Sunday, October 30, 2016

Uses of the Past: Cultural Memory in and of the Middle Ages
The Twenty-Ninth Annual Spring Symposium of the Medieval Studies Institute of Indiana University
3–4 March, 2017
Indiana University, Bloomington

How is the past used (and abused) in the middle ages? To what purposes is it deployed in personal, social, religious, and political formation? And how has the medieval served as a foundational past for identities and practices in post-medieval periods? Recent scholarship demonstrates the importance of the past in the creation of medieval identity. In the words of Walter Pohl and Ian Wood, the past could be used “to create legitimacy, explain inclusion and exclusion, establish precedent, provide orientation, exemplify moral exhortation, inspire a sense of what was possible and what was not, to negotiate status, to argue about the right norms or to imagine the future.” Moreover, the medieval past has become a touchstone of current cultural memory, deployed in constructing the past of our own present moment.

The Medieval Studies Institute of Indiana University welcomes scholars from a range of disciplines and objects: history, literature, music; material artifacts and spaces; religion, politics, and law. We are especially interested in papers that explore global perspectives on cultural memory and the use of the past.

Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words to Sean Tandy ( by January 15th, 2016

Marco Manuscript Workshop 2017
"Envisioning Knowledge"
February 3-4, 2017
Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

The Twelfth Marco Manuscript Workshop will be held Friday and Saturday, February 3-4, 2017, at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville; the workshop is organized by Professors Maura K. Lafferty (Classics) and Roy M. Liuzza (English).

For this year’s workshop we invite papers that explore the idea of "Envisioning Knowledge." Some manuscripts contain sacred texts, brilliantly illuminated; some preserve literary treasures, adorned with elaborately decorated initials. Other manuscripts have a more practical function, from recording transactions of land or service, to collecting medical recipes or geographical lore, to marking days and years, to charting the scope of the earth or the course of the heavens. These manuscripts may have a more utilitarian appearance, but they often supplement their textual content with diagrams and illustrations, charts and maps, tables and lists. Such manuscripts preserve the beginnings of modern science, and they are important to the development of the visual display of information and the transmission of both practical and speculative knowledge. The makers of these books were inventing ways to use the visual space of the page to represent, in one way or another, some truth about the world and their understanding of it. We welcome presentations on any aspect of this topic, broadly imagined.

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 like 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 November 4, 2016. Applicants are asked to submit a current CV and a two-page letter describing their project to Roy M. Liuzza, preferably via email to <
>>, or by mail to the Department of English, University of Tennessee, 301 McClung Tower, Knoxville, TN 37996-0430. 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 Roy Liuzza for more information.
The Irish government plans to ‘temporarily’ accommodate the the Irish Senate ( Seanad Éireann) in the Ceramics Room of Kildare Street branch of the National Museum of Ireland.  An office accommodating three curators from the National Museum will also be needed as a fire escape route. This is to be for at least two years while the Senate Chamber is renovated. The Museum’s Ceramics Room is the venue for the great variety of lectures and other public outreach events which museum staff have managed to provide, free of charge, over many years despite drastic and on-going cuts to their budgets. 

The Irish Arts Review is organizing a petition addressed to the Irish Prime Minister (An Taoiseach), asking the government to halt this planned relocation of the Seanad.

If you are happy to support this campaign please sign the petition and pass the link on (
Niamh Whitfield
The Irish government plans to ‘temporarily’ accommodate the the Irish Senate ( Seanad Éireann) in the Ceramics Room of Kildare Street branch of the National Museum of Ireland.  An office accommodating three curators from the National Museum will also be needed as a fire escape route. This is to be for at least two years while the Senate Chamber is renovated. The Museum’s Ceramics Room is the venue for the great variety of lectures and other public outreach events which museum staff have managed to provide, free of charge, over many years despite drastic and on-going cuts to their budgets. 

The Irish Arts Review is organizing a petition addressed to the Irish Prime Minister (An Taoiseach), asking the government to halt this planned relocation of the Seanad.

If you are happy to support this campaign please sign the petition and pass the link on (
Niamh Whitfield

Thursday, October 27, 2016

nimals in the Archives
October 27–28, 2016
University of Pennsylvania


This two-day symposium brings leading figures in animal history together with Philadelphia-based archivists to theorize the historical traces that animals leave behind. The symposium focuses on how animals come to be represented textually, visually, and materially in historical archives—both dead (as in leather bindings, parchment made from animal skins, iron-gall inks, hide and bone glues, and taxidermy specimens) and very much alive (as in bookworms, silverfish, mice, and other archival “pests” that eat the bindings, adhesives, and other substances in library and archival collections).

