Category Archives: member news

Member Publication: Emotional Alterity in the Medieval North Sea World

ANZAMEMS members Erin Sebo (Flinders), Matthew Firth (Flinders) and Daniel Anlezark (Sydney) are pleased to announce the publication of their edited collection Emotional Alterity in the Medieval North Sea World.

This book addresses a little-considered aspect of the study of the history of emotions in medieval literature: the depiction of perplexing emotional reactions. Medieval literature often confronts audiences with displays of emotion that are improbable, physiologically impossible, or simply unfathomable in modern social contexts. The intent of such episodes is not always clear; medieval texts rarely explain emotional responses or their motivations. The implication is that the meanings communicated by such emotional display were so obvious to their intended audience that no explanation was required. This raises the question of whether such meanings can be recovered. This is the task to which the contributors to this book have put themselves. In approaching this question, this book does not set out to be a collection of literary studies that treat portrayals of emotion as simple tropes or motifs, isolated within their corpora. Rather, it seeks to uncover how such manifestations of feeling may reflect cultural and social dynamics underlying vernacular literatures from across the medieval North Sea world.


1 Emotional Alterity in the Medieval Northern Sea World – Erin Sebo, Matthew Firth, and Daniel Anlezark
2 Grotesque Emotions in Old Norse Literature: Swelling Bodies, Spurting Fluids, Tears of Hail – Brynja Þorgeirsdóttir (Háskóli Íslands)
3 “Þá fær Þorbirni svá mjok at hann grætr”: Emotionality in the Sagas of East Iceland – Carolyne Larrington (University of Oxford)
4 On the Wild Side: “Impossible” Emotions in Medieval German Literature – Sonja Kerth (Universität Bremen)
5 “In an Overfurious Mood”: Emotion in Medieval Frisian Law and Life – Rolf H. Bremmer Jr (Universiteit Leiden)
6 The Vasa Mortis and Misery in Solomon and Saturn II – Daniel Anlezark (University of Sydney)
7 De Profundis: Sadness and Healing – Christina Lee (University of Nottingham)
8 The Hagiographers of Early England and the Impossible Humility of the Saints -Rosalind Love (University of Cambridge)
9 Rage and Lust in the Afterlives of King Edgar the Peaceful – Matthew Firth (Flinders University)
10 ‘Shrink Not Appalled from My Great Sorrow’: Translating Emotion in the Celtic Revival – Kate Louise Mathis (University of Edinburgh)

Online Presentation: Early Modern Women and Discourses of Civility

Tuesday 19 September 2023
5pm (AEST) online only

Emma Rayner – PhD Exit Presentation
(PhD candidate, ANU Centre for Early Modern Studies)

Emma Rayner presents her PhD thesis to discuss women’s engagement with the rich and unstable discourses of civility throughout the 1600s.

From Michel de Montaigne to Edmund Burke, Georg Simmel to Pierre Bourdieu, an interest in courtesy and civility has distinguished the careers of some of civilization’s most celebrated thinkers. In the past century, the pioneering work of Swiss sociologist Norbert Elias prompted generations of modern scholars to trace the way in which the seemingly superficial preoccupation with manners and civil behaviour seen in the early modern European court was symptomatic of a much more seismic affective and cultural shift. This shift is frequently framed as a movement from courtesy (or courtoisie) to civility (civilité), and from civility to civilization.

Scholars have only in recent decades begun to remark on the concerted effacement of gender in civility research, but those remarks have yet to be channeled into sustained investigations. This thesis therefore aims to offer the first extended (although not exhaustive) study of early modern Englishwomen’s encounters with discourses of courtesy and civility during the seventeenth century. In this presentation, I will introduce the historical and scholarly landscape against which my different chapter studies repose, with the aim of showcasing the “sparkling multiplicity”—rather than the “female uniformity”[1]—of women’s engagement with these rich and unstable discourses throughout the 1600s.

[1] Patricia Phillippy (ed), “Introduction: Sparkling Multiplicity,” A History of Early Modern Women’s Writing (Cambridge University Press, 2018), 27-45, 1.

Emma Rayner is a final-year PhD candidate in English at the School of Literature, Languages, and Linguistics, ANU, researching early modern women’s engagements with discourses of courtesy and civility. She has published on female melancholy in Hester Pulter and John Webster in Studies in English Literature, 1500-1700, and more recently on women’s life-writing and matriarchal exemplarity in Sillages Critiques. She holds a BA and MA in English Literature from Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

Commemoration: John O. Ward

Further to the recent sad news of the death of long-standing ANZAMEMS member, John O. Ward, a commemoration will be held for him at 2pm on 29th July at the Ashfield Bowling Club, located in Ashfield Park at the corner of Orpington St & Parramatta Rd, Ashfield NSW 2131. Guests will be invited to speak and share their memories. RSVP is not necessary for personal attendance.

For those unable to attend personally the Zoom link is

 Meeting ID: 815 6966 2469

Passcode: Rhetoric

New Unit: Cracking of Christendom, University of Divinity

Study The Cracking of Christendom

Available at the University of Divinity in Semester 2, 2023. Classes commence Wednesday 2 August. Online and in-person options available. 

About the unit

500 years ago, a series of conflicts tore apart the Christian church. In a dry forest of religion and politics, Martin Luther proposed 95 questions for debate, and sparked a wildfire. Western Christianity changed forever. The consequences continue to shape life and worship in contemporary Australia in ways you may not even have imagined.

This unit will be taught collaboratively by academics from diverse traditions, with expertise in both theology and history. Students will benefit from the rich and rounded learning experience made possible by this unparalleled collaboration of five Colleges from within the University of Divinity.

More information and how to enquire

Introductory video

Monash CMRS symposium

“Materiality and the Senses in the Medieval and Premodern World,” Eighth Annual CMRS Postgraduate (Hybrid) Symposium, 14 April.

We are pleased to announce that registration for the Eighth Annual CMRS Postgraduate Symposium that will take place on 14 April is now open. Our theme this year is “Materiality and the Senses in the Medieval and Premodern World”.

Materials, and the sensory perception of them, were integral to medieval and early modern life. From the mundane to the sacred, “things” were shaped by their creators and users, but, in turn, they also shaped the ways in which creators and users moved through their worlds. In this symposium, our speakers will explore premodern theories of materiality and discuss how the senses acted as mediators of objects, events, and spaces. As outlets for religious experience, medical care, economic prosperity, and self-expression, “things” had significance beyond their shape and size, their colour and feel, their origins and lifespan. They could be dynamic political tools or intimate personal treasures, but it was through sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste that people navigated objects’ physicality and presence.

Our keynote speaker for the event will be Dr Carol J. Williams and we also have a fantastic range of speakers presenting throughout the day. This is a hybrid event and will be occurring on our Clayton Campus as well as on zoom. Free registration can be found here and closes on the 4 April. Virtual registration can still occur after that by emailing the CMRS at

Out Now in Open Access: ‘The Poetic Edda: A Dual-Language Edition’ by Edward Pettit

About the Book
I especially welcome the fact that this prose translation is aimed at understanding the text, rather than preserving a certain style. This is a most valuable contribution to the field and of great value to both students and scholars.

Henrik Williams
Professor of Runology, formerly of Scandinavian Languages, at Uppsala University

This book is an edition and translation of one of the most important and celebrated sources of Old Norse-Icelandic mythology and heroic legend, namely the medieval poems now known collectively as the Poetic Edda or Elder Edda.

Included are thirty-six texts, which are mostly preserved in medieval manuscripts, especially the thirteenth-century Icelandic codex traditionally known as the Codex Regius of the Poetic Edda. The poems cover diverse subjects, including the creation, destruction and rebirth of the world, the dealings of gods such as Óðinn, Þórr and Loki with giants and each other, and the more intimate, personal tragedies of the hero Sigurðr, his wife Guðrún and the valkyrie Brynhildr.

Each poem is provided with an introduction, synopsis and suggestions for further reading. The Old Norse texts are furnished with a textual apparatus recording the manuscript readings behind this edition’s emendations, as well as select variant readings. The accompanying translations, informed by the latest scholarship, are concisely annotated to make them as accessible as possible.

As the first open-access, single-volume parallel Old Norse edition and English translation of the Poetic Edda, this book will prove a valuable resource for students and scholars of Old Norse literature. It will also interest those researching other fields of medieval literature (especially Old English and Middle High German), and appeal to a wider general audience drawn to the myths and legends of the Viking Age and subsequent centuries.

Access this Title
This book is freely available to read and download in PDF and HTML formats at Remember that if you belong to an institution part of our library membership programme, you are entitled to discounts on physical copies and free digital editions.

SHAPE Futures Network Survey

Launched in September 2022, the SHAPE Futures is an early- and mid-career network for the disciplines of the humanities, creative arts and social sciences. Our purpose is to ensure the humanities, arts and social sciences thrive and excel in Australia, by fostering an inclusive and diverse community that supports, empowers and promotes Australian early and mid-career researchers, within and beyond academia.

We would like to encourage those who might consider themselves to be early or mid-career researchers (typically up to 15 years post-PhD, excluding career interruptions) to join the Network; there is no cost to join. Our website provides information on ways that the network can support EMCRs, including advocacy, networking opportunities, and increased visibility of opportunities, resources, and avenues of support. A crucial part of our work is our EMCR cohort survey, which will help build our understanding of the needs of this diverse group, informing our strategies for representation, advocacy, opportunities and network-building. The survey closes in mid-March.

If you would like further information on SHAPE Futures, please contact us on

Call for Proposals for a Special Issue of Gender & History: Gendered Segregation and Gendering Segregation

Gender & History is an international journal for research and writing on the history of gender and gender relations, including (but not limited to) masculinity and femininity.

This Special Issue will examine segregation, broadly understood, exploring how segregation has reflected and constructed gender across time and space. This Special Issue welcomes submissions from scholars studying any country or region, and any historical period, including the classical, medieval, early modern, and the modern.

Segregation is the physical, cultural, or legal separation of groups on the basis of self- or external demarcations of difference and can be observed in many different, but by no means all, human societies of the past. Gendering segregation is a fruitful lens to interrogate relations of power and to do so in spatial settings such as homes, communes, schools, religious institutions, workhouses, prisons, leisure facilities, or others. Additionally, analysing the gendering of segregation—within premodern and modern societies and throughout the world—opens routes towards more capacious understandings of important themes of inquiry such as histories of sexuality, labour, science and technology, politics, feminism, and social identities.

This issue examines how and why segregation has been used as a tool for constructing and policing gender boundaries, at the intersection with race, age, status, class, functionality, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, nationality or other historical ideas of human identity and categorization. We particularly welcome studies on transgender and/or non-binary aspects of the presence – or absence – of segregation in past societies. This issue understands segregation as both a framework of control through imposing binarity and as an individual strategy. We also welcome investigations of how and why gender segregation has been used as a coping mechanism and a strategy of subversion. We also seek to critically engage with scholarly narratives such as the ‘separate spheres’ paradigm.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
• Segregation through and of labour
• Segregation and race
• Scientific and legal logics of segregation
• Segregation in the home
• Segregation in education
• Segregation in sports
• Segregation over the life course
• Segregation as a political strategy
• Self-imposed segregation
• Segregation as a religious practice
• Segregation and urbanism
• Segregation and colonialism

Interested colleagues are asked to submit a 500-word abstract and a brief biography (250 words) by email no later than 31 May 2023 for consideration. Please submit materials to

Abstracts will be reviewed by the Special Issue editors and successful authors will submit full drafts (6,000- 8,000 words) ahead of participation in a hybrid colloquium, which will be held in Bonn, Germany, in partnership with Research Area E (Gender and Intersectionality) of the Bonn Center for Slavery and Dependency Studies. We hope to be able to fund travel and accommodation for all participants. After the colloquium, the editors will select contributions to proceed through the journal’s peer review system. As with any submission, there is no guarantee of publication.

The Special Issue will be edited by Drs. Daniel Grey, Lisa Hellman, Julia Hillner, and Rachel Jean-Baptiste.

Special Issue Timeline
Abstract Proposals to SI editors: 31 May 2023.
Decisions communicated: 1 July 2023.
Draft papers submitted for circulation: 15 March 2024.
Colloquium: 25-27 April 2024.
Full submissions submitted for peer review: 1 September 2024.
Contributions in progress to G&H Editors: 1 March 2025.
Edited MS, illustrations and permissions: 31 May 2025.
Publication: October 2025.
Further information on Gender & History can be found here.

ANZAMEMS ECR/Postgraduate Reading Group:

ANZAMEMS ECR/Postgraduate Reading Group: Semester 1, 2023

Tuesday 28 February 1pm Perth 4pm Melbourne 6pm New Zealand  
Blogging: Emma Rayner (ANU) and Emily Chambers (Nottingham)
1. Compassion Session leaders: Emma Rayner (ANU) and Emily Chambers (Nottingham)   Recommended reading: Diana G. Barnes, ‘Cultures of Compassion in English, French, and Italian Literature and Music, 1300-1700’, Parergon, 39/2 (2022), pp. 1-13   Optional: Katherine Ibbett, ‘The Compassion Machine: Theories of Fellow-Feeling, 1570-1692,’ in Compassion’s Edge: Fellow-Feeling and Its Limits in Early Modern France (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017), pp. 29-59   ————————————————————
Tuesday 21 March   11am Perth 2pm Melbourne 4pm New Zealand  
Blogging: Katrina Cutcliffe (University of Southern Queensland)  
  2. Household accounts as primary sources Session leader: Emily Chambers (Nottingham)   Recommended reading: Taverner, C., & Flavin, S., ‘Food and Power in Sixteenth-Century Ireland: Studying Household Accounts from Dublin Castle’, The Historical Journal, 66/1 (2023), pp. 1-26     ————————————————————  
Tuesday 11 April 10am Perth 12pm Melbourne 2pm New Zealand  3. Representations of Crisis and Catastrophe Session leader: Emma Rayner (ANU)
Blogging: Anna- Rose Shack (University of Amsterdam)Recommended reading: Shannon Gayk and Evelyn Reynolds, ‘Forms of Catastrophe’, Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, 52/1 (2022), pp. 1-16   Plus one of the following (optional): Ryan Netzley, ‘Managed Catastrophe: Problem-Solving and Rhyming Couplets in the Seventeenth-Century Country House Poem’, Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, 52/1 (2022), pp. 147-73   Evelyn Reynolds, ‘“They Saw Mute Creation Trembling”: Forms of Catastrophe in the Old English Christ III,’ Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, 52/1 (2022), pp. 41- 67 ————————————————————  
Tuesday 2 May Hour TBC      Blogging: Jenny Smith (Monash University)  4. TBC Session leader: Katrina Cutcliffe (University of Southern Queensland)    Readings TBC ————————————————————
  Tuesday 23 May 2pm Perth 4pm Melbourne 6pm New Zealand   Blogging: TBC      5. Language and Translation Session leaders: Sophie Patrick (UNE) and Gideon Brough (OU Wales)   Readings TBC


Each session will take one or two recent articles or chapters related to a certain topic/methodological approach/trend in MEMS scholarship, and feature a short presentation from an ANZAMEMS member followed by group discussion.

All readings and any updates to the schedule will be shared through the reading group’s Google Drive folder:

Blogs: we invite blogwriters to write up a brief post (minimum 200w) for submission no later than one week after their assigned session, which will be posted on the ANZAMEMS blog and circulated in the newsletter.

Please contact the convenors with any queries and for Zoom links: Emma Rayner (ANU),, and Emily Chambers (University of Nottingham),

All ANZAMEMS members are welcome, especially postgraduates and ECRs. We look forward to discussing all things MEMS with you this semester!

Australian Academy of the Humanities Grants and Awards Open

Applications and nominations are now open for two of our most prestigious awards: the John Mulvaney Fellowship and the Max Crawford Medal.

About the John Mulvaney Fellowship:
Supporting Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander ECRs
We’re looking for exceptional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander early career researchers and PhD students working in any area of the humanities!

  • applications must be lodged electronically by 5pm AEST Friday 28 April 2023
  • self-nominations are accepted
  • selection criteria are based on: rigour of the research, likely impact, potential to engage/benefit the community.

For Further information on the John Mulvaney Fellowship please see this website.

About the Max Crawford Medal:
Recognising ECRs for achievement & promise in the humanities
Do you know a humanities early-career scholar whose work is helping the general public better understand their discipline? Nominate them now!

  • nominations must be lodged electronically by 5pm AEST Friday 28 April 2023
  • self-nominations are not accepted
  • selection criteria are based on: quality and impact, enrichment of cultural life, media/genre and goal focussed.

For further information on the Max Crawford Medal please see this website.