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.

ACU Medieval and Early Modern Studies 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 Thursday 17 September at 2:00 PM AEST: “Re-Reading the abuses of the age: from seventh-century Ireland to twelfth-century France,” presented by Constant Mews (Monash).

Please email MEMS.seminar@acu.edu.au for Zoom details and to RSVP. For more information on the seminar series see here.

Parergon 37.1 preview: Reframing Feminine Modesty, Complaint, and Desire in the More Family

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, Kelly Peihopa at the University of Newcastle, Australia, discusses ‘Reframing Feminine Modesty, Complaint, and Desire in the More Family’. DOI: 10.1353/pgn.2020.0003

Kelly Peihopa began this article as her major work for part of her BA degree in the history discipline. This earlier work focused on the education of the women of Thomas More’s immediate circle, and how the More women worked within patriarchal restrictions to further their education and reputations. She became fascinated with how some early modern women overcame certain patriarchal restrictions by working through the channels of patriarchy, which enabled them to continue their education and protect their reputations; something that was unique to the More women during the early 1500s.

Because of a fascination with the More women’s history, Kelly began to work towards an honours thesis in English. She developed her paper into a wider argument to include themes such familial, religious and modesty rhetoric, as well as complaint and petitions, which were specific ways More women used their feminine voice to enable a ‘safe passage’ for their works. This research was extended to include More’s traceable women ancestors with extant literary evidence during the early modern period, which found a literary legacy was sustained by the More women for several generations. Upon earning first class honours, she was encouraged to turn her thesis into an academic paper. Once again, the work was researched anew, refurbished and reframed over several months (and with more editing than she’d like to admit), to eventually become what it is today. Her article establishes how one family of women, through the legacy of their forbear, were able to continue to pursue a humanist education and publish and profess their religion through their works. They successfully performed this under the guise of genres, such as translation, letters and religious works, through exploiting rhetorical arguments and always navigating modesty and familial tropes to frame their work. Her work also found that without the ‘protection’ of a humanist circle, their work diminished. By considering the textual oeuvre of the More women as a chronological whole, something that is not usually considered in Morean women scholarship, the far-reaching literary legacy established by Thomas More can be appreciated as a unique achievement among early modern women’s writing.

Kelly became interested in early modern women’s writing after working as a research assistant for the Early Modern Women Research Network (EMWRN), under Rosalind Smith and Patricia Pender at the University of Newcastle. Her PhD dissertation is titled ‘Tudor Women’s Prison Literature: Reception, Circulation, Attribution’, which focuses on women’s prison writing which has been omitted from the prison canon because of the variety of genres and modes used, and the volume of dubious or contested works. Kelly also works as a research assistant for the Gender Research Network at the University of Newcastle. She has published creative nonfiction articles on domestic violence in Australia in Meanjin (‘The Hands of a Woman,’ Spring 2018) and Sūdō Journal (‘Becoming a Statistic,’ 1: 2019), and in 2020, co-edited a digital edition of Mary Wroth’s Urania manuscript with Paul Salzman on EMWRN’S digital archive, The Material Cultures of Early Modern Women.

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 Female Experience in Early Modern England

Female Experience in Early Modern England | 6-7 November 2020, University of Auckland

This two-day conference is sponsored by the Alice Griffin Fund and organised by the School of Humanities at the University of Auckland. We invite academics and postgraduate students to submit proposals for 20-minute papers on the topic of female experience in early modern England.

The last fifty years have seen an expanding interest in women’s history in the early modern period, from the everyday lives of ordinary and élite women to their artistic production and involvement, disproving Virginia Woolf’s assertion that Shakespeare’s sister ‘died young – alas, she never wrote a word’.

In 2020, this conference asks, where has this interest in female experience brought us and what are the areas that remain vibrant or underexplored? Were women the authors of their own experience, is that experience different from what scholars previously believed, and if so, how? We are seeing a surge of women in humanities disciplines, encouraging the comparison between women as ‘authors’ of their experience now and in early modern England. What does the work of emerging scholars have to contribute to the discussion of the female experience in early modern England?

Papers should address some of these questions. They may raise questions of ‘authorship’ in regards to literary or artistic production. They may consider women’s experiences of early modern life and the ways in which they or others organised that experience, in a real or representational context. We also welcome proposals for workshops that offer hands-on insight into female experience, whether performative (song, theatre, dance, games, letter writing) or practical (making medicines or cosmetics). We envisage these workshops to be either 30 minutes or 1 hour each.

We have chosen England as a topic of discussion because of its centrality in previous discussions of early modern female experience. The conference aims to challenge the ever-evolving contemporary perspective that we know all there is to know about how women lived in the past and to fashion one or two surprises. In particular, this conference aims to foster new discussions on a topic that is no longer ‘new’ but still in need of continuing study. It aims to incorporate interdisciplinary perspectives, acknowledging the multi-faceted ways in which female experience was lived and imagined. We encourage talks that engage with the practical aspects of female experience, including marriage and household management, personal care, adornment and medical care; as well as female creative and performative experiences.

The keynote speaker will be Associate Professor Sarah Ross, Victoria University Wellington, whose lecture is entitled, Woe is She: “Female Complaint” and Women’s Songbooks in Early Modern England.

We are calling for submissions by both established scholars and by PhD candidates/MA students. New Zealand speakers who are not based in Auckland may be eligible for a travel bursary. Applications for presentations from scholars based overseas via Zoom are welcome. The conference is free and we plan to offer online access.

Please submit a 150-200 word abstract and a short CV for your paper by 30 September 2020 to Susannah Whaley: swha390@aucklanduni.ac.nz. If you would like to apply for a travel bursary, please notify Susannah, who will supply further details when they are available.

Contacts:
Susannah Whaley, postgraduate coordinator: swha390@aucklanduni.ac.nz
Associate Professor Erin Griffey: e.griffey@auckland.ac.nz
Professor Tom Bishop: t.bishop@auckland.ac.nz