By thinking through the stakes of nonhuman animal representation in archives, the symposium addresses both the history of human-animal relationships across time and the theory and practice of history and archival classification. It aims to provide a broader view of the human past and to reconsider the anthropocentric biases of conventional historical practice, while also exploring methodological questions about the possibility of history beyond the human.

More information here:


Thursday, October 27, 2016 | 6:00–8:00pm
Rainey Auditorium, Penn Museum, 3260 South Street

Screening of the documentary film “Matto Grosso, the Great Brazilian Wilderness” (1931).

In the late 1920s, Eldridge Reeves Johnson, inventor and former corporate magnate, developed a relationship with the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology that would indirectly result in pioneering work in film technology history. In 1930, Captain Vladimir Perfilieff, a Russian-born artist and adventurer, and John S. Clarke, friend and former classmate of Johnson, asked him to fund a zoological and ethnographic expedition to be undertaken and filmed in the Mato Grosso plateau of Brazil. “Matto Grosso” is the result of this joint expedition, which documents the people, animals, and environment of the region. Penn Museum archivists will introduce and contextualize the film.

The 49-minute screening will be followed by a roundtable from 7:00 to 8:00pm on the topic of animals and film.

For more information, see:

Friday, October 28, 2016 | 10:00am–5:00pm
LGBT Center, 3907 Spruce Street

A series of talks will further explore the theme of “Animals in the Archives.” In the morning and the afternoon there will be presentations by five speakers: Bruce Holsinger (University of Virginia), Iris Montero (Brown University), Rebecca Woods (University of Toronto), Nigel Rothfels (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee) and Neel Ahuja (University of California, Santa Cruz). At 1:00pm we will hold a roundtable on “The Materiality of Animal Archives” featuring scholars and Philadelphia-based archivists.

The symposium will be followed by a public reception at 5:30pm.


Organized by Etienne Benson, Carolyn Fornoff, and Zeb Tortorici.

Sponsored by the School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Spanish & Portuguese, Penn Humanities Forum, Penn Year of Media, South Asia Center, Department of English, Department of History and Sociology of Science, and Department of History.
Dear all

With apologies for cross-posting, please find attached a Call for Papers for a conference to be held in Bochum on 17th and 18th June 2017, titled “Strangers at the Gate! The (un)welcome movement of people and ideas in the medieval world”.

Papers in English from all disciplines and geographical areas are warmly welcomed, as are submissions from graduate students and early career researchers.

All best

Dr S. C. Thomson

Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter
Lehrstuhl für Mediävistik und Sprachwissenschaften
Englisches Seminar der Ruhr-Universität Bochum

FNO 02 / 79
Universitätsstr. 150
44801 Bochum

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Arthur H. Dadian and Ara Oztemel Chair of Armenian Art at Tufts University and the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture at Hellenic College Holy Cross in Brookline, MA, are pleased to announce the second workshop in the Studying East of Byzantium II workshop series:

Friday, November 18, 2016, 10:00 am–12:00 pm
Harvard Faculty Club, 20 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA

Which Nubia and Which Byzantium?
A workshop for students on medieval Nubia and its place in Byzantine society and the larger Mediterranean world. Led by Giovanni R. Ruffini, Fairfield University

RSVP required. Registration closes November 16. Additional information and registration at

East of Byzantium is a partnership between the Arthur H. Dadian and Ara Oztemel Chair of Armenian Art at Tufts University and the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture at Hellenic College Holy Cross in Brookline, MA, that explores the cultures of the eastern frontier of the Byzantine empire in the late antique and medieval periods.
Symposium: Liturgical and Paraliturgical Hymnology in East and West, November 11, 2016

The Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture at Hellenic College Holy Cross is pleased to announce an upcoming symposium “Liturgical and Paraliturgical Hymnology in East and West” to be held a Hellenic College Holy Cross, 50 Goddard Avenue, Brookline, MA, on November 11, 2016, from 9:30am–1:30pm.

In this symposium, liturgical scholars and musical practitioners present papers discussing themes of poetry and song in the medieval and contemporary religious and musical traditions of Judaism and Christianity.

