CFP Medieval Insular Romance Conference

The 17th Biennial Medieval Insular Romance Conference will be hosted at Durham University between 21 and 23 April 2020. Proposals for the 2020 Medieval Insular Romance conference are now warmly encouraged.

The 2020 conference will feature a plenary lecture by Professor Siân Echard (University of British Columbia) on ‘Romancing the Margins: Material Transformations of Medieval Histories’. Papers may address any aspect of romance composed in any of the languages of medieval Britain and Ireland; insular romance’s engagement with continental texts and traditions; or its post- medieval afterlives. (Please note, however, that the focus of this conference series has traditionally been on non-Arthurian, non-Chaucerian romances that have tended to receive less exposure elsewhere.) Papers addressing interactions between languages, and transformations into/away from romance works, are especially welcome, in line with Professor Echard’s plenary focus.

Proposals for 20-minute papers, complete sessions, or roundtables can be sent to Venetia Bridges (venetia.r.bridges@durham.ac.uk). Proposals should include: name, affiliation, email address, title of paper or roundtable, and an abstract of no more than 250 words.

The deadline for submitting proposals is 29 November 2019.
Any general questions regarding the conference can be addressed to Venetia Bridges at venetia.r.bridges@durham.ac.uk.

The web address for the conference is https://medievalinsularromanceconference2020.wordpress.com.

A PDF of the call for papers can be downloaded here.

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CFP Australasian Postgraduate Philosophy Conference

The Australasian Postgraduate Philosophy Conference (APPC) is an annual conference that provides an opportunity for postgraduate philosophy students from Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore to present their work, debate their ideas, receive feedback from peers and form collaborations across institutions.

In 2019 APPC will be hosted by Victoria University of Wellington from Friday the 6th of December to Sunday the 8th of December. The conference environment is laid-back and an excellent introduction to conferences for new graduate students.

The call for papers is now open; and will close on 31 October 2019. Please let your students know about this conference and encourage them to come and present their work.

The conference website is https://www.appc2019.com/

Applications open: Rome Seminar, June 10-July 5, 2020

This seminar is designed to introduce graduate students from across the humanities to the unique primary sources available in Rome. Working hands on with materials in the city’s archives and libraries, students will be exposed to the rich potential of a wide range of sources produced from 1100 to 1750. Seminar meetings will be held at the Vatican Apostolic Library, the Biblioteca Nazionale, and the Archivio di Stato, and elsewhere. The seminar will also include a series of presentations by senior scholars who will discuss how they have collected and interpreted Roman primary sources in their own research.

Each successful applicant will receive a stipend of up to $3,500 to defray travel costs, housing, and meals in Rome. We welcome applications from students from any discipline at any stage in their graduate education. To be eligible to apply, you must be enrolled full-time in a graduate program. The focus of your research need not be Rome but you should have an interest in developing that research through the use of primary sources located in the city.

There are extraordinary and understudied materials in libraries and archives in the city for archeologists and classicists, art historians and historians, musicologists and students of theater and performance, historians of late antiquity, the Middle Ages, the early modern period and the world, specialists in the Near East and East Asia. The holdings of the Vatican Library alone include priceless manuscripts and documents from East Asia, the near East, and North Africa – as well as a vast collection of ancient, medieval and early modern texts in Greek and Latin, a unique resource for the history and literature of ancient Greece and Rome, of Christianity from its origins until recent times, of relations between Christians and Jews from antiquity onwards, and other subjects without number.

For more information, please visit the website: https://rome.nd.edu/research/rome-seminar/

CFP 31st SEDARI Conference: Spanish and Spanish and Portuguese Society for English Renaissance Studies

31st SEDERI INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
Hells and Heavens of Early Modern England
La Laguna (Tenerife, Spain), 6–8 May, 2020

We are pleased to announce that the 31st SEDERI (Spanish and Portuguese Society for English Renaissance Studies) Conference will be held in La Laguna (Tenerife, Spain), on 6-8 May 2020. The Conference theme—Hells and Heavens of Early Modern England—draws on the ambivalent connotations of our venue in Renaissance England: Tenerife, considered the most blessed of the Fortunate Islands, but also the one of the awesome, “heaven-daring” peak. Thus, we expect to re-examine all possible literal and figural representations of hells and heavens, from places to states, including conditions of supreme suffering or bliss. Moreover, the Conference also aims at scrutinising divides and liminal sites in which antithetical agents associated with decadence and innovation emerged, coexisted, collided, overlapped, blended and reshaped transformative factors in early modern English society, its language, literature and culture.
We welcome proposals for 20-minute papers and round tables (in English) on the following and related topics:

