Monday, October 21, 2013

31st All Saints' Lecture at Brixworth Church

The 31st All Saints' Lecture at Brixworth Church, Northants will be held on
Saturday 2nd November at 5pm. The speaker this year is Prof. Leslie
Brubaker, professor of Byzantine Art at the University of Birmingham, who
will talk on 'Brixworth and Byzantium'. All are welcome.

Details of the 2013 lecture are here
<>  (with
information about past lectures and how to order
them) and on the poster below.

The starting point for this year's lecture is the much anticipated
publication of the Brixworth archaeological survey by David Parsons and
Diana Sutherland:
The Anglo-Saxon Church of All Saints, Brixworth, Northamptonshire: Survey,
Excavation and Analysis, 1972-2010 [Hardback] which was published by Oxbow
in June this year (and is on special offer
 at the moment).

This is a major publication of a major Anglo-Saxon building (comparable in
scale to Wulfred's early 9th C cathedral in Canterbury) and is a 'must have'
for all Anglo-Saxonists' libraries. Parsons and Sutherland's work has
established that this spectacular church was built c. 800, and recognises
firmly the European context in which it was built. At this time Western
Europe was dominated by Charlemagne's Frankish kingdom. To the  east lay the
Byzantine Empire centred on the imperial city of Constantinople. At the turn
of the ninth century, Byzantium was ruled by a woman, the Empress Irene
(797-802), who overturned the iconoclast policies of her predecessors,
restoring the veneration of icons to the eastern Church. Byzantine attitudes
towards images were known and had been discussed in the west since at least
the time of Bede (d. 735). Prof. Brubaker's lecture provides an opportunity
to reflect on how an Anglo-Saxon church like Brixworth would have been
decorated when it was built, c. 800, and what its priests and worshippers
would have thought about Byzantine concerns about depictions of Christ and
All Saints.

Southern African Society for Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Southern African Society for Medieval and Renaissance Studies: Newsletter Number 2 for 2013
The time has come to assemble the second 2013 newsletter for posting on the website at I look forward to receiving items relating to Medieval and Renaissance Studies that would be of interest to our readers. This could include but is not limited to news about books, journals, calls for papers, and research opportunities.
The present newsletter on the website contains information and a first call for papers for our next conference at Stellenbosch from 28 to 31 August 2014 on the theme The Art of Reading in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The keynote speaker will be Professor Henry Woudhuysen, Lincoln College, University of Oxford. Deadline for proposals: 31 January 2014.

Rocky Mountain Medieval and Renaissance Association

46th Annual Conference of the Rocky Mountain Medieval and Renaissance Association
"Peregrinatio pro amore Dei: Aspects of Pilgrimage in the Middle Ages and Renaissance"
June 12-14, 2014
Denver, CO
Deadline for abstracts and session proposals: November 15, 2013
Pilgrimage to holy sites and shrines was a mainstay of European life throughout the medieval and Renaissance periods, and the journeys to places such as Canterbury, Santiago de Compostela, Assisi, Rome, Mecca, and Jerusalem informed a devotional tradition that encouraged participation from all social classes, evoked commentary by chroniclers, playwrights, and poets, and inspired artistic, iconographic, and literary expressions. Even when the faith-based culture of the Middle Ages began to transform into the more empirical (and experiential) centuries of the Renaissance and Protestant Reformations, pilgrimages were still very much on the minds of writers and geographers as a source of both inspiration and criticism (Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, Bunyon, Hakluyt, and Raleigh). 
The RMMRA Program Committee welcomes individual paper and panel proposals that address the conference theme from disciplines within the late antique, medieval, Renaissance, and 
Reformation periods (c. 4th to 17th centuries).  
See the full CFP here: 

Making Knowledge in Medieval and Early Modern Literary Culture

Making Knowledge in Medieval and Early Modern Literary Culture
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
April 4-5, 2013

The literature and culture of the late medieval and early modern periods were profoundly affected by the expansion of new artisanal and scientific technologies-innovations and ideas that would lead to the production and consumption of new forms of knowledge. In both periods, knowledge was conceptualized across a range of intersecting disciplines, including natural philosophy, astrology, mathematics, medicine, art, mechanics, and cartography, among others. Literature embraced, criticized, or participated in these fields in diverse ways, often examining how these new forms or categories of knowledge influenced the locus and ontology of the individual and social self.
Collectively, we will investigate the ways in which medieval and early modern literature engages with scientific, technological and textual processes of making and disseminating knowledge. In addition, we are interested in discussing the creation and development of modern/postmodern technologies through and around medieval and early modern texts. As such, scholars studying medieval and early modern texts, performances, and art-or later reassessments thereof- are welcome.  
This conference is part of a three-year collaboration between King's College, London and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Previous conferences include "Shakespeare and the Natural World" at UNC and "Shakespeare, Memory, and Culture" at KCL. "Making Knowledge" aims to continue this collaboration and engage in critical discussion with graduate students from both institutions and from across the US. 
Dr. Pamela Smith, a cultural historian at Columbia University, will deliver the keynote titled "From Matter to Ideas: Making Natural Knowledge in early Modern Europe" on Saturday evening, April 5th. Dr. Smith's publications include Merchants and Marvels: Commerce, Science and Art in Early Modern EuropeThe Body of the Artisan: Art and Experience in the Scientific Revolution, and Making Knowledge in Early Modern Europe: Practices, Objects, and Texts, 1400-1800. 
We invite papers on these and related topics. Abstracts of 300-400 words are due December 1st, 2013 
to Participants will be notified on January 25th. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Digital HEL!

So. I've thought for years I ought to do something about the History of English Language book choices out there, frustrating as they all are and far too expensive. But I haven't. Then after discussions earlier this year with Mary Kate Hurley and Nicole Discenza and others on this and related HEL matters, I really though I ought to do something about it. Finally, at SEMA last weekend during the HEL roundtable I volunteered. So under the auspices of the Heroic Age journal (because my co-editor has her own dedicated server), we're opening and developing an open source History of the English Language textbook and workbook. So if you have materials written, exercises composed, homepages constructed, links, etc and you are willing to share them with other HEL instructors, send them to me at and me and my minions will begin organizing and constructing an open source, web-accessible text book out of our collective materials.