Monday, July 25, 2016

CONFERENCE
Getting Medieval”: Medievalism in Contemporary Popular Culture
This conference, organized at the Jean-Fran├žois Champollion National University Institute (“Champollion University”) in the historic episcopal city of Albi, France – site of the thirteenth-century Albigensian Crusades – will take place on 25-26 November 2016.  Please send proposals of 100-250 words for 20-minute papers (in English, French or Spanish) to john.ford@univ-jfc.fr along with a brief CV before 31 July 2016 for full consideration.

PRESENTATION:
Today’s “pop” culture is rich with allusions to the Middle Ages, not only in literature and visual arts – as it always has been in past centuries (e.g., the pre-Raphaelites or Twain’s Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Tennyson’s Idylls of the King, Tolkien’s Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, etc.) – but also in graphic novels and comics, on the big screen and the little one, not to mention the computer screens of electronic gamers as well as amusement parks, festivals and fairs. 
But how much of what is presented in a medieval context – either as actual “remakes” of old accounts or simply loosely employing a medieval setting or theme – accurately reflects the Middle Ages, and to what extent do these medieval constructs change or distort the reality of the age? When changed, to what extent is the epoch romanticised as, for example, an idealized Camelot where “the rain may never fall till after sundown?” To what extent is it vilified, making the expression “to get medieval on [somebody]” suggest a horrific vengeance? How do these constructs inform our understanding of the Middle Ages, and how important is it (if at all) to be entirely accurate? Finally, to what extent do such alterations update the texts or tales, keeping them alive and evolving, and why is it a perennial favourite, replayed year after year, decade after decade, indeed, century after century?
This conference hopes to respond to some of these questions by opening a dialogue between various disciplines: literature, history, historical linguistics, visual arts, cinema, theatre, television, etc., in order to study the enduring popularity of medieval themes and the ways in which medieval tales and texts are transmitted, preserved, distorted, renewed and built upon in the creation of new, decidedly modern popular culture in Europe, North America and the world of the 21st century.
This conference hopes to explore ways in which medieval texts, tales and traditions are used (or abused!) and used to fashion entirely new works that ultimately form part of contemporary pop culture in its own right, not only in the modern age, but in ages past. It might also address ways in which authors from the Renaissance until now (e.g., Spenser, Shakespeare, Yeats, etc.) have contributed to our modern conception of the Middle Ages, both myth and reality.
Some aspects to consider might include the importance of accuracy in portrayals purportedly based on actual texts (such as the Vikings series, or various remakes of Beowulf), and to what extent is liberal treatment acceptable, even to be encouraged?  To what extent is received wisdom, often quite dubious, employed in original works with a medieval feeling or theme, though not necessarily a medieval setting like Game of Thrones or Harry Potter?
In addition to the works listed above, the conference is open to any proposition addressing the use of medieval works or themes in any aspect of popular culture in any subsequent age, leading to its entrenched place in the pop culture of today – not only in fiction and art, but in any form of entertainment or representation.  Finally, the value of both medieval literature and culture, as well as popular culture, and the interdependence of both, is to be explored.
The Linnean Society of London, in collaboration with the Transcribe Bentham initiative at University College London (UCL), is hosting a one-day conference on 10 October 2016 to showcase how innovative technology is being applied to the humanities and natural sciences.  The “Digital Toolbox” conference will demonstrate how researchers, curators and enthusiasts can use digital tools to explore historical and scientific material in new ways.

An example is the EU-funded READ project, which seeks to unlock complex handwritten material in archival collections, to automatically index digital images of text, and to teach computers how to transcribe handwritten text. Cutting-edge transcription technology developed as part of the READ project will be demonstrated and discussed.

The conference will be a platform to share ideas on the best means of exploiting complex research data and opening it up to a wider audience. We are delighted to welcome Melissa Terras, Professor of Digital Humanities at UCL as keynote speaker.

More details on the full programme will be available soon. 

There will be a small registration fee of £15 for the event.  This will cover tea/coffee, lunch and a wine reception.  Please find the registration form here: https://www.linnean.org/meetings-and-events/events/what-should-be-in-your-digital-toolbox

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Dr. Louise Seaward
Research Associate
Bentham Project, Faculty of Laws, University College London, Bidborough House, 38-50 Bidborough Street, London, WC1H 9BT

Tel: 020 3108 8397

Digital Medievalist --  http://www.digitalmedievalist.org/
Southern African Society for Medieval and Renaissance Studies Biennial Conference
26 – 28th August, 2016
We are pleased to announce that the 23rd biennial conference of SASMARS will be held at Mont Fleur in Stellenbosch, South Africa on 26 – 28th August 2016.
Texts and Transformations: Medieval and Early Modern Cultures
Medieval and Early Modern societies weathered various socio-cultural transformations, ranging from economic developments to religious conflicts, across a range of different geographies and in urban and rural spaces. How did poetry, theatre, prose, visual art, architecture, and other forms of art respond to such changes? How do we historically understand and assess various kinds of social transitions?
At this year’s SASMARS conference, Professor Carolyn Dinshaw (New York University), an acclaimed medievalist, will be our keynote speaker, and she will deliver the following keynote to the conference attendees:  
Black Skin, Green Masks: Medieval Foliate Heads, Racial Trauma, and Queer Worldmaking
Professor Dinshaw’s profile can be accessed at http://english.fas.nyu.edu/object/carolyndinshaw.html
The convener for the conference is Dr Derrick Higginbotham (derrick.higginbotham@uct.ac.za). Any inquiries can be directed to him.
For the latest SASMARS Newsletter and information about previous SASMARS conferences, click onhttp://sasmarsnewsletter.blogspot.com/.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

News! O the News!

Some Proto-Indo-European news: https://www.facebook.com/groups/220255454652480/    How the Mother Tongue probably sounded.


Such a modern sign: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/22/us/viking-ship-draken-harald-harfagre-great-lakes.html?_r=0: a Viking ship held up by red tape.  If only Charles the Fat had thought of that!


For a brief foray out of Medieval Europe, a 9th century Jain temple: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/amateur-archaeologists-find-9th-century-jain-temple/article8867900.ece


Poop to the rescue!!  Feces on the Silk Road tell us about spread of disease:  http://phys.org/news/2016-07-ancient-feces-earliest-evidence-infectious.html


Daisy Wheel Protection Spell in Lincoln Cathedral? Read all about it: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-36857607


Medieval Water Harnessing Cause Salmon Stock Depletion:  http://phys.org/news/2016-07-medieval-power-collapse-salmon-stocks.html


Excavations at Stegeborg, Sweden:  http://scienceblogs.com/aardvarchaeology/2016/07/18/first-week-of-2016-excavations-at-skallvik-castle/


Witch Prison Discovered in Scottish Castle: http://www.livescience.com/55452-witch-prison-revealed-in-scottish-chapel.html


Vikings were not kind to their slaves:  http://sciencenordic.com/vikings-abused-and-beheaded-their-slaves


Largest Viking Axe Ever found in "power couple's" grave: http://www.livescience.com/55490-mighty-ax-discovered-in-viking-tomb.html


Student Archeology yields evidence: http://www.suffolkfreepress.co.uk/news/latest-news/pupils-dig-deep-for-anglo-saxon-artefacts-1-7490319


Reuse of Sacred Spaces, or at least one such, by Anglo-Saxons: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160721072831.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ffossils_ruins%2Farchaeology+%28Archaeology+News+--+ScienceDaily%29


Richard III might be innocent?  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3705167/Now-Richard-III-s-skull-prove-DIDN-T-kill-princes-Mystery-missing-teeth-clear-king-murder-Tower.html


Jousting as Medieval Sport?  You bet!  http://kdal610.com/news/articles/2016/jul/21/british-jousters-want-medieval-martial-art-made-olympic-sport/


Medieval (really much older) war tactics succeed in modern Iraq: http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/iraq-turns-to-medieval-tactic-to-keep-isis-out-of-fallujah-1.2999333


Oldest Anglo-Saxon Buildin in Scotland: https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/evidence-of-largest-anglo-saxon.html#euKOTrwMhuMVMYwJ.97


Anglo-Saxon Cemetery in Rothey: http://www.loughboroughecho.net/news/local-news/bronze-age-barrow-anglo-saxon-11645677








International Congress on Medieval Studies 2017!

As many readers will know, the CFP for 2017 is now up at the Congress website: http://www.wmich.edu/sites/default/files/attachments/u434/2016/medieval-call-for-papers-2017.pdf


Many mini-CFPs for sessions are now forthcoming in many a venue.  I've pasted several here and will continue to do so.  Many others are using my International Congress group and other medieval groups on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/220255454652480/  Feel free to check those as well.

Keep watching this space!
We are pleased to announce the launch of the Beyond Words website, which provides information about dates, venues, public programming, the symposium, and the catalogue of the upcoming exhibit Beyond Words: Illuminated Manuscripts in Boston Collectionshttp://BeyondWords2016.org
 
When the exhibit opens in mid-September, we will launch the object-centered portion of the website: a searchable database of all 260 manuscripts described in the catalogue, with essential metadata and images for each manuscript and, when available, codicological descriptions and full digital facsimiles.
 
Please visit the website regularly for updates and, if you use Twitter, follow @BeyondWords2016 for sneak-peeks, updates, and announcements. We hope to see you in Boston this fall.
 
- The Beyond Words Curatorial Team: Jeffrey Hamburger, William P. Stoneman, Anne-Marie Eze, Lisa Fagin Davis, and Nancy Netzer
CFP: Technical Communication in the Middle Ages
International Congress on Medieval Studies (Kalamazoo, 2017)
Proposals due: September 15, 2016
Submit to Wendy Hennequin (mwhennequin@gmail.com)

Scholars have long recognized Chaucer’s “Treatise on the Astrolabe” as an early technical document, yet relatively few medieval texts have been discussed as specimens of technical communication. This session seeks to consider the traditions and conventions of medieval technical communication, as well as the connections between medieval and contemporary technical writing.

Possible texts for consideration might include (but are not limited to) penitential and conduct manuals, monastic rules, business correspondence, medical treatises, scientific and pseudo-scientific manuals (including alchemical and astrological ones), cookery books, law codes, and government and military documents. Papers should consider the texts as technical communication, but may focus on any aspect, including writing, layout, design, etc.

Please submit proposals to Wendy Hennequin (mwhennequin@gmail.com) by September 15, 2016.



-- 
Dr. M. Wendy Hennequin
Department of Languages, Literature, and Philosophy
Tennessee State University
3500 John A Merritt Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37209
MWHennequin@gmail.com