Twenty-second International Medieval Congress, 6-9 July 2015, Leeds
Due: 31 August 2014

If you would like to submit a session or paper proposal for the IMC 2015 complete the IMC Online Proposal Form. Please read the guidelines carefully before completing the IMC 2015 Proposal Form. Paper proposals must be submitted by 31 August 2014; session proposals must be submitted by 30 September 2014. Hard copies of the proposal forms are available on request after 16 July 2014. For forms and more info:

Biennial London Chaucer Conference: Science, Magic and Technology, 10-12 July 2015, Institute of English Studies, Senate House, London
Due: 1st September 2014

Papers are sought on all aspects of ‘Science, Magic and Technology’ in late medieval literature and culture and particularly within Chaucer studies. Approaches might include:

  •   The presentation of scientific ideas in myth and poetry
  •    Observation and naturalism in literature and art
  •    Experiment and experience in science and literature
  •    The occult sciences (astrology, magic, alchemy) and their relationship to literature
  •    Technology as magic, magic as a technology
  •    Scientific literatures and the literariness of science
  •    Epistemology and taxonomy in late medieval writing
  •    Technologies of writing, parchment making and codicology
  •    Concepts of the material and immaterial worlds, the environment, astrology, astronomy and cosmology
  •    Cartography; deep-sea and space exploration
  •    The science of the senses, optics, sound or scent
  •    The representation of medicine in literature or the literary modes of medical writing
  •    Trade technologies in literature
  •    Science, magic and technology in medievalism

Papers are welcomed on the work of Geoffrey Chaucer or, more broadly, on late medieval writing and culture.

Please send 250 word abstracts to Dr Isabel Davis; Birkbeck, University of London. by 1st September 2014.

50th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, May 14-17, 2015
Due: Various

A draft of the CFP booklet can be found here:

General submission guidelines can be found here:

Note that individual panels may have earlier proposal submission deadlines.  we recommend contacting the organizers of a panel you’re interested in ASAP.

Call For Papers for the ICMS @ Kalamazoo 2015: “Ye Nexte Generacioun: Young Scholars Look to the Next Fifty Years” (A Roundtable)
Due: September 1, 2014

In honor of the 50th Congress, this roundtable proposes to take a “state of the field” snapshot from the point of view of those who hope to see the next fifty. Scholars now starting their careers face a host of disciplinary, institutional, and technological changes. Even as fields such as queer theory and gender theory are now taking their place in the canon, they are complicated and challenged by new fields, including disability studies, temporality theory, affect theory, ecocriticism, and fan studies. Hiring practices in North America and Europe have shifted in the wake of the recession, resulting in a much-reduced job pool for those seeking tenure-track careers and a much-increased field of sessional workers. The rise of digital technologies and social media, combined with the tremendous vogue of the Digital Humanities, have both increased the possible tools available to medievalists and raised urgent questions about what to do with them.

In this moment of transition, we ask: how have our goals and questions changed? What new technologies will we use? How will we carry forward the disciplinary inheritance of the past and negotiate with the practical demands of academia today? In this roundtable, young scholars will discuss a current project of theirs as a working demonstration of their perspective on the “state of the field.” Each of our five panelists will present a paper of 8-10 minutes in length, leaving 40 minutes for group discussion. Our goal is not only to share expertise and discuss the challenges we face, but to begin fostering the communities we hope to build as our careers advance.

Please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words to Kaitlin Heller (kaitlin.heller@mail.utoronto.caby September 1, 2014, including a description of both the project you’re presenting on and the broader disciplinary shifts to which it connects. This panel is particularly targeted toward scholars in the early stages of their careers; for this reason it is appropriate also, if so desired, for abstracts to discuss how the project fits into current career status and goals.

“Networks of Transmission: Histories and Practices of Collecting Medieval Manuscripts and Documents,” Schoenberg Database of Manuscripts Sponsored Session at the 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, May 14-17, 2015
Due: September 1, 2015

This session will focus on the mapping of those networks of sale and purchase through which medieval manuscripts have been pursued and on the collectors and collecting that have catalyzed this transmission across the centuries. This session – like The Schoenberg Database of Manuscripts itself – is rooted in the belief that studying manuscripts’ provenance can have dynamic and profound effects not only on our understanding of these medieval materials as objects to be bought and sold but also on their texts through mapping their circulation and reception. We particularly welcome proposals that explore diverse topics from the role of digital technologies such as the SDBM in conducting provenance research, the relationship between institutional and private ownership of manuscripts, specific case studies of collecting practices, the transatlantic travels of medieval materials, collectors’ roles in the dispersal of libraries and the fragmentation of manuscripts, collectors and manuscript preservation, and how a manuscript’s provenance history can affect its value and collectability on the rare books market, to how collectors and the act of collecting can shape and influence interpretations of manuscript evidence.

Please send proposals with a one-page abstract and Participant Information Form <> to
Lynn Ransom ( or Alex Devine ( by *September 1, 2015*.

“Post-Conquest Religiosity”: Kalamazoo 2015
Due: September 1, 2014

How was religious practice on the frontier shaped by currents of adaptation or resistance following acts of invasion and territorial expansion? What part did liturgy, hagiography, religious art, and literature play in shaping the post-conquest narrative? These are two of the

questions we seek to explore in this session. Scholarship has long acknowledged the impact of conquest upon local practice and large-scale belief. Recently, there has been a growing interest in expanding the traditional boundaries of the medieval world by exploring existing issues related to conquest and religious change in new milieus, such as across the Atlantic. By soliciting interdisciplinary views and global perspectives, this session seeks to explore the transformation, utilization, and manipulation of religiosity and piety during and after periods ofconquest in the Middle Ages.

We are soliciting 200-250 word abstracts dealing with related topics. We hope to form a panel at the2015 International Medieval Congress at Kalamazoo drawing together scholars from different fields and perspectives to enrich the discussion of post-conquest religiosity in the Middle Ages.

Please send abstracts to Sarah L. Reeser ( or Bridget Riley (

CMAC and CLASMA at Leeds International Medieval Congress 2015
Due: September 1, 2014

University of Leeds, 6-9 July 2015

At the 2015 Leeds International Medieval Congress, Iuris canonici medii aevi consociatio (ICMAC) will co-sponsor a number of sessions with the Church, Law and Society in the Middle Ages Network (CLASMA). We would like to invite proposals for 20-minute papers to be given at the conference, preferably in English.

Proposals are welcome on any area or period of medieval canon law, including but not limited to the development of legal ideas in the middle ages, the transmission of individual legal texts or manuscripts of canonical collections, the relationship between the ‘laws’ in the medieval period, non-Latin canon law, the role of authorities such as the papacy and bishops in the creation and development of law, and the terminologies used by modern scholars to define and describe medieval law and their benefits and criticisms. As the theme for the 2015 Leeds Congress is ‘Reform and Renewal’, proposals will also be welcome for papers concerned with the relationship of canon law to reform, and the ways in which canon law and legal collections could act as vehicles for or barriers to reforming ideas and concepts.

Prospective participants are requested to send a title and short abstract (max. 200 words), along with contact details, to Danica Summerlin ( before 1 September 2014.

 The Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Twelfth annual graduate student conference, Saturday, October 11, 2014

Due: September 5, 2014

We are delighted to welcome Coppelia Kahn of Brown University as our keynote speaker.

Graduate students are invited to submit abstracts for a ten to fifteen minute paper on any range of topics or approaches to early modern literature and history, including textual studies, performance history, philosophy, print culture, religious studies, gender studies, post-colonial interpretations, and other new theoretical perspectives. The purpose of the conference is to provide graduate students with an opportunity to share their work and place it in a greater context of interests and concerns. The conference is designed to foster conversation among students who share similar challenges and construct a space where participants may expect serious feedback on their work.

Please send an abstract of 250-300 words by email or email attachment to the conference organizers, Thomas Hopper, Bil Hrusovsky, and April Genung at by Friday, September 5, 2014.

See the conference blog at more information.

“Persecution, Punishment and Purgatory in the Long Middle Ages,” 10th Annual Pearl Kibre Medieval Study Graduate Student Conference, CUNY Graduate Center, New York, NY, November 7, 2014

Due: September 5, 2014

The Pearl Kibre Medieval Study, the CUNY Graduate Center’s student-run organization for medieval studies, announces its tenth annual Graduate Student Conference at the CUNY Graduate Center on Friday, November 7, 2014. This year’s theme, Persecution, Punishment and Purgatory, is designed to address a number of methodological, historical, and theoretical issues within the diverse fields of medieval studies ranging from late antiquity to the early modern period. We invite grad students to submit proposals.

Submit a 300-word abstract by September 5th to

Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Origins and uses of persecution
  • The result of religious and ethnic pogroms
  • Forced conversions and expulsions
  • Persecution as a method of socio-cultural nation and identity formation
  • The character of legal and extra-legal punishment,
  • Punishment as a form of discipline
  • Self-inflicted punishment
  • The role of punishment in the family
  • The variations of punishment based on class, status, and gender
  • Punishment as social control
  • Concepts of the afterlife
  • The relationship between sin/punishment and the afterlife
  • Liminal spaces
  • Peripheries

CFP: Société Guilhem IX at 2015 Kalamazoo
Due: 13 September 2014

The annual meeting of our Société held at Kalamazoo in the spring of 2015 will be focusing on the power that Occitan and Occitania hold by virtue of their attraction, their mesmerizing hold on the imagination of non-scholars and scholars alike. The Association des Sites du Pays Cathares has managed to put a bit of polish on the Cathar routes and castles that had been suffering the damages of neglect. The popular novel set in Occitania and interspersed with Occitan phrases, Labrynth by Kate Mosse, was an international #1 bestseller. For the session of papers and for our roundtable let us consider the strength and power of Occitan to remain an important cultural phenomenon for those within and without troubadour studies or the academy in general.

Session of Papers: Celebrating Occitania Then and Now: Responses across Disciplines (I)

While the Cathars were persecuted in Languedoc during the Albigensian Crusade, the will to survive encouraged a resistance to power and invading forces; mandates were subverted and expectations were foiled. Subversion and resistance characterize moments in Occitanian history from the Middle Ages until today. Ermengarda of Narbonne went forth with greater force than her advisors would have imagined; as legend has it, the Cathars of Montségur refused to renounce their faith, leading to the population being burned. This panel celebrates the will of Occitania and/or its inhabitants to thrive by inviting papers that narrate and examine Occitania’s endurance as it triumphs its oppressors and the odds by refusing to let its language, cultural identity, or its sense of autonomy fade away completely. Where did agency reside or hide in the moments of crisis? Where was truth and power found in the land of heresy? How were identities constructed or inner-lives concealed in order to hang on? How did women and men use voice or silence to overcome? How did the individual negotiate when caught within conflict large or small?

Roundtable: Occitania Across the University Campus (II)

The medieval history of Occitania, the region that is now Southern France, is introduced for study in classrooms across the country. This roundtable invites teachers who introduce undergraduates and graduate students to the territories of Toulouse, Provence, Narbonne, Mataplana, the montagne noire, or the cities of Marseille, Perpignan, Carcassonne, Minerve, Montsegur, and any other spaces in Occitania. These introductions could happen in History or English courses; Art History; or Religious Studies through the study of architecture, monasticism, liturgical music or the Waldensian or Cathar Heresies. Professors may teach using historical sources from the archives or the products from archeological digs. Is troubadour lyric used to give students a sense of the period in introductory courses in history or musicology? Are any of the vast number of troubadour songs dealing with historical material used by the historian? What sources do historians use and how are they studied? How do the troubadours fit into the English Department survey courses? Does Occitania fall under the purview of the French or the Spanish Department, both?

All titles and brief abstracts between 30-200 words due Sept. 13th to:
Valerie M. Wilhite
Vice-President of the Société Guilhem IX
Assistant Professor of Modern Languages
University of the Virgin Islands

Medieval Feminists at Work: Negotiating Complicated Workspaces (A Roundtable), Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship, 50th Medieval Congress, Kalamazoo, MI, May 14-17, 2015

Due: September 15, 2014

Contact: Jennifer C. Edwards,

The academic community creates a fraught and challenging workplace, with the overlapping of working, social, and personal relationships whose boundaries are not always clear, consistent, or mutually acknowledged. Expectations for undergraduates, graduate students, adjuncts, junior and senior faculty, and administrators vary by institutional culture and across the academic lifecycle. The inherent power dynamics of the academic system–wherein faculty train students, tenured faculty evaluate and determine the fate of untenured colleagues, administrators control funds and access, and undergraduate complaints compromise adjunct careers—create a perfect environment for bullying, harassment (sexual or otherwise), and abuse, particularly when complicating factors such as race, sex, disability, and age are involved.  Anecdotally in personal communication, persistently in the forums of The Chronicle of Higher Education, in the #YesAllWomen Twitter movement, and in many other places, academic women identify themselves as vulnerable to gross manipulations of power within these dynamics. Yet, despite the increase in institutional mechanisms to deal with abuse, many female academics find it impractical, even career suicide, to complain formally about these problems. Medievalists, moreover, are often the only premodern specialist in their department, or even on campus, and so lack the community support of other fields.

This session comes out of the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship’s Political/Social Issues subcommittee.  We anticipate that the roundtable will examine complications medievalist women have encountered in the academic workplace as well as feminist methods for addressing issues and creating a safe, healthy, and functioning workspace. Thus, we seek panelists willing to share personal experiences as well as those able to speak about practical solutions and strategies. Panelists will prepare very short (5-7 minute) formal remarks, so the focus of the session can be informal discussion.

Please send a one-page (circa 300 word) description of potential talking points and a completed Congress Participant Information Form (

to by September 15, 2014.

Hortulus-sponsored session: “Pilgrimage, Exploration, and Travel,”  50th International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 14-17, 2015

Due: September 15, 2014

Papers presented in our session may also be considered for our Fall 2015 issue on the same theme.

Scholarly interest in the topic of pilgrimage spans many geographies and disciplines. Additionally, recent scholarship has revealed the significant impact of pilgrimage and travel upon medieval people of a variety of religious, social, and regional backgrounds, not just the pilgrims themselves. We invite proposals that explore the topics of pilgrimage, exploration, and travel from multidisciplinary and comparative perspectives. Some potential topics for papers might include relics, badges, clothing, and associated material culture; perceptions of space, including landscape, geography, and architecture; the economics and politics of pilgrimage; pilgrimage narratives and other literary evidence; miracles and healing; readings of pilgrimage that consider monastic vs. lay approaches, social class, and gender; local and “national” identity; sacred journey in general (not just Christian) in the pre-modern world; liturgy and ritual of pilgrimage; and failed pilgrimages.

Please send a 300-word abstract and a Participant Information Form (available here) to bySeptember 15, 2014.

“Saints, Heretics and Canon Law: Re-thinking the Significance of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215),” The International Society of Medieval Canon Law, Kalamazoo 2015
Due: September 15, 2014

The International Society of Medieval Canon Law/ Iuris Canonici Medii Aevi Consociatio (ICMAC) invites the submission of abstracts for its sponsored panel with The Hagiography Society at the 2015 Congress in Kalamazoo, MI.
Saints, Heretics and Canon Law: Re-thinking the Significance of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215)
Organizer/Contact: Kathleen G. Cushing, Keele University,
The Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 was a definitive moment in the conciliar history of the Western Church, addressing itself to a wide range of ecclesiastical business, setting out explicitly (for the first time) the sacramental requirements for the laity whilst also making normative rulings for the expansion of the Church, the conservation of Church property and rights, as well as its relations with/position on non-Catholics. Some of these rulings reiterated centuries-old provisions whilst others addressed issues that were of the products of relatively recent and more pressing concerns. On the 800th anniversary of Lateran IV, this session (co-sponsored by the Hagiography Society) invites papers that address in particular the significance of the canons on heresy and saintly relics, their legal context and implications as well as broader reconsiderations of the importance of Lateran IV in the Western legal tradition.
The complete Congress call for papers may be found here:

Please submit an abstract of no more than 200 words and a Participant Information Form by September 15, 2014, to the organizer.

“Medieval Canon Law and Social Issues” The Stephan Kuttner Institute of Medieval Canon Law, 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, May 14-17, 2015.
Due: September 15, 2014

Medieval Canon Law and Social Issues:
There was virtually no issue in medieval society that was not touched in some way by ecclesiastical law. Whether it was the church’s interest in certain life situations (family, medical issues, economic need) or the fact that ecclesiastical personnel or institutions were parties involved in a given situation, canon law found its way into every corner of society. This session will look at various issues to explore how church law and secular society existed in parallel, or sometimes at cross purposes.
Proposals for papers should be sent to Mary Sommar:

CFP for Kzoo 2015 organized by the Lydgate Society
Due: Sept 15, 2014

This session proposes to trace Lydgate’s importance as a poet of the city. Within the space between social classes and their respective expectations, Lydgate’s poetry traced the outline of London: the urban heart of England and the moral mirror of its people. Lydgate was not just a court poet, but a civic poet – a poet whose writings shaped the public sentiments of London’s people, mediated between the desires of the aristocracy and the power of the citizenry, and, in doing so, articulated the experience of London life.

However, it is not only Lydgate’s poetry itself that illuminates London life; it is also how he was read by others. We find his work compiled in many manuscripts that articulate the everyday experience of urban lay citizens, books in which Lydgate’s poetry is accompanied by instructions on stain removal, lists of London churches and steeple heights, measures of land, and other such practical memoranda. Lydgate’s poetry was meant to accompany statues in Westminster and adorn the armorers’ hall. A deep connection between Lydgate and the city emerges in the face of these examples.

This session invites papers that explore this civic side of Lydgate, or Lydgate as a poet articulating a certain sense of place more generally. Paper topics might include:

• How Lydgate’s poetry reflects or constructs an image of merchant-class life in London
• Methods Lydgate uses to bridge the gap between his wide population of London readers and the aristocracy who were his more immediate customers
• The thematic orientation of Lydgate’s poetry as it pertains to the city of London
• The codicological context of Lydgate’s poetry, and how this suggests contemporary interpretations of his work’s cultural, social and regional representations

Please send proposals of 250 words to:

Post-War Scholarship and the Study of the Middle Ages: Arendt and Curtius, Kalamazoo 2015
Due: September 15th, 2014

In anticipation of the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II, the University of California, Berkeley Program in Medieval Studies will hold two sessions at the 2015 Medieval Congress in Kalamazoo on the enduring scholarship of the Middle Ages that emerged in the postwar era:

Post-War Scholarship and the Study of the Middle Ages I: Hannah Arendt
Post-War Scholarship and the Study of the Middle Ages II: Ernst Robert Curtius

These sessions are an extension of the series we began at the last conference, with panels on Auerbach and Kantorowicz. Each session will examine one of the major intellectual figures of the period, considered in light of their own contemporary moments and their lasting influence in our own.

The first session will be dedicated to the work of Hannah Arendt and the second to Ernst Robert Curtius. Each of these scholars has contributed to our understanding of the Middle Ages and to the methodologies we use in our studies–literary, historical, philological, political. “The book of nature” and “political authority” have become commonplace concepts, which carry particular meanings precisely because of the work done by these thinkers. Their work has also helped the Middle Ages to remain in the peripheral vision of those scholars working in other and later fields. For instance, Arendt’s work on love as a foundation for community (derived from Augustine) continues to shape her reception in recent work by J. M. Bernstein, Wendy Brown, and Judith Butler. Curtius’s topoi are omnipresent. Yet despite the foundational influence that these thinkers have had in our field (and others), no panel in the history of the Medieval Congress has been dedicated to Arendt, only two panels have been dedicated to Curtius (in 1983 and 1995). Nevertheless, as citations of their work by medievalists have declined steadily since the 1980s, their ideas have become ever more ingrained in scholarly assumptions about the Middle Ages.

It is time now to revisit these ideas and directly address the intellectual contexts in which they were formed. These panels welcome papers that address any aspect of the Middle Ages in the work of either Arendt or Curtius or how their work on the Middle Ages influences later thinkers.

Please send abstracts of 500 words for either panel to Deadline: September 15th.

Medieval Celebrations, ICMS Kalamazoo 2015 Panel
Due: September 15, 2014

The people of the medieval world found plenty of reasons to celebrate and many ways to do so. They celebrated the seasons and the passage of time. They celebrated the life and resurrection of Christ and His host of saints. They celebrated kings and fools. They celebrated with formal ritual and with chaotic debauchery. This panel aims to identify the many forms of medieval celebration. Topics for presentations include but are not limited to:

  • Festivals, feasts, and food
  • Holy days and saints days
  • Forms of ritual
  • The Mass
  • Coronation
  • Baptisms, weddings, and funerals
  • Entertainment and performance
  • Agriculture and pagan vestiges
  • Markets
  • Mockery and foolery

Please submit your abstract of no more than 300 words by September 15, 2014.
Include your name and affiliation.
Papers must be 15-20 minutes in length.
Submissions should be emailed to

Renaissance Cardinals: Diplomats and Patrons in the Early-Modern World, Saint Mary’s University, London, 13-14 March 2015
Due: 15 September 2014

Enquiries and Proposals for 20 minute papers or panels of 3-4 papers should be sent or by 15 September 2014. Individual paper proposals should be no more than 300 words. Panel proposals should include abstracts of all papers (max 300 words) and a brief rationale (max 100 words) for the panel. All proposals should be accompanied by a short statement of affiliation and career. Delegates will be notified by 15 October 2014.

Fourteenth Round Table on Tudor Theatre (Centre d’Études Supérieures de la Renaissance, Université de Tours); 3-4 September 2015.
Due: 15 September 2014.

Folly’s Family, Folly’s Children (La famille, les enfants de la Folie)

Following the two preceding Round Tables on Tudor Theatre, which concerned different aspects of folly (including madness) on stage (“Folly and Politics” [September 2011], “The Discourses of Folly” [September 2013]), it is planned to conclude the programmed series of three thematically linked conferences with a study of the associations and (af)filiations of pertinent characters or aspects of the motif itself.

In certain fifteenth-century English moralities, one finds, in the staging of allegorical forms of evil (devils, sins, vices, figures of temptation) groups of figures, more or less hierarchised and more or less suggestive of lineage or family. This is the case, for instance, in The Castle of Perseverance, where the Seven Deadly Sins are grouped according to the three traditional enemies of man (the World, the Flesh and the Devil). In a superficially lighter vein, but still with deadly serious spiritual implications, the character of Mischief in Mankind takes on a quasi-paternal role as head of the band of vices, while behind him looms the very principle of evil in the form of Titivillus.

To the extent that evil in such moralities is regularly characterised as at once comic and non-sensical – contrary to divine reason – there is an obvious link, however variable and tenuous, between such elements and the discourses and behaviours associated with folly in the Tudor and Stuart theatres. That point has often been developed. But it is apparent, as well, that later stagings of folly often likewise foreground groups and affiliations. In the Tudor interludes, the Vice-function is frequently multiplied or seconded (as also in Lyndsay’s Satyre). In the later drama, folly may frankly advertise its different forms and expressions (witness Jaques’ catalogue of different types of melancholy in As You Like It), while the relations among characters who exemplify it may become an instrument of signification in itself. One thinks of the relation implied in many tragedies between the folly of various evil-doers and that of those characters who seek to avenge themselves. In the comedies, too, folly is often plural. Shakespeare shows different sorts of fools (including jesters) together; Ben Jonson gathers incarnations of various “humours”, or indeed juxtaposes exploiters and victims of folly according to an organisation quasi-familial (Volpone, The Alchemist).

We propose, then, for this fourteenth Round Table, to analyse the associations or groupings which develop around folly in the English theatre from the Middle Ages to the seventeenth century. The broad objective is to sketch out a chronological typology of the phenomenon which will shed light not only on dramaturgical practices but also on larger questions of genre, culture and ideology.

