Category Archives: member news

New member publication: Literature, Emotions, and Pre-Modern War: Conflict in Medieval and Early Modern Europe

Congratulations to ANZAMEMS members Claire McIlroy and Anne M. Scott on the publication of their new edited collection, Literature, Emotions, and Pre-Modern War: Conflict in Medieval and Early Modern Europe (Arc Humanities Press, 2021).

This collection assembles work by some of the foremost English-speaking scholars of pre-modern thought and culture and is the fruit of the Australian Research Council’s ground-breaking Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotion. The impact of war, a human activity that is both public and politically charged, is examined as it affects private human lives caught up in public and political situations. The essays, many of them influenced by the burgeoning field of study in the history of emotions, examine the often unconsidered effects of war—on the individual and on the commune—as revealed in the study of well-known texts such as Beowulf, Piers Plowman, Malory’s Le Morte Darthur, and Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde, as well as other lesser-known works that mirror the concerns of the society in which they were conceived. These latter range from the twelfth-century chansons of the Crusades, through the fifteenth-century French and English political works of Alain Chartier, to the twentieth-century anti-war satirical films of Mario Monicelli.

Please find attached below a promotional flyer for 50% off the purchase price for ANZAMEMS members.

ANZAMEMS members wishing to promote their research through the ANZAMEMS newsletter are invited to email the editor, Lisa Rolston.

New member publication: Women’s Patronage and Gendered Cultural Networks in Early Modern Europe

Congratulations to ANZAMEMS member Adelina Modesti on the publication of her new book, Women’s Patronage and Gendered Cultural Networks in Early Modern Europe. Vittoria della Rovere, Grand Duchess of Tuscany (Routledge, 2020).

This book examines the sociocultural networks between the courts of early modern Italy and Europe, focusing on the Florentine Medici court, and the cultural patronage and international gendered networks developed by the Grand Duchess of Tuscany, Vittoria della Rovere.

Adelina Modesti uses Grand Duchess Vittoria as an exemplar of pan-European ‘matronage’ and proposes a new matrilineal model of patronage in the early modern period, one in which women become not only the mediators but also the architects of public taste and the transmitters of cultural capital. The book will be the first comprehensive monographic study of this important cultural figure.

This study will be of interest to scholars working in art history, gender studies, Renaissance studies and seventeenth-century Italy.

Please find attached below a promotional flyer which includes a discount code for 20% off the purchase price.

ANZAMEMS members wishing to promote their research through the ANZAMEMS newsletter are invited to email the editor, Lisa Rolston.



New member publication: Treason and Masculinity in Medieval England

Congratulations to ANZAMEMS member Amanda McVitty on the publication of her new book, Treason and Masculinity in Medieval England: Gender, Law and Political Culture (Boydell Press, 2020). This presents the first extended study of treason in later medieval England since the 1970s and it makes significant interventions in the fields of legal and political history.

Drawing on evidence from trial records, legislation and chronicles, Treason and Masculinity in Medieval England illuminates the ways in which cultural ideals of masculinity reinforced or subverted government responses to crises of legitimacy, and demonstrates that gender conditioned understandings of treason in the political arena as well as the definitions embedded in statutes and case law. At the same time, it explores the varied ways men defended themselves from accusations of treason by invoking, and in the process helping to transform, shared beliefs about what it meant to be a man in medieval England.

Please find attached below a promotional flyer which includes a discount code for 35% off the purchase price (enter code BB135 at check-out), valid until 31 December.

ANZAMEMS members wishing to promote their research through the ANZAMEMS newsletter are invited to email the editor, Lisa Rolston.

New member publication: Feeling Exclusion

Congratulations to ANZAMEMS member Charles Zika on the publication of a new collection, Feeling Exclusion: Religious Conflict, Exile and Emotions in Early Modern Europe (Routledge, 2019) co-edited with Giovanni Tarantino. The volume features a number of essays by ANZAMEMS members.

Feeling Exclusion: Religious Conflict, Exile and Emotions in Early Modern Europe investigates the emotional experience of exclusion at the heart of the religious life of persecuted and exiled individuals and communities in early modern Europe.

Between the late fifteenth and early eighteenth centuries an unprecedented number of people in Europe were forced to flee their native lands and live in a state of physical or internal exile as a result of religious conflict and upheaval. Drawing on new insights from history of emotions methodologies, Feeling Exclusion explores the complex relationships between communities in exile, the homelands from which they fled or were exiled, and those from whom they sought physical or psychological assistance. It examines the various coping strategies religious refugees developed to deal with their marginalization and exclusion, and investigates the strategies deployed in various media to generate feelings of exclusion through models of social difference, that questioned the loyalty, values, and trust of “others”.

Accessibly written, divided into three thematic parts, and enhanced by a variety of illustrations, Feeling Exclusion is perfect for students and researchers of early modern emotions and religion.

ANZAMEMS members wishing to promote their research through the ANZAMEMS newsletter are invited to email the editor, Lisa Rolston.

New Member Publication: The Miraculous and the Writing of Crusade Narrative

Congratulations to ANZAMEMS member Beth C. Spacey on the publication of her new book, The Miraculous and the Writing of Crusade Narrative (Boydell Press, 2020).

The medieval Latin Christian narratives of the crusades are replete with references to miracles, visions and signs. Mysterious white-clad knights lead crusader armies to victory in battle, Christ and the saints offer guidance in visions, and great signs are seen in the skies. However, despite the frequent appearance of these themes in the sources, and the evident importance of these ideas to the narratives which describe them, scholars have often analysed examples in isolation.

This book represents the first far-reaching examination of the miraculous in crusade narrative, offering an analysis of the role of miracles, marvels, visions, dreams, signs and augury in narratives of the crusades of 1096 to 1204 and produced between c.1099 and c.1250. It argues that the miraculous and its related themes represented a powerful tool for the authors of crusade narrative because of its ability to convey divine agency and will, ideas which were central to the belief held among Latin Christian contemporaries that crusade was divinely inspired and spiritually salvific. Overall, the volume demonstrates how the authors of crusade narrative drew upon various intellectual authorities on the miraculous in the service of their narrative agendas and reveals how the use of the miraculous changed as authors were forced to respond to the challenges of narrating crusade during this period.

ANZAMEMS members wishing to promote their research through the ANZAMEMS newsletter are invited to email the editor, Lisa Rolston.

ANZAMEMS AGM

The Annual General Meeting of ANZAMEMS Inc. will be held on Tuesday 28 April 2020 at 11:00am-1:00pm (AWST).

The meeting is hosted by The University of Western Australia and will be held via the video conferencing software Zoom.

Local times (for your convenience):
WA: 11:00am-1:00pm (AWST)
SA: 12:30pm-2:30pm (ACST)
VIC/NSW/TAS/ACT/QLD: 1:00pm-3:00pm (AEST)
New Zealand: 3:00pm-5:00pm (NZST)

Details of the Zoom connection will be circulated to members closer to the AGM date.

At the upcoming ANZAMEMS AGM a number of committee positions need to be elected. This email is also a call for nominations for the following positions:

Communications Officer
Parergon Reviews Editor
Postgraduate Officer (Australia)
Postgraduate Officer (New Zealand)

In addition, the following positions are declared open and can also be contested. The incumbents have all declared their willingness to remain in the positions, but if you wish to contest the position, then you may:

Secretary (Current incumbent: Karen Jillings)
Vice-President (Australia) (Current incumbent: Clare Monagle)
Treasurer (Current incumbent: Peter Sherlock)
Committee Member (Current incumbent: Helen Young)

If you wish to nominate for any of these positions on the ANZAMEMS committee, please send the Executive Administrator Marina Gerzic (info@anzamems.org) an email with your name, affiliation, and short biographical statement (please note: you must be a 2020 financial member to nominate), as well as the names of your nomination proposer and a seconder (please note: both must be 2020 financial members) by Wednesday 18 March 2020 at the latest.

Once the Executive Administrator has received nominations, a proxy form for those unable to attend the AGM to vote on these positions will be created and circulated.

Please note: names of nominees will only be printed on the proxy forms if they are submitted by the 18 March deadline.

Please contact the Executive Administrator for any further information about any of these committee positions.

New member publication: Making the Medieval Relevant

Congratulations to current ANZAMEMS president Chris Jones on the publication of a new collection, Making the Medieval Relevant: How Medieval Studies Contribute to Improving our Understanding of the Present (De Gruyter, 2019) co-edited with Conor Kostick and Klaus Oschema. The volume also includes a contribution from ANZAMEMS member and Parergon Reviews Editor Hélène Sirantoine.  

When scholars discuss the medieval past, the temptation is to become immersed there, to deepen our appreciation of the nuances of the medieval sources through debate about their meaning. But the past informs the present in a myriad of ways and medievalists can, and should, use their research to address the concerns and interests of contemporary society.

This volume presents a number of carefully commissioned essays that demonstrate the fertility and originality of recent work in Medieval Studies. Above all, they have been selected for relevance.

Most contributors are in the earlier stages of their careers and their approaches clearly reflect how interdisciplinary methodologies applied to Medieval Studies have potential repercussions and value far beyond the boundaries of the Middle Ages. These chapters are powerful demonstrations of the value of medieval research to our own times, both in terms of providing answers to some of the specific questions facing humanity today and in terms of much broader
considerations.

Taken together, the research presented here also provides readers with confidence in the fact that Medieval Studies cannot be neglected without a great loss to the understanding of what it means to be human.

Making the Medieval Relevant is available for open-access download here: https://www.degruyter.com/view/product/489086. Open access is supported by funding from the British Academy, the Mediävistenverband e.V., the University of Canterbury (NZ) and the Ruhr-University Bochum (Germany).  The book will be discussed on the Pat Kenny show on Irish radio network Newstalk, which will later be released as a podcast.

ANZAMEMS members wishing to promote their research through the ANZAMEMS newsletter are invited to email the editor, Lisa Rolston.

New member publication: New Saints in Late-Mediaeval Venice

Congratulations to ANZAMEMS member Karen McCluskey on the publication of her new book, New Saints in Late-Mediaeval Venice, 1200–1500: a typological study (Routledge, 2019).

This book focuses on the comparatively unknown cults of new saints in late-mediaeval Venice. These new saints were near-contemporary citizens who were venerated by their compatriots without official sanction from the papacy. In doing so, the book uncovers a sub-culture of religious expression that has been overlooked in previous scholarship.

The study highlights a myriad of hagiographical materials, both visual and textual, created to honour these new saints by members of four different Venetian communities: The Republican government; the monastic orders, mostly Benedictine; the mendicant orders; and local parishes. By scrutinising the hagiographic portraits described in painted vita panels, written vitae, passiones, votive images, sermons and sepulchre monuments, as well as archival and historical resources, the book identifies a specifically Venetian typology of sanctity tied to the idiosyncrasies of the city’s site and history.

By focusing explicitly on local typological traits, the book produces an intimate and complex portrait of Venetian society and offers a framework for exploring the lived religious experience of late-mediaeval societies beyond the lagoon. As a result, it will be of keen interest to scholars of Venice, lived religion, hagiography, mediaeval history and visual culture.

For more information including table of contents please see https://www.routledge.com/New-Saints-in-Late-Mediaeval-Venice-12001500-A-Typological-Study/McCluskey/p/book/9781138478008

ANZAMEMS members wishing to promote their research through the ANZAMEMS newsletter are invited to email the editor, Lisa Rolston

New member publication: Contemporary Chaucer across the Centuries

Contemporary Chaucer across the Centuries cover imageCongratulations to ANZAMEMS members Helen Hickey, Anne McKendry and Melissa Raine on the publication of their co-edited collection Contemporary Chaucer across the Centuries (Manchester University Press, 2018). It is doubly pleasing that the book is a festschrift for long-time ANZAMEMS member and past president Stephanie Trigg, who has contributed so much to the Association and to the wider field of medieval and early modern studies. Below, the editors reflect on what inspired their book and the diverse approaches contributors take to its unifying themes.

“We were delighted to take up the opportunity to celebrate Stephanie Trigg’s academic achievements as well as her tireless fostering of scholarly communities throughout her career. Our intention was to create a vibrant collection that attests to her achievements and her generosity as a researcher. We felt that within Stephanie’s wide-ranging interests, Geoffrey Chaucer was central to the progression of her own ideas and her sphere of influence. For over 700 years, many readers have claimed powerful personal connections not only with Chaucer’s writing, but with the author himself. Stephanie’s Congenial Souls (2001) delved deeply into the desires that Chaucer’s literary output has both created and fed throughout those seven centuries. This mode of inquiry, which she describes as a symptomatic long history, makes explicit the stakes and the manoeuvres that give shape to the experience of communing with the Chaucerian text, its author, and the age in which he lived, claims that are at times proprietorial and exclusive, and at others challenging and resistant. Stephanie has since employed this methodology to interrogate hierarchised distinctions between scholarly and creative responses to medieval culture, the latter often known as medievalism. Congenial Souls therefore offers an important contribution to Chaucer scholarship, but further lays down groundwork for researchers of medieval culture to reflect on the broader significance of their own practices.

Two decades after the publication of Congenial Souls, we felt it was timely to review current debates surrounding the traditions, emotions and intellectual underpinnings of Chaucer scholarship, and the implications of this work for researching the Middle Ages more generally. Contemporary Chaucer across the Centuries showcases the contributions of fourteen outstanding thinkers in the field who explore both Chaucer’s writing and the longue durée of its reception. The diversity of topics and approaches evinces the dynamic and innovative research that Chaucer’s writing continues to inspire, as well as the resonance of Stephanie’s insights within contemporary Chaucer research.

Each essay stands alone as a significant contribution to Chaucer scholarship, in some cases drawing attention to features of Chaucer’s poetic techniques and intertextual allusions that have gone unnoticed, despite extensive poring over Chaucer’s oeuvre. Some are inspired by or engage directly with Stephanie’s work on authorship, emotions and medievalism to produce fresh insights into the faces, bodies and environments found within Chaucer’s narratives; others consider emotions and connection with Chaucer himself in critical analyses as well as in creative forms such as cinema and stand-up comedy.

The historical development of Chaucer’s legacy is represented in a variety of contexts, from scribal activity and early print culture through to contests over national identity in the nineteenth century. Several essays address how critical trends and challenges both shape and are impacted by Chaucer’s canonical status, and many individual essays attend to combinations of these themes. Together, they create a dialogue about what the past means in our own present moment, and why Chaucer continues to be such a source of fascination and reward. These essays confirm that we are never truly “done” with the past; we continue to return with new questions to Chaucer’s writing and the astonishing experience of immediacy that it produces in readers even as temporal distance increases. The changing present compels us to reconsider, re-evaluate, and reappraise the connections between literary traditions and contemporary scholarship, and past and present more broadly.

Contemporary Chaucer across the Centuries is also inflected by the diversity of our own research interests. Melissa is currently working on children’s voices in both medieval literature and contemporary Australian culture. In both contexts, she explores how historically specific ideas about childhood, especially the relationships of children with adults, shape the communication of actual and imagined children, including some created by Chaucer. Anne is at the proofing stage of her first monograph, Medieval Crime Fiction: A Critical Overview, which will be published by McFarland in April and offers the first sustained analysis of this neglected but extremely popular example of contemporary medievalism. She is also finalising an article for Exemplaria that considers Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale through Georges Bataille’s theory of an economics of waste. Helen is currently working on feet in medieval and early modern poetics and art, and on ideas of beauty and aesthetics in medieval European poetry. She is completing a chapter on Thomas Hoccleve’s poetics through theories of embodiment.

Helen M. Hickey, Anne McKendry and Melissa Raine are Research Associates at the University of Melbourne’s School of Culture and Communication. A substantial preview of Contemporary Chaucer across the Centuries can be downloaded for free from the publisher’s website: http://www.manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/9781526129154/

ANZAMEMS members wishing to promote their research through the ANZAMEMS newsletter are invited to email the editor, Amanda McVitty. We particularly welcome approaches from early career scholars.