  • Representations of sites, transitions and states of evil, expiation and bliss
  • Textual and graphic depictions of in/visible entities and worlds
  • De-/Regeneration and innovation of language, poetics, and culture
  •  New learning, theologies and alternative beliefs, mythographies, epistemologies, and political doctrines. Bacon’s Novum Organum fourth centenary
  • Shifting ethical values and moral dilemmas. Genesis of and resistance to ambition, disobedience, pride, crime, injustice, betrayal, and violence
  • Bodily adventures. Trans/gendered and transgressive bodies. Encountering otherness, deviancy, abjection, and monstrosity
  • Physical/spiritual medicines, remedies, consolations, and healings
  • Renaissance ecologies and pre-industrial environmental degradation
  • Lights and shadows of diplomacy (esp. Anglo-Iberian relationships)
  • Wheels of wealth and wreck. Economy, business, and trade
  • Un-/Fortunate travellers, displaced, exiles, pilgrims, and intercultural dialogues. The Mayflower fourth-centenary
  • Laughter, subversion and the grotesque
  • Damnation/redemption of words (censorship, lost texts, libraries, archives, dictionaries, anthologies, translations, data-bases, digital resources, intermediality and transmediality, transmission of texts, and editing)

Proposals must be sent as an e-mail attachment (preferably, doc or docx) to sederi31@ull.edu.es before 19 January 2020, and must contain the following information:

• The full title of your paper
• A 200-word abstract
• Any technical requirements for the presentation (Please, save your power point as doc, docx or Mac. If you are using a Mac, please indicate, and bring your own adapter cable)
• Your name and institutional affiliation
• Your postal and e-mail addresses
• Your SEDERI membership status (member, non-member, application submitted)
• A short biographical note (100 words)

Plenary Speakers

  • Louise H. Curth (University of Winchester
  • Nandini Das (University of Oxford)
  • Tanya Pollard (City University of New York, CUNY)

Conference website: http://eventos.ull.es/go/sederi31

SEDERI Website: http://www.sederi.org/

Highlights from the Parergon archives: Rationality and renaissance magic

We asked members of Parergon‘s Early Career Committee to tell us about a Parergon article that really stood out for them and why they found it valuable for their research. In this post, Julie Davies of the University of Melbourne relflects on Gregory W. Dawes, ‘The Rationality of Renaissance Magic’, Parergon 30.2 (2013), pp. 33–58. (DOI: 10.1353/pgn.2013.0132)

I was very excited to read Dawes’s article exploring the rationality of magical beliefs from a philosophical perspective. The question of belief is complex and historians of witchcraft and magic often have to balance the ideal of evaluating their subjects according to the values and beliefs of their time with the scepticism of both contemporaneous critics and modern readers. While it is sometimes appropriate to reduce engagement with supernatural themes to ignorance, credulity, fantasy, delusion or outright fraud, hastily, unconsciously or consistently presuming such would significantly distort our historical perspective. As Dawes points out, even if certain accounts of magical phenomena are known to have been completely made up, many were unquestionably intended to be plausible fictions. Understanding the rationality behind such beliefs is, therefore, key to understanding both believers and deceivers.

Dawes gives an overview explanations for magical thinking from a range of disciplines including anthropology, sociology and psychology. However, his main discussion focuses on the different epistemological levels of rational belief. Dawes leads the discussion beyond the typical historical focus on the background beliefs which supported and promoted beliefs about magic and rendered them rationally defensible. He also explores how Renaissance belief in magic was formed on the basis of evidence and other cognitive mechanisms, and how it’s weakness, from the modern perspective, arises from its failure to employ collectively rational procedures. Unlike the modern scientific community who attempt to overcome biases through replicability and verification, magical practitioners tended to value secrecy, limiting the spread of knowledge to like-minded initiates or, as in the case of controversial figures such as Paracelsus, actively maintaining independence from established institutions.

As a result, Dawes not only provides a very useful and detailed introduction to the philosophical theory of knowledge production, magical or otherwise, it also provides insight into the value shift which arguably represents the biggest hurdle to our own objective engagement with the magical past.

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 Numbers and the Self

Proposals are invited for the symposium Numbers and the Self, to be held Friday 1 May 2020 at the University of Adelaide, South Australia.

Keynote: Deborah Lupton, UNSW

In 1846, the Danish philosopher and social critic Søren Kierkegaard reflected on The Present Age in Europe, where the passions of revolution had been dissolved into measuring systems and ‘everyone is given clever rules and calculators in order to aid one’s thinking’. This ‘quantifying siren song’, as Kierkegaard described it, was alluring in its seeming production of equality for a modern age –it produced a levelling of society, as the individual was collapsed into data. But for him, it came with a loss of ‘passion’, a stagnation in innovation, and an inability to enable significant social, economic or political change. Kierkegaard’s critique resonates with those of contemporary neoliberal regimes and the focus on ‘metrics’ and ‘counting’ as a useful measure of the human and its capacity. Recently, sociologists have also pointed to the ‘quantified self’, new ways of interpreting the human condition produced in relation to self-tracking technologies and metrics. Numbers increasingly surround us and make us, leading us to ask that if writing produces the self – what happens when we count it?

This symposium, funded by an ARC Discovery Project ‘Precarious Accounts’, explores the relationship between numbers and the self as a critical question in the era of big data. Much of contemporary science and social science rests on our reliance that there is a relationship between the human and the number – that our bodies, behaviours and actions, if conceptualised well, can be turned into statistics and used to predict and explain. Because of this numbers can bring us comfort and relief, as well as anxiety and fear. Numbers discipline, with both positive and negative results. They produce certain types of meaning that shapes our social environment. Yet, as Foucault reminded us, numbers never record neutral facts but enable systems of power. This workshop engages with these issues. Topics for discussion may include:

  • Numbers as discipline
  • Numbers and embodiment
  • Numbers and emotions – from anxiety to joy
  • Numbers and self-expression, art and creative practices
  • Numbers as a philosophy of self
  • Measuring the abstract and intangible
  • Numbers, self and society – changing the world?

Proposals for papers, panels or creative responses to this topic are now called for.

Please send a 250-300 word abstract of what is proposed, the time needed, and short bios of the participants to Katie Barclay at katie.barclay@adelaide.edu.au by 15 November 2019. All disciplinary perspectives and career stages welcome.

Call for Special Issues: Emotions: History, Culture, Society

Emotions: History, Culture, Society, a journal of the Society for the History of Emotions, is pleased to announce its call for proposals for special issues. The next special issue is anticipated to be published in the second half of 2021.

Multidisciplinary research increasingly reveals both the historical and cultural dimensions of the modern concept of ‘emotions’, and the significant extent to which emotions, passions and feelings help constitute history, society and culture. Emotions: History, Culture, Society (EHCS) is a bi-annual peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal dedicated to understanding the emotions as culturally and temporally-situated phenomena, and to exploring the role of emotion in shaping human experience, societies, cultures and environments. We welcome theoretically-informed work from a range of historical, cultural and social domains. We aim to illuminate (1) the ways emotion is conceptualised and understood in different temporal or cultural settings, from antiquity to the present, and across the globe; (2) the impact of emotion on human action and in processes of change; and (3) the influence of emotional legacies from the past on current social, cultural and political practices. We are interested in multidisciplinary approaches (both qualitative and quantitative), from history, art, literature, languages, music, politics, sociology, cognitive sciences, cultural studies, environmental humanities, religious studies, linguistics, philosophy, psychology, and related disciplines. We also invite papers that interrogate the methodological and critical problems of exploring emotions in historical, cultural and social contexts; and the relation between past and present in the study of feelings, passions, sentiments, emotions and affects. Emotions also accepts theoretically-informed and reflective scholarship that explores how scholars access, uncover, construct and engage with emotions in their own scholarly practice.

We now invite proposals for themed special issues that fall under this remit. Themed issues contain up to ten essays with a maximum word count of 60,000 words for the whole issue. Essays should bring a range of disciplinary or methodological/theoretical perspectives on the topic. The guest editor is responsible for setting the theme and drawing up the criteria for the essays.

Proposals should include a synopsis explaining the theme and how it contributes to the aims of the journal; titles and brief abstracts for each proposed essay, and short biographies of the editors and proposed authors.

The deadline for proposal submissions is 15 Dec 2019. Submissions should be sent to editemotions@gmail.com

The Special Issue will be due with editors in November 2020. Publication, of both the issue and individual essays, is subject to peer review arranged by the journal editors.

Editors
Katie Barclay, University of Adelaide
Andrew Lynch, University of Western Australia
Giovanni Tarantino, Florence

Summer Schools: Medieval Latin and NT Greek, Hobart

Enrolments are now invited for summer schools in Medieval Latin and New Testament Greek will be held at Jane Franklin Hall, University of Tasmania in January 2020.

1. Medieval Latin: 13-17 January 2020

This course will offer a general introduction to post-classical Latin, poetry and prose, sacred and secular. Some prior knowledge of Latin is recommended. There will be an introduction to palaeography, including an opportunity to handle original manuscripts. 2020 will be the 27th occurrence of this annual event!

2. New Testament Greek: 20-24 January 2020

An intensive course in the koine Greek of the New Testament. We shall read passages from the Epistles and Gospels, as well as the Septuagint and Christian literature of the apostolic age. The course is aimed at beginners, but it is strongly recommended that all learn the Greek alphabet before commencing; exercises will be posted out beforehand to assist in that.

Both January Summer Schools will be held at Jane Franklin Hall (a college of the University of Tasmania), 6 Elboden Street, South Hobart.

The instructor of both courses will be Dr David Daintree. The cost of each school is AU$300. This covers tuition and materials only. It is expected that self-catering accommodation will be available at the college as usual, though arrangements for that should be made directly with the college.

Write to David Daintree directly for further information – dccdain@gmail.com – or call him on +61 (0)408 879 494.

Western Civilisation in the 21st Century, Adelaide, 20-21 Feb. 2020

On 15 March 2019, a self-confessed white supremacist, now standing trial for terrorism and murder, is alleged to have walked into two Christchurch mosques and killed 51 people. The weapons and body armour employed in the attack contained the dates of several events in Crusading history; the manifesto of the alleged perpetrator placed his actions in an imaginary war of east-west, ongoing for a millennium. Ideas of ‘western civilisation’ implicitly situated against ‘other’ civilisations, or perhaps an absence of civilisation altogether, can be argued to have underpinned this attack. The concept of Western Civilisation, with various definitions, thus continues to be prominent in the public sphere. For some, such as the Ramsay Centre which promotes a degree in Western Civilisation, the idea continues to have social and political utility, reflecting a coherent body of knowledge, and their associated values, not least the ‘liberal’ tradition of western democracy. For others, this interpretation of European history can elide the almost continual global encounters and exchange of information that occurred, whilst denying the political uses of ‘western civilisation’ as a discourse of colonialism and imperialism.

This symposium provides a moment to reflect on the concept of Western Civilisation today, not just as a topic of historical interest but an idea that continues to hold a significant political function. What role do the histories that we write and teach play in the production of discourses of ‘western civilisation’ or resistance to it? What role do historians have in shaping ideas about the past in the present? And what responsibility do we have towards ‘western civilisation’ as a discourse? What is the future of ‘Western Civilisation’, both as taught in universities and in the public sphere?

The symposium will be held at the University of Adelaide, South Australia, 20-21 February 2020.

Expressions of interest are now invited that speak to this theme from any discipline, time period or place, and any political perspective. We have a limited number of slots but are interested in proposals for 90-minute panels, roundtables or other creative contributions. We also welcome individual expressions of interest. We encourage submissions from Indigenous people, people of colour, queer people and members of other traditionally marginalised communities. Proposals are welcome from those at all career stages.

Please send expressions of interest to westernciv2020@gmail.com by 18 October 2019.

Postgraduate and ECR attendees will be eligible to apply for travel bursaries to present at the conference. Details of the application process will be provided soon via the conference website, but please indicate with your EoI submission if you intend to apply for this funding support.

For more information, see https://westernciv2020.wordpress.com/.

Supported by ANZAMEMS, the Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies.

Organisers: Katie Barclay, Louise D’Arcens, Clem MacIntyre, Lachlan McCarron, Amanda McVitty, Wilf Prest, Peter Sherlock, Stephanie Thomson, and Claire Walker.

CFP Canadian Society of Medievalists Annual Meeting

Proposals are invited for The Canadian Society of Medievalists Annual Meeting at Congress 2020, to be held 1-3 June 2020 at University of Western Ontario.

Papers for the CSM Annual Meeting can address any topic on medieval studies. Proposals for sessions of three papers are also invited. Presentations may be in either English or French. Bilingual sessions are particularly welcome.

Proposals should include a one-page abstract and a one-page curriculum vitae. Papers should be no more than 20 minutes’ reading time. Proposals for complete sessions should include this information in addition to a title and a brief explanation of the session and its format. Please indicate if the proposed session would be suitable as a joint session with another learned society. See https://www.congress2020.ca/.

Please submit proposals for individual papers by 15 December, 2019 and proposals for sessions by 15 January, 2020 by email to Kathy Cawsey, either by regular email (kathy.cawsey@dal.ca) or via our website’s email system (www.canadianmedievalists.org). You must be a member of the CSM by the time of your presentation.

Les communications à ce congrès annuel de la SCM peuvent traiter de tout sujet relatif aux études médiévales. L’invitation est également lancée pour des propositions de sessions comprenant trois communications. Les communications peuvent être données en français ou en anglais. Les sessions bilingues sont particulièrement bienvenues.

Les propositions de communications devront inclure un résumé et un curriculum vitae d’une page chacun. La durée de lecture maximale des communications devra être de 20 minutes. Les propositions de sessions devront inclure, outre les informations ci-dessus, un titre et une courte explication du contenu de la session et de son format. Veuillez indiquer si la session proposée pourrait être organisée conjointement avec une autre société savante (https://www.congress2020.ca/).

Veuillez soumettre vos propositions au plus tard le 15 décembre 2019 pour des communications individuelles et le 15 janvier 2020 pour des sessions, par courriel à Kathy Cawsey (kathy.cawsey@dal.ca) ou par le formulaire de contact de notre site, www.canadianmedievalists.org. Vous devrez être un membre en règle de la SCM au moment de votre communication.