘boil and bubble / Till it o’er-run the stew’. After his ascension to the throne, Henry VIII came to regard public baths as places of debauchery in which infections and contaminations easily spread. When he developed syphilis, he ordered that the baths be closed down. As a result, in the Tudor era, they became synonymous with forbidden practices. Turkish baths, famed for their exoticism, were seen as privileged places for female eroticism, as is suggested in Thomas Washington’s translation of The Navigations, Peregrinations, and Travels Made in Turkey (1585). In the seventeenth century, many people feared that hot water could infuse their bodies with dangerous humours; they turned, domestically, to waterless grooming achieved by rubbing or wiping the skin. The habit of bathing became general relatively late, when public baths reopened in London at the end of the century, and only in the mid-1750s did bathing come back into fashion as a medical resource. Cold water was favoured since it was thought to be invigorating and to regulate blood circulation.

The early modern period marked a parallel shift in spa activities. What healing waters were thought to be differed according to faith: Catholics understood them ritualistically and superstitiously, Protestants pragmatically. The medical treatises of the period, meanwhile, no longer systematically described water as a sacred or sacramental element, examining instead its curative properties. Dr William Turner, a pioneer of spa medicine in England, drafted the first English-language treatise on hot springs called A Book of the Natures and Properties of the Baths in England and other baths in Germany and Italy. Published in 1562, the volume recorded the healing properties of spa waters for nearly a hundred diseases, compared Bath with spa towns on the continent, and pleaded for improvements to be undertaken in the English city. A few decades later, in 1626, Elizabeth Farrow discovered a spring in Scarborough. The publication in 1660 of Scarborough Spaw or A description of the Nature and Virtues of the Spaw at Scarbrough in Yorkshire by Dr Robert Wittie made Scarborough one of the most important spa resorts of the time. Wittie’s observations were extended in the second edition of the book (1667) in which he provides a description of the benefits of water on nerves and lungs as well as on mental health. According to him, water could even cure ‘hypochondriack melancholly and windiness’. While Bath, Bristol, and Harrogate were recognized as established spa towns, Scarborough’s reputation soared when spa treatments developed there and when sea water baths were introduced in addition to spring water ones.

Beyond their medical dimension, the social and cultural life of spa towns, frequently described in the literary productions of the early modern period, need examination. For example, at the beginning of the eighteenth century, Bath became a fashionable holiday destination for the English aristocracy and the upper middle classes. Queen Anne’s visit in 1702 and the arrival there of Richard ‘Beau’ Nash in 1704 turned Bath into the most elegant resort in Georgian England. Not only did people go to Bath for spa treatments, but also for entertainment: concerts, dances, card games and gambling thrived in this ‘curative’ city. The international ‘Baths and Spa Waters’ conference will be held in Vichy which, along with Bath and nine other European spa towns, has submitted a joint nomination for inclusion in a UNESCO World Heritage List of ‘Great Spas of Europe’. The symposium will take stock of current research on the connections between literature, culture, baths, and hydrotherapy in early modern England. We welcome a diversity of approaches and a wide variety of sources, such as pamphlets, poems and plays extolling, condemning or deriding baths, travel narratives that depict baths, and scientific treatises that either praise or criticize the curative use of water. Contributors are also invited to examine sources of information such as travel guides and conduct manuals that became popular in the eighteenth century, as well as newspapers and gazettes describing the activities and daily life in spa towns.

Please send your 500-word abstract along with a short biographical note to Sophie Chiari ( and Samuel Cuisinier-Delorme ( by 15 September 2018.

Participants will be notified in November 2018.