Parergon 37.1

Parergon volume 37.1, featuring eight scholarly articles and 50 reviews and short notices, has now been published on all platforms except Project MUSE, where it will appear in July. 

Print copies will be posted to ANZAMEMS members from mid-June. The contents of the volume are posted below:

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Medieval Academy of America Webinar: The Mother of All Pandemics: The State of Black Death Research in the Era of COVID-19

This coming Friday, 15 May, there will be a PUBLIC WEBINAR sponsored by the Medieval Academy of America:

The Mother of All Pandemics: The State of Black Death Research in the Era of COVID-19

15 May 2020
1 – 3 PM EDT
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89832471831

Questions can be submitted via Twitter by using the hashtag #MAAWebinar. The webinar and following Q&A will be recorded.

The session will, for the first time ever, bring together the world’s leading authorities on the “new paradigm” of plague studies, which uses new findings in the genetics of Yersinia pestis to argue that the Black Death was a real semi-global pandemic: affecting not simply Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East, but most of Asia and probably major parts of Africa, too.

No registration is required. Just show up. Though it is recommended that you arrive early as spaces are limited. This will be the first Webinar dedicated to the Black Death since our new pandemic began. If you haven’t updated your Black Death teaching notes in the past decade (or more), you’re in for some big surprises.

For more information click here. To access the recording of this event, check out this MAA link a few days after the event to get the link to the MAA YouTube page where it will be posted. A bibliography is also being prepared that will be posted as a Google Doc.

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.

Australasian Crusades Network

The Australasian Crusades Studies Network (ACSN) is holding a Meet and Greet via Zoom on 14 May at 1pm AEST for researchers, early career academics and postgraduates who work in the field of crusades studies and are based in Australia or New Zealand. The purpose of this Zoom meeting is to bring together people working on the crusades and crusades-related topics in Australia and New Zealand and who are interested in the ACSN for an informal discussion. In particular, we would like to use this opportunity to begin fostering a friendly and active community, and to discuss ideas for the future of the Network. To express your interest in attending and to get the Zoom details for the meeting, please contact Dr Beth Spacey (b.spacey@uq.edu.au).

Vale John Gray

And gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche.
(Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales)

With much sadness I report that our friend and colleague, Mr John Gray, passed away in Sydney on Tuesday 17 March 2020 after a long battle with cancer. A member of ANZAMEMS for many years, John retired from James Cook University in 2006 after forty years of service as a lecturer and administrator.

John was a polymath whose learning and teaching extended across Old and Middle English Languages and Literature, Old Icelandic, Linguistics, Stylistics and Shakespeare studies. In the 1990s and 2000s he instituted subjects which became core units for students in Journalism, Communication and English. He was also an innovator in computer pedagogy and online teaching. The conference papers he delivered on these subjects assisted colleagues throughout Australia and internationally.

John was a friend and supporter to colleagues in Townsville and Cairns, and for those of us still teaching he remains an invigorating and inspiring influence. His wit was legendary. He spent endless time out of class counselling students on their work. An educator in the best sense of the word, he fostered students’ enthusiasm by his wit, cheerfulness and qualities as a performer. His rapport with students and ability to impart first-year academic literacies is unsurpassed in my career experience. He received perfect scores in student feedback and attracted loyalty from the most cynical or insecure students.

While I believe John’s retirement years were enjoyable and that is a gladdening consolation for his passing, it is nevertheless deeply saddening that he is gone. His wife, Denese Gray and extended family will be greatly bereft, and I offer deepest condolences and sympathy to them.
When he retired, Professor Richard Lansdown, then head of English, made the announcement: “John Gray has left the building.” John Gray has indeed left the building, never to be forgotten by the many people who knew him. Rest in peace.

from Associate Prof. Cheryl Taylor, James Cook University

AAH Call for Humanities Expertise: COVID-19 and Pandemics

The Australian Academy of the Humanities is pleased to be joining forces with Australia’s other Learned Academies to launch the COVID-19 Expert Database.

The database provides access to Australia’s leading researchers and experts across all disciplines who are willing and able to help Australia tackle COVID-19 and its aftermath. Envisaged as a publicly available searchable database, it will provide a starting point for governments, industry, education, the research sector, the media, and the community to easily connect with expertise.

Championed by Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel AO, the database is an initiative of Australia’s Learned Academies – the Australian Academy of the Humanities, Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, Australian Academy of Science, Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, and the Australian Council of Learned Academies – to ensure that multidisciplinary expertise is brought to bear on this issue of critical national importance.

We encourage Academy Fellows and humanities researchers across all career stages to register, especially those with expertise across ethical, historical and cultural approaches to pandemic or epidemic management, crisis recovery and communication.

Call for humanities expertise

This initiative complements the Academy’s call for expertise issued last week, which seeks to support our advice to government and inform policy directions. We are keen to hear from humanities researchers working in areas including (but not limited to):

-lessons from past experiences of epidemics, pandemics and quarantine;
-community responses to the COVID-19 crisis;
-social distancing challenges for Indigenous communities and other cultural impacts;
-access and equity to essential services, including digital communications and technologies;
-ethical decision-making;
-translation and analysis of information for multilingual populations; and
-the role of arts and culture in community building, recovery and resilience.

We invite you to complete this confidential online form, outlining your research speciality across these areas.

Society for the History of Discoveries Student Essay Prize

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 15 May of each year

Areas of eligible research include: voyages of exploration, travel narratives, biography relevant to the history of discoveries and exploration, history, cartography, the technologies of travel, impact of travel and cultural exchange, and other aspects of geographic discovery and exploration.

Who is Eligible: Students from any part of the globe currently enrolled in a college or university degree program and who will not have received a doctoral degree prior to 15 May of the submission year. Note: Graduating high school or college students accepted into a program but who do not begin classes until fall of the submission year are NOT eligible.

The Research Paper: An eligible research paper shall be original and unpublished, written in English, between 3,000 and 8,000 words, plus footnotes or endnotes. Papers written for college or university class assignments are encouraged, but students may write specifically for this prize. A reasonable amount of illustrative and tabular material will be welcome, but is not required.

The awardee will receive a prize of $500.00 (US) and will be invited to present a version of the paper at the annual meeting of the Society for the History of Discoveries. Information about participation in the conference will be provided to the awardee upon notification of the award, including details concerning costs and travel funding. Acceptance of the prize is not contingent upon your ability to attend the conference. Additionally, the awardee will be invited to submit the winning paper to the society’s peer reviewed journal, Terrae Incognitae, for which it will undergo the usual review process prior to formal acceptance for publication, of which there is no guarantee.
For more information and formatting instructions visit https://discoveryhistory.org/student-prize/

SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS:
Submission Deadline: 15 May
Electronic submissions only to:
Dr. Anne Good, committee chair amg@reinhardt.edu
Subject line: SHD Student Prize

Questions? Contact Dr. Good, committee chair amg@reinhardt.edu

CFP Aesthetics in Early Modern Poetry at #ANZA21

We invite scholarly proposals for papers on aesthetics in medieval and early modern poetry (c. 400 to 1800), as part of a panel or panels being established at ANZAMEMS 2021

The panel(s) will examine the influence of aesthetic styles, movements, rhetorical and aesthetic techniques and theories on the development of poetry, or the work of specified poet(s) at any time during the relevant periods in Europe and Britain. Papers should be set within the broader topic of the overall conference, and deal with questions of reception and/or emotion. Papers might consider:

• The role of emotions in medieval or early modern aesthetic theories;
• Models of embodiment in aesthetic theories during the period;
• Theories of affect, ‘affectus’ and/or feelings;
• The impact of theological and biblical sources (for example, by Augustine and Aquinas);
• The impact of philosophy of mind, body, morality and ethics (such as Platonic and Aristotelian);
• Formal theories of poetics and rhetoric, including the role of style in poetic and rhetorical figures and tropes;
• The impact of artistic movements (such as Neoplatonist, Neoclassical, Baroque) and the reciprocal influence of visual arts on poetry (eg ut pictura poesis);
• Public and private models of ‘taste’, audience and reception;
• The role of pleasure, the imagination and sensuous and vivid imagery;
• Techniques for the aestheticization of the sacred (such as the poetics of enigma);
• Theories of the sublime and the beautiful;
• Participatory versus objectivist aesthetics;
• Materialist, or transcendental and idealist models;
• Poststructural or psychoanalytic approaches; or
• The role and value of historicist and/or modern theory.

We invite submissions for 20 minute presentations, followed by 5 minutes of Q&A. If you are interested in presenting your work, please send the title, a 200 word abstract and a 50 word biography, at the first instance to Dr Jane Vaughan at jane.vaughan@uwa.edu.au

Deadline for Panel Submissions: 30 June 2020

The panel(s) will be held as part of the biennial conference of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, at the School of Humanities, The University of Western Australia, Perth, 8 to 12 February, 2021.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr Jane Vaughan at jane.vaughan@uwa.edu.au

National Library of Australia Fellowships

The Library has diverse collections that support, inspire and transform research. Fellowships enable researchers to embark on a period of intensive research into the collections in a supportive, intellectual and creative environment.

Who should apply?
Fellowships are open to researchers from Australia and overseas undertaking advanced research projects. Eight funded fellowships will be awarded for research areas where the Library’s collections have the depth to support the desired outcomes.

What do Fellows receive?

  • an honorarium of AUD1,000 per week for 12 weeks
  • travel and accommodation support*
  • privileged access to the Library’s collections, staff and resources
  • uninterrupted time for research

Additional Honorary Fellowships may be awarded to support research and special access but without financial support.

Applications close Friday 24 April 2020 at 5pm (AEST).

For guidelines and to apply see here.

CFP Fifteenth Century Conference

Fifteenth Century Conference | University of Bristol, 3-5 September 2020

The theme of the conference is ‘Disruption’, a term that is gaining ground in management and leadership studies today, often as an expression of positive change. The concept seems particularly appropriate to the events of the fifteenth century, when Britain and Europe were struggling to contain militarism, social and cultural change, competing ideologies, and intellectual challenges. Then as now, disruption throws up important questions. How can leaders and thinkers process disruptive events? What impact do disruptive events have on communities and populations? Is disruption different from change? Can individuals trigger disruption or does it happen at institutional or social levels? What can be learned from disruptive events and their aftermath? Can disruption be a force for good?

We welcome abstracts, from any discipline, that explore aspects of disruption’, or any other topic relevant to fifteenth-century studies. Areas of interest can include, but are not limited to:

• politics • religion • military history • economics and commerce • cultural history • environment • institutions • science and medicine •literature & literary forms • intellectual history • literary criticism and theory • gender • space • law • language • materiality

Plenary speakers: Peter Crooks (TCD) and Helen Swift (Oxford)

Send abstracts and queries to: helen.fulton@bristol.ac.uk

Abstracts (maximum 300 words) may be for individual papers (20 minutes), roundtables (90 minutes), or sessions of three or four speakers (90 minutes) and should include contact details for all speakers. Proposals are welcome from academics at all career stages and from independent scholars.

Deadline: 30 May 2020