Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Lyrical or Learned Langland (ICMS/Medieval Congress/Kalamazoo '12)

Panels on Piers Plowman at the International Medieval Congress
I. Lyrical Langland
From dream vision, to sermon literature, to legal and bureaucratic writ, Piers Plowman famously brings together a range of late-medieval genres. This panel will take up one of the poem’s less explored generic affiliations: the medieval lyric. This session seeks to offer a set of fresh perspectives on the relationship between lyric poetry and Piers Plowman. Papers might situate Piers Plowman in the context of contemporary lyric production, consider the relationship between specific religious and/or secular lyric genres and Piers Plowman, examine the place of inset lyrics in the larger poem, and/or explore the relationships among lyric and other genres in the poem. Papers might also take up larger methodological and contextual questions about lyric or genre, such as by exploring the place of Piers Plowman in the “lyric turn” in recent criticism.
II. Learned Langland
Aristotle appears in a number of different guises in Piers Plowman: as a reluctant schoolboy, as an example of excessive learning and fallen pride, and (twice) as a virtuous pagan whose ultimate fate is a matter of both wonder and debate. This panel invites papers that examine any one of the roles that Aristotle and/or scholastic works play in Piers Plowman. What is the status of Aristotelian science in the poem, given Will’s assertion that Aristotle himself “now wonyeth in pyne”–as well as Ymaginatif’s insistence on calling this orthodoxy into question? How does Langland present specific Aristotelian sciences, such as logic and ethics? For instance, might we see Langland’s personification allegories as tools for developing the Aristotelian master virtue of prudence–for thinking through the likely consequences of action before acting?
contact email:

Medieval New York - Kalamazoo 2012

The Medieval Club of New York is sponsoring two sessions for the International Medieval Congress at Kalamazoo, 2012 (May 10-13) on the subject of Medieval New York.
These sessions engage with medieval artifacts and medieval-inspired themes in New York City. We invite papers for one session that deals both with permanent collections and structures in New York, such as the Pierpont Morgan collection and the Cloisters, and with passing exhibitions such as the medieval fashion exhibit at the Morgan Library or the Rubin exhibition on Christian, Buddhist, and Muslim pilgrims. We invite papers for a second session that deals more broadly with medieval-inspired themes and medievalism -- films that deal with the medieval in modern New York (e.g.The Fisher King) or the ways in which the medieval is incorporated into the modern city (e.g. in architecture). These sessions will appeal to an interdisciplinary body of scholarship (art history, literature, film, popular culture), and are open to all scholars regardless of New York affiliation.
Please send an abstract, along with the paper proposal form (found at, to Jennifer N. Brown at by September 10, 2011.

Peace in Late Medieval London (ICMS, Kalamazoo, 10th-13th May 2012)

Peace in Late Medieval London
47th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, May 10-13, 2012
Session Organizer: The London Medieval Society (Contact person: Rob Ellis, Queen Mary, University of London).
The London Medieval Society ( is sponsoring a session at the ICMS in Kalamazoo on the topic of ‘Peace in Late Medieval London’. This panel seeks to take a broad, interdisciplinary approach to the theme of peace, and to related themes of conflict resolution, mediation, and reconciliation. While the focus of the panel is on London, the Society would welcome papers seeking to explore London alongside other urban spaces. Among the topics prospective papers could address are:
- the meaning of peace and/or the value of peace in urban contexts
- the relationship between peace and violence in London
- the conceptual and rhetorical power of peace in civic writings
- the London rituals and ceremonials associated with peace and peace-making
- actual and imagined methods of conflict resolution in the city
- specific visions and discussions of peace by writers such as Chaucer, Lydgate, Thomas Usk, and Hoccleve.
Please send your abstract of 200-300 words, along with the paper proposal form (, to Rob Ellis at, by September 15, 2011. For more details of ICMS 2012 see:

[UPDATE] Renaissance Verse [SAMLA, Atlanta, Nov. 4-6]

Sir Philip Sidney wrote that poetry "is an art of imitation; for so Aristotle termeth it in the word [Greek text]; that is to say, a representing, counterfeiting, or figuring forth: to speak metaphorically, a speaking picture, with this end, to teach and delight." What, then does poetry teach us? How does it continue to delight us? This panel seeks papers that explore or even celebrate the triumph of poetry in English during the 16th and 17th centuries. From sonnets to soliloquies, how do Early Modern poets and playwrights utilize verse? Please send abstracts of no more than 500 words to Lynne Simpson at by August 1.

The Secularization and Modernity Debate: Beyond Negative Theology (Kalamazoo ICMS, May 2012)

The University of Pittsburgh Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program invites submissions for its sponsored paper session at the 2012 International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, MI, May 10-13, 2012.
Talal Asad and Charles Taylor have challenged “subtraction narratives” of secularization, which assume that the secular is what is left after religion has been cleared from the public square. Medievalists in recent years have supported this move, arguing that religion cannot be reduced to other, more fundamental cultural forces such as economics and politics, and rearticulating the ways the medieval church produced secular spaces and processes of secularization within itself. Yet these arguments often depend on apophatic theology, itself a discourse of subtraction, to assert the ongoing presence of religion even in its supposed absence.
For example, in order to recuperate transcendence and the medieval doctrine of analogy in the face of Heidegger’s critique of ontotheology, Andrew Cole and D. Vance Smith argue in the introduction to _The Legitimacy of the Middle Ages_ that “knowledge, as Pseudo-Dionysius says, comes only through the denial of all being . . . The limits of analogy and transcendence are not their terminations, but rather the grounds of their possibility” (9). Legitimate as it is, this move curiously reproduces the negative way of subtraction narratives. And as Cole and Smith recognize, the other side of this apophatic coin, even for Pseudo-Dionysius, has always been cataphasis, the way of affirmation. Medieval and early modern religious literature is replete with cataphatic discourses, from “The Dream of the Rood," Dante’s _Commedia_, and Langland’s dream visions to Reformed theologies of the _imago dei_ embodied in human "lively images," Spenser's ekphrastic imagination, and Milton's "sovran vital lamp" (PL 3.22). What happens if we begin to look for the ongoing presence of religion in the ongoing presence of religion?
This session invites papers about the legitimacy and rationale of an apophatic approach to secularization, and about what an alternative affirmative way might look like. How can we narrate the great cultural shifts of the late middle ages and early modern period along the paths of the affirmative way? How do changing and continuous attitudes to images, iconography, actors' bodies, scriptural exegesis, systematic theology, and other cataphatic modes and discourses contribute to our understanding of secularization and modernity?

Monday, July 18, 2011

This session has been proposed in an effort to continue and expand upon the conversations initiated in our previous sessions at the Congress (in 2004 and 2008) on the potential uses of the comics in Medieval Studies teaching and research. In prior sessions, we have touched upon both the variety and vitality of the corpus of medieval-themed comics, medievalisms that have been in existence since at least the early part of the twentieth century and that continue to flourish in both the comics (in all its varied forms) and comics-related media, like adaptations into film and television, to this day. A number of characters and series celebrate significant anniversaries in 2012 (for example, Hal Foster’s Prince Valiant will be 75; Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby’s Thor 50; Roy Thomas and John Buscema’s Dane Whitman, the modern-day Black Knight, 45; Dik Browne’s Hägar the Horrible and Kirby’s Etrigan 40; and Mike W. Barr and Brian Bolland’s CAMELOT 3000 30), and we believe this is an ideal time to revisit this material at the Congress, a venue that has long been amiable to the furtherance of discussion of and debate on—goals we have adopted—representations of the medieval in popular culture.
Unlike other forms of medievalism, like film and Tolkieniana, that receive multiple sessions at conferences, like the Congress, each year, medieval-themed comics remain neglected and in need of much further research. Despite the vitality of these long-running series and other comics with medieval themes, the corpus of medieval comics as a whole has largely been ignored (though with a few notable exceptions) by medievalists except as curiosities, a pattern replicated largely in other academic disciplines. However, due to the interdisciplinary nature of Medieval Studies, our field (especially given the welcomeness many medievalists have for medievalisms) is ideally suited to tap into the high potentiality of the corpus for both teaching about the medieval to audiences of all ages, from children to adults, and, like other forms of medievalism, for understanding, through the processes of adaptation and appropriation, the contemporary reception of the medieval in popular culture. The general neglect of the corpus suggests that most medievalists are wary of studying these types of texts, and, in an effort to combat this apparent distrust, we endeavor in this session to create an environment where medievalists, perhaps familiar with some of more celebrated texts, can learn more about these works of popular medievalism. It is our intent that the papers presented at this roundtable will offer new possibilities to access this corpus so we may all come to a greater appreciation of its contents and contexts.

Literature, Science and Medicine in the Medieval and Early Modern Periods Biennial Conference of the Swiss Association of Med

Literature, Science and Medicine
in the Medieval and Early Modern Periods
Biennial Conference of the
Swiss Association of Medieval and Early Modern English Studies (SAMEMES)
University of Lausanne, 27-29 July 2012
Call for Papers
Historians of medicine and science have long understood the cultural constructedness of concepts such as health and disease, nature, ecology and the environment. And for their part, literary scholars are very familiar with the medical and scientific topoi, images and metaphors which permeate medieval and early modern literary texts. But until recently, there has been little dialogue across disciplines which could genuinely inter-illuminate these several and separate fields of knowledge. This conference aims to contribute to the recent, burgeoning interest in interdisciplinary approaches to literature, science and medicine, as well as to stimulate new conversations and discoveries amongst scholars who may not have explored such an approach before.
Amongst our invited speakers, we are delighted to welcome the novelist and medical doctor Eric Masserey, whose recent prize-winning novel, Retour aux Indes, recounts the adventures of a clerk of the renowned early modern medical practitioner, Amatus Lucitanus. Dr Masserey will discuss his novel, in conversation with the distinguished polymath Professor Vincent Barras who is, amongst other things, a historian of medicine and a modern music critic. Together they will re-enact the famous disputatio that took place in the time of Lusitanus on the subject of the circulation of blood.
In the spirit of this dialogue, we welcome proposals for papers which are in themselves interdisciplinary, or which, while situated in a particular discipline, invite fruitful comparison with either of the other two disciplines represented at this conference. All proposals should pertain to the literature, science and/or medicine of the medieval or early modern periods, although this does not exclude consideration of the prehistory, or legacy, of medieval and early modern texts. Our aim is to better understand how these three fields of knowledge overlapped and hybridized in the past, for in our own age of hyper-specialisation we have greater than ever need to explore and recall the many ways in which these fields once occupied a common ground.
In particular, we invite proposals on any of the following topics:
• authority in literature, science or medicine
• theories of creativity
• medicine and literature
• the body
• inwardness and introspection
• disease and healing
• religion and medical practice
• alchemy and magic
• ecology, botany and nature
• cosmology
• religion and science
• early science fiction
• heteroglossic accounts of science or medicine
• myths, metaphors and topoi of science or medicine
• uses of literary techniques in scientific or medical documents
• literary treatment of scientific figures
• specific authors
• literary critiques of science or medicine
• popular science writing
• science and desire
• techne and technology
Guest speakers include:
Professor Vincent Barras (Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois and University of Lausanne). Author of ‘Neurosciences et médecine’ in Revue d'histoire des sciences, and with F Panese, of ‘ L'utopie médicale de la réanimation des corps’ in Mouvements: sociétés, politique, culture.
Dr Margaret Healy (Co-Director of the Centre for Early Modern Studies, University of Sussex). Author of Fictions of Disease in Early Modern England: Bodies, Plagues and Politics.
Dr Anthony Hunt (St Peter’s College, University of Oxford). Author of The Medieval Surgery.
Professor Carole Rawcliffe (University of East Anglia). History of Parliament Trust (1979-92); Senior Wellcome Trust Research Fellow at UEA (1992-7). Author of Leprosy in Medieval England.
Professor Jennifer Richards (University of Newcastle). Author of Rhetoric and Courtliness in Early Modern Literature, and editor of Early Modern Civil Discourses.
Professor Heinrich von Staden (Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton University). Author of Herophilus: The Art of Medicine in Early Alexandria.
Dr Eric Masserey (Medecin cantonal, Service de la santé publique, Lausanne). Author of Le retour aux Indes, Le sommeil séfarade, and Une si belle ignorance (généalogies).
Conference organisers : Professors Denis Renevey and Rachel Falconer (English Department, University of Lausanne)
Please submit a proposal of not more than 300 words, including your name, title and institutional affiliation (where relevant) and a brief bio sketch (no more than 100 words), by 15 November 2011.
Proposals for full panels are very welcome. These should include three proposed speakers, including, or in addition to, a chair and/or a respondent. Individual papers will be grouped with two others. Parallel sessions will last an hour and a half, which means that papers should be no longer than 20 minutes to leave sufficient time for discussion.
The proposals should be submitted electronically on the conference website :
A selection of papers from the conference will be published in SPELL (Swiss Papers in English Language and Literature). For more information on SAMEMES and how to become a member, please consult SAMEMES official web page at
For the conference organizers,
Rachel Falconer (
Denis Renevey (

"The Decorated Page" of Medieval Images and Graphic Novels (9/15/11; Medieval Congress, May 2012)

"The Decorated Page" of Medieval Images and Graphic Novels: "Sequential Theory" in dialogue with medieval art
International Medieval Congress in Kalamazoo, Michigan
10-13 May 2012
We can follow the history of the “Decorated Page” from illuminated medieval manuscripts to the graphic novel, but what if we skip the pesky intervening years from one to the other? That is, what can the theories and analysis of medieval manuscripts, wall paintings or other medieval visual mediums tell us about how we read the graphic novel, and how might the theories behind contemporary graphic novel analysis help us read medieval illustrations and art?
Standing on the shoulders of traditional analysis of medieval images, the use of the visual theories that support analysis of the graphic novel is a way of engaging the images in a postmodern (post medieval) way. Interpreting a manuscript image is probably the most common use, but we can see the potential of “sequential imagery” analysis being used on wall paintings, sculpture, frescoes, friezes and icons.
We invite papers on a wide range of issues and fields, but the dialogue must be between graphic novel theory/practice and medieval art. Proposals should be 300+ words and must clearly indicate the significance, line of argument, principal texts and relation to existing scholarship (if possible). Email the proposal in the body of the message, a 50 word bio note, and a completed Participant Information form ( to Dominique Hoche at . Due September 15, 2011.
For general information about the 2012 Medieval Congress, visit:

The Postgraduate Journal of Medieval Studies is looking for editors and contributions

The Postgraduate Journal of Medieval Studies aims to provide a platform for students of Medieval Studies to publish their work.
As publishing in established journals can be difficult for postgraduates, the PGMS can provide the necessary experience of writing, reviewing and editing as well as provide an insight into what postgraduate students are currently researching. Therefore, this journal is mainly looking for contributions from MA and MPhil students. However, PhDs are also welcome to submit articles and reviews.
Exceptional undergraduate dissertations will also be considered for publication.

Meat: Aspects and Approaches. Oxford 13-14 April 2012

The conference is aimed at early career scholars and graduate students working in medieval and early modern studies. It is intended that a volume of proceedings comprising selected papers will appear in the Medium Ævum Monographs Series. Contributions are welcomed from diverse fields of research such as history of art and architecture, history, theology, philosophy, anthropology, literature and history of ideas.
Papers should be a maximum of 20 minutes. Please email 250-word abstracts (text only, no attachments please) to by 10th January 2012.
Suggested topics might include, but are not limited to:
(Intellectual) Nourishment
Hunting and Game
Bones and Skins
Food and magic
Food taboos / prohibitions
Killing the fatted calf
(Clean and unclean) Animals
Poison, food and medicine
Corpus Christi
The registration fee is expected to be £12. We hope to organize a conference banquet in Lincoln’s lovely hall on the Friday night and will provide details of this as soon as they are available; it is hoped that this will cost in the region of £20. All updates and further information, including details of travel bursaries, can be obtained from the conference website:

[UPDATE]: The Ethics of Pleasure in Early Modern Literature and Philosophy (St. Louis, MO, Nov. 3-6, 2011)

eflecting the 2011 MMLA conference theme “Play…No, Seriously,” this interdisciplinary panel seeks to bring together scholars interested in examining the value and uses of pleasure in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century literature and philosophy, especially in texts in which the two disciplines intersect. The panel welcomes submissions from the European tradition widely construed and beyond. Submissions might include, but are not limited to, topics on any of the following:
• Philosophical play, speculation, and skepticism
• The pleasure of discovery and invention
• Playful uses of philosophical modes and genres, e.g. paradox,
dialogue, dialectic, etc.
• Theories of/about pleasure
• The relationship between virtue and pleasure
• Pleasure and the senses, the imagination, or reason
• Playful appropriation of classical philosophies
Please submit abstracts not exceeding 250 words to Melissa Caldwell by July 19th. Accepted participants must register for the conference by July 22.
This year the MMLA Convention will be held in St. Louis, MO, November 3-6, 2011.

Call for Papers: 'Peace in Late Medieval London' (ICMS, Kalamzaoo, 10-13th May 2012)

Call for Papers: Peace in Late Medieval London
47th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, May 10-13, 2012
Session Organizer: The London Medieval Society (Contact person: Rob Ellis, Queen Mary, University of London).
The London Medieval Society ( is sponsoring a session at the ICMS in Kalamazoo on the topic of ‘Peace in Late Medieval London’. This panel seeks to take a broad, interdisciplinary approach to the theme of peace, and to related themes of conflict resolution, mediation, and reconciliation. While the focus of the panel is on London, the Society would welcome papers seeking to explore London alongside other urban spaces. Among the topics prospective papers could address are:
- the meaning of peace and/or the value of peace in urban contexts
- the relationship between peace and violence in London
- the conceptual and rhetorical power of peace in civic writings
- the London rituals and ceremonials associated with peace and peace-making
- actual and imagined methods of conflict resolution in the city
- specific visions and discussions of peace by writers such as Chaucer, Lydgate, Thomas Usk, and Hoccleve.
Please send your abstract of 200-300 words, along with the paper proposal form
(, to Rob Ellis at, by September 15, 2011. For more details of ICMS 2012 see:

Outside the Ruling: Signs of Use in Medieval Manuscripts (Leeds 2012 session)

Call for Papers: “Outside the Ruling: Signs of Use in Medieval Manuscripts” 
International Medieval Congress, Leeds, 9-12 July 2012.
Organizers: Kathryn Rudy, University of St Andrews, and Kathryn Gerry, University of Kansas
Sponsor: St Andrews Institute of Mediaeval Studies
The careful planning and structuring of medieval books offer implied guidelines for how they should be used, but as is made clear by many of the manuscripts themselves, readers were free to follow or ignore such guidelines. This session will include papers on the physical manifestations of use in medieval manuscripts, with an emphasis on the ways medieval readers/viewers interacted with their books. Interaction could include touching, rubbing, kissing, or adding/removing materials from medieval manuscripts, at any stage in the course of their lives; evidence of such interaction might be manifest in the materials of a given manuscript (including leaves, bindings, pigments, inks, gold, etc), or might be reflected in a later copy, description or depiction. Papers might also explore ways in which producers of books (or portions of books) sought to direct, control, hinder, or otherwise mediate the responses of readers/viewers. We seek papers from researchers in art history, history, literature, codicology, conservation, history of religions, and other fields concerned with the history of the medieval book. It is our intention to publish a collection of essays on this subject, and papers accepted in this session will be considered for inclusion in this project.
Papers should be 20 minutes in length, to be delivered in English. Please send an abstract of not more than 250 words and a current CV to both of the organizers: Kathryn Gerry ( and Kathryn Rudy (; proposals must be received by Friday, 9 September, 2011.
The nineteenth International Medieval Congress will take place at Leeds, UK, 9-12 July, 2012; for more information on the IMC, please visit

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

2nd Conference on Formulas in Medieval Culture, Nancy & Metz (France), 7-9 June 2012 (Submission deadline 1 October 2011)

contact email:
Languages: English, French, Italian and German
Abstract submission deadline: October 1st, 2011
The Conference welcomes speakers from all fields of Medieval Studies, including History, Diplomatics, Art History, Literature, Linguistics, Musicology, Theology and Law.
Medieval modes of thinking and representation rely heavily on the expected return of recognizable devices, generating productive tensions between individual expression and collective norms, change and continuity, innovations and rituals.
Among the issues raised by formulaic expression is that of reception: does the repeated use of conventional formulas end up depriving them of their original meaning, turning them into pure discursive markers or does it enrich them with the added connotations of multiple contexts? One should also be careful to define the phenomenon precisely: what distinguishes a formula from a mere motif? from intertextuality?
Bruno LAURIOUX, Professor at the University of Saint‐Quentin‐en‐Yvelines, will give a keynote speech on Formulas in medieval cooking.
Possible areas of interest include music, liturgy, law, charters, linguistics, literature / poetry, translation, preaching, maths, epigraphy, visual arts, medicine, alchemy, magic, cooking, etc.
Papers are welcome on, but not limited to:
  • Charter preambles
  • Oaths
  • Oral-formulaic theory
  • The language of scientific documents, such as medical treatises
  • Topoi and generic conventions
  • Politeness and ritualized interaction
  • Conventional motifs in visual arts or music
Papers may be given in English, French, Italian or German and should be 20 minutes long. A selection of the conference papers will be published in the ARTeM series (Brepols).
Please email a brief CV and an abstract of no more than 400 words to Sylvie Laguerre (sylvie.laguerre@univ‐ by October 1st 2011. Please include the title of your paper, name, affiliation and email address.
The conference is organized by the Jean Schneider Centre for Medieval Studies (ERL 7229) (http://medievistique.univ‐ and the GRENDEL, i.e. the medieval section of IDEA
(http://idea‐‐ag/), with the support of the GDR on diplomatics.
Inquiries are welcome. Contact: Elise Louviot (elise.louviot@univ‐

Affect and Emotional Production in Early Drama (9/15/11; Medieval Congress, May 2012)

“Affect and Emotional Production in Early Drama”
International Medieval Congress in Kalamazoo, Michigan
10-13 May 2012
In their Introduction to THE AFFECT THEORY READER (2010), Melissa Gregg and Gregory J. Seigworth argue that “affect is found in those intensities that pass body to body (human, nonhuman, part-body, and otherwise), in those resonances that circulate about, between, and sometimes stick to bodies and worlds, and in the very passage or variations between these intensities and resonances themselves.” Affect, then, “is the name we give to those forces…that can serve to drive us toward movement, toward thought.” Likewise, in her recent book AFFECTIVE MEDITATION AND THE INVENTION OF MEDIEVAL COMPASSION (2010), Sarah McNamer examines affectively oriented medieval texts and argues that these texts supplied their users with “‘intimate scripts’…quite literally scripts for the performance of feeling—scripts that often explicitly aspire to performative efficacy.” Work like this has productively complicated our understanding of affect and its relation to emotional production.
This panel invites work that critically examines the relationship between affect and emotional production in medieval and Renaissance performance. How did devices such as gesture, sound and silence, music, rhythm and choreography, props and performing objects, staging and scenic choices, spatial arrangements, or visual and textual elements generate the kinds of intensities and resonances that Gregg and Seigworth describe? How were these forces specifically employed to enhance or complicate emotional responses in spectators and/or performers? What were the goals and stakes of such emotional production?
Given the slipperiness of these terms—and the many theories of affect and emotion—the organizer is open to a range of interpretive possibilities, approaches, and methodologies. The organizer also invites topics from across all geographies and performance traditions in the Middle Ages and/or Renaissance. Please submit one-page abstracts and a completed Participant Information form ( to Jill Stevenson at no later than September 15, 2011. Feel free to contact Jill with questions about the session. For general information about the 2012 Medieval Congress, visit:

Cardiff University Conference on 'Medieval Women in Truth and Legend' 10/7/11 Abstracts due 8/31/11
This forthcoming interdisciplinary international conference seeks to examine images and representations of medieval women. Our aim is to promote new scholarship and innovative approaches to the study of this figure within the wider context of literary and historical studies. Our purpose is to foster an interdisciplinary discussion of the ways in which the medieval female is depicted within myth, folklore, legend and historiography.
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Roberta Lynn Staples, Sacred Heart University, Connecticut, USA.
Author of The Company of Camelot. Arthurian characters in Romance and Fantasy (with Charlotte Spivack)
Abstracts of not more than 250 words are invited for individual 20-minute papers on the theme of the conference (interpreted in literary or historical terms, or both).
Deadline for receipt of abstracts: August 31, 2011
Facebook Page: Shield Maidens and Sacred Mothers

Monday, July 11, 2011

Conference: Sport in the Early Modern Culture

Sport in the Early Modern Culture Conference held by the DFG-Network “Body Techniques” in co-operation with the German Historical Institute London Venue: GHI London, November 17th-19th 2011
While the history of sport in the modern period has attracted a great deal of interest in recent years and new approaches have found their way into research, sport and physical exercise in the early modern period is still a rather neglected topic. Our aim is not to continue the well-known discussion of whether or not sport existed in pre-modern times. There were many physical activities beyond the courtly exercises of fencing, riding and dancing, ranging from rowing, wrestling, jeu de paume, soccer and gymnastics to swimming, diving, pall mall, shooting, running and ice skating. The early modern period had professional players as well as sports grounds, training as well as contests, referees as well as public audiences. And sometimes important political and economic issues were at stake.
This conference aims to bring together specialists from diverse disciplines and many nations to view the practice of sport and physical exercise in its cultural context, taking into special consideration social, political and economic influences. Contributions may relate to individual countries, to specific individuals or groups, or to individual sports. As we want to reach beyond the study of normative treatises, we will focus specifically on the following aspects of early modern sports culture:
- practices and materials, e.g. how, where, when and by whom were which sports practised? What equipment was necessary for what kinds of sports and how did sports influence equipment and vice versa? Did the required equipment limit sports to specific classes?
- issues of gender, e.g. how did gender influence and limit the choices of sports? How did sports and physical exercise create notions of manliness and femaleness? Did sports allow notions of gender to be blurred or transgressed?
- economic aspects, e.g. how were materials required for sports produced and distributed? How did the emergence of a sporting culture influence the early modern economy?
- (post)colonial approaches, e.g. to what extent did Asian, African, or native American sporting cultures influence European sports? How were sports transformed and appropriated when they crossed borders or social groups?
Anyone interested in participating is invited to submit a topic for a paper related to one or several aspects outlined above. Papers should be no longer than 35 minutes (plus 15 minutes discussion). Please send a short summary (one page) of the proposed topic with a brief CV to one of the two organizers by 31 August 2011. Travel and accommodation costs will be reimbursed.
Prof. Dr. Rebekka von Mallinckrodt Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut Free University of Berlin Koserstr. 20 14195 Berlin Germany mail:

CFP: "Imitation, Emulation, and Forgery: Pretending and Becoming in the Medieval World". The Thirty-Third Medieval Colloquium of the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto, March 2-3 2012: Abstracts due Sept 1 2011

The Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto is inviting proposals for its Thirty-Third Medieval Colloquium, which will take place in Toronto on March 2-3 2012.
Imitation, Emulation, and Forgery: Pretending and Becoming in the Medieval World
Opening Keynote: Jan Ziolkowski, Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Medieval Latin, Harvard Closing Keynote: Marjorie Curry Woods, Jane and Roland Blumberg Centennial Professor of English and Distinguished University Teacher, The University of Texas at Austin
Imitation is a central concept within medieval thought, linking disparate genres and avenues of human experience within a network of interconnected models and interpretive structures. Medieval people saw their work standing within a relationship of resemblance to models and sources that predated their efforts, from the image of God in man, to the examples of poets, historiographers and hagiographers. Imitation implies both a faithfulness to its sources and also an inherent differentiation, and medieval culture used this space that embodied both sameness and difference as a particularly fertile zone; the religious found an imperfect mirror within the world and humanity, reflecting the transcendent world beyond matter; saints imitated Christ and one another, authors and poets looked to the models of both Christian and pagan antiquity, texts were copied and diffused, artists looked to the work of their forbears and the world around them, and knights fashioned themselves in the guise of the heroes of romance. Establishing a relationship to a transcendental model was a primary mechanism of producing authority, and it formed the basis for traditions of textual transmission, institutional legitimacy, personal identity, and a sweeping range of other persistent ideas. While scholars of medieval subjects have each grappled with imitation in their own fields, rarely have those discoveries been brought together in a concentrated interdisciplinary conversation.
We invite abstracts of 250 words together with a 1-page CV by the deadline of 1st September 2011 that deal with the broad issue of imitation in the Middle Ages as encountered in (but not limited to) literature, theology, hagiography, historiography, art history, and philosophy. We hope to bring together scholarly discourses regarding the imitative traits found in medieval subjects in ways that combine and seek to reveal the often-neglected similarities present in medieval forms of imitation. Topics might include, but are not limited to
- Literary, dramatic, or artistic mimesis - Medieval forgeries and frauds - Textual copying and diffusion - Legal precedents - Vernacular translations and adaptations of Latin classical or patristic sources - Dionysian mysticism, the imitatio Christi and the theology of imitation - Imagination and simulation in the Middle Ages - Magic and illusion (including diabolic deception) - The Speculum as concept and organizational method - Genre building and imitation - Historiography and ‘borrowing’ - Discipleship and 'following' - Sacred topology
To submit an abstract, email the Conference Committee at Further information and updates will be available through the CMS website at

CFP: ICMS Kalamazoo 2012 "Hafiz and 14th. century Sufism"

CFP: at the International Congress for Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo 2012, there will be a session dedicated to HAFIZ and 14th Century SUFISM. Proposals are encouraged for papers addressing any aspect of the life, thought, works, influence and context of the great Persian poet and mystic HAFIZ as well as any other topics or themes relevant to SUFISM in the 14th (A.D.) century. Proposals from all disciplines will be considered, including: History; Literature and Comparative Literature; Religious Studies; Persian Studies; Turkish/ Ottoman Studies; Middle Eastern Studies; Comparative Spirituality; Women's/ Gender Studies, and Hagiography. Abstracts of not more than 500 words should be emailed as a Word doc attachment by September 2, 2011 to June-Ann Greeley at PLease use that email address as well for any preliminary questions about the themes or session.

Facts & Feelings: Documentary Evidence on Emotions of Artists in the Early Modern Period, 1600-1800

Facts & Feelings: Documentary Evidence on Emotions of Artists in the Early Modern Period, 1600-1800
The Art History research unit of the University of Leuven (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium) announces the Call for Papers for the symposium 'Facts & Feelings: Documentary Evidence on Emotions of Artists in the Early Modern Period, 1600-1800' to be held at the Faculty of Arts on 8-9 December 2011.
The symposium's aim is to bring together researchers in various historical disciplines to focus on a rare type of source material: documents revealing emotions of early modern artists from the Low Countries and neighbouring countries (1600-1800). Although these sources are hard to find, they are essential to shed (new) light on personal issues and inter-human relationships of early modern artistic communities. Topics are not limited to but may address any of the following aspects: written evidence of empathy, friendship, inspiration, doubt, pride, envy, dispute, etc.
Potential contributors are invited to submit a paper abstract (max. 400 words) in the language of the paper (preferably Dutch, English, French or German), accompanied by a brief curriculum vitae including a list of max. five publications to the symposium organisers no later than 15 September 2011. The proceedings will be published.

Prof. dr. Katlijne Van der Stighelen,
Prof. dr. Koen Brosens,
Dra. Leen Kelchtermans
Faculty of Arts, University of Leuven (KULeuven)
Blijde-Inkomststraat 21 mail box 3313 

Court Medicine: Healthcare Personnel and Sanitary Politics in European Courts, late 15c-18c

Court Medicine: Healthcare Personnel and Sanitary Politics in European Courts, late 15c-18c
Objectives of the meeting
Court medical practitioners changed in numbers, occupations and functions during the Renaissance and early modern period (15c-18c) practitioners focused on different specialities within body-care, and took on different roles in the government of Europe’s states. Building on recent work that has concentrated on the history of body care at courts, this workshop will explores changes in court medical politics, practices and practitioners and the consequences they had for, firstly, medical thought, regulation and practice and, secondly, the activities, management and evolution of early modern states.
The workshop will focus on:
Identifying the different occupations involved in court medicine, analysing their nature, from astrologers to midwives, and their changing importance over time till their prospective professionalization;
Examining whether practitioners became increasingly specialized over time, and whether this was connected to the emergence and circulation of new medical knowledge during the seventeenth century;
Exploring medical practitioners’ involvement in the wider activities of courts, and identifying their contribution, as experts and entrepreneurs, to the building of modern states;
Investigating the role of medical court practitioners in the redefinition of medicine and medical practices, and the formulation of healthcare politics, including sanitary, occupational and welfare regulation.
Papers are invited that explore one or more of these themes in Europe’s courts. We welcome proposals that are comparative, as well as detailed studies of particular cases. Proposed title, abstract (c. 500 words) will be sent to the organizers, as well as the affiliation of the speaker.
Deadline for paper proposals: September 30, 2011.
Dates and location:
Workshop dates: London (The Wellcome Library), June 21-22, 2012
Benoist Pierre, Centre d’Études Supérieures de la Renaissance (Univ. François-Rabelais, Tours/ Institut universitaire de France)
Christelle Rabier, Department of Economic History, The London School of Economics
Patrick Wallis, Department of Economic History, The London School of Economics
The Centre d’Études Supérieures de la Renaissance (Tours).
Institut universitaire de France
Scientific background
The workshop aims at reconnecting studies of court medicine to issues in political history, with their implications for therapeutic practices and medical ideas, and the history of the State, encompassing issues from the conservation of the king’s health to sanitary regulations. Health- and body-care in European courts have been at the forefront of recent research in cultural history, with major research programmes on court medicine. These scholarly contributions have enriched the history of bodily practices and personal health. However, they have rarely explored in detail the particularity of the court as a site of power and politics and the implications this had for medical practices. Medical practitioners served not only to preserve the rulers’ bodies but also as acted as tools for control, including the setting of suitable diplomatic atmosphere, in the case of Duchy of Savoy’s barber-surgeons (S. Cavallo) or providing legal or scientific advice (S. di Renzi, E. Andretta). The workshop will provide an in-depth revision of the role of court practitioners in early-modern politics.
Building on historiographies that have independently studied medical courtiers through the lenses of medical science or courtly practices, the workshop intends to offer fresh perspectives on the intersection of medicine and politics. In this regard, medicine can rightly be considered as an instrument of power, whose dimensions were reconfigured thanks to its closeness to power. By delegating some regulatory and supervisory powers to medical occupational bodies, authorities included them in the process of political legitimacy. This in turn had consequences for the fashioning of medical identities and their organization of knowledge and action. Not only did the courts supply serving practitioners with gratuities and salaried positions, they gave them a higher status and often some authority, including scrutiny over policies and regulations in healthcare. As a result, the States obtained tools for reducing sanitary risks and improving the civil populations’ healthcare management. Among other examples, court medical practitioners contributed to the assessment of therapeutic innovations, debates on poverty, distribution of medicines, price fixing for drugs and medical services, preventive administration during epidemics, military medical care, and the development of legal medicine. The parallel with court prelates is striking: religion not only served as an instrument of state control, but was instrumental to the shaping of Counter-Reformation Europe politics, through the various functions served by courtier ministers of the church. Thirty years ago, Foucault argued for the close connection of medicine and politics. By focusing on the actual core location of power and politics in an earlier period, the workshop aims to interrogate the periodization offered by the French philosopher, and place medicine within the larger history of the construction of modern states.
The workshop will explore a crucial period in the history of European courts, from the late fifteenth to the eighteenth century. This was also a foundational period in the history of sanitary politics, from the management of epidemics in the Mediterranean to the poor laws in Northern Europe. Scholars working on different European courts can thus offer a comparative perspective on the courtly places of power, in contrast with state and urban administrations, and the tensions between medical knowledge and sanitary power.
Topics covered by the workshop will include:
Court medical personnel: How can one delineate the court “medical practitioners”? What were their numbers, modes of employment and payment? How did they evolve? What were the occupations involved in health- and body-care? What were their qualifications? What functions did they serve in court?
The court as a place of medical innovation: how did medical practitioners use the court to support their innovative ideas and technologies? To what extent did court cultures change therapeutic practices and medical thought?
Medical practitioners and the politics of health: To what extent did medical courtiers change the politics of health sponsored by court rulers? To what extent was the enforcement of health politics supported early modern regimes?
Work organization:
English language is required for oral presentations. Papers will be pre-circulated a month in advance (by May 31, 2012), in the author’s preferred language, although English is strongly recommended. If the conference is a success, a journal and/or a publisher will be approached at the beginning of 2012 with a view to publish revised English versions.

Patrick Wallis
The London School of Economics
Economic History
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE

Gardens and Social Space in Medieval Spain:

Conventional expressions of identity were insufficient to express the unique geographical, political, religious and cultural context that defined medieval Spanish society between the 12th and 15th centuries. Social considerations around Spanish gardens that emerged in response to these needs can be gauged by their persistence as a motif in Spanish literature.

Accordingly, this session hopes to sketch the parameters of garden imagery in medieval Spain that emerged in the course of the reconquista. By considering garden space, we aim to address new or little-explored visual modes occasioned by the reorganization of social space. With this goal in mind, appropriate topics include (but are not limited to) the organization of garden space in medieval Spain, manifestations of cultural memory or religious identity predicated by the interaction of different religious confessions in the garden space, commemoration of the past, and articulations of loss or desire.

Abstracts and inquiries should be directed to: Adriano Duque,

"Travelling Artists in Medieval and Renaissance Italy and Europe" session at the 38th Annual AAH Conference & Bookfair The Open University, Milton Keynes 29 - 31 March 2012

Travelling Artists in Medieval and Renaissance Italy and Europe
Session Convenors:
Sandra Cardarelli, University of Aberdeen,
Jill Harrison, The Open University,
Medieval and Renaissance artists travelled for a variety of reasons. Travelling could be part of the artist’s duty as the citizen of a city-republic as in the case of Siena. These journeys could entail the fulfillment of civic offices on behalf of the commune, or the depiction of a conquered castle. Ginzburg argued that travelling artists also moved in the quest for the most suitable material or because newly established artists pushed them to the edge of the artistic market in their homeland (Ginzburg, 1994).
Sometimes, travelling responded to the requests of new patrons that could grant lucrative contracts for their workshops, or to the wish to measure themselves against more prestigious and talent-nurturing markets (Richardson, 2007). In other instances the artists’ wish to diversify their markets reflected their need to work in more politically important and economically powerful locations.
Daniel Bornstein has convincingly argued that Luca Signorelli chose to leave his native town of Cortona in order to upgrade his status by breaking with the family tradition that mixed art with craftsmanship, to acquire major commissions (Bornstein, 2000).
This session explores the reasons that urged artists to travel and/ or to relocate their workshops, and the outcome of their activity following this process. Papers are welcome on any of the following aspects of workshop practice related to travel, but not limited to: - Itinerant artists
- Artists who relocated their workshops
- Artists who travelled, recalled by major patrons
- Artists, travel and politics
- Artists as diplomats and couriers
- The ways in which cultural exchange affected and modified the artist’s output in different locations.

Sandra Cardarelli, Department of History of Art, University of Aberdeen,

Jill Harrison, The Open University,Faculty of Arts,

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

CFP: Global Shakespeare

Shakespeare: Journal of British Shakespeare Association special issue
"Global Shakespeare"
Deadline: September 30, 2011
The special issue welcomes papers on Shakespeare in performance in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries that participate in or initiate debates—theory, praxis, reception—worldwide. During his lifetime, Shakespeare’s plays were performed in Europe and subsequently taken to remote corners of the globe, including Sierra Leone, Socotra, and colonial Indonesia. Performances in England also had a global flair. European visitors such as Thomas Platter witnessed the plays on stage at the Globe (1599) and left behind diary records. Four centuries on, there has been a sea change. In theatre, Shakespeare has been recruited, exemplified, resisted, and debated in post/colonial encounters, in the international avant-garde led by Ariane Mnouchkine, Ninagawa Yukio, Peter Brook, Tadashi Suzuki, and others, and in the circuits of global politics and tourism in late capitalist societies.
As artists reconstruct various traditions, critics are also troubling narrowly defined concept of cultural authenticity. What are the new paradigms that can help us avoid replicating the old author-centered textuality in performance criticism? What critical resources might we bring to the task of interpreting the behaviors and signs in performance? What is the role of local and global spectators? More importantly, what is the task of criticism as it deals with the transformations of Shakespeare and various performance idioms?
Research articles in this issue will take stock of the worldwide histories of performance and criticism to uncover any blind spots in current methodologies to study the theoretical and artistic implications of Shakespeare and the cultures of diaspora, the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Commonwealth countries, Europe, Russia, Africa, the Arab world, Asia, Latin America and elsewhere.
In addition, this issue will also feature a section devoted to recent adaptations in English and other languages.
We invite two types of submissions --
• Research article: criticism (5,000-8,000 words)
• Short performance reviews (1,000-2,000 words)
Please follow the Journal's Instructions for Authors:
Submissions--WORD (.doc) file, double-spaced, 12-point font; no .docx files please--or queries to be emailed to Alex Huang at the following address:

[UPDATE] SHAKESPEARE AND TYRANNY: International Symposium. 16-18 January 2012

Work on the reception of Shakespeare under different types of tyrannical government (absolutist, dictatorial, etc.) has reached remarkably similar conclusions as to how that reception came about. Carefully regulated attitudes to, and practices in, Shakespeare criticism, performance, translation and adaptation, and of course the aesthetico-ideological structures of centralized, all-seeing state apparatuses, have been shown to follow analogous patterns and to pursue similar, if often unachievable, goals. The symposium, which is organized by Murcia University’s research team “Shakespeare’s presence in Spain within the framework of his reception in Europe” (, invites contributions from scholars, translators and theatre practitioners with an interest in the appropriation of Shakespeare’s work in different tyrannical contexts. Among the many topics that might be usefully pursued are:
- The role of censorship and self-censorship in the revision and production of Shakespearean material
- Institutional controls on the dissemination and publication of Shakespeare’s work
- Assumptions and techniques in the staging of Shakespeare’s plays
- State intervention in the elaboration of a Shakespeare ‘canon’
- The role of Shakespeare in the construction of identity under tyranny
- Overcoming the subversion/containment paradigm
If you are interested in taking part in this symposium, please send a brief abstract of the paper you intend to give (250-300 words) and an even briefer biog indicating institution and country of origin, line of work, chief research interests, etc., to The new deadline for the receipt of abstracts is 31 July 2011.