Monday, July 15, 2024

International Congress on Medieval Studies 2025


International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 8–10, 2025

JEMNE: Journal of Early Medieval Northwestern Europe has proposed two sessions for the next Congress:

The Role(s) of Generative AI in Medieval Studies(?)

This session seeks contributions that propose novel methodologies or demonstrate responsible implementations of Generative AI (GAI) in research projects related to medieval studies. Methodologies may include text-based or non-text-based use of GAI and proposals can span a wide range of scholarly activities, from traditional academic works that challenge our understanding of the past to digital humanities projects to public-facing scholarship. All methods and implementations should address both the ethical and practical dimensions of using GAI for a wide range of scholars with different levels of access to (and comfort with) GAI.

Submissions are accepted through the ICMS Confex System here.

Archaeology in the Medieval Past

This session invites contributions focused on archaeological approaches to the medieval past. We hope to broaden the conversation around the unique insights archaeological methods provide into the material culture and lived environments of medieval societies. We welcome all proposals, including updates and insights emerging from current projects, applications of innovative methodologies (both theoretical and applied), and fresh approaches to traditional methods.

Submissions are accepted through the ICMS Confex System here.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

 Call for Papers – Connecting Late Antiquities conference 

(Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies, 03-05.02.2025) 


On behalf of Professors Julia Hillner (BCDSS) and Richard Flower (University of Exeter), we cordially invite colleagues to submit paper proposals for our conference on Connecting Late Antiquities, to be held at the University of Bonn, 3-5 February 2025. 


Connecting Late Antiquities, generously sponsored by Germany’s Deutsche Forschungs-gemeinschaft and the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council, is a collaborative project to create open, digital prosopographical resources for the Roman and post-Imperial territories between the third and seventh centuries. Its main aim is to digitise, unite, and link existing resources to make them more accessible and enhance their reach and utility. The enterprise will dramatically improve access to information about late-antique people for all scholars of this period and allow the easy integration of prosopographical material with online geographical, textual, epigraphic, and papyrological resources.  


Technological developments have provided new opportunities for prosopography, including allowing for both constant updating and an expansion beyond the traditional focus on the higher echelons of society. The Prosopography of the Byzantine Empire and Prosopography of the Byzantine World projects provide excellent examples of the greater possibilities allowed by this approach. Connecting Late Antiquities will draw together material from a variety of major printed prosopographies and specialist digital databases, as well as incorporating entries for 'non-elite' individuals who are attested in ancient sources but have not been included in earlier publications. This approach will allow more extensive research into understudied figures and their social connections. 


We have a limited number of slots for papers of up to 20 minutes in length and therefore invite colleagues to submit abstracts of max. 300 words (plus a brief bio) on any aspect of Late Antique prosopography.  


We particularly welcome submissions suggesting new discoveries and approaches within the following themes: 

·       Prosopography and the rise of literature in Late Antique local languages, both western (e.g. Irish, Pictish, Welsh) and eastern (e.g. Armenian, Coptic, Syriac). 

·       Prosopography and the ‘usual suspects’ (aristocracies, rulers, office-holders, etc.). 

·       Prosopography and the ‘unusual suspects’ (e.g. anonymous individuals, marginalised individuals, religious minorities, non-privileged groups). 

·       Prosopography and gender.  

·       Prosopography and the challenges, limits, and opportunities of digital humanities.   

·       Methodological avenues to overcome traditional prosopographical segregations (e.g. clerical/secular, elite/lower-status, human/non-human). 


Confirmed roundtable participants and speakers include Yanne Broux,  Niels Gaul, Rodrigo Laham Cohen, Hartmut Leppin, Ralph Mathisen, Muriel Moser, Silvia Orlandi, Arietta Papaconstantinou, Claire Sotinel, Scott Vanderbilt, and Lieve Van Hoof.  


We are hoping to cover three nights of accommodation in Bonn, travel expenses, plus all lunches and one conference dinner.  


Please send your abstract plus bio to Jeroen Wijnendaele ( ) and Jessica van ’t Westeinde ( ) no later than the 1st of May 2024.

With very best wishes,

Jeroen Wijnendaele & Jessica van ’t Westeinde

Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies

Thursday, February 1, 2024

44th Annual Medieval and Renaissance Forum:

The Mystical, the Supernatural, and All Things Unexplained in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance

Keene State College

Keene, NH, USA

Friday and Saturday April 12-13, 2024


Call for Papers and Sessions

We are delighted to announce that the 44th Medieval and Renaissance Forum will take place in person on Friday, April 12 and Saturday April 13, 2024 at Keene State College in Keene, New Hampshire. The theme of this year’s conference, the sixth and last dedicated to the senses, is The Mystical, the Supernatural, and All Things Unexplained in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. As always, we also welcome papers on any and every topic related to the Middle Ages or the Renaissance as well as papers on medievalism. We plan to hold the 44th Annual Medieval and Renaissance Forum in person with a limited number of virtual presentations.


We welcome abstracts (one page or less) from faculty, students, and independent scholars. If you are an undergraduate student, we ask that you obtain a faculty member's approval and sponsorship.


Graduate students are eligible for consideration for the South Wind Graduate Student Paper Award upon submission of their essays by April 1, 2024. The winner of the South Wind Graduate Student Paper Award will win $100 to be used for registration and/or travel expenses to the 45th Annual Medieval and Renaissance Forum (travel expenses including but not limited to transportation to and from the conference and accommodations while in Keene). The winner of the South Wind Graduate Student Paper Award will be announced at lunch on Friday, April 12, 2024.


Please submit abstracts and full contact information on the google form available here

This year’s keynote speaker is Nahir Otaño Gracia, Assistant Professor of English at the University of New Mexico, who will speak about "Whiteness, Borders, and the Otherworld: Yvain in the Global North Atlantic." 

Dr. Otaño Gracia has published a number of articles on literature from the Global North Atlantic, including “Towards a Decentered Global North Atlantic," the winner of the MLA's article prize in critical race studies (Literature Compass 2019), “Gawain, Race, and the Borders in The Turke and Sir Gawain" (Exemplaria 2022), “Presenting Kin(g)ship in Medieval Irish Literature” (Enarratio 2018), and “Vikings of the Round Table” (Comitatus 2016). Her co-edited volume of essays, Women’s Lives: Self-Representation, Reception, and Appropriation in the Middle Ages, was published in 2023, and she is currently working on her monograph, The Other Faces of Arthur: Medieval Arthurian Texts from the Global North Atlantic.

Dr. Otaño Gracia is also an activist medievalist working to create a more inclusive medieval studies. The article “Constructing Prejudice in the Middle Ages and the Repercussions of Racism Today,” co-written with Daniel Armenti, appeared in Medieval Feminist Forum’s special issue on Microaggressions, Harassment, and Abuse—Medieval and Modern, and her essays “On hidden scars and the passive voice" (Ecocide), “Lost in Our Field” and “Welcome to a New Reality! Reflections on the Medieval Academy of America’s Panel” discuss the ways that medieval studies has begun to diversify the field and the ways it has fallen short. Dr. Otaño Gracia also helped create the Medieval Academy of America’s Belle Da Costa Greene award to be given annually to a medievalist of color for their research.

Abstract deadline: FEBRUARY 1, 2024


Presenters and early registration: March 15, 2024


As always, we look forward to greeting returning and first-time participants to Keene in April!


Friday, November 3, 2023


Please see the call for proposals for a forthcoming special issue of the journal Different Visions: New Perspectives on Medieval Art!  Please consider submitting and sharing widely; contact us if you have questions. More information can be found here:

Environmental Narratives and the Eremitic Turn (due Nov. 30)

This encompasses the locus of eremitic experience, which might be from any religious tradition or geographical location, whether wilderness, mountain, or desert, broadly conceived. It also encompasses the bodies – individual and communal – who chose to inhabit that landscape (as a real or imagined place), and their lived experience. This special issue seeks to explore the diverse ways in which eremitic bodies, ascetic practice, and the landscape of the wilderness, were represented and imagined in visual culture. We welcome submissions that:

  • consider the resonance and meaning of the ascetic tradition across time and space
  • investigate the ascetic tradition and its entanglement with notions of the landscape as wilderness and holy mountain
  • adopt an environmental or ecocritical approach to the eremitic experience
  • explore the tensions between, for example, wilderness and cultivation, inhospitable and fertile landscapes, ascetic practice and the eremitic impulse
  • consider the re-imagining or invocation of the historical desert in monastic, mendicant or other contexts
  • explore the continuing resonance of the eremitic, in symbolic or ecologic terms, in our contemporary world
  • approach the themes above from a global perspective

This special issue engages with urgent contemporary concerns about the impact of human activity on the earth that sustains us. It resonates with recent scholarly interest in the relationship between humanity and nature in the pre- and early modern period, seeking a broad, inclusive, and cross-disciplinary reflection on the visual representation of this interdependence.

