National Library of Australia Summer Scholarships

Have you started your PhD and require access to the National Library of Australia’s world-class collections? Summer Scholarships support Australian PhD students to spend six weeks at the National Library, from 11 January to 19 February 2021, researching the collections.

Scholars receive a stipend of $6000 to cover travel, accommodation and living costs, access to the Fellows room with office facilities, as well as special and supported access to collections.

Up to five scholarships are available:
Two Norman McCann Scholarships* for research into Australian history, Australian literature, librarianship, archives administration, or museum studies
The Seymour Scholarship* for biographical research
The Carol Moya Mills Scholarship for a scholar from regional or rural Australia
The National Library of Australia Scholarship*, with preference given to Indigenous scholars
*some age limits apply

Applications now close 5pm (AEST), Friday 28 August 2020. Read the Scholarship guidelines and apply here.

Highlights from the Parergon Archives: Words as Weapons

We asked members of Parergon‘s Early Career Committee to tell us about a Parergon article that stood out for them and why they found it valuable for their research. In this post, Francesca Battista discusses Kathleen Neal’s ‘Words as Weapons in the Correspondence of Edward I with Llywelyn ap Gruffydd’, Parergon 30.1 (2013), pp. 51-71 [DOI: 10.1353/pgn.2013.0051]

The one-day workshop on Letter Writing in the Middle Ages, held at the Bush House, King’s College London in 2019 and organized by Simon Thomas Parsons, Thomas W. Smith and Anaïs Waag, not only offered a great opportunity to be engaged in interesting debates on medieval epistolary culture, but it also allowed me to meet brilliant scholars and hear about their meaningful work. A stimulating exchange of ideas after the conference with one of the attendees, Amanda McVitty, and the paper presented by Kathleen Neal, introduced me to valuable scholarship on dictamen and related areas of study from Australia and New Zealand, which was unknown to me. Neal’s article that I am going to discuss in this post is part of this story. Her research method represents a great source of inspiration for the dictaminal research I am conducting.

The influence of ars dictaminis on the shaping of chancery style in England was long ago recognized by Kantorowicz, Denholm-Young, and more recently pointed out by Camargo, Richardson, and Grévin, among others. However, the investigation of the ways in which from the thirteenth century dictamen started to be used as a royal political communication tool is still not fully explored.

Neal’s article provides a relevant contribution to the field of investigation, offering a compelling reading of the letters exchanged between Edward I of England and Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, Prince of Wales, during the time period between the Anglo-Welsh wars (1276-77, 1282-83). This correspondence is read drawing attention to its dictaminal shape and interconnected political intent. Furthermore, it also illustrates a method based on the study of the epistolary drafting process for interpreting royal letters, not as “relics of a well-developed medieval bureaucracy,” but rather “as episodes of strategic communication” (p. 52).

The article concentrates on a single letter which is offered as an example of how Edward I’s letters functioned as rhetorical political artifacts in connection to the Anglo-Welsh struggle. It is a royal reply of 1280 to one or two of Llywelyn’s letters which were concerned, above all, with the issue of the possession of Arwystli region. The Treaty of Aberconwy of 1277, which marked the capitulation of Llywelyn to Edward I, left open the Welsh dispute over this land. As a result, rights to it were claimed equally by the Prince of Wales and Gruffydd ap Gwenwynwyn, ally of the king. In his letters addressed to the king, Llewelyn complains because the king was not able to settle this dispute in his Parliament. Such criticism resulted in an indirect aggression to the heart of Edward I’s monarchy.

Neal brilliantly shows how Edward’s reply appears to be a rhetorical means of legitimization of the manner of power execution in the hands of the superior party. Accordingly, for example, in the salutatio the address terms of “beloved and faithful”, which were used in line with the Anglo-Norman epistolary practices rather than on the basis of those of the Welsh chancery, stress the Prince of Wales’ subordination to the king and also show who “was willing to conduct their discussion” (p. 61).

Likewise, the hypertrophic narratio would suggest “that a hostile reception was anticipated” and indicates “how important it was in royal and Chancery circles that an English construction of the situation be articulated” (p. 61). It could be also argued that the length of the narratio is an especially significant aspect to be considered as a clear transgression of dictaminal norms. Handbooks of letter writing prescribed that narration had to be brief and concise, and English artes dictandi were not an exception. One of the most relevant merits of this article is its attentive examination of the editorial work involved in the production of this letter. Edward’s letter survives as a draft and all the draft’s changes and deletions represent a conscious use of language which is itself political. Notably, despite the fact that their consideration is necessary for a complete reading of the letter, they had been neglected in previous research. An edition and a translation of the letter, along with the annotation of the deletions and additions in the apparatus, are for the first time provided in the appendix of this article.

In conclusion, as shown by Neal, royal letters extant in the form of draft or not, can be regarded as a fruitful place for the investigation of the monarchy’s dictaminal construction of power. This applies to 13th century Britain, as in the specific case of this paper, but it could be extended to a European level to other royal chanceries. For the richness of its investigation, this article represents a wide range of scholarly interests. It can be especially recommended to historians of medieval Britain and Europe, specialists of dictamen, scholars of political communication and kingship, and researchers of medieval textuality and scribal activity.

Parergon can be accessed via Project MUSE (from Volume 1 (1983)), Australian Public Affairs – Full Text (from 1994), and Humanities Full Text (from 2008). For more information on the current issue and on submitting manuscripts for consideration, please visit https://parergon.org/

CFP: Australian and New Zealand Law and History Society Conference

39th Annual Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Law and History Society, Auckland, 9-12 December 2020

Revised Call for Papers: “One Empire, Many Colonies, Similar or Different Histories?”

Abstracts are invited from scholars bringing historical perspectives on law who wish to gather at The University of Auckland and AUT University – there to listen to and discuss papers and panels on aspects of law in history.

Since the impact of COVID-19, travel restrictions and university funding deficits, we now also seek expressions of interest from those who may wish to present a paper to a dual format conference or virtual-only conference if either possibility turns out to be feasible.

The 2020 theme invites a comparative lens on British imperial and colonial histories but other law in history topics will be favourably considered. Proposals from postgraduate and early career researchers are welcome. Individual paper proposals and panel proposals must include an abstract (no more than 300 words) and a biographical statement (no more than 100 words per speaker).

All abstracts must be submitted to Karen Fairweather: k.fairweather@auckland.ac.nz by
31 July 2020

See the attached call for papers for more information.

NTEU Carolyn Allport Scholarship for Postgraduate Feminist Studies by Research – Call for applications 2020

The Carolyn Allport Scholarship is available for a woman undertaking postgraduate feminist studies, by research, in any discipline, awarding $5000 per year for a maximum of 3 years to the successful applicant. Applicants must be currently enrolled in postgraduate studies, by research, in an academic award of an Australian public university. This scholarship has been created in recognition of Dr Carolyn Allport’s contribution to the leadership and development of the Union in her 16 years as National President.

Application deadline is 31 July 2020. A decision will be made in late August 2020.

For more information go to: http://www.nteu.org.au/myunion/scholarships or contact Helena Spyrou at: hspyrou@nteu.org.au or on 0419 339 259.

ACU Seminar Series: ‘Dante, Theologian at the End of Time’

The Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry at Australian Catholic University cordially invites you to attend lecture series by Prof. Denys Turner, hosted by the IRCI’s Religion & Theology program.

“Dante, Theologian of the End of Time” will include three separate lectures:

Wednesday 24 June, 8am AEST
Dante, Theologian-Poet
It doesn’t make a lot of difference to Dante if one calls him a medieval theologian, but it does make a great deal of difference to how one thinks of theology in the Middle Ages. This lecture explores the difference it makes for how we think about medieval theology to take the Comedy as a paradigm for theological work. One consequence is that letting Dante into the club relativises the theology of the university men by making their approach but one way of doing theology rather than definitive, which, by the same token, lets in a lot of women too.

Thursday 25 June 8am AEST
Dante, Augustine, and Confession
Curiously, Augustine does not appear by name in Dante’s Comedy. This lecture explores the possibility that this is because his influence on the theology of the poem is pervasive throughout its whole trajectory. It contributes something of significance to both theologies to compare the “confessing” strategies of them both.

Friday 26 June 8am AEST
Dante, Aquinas, and Hell
Recent critiques of “infernalist” theologies, in particular of Aquinas’s, raise the question of how far Dante’s Inferno entails a commitment to a doctrine of eternal punishment in hell for unrepentant sinners in the way in which Aquinas’ teachings on hell seem unmistakably to do. Do we have to read Inferno as descriptive, howsoever imaginatively, of a real condition of eternal punishment of unrepentant sinners? And if not, how may one legitimately read it as allegory?

Please send your RSPV to rachel.davies@acu.edu.au to receive a Zoom event link and instructions for joining. In order to ensure safety and security for our participants, you will not be able to join the lectures if you haven’t registered by email. However it isn’t necessary to confirm which of the three lectures you’d like to attend, as one RSVP will get you links for all three events.

CFP Annual Renaissance Society of America Meeting

“Women on the Move: Gender and Migration in the Early Modern Period”
Call for Papers – Panel at the 67th Annual Renaissance Society of America Meeting, 2020
Dublin, Ireland, April 7-10, 2021

Although globalization is thought to be a recent phenomenon, the early modern period saw an intense uptick in global migration, specifically within the European continent and throughout the Atlantic World. This panel seeks to explore the ways in which women navigated this newly global system through structures of voluntary and forced migration for a variety of religious, social, and economic reasons. Women migrated as wives, laborers, missionaries, indentured servants, and enslaved persons. This panel especially seeks proposals that are committed to interdisciplinary and intersectional approaches that are historically sensitive and theoretically innovative. In analyzing the specific ways early modern women’s gender affected their experience of migration in the Atlantic world, this panel broadens the conversation of early modern globalization.

Paper topics might include but are not limited to:

-Women’s travel writings
-The intersection of religion, gender, and migration
-Gender, travel and migration in the early modern imagination
-The limits of women’s travel or migration
-Conceptions of travelling, gender, and “the Other” in the early modern world
-Migration and gender in the context of emerging settler colonial systems
-Migration as a mode of increased globalization
-Migration, colonialization, and the early modern economy

Please send a CV, a presentation title, and a 150-word abstract to the session organizer Kelly Douma Kaelin (ked17@psu.edu). In addition, please detail any A/V requirements that you expect to have.

All presenters must register for the 67th Annual Renaissance Society of America Meeting, be committed to attending the conference in Dublin, and make their own travel arrangements.

For more information about the RSA Annual Meeting, please see the conference website.

The deadline for the submission of materials for this panel is Saturday, August 1, 2020.

Medieval and Early Modern Orients

Medieval and Early Modern Orients (MEMOs) is an AHRC-funded project that seeks to further knowledge and understanding of the early interactions between England and the Islamic worlds. Through our pages and our blog we hope to create an accessible space to reveal the exciting discoveries of researchers as they navigate the seas of history and literature, and investigate the intersecting webs of our pasts.

Like the engagements it explores, MEMOs is also a point of engagement. It is a space for researchers, practitioners and anyone with an interest to connect and stay up-to-date with news and events in the field, as well as the work of colleagues and specialists. By this we hope to build a network of knowledge and appreciation around the longstanding global relationships that continue to define our interconnected identities and shape our world.

MEMOs welcomes new contributors, particularly those based in Australasia.