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Conferences and CFPs

  • 16 Jan 2019 10:19 AM | Anonymous

    Medieval Devotional Texts: Technologies Old and New

    Devotional texts, texts that are intended to encourage prayer, spiritual reflection or contemplation, dwell at the intersections between the literary, the historical and the theological. As one example, a prayer can be a lyric, an essential component of liturgy, or a personal text expressing the reader’s specific hopes and fears. It can stand alone or form part of competing networks of intertextuality, accommodating a wide range of different readings and significant contexts. While devotional texts may appear formulaic in that they are often characterised by formal qualities and constrained by the expectations of genre, the distinctive features of these texts also allow them to remain recognisable even as they are adapted to the demands of new reading communities and new media.

    We welcome papers addressing early and late medieval devotional genres or texts alongside the technologies employed in their creation, transmission and use. Correspondingly, we are also interested in papers discussing digital approaches to studying the production and reception of these texts.

    Abstracts are invited from researchers working in literary and related fields addressing any of the following topics:

    manuscript studies

    textual transmission

    devotional texts and material culture

    the place of devotional texts in miscellanies

    confessional practice

    prayer collections and compilations

    digital approaches to devotional texts in medieval literature

    Please send a 300-word abstract for a 25-minute paper to Sheri Smith at by 1st February 2019. We will be confirming participation by February 7th. We particularly welcome papers from graduate students and early career scholars and will cover the cost of one night of accommodation at our conference venue Schloss Mickeln for all speakers.

  • 21 Dec 2018 9:08 AM | Kristin Bourassa

    Topical Texts and their Afterlives in the Late Middle Ages

    This session (Canadian Society of Medievalists, Congress 2019, June 3-5, Vancouver) examines the ‘afterlives’ – that is, the later reception – of late medieval written works addressing topical matters. The explosion of manuscript production and copying in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries not only encouraged the literate to use written communication to spread their thoughts on current affairs, it also promoted the continued reception of the resultant texts in a wider variety of contexts and over longer periods. However popular or niche at the time of writing, such topical texts could more readily find new audiences and new meanings in the late medieval environment. The creative editing, extraction, and compiling of texts helped in the process of shifting and even transforming meaning across different places and times, rendering texts that were once topical more universal, or indeed pointedly relevant to later affairs and concerns. Seen from another aspect such processes also expanded the afterlives of issues that had been long been set aside, with answers to new problems being shaped by those derived in very different contexts.

    Kristin Bourassa and Justin Sturgeon will explore the fifteenth-century manuscript afterlife of Philippe de Mézières’ Songe du viel pelerin, a political allegory completed in 1389 for King Charles VI of France and offering topical advice on contemporary political concerns such as the king’s recent coming of age and declaration of personal rule, the Great Western Schism, and the late fourteenth-century crusading movement. The Songe was later copied for members of the secular and religious elite, in manuscripts adapted both textually and visually for their owners and for their new historical context. Eight of the nine surviving manuscripts date to the mid- to late-fifteenth century, demonstrating revived interest in a book whose understandings of authority, power, and counsel were deeply embedded in the historical context of its original production. This interdisciplinary paper (drawing on the perspectives of art history, history and literature) explores how political texts were adapted for later audiences through a case study of the manuscript owned by Louis de Crussol, a royal counsellor active during the reigns of Charles VII and Louis XI.

    Robert Shaw will explore the afterlife of the Orationarium in vita Christi et de suffragiis sanctorum, a work written in the 1380s by Pierre Pocquet, a French Celestine monk and strident activist for Observant reform. An unedited text that is little know by modern readers, this expansive vita Christi was written not only against the background of the author’s efforts to enhance French Celestine observance, but also in the midst of the Great Western Schism, a matter which thoroughly exercised the author and greatly shaped his reflections on morality and reform. While it reached some very influential readers in Pocquet’s own lifetime, including among the laity, it arguably found its peak of popularity among monastic reformers of other orders in the mid to late fifteenth century, with audiences in monasteries as far away as Italy and Bohemia. Through a close reading of the manuscript evidence, this paper will explore how later reformers received reflections that were steeped in the context of the late fourteenth century, and through this, how the atmosphere of the Schism, so critical to the formation of Observant energies, could continue to influence ideas regarding monastic life a century after the fact.

    To complete this session, we seek one further paper addressing similar themes. We are open to papers looking at the ongoing reception of topical texts written at any time in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and in any part of Europe. Please contact Kristin Bourassa at by January 14, 2019. 

  • 13 Dec 2018 11:40 AM | Anonymous
    Call for papers

    “We are all servants” -- The Diversity of Service in Premodern Europe
    International Conference, 20-22 September 2019

    to be held at the Centre for Medieval Studies
    University of Toronto, downtown campus
    Organized by Elisheva Baumgarten and Isabelle Cochelin
    with Lochin Brouillard and Emma Gabe

    Scientific Advisory Board:
    Elisheva Carlebach, Konrad Eisenbichler,
    Antoinette Fauve-Chamoux and Diane Wolfthal

    If you would like to participate, please send the following information
    to before January 3rd, 2019:

    your name, university, title of paper, 150 word abstract,
    contact info (address, email and telephone), one page CV,
    and finally a short biographical blurb (the latter for the session chairs).

    Service in premodern Europe was a ubiquitous phenomenon in daily life but also constituted a key concept for defining relationships between individuals. Servants were men or women, high or low on the social scale, poor or wealthy, children or elderly, of different faiths (Christian, Jewish or Muslim), and with few or great expectations for their future. For some, service was a lifetime occupation but for many a finite period in their life cycle. Even kings considered themselves to be servants in relation to God. In contrast with the diversity and pervasiveness of service in the past, few today would consider themselves the servant of another.
    The project for this conference is therefore timely and innovative on many fronts. Our approach seeks to conceive the history of service in the longue durée, starting around 1000, when primary sources become more abundant (thanks to the increasing reliance on written texts) and ending before the turning point of the late seventeenth century, when the conception of service changed significantly. Our research will thus cover the medieval period for which no overall study on service exists so far. We will use an interdisciplinary methodology and bring together scholars from different fields (History, Literature and Art History, but also Religious Studies, Anthropology, and History of Architecture) and with complementary areas of geographical and chronological focus. In addition, we will take into account religion, which has been very little considered so far in the studies concerning service, even though any discourse on service in these centuries was steeped in religious imagery. For this reason, we will consider the Christian, Jewish and (when and where relevant also) Muslim communities of medieval and early modern Europe side by side. Finally, our approach will be both empirical and theoretical: we intend to examine service as a socio-historical reality and as a concept to define human relationships and work relations, a joint approach which has never been adopted in previous scholarship.
    Main themes:
    - Domestic servants in distinct surroundings (urban context, rural context, and within castles)
    - Service in different religious groups (Catholic, Jewish, Protestant, etc.), including service when the servant is of a different religious faith than the masters
    - Service in various religious sources and servants working for religious individuals or communities (theology and canon law; exempla literature in Latin and Hebrew; servants of secular clergy and in monasteries)
    - Servants in art
    - Service in literary sources
    - Service as a model for human relationships, including service as work, or rather work conceived as service
    - Service and issues of gender, sexualities, and kinship
    - Service, race and migration
    - Spatial distribution of servants within the households
    - Service as opposed to slavery
    Main disciplines: Social History, Religious History, Art History, History of Law, Theology, Literature, Economic History, History of Architecture, and Anthropology
  • 1 Dec 2018 1:01 PM | Marc Cels (Administrator)

    Call for Papers: Canadian Society of Medievalists Annual Meeting: Congress 2019

    Appel à communications: Rencontre annuelle de la Société canadienne des médiévistes: Congrès 2019

    June 3-5 / 3-5 juin 2019

    Vancouver, British Columbia / Colombie-Britannique 


    The special theme for this year’s Congress is “Circles of Conversation,” but 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.

    Please submit proposals for individual papers by December 15, 2018 and proposals for sessions by January 15, 2019 by email to Kathy Cawsey, either by regular email ( or via our website’s email system ( You must be a member of the CSM by the time of your presentation.


    Le thème du Congrès de cette année est « Cercles de conversation ».  Les communications à ce congrès annuel de la SCM peuvent toutefois traiter de tout sujet relatif aux études médiévales.  L'invitation est également lancée pour des propositions de sessions entières. 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 entières devront inclure, outre les informations régulières, un titre et une courte explication du contenu de la session et de son format. Veuillez indiquer si la session proposée serait convenable pour une session commune avec une autre association savante. Prière de soumettre vos propositions au plus tard le 15 décembre 2018 pour des communications individuelles et le 15 janvier 2019 pour des sessions entières, par courriel à Kathy Cawsey ( ou par le courriel de notre site, Vous devrez être un membre en règle de la SCM au moment de votre communication.
  • 30 Nov 2018 11:24 AM | Brandon Alakas

    Inaugural Residential Research Library Conference

    Libraries, Learning and Religious Identities:

    Britain, Ireland and the European Context, c.1100-c.1900

    Hosted by Durham University and Ushaw

    Organised by Durham University’s Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies

    Tuesday 10 – Friday 13 September 2019

    Call for Papers

     Deadline for submissions: Sunday 6 January 2019

    Proposals for papers and panels should be submitted to

    Durham University, in collaboration with Ushaw and Durham Cathedral Library, is in the process of establishing a Residential Research Library, which will provide opportunities for visiting scholars to come to Durham to work on the rich collections of these three institutions. The formal launch of the RRL will take place in the autumn of 2019 and to celebrate the event Durham University and Ushaw are hosting a conference on the theme of Libraries, Learning and Religious Identities.


    The library collections at Durham are rich and diverse. At the heart of them, however, are a remarkable group of libraries created by, and attached to, religious institutions. Part of the original endowment of the University was the library created by Bishop John Cosin and bequeathed to his successors as an endowed public library for local clergy and people of scholarly interests. Still housed in the building designed by Cosin to house it, the library celebrates the 350th anniversary of its opening in 2019. Among the collections of Durham Cathedral Library is the most complete surviving English monastic library. For the last few years the Cathedral and the University have been collaborating on a project to produce high quality digital images of all the surviving volumes belonging to the Priory Library in order to make this resource as widely available as possible. Ushaw College houses not only a nineteenth- and twentieth-century seminary library, but also copies of many of the books that would have belonged to Douai College, as well as the library of the English College at Lisbon.

    It is appropriate, therefore, that the theme of the Inaugural Residential Research Library Conference, 'Libraries, Learning and Religious Identities: Britain, Ireland and the European Context, c.1100-c.1900.' The conference aims to take a broad and inclusive approach to its theme, exploring not only libraries as institutions, but also their social, intellectual and cultural contexts. Geographically, the conference aims to include Britain and Ireland, including the experiences of natives of the British Isles on the continent and institutions, such as the English Catholic colleges, established by exiles. Papers which illuminate the British and Irish context through the discussion of Europe are also welcome.

    Some of the questions which we expect to be discussed during the conference are listed below, but this list is intended to be neither prescriptive nor exhaustive, and we would welcome proposals that adopt new perspectives on libraries, learning and religious cultures.

    • What were the purposes of libraries? How did they change through the period?
    • How were libraries constructed?
    • How were libraries used?
    • How important were libraries to the construction of religious knowledge?
    • What role did libraries and their holdings play at key moments of religious change, such as the Reformation?
    • How did libraries and their contents contribute to the construction of religious identities?
    • How important were libraries and learning in sustaining the religious culture of minority groups?
    • In what ways did libraries and their holdings acquire symbolic, cultural significance relative to religious identity?
    • How can the skills, knowledge and methodologies of academics and specialist library staff be brought together to create and pursue new areas of knowledge?


    Proposals (no more than 200 words) for papers of 20 minutes in length should be submitted to [e-mail address] by 15 December 2018. They should be accompanied by a short CV (one page), which includes contact details.

    Proposals for a panel of three 20-minute papers are also welcome. Panel proposals should comprise:

    • A cover sheet, detailing the title of the panel, a short summary of its scope (no more than 200 words), the names of the participants, and the name and e-mail address of the organiser (who will be the contact with the conference committee)
    • A 200 word synopsis for each of the papers
    • Short CVs (one page) of the presenters, the panel chair and the commentator (the chair and the commentator may be the same.


    Proposals from postgraduate students are welcome.


     Proposals for papers and panels should be submitted by 6 January 2019 to

     Replies to all submissions will be sent no later than the end of February 2019

     Academic enquiries should be sent to

  • 26 Nov 2018 11:30 AM | Anonymous

    Call for papers

    Medicine, Myth and Magic

    EXTENDED DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: Saturday, January 5th, 2019

    Conference Topic: Crossroads of Medicine and Religion
    Dates: April 12-14, 2019
    Location: McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
    Submission Deadline: Saturday, January 5th, 2019.

    Description of the conference:
    The McGill Centre for Research on Religion (CREOR) graduate student annual conference invites graduate students and emerging scholars to participate in a special edition conference rethinking the relationship between medicine and religion. We invite critical reflections on the complexities and diversity that arises at the crossroads of medicine and religion. We know that since Antiquity medical traditions in Greece, Babylon, Egypt, China and India were intrinsically intertwined with its religious practices. The observation and study of anatomical and mental ailments was not necessarily a distinct science, the lines between medicine, religion, and “magic” remained⎯at times⎯blurry. Myth and ritual were also used to connect the body to sacred spaces. Early modern, and especially post-Enlightenment, thinking sought to bring a clearer divide between medicine and religion. As science and technology progressed it provided the field of medicine with a diagnostic and prognosis system which was purely “rational” and devoid of spiritual beliefs. But the acceptance of this proposition has not been unanimous. Despite the extraordinary advances of post-Enlightenment medicine, both Western and Eastern, does the quest for scientific knowledge leave any room for religious beliefs, traditions and ethics to influence medical practice?

    Some questions the conference wishes to consider are: Do Western, Eastern and Indigenous traditions and religions have something to offer in understanding afflictions of the mind and body? Can religious beliefs and scientific methods used by modern medicine ever be reconciled? How has a given tradition’s view of the relationship between medicine and religion evolved over time? What role and influence have religious views had in the history of medical thought? What are the theological and philosophical aspects of the study of the body? How has the relationship between medicine and religion been portrayed in historical, literary, and philosophical writings?

    We invite proposals from all areas of study, including history, philosophy, art history, religious studies, sociology, anthropology, psychology, bioethics, and law.

    Encouraged topics and themes include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • History of medicine and religion
    • Theological and philosophical aspects of the medical sciences
    • Theology and philosophy of medicine
    • Sociology of medical knowledge
    • Anthropology of medicine
    • Medicine and religion in literature
    • Medicine and “fringe” religious traditions (e.g. Hermetic, heretical, “occult”…)
    • Iconography: Representations of the healer-prophet or healer-saint in art
    • Debates on body and soul informed by medical and theological knowledge
    • Spiritualization of physical illness
    • Indigenous practices and medicine
    • Spiritual and magical healing (e.g. shamanic, taslismanic, etc.)
    • Ethics of healing
    • Religious ethics and medical practices
    • Scriptural Interpretations

    This year’s CREOR graduate student conference will be held in collaboration with McGill’s History conference “Angelical Conjunctions: Crossroads of Medicine and Religion, 1200-1800” and running concurrently with the 2019 Eastern International Regional Meeting of the American Academy of Religion conference on “Religion, Harm and Healing”.

    The “Angelical Conjunctions” conference will be accompanied by an exhibition of rare books that are relevant to the theme of the conference in McGill University’s Osler Library of Medicine.

    Guidