“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 (lucas.wood@durham.ac.uk).  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), s.niebrzydowski@bangor.ac.uk, 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.

Northeast Modern Language Association, 46th Annual Convention, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, April 30-May 3, 2015
Due: September 30, 2014

Full information regarding the 2015 Call for Papers may be found on the website.

The Northeast Modern Language Association will meet in Toronto, Ontario, for its 46th annual convention. Every year, this event affords NeMLA’s principal opportunity to carry on a tradition of lively research and pedagogical exchange in language and literature. This year’s convention will include roundtable and caucus meetings, workshops, literary readings, film screenings, and guest speakers.

Please join us for this convention, which will feature over 350 sessions, dynamic speakers and cultural events. Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA session; however, panelists can only present one paper (panel or seminar). Convention participants may present a paper at a panel and also present at a creative session or participate in a roundtable.

Please Note: This year, NeMLA has implemented a user-based system to accept and track abstract submissions. In order to submit an abstract, you must sign up with NeMLA and log in. Signing up is free. The system will allow you to manage your personal information and review and update your abstract following submission.

Please contact support@nemla.org if you have any questions.

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: http://contemporaneity.pitt.edu/ojs/index.php/contemporaneity/announcement

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: www.atw2015.uwm.edu

Proposals for workshops that address the conference themes may now be submitted, to atw-15@uwm.edu. Deadline: September 30, 2014.

“Early Modern Women and the  Book: Ownership, Circulation, and Collecting” — to be proposed for the annual meeting of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP) in Montreal and Longueuil, Quebec,  July 6-11, 2015.

Due 1 October 2014

We seek proposals for papers that examine early modern British women who owned books, circulated books, or created libraries or book collections between 1500-1700, a period that saw increased literacy and a revolution in book production and circulation. Scholars have reconstructed and assessed the collections and libraries of Renaissance men, including Harvey, Dee, Jonson, Hales, and Drake; women’s book ownership, as a subject of scholarly inquiry, “awaits its historian,” observes David McKitterick (2000) in a study of  Elizabeth Puckering’s library. What resources (commonplace books,  poetry miscellanies, inventories, etc.) shed light on women’s  circulation of books within communities? What are the marks — figurative, material, cultural — of women’s book usage, ownership, and collecting? What can the creation of book collections or libraries tell us about social status, family ties, confessional affiliations, education, economic status, travels? What methodologies illuminate these interrelated topics?

By Oct. 1, 2014, please send a file containing a 350 word abstract and a 50-word biographical statement to Leah Knight  (lknight@brocku.ca), Micheline White (micheline.white@carleton.ca), and Elizabeth Sauer (esauer@brocku.ca) for consideration.

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.   lpostlew@barnard.edu

Magic and Intellectual History, Thursday 5th March 2015 – CREMS, University of York

Due: 15 October 2014

A day symposium – Keynote speaker: Dr Stephen Clucas (Birkbeck)

This symposium will explore the place of magic in the intellectual culture of early modern England and Europe. It will focus on how magic was perceived and understood in philosophical, religious and scientific thought, and the ambivalence that surrounded it as topics of scholarship.

Papers might attend to the following:

How did early modern thought accommodate magic into its disciplines?
Why was magic the object of so much ‘elite’ scientific and philosophical thought?
Magic and the study of nature
Magic and the ineffable
Redefining the parameters of magic
Magic and religion.
The occult and hidden operations of nature
Scepticism and magical thought
Magic and language / magic and metaphor
Literature and the portrayal of magic
Magic and the devil
Magicians and their day-jobs.

Call for Papers: Abstracts by 15th October (c. 250 words)
Contact: Kevin Killeen, kevin.killeen@york.ac.uk
This symposium is part of a diffuse and ongoing Thomas Browne Seminar that has digressed quite far: http://www.york.ac.uk/english/news-events/browne/

‘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 lucasconference2015@gmail.com.You 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 http://www.hum.leiden.edu/lucas/jlgc/. 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 (vpantani@utk.edu).

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.


Negotiating Spectacle, Saturday, March 7, 2015, Tufts University, Medford, MA

Due: October 31, 2014

It has been almost 50 years since Guy Debord wrote The Society of the Spectacle and thinkers after him have given various iterations of the influential concept of “spectacle.” Can we extend those arguments regarding the role of spectacle in the creation (or destruction?), dissemination, consumption of visual culture from antiquity to the present? How does spectacle negotiate between entertainment and mass distraction, education and propaganda, or globalism and alienation? The 2015 Tufts University Art History Graduate Symposium invites participants to consider how critical theory shapes historical interpretations of spectacular objects in specific contexts. We encourage submissions that consider how individual artists or institutions use material and visual culture to manipulate audiences through spectacle, as well as the audience responses produced. Explorations in all media, geographic regions, and time periods are encouraged. Submissions that offer contributions to art history, visual culture, literature, cultural studies, and related fields are all welcome.

Paper topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Displays of capitalism, materialism, or commodity fetishism (e.g. art market/auctions, international art fairs)

  • The role of spectacle in time-based mediums such as performance and performance art, film, television, dance, and theater

  • Politics of display or subversion of power and control

  • Cult of relics, idols, mysticism, and fetishism of art objects

  • Visual cultures of conquest and colonization (e.g. cabinets of curiosity or World’s Fairs)

  • Exotic materials and their contextualization (e.g. ivory, gold, or silk)

  • Globalism, global citizenship, and its discontents

  • Reinterpreting phenomena of ‘spectacle,’ ‘gestalt,’ and ‘aura’ in critical theory

We invite graduate students in art history and related disciplines to submit a 300-word abstract for a twenty-minute presentation, along with a current CV by October 31, 2014.

All applicants will receive notification of the committee’s decision by December 1, 2014.

The symposium will be held on the Medford Campus of Tufts University on Sunday, March 7, 2015.

All questions and submissions should be sent to tuftsartsymposium@gmail.com

Concilium Lateranense IV: Commemorating the Octocentenary of the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215, Rome, 24-29 November 2015

Due: November 1, 2014

On Monday 30 November 1215 in the Basilica of St John Lateran, Innocent III brought the first assembly of the whole Church since the Council of Chalcedon (451) to a rousing finale by summoning all the delegates to unite in faith and by issuing Ad Liberandam, an encyclical calling for a crusade to liberate the Holy Land. This Council, fourth in the Lateran series but the twelfth ecumenical gathering of the Church in the Western tradition, included the five patriarchs or their representatives, together with more than one thousand bishops, abbots and other dignitaries, both ecclesiastical and secular. At each of the three plenary sessions held on 11, 20 and 30 November respectively, Innocent preached a set-piece sermon whilst, behind the scenes, delegates debated such major issues as who was more worthy to lead the Empire and how to contain the Albigensian heresy.

The accounts of eyewitnesses reveal that Innocent’s consecration of Santa Maria in Trastevere and celebrations for the anniversary of the dedication of the Vatican Basilica served not only to emphasize the history, majesty and ritual of the Church but also offered a welcome respite from the intensive discussions in the Lateran Palace. The Fathers of the Council promulgated seventy decrees, covering topics as diverse as heresy, Jewish-Christian relations, pastoral care and Trinitarian theology as well as ecclesiastical governance. Monks and secular clergy were to be reformed, the nascent mendicant orders welcomed to the Church and diocesan bishops instructed to implement far-reaching conciliar decisions across Christendom.

Eight hundred years on, Lateran IV still stands as the high-water mark of the medieval papacy, its political and ecclesiastical decisions enduring down to the Council of Trent whilst modern historiography has deemed it the most significant papal assembly of the Later Middle Ages. In November 2015, we have a unique opportunity to re-evaluate the role of this Council in the reform of the universal Church. Taking an inter-disciplinary approach, we shall investigate how its decisions affected the intellectual, cultural, social and religious life of the medieval world. We particularly encourage individual papers from disciplines such as art history, theology, canon law, crusade studies, literature and from those who work on relations between Jews and Christians, which we hope will broaden current interpretations of the events of the Council, their subsequent importance and long-term impact. Alternatively, three-paper session proposals on a common theme will also be most welcome.

Papers may be delivered in English, French, German, Italian or Spanish but must be limited to 30 minutes. Abstracts of no more than 200 words with all the necessary contact details should be sent no later than 1 November 2014. See www.lateraniv.com.

Please direct any questions to fourthlateranat800@gmail.com.

“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 early.modern@durham.ac.uk 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.

Vagantes Medieval Graduate Student Conference, February 19-21, 2015 at the University of Florida

Due: 3 November 2014 

Vagantes, North America’s largest graduate student conference for medieval studies, is seeking submissions for its 2015 meeting at the University of Florida, February 19-21.

Since its founding in 2002, Vagantes has nurtured a lively community of junior scholars from across the disciplines. Every conference features thirty papers on any aspect of medieval studies, allowing for exciting interdisciplinary conversation and the creation of new professional relationships between future colleagues. Vagantes travels to a new university every year, highlighting the unique resources of the host institution through keynote lectures, exhibitions, and special events. Out of consideration for graduate students’ limited budgets, Vagantes never charges a registration fee.

The 2015 conference will feature exciting keynotes. Dr. Linda Neagley, of Rice University, will open the conference with: ‘Architectural counterpoint: Juxtaposition & opposition as a visual strategy in the Late Middle Ages.’ Dr. Nina Caputo of the University of Florida will close with a discussion of the unique challenge of transforming medieval history into a graphic novel. The conference will also feature an exhibition of medieval bestiaries: ‘The Beast in the Book,’ presented by Dr. Rebecca Jefferson of the Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica, and a roundtable session with University of Florida faculty on teaching the middle ages from a global perspective.

Several travel awards will be granted to the best papers in Jewish, Byzantine, and women’s studies. See the Vagantes website for further details: www.vagantesconference.org/travel-awards/ .

Graduate students in all disciplines are invited to submit a 300-word abstract on any medieval topic along with a 1-2 page C.V. to organizers@vagantesconference.org by November 3, 2014.

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 medievalthoughtexperiments+proposals@gmail.com 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 medievalthoughtexperiments+enquiries@gmail.com.

“The International Christopher Marlowe, “University of Exeter, 7th – 8th September 2015

Due: 14 November 2014

Keynote speaker: Professor Alan Stewart (Columbia)

Much current and historical scholarship has tended to consider Marlowe’s plays, poems and translations from an English cultural and literary perspective. With one or two exceptions, his connections to the thought and literature of non-English cultures have been less thoroughly explored, even as scholars have begun to examine the highly cosmopolitan, multi-lingual character of English literary production and consumption during the 1580s and 1590s.

To what extent was Marlowe an ‘international’ writer? In what ways did his work absorb, respond to, imitate or challenge literary, dramatic and intellectual trends in France, Spain, Italy, the Holy Roman Empire, the Netherlands, Turkey or further afield? What role, if any, has the reception of his work played in non-English-speaking cultures?

We invite proposals for papers of up to 30 minutes on any aspect of the “international” content or contexts of Marlowe and his work. Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words to E.J.Paleit@exeter.ac.uk or N.Williams@exeter.ac.uk by 14th November 2014. We also welcome any queries at this address.

Organisers:   Dr. Edward Paleit, Nora Williams (University of Exeter)

Project website: christophermarlowe.exeter.ac.uk

Scrutinizing Surfaces in Early Modern Thought: The Second Northern Renaissance Roses Seminar
8-9 May 2015
Due: 30 November 2014

Keynote speakers
Dr Helen Smith (University of York)
Professor Richard Wistreich (Royal College of Music, London).
Run jointly by the universities of Lancaster and York, this interdisciplinary seminar takes up and develops Joseph Amato’s trans-historical investigation of how ‘humans, ourselves a body of surfaces, meet and interact with a world dressed in surfaces’ (2013: xv) in the early modern period. We will consider the topic broadly, addressing such questions as:

  • What kinds of surfaces are prevalent in early modern thought?
  • How might surfaces be viewed as a threshold between actor and spectator, writer and reader, teacher and student?
  • What is the relationship between animate and inanimate surfaces?
  • How are surfaces theorized in the early modern period?
  • Is sound a surface?
  • What kinds of interplay exist between early-modern photology and surfaces?
  • How do twenty-first century theoretical perspectives engage with early modern surfaces?

The seminar will take place in the Storey, Lancaster City Centre and the Regimental Chapel, Lancaster Priory, and will feature a recital of early-modern music by Lancaster Priory’s Choir.

Funded by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Lancaster, ‘Scrutinizing Surfaces in Early Modern Thought’ particularly encourages early career scholars and post-graduates working in any Renaissance discipline.

Please send abstracts (c. 250 words) and a brief CV to Kevin Killeen (kevin.killeen@york.ac.uk) and Liz Oakley-Brown (e.oakley-brown@lancaster.ac.uk): deadline 30 November 2014)

Mid-America Medieval Association, 2015 Annual Conference , The University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City, MO, February 28, 2015
Due: 1 December 2014

Theme: Collectivity and Exchange
Keynote Address: Dr. Pamela Sheingorn

Papers are invited on a range of topics, including the conference theme of “Collectivity & Exchange,” for the annual meeting of the Mid-America Medieval Assn, which will convene on Saturday, 28 February 2015, at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Collectivity might be imagined expansively to include not just temporal but also ephemeral and spiritual communities. Exchange might also be considered in various forms, from economic and material to ideological and philosophical.

Please send proposals of 250 words by 1 December 2014 to:
Dr. Virginia Blanton
Department of English
University of Missouri-Kansas City
5121 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, Missouri 64110 USA


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”.


Journal of the Northern Renaissance, Open-themed 7th Issue
Due: 1 January 2015

The Journal of the Northern Renaissance (northernrenaissance.org) is calling for submissions for our open-themed seventh issue on any aspect of the cultural practice of Northern Europe in the period circa 1430-1650, including but not limited to:

  • literature
  • the history of art and architecture
  • music history
  • philosophy
  • theology
  • politics
  • scientific technologies

The Journal of the Northern Renaissance (JNR) is a peer-reviewed, open-access online journal dedicated to the study of early modern Northern European cultural production. We are particularly interested in studies exploring alternative cultural geographies, challenging existing conceptualizations and periodizations of the Renaissance in the North, and/or establishing continuities and ruptures with earlier and later epochs. Part of our intention, however, in having an open, unthemed issue, is to gauge where the most interesting work is being done and what questions are being asked by scholars working on Northern Renaissance culture across a wide range of disciplines.

Potential contributors are advised to consult the Information page of our website for details of the submissions procedure and style guidelines. We also welcome initial enquiries regarding possible contributions, which can be sent to us at northernrenaissance@gmail.com.

“POLY-OLBION AND THE WRITING OF BRITAIN,” Royal Geographical Society, London, 10-11 September 2015

Due: 5 January 2015

Confirmed speakers include Alison Chapman, Andrew Hadfield, Bernhard Klein, Sara Trevisan, and Angus Vine. The conference will also feature presentations by the Poly-Olbion Project Team:  Andrew McRae, Philip Schwyzer, Daniel Cattell, and Sjoerd Levelt.

Hosted by the Poly-Olbion Project, the conference will explore Michael Drayton’s Poly-Olbion within the wider context of early modern British discourses of space, place, nationhood, and regional identity. The conference will coincide with the opening of a major exhibition and series of public-facing events devoted to Poly-Olbion, derived from the AHRC-funded project and the associated HLF-funded ‘Children’s Poly-Olbion’. Papers dealing with aspects of Michael Drayton’s poem, John Selden’s commentary, William Hole’s maps, or the wider context of chorography and cartography in early modern Britain will be welcome.  Please send abstracts or full papers to Andrew McRae (a.mcrae@exeter.ac.uk) and Philip Schwyzer (p.a.schwyzer@exeter.ac.uk) by 5 January 2015.

Special Issue of Gender & History: Marriage’s Global Past

Due: 15 January 2015

Editors: Sara McDougall, John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY), Sarah Pearsall, Cambridge University

This special issue of Gender & History explores marriage’s global past from the medieval to the modern era. We solicit contributions that examine aspects of the history of marriage in societies and cultures throughout the world, with special attention to ideas and practices of monogamy and polygamy. Of particular interest is the role of gender in the construction and reconstruction of marriage. We also solicit papers that interrogate the relationship of marriage to various forms of power, including those of state, religious, and colonial institutions as well as the complicated dynamics of authority within households. We welcome both broad, comparative studies and more narrowly-focused ones.

Many imagine marriage as a timeless institution. In fact, as William Alexander wrote in 1779, in his History of Women, From the Earliest Antiquity, to the Present Time, “Marriage is so far from having been an institution, fixed by permanent and unalterable laws, that it has been continually varying in every period, and in every country.” This historian thus acknowledged both the shifting nature of marriage as an institution in a global context, as well as the ways that marriage profoundly shapes, and is shaped by, the role and status of women and men. This special issue similarly assumes varieties of marriages, in terms of both chronology and geography.

This special issue will also interrogate the profound interconnection of gender and marriage, especially with reference to issues of rank, race, age, nationality, culture, religion, and sexuality. Indeed, what might constitute “traditional” marriage in one context might appear radical in another. Indeed, while many contemporary scholars and advocates have called for a redefinition of what is termed “traditional marriage,” recent scholarship has also emphasized how very little is traditional about what is currently described in the Oxford English Dictionary as: “the formal union of a man and a woman, typically as recognized by law, by which they become husband and wife.”

One of the goals of this special issue is to explore how the idea of so-called “traditional marriage” took root and spread in many cultures. Often, of course, it did so even as local social practices deviated, sometimes notably, from this norm. Christian teachings beginning in the first millennium endorsed a particular model of marriage that became not only a centerpiece of Christian faith but also a potent political and social force across the world. In this model, marriage had to be exclusive and indissoluble, a monogamous and enduring commitment between one man and one woman. At that time and in subsequent centuries, as Christian teachings spread throughout the world, this model of marriage came into contact with cultures that had a variety of different ideas about the best ways to marry, and the purpose of marriage. Clashes between different practices of marriage lay at the heart of many early modern and modern encounters.  This special issue of Gender & History hopes to offer new interpretations of this complex and fascinating history.

The volume will begin with a colloquium to be held 18-20 March 2016 at Cambridge University. Paper proposals (750 words maximum) are to be submitted by 15 January 2015. Invitations to present at the colloquium will be issued in February 2015. All those presenting must submit articles for pre-circulation by 15 January 2016. Participants will also be expected to read all the other articles and to participate fully in the two-day colloquium. This participation will include commenting on the paper of another participant, as well as more general discussions.  After the colloquium, participants will be invited to submit their revised papers for publication. Those accepted by the editors for publication will be expected to submit their manuscripts by 1 September 2016. This timeframe will allow the editors to work with authors to produce the final text of the issue for publication in 2017.

Please send paper proposals to smcdougall@jjay.cuny.edu andsmsp100@cam.ac.uk by 15 January 2015, with “Marriage’s Global Past” in the subject heading.

Social Networks 1450-1850, 16-17 July 2015, University of Sheffield
Due: 31 January 2015

The term ‘social network’ has become a prominent part of modern day discourse, and in recent years there has been rapid growth in the field of social network studies. Yet a world in which individuals are connected to one another in multifarious ways—spanning time, place, institutional affiliation, and other social boundaries—is not just a modern phenomenon. In the early modern period, neighbourhoods, villages, cities and continents were criss-crossed with relationships and ties of obligation, through which passed friendship, as well as animosity; money, ideas, information, material goods, and more. The concepts and methodologies of social network analysis, together with new digital technologies, provide the tools to uncover the nature of these communities in the past.

At stake is the very nature of society: how did people connect to one another, to what ends, and with what results? These are questions with relevance to disciplines across the humanities and social sciences. As such, this conference brings together historically minded scholars with an interest in social networks from a range of perspectives and disciplinary backgrounds.

Confirmed speakers:
Edward Muir, Clarence L. Ver Steeg Professor in the Arts and Sciences (Northwestern)
Emily Erikson, Assistant Professor of Sociology (Yale)
Mark Philp, Professor of History (Warwick)

Proposals for 20-minute papers or panels of three speakers are welcome from a wide chronological and geographical reach, exploring social network concepts, methodologies and findings. For example, papers might consider:

  • Methodologies: sources, challenges, and approaches; digital technologies and techniques for the collection, storage, analysis and presentation of data
  • ‘Ego-centric’ or ‘whole’ networks
  • Familial and kinship networks
  • Merchants or trading communities
  • Religious, intellectual, literary, political or institutional communities
  • The cultural values underpinning social networks: for example honesty, trust, or desire for profit
  • How social networks change over time
  • The geographical reach of networks: local, regional, national or international; urban or rural

For individual paper proposals, please submit a title and 200-word abstract, along with contact details. For panel proposals, please include a title and 200-word abstract for each paper and contact details for one speaker on the panel.
For more information, please contact the conference organizer, Kate Davison (kate.davison@sheffield.ac.uk)
Details about postgraduate bursaries will be publicised in due course.

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 lauric.henneton@uvsq.fr. Papers, which will be precirculated, are due by Feb. 15, 2015. They may be in French or English. http://redehja.hypotheses.org/263

“Heroes and Heroines,” Special issue for 2016 volume of Shakespeare Shakespeare Jahrbuch / Yearbook of the German Shakespeare Society
Due: 31 March 2015

The editorial board of Shakespeare Jahrbuch invites articles on the following topics:

• Shakespeare as a cultural/national hero
• Heroes and heroines in Shakespeare’s plays
• Heroism in Shakespeare’s plays
• Shakespearean anti-heroes
• Tragic and comic heroes/heroines
• Heroism and genre
• Shakespeare and the heroes of early modern England
• Shakespeare and (early modern, Romantic, Victorian, modern …) hero-worship
• Actors and actresses as heroes/heroines
• Heroes /heroines in Shakespeare adaptations
• …
Shakespeare Jahrbuch, the Yearbook of the German Shakespeare Society, is a peer-reviewed journal. It offers contributions in German and English, scholarly articles, an extensive section of book reviews, and reports on Shakespeare productions in the German-speaking world.

Papers to be published in the Shakespeare Jahrbuch should be formatted according to our style sheet, which can be downloaded from the website of the German Shakespeare Society at http://shakespeare-gesellschaft.de/en/jahrbuch/note-on-submission.html.

Please send your manuscripts (of not more than 6,000 words) to the editor of the Shakespeare Jahrbuch, Prof. Dr. Sabine Schülting (email: sabine.schuelting@fu-berlin.de), by 31 March 2015.

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 (surekha.davies@gmail.com) and Asa Simon Mittman (asmittman@mail.csuchico.edu), or to the publisher at Brill, Arjan van Dijk (dijk@brill.com), to discuss the submission of proposals and/or full manuscripts.

For Brill’s peer review process see here: