Monday, March 29, 2021

 Call for Posters 


 Narrating Relationships in Holy Lives from the first millennium AD
Department of Classics & Ancient History 

, University of Exeter via Zoom, 12th July 2021 


We are excited to announce an afternoon workshop on ‘Narrating Relationships in Holy Lives’. Communities wrote about holy figures for many reasons. Our speakers consider the characterisation of various holy figures or ‘the very special dead’ in texts from multiple religious (Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Manichaean) and linguistic (Latin, Greek, Arabic, Hebrew) communities. The workshop will explore the construction of holy and unholy characters, their relationships, and the role of narrative order in texts about holy figures. We are especially interested in how these features change as texts and figures are translated, transmitted, epitomised or received in different contexts across the late-ancient and early-medieval Mediterranean.  


Keynotes: Christian Sahner (Oxford) “How to construct a holy life in the early Islamic period”  

& Christa Gray (Reading) TBC 

Speakers: Nic Baker-Brian (Cardiff) “Is there a Narrator Here? The Role of Narrative and Narration in Manichaean Kephalaia”; Stavroula Constantinou (Cyprus) “Narrating Friendship in Byzantine Hagiography” ; Edmund Hayes (Leiden) TBC; Jillian Stinchcomb (Brandeis) “Narrating the visit of the Queen of Sheba to Solomon's Court in Late Antique Sources; Chontel Syfox (Wisconsin-Madison) Rewriting Leah: The Feminine Ideal in the Book of Jubilees 


The workshop will be held in English and will comprise a short opening and closing keynote, brief panels, and discussion. This will culminate in a roundtable discussion General registration will be opened in late May. 


Applications are now open for pre-circulated posters. We invite contributions that consider: 


  •  Order in which characters and relationships are introduced or developed 
  • Choice of narrator(s) and narrative perspectives 
  • Types of relationship (e.g. confrontational, supportive, ambiguous) as narrative devices 
  • Relationship formation, breakdown and misunderstanding as narrative progression 
  • Relationships as constructors of inclusion, exclusion & difference (e.g. status, gender etc.) 
  • Reconfiguration of relationships in transmission, translation, paraphrase and epitome 
  • Receptions and reinterpretations of characters from other narratives 
  • Relationships beyond the human (e.g.  supernatural, environmental, non-human) 
  • Characters in context: narratives and audience, performance, relics 


Posters will be shared with registered attendees, who will be invited to pose questions to individual poster presenters via email. General themes and questions arising from the posters will also be raised at the roundtable discussion.


 We will accept posters in English, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish and Modern Standard Arabic. To facilitate wide comprehension, presenters are asked to provide an English synopsis if the poster is not in English; if this is a barrier then please contact us.  We are especially keen to encourage submissions from postgraduates, ECRs and independent scholars who may not have a departmental profile. 


Please send one-page poster submissions in PowerPoint or PDF format to by 1st July 2021, along with affiliation, year of study and synopsis if applicable. Submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Enquiries about poster topics and format are also welcomed (we recommend A1 format, 26pt font minimum) and we can provide a poster guidance sheet.  


Alice van den Bosch (Exeter) & Becca Grose (Reading/Exeter) 

Becca Grose, BA (York), MA (Utrecht)

SWW DTP doctoral researcher in Classics
University of Reading

Sunday, March 28, 2021

We are writing to share the official announcement of our Call for Papers for MEMS Festival 2021. Now in its seventh year, this conference is organised by postgraduate students at the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies at the University of Kent and it includes papers, workshops, and other exciting academic activities. This year, due to the pandemic, we will host this event online from 18th - 19th June 2021. 


The MEMS Festival is a friendly and interdisciplinary celebration of medieval and early modern research. Since 2015, this event continues to bring together students and academics alike from across the globe to share their work. Click here to see the programmes for previous conferences.


From its inception, our conference has had no theme other than its focus on interdisciplinary research between the years 400 and 1800. We encourage a wide range of topics, including, but not limited to, history, politics, theology, economics, art history, drama, literature, latin, vernacular languages, liturgy, architecture, archaeology, and performance culture. We always aim to create an informal and inclusive space in which postgraduate students, early career researchers, and academics can share their ideas and build a greater sense of community, which is especially important to us during the ongoing pandemic. Undergraduates in their final year of study are very welcome too. 


If you are interested, then please refer to the attached Call for Papers document for further details. 


Important Dates

Monday 1st March: Abstract submissions open

Friday 30th April: Abstract submission closes

TBC: First registration opens for presenters (those giving papers or workshop leaders) and attendees (those not giving papers).

TBC June: Registration closes.

Thursday 18th June: Conference begins

Friday 19th June: Conference closes


For any general enquiries or to find out more information, check out our website


We look forward to seeing you in June at MEMS Festival. 


Very best wishes, 

MEMS Festival Team

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

 On behalf of the organizing committee,

Renaud Alexandre
Section de Lexicographie et de Sémantique (Comité Du Cange)
Institut de Recherche et d'Histoire des Textes (CNRS)


Voces 2021. Latin Middle Ages through Key Words: Feast, Holiday, Celebration

Workshop – 29-30 September 2021

Medieval society is inseparable from both the written and spoken words that brought it to life. It is through those words that the people of the Middle Ages shared their beliefs, their ideas and their experiences. Words were used to share knowledge, spread the Gospel, but also to stigmatize the Other, exclude heterodoxy, and call for war. Controlling word senses was one of the major means to sustain power, to take possession of goods and to control access to knowledge. That could lead to verbal jousting or even real conflicts.

Modern scholars that are trying to reconstruct the meaning of medieval words in their relationship with historical, social or psychological reality, are facing multiple problems. Firstly, they have to handle the inherent vagueness and ambiguity of the Latin language that prevent them from pinpointing the exact meaning of most frequent words. Secondly, they have to measure the pragmatic functions of those terms, which served not only to talk about objects but also to make things. Finally, they have to establish the link between words and cultural, social or political reality.

The conference cycle Voces. Latin Middle Ages through Key Words, co-organised by the IRHT (CNRS) and Institute of Polish Language (PAN) aims to take a closer look at Latin words that have played an important role in the medieval culture. Every two year we propose to focus on a different major medieval concept and its linguistic expressions.

The conference aims to bring together historians, linguists, philosophers and philologists from various theoretical background (historical semantics, Begriffsgeschichte, cognitive semantics, histoire des mentalités etc.) and who use various methodology (corpus studies, lexical analysis, etc.). Papers dealing with medieval key words or concepts in a broad context of social, political and religious life are particularly encouraged.

Voces 2021. Feast, Holiday, Celebration

This year’s edition concurs with the 100th anniversary of the Medieval Latin Dictionary, a project of the International Academic Union which was to bring together the post-war European scientific community around the impossible task of describing medieval Latin vocabulary. Originally scheduled for 2020, the conference was to focus on the concepts of FEAST, CELEBRATION and HOLIDAY and their vocabulary. Despite the current health crisis, the organizers have decided to stick to this topic. Depending on circumstances, the conference will be held either in hybrid mode with the in-person event at the Campus Condorcet, Paris-Aubervilliers, or fully online.

As still today, the feasts deeply structured social and private life of medieval people. The recurring religious holidays reminded believers of their relationship to the Absolute and gave meaning to the medieval sense of time. Private celebrations, limited to friends and family, were used to underline the events of people’s lives. Public holidays, on the other hand, created and sustained social coherence, by highlighting common values and cultural norms that are usually implicit.

Suggested topics

We invite papers that discuss a chosen term or concept, to illustrate how the concepts were understood and represented in medieval cultural, religious, social and political life.

  1. The concepts of FEAST, CELEBRATION and HOLIDAY and their linguistic representations: festumsollemnitasferia etc.; Latin vs. vernacular terms; the metaphors of FEASTING etc.; the vocabulary and the social reality of FEASTING etc.
  2. Religious holidays: Church holidays, ceremonies, saints day; was there boundary between religious and political, social or individual celebrations?
  3. Structuring lives of individuals: birth, wedding and funeral; celebrating individual experience.
  4. Celebration as social practice: urban vs. rural vs. courtly celebrations; bonding through celebration; carnival and social hierarchy.
  5. The materiality of celebration: drinking and eating; games and activities; loca celebrandi.
  6. Theoretical issues
    • Latin vocabulary and categories of medieval thought: a simple link?
    • lexical borrowing and semantic change: new words = new worlds?
    • medieval Latin and individuals: cognition, experience, emotions
    • scientific vs. folk knowledge
    • ideology, power, violence, memory
    • negotiating meaning in interpretative communities


We welcome two forms of submissions:

  • Long papers (30 minutes, 15 minutes discussion), that go beyond a single text or author, and provide either wider
  •  (historical, social, cultural etc.) context for the discussion or pose important theoretical and methodological questions
  •  (historical change, methodological issues etc.);
  • Short papers (15 minutes, 5 minutes discussion), which are more limited in scope, but still bring forward links between
  •  vocabulary, conceptualization and socio-cultural reality of the Middle Ages.

Paper lanLanguage: English, French, German, Spanish.

Abstracts should be submitted via the EasyChair ( by 15 May 2021

 (23:59 CEST):

  • long papers: 500 words (without references)
  • short papers: 250 words (without references)

Submissions should clearly state the paper topic, briefly discuss existing research and explain whythe analysis of the

suggested term or field is important to our understanding of medieval social practices.

The proceedings of the conference will be published in a special issue of the Archivum Latinitatis Medii Aevi

 (Bulletin Du Cange).

Organizing Committee: Bruno BON (IRHT-CNRS), Anita GUERREAU-JALABERT (IRHT-CNRS), 

Krzysztof NOWAK (IJP-PAN), Nathalie PICQUE (IRHT-CNRS).

Program Committee: TBA.


VOCES. Le Moyen Âge latin à travers ses mots-clés : Fêtes et célébrations

Journées d’étude – 29 et 30 septembre 2021

La société médiévale est inséparable des mots qui l’ont fait vivre, à l’oral comme à l’écrit. C’est à travers eux que les femmes et les hommes du Moyen Âge ont partagé leurs croyances, leurs idées et leurs expériences. Les mots servaient à partager le savoir et à prêcher l’Évangile, mais aussi à stigmatiser l’Autre, exclure l’hétérodoxie ou appeler à la guerre. La maîtrise du sens des mots était l’un des principaux moyens de conserver le pouvoir, de s’approprier des richesses, ou de contrôler l’accès au savoir. Cela pouvait conduire à des joutes verbales, voire à de réels conflits.

Les chercheurs contemporains qui tentent de reconstruire le sens des mots médiévaux et leurs relations avec la réalité historique, sociale ou psychologique qu’ils sont censés représenter sont confrontés à de nombreuses difficultés. Tout d’abord, ils se heurtent à l’ambiguïté et à l’ellipse inhérentes à la langue, qui interdisent de fixer un sens univoque à la plupart des mots fréquents. Ensuite, ils doivent mesurer les fonctions pragmatiques de ces vocables, qui servent non seulement à dire, mais aussi à faire. Enfin, il leur faut établir le lien entre les mots employés et la réalité culturelle, sociale ou politique.

Le cycle de conférences « Voces. Le Moyen-Âge à travers ses mots-clés », lancé par l’Institut de Recherche et d’Histoire des Textes (CNRS) et l’Institut de la Langue Polonaise (PAN), se propose d’examiner attentivement les mots qui ont joué un rôle important dans l’Europe latine médiévale. Tous les deux ans, nous nous concentrerons sur un concept central pour le Moyen Âge latin et ses expressions linguistiques.

La conférence vise à rassembler des historiens, des linguistes, des philosophes et des philologues de divers horizons théoriques (sémantique historique, Begriffsgeschichte, sémantique cognitive, histoire des mentalités, etc.), et qui utilisent des méthodes variées (étude de corpus, analyse lexicale, etc.). Sont particulièrement encouragées les contributions qui traitent de mots ou de concepts clés du Moyen Âge dans un contexte assez large de la vie sociale, politique et religieuse.

L’édition de cette année concorde avec le 100e anniversaire du « Dictionnaire du Latin Médiéval », projet de l’Union Académique Internationale qui devait réunir la communauté scientifique européenne de l’après-guerre autour de la tâche impossible de décrire le vocabulaire latin médiéval. Initialement prévue en 2020, la conférence devait se consacrer au concept de la fête et son vocabulaire. Malgré la crise sanitaire actuelle, les organisateurs ont décidé de s’en tenir à ce thème. Sous réserve de l’évolution de la situation sanitaire, la conférence se réunira à Paris sur le Campus Condorcet (Paris-Aubervilliers), en mode hybride : communications possibles en visioconférence.

Comme encore aujourd’hui, les fêtes structuraient profondément la vie sociale et privée du Moyen Âge. Les fêtes religieuses récurrentes rappelaient aux croyants leur relation à l’Absolu et donnaient son sens au temps médiéval. Les fêtes privées, limitées aux amis et à la famille, marquaient les événements de la vie de chacun. Les fêtes publiques, quant à elles, produisaient et soutenaient la cohésion sociale, en rendant visibles des valeurs et des normes culturelles qui ne sont généralement qu’implicites

Thèmes suggérés

Les contributions discuteront d’un terme ou d’un concept choisi, pour illustrer comment la fête était perçue et représentée dans la vie culturelle, religieuse, sociale et politique du Moyen Âge :

  • le concept de FÊTE et sa représentation linguistique : festumsollemnitasferia, etc. ; termes latins vs. vernaculaires ; métaphores de la fête ; vocabulaire de la fête et réalité sociale.
  • les fêtes religieuses : fêtes ecclésiastiques, cérémonies, fêtes des saints ; fêtes religieuses vs. fêtes politiques, sociales, individuelles ;
  • structuration de la vie : naissance, mariage, funérailles ; les fêtes dans l’expérience individuelle ;
  • la pratique sociale de la fête : fêtes urbaines, fêtes rurales, fêtes de cour ; créer des liens par la fête ; carnaval et hiérarchie sociale ;
  • matérialité de la fête : boire et manger ; jeux et activités ; loca celebrandi ;
  • questions théoriques : vocabulaire latin vs. catégories de la pensée médiévale ; emprunts lexicaux et changement sémantique ; le latin médiéval et l’individu ; le latin médiéval et les savoirs ; idéologie, pouvoir, violence, mémoire, etc. ; négocier le sens dans les communautés interprétatives

Modalités de soumission

Deux types de contributions sont attendus :

  • des communications longues (30 min. + 15 min. de discussion) ne se limitent pas à un seul texte ou un seul auteur, et fournissent un contexte assez large (historique, social, culturel) pour la discussion, ou posent des questions théoriques importantes (changement historique, problèmes méthodologiques) ;
  • des communications courtes (15 min. + 5 min. de discussion) sont plus limitées dans leur portée, mais mettent en avant les liens entre le vocabulaire ou la conceptualisation et la réalité socioculturelle du Moyen Âge.

Langues de la conférence : allemand, anglais, castillan, français.

Les soumissions pourront être déposées jusqu’au 15/05/2021 à minuit sur :

Communications longues : max. 500 mots (sans références)
Communications courtes : max. 250 mots (sans références)

Les soumissions doivent présenter clairement la problématique, discuter brièvement les recherches existantes et expliquer en quoi l’analyse du terme ou du champ proposé est importante pour la compréhension des pratiques sociales médiévales.

Les actes de la conférence seront publiés dans la revue Archivum Latinitatis Medii Aevi (Bulletin Du Cange).

Organisation : Bruno Bon (IRHT-CNRS), Anita Guerreau-Jalabert (IRHT-CNRS), Krzysztof Nowak (IJP-PAN), Nathalie Picque (IRHT-CNRS).

Comité scientifique : à suivre.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021


Medieval Eastern Mediterranean Cities as Places of Artistic Interchange

A SOAS University of London / Getty Foundation Online Seminar Programme

The School of Arts at SOAS University of London is pleased to announce the launch of a new

 research seminar programme for young and early career researchers in the art and 

archaeology of the medieval eastern Mediterranean, supported by the Getty Foundation as part of its Connecting Art Histories initiative.

We invite research students at an advanced stage of their studies and early-career academic 

researchers and tutors working in historical research institutes (such as archaeology centres, 

museums, and government and non-governmental agencies dealing with history, art or 

archaeology) to join us in a collaborative online learning programme comprising eight seminar discussions taking place between March and May 2021.

The project is open to people from the countries of the eastern Mediterranean region 

and the Middle East and all the seminars will take place online.

Medieval Eastern Mediterranean Cities as Places of Artistic Interchange is an online seminar

programme for emerging academics which focuses on the role played by cities in the medieval 

eastern Mediterranean, from the 12th to the 14th centuries CE, in the production, consumption,

 transformation and understanding of works of art and architecture.

This seminar pairs cities, scholars and the site-specific questions that arise from them to 

explore these and other aspects of artistic and cultural interchange in the medieval eastern 

Mediterranean region, with a particular focus on new research in lesser-known cities to highlight recent archaeological and other scholarly discoveries.

The project is open to early career academic researchers (who have received their doctorates

 in the last three years) and tutors, research students (PhD students) at an advanced stage of 

their studies and those working in historical research institutes (such as archaeology centres, 

museums, government and non-governmental agencies dealing with history, art or archaeology) who are from the countries of the eastern Mediterranean region and the Middle East. 

The target audience for this seminar programme is young professionals with advanced degrees

(or equivalent work experience) in art history and/or archaeology of the period from the 12th to

the 14th centuries who are from the countries of the eastern Mediterranean or Middle East.

Participants selected to take part in the programme will receive £2000 each (British pounds) to

be used for research purposes. This includes the purchasing of books or other scholarly 

resources, upgrading of internet access, purchase of headphones, and the like.

The deadline for applications is 17:00 hours GMT on 8 March 2021.

For full details and to apply please visit our website at

Organised in association with the Getty Foundation


Lead academic organisers:

Professor Scott Redford (SOAS University of London)

Professor Maria Georgopoulou (American School of Classical Studies at Athens)

Professor Robert Ousterhout (University of Pennsylvania)


Programme officer:

Dr Michael Paraskos (Imperial College London)