Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Abstract deadlines March 15, 2017

Celtic CFPs for the MLA Convention, New York, 4-7 January 2018
(ABSTRACTS DUE March 15, 2017).

 1.       "A Better Brit Lit Survey: Celtic, Norse and Teaching a Multicultural North Atlantic" (Roundtable)

We warmly invite proposals for brief 6-8 minute presentations from teacher-scholars working in any time-period for a dynamic roundtable discussion on incorporating Celtic and Norse voices in the British Literature survey, and the practical, political and disciplinary issues involved in teaching a Multicultural North Atlantic. How can a multicultural Brit Lit Survey be used to address current issues regarding racism, xenophobia and right-wing nationalism? What has the role of the anthology industry been in shaping the voices that are canonized (or not) as “British Literature”? What can consideration of the Viking Diaspora and the Celtic presence in the British Isles bring to an understanding of what British literature is, and how it has always been multilingual, multicultural and multiethnic? What are some of the obstacles to be negotiated? What might “best practices” look like? Participants might address: how “Brit Lit” has been defined, and how we might intervene to re-conceptualize it to include Celtic and Norse contributions and highlight an early, foundational multiculturalism; strategies for incorporating Celtic or Norse sources, perhaps in terms of specific textual or thematic pairings of laments, runic inscriptions, heroic narratives or material cultural elements; the employment of popular films, graphic novels, television series, etc.;  logistics including how to approach language and translation; how to advertise courses (to students and colleagues) to best capitalize on the fact that Vikings and Celts sell extremely well; how to use a “Better Brit Lit Survey” as a gateway to further study of Celtic and Norse literature and culture, past and present; and how a more fully inclusive Brit Lit Survey can advance an appreciation of and further work on a multicultural North Atlantic world.

It is our hope that speakers and audience participants will include those with some background in Celtic and Norse literatures, languages, and/or culture, as well as teacher-scholars who have little or no formal training in Celtic or Norse Studies but who are invested in a multicultural North Atlantic and have (or want to) include Celtic and Norse materials in a Brit Lit course.

Please submit a proposal of ca. 150 words for a presentation of 6-8 minutes to Amy Mulligan (amullig2@nd.edu) and Lindy Brady (lindy.brady@gmail.com) by 15 March.

 2.    Celtic Feasting and Feuding

This panel will explore the concepts of food and violence, and the interconnectivity of these concepts, in Celtic literatures and lore.

Feasts in our narrative traditions tend to be extravagant and symbolically rich cultural, political, and social affairs--and they are often intricately linked with violence. Beyond the inherent violence of slaughtering, dismembering, and cooking the animals to be eaten, feasting halls also provide both explicit and implicit opportunities for violence by collecting many people together, each for individual reasons and bringing his or her emotions into the space to interact with those of others. A banquet that takes place in a royal, chiefly, or fairy hall is thus likely to be as fraught with tension as it is lavish. It may mark the resolution of a feud, or be the vehicle for commencing one. The ever-present danger of violence at the feast may also be Otherworldly, requiring the guarding of the senses as carefully as the body.

We warmly invite proposals for 20-minute presentations that explore the subjects of violence and feasting in texts ranging from the medieval period to modern folklore. Proposals of c.150 words should be submitted to MLA Celtic at celticfeasting@gmail.com  and Amy Mulligan (amullig2@nd.edu) by March 15.

3. Mewn Dau Gae / Between Two Fields: No State of Security in Medieval North Atlantic Studies
Co-sponsored by the MLA Old English and Celtic Forums

In early medieval elegiac poetry, exile and pilgrimage were very close. The exile, excluded from safety and society, was driven to the margins and borders, isolated and fugitive. The pilgrim was unmoored from worldly life, alone and seeking knowledge, training, or divine truth. These states of unbelonging were precarious and perilous, as well as productive. The ethnic, linguistic, scholarly, and social insecurity of the exsul or peregrinus opened opportunities and new ways of thinking. As Waldo Williams makes clear in his great poem, “Mewn Dau Gae.”, from these interstitial spaces the new, even the poetic, arises:

And on the silent sea-floor of these fields,
his people stroll. Somewhere between them,
through them, around them, there is a new voice
rising …

The statelessness, insecurity, and instability of the shifting zones of contact and crisis in the medieval North Atlantic produced provocative new generic forms, scholarly work, and poetic modes, which in turn can illuminate how and what the field means and might mean in the twenty-first century. We welcome 300-word proposals for presentations of scholarly research and critical analysis on pre-modern Celtic and Anglo Saxon literatures; these analyses should be rooted in the primary medieval texts and contexts and come to bear on current preconceived ideas and institutional formations of the field, specifically, and the place and role of the humanities in our current states of insecurity, more broadly.

Please submit a 250-word proposal for a presentation of no more than 15-20 minutes to Matt Hussey (mhussey@sfu.ca) and Amy Mulligan (Amy.Mulligan.22@nd.edu) by 15 March 2017.

Friday, February 24, 2017

CfP: The Shape of Return. Progress, Process, and Repetition in Medieval Culture

by Francesco Giusti
Your network editor has reposted this from H-Announce. The byline reflects the original authorship.
Call for Papers
April 15, 2017
Subject Fields: 
Medieval and Byzantine History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Humanities, Intellectual History, Literature
The Shape of Return
Progress, Process, and Repetition in Medieval Culture
International Conference
ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry
29-30 September 2017
Organized by
Francesco Giusti and Daniel Reeve
Keynote speaker
Elizabeth Eva Leach (University of Oxford)
In his Convivio, Dante claims that ‘the supreme desire of each thing, and the one that is first given to it by nature, is to return to its first cause.’ Yet this formulation is marked by a tension: return is both a destination and a process. To put it in terms of an Augustinian distinction: does each thing simply desire to arrive in/at its patria (homeland, destination, telos), or is its desire also directed towards the via (way, process, journey)? On the one hand, the desire for return is teleological and singular; on the other, it is meandering, self-prolonging, perhaps even non-progressive. And return itself can also be errant, even when successful: to take one important example, medieval theology frequently conceptualizes the sins of heresy and sodomy as self-generating returns to unproductive sites of pleasure or obstinacy.
Return, then, is an uncanny thing, with a distinctive temporality that conjoins recollection, satisfaction, and frustration. It plays an important role in shaping many kinds of medieval cultural artifact. Return is a basic component of pseudo-Dionysian (and later, Thomistic) theories of intellection; for Boethius, it is inherent to the process of spiritual transcendence. Return also shapes literary texts: for instance, romance heroes desire to return to their homeland, but the obstacles placed in their path, or the digressions they undertake, are the basic preconditions of the stories in which they find themselves. In such cases, only a deferred return can satisfy; and even a return is not inevitably satisfying — it can also be a frustrating repetition of a well-trodden path. This is true of lyric texts as much as narrative ones: medieval lyric poems are often concerned with the human inclination to go back to an unfruitful site of pain, loss, or even dangerous enjoyment.
Return is also embedded in the very texture of medieval poetic and musical forms: the sestina, the refrain, and theterza rima all embody different kinds of recursivity. Dante’s re-use of rhyme sounds in the unfolding of the Divine Comedy — a poem that, at various crucial points, thematizes return as a transcendent symbol — performs a spiraling movement that combines repetition and progressive ascent. Reiteration can disrupt linear and teleological progress, but also empower it. How does medieval culture cope with this ambivalence?
The conference will explore the ways in which medieval literary, artistic, musical, philosophical, and theological texts perform, interrogate, and generate value from the complexities of return, with particular reference to its formal and temporal qualities. Reconsidering the practical and theoretical implications of return — a movement in time and space that seems to shape medieval culture in a fundamental sense — we will investigate the following questions:
  • What shapes does return take, and how does it shape cultural artifacts of the Middle Ages?
  • How does return (as fact or possibility) regulate the flow of time and the experience of human life?
  • How can return as a final goal and return as a problematic repetition coexist?
  • Is repetition simply identified with a state of sin, or can it lead somewhere?
The conference will provide a forum for an interdisciplinary discussion of medieval temporality: we welcome participants working in any academic discipline. Areas of investigation might include:
  • Neoplatonic emanation and return to the self / God; the temporality and shape of religious self-perfection
  • Refrain and/or repetition in musical and literary forms such as lyric, lyric collections or narrative verse incorporating refrains or concatenation
  • Ulyssean return in romance, theology, hagiography; return as resolution and/or disruption
  • The processes of return inherent in the use and experience of literary topoi and loci classici; exegetical return; the tension between innovation and tradition in biblical commentary
  • Religious conversion as return: teleology, retrospection, spatial metaphors
  • Return as related to medieval conceptions of originality and reproduction
  • The experience of return in daily life: liturgy, ritual, diurnal and seasonal cycles, the mechanical clock
  • Return in medieval temporal theory: for example, the medieval reception of circular time in Stoic philosophy or the book of Ecclesiastes
  • The geometry of return in (for instance) mystical writing
  • The queerness and/or conservatism of return
  • Return from digression; return as a regulatory mechanism
  • Return theorized as a constitutive process of subjectivity and/or intellection
  • Return as a psychoanalytic concept related to obsession, repression, Nachträglichkeit
Papers will be given in English, and will be limited to 30 minutes. Please email an abstract of no more than 300 words and a short bio-bibliographical profile (100 words maximum) to theshapeofreturn@ici-berlin.org by 15 April 2017. An answer will be given before 1 May 2017. A full programme will be published on the ICI Berlin website (www.ici-berlin.org) in due course. As with all events at the ICI Berlin, there is no registration fee. We can provide assistance in securing discounted accommodation for the conference period. 
Contact Info: 
For further information, please contact the organizers:
Francesco Giusti and Daniel Reeve 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Architectural Representation in the Middle Ages

An interdisciplinary conference to be held on 7th–8th April at University College, Oxford.  Registration is open until 22 March.

This is a conference covering all aspects of architectural representation, understood broadly to encompass actual, symbolic, or imaginary architectural features, whether still standing today, observable in the archaeological record, or surviving only through depiction in literature or art.  The conference will feature papers from across the spectrum of academic disciplines, including literature, history, art, theology, and archaeology. 

Keynote speakers:
  • Robert Bork of the University of Iowa
  • Christiania Whitehead of the University of Warwick

A provisional programme, links to the registration page, and further information are available on the conference website:  https://medievalarchitectureconf.wordpress.com/

Monday, February 20, 2017

You are invited to attend the Delaware Valley Medieval Association Winter Workshop, which will be held next Saturday, 2/25, at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. The event will include a 90-minute workshop on network analysis, led by two medievalists, with two lectures on mapping to follow. There is a $15 fee to participate ($10 for DVMA members). Full details below, hope you can make it!

The London International Palaeography Summer School is a series of intensive courses in Palaeography and Manuscript Studies. Courses range from a half to two days duration and are given by experts in their respective fields from a wide range of institutions. Subject areas for 2017 include Latin, Middle English, Early Modern English, German, Greek, Medieval Spanish and Merovingian palaeography, calligraphy, illuminated manuscripts, codicology, manuscript editing and liturgical and devotional manuscripts.

Student rates are available, as are discounts for bookings of three days or more.

For a full list of courses, please go to the following link: https://www.ies.sas.ac.uk/study-training/summer-schools/london-international-palaeography-summer-school

Please contact Hannah Pope (hannah.pope@sas.ac.uk) with any enquiries.

Hannah Pope
Postgraduate, Academic Societies and Events Administrator
The Institute of English Studies
Room 260, Senate House, Malet Street | LONDON WC1E 7HU
Call for Papers
Memory sanctions and ‘damnatio memoriae’, c. 200AD - c. 800AD

Confirmed speakers:
- Professor Leslie Brubaker, Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies, University of Birmingham
Professor Harriet Flower, Department of Classics, University of Princeton
- Dr Richard Flower, Department of Classics, University of Exeter
- Dr Adrastos Omissi, Department of History, University of Oxford
- Dr Gerald Schwedler, Department of Medieval Studies, Universität Zürich

This two-day conference (5th September – 6th September 2017), taking place in Trinity College, Cambridge, will explore the changing concept of memory sanctions in late antiquity and the early middle ages (c. 200 AD – 800 AD). The process of memory sanction in the Roman world has been widely studied asdamnatio memoriae (literally ‘damnation of memory’), almost exclusively understood as a process of destroying and defacing images and of removing names from honorific inscriptions. By contrast, in the early middle ages the issue of memory sanctions and the destruction of images has been mainly studied through the history of Byzantine Iconoclasm, but there is no systematic study of memory sanctions in the post-Roman world, either in the east and in the west. This conference therefore aims to bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars with different regional, chronological, and cultural focusses to bridge the gap between Roman and medieval practices of memory sanction. This will be achieved by charting out instances of conscious and intentional attempts, however conceived, to suppress memory between c. 200 AD – 800 AD.

The organisers therefore invite papers dealing with any aspect of the intentional suppression of memory, whether for political, religious, or social ends, from any period within the stated chronology. We seek papers from established scholars, early-career researchers and graduate students in disciplines such as Classics, History, Archaeology, and Art History. In order to maintain the comparative and interdisciplinary focus of the conference, we would also welcome submissions of a truly comparative nature within our period of study. Likewise, we would encourage papers that make a methodological contribution to our understanding of memory and its suppression. For more details on the conference, please visit www.memorysanctions.com.

Topics for papers may include, but need not be limited to:

-       the ideology of the condemnation of memory
-       pagan and monotheistic thinking on concepts such as heaven, hell, and heresy
-       how classical concepts of memory informed the understanding of commemoration and damnation of memory in later centuries
-       universal questions about how and why social and political elites might seek to intentionally shape collective memory
-       evidence of memory sanctions found in material evidence, such as diptychs, tombs, statues, paintings, manuscripts and inscriptions

To apply: Please send and abstract of no more than 300 words and a brief (one side) CV to memory.sanctions.conference@gmail.com no later than Friday 17th March 2017. Papers will be 25 minutes, with 15 minutes for questions.

We are currently exploring the possibility of providing a limited number of bursaries to support postgraduate students travelling to attend the conference. However, we would encourage all students to apply to their home institution for funding in the first instance. Alternative sources of conference attendance funding, specifically aimed at postgraduate students in relevant disciples may be found at our website.

Please also note that we intend to publish the proceedings of the conference.


Organised by Daniel Neary (PhD Candidate, Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge), Dr Adrastos Omissi (British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, Oriel College, University of Oxford), Sukanya Raisharma (DPhil Candidate, St John’s College, University of Oxford).

Friday, February 17, 2017


The Art of Praise: Panegyric and Encomium in Late Antiquity
Organizer: Paul Kimball, Bilkent University
Sponsored by the Society for Late Antiquity

Near the turn of the last millennium two collections of essays appeared which called our attention to late antique panegyric. The Propaganda of Power: The Role of Panegyric in Late Antiquity, ed. Mary Whitby (1998) underlined the genre's public and political contexts, while Greek Biography and Panegyric in Late Antiquity, edd. Thomas Hägg and Philip Rousseau (2000) explored its links with the forms and practices of biography and hagiography. The contributions to both volumes made it clear that from origins in the fourth century BCE to the end of antiquity (and beyond), panegyric proved a long-lived and highly adaptable platform for the articulation of social relations and the values that supported them. At the meeting of the Society for Classical Studies in Boston, Massachusetts from 4-7 January 2018, the Society for Late Antiquity will sponsor a session to revisit the significance of the rhetoric of praise in late antiquity. We are especially interested in proposals that examine what, if anything, was distinctively "late antique" about late antique panegyric and encomium. In addition to papers addressing this specific question, we also welcome submissions on all aspects of these genres in late antiquity: theory and practice, political and private contexts, literary and declamatory presentations, prose and verse, parodic and ironic, etc.

Abstracts for papers requiring a maximum of twenty minutes to deliver should be sent no later than March 3 2017 by email attachment to Paul Kimball at pkimball@bilkent.edu.tr or to drpkimball@gmail.com. All submissions will be judged anonymously by two referees. Prospective panelists must be members in good standing of the SCS at the time of submission and must include their membership number in the cover letter accompanying their abstract. Please follow the SCS’s instructions for the format of individual abstracts: https://classicalstudies.org/annual-meeting/guidelines-authors-abstracts. The submission of an abstract represents a commitment to attend the 2018 meeting should the abstract be accepted. No papers will be read in absentia and the SLA is unable to provide funding for travel to Boston.

Dr. Paul E. Kimball
Bilkent University
Faculty of Humanities and Letters
Program in Cultures, Civilizations, and Ideas
06800 Bilkent
Ankara, Turkey
office: (+90) 312 290 1034
fax: (+90) 312 266 4606

CFP: Europe Inside-Out: Europe and Europeanness Exposed to Plural Observers

by Dorian Isone
The 7th International Conference
‘Europe Inside-Out: Europe and Europeanness Exposed to Plural Observers’
28 – 29 April 2017, Porto, Portugal
Europe became in the 20th century an elaborated yet contested notion as the particular field of European studies emerged while extensive and diverse research was directed recently towards an intensified search for what Europe is about. The creation of the European Union made things even more specialized and increased the stake of methodological rigor as more and more Europeans are affected by the decisions taken in Brussels. The number, diversity and quality of research projects focused on European issues is unprecedented, yet, as it is usually the case with specialization, it gradually led to discursive communities that rarely meet and debate their approaches in open floors together with peers from other continents, academic traditions and cultures. It is the aim of this conference to build a bridge among specialists from different regions, academic traditions and cultures that share a common interest in studying and addressing Europe as a reflexive concern.
The 7th Global Conference ‘Europe Inside-Out: Europe and Europeanness Exposed to Plural Observers’ aims exactly to refresh a broader approach and understanding of Europe by enlarging the platform of regular conferences and workshops for a wider arena of participants and disciplinary backgrounds in order to put on stage a worldwide monadology for such concerns. The conference aims also to enable critical alternatives to the disciplinary orthodoxies by creating a framework for interaction and dissemination of diversity that has to become once more a European trademark.
What is Europe and its place in the world? Is there something particular that sedimented in time and through a controversial history a European way? How does Europe see itself and how do others see it? Is Europe inclusive or club-based exclusive? Is Europe becoming a normative power or just envisages itself as one? Is the European multiculturalism a fact or an ideal? Is the European Union a reflection of Europe or an appropriation of it? Is Europe becoming a post-national cosmopolitan order or a persisting community of national states? How does the current political context after the US presidential elections challenges Europe? Is the EU able to resist the rise of populist and nationalist movements? These are just few questions out of an enormous space for inquiry that are to be addressed and confronted within the topic of the conference. Join us!
The conference is organized yet by no means restricted to the following orientative panels:
Theorizing Europe: Thinking Europe and Europeanness ~ Europe as would be world power ~ Europe and its internal and external others/outsiders ~ Europe and identities ~ Fortress Europe? ~ EU and appropriations of Europe ~ Europe and the Mediterranean assortment ~ Europe and the inclusive/exclusive nexus ~ Europe and the US ~ Europe and anti-Americanism ~ Europe as seen from its Eastern neighbors ~ Europe as viewed from far away: narratives of the Europeans outside ~ Europe as viewed from Asia ~ Europe and Africa ~ Non-familiar faces of Europe ~ Knowing Europe in a different way: from Latin America to Australia ~ Europe and the EU as a normative power ~ EU regulatory practices in context ~ The multiple faces of Europeanization as a process ~ Europe and the persistence of the East-West Slope ~ Europe and crises ~ Europe and cosmopolitanism ~ Europe and the post-national orders ~ Europe in the world ~ European narratives of the past: the mnemonic/amnesic nexuses ~ Europeanization versus globalization ~ Europe and conflict resolution ~ European social models: welfare states and neoliberal suspicions ~ Europe and innovation ~ The politicization of Europe ~ Europe and the Trump ‘Era’ ~ Assessments of the European security
Participant’s Profile
The conference is addressed to academics, researchers and professionals with a particular research interest on Europe from all parts of the world. Post-graduate students, doctoral candidates and young researchers are welcome to submit an abstract. Representatives of INGOs, NGOs, Think Tanks and activists willing to present their work with impact on or influenced by specific understandings of Europe are welcomed as well to submit the abstract of their contribution. Euroacademia favors multidisciplinary approaches, critical thinking and new research methodologies.
The conference will take place in the conference premises of the exclusive 5 stars Hotel Infante Sagres, centrally located in the historic heart of Porto, within a walking distance from many major cultural attractions.
Deadline: 15th of March 2017
For on-line applications and complete details of the event before applying please see the conference website:
Applications are reviewed regularly by the Selection Committee and in order to facilitate best travel arrangements, an answer to an application is provided in maximum 5 working days.
commentaries, the use of the Bible in the liturgy, the first Christian responses to the rise of Islam, the current situation of Syriac Christianity in the Middle East and abroad, and many more.

Experts having agreed to teach in this course include H.E. Mor Polycarpus, Professor Luk Van Rompay (Duke University), Professor Alessandro Mengozzi (University of Turin), Professor Heleen Murre-van den Berg (IVOC, Nijmegen), Dr Jan van Ginkel and others.

This course is a unique opportunity to study in one of Europe’s most vibrant cities. If you are interested in this course, or if you are in a position that you have students or research fellows who may be interested in the courses, feel free to contact me if you have any questions! For more information see http://bachelors.vu.amsterdam/en/summer-school/courses/SyriacChrisitanity/index.aspxSee also our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SummerCourseSyriacChristianity?fref=nf