Thank you!

Jennifer Borland and Nancy Thompson 

managing editors, Different Visions

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

 Light: Art, Metaphysics, and Science in the Middle Ages

Deadline: 15. November 2023
Jena, September 25–28, 2024

In numerous creation myths, light stands at the beginning of the cosmos. In the Middle Ages, the concepts of light, beauty, and the good were inseparable. Darkness, ugliness, and the evil formed the opposite pole. The degree of perfection of nature, people, and artifacts could be measured by their beauty, which was essentially determined by brightness, brilliance, and luminosity. This concept applied to Byzantium as well as to the Christian West, Judaism, and Islam. To communicate this idea and to enable its experience was not only the highest goal of religious art in the Middle Ages, but also shaped secular and courtly culture. Centering around the topic of light, the 7th “Forum Kunst des Mittelalters” (Jena, September 25–28, 2024) will focus on the multifaceted connections between art, metaphysics, and science in the Middle Ages.

By emphasizing the light-related properties of materials (transparency, reflectivity), medieval artists imbued their creations with an aesthetic quality that pointed beyond the beautiful to the divine as the origin of all things. Questions about the relationship between luminous or light-reflecting materials (gold, silver, gemstones, alabaster, bronze, ivory, silk) and objects, as well as the connection between material, light, and aura were of highest significance across cultures and genres. Rock crystal objects between East and West have recently been the focus of several exhibitions and scholarly studies. Glass as a translucent material par excellence also raises transcultural questions, ranging from the significance of the material as a substitute for gemstones to the realm of its allegorical readings and its function in making the sacred visible.

In architecture, the topic of artists working with and manipulating light can be addressed with reference to cathedrals, castles, and palaces as well as mosques, madrasas, and synagogues. Possible fields of investigation are the relationship between light and built space, the role of light in the design of facades, wall openings, and windows, or the function of dark, windowless spaces in the staging of the sacred.

Luminiferous objects such as candles, chandeliers, and other sorts of lamps served to mark meaningful places or to stage prominent persons and ritual actions, thus offering great potential for further studies. Questions about illumination and light design at masses, coronations, or funerals as well as about lights in motion, for example at processions and festive entries, could contribute to a more precise understanding of the performative potential of light in the Middle Ages.

In encyclopedias, diagrams, and calendars, Western art of the Middle Ages dealt with the connection between light, cosmos, and man. From the 13th century onward, the rational exploration of light and the optical knowledge imported from the Arab world increasingly shaped medieval art. Deepened knowledge of the human vision influenced linear perspective and the representation of light in the arts of the late Middle Ages.

Painters and sculptors now devoted themselves to studying and depicting light phenomena. It remains intriguing to examine how painting and sculpture react to the lighting conditions at their place of installation, how an artwork’s gilding combines aesthetic and theological aspirations, and how the painterly representation of light may reference the divine or may simply be profane surface gloss.

Finally, the topic of light and the sciences builds a bridge to radiation-based art-technological investigation methods of the present day, such as X-ray fluoroscopy, UV or infrared reflectography, which can make the process of the creation of an artwork visible. 

Session 1: Light and Time. Narrating in light and darkness (Double Session) - Session 2: Semantics of Light and Light Openings in Early Medieval Sacred Buildings - Session 3: Stained Glass and Light (Double Session) - Session 4: Light and Lampstands in Medieval Churches - Session 5: Manufacturing and Manipulating Light in Byzantium: Objects, Diagrams, Architecture - Session 6: Light on Sculpture - Session 7: Goldsmithing and lighting effects. Manipulating shadows, the diaphanous and transparency - Session 8: “Shining with Truth”: Silver as Material and Medium - Session 9: In Its True Light: Problems and Perspectives of Research on Medieval Enamels (9th–15th c.) - Session 10: Light Phenomena and Light Effects in German Painting of the Late Middle Ages - Session 11: (In)visible – Monochrome Textiles in the Middle Ages - Session 12: Splendor Librorum – the Radiance of Books. Books, Light, and Movement - Session 13: Luminous writing: On Materiality and Reception of Light in Inscriptions - Session 14: Mirror and reflection - Session 15: Tenebrae / Darkness - Session 16: Illuminating Shadows - Session 17: Controlled strategies in the production and reception aesthetic treatment of daylight and artificial light (Double Session) - Session 18: ‘Light’- and ‘Soundscapes’. Conceptualizing Medieval Liturgies Through Light and Sound - Session 19: Synchrotron radiation based techniques for the investigation of medieval objects


For a detailed description of each session please visit

We now invite applicants – senior and junior researchers alike – to submit paper proposals (preferably in German or English) to these individual sessions. Sessions include one chair and a maximum of three speakers. Presentations usually last 20–30 minutes. Paper proposals of max. 200 words (+ contact details) may be submitted to by November 15 2023Please note that only one person is scheduled per presentation at a time. The results of the selection and the programme will be published in the first quarter of 2024 at and through other relevant online channels.

Monday, September 25, 2023

 The editing of texts in many versions is one of the most difficult and most promising areas at the intersection of textual scholarship and digital humanities.


A two-day virtual conference, “Editing the Text, Editing the Page” on October 5 and 6, will focus on one of the core problems in this domain: how do we edit a text existing in many documents so that we can reflect the richness of every page while still being able compare the text of every page across every document? This virtual conference will bring together scholars from areas ranging from pre-CE texts, Biblical Texts, medieval, renaissance and modern texts, from Zoroastrian texts to Shakespeare and Beckett and beyond, together with experts in text-encoding and digital tool-making. The first day of the conference will have four one-hour workshop presentations on digital tools and environments; on the second day eight papers (with time for questions) will offer different perspectives on the field.


Conference presenters are: Elisa Beshero-Bondar, Peter Boot, Barbara Bordalejo, Gerrit Brüning, Alberto Cantera, Ionut Valentin Cucu, Roland Dekker, Gabriel Egan, Franz Fischer, Dirk Van Hulle, Diane Jakacki, Janelle Jenstad, Agnese Macchiarelli, Vincent Neyt, Daniel O’Donnell, Peter Robinson, Ulrich Schmid, Michael Sperberg-McQueen and Raffaele Viglianti.


The conference is organized by Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Department of Humanities, Venice Centre for Digital and Public Humanities and the University of Saskatchewan.


Please register at Once you have registered, you will get the link to the Zoom room.




The full program is attached. See also

Thursday, September 14, 2023


Devil 2024 Conference

15-18 May 2024

University of King’s College,

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Keynote Speakers

Francesca Stavrakopoulou  University of Exeter, UK

W. Scott Poole College of Charleston, US


Keynote Panel, “the Satanic Renaissance”

Joseph Laycock, Texas State University

Ross Blotcher, co-host of “Oh No, Ross and Carrie”

Julie Exline, Case Western University

Michelle Brock, Washington and Lee University

 “The Devil 2024” conference explores the nature, significance, and operation of demonism and demonization across the western tradition. The conference will bring together scholars interested in the social and cultural construction of the devil and the impact of demonism across different chronological periods and from diverse methodological backgrounds. It aims to foster interdisciplinary dialogue that addresses challenging questions about how notions of the demonic are shaped by cultural priorities and anxieties, by professional discerners and the media, and by discourses of fear and safety.

“The Devil 2024” will investigate why these images repeat through the ages and why they continue to have still have resonance in the modern world.


The Programme Committee welcomes proposals for 20-minute papers, for panels (generally consisting of three papers), and workshops or round-tables dealing with any aspect of demonism and its manifestation in the western tradition.


Themes may include but are not limited to:

Binaries and contrarieties

Colonialism and demonism

Constructions and reconstructions of the demonic

Demonic and authority

Demonisation and its application

Demonism and the pursuit of knowledge

Demon possession

Demons and panics

Demons and the environment

Devil, exclusion and social cohesion

Devil, perception and cognition

Devil in the media and popular culture

Diagnosing, engaging and challenging the demonic

Gender, power and social order

Inversions and subversions

Representations of the devil

Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be submitted through our online submission portal at  by 15 October 2023.


Halifax (pop. 500,000) is the largest city in Atlantic Canada and is the capital of the province of Nova Scotia. It is serviced by direct flights from Boston, New York, London, Montreal, and a number of other major North American and European cities. It has a range of services and attractions and has become a leading regional centre for dining and entertainment. The temperature in May generally ranges from 7C (44F) to 15C (59F).


Programme Committee: Michelle D. Brock (W&L Univ.), Peter Dendle (Penn State, Mont Alto), Sarah Hughes (Temple), Vera Kirk (Univ. of Malta), Kathryn Morris (Univ. of King’s College), Richard Raiswell (Univ. of Prince Edward Island), David R. Winter (Brandon Univ.).


For more information, please visit us at or contact us at