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Monash CMRS symposium

“Materiality and the Senses in the Medieval and Premodern World,” Eighth Annual CMRS Postgraduate (Hybrid) Symposium, 14 April.

We are pleased to announce that registration for the Eighth Annual CMRS Postgraduate Symposium that will take place on 14 April is now open. Our theme this year is “Materiality and the Senses in the Medieval and Premodern World”.

Materials, and the sensory perception of them, were integral to medieval and early modern life. From the mundane to the sacred, “things” were shaped by their creators and users, but, in turn, they also shaped the ways in which creators and users moved through their worlds. In this symposium, our speakers will explore premodern theories of materiality and discuss how the senses acted as mediators of objects, events, and spaces. As outlets for religious experience, medical care, economic prosperity, and self-expression, “things” had significance beyond their shape and size, their colour and feel, their origins and lifespan. They could be dynamic political tools or intimate personal treasures, but it was through sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste that people navigated objects’ physicality and presence.

Our keynote speaker for the event will be Dr Carol J. Williams and we also have a fantastic range of speakers presenting throughout the day. This is a hybrid event and will be occurring on our Clayton Campus as well as on zoom. Free registration can be found here and closes on the 4 April. Virtual registration can still occur after that by emailing the CMRS at cmrs-postgraduatecommittee@monash.edu.


School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies Monash University

Scattered throughout Victoria are hundreds of manuscripts, fragments, and other documents from different cultures around the globe. These invaluable sources, for both academic research and cultural enrichment, are not centrally listed or described, and in some cases, there is little or no information available about them.

We wish to reach out to diverse communities, organisations and individuals who may be in possession of liturgical, literary, personal, or other handwritten material in Arabic, Hebrew, Greek and Latin – preferably from before 1600. The following are just some examples: literary (stories, poems, works of history or philosophy), religious (prayers, liturgical texts), administrative (accounts, letters, diplomas, certificates), educational (grammar books).

We are interested in both whole manuscripts and individual leaves, written on paper, parchment, or papyrus.

We aim to bring together existing information about the items held in different places into a single database, and to add information about items that have not yet been described. This will be the basis for a future public resource.

If you wish to help us, by sharing information about pre-modern texts in private or public collections, please contact: sophismanuscripts@monash.edu

For more information about this project see the website.