A full schedule of papers and abstracts are available at

The event is open to the public.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Monasteries in the digital humanities
Kraków-Tyniec, Benedictine Abbey, 13–16 September 2017
The conference is organised by the Friends of History Society in Wrocław, Branch of the Polish Historical Society, in collaboration with the Institute of History, University of Wrocław, Institute of History, University of Opole, and the Benedictine Abbey of Tyniec
1. Presentation of the history of monasteries and religious orders on the internet (monasticons, portals and blogs, websites, databases, maps etc.)
2. Digital reconstruction of former monasteries, virtual monastery libraries, utility rooms in monasteries etc.
3. Digitisation of the written legacy of monasteries
4. Creation of platforms providing information and bringing together scholars researching monasteries
5. Dissemination of knowledge of monasteries and religious orders online
6. Possibilities of creating an online monasticon encompassing monasteries located both in Europe (including Poland) and other parts of the world
7. Digital tools and resources in humanities research. Problems – solutions – proposals.
Please send us the proposed titles of your full papers (up to 20 min.) and short communication papers (up to 10 min.) before 15 November 2016.
The languages of the conference will be generally international conference languages. However, we may organise separate sections devoted to Polish topics.
We plan to publish a volume of conference proceedings.
The conference fee is PLN 200 (EUR 50).
We will provide full board and accommodation for participants from outside Poland and will reimburse their travel expenses.
Polish participants will cover the cost of accommodation, but will receive fees for preparing their papers (approx. PLN 500).
At the end of the conference, on 16 September, we will organise a tour of Kraków monasteries.

Yours sincerely,
Prof dr hab. Marek Derwich
Monika Michalska

Thursday, October 20, 2016

everyone interested in medieval charters is invited to participate at the next MOMathon, 15th November 2016.
The MOMathon is an online event concerned with the Monasterium portal – Europe’s virtual charters archive. Everyone interested in improving access to historical documents is given the opportunity to collectively enhance the world´s largest database of medieval and early modern charters:
More details on how to participate and the prize awaiting the winner can be found here:
The 34th Brixworth Lecture will be given by Prof Katy Cubitt, University of York, on Saturday 29th October at 5pm in the Anglo-Saxon church of All Saints at Brixworth, Northamptonshire (built c. 800). 
Katy’s lecture will be on the topic of ‘Reform and Renewal of Religious Life in Anglo-Saxon England’.
All welcome! 

Joanna Story
Professor of Early Medieval History
Director of the Medieval Research Centre & Director of Research (History)

School of History, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK
T: +44 (0)116 252 2761  

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Beyond Borders: 
Mutual Imaginings of Europe & the Middle East (800-1700)


Saturday, December 3, 2016

The 25th biennial conference of the Barnard Medieval & Renaissance Studies Program brings together scholars whose work challenges the stark border between Europe and the Middle East during the long period between 800-1700. Rather than thinking of these areas in isolation, this interdisciplinary conference reveals the depth of their mutual influence, exploring how trade, war, migration, and the exchange of ideas connected East and West during their formative periods. Distant worlds were not only objects of aggression, but also, inextricably, of fantasy and longing, as Jewish, Muslim, and Christian thinkers looked to each other to understand their own cultural histories and to imagine their futures. Plenary speakers are Nabil Matar of the University of Minnesota and Nancy Bisaha of Vassar College. A preliminary schedule is pasted below.
You can register HERE.

Saturday, December 3, 2016
Barnard Hall
3009 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
Registration and Breakfast 
8-9, Sulzberger Parlor
Plenary I9-10, Held Lecture Hall
Nancy Bisaha, Vassar College
“From Medieval Christendom to Renaissance Europe: The Shifting Place of Muslims in the Pre-Modern World”
Session I : The Politics of the Border
10:15-11:45, Held Lecture Hall
Cristelle Baskins, Tufts University
"Habsburgs and Hafsids on the Border of Christendom"
Enass Khansa, Harvard University
"Negotiating Legitimacy in the Andalusian Caliphate & the Catholic Kingdoms of Iberia"
K. A. Tuley, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
"An Ensemble Performance : Sovereignty in the Eastern Mediterranean Theater in the Thirteenth Century"
Sabahat Adil, University of Colorado-Boulder
"Locating al-Andalus, or Where Does al-Andalus Begin and End and Why Does it Matter ?"   
Plenary II
1-2, Held Lecture Hall
Nabil Matar, University of Minnesota
"The Protestant Reformation and its aftermath in early modern Arabic sources"
Session II : Trade and Artistic Exchange 
2:15-3:45, Held Lecture Hall   
Heather Madar, Humboldt State University
"The Sultan’s Face Looks East and West : Sixteenth-Century European and Ottoman Sultan Portraiture"
Antje Bosselmann-Ruickbie, University of Mainz
"Byzantine Ornaments : Cultural Transfer in the Thirteenth to Fifteenth Centuries"
Winston Black, Assumption College
"Perversion and Perfection in the Orient : Twelfth-Century European Fantasies of Eastern Spices"   
Session III : The Literature of Religious Interchange
4-5:30, Held Lecture Hall 
Hossein Kamaly, Barnard College
"The Christian Reformation : From a Shī‘a Catholic to an Augustininan Prior Turned Muslim"
John Paul Hampstead and Amrita Dhar, University of Michigan
"From Marrakesh to the Tower of London : Constructing a Jesuit Martyrology, 1580-82"
Islam Issa, Birmingham City University
"Dialectical Interchanges : Milton, the English Renaissance, and the Arab Nahdah"

Concluding Discussion
5:30-6:30, Held Lecture Hall

Wine and Cheese Reception
6:30-7:30, Sulzberger Parlor
*** QUESTIONS? Please contact Rachel Eisendrath,
MATLIT, 2017, vol. 5 
VOX MEDIA: Sound in Literature 
Editors: Osvaldo Manuel Silvestre (University of Coimbra)  
Felipe Cussen (University of Santiago de Chile) 

Call for Papers  
The easiness by which the idea of literature translates into the idea of text and the latter into “letters printed on paper” is probably to blame for the one-sided version both common sense and critical belief constantly show of the relation between readers and books: literature is something that we read in silence. Better still, literature is a text that becomes a book by means of an inscription process that becomes invisible itself, since the materiality of the text is annulled as a result of what is being transmitted by the former: ideas, meaning, in a word, contents. 

And yet, there is no literature without a material inscription process which turns each verbal sign into a thing belonging to the phenomenal world, to be seen before being read and to be read in silence – or not. Or else, in order to be spoken (another form of material inscription), preceding and dispensing with the writing or coming immediately after it. There are, it is well known, western and non-western literary narratives in which Voice precedes writing. There are, also, some arguments supporting this claim, although one might suspect a mild revisionist tone to some of them. Nevertheless, this is not about searching for a privilege of the Origin for the study of the sound dimension of literary phenomena, but rather about admitting the relevance of such a field to a larger, simultaneously modern and archaic, version of literature. 

In the crossing of historical vanguards and changes in communication technologies, literature has opened itself to the materialities of sound, voice and performance. This process was accelerated and dramatized by both mediation and technical reproduction up until the digital revolution, which eventually led to the historical and technological specificity of the post-digital state of affairs. The process further suffered the overlap of massification, thus operating to a large extent on a scene of “re-oralization”, although by then within the historical setting of a “secondary orality”. From the more avant-garde to the more massified environments, from Sound Poetry to the Spoken Word or Slam Poetry, without overlooking the vast intermediary territory of “readings (or recitations) of poetry”, it is safe to admit that the self-awareness that planet literature has is also to encompass those ever-growing dimensions: phonetic poetry, sound poetry, recordings of literary texts (either by its own authors or other readers), setting of poems into music (especially in the cases in which the voice is not turned into singing, thus sabotaging the form of “song”), poetry and narrative live readings, spoken word, slam poetry, rap. 

MATLIT’s volume 5 is thus intent on exploring what we call literature as VOX MEDIA: voice as a means for literature and the disturbances suffered by the medium from the combined effect of performance and the technologies for mediation, representation and reproduction. And also other instances, like the tensions between the body and technology, audibility v. inaudibility of text, sound and meaning, physical presence and/or absence of the authors, and so forth. The goal is not only that of generating a catalogue or a compendium of the contemporary effects of VOX MEDIA on the notion of literature, but that of generating an archaeology for VOX MEDIA and for all related phenomena repressed by their historical invisibility.  

Submissions must be uploaded before October 31, 2016
Prior to submission, authors have to register in the journal system: 
Please see author guidelines: