ARC Humanities and ANZAMEMS Book Prizes

ANZAMEMS, in partnership with ARC Humanities Press, is delighted to announce the launch of two major new book prizes exclusively tailored to ANZAMEMS members. Each prize consists of a book contract with ARC Humanities Press and a grant of $10,000 AUD to cover the costs of gold open access.

The ANZAMEMS-ARC Humanities Award for Original Research is aimed at Early Career Researchers and independent scholars. Where relevant, the winner of the Prize will benefit from ARC Humanities expert advice on converting a PhD thesis to a monograph. The Award for Original Research is an annual prize. Applications for 2021 are now open and will close on 29 January, 2021.

The Borderlines Award is aimed at promoting scholarship with particular strengths in opening up new territorial perspectives, subject-areas, or interdisciplinary methods. The Borderlines Award is a biennial prize and will first be awarded in 2022, with applications closing at the end of January 2022.

Please find attached below the conditions for each prize. More details and application forms are available on the Prizes and Bursaries page of the ANZAMEMS website.


Parergon 37.1 Preview: Invention’s Mint

We asked contributors to the current issue of Parergon to give us some additional insights into their research and the inspirations for their articles. In this post, independent scholar Elizabeth Moran discusses ‘Invention’s Mint: The Currency of Fashion and (Fake) News in Early Modern London’. DOI: 10.1353/pgn.2020.0004

I completed my doctorate at the University of Western Australia in 1999. My thesis centred on satirical and moralizing discourses about fashion in early modern England from the late-sixteenth to the early-seventeenth century. While clothing was perhaps the pre-eminent object of fashionable fascination and condemnation at the time, literary modishness too attracted the ire of satirists. Ben Jonson, eager to claim the timeless literary inheritance of classical forefathers, found it useful to essentialize fashion as a feminine (or effeminate) preoccupation and to distinguish himself, not entirely plausibly, from literary faddishness and the ephemera of textual news.

My interest in Jonson’s play,The Staple of News (1626), sparked again when our own world became preoccupied by populists’ expedient claims of “fake news”, the existence of actual disinformation, and the fear that the very notion of reliable and authoritative news sources has been destroyed by social media. To the modern eye, Jonson’s staple is a cross between a newspaper office and a news agency, operated by a group of pseudo-journalists who, like the playwright’s more famous alchemical conmen, make money by telling incredible stories to credulous people.

On re-reading the play, I was particularly struck by Jonson’s use of coins and currency as figures for what we might nowadays call “fake news”, as well as for sartorial fashion. The protagonist, “Pennyboy Junior”, is a stock satirical heir-about-town who rejoices in his father’s death and squanders his inheritance on modish clothes, an expensive pocket watch, and another novelty that has caught his eye: the production of news. The play set me on a path to consider the manifold affinities between news and fashionable attire as forms of information, ephemera, and social credit. The words “current” and “currency” are shot through with such associations as their meanings range from literal coinage, to social acknowledgement, a sense of the present, and the flow of popular opinion, including news. (The latter survives in our modern-day term, “current affairs”.)

In early modern London, I argue, sartorial fashions and topical information were complementary forms of social credit used to craft modish identities and to claim social currency. This is most evident in the urban spaces where gallants and other aspirants flaunted their attire and sated their appetites for news: St Paul’s Cathedral, the Royal Exchange, the New Exchange (a high-end indoor shopping mall) and the playhouses, especially of the indoor variety. A modish suit and some credible news were currency suitable to furnish a dining table, assert one’s status as a person “in the know”, or to propel a marginal figure from the Court’s periphery towards its centre. And if true news was in short supply, an aspirant’s powers of invention might be deployed to create attractive, newsworthy fictions (or so satirists suggest). “Fake news”, like fashion, is no novel phenomenon.

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 parergon.org

CFP Languages for Specific Purposes in the Middle-Ages

Further to the international symposium, Languages for Specific Purposes in the Middle-Ages, organised in February 2017 by the Lairdil (University Paul Sabatier – Toulouse III) and the CEMA (University Paris-Sorbonne), as well as the publication of a similar volume by Cambridge Scholars Publishing , two new publications are planned for 2022. The first one is the annual issue of the French Higher Education Society for the Study of Medieval England (AMAES), followed by the publication of a second thematic volume by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Language for Specific Purposes (LSP) is a relatively recent notion (Galisson and Coste (1976 : 511), Lerat (1995 : 20) or Dubois and al. (2001 : 40)). The field of LSP, or more accurately LSPs, is clearly linked to professionalisation. The creation in 1982 of the Study and Research Group on English for Specific Purposes (GERAS or Groupe d’Études et de Recherche en Anglais de Spécialité), followed in 2006 by the creation of the Study and Research Group on Spanish for Specific Purposes (GERES or Groupe d’Études et de Recherche en Espagnol de Spécialité) and five years later the German-focused group GERALS for German, all show the dynamism of the research in this field.

This notion of languages is, however, not new, but goes back to ancient times. This is nothing surprising if we consider the range of relevant domains and the movements of populations, peaceful or not, which occurred over the centuries. We can easily consider the relations between the Norman language, spoken by the Conqueror, William, and the Saxon language, spoken by the conquered people. Considering the medieval parlier, whose role was to coordinate the architect’s plans and the work of artisans from far-ranging origins at a common cathedral building site, to the specific language needs of merchants, ambassadors and preachers down the centuries, LSP is everywhere. Have these linguistic confrontations, be they peaceful or not, altruist or mercantile, led to the writing of didactic handbooks such as those by Caxton (1415/1422-1492) or Roger Ascham (1515-1568)? Have they led to the production of intercultural books?

These two upcoming publications on LSPs in the Middle Ages will address all aspects of LSPs regardless of geographical concerns. Papers, in English or French, between 5000 to 8000 words, should be sent before January 31st 2022 to Nolwena Monnier (nolwena.monnier@iut-tlse3.fr).

Authors who wish to submit a paper are advised to get in touch and submit a title with a brief description of content as soon as convenient.

For more information please see attached CFP.

CFP 41st Annual Medieval and Renaissance Forum

41st Annual Medieval and Renaissance Forum: Scent and Fragrance in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance
Friday and Saturday April 16-17, 2021

Call for Papers and Sessions
We are delighted to announce that the 41st Medieval and Renaissance Forum: Scent and Fragrance in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance will take place virtually on Friday, April 16 and Saturday April 17, 2021.

We welcome abstracts (one page or less) or panel proposals that discuss smell and fragrance in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

Papers and sessions, however, need not be confined to this theme but may cover other aspects of medieval and Renaissance life, literature, languages, art, philosophy, theology, history, and music.

This year’s keynote speaker is Deirdre Larkin, Managing Horticulturist at The Cloisters Museum and Gardens from 2007 to 2013,who will speak on “Every Fragrant Herb: The Medieval Garden and the Gardens of The Cloisters.”

Deirdre Larkin is a horticulturist and historian of plants and gardens. She holds an MA in the history of religions from Princeton University and received her horticultural training at the New York Botanical Garden. She was associated with the Gardens of The Cloisters for more than twenty years and was responsible for all aspects of their development, design, and interpretation. Ms. Larkin was the originator of and principal contributor to the Medieval Garden Enclosed blog, published on the MMA website from 2008 through 2013. Ms. Larkin lectures frequently for museums, historical societies, and horticultural organizations. In 2017, she was a Mellon Visiting Scholar at the Humanities Institute of the New York Botanical Garden, where she researched the fortunes and reputations of medieval European plants now naturalized in North America. Her gardens in upstate New York serve as a laboratory for further investigations in the field.

Students, faculty, and independent scholars are welcome. Please indicate your status (undergraduate, graduate, or faculty), affiliation (if relevant), and full contact information (including email address) on your proposal.

Graduate students will be eligible for consideration for the South Wind Graduate Student Paper Award. More information about this new award will be available soon.

We welcome undergraduate sessions but ask that students obtain a faculty member’s approval and sponsorship.

Please submit abstracts and full contact information on the google form available at https://forms.gle/CHdqrEK8pVps7Wa89.

Abstract deadline: January 15, 2020

Presenters and early registration: March 15, 2020

ACU Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry PhD Opportunities

Applications to the PhD and MPhil programs at the Australian Catholic University are now open for domestic and international Higher Degree Research candidates commencing in 2021. Intended research topics should align with the IRCI’s areas of expertise in New Testament studies, early Christianity from late antiquity to Byzantium, medieval and early modern studies, and religion and theology. Particular research areas might include:

• The social, intellectual, and cultural history of religion in all its forms, particularly
Christianity (e.g. texts, organizations, identities, experiences, theology, philosophy,
technology, material culture, popular culture, history of science, music, ritual, and
literature)
• Christianity and its relations to Judaism, the religions of Mediterranean antiquity, and
Islam, as well as its global contexts (Europe, Africa, Asia) from antiquity to the
Enlightenment
• Theology and religious thought, in all their dimensions, including ethics, aesthetics,
ritual, philosophy of religion, cross-cultural engagements, Catholicities, Vatican II
studies, systematic theology, political theology, comparative theologies, Global
Christianity, ecumenism

Successful applicants will be fully immersed in the intellectual life of the IRCI, at ACU’s St
Patrick’s Campus in Fitzroy, Melbourne, participating in seminars, conferences, and reading groups, and working collaboratively with our team of world-class scholars across our three research programs in Biblical and Early Christian Studies, Medieval and Early Modern Studies, and Religion and Theology. There is also the possibility of involvement with one of ACU’s overseas partner universities as well as activities at ACU’s Rome Campus.

Successful applicants are eligible for financial support through one of the University’s
competitive research scholarships. Financial support includes a stipend scholarship, a fee offset scholarship or a tuition fee waiver (as appropriate). Full details are found in the University’s research scholarships website.

At ACU the PhD is a three-year degree, while the MPhil is a two-year degree. A PhD thesis must make an original contribution to the field, whereas an MPhil thesis is required to display mastery of its field. See more information about HDR/graduate degrees at ACU here.

The closing date for applications for stipend scholarships is Sunday 18 October at 11:59pm.

Applications must follow the instructions on the ACU Become a Research Candidate Page.

For further details see the attached flyer, visit the website or contact eo.irci@acu.edu.au.

ACU Medieval and Early Modern Seminar Series

The members of the Medieval and Early Modern Studies program at ACU are delighted to invite you to attend our next virtual seminar on 15 October at 2:00 PM (AEDT/GMT+11): “Blood rain, crucifixions and instruments of the Passion: Christ, visuality and religious identity in sixteenth-century prodigy books,” presented by Jenny Spinks (University of Melbourne)

For more information and an abstract, please visit our seminar webpage. To RSVP, please email: Mems.seminar@acu.edu.au.

Parergon 37.1 preview: Taboo or Magic Practice?

We asked contributors to the current issue of Parergon to give us some additional insights into their research and the inspirations for their articles. In this post, Andrea Maraschi at the University of Bari, Italy, discusses ‘Taboo or Magic Practice? Cannibalism as Identity Marker for Giants and Human Heroes in Medieval Iceland’. DOI: 10.1353/pgn.2020.0056

My name is Andrea, and I am currently teaching Medieval History at the University of Bari, in Italy. My research career started at the University of Bologna with studies on food habits in medieval times, but I soon realized that I did not want to commit to one field of studies only. My passion for medieval society was growing fast, and when in 2014 I won a postdoctoral fellowship from the University of Iceland, I began to examine connections between food and magic practice in the medieval North. This article represents one of the first results of the wonderful working experience I had in Reykjavík, and it is focused on the role of cannibalism in Old Norse literature. Now, cannibalism had long intrigued me as an extreme response to hunger and famine in the Middle Ages, and – as such – I used to associate it with desperation and survival instinct. Reading the Old Norse legendary sagas, however, it struck me that cannibalism was described as a marker of Otherness and as a response to survival instinct only in the case of certain peculiar creatures: trolls, that is, caricatured representations of the uncivilized. However, the human protagonists of the sagas practice cannibalism not for the sake of survival, but to absorb magical powers from the eaten: to them, anthropophagy is a prestigious form of knowledge which is handed down from father to son.

Not all scholars agree as to the usefulness of legendary sagas as sources to understand the mentality and culture of saga writers: after all, fornaldarsögur abound with strange creatures and supernatural elements. This nonetheless, in my article I argue that scenes of cannibalism suggest that there is more than mere fantasy at the heart of such stories. Giants symbolized the idea of “barbarian”: they were huge, awkward, they lived in caves or small huts, they did not know politics, they ate human beings. In other words, they were the antithesis of civilization, but of a historically reliable idea of civilization. Indeed, the Old Norse trolls ate horses as well. Horsemeat was a critical bone of contention at the time of the conversion of Iceland, and the Church often associated its consumption with pagan rituals. The Old Norse trolls may be, then, caricatured representations of the pagan “uncivilized” past, from the perspective of the Christian saga authors. However, there also emerges a “civilized” and dignified version of cannibalism which was practiced by the human élite of the sagas, according to the very ancient principles of “sympathetic magic”. This form of anthropophagy is no less interesting in historical and cultural terms: many historical sources from the late medieval North (handbooks of magic, leechbooks, etc.) show that the notions of sympathy (“like produces like”) were applied in the real world, and not only in the fictional world of the sagas.

This analysis of magical and non-magical cannibalism in fornaldarsögur was one of the triggers that induced me to write a book on the application and circulation of the laws of sympathy in the Middle Ages, between magic, religion and science, which is currently in course of publication: Similia similibus curantur. Cannibalismo, grafofagia, e “magia” simpatetica nel Medioevo (500-1500), Spoleto: Cisam, 2020.

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 From Combat to Commemoration

Veteran Politics and Memory: A Global Perspective

Department of History, University of Warwick
16th and 17th April 2021

From the fields of Gettysburg to the beaches of Normandy, the participation and presence of former soldiers has been an integral part of the memorial culture of many conflicts. As survivors of war, veterans are often portrayed a group imbued with a unique knowledge whose experiences should not be forgotten. Yet while public commemorations have sought to establish consensus about the meaning of the past, veterans’ memories have also been a source of conflict and contestation, engaged in struggles over rights, recognition, and the authority to remember the past and speak for the future.

In a recent article in War & History, Grace Huxford et al. note that the historically unprecedented number of veterans across the world during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries has ensured not just that veterans ‘occupy a significant place in modern history but that they are also a vital lens through which to analyse the changing relationship between war and society’. Veterans, however, are from being a modern phenomenon –estimates suggest that a larger proportion of the English population fought in the Civil Wars of the mid-seventeenth century than in World War One. Moreover, though veteran studies has become a rich field of interdisciplinary enquiry, studies tend to be embedded in their own geographic and historical contexts: the transtemporal and transnational study of veterans remains in its infancy.

This conference seeks to bring together scholars from across time and space to explore the experience of veterans, and particularly the politics of veteran memory and commemoration, from a global, comparative perspective. We hope to publish the resulting papers in an edited collection that will approach veteran memory from a range of different disciplinary, temporal, and geographic perspectives.

Proposals are invited for 20-minute papers that discuss any aspect of veteran politics and memory, from the ancient world to the present. Complete panel proposals are also very welcome (panels/papers which seek to explore different conflicts/countries/periods are especially encouraged). Possible themes include, but are by no means limited to:

• Commemoration and memory
• Veteran social movements and associations
• Veteran cultural contributions (documentary evidence, art, etc.)
• Political power of veterans
• Veteran trauma, health and emotions
• Veteran protest and dissent
• (Inter)national veteran networks
• Family and intergenerational memory
• Monuments, statues, and re-enactments
• Travel and battlefield tourism
• Museums and heritage

Please submit paper abstracts (max. 300 words) and brief bio(s) to both imogen.peck@warwick.ac.uk and timo.schrader@warwick.ac.uk by 29th November 2020. Participants will be notified of decisions by the end of December 2020.


Sydney Observatory Residency Program

The inaugural Sydney Observatory Residency Program provides a supportive environment for researchers and creatives to undertake a project relating to the Observatory’s disciplines, collection and programs. Residencies are open to established and emerging academic researchers, artists, scientists and creative organisations, with interdisciplinary collaborations between art and science encouraged.

The program offers space in-kind at the Observatory alongside the opportunity for residents to collaborate with curators on projects that engage audiences with the Observatory collection through the development of public programs.

In its over 160 years, the Observatory has led many significant projects, including the creation of the colonies first meteorological records, the chartering of over 430,000 stars in the southern sky and has employed dozens of female ‘computers’ and scientists to measure the stars. Government Astronomers worked and lived in the building until 1982 when Sydney Observatory became part of the Powerhouse.

The Residency Program operates on a seasonal model, with residents undertaking 4–12 week placements and further extends the Powerhouse’s support of contemporary creative and scientific practice and research.

Expressions of interest are now open until 30 September 2020. To apply register your interest here.

PhD Candidate/Assistant or Postdoc Position at the University of Bern, Switzerland

Prof. Annette Kern-Stähler is looking to select a Postdoc or a PhD candidate/assistant (with an MA or equivalent degree) interested in pursuing their Post-doc / PhD in medieval English literature and culture under her supervision while working part-time as teaching-cum-research assistant in the Department of English at the University of Bern, Switzerland.

POSITION: 50% PhD Candidate/Assistantship or 80% Postdoc starting January 2021 (or later, negotiable).

For more details including requirements and how to apply please see the attached. Applications close 30 October 2020.