Proposals (200 words) for thirty-minute papers in English should be directed to Richard Hillman ( by 15 September 2014.

The Fifth International Spenser Society Conference: The Place of Spenser / Spenser´s Places, Dublin, 18-20 June 2015
Due: September 15, 2014

The International Spenser Society invites proposals for their next International Conference, to be held in Dublin, Ireland. The conference will address Spenser’s places – domestic, urban, global, historical, colonial, rhetorical, geopolitical, etc. – but also the place of Spenser in Renaissance studies, in the literary tradition, in Britain, in Ireland, in the literary and political cultures of his own moment.

Additionally, a series of programmed focus panels will offer opportunities for discussion of recent important initiatives and directions in Spenser studies: editing; biography; style; Ireland; philosophy and religion; teaching; and digital approaches.

We welcome abstracts from Spenser scholars and Renaissance scholars, graduate students and faculty, for papers that address Spenser´s historical, cultural and literary environments. These include the places and spaces in which he worked and the places and positions through which we approach that work.

The conference will take place in historic Dublin Castle ( in the heart of the city, with accommodation available in local hotels. It follows the success of four previous ISS conferences, at Princeton (1990), Yale (1996), Cambridge (2001), and Toronto (2006). An optional bus tour to Kilcolman castle, County Cork and other Spenser-related sites will take place June 21st.
Plenaries: Helen Cooper (University of Oxford), Jeffrey Dolven (Princeton University), Anne Fogarty (University College Dublin)
Confirmed speakers/presiders: Andrew Hadfield, Beth Quitslund, David Lee Miller, Julian Lethbridge, Ayesha Ramachandran, Joseph Loewenstein, Andrew Zurcher, David Wilson-Okamura, Patricia Palmer, Willy Maley, Susannah Brietz Monta, Kevin De Ornellas
Abstracts should be submitted directly to the conference website:
The closing date for submissions is 15 September 2014
Suggested topics might include (but are not restricted to) the following:

  • The reception of Spenser´s poetry
  • Spenser among the poets
  • Spenser and political writing
  • Digital Spenser
  • Spenser and the Sidneys
  • Spenser´s place in Renaissance studies
  • Spenser´s Europe
  • Spenser´s place in Irish studies
  • Spenser´s social networks
  • Spenser and the politics of space
  • Spenser´s imaginative spaces
  • Spenser and early modern Dublin
  • Editing Spenser
  • Spenser and early modern London
  • Spenser in Munster
  • Spenser and Shakespeare
  • Spenser and Raleigh
  • Spenser´s Atlantic world
  • Spenser, history and historiography
  • Spenser and archaeology
  • Material Spenser/Spenser´s materials
  • Structural/topomorphic approaches
  • Spenser´s style
  • Religion and philosophy
  • Spenser´s Books
  • Teaching Spenser

We also invite proposals for poster-board demonstrations of relevant digital and other projects.

Conference Organisers:
Jane Grogan (University College Dublin), Andrew King (University College Cork), Thomas Herron (East Carolina University)
Sponsored by the International Spenser Society

Playthings in Early Modernity: Party Games, Word Games, Mind Games
Due: September 15, 2014

Contributions are sought for an interdisciplinary collection of essays to be edited by Allison Levy and published by Ashgate Publishing Co. in the new book series, Cultures of Play, 1300-1700 (see; series editor Bret Rothstein). Dedicated to early modern playfulness, this series serves two purposes. First, it recounts the history of wit, humor, and games, from jokes and sermons, for instance, to backgammon and blind man’s buff. Second, in addressing its topic – ludic culture – broadly, Cultures of Play also provides a forum for reconceptualizing the play elements of early modern economic, political, religious, and social life.

Within this framework, PLAYTHINGS IN EARLY MODERNITY: PARTY GAMES, WORD GAMES, MIND GAMES emphasizes the rules of the game(s) as well as the breaking of those rules: playmates and game changers, teammates and tricksters, matchmakers and deal breakers, gamblers and grifters, scripts and ventriloquism, charades and masquerades, game pieces and pawns. Thus, a ‘plaything’ is understood as both an object and a person, and play, in early modern Europe (1300-1700), is treated not merely as a pastime, a leisurely pursuit, but also as a pivotal part of daily life, a strategic psychosocial endeavor: Why do we play games – with and upon each other as well as ourselves? Who are the winners, and who are the losers? Desirable essays will also consider the spaces of play: from the stage to the street, from the pulpit to the piazza, from the bedroom to the brothel: What happens when players go ‘out of bounds,’ or when games go ‘too far’? We seek new and innovative scholarship at the nexus of material culture/the study of objects, performance studies, and game theory. We welcome proposals from a wide range of disciplines, including gender studies, childhood studies, history, languages and literature, theater history, religious studies, the history and philosophy of science, philosophy, psychology, and the history of art and visual culture.

PLAYTHINGS IN EARLY MODERNITY: PARTY GAMES, WORD GAMES, MIND GAMES will be an illustrated volume, with individual contributors responsible for any permission and/or art acquisition fees. Final essays, of approximately 8,000 words (incl. notes), and all accompanying b&w illustrations/permissions will be due no later than January 15, 2015. For consideration, please send an abstract (max. 500 words), a preliminary list of illustrations (if applicable), and a CV to Allison Levy ( or by September 15, 2014. Notifications will be emailed by the end of September.

“Inheriting the Grail: Genealogy, Textuality, History”
Due: September 25

Special Session, 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, May 14-17, 2015

Old French Grail literature after Chrétien de Troyes’ seminal Perceval obsessively thematizes and theorizes genealogy in various interconnected forms. Late twelfth- and thirteenth-century texts like Robert de Boron’s Grail trilogy, the Vulgate (or Lancelot-Grail) Cycle, and the Perlesvaus exploit the Grail’s mysterious provenance to develop “explanatory” pseudo-historical fictions on a grand scale. In so doing, they entwine the question of the Grail’s meaning with that of its origins in a manner that also informs the texts’ reflections on human filiation and literary-historical transmission. These are processes in which the interpretation of the past and the negotiation of its relationship with the present acquire profound aesthetic and ethical stakes. They prompt interrogation of competing models of temporality, of the concepts of determinism and freedom, and of the nature and purpose of romance writing itself. Building on the recent revival of scholarly interest in these challenging but rewarding romances, this panel aims to explore genealogy’s modalities, meanings and functions in a Grail corpus highly aware of the constraints, responsibilities and creative possibilities associated with its own epigonal status. Of particular interest are the many ways, both explicit and performative, in which the texts connect their own generation and transmission and their active reception of literary predecessors to the genealogical paradigms constructed—and challenged—in their narratives of Grail history.

Please send abstracts (approx. 250-300 words) to Lucas Wood (  Deadline for submissions is Sept. 25, but prospective panelists are encouraged to submit abstracts as soon as possible.

Gender and Medieval Studies Conference 2015: ‘Gender, Dirt and Taboo’, 7-9 January 2015, Bangor University
Due: 30 September 2014

‘to embrace a woman is to embrace a sack of manure’ Odo of Cluny

The Middle Ages are synonymous with dirt – bodily, spiritual, linguistic and literary. People lived in closer proximity to the material reality of filth: privies, animal waste, the midden, and while walking city streets. Keeping one’s body and clothes uncontaminated by filth would have represented a challenge. The Church took great pains to warn about the polluting effect of sin, and the literal and metaphorical stains that it could leave upon body and soul. The Middle Ages remains (in)famous, to some, due to the perception that its comedy is simply ‘latrine humour.’ Women, with their leaky and pollutant bodies, lie at the heart of the medieval materiality of filth. Throughout her life course, a woman engaged with dirt; in bearing children, caring for the sick, working within the household and outside of the home, listening to sermons in church and to literature in a variety of contexts. In the misogynist discourse of Churchmen such as Odo of Cluny, woman was little more than dirt herself. Odo of Cluny did not acknowledge that manure is, of course, essential to healthy new growth.

We welcome abstracts from postgraduates and colleagues on all aspects of gender, dirt and taboo and from a broad range of disciplines, including history, archaeology, book history, literature, art history, music, theology and medicine.

Papers are particularly welcome on, but are not limited to:

  • The language of dirt
  • Dirt in texts/‘dirty’ texts
  • Landscapes of dirt
  • Bodily dirt
  • Dramatising dirt
  • Dirt and spirituality
  • Dirt and sexuality
  • Controlling/cleansing dirt
  • The comedy of dirt
  • The science of dirt

Please send abstracts of 200-300 words, for papers lasting 20 minutes, no later than 30 September 2014 to Dr Sue Niebrzydowski (School of English, Bangor University),, for consideration. Please also include your research area, institution and level of study in your abstract. It is hoped that The Kate Westoby Fund will be able to offer a modest contribution (but not the full costs) towards as many student travel expenses as possible.

Contemporaneity: Historical Presence in Visual Culture Issue 4 Seeks Pre-Modern Scholarship
Due: 30 September 2014

Contemporaneity: Historical Presence in Visual Culture aims to explore how the complexities of being in time find visual form. Crucial to this undertaking is accounting for how, from prehistory to the present, cultures around the world conceive of and construct their present and the concept of presentness visually. Through scholarly writings from a number of academic disciplines in the humanities, together with contributions from artists and filmmakers, Contemporaneity maps the diverse ways in which cultures use visual means to record, define, and interrogate their historical context and presence in time.

For the full CFP see:

Early Modern Women: It’s About Time
Due: September 30, 2014

June 18-20, 2015     Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Taking as its inspiration the fact that 2015 marks the 25th anniversary of the first Attending to Early Modern Women conference, the ninth conference, “It’s About Time,”  will focus on time and its passing, allowing us to archive our achievements, reflect on the humanities in the world today, and shape future directions in scholarship and teaching. The conference will be held at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Continuing Education in the heart of downtown Milwaukee, within easy walking distance of the lakeshore, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Milwaukee Public Museum, and the Amtrak station. Conference attendees will stay in the near-by and newly renovated Doubletree Hotel. Attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in a special pre-conference seminar on Wednesday June 17 at the Center for Renaissance Studies at the Newberry Library in Chicago. The conference will retain its innovative format, using a workshop model for most of its sessions to promote dialogue, augmented by a plenary session on each of the four conference topics: taxonomies of time, commemoration, temporalities, and pedagogies.

A detailed description of the conference and the call for proposals is now available at:

Proposals for workshops that address the conference themes may now be submitted, to Deadline: September 30, 2014.

Translatio sententiae: Proverbs in Motion in the Pre-modern World
Due: October 1, 2014

March 6-7, 2015; Barnard College, New York City

The Early Proverb Society, with support from the Center for Translation Studies at Barnard College, invites submissions for papers to be delivered at its first dedicated conference. Papers are welcome on any aspect of the proverb from any part of the world prior to 1800 C.E., but we are especially interested in studies related to the conference theme of translatio sententiae.

Although the proverb is often considered a static verbal icon, it functioned, nevertheless, as a flexible mode by which wisdom and knowledge moved around the pre-modern world. For instance, in the simplest sense of translation, versions of the “same” proverb appear in Latin and in one or more vernacular languages. Linguistic translation frequently included significant elements of cultural transference as well: for example, between the religious and secular spheres, between socio-political classes, and, of course, between different regional speech communities. Proverbs transferred knowledge across time, from one generation to the next. And, perhaps more than any other type of verbal artefact, pre-modern proverbs translated between the literate and non-literate worlds, being equally at home in both.

Please submit abstracts (250-word max.) on these or related paroemiological topics by October 1, 2014 to Dr. Laurie Postlewate.

‘Breaking the Rules: Cultural Reflections on Political, Religious and Aesthetic Transgressions’
Due: October 15, 2014

The Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS) is organising its third biannual international graduate conference set to take place at Leiden University on January 29-30, 2015, Leiden, the Netherlands. The conference, entitled ‘Breaking the Rules: Cultural Reflections on Political, Religious and Aesthetic Transgressions’, will focus on the wide range of cultural responses to the violation of laws, traditions and conventions in the political, religious and aesthetic domain.

The graduate conference aims to bring together graduate students from all over the world to present their research. The LUCAS conference welcomes papers from all disciplines within the humanities. The topic of your proposal may address the concept of rule breaking/transgression from a cultural, historical, classical, artistic, literary, cinematic, political, economic, religious or social viewpoint. For a more detailed conference description, consult the conference’s website:


The organising committee has invited two internationally renowned senior academics from different disciplines (Lorraine Daston, Professor and Executive Director of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG) in Berlin; and Barbara H. Rosenwein, Professor of History at Loyola University Chicago) to act as keynote speakers, participate in the discussions and provide feedback to the papers presented at the conference.

Please send your proposal (max. 300 words) to present a 20-minute paper along with a brief bio (150 words) before 15 October, 2014 to will be notified whether or not your paper has been selected by 1 November, 2014. Should you have any question regarding the conference and/or the proposal, please do not hesitate to contact the organizing committee at the same email address.

A selection of papers will be published as conference proceedings in the Journal of the LUCAS Graduate Conference For those who attend the conference, there will be a registration fee of €50 to cover the costs of lunches, coffee breaks, excursions and other conference materials. Unfortunately we cannot offer financial support for travel or accommodation expenses.

The Tenth Annual Marco Manuscript Workshop, University of Tennessee in Knoxville
Due:  October 15, 2014

The Tenth Annual Marco Manuscript Workshop will be held Friday and Saturday, Feb. 6-7, at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. This year’s workshop is organized by Professor Thomas Burman (History) and Ph.D. candidates Scott Bevill and Teresa Hooper (English).

William Sherman closed his 2008 Used Books with the following question: “Are books from the past precious relics, in which marginalia are dirt or desecration, or are they inanimate objects (like pots or arrowheads) that are only brought to life by traces of the human hands and minds that used them?” This year’s workshop seeks to address this question by highlighting not only studies of marginalia but also erasures, lacunae, palimpsests, and the transformative processes of rebinding and repurposing. After fires, water, rats, cats, early modern editors, contemporary censors, later bookbinders, and other disasters have damaged manuscripts, we nevertheless discover that we can learn much from what is missing from or added to a manuscript. The life of these books may be found not only through the text written on the page, but also scribbled in the margins, erased between the lines, pasted within the bindings, glossed on the endpapers, or folded into the quires. What do we see when we look in the gaps? How can we develop new ways to explore the rich textual interplay of imperfect manuscripts? What meaning and value can we recover from cases of dirt and desecration? We welcome proposals on any aspect of this topic, broadly imagined, from late antiquity to the boundary of the modern era.

The workshop is open to scholars and students at any rank and in any field who are engaged in textual editing, manuscript studies, or epigraphy. Individual 75-minute sessions will be devoted to each project; participants will be asked to introduce their text and its context, discuss their approach to working with their material, and exchange ideas and information with other participants. As in previous years, the workshop is intended to be more a class than a conference; participants are encouraged to share new discoveries and unfinished work, to discuss both their successes and frustrations, to offer both practical advice and theoretical insights, and to work together towards developing better professional skills for textual and codicological work. We particularly invite the presentation of works in progress, unusual manuscript problems, practical difficulties, and new or experimental models for studying or representing manuscript texts.

Presenters will receive a stipend of $500 for their participation.

The deadline for applications is October 15, 2014. Applicants are asked to submit a current CV and a two-page letter describing their project via email to Vera Pantanizopoulos-Broux (

The workshop is also open at no cost to scholars and students who do not wish to present their own work but are interested in sharing a lively weekend of discussion and ideas about manuscript studies. Further details will be available later in the year; please contact Vera for more information.

“Cities and Citizens,” Durham University, 13-15 July 2015
Due: November 1, 2014

Durham’s Centre for Seventeenth-Century Studies – now part of the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies – has, since its foundation in 1985, organized over a dozen high-profile international conferences. Next year’s conference will address the topic of ‘Cities and Citizens’ and will focus on the ways in which urban centres were perceived, experienced, understood and represented in the ‘long seventeenth century’ (c.1580-1720). The conference will be held within the UNESCO World Heritage Site on Palace Green in the heart of the medieval city of Durham.

The built environment of the city was represented in cartography, painting, printed images and in literary and dramatic works. What were the physical and sensory characteristics of the urban environment? How did the material form of the city change? Especially important here is architectural form – civic, ecclesiastical, official and vernacular. How did urban and rural people read the urban landscape? Here we hope to draw on the insights of archaeological theory as well as on recent findings in post-medieval urban archaeology.

The distinctiveness of the urban experience will be explored. What were the effects of inter-urban trade and of trade and migration between town and countryside? What were the economics of urbanization? In what ways did urban labour differ from that in rural communities and how was it regulated? How did urban people understand customary law and access to common resources? How did civic remembrance connect with popular memory? How did religious conflict change cities and in what ways were confessional identities inflected by the urban experience?

Special emphasis will be placed upon the idea and practice of citizenship. Who did this term include and who was left out? In what ways were ideas about citizenship inflected by nationality, ethnicity, belief, class, gender, property, skill, schooling and age? How far were early modern ideas about citizenship reflective of classical ideals, and how did they connect to those of the late medieval period? To what extent did citizenship guarantee inclusion within the urban polity, and what rights and obligations came with that inclusion? In what ways did those excluded from citizenship nonetheless participate in the urban polity?

We invite proposals either for single papers or for 3-paper panels. Papers should last for 20 minutes, with half an hour at the end of each panel for discussion. Panels may be specific to a particular town or city, or might be national or international in scope, including New World urban centres. Potential subjects might include (but are not restricted to):

· Defining towns, cities and urban communities
· The urban environment and the urban landscape
· Perceptions of space and time
· Gender, age, household and citizenship
· Social relations and social conflicts
· Crime, authority, resistance and the law
· Civic identities and vernacular urban cultures
· Urban customary rights and common resources
· Urban political cultures and public spheres
· Work and leisure
· Print, literacy and education
· Cities and international trade and exchange
· Fuelling and feeding the city
· Migration and social mobility
· Urban parish identities and patterns of belief
· Monastic houses, cathedrals and religious authority
· Occupations, social structures and demographics
· Disease, famine, medicine, and social policy
· Siege warfare
· Urban revolt
· Art, architecture and civic portraiture

Proposals for 20-minute papers and full panels should be submitted to by 1 November 2014. Replies will be sent in early December 2014. Details concerning travel and accommodation for both speakers and delegates will be made available around the same time. It is hoped that the conference will give rise to an edited volume of selected essays.


Medieval Thought Experiments: Poetry and Speculation in Europe, 1100-1450
Due: 10 November 2014

Monday 13 & Tuesday 14 April 2015
New College, Oxford
Keynote speakers: Prof. Vincent Gillespie (Oxford), Prof. John Marenbon (Cambridge)

In the high and late Middle Ages, fictional frameworks could be used as imaginative spaces in which to test or play with ideas without necessarily asserting their truth. The aim of this conference is to consider how intellectual problems were approached – if not necessarily resolved – through the kinds of hypothetical enquiry found in poetry and other kinds of fictive texts. We hope to encourage an exploration of the relationship between poetry and speculation and the medieval understanding of speculatio, and we use the anachronistic term ‘thought experiment’ to provoke particular debate around two related questions:

(i)       to what extent can hypothetical and speculative texts be understood as ‘experiments’, as frames within which ideas can be tested rather than necessarily asserted?

(ii)   how far can speculation be understood not merely as an intellective process, but also as something affective and sensitive? In this respect we draw on both meanings of the medieval Latin experientia: not just ‘experiment’, but also ‘experience’.

We welcome papers that consider why a writer might choose a fictional or hypothetical frame to discuss theoretical questions, how a text’s truth content is affected and shaped by its fictive nature, or what kind of affective or intellectual work is required to read a speculative text. We hope that this conference will explore what happens to theoretical truth-claims in a wide range of hypothetical texts – allegorical dream-visions (such as the Romance of the Rose or Piers Plowman) as much as philosophical dialogues (such as those of Peter Abelard and Ramon Llull).

This conference aims to bring together scholars working across the spectrum of medieval languages and academic disciplines, including (but not limited to) literary studies, intellectual history, philosophy, and theology.

Papers may wish to consider some of the following questions:

Kinds of Meaning. How do fictional frames generate meaning, and how is this influenced by genre, mode, or context?
Space. What rules govern the imagined spaces of medieval thought experiments, and what issues do spaces raise?
Truth and lies. How are philosophical fictions used, abused, or condemned? When is it acceptable to lie in order to arrive at truth?
Imagination and intellect. What kinds of knowledge are accessible via different mental faculties?
Speculatio, speculum. specula How is the act of speculation represented or described in medieval texts, and how does this relate to the senses, in particular to sight?

Please submit abstracts for papers of up to 20 minutes in length to by 10 November 2014.

The registration fee for this conference will be £60, with an optional dinner in New College on the Monday evening at an additional cost (to be confirmed).
Please note that there will be a small number of travel bursaries available for graduate students and early career researchers giving papers at the conference (up to a value of £200). When you submit your abstract, please state if you would like to be considered for a travel bursary.

Enquiries can be directed to the organizers at

21st Annual ACMRS Conference “Trades, Talents, Guilds, and Specialists: Getting Things Done in the Middle Ages and Renaissance,” Feb. 2-7, 2015
Due: December 5, 2014

Interdisciplinary Conference in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Thursday, February 5, 2015 to Saturday, February 7, 2015
Scottsdale, Arizona
Online submission date(s):
Sunday, June 1, 2014 to Friday, December 5, 2014

ACMRS invites session and paper proposals for its annual interdisciplinary conference to be held February 5-7, 2015 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Scottsdale. We welcome papers that explore any topic related to the study and teaching of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and especially those that focus on: “Trades, Talents, Guilds, and Specialists: Getting Things Done in the Middle Ages and Renaissance”.

The Spiritual Geopolitics of the Early Modern World (1500-1800), March 13, 2015 – Service Historique de la Défense, Château de Vincennes (France).
Due: Feb. 15, 2015

Proposals, which should not exceed 500 words, should be sent by September 15, 2014 to Papers, which will be precirculated, are due by Feb. 15, 2015. They may be in French or English.

Call for Book Manuscripts: Maps, Spaces, Cultures

Edited by Surekha Davies (Western Connecticut State University) and Asa Simon Mittman (California State University, Chico). Editorial board: Ricardo Padrón (University of Virginia), Ayesha Ramachandran (Yale University) and Dan Terkla (Illinois Wesleyan University). Publisher: Arjan van Dijk (Brill).

This innovative series seeks monographs and essay collections that investigate how notions of space, geography, and mapping shaped medieval and early modern cultures. While the history of cartography has traditionally focused on internal developments in European mapping conventions and technologies, pre-modern scribes, illuminators, and printers of maps tended to work in multiple genres. Spatial thinking informed and was informed by multiple epistemologies and perceptions of the order of nature. Maps, Spaces, Cultures therefore integrates the study of cartography and geography within cultural history. It puts genres that reflected and constituted spatial thinking into dialogue with the cultures that produced and consumed them, as well as with those they represented.

The editors welcome submissions from scholars of the histories of art, material culture, colonialism, exploration, ethnography (including that of peoples described as monsters), encounters, literature, philosophy, religion, science and knowledge, as well as of the history of cartography and related disciplines. They encourage interdisciplinary submissions that cross traditional historical, geographical, or methodological boundaries, that include works from outside Western Europe and outside the Christian tradition, and that develop new analytical approaches to pre-modern spatial thinking, cartography, and the geographical imagination.

Authors are cordially invited to write to either of the series editors, Surekha Davies ( and Asa Simon Mittman (, or to the publisher at Brill, Arjan van Dijk (, to discuss the submission of proposals and/or full manuscripts.

For Brill’s peer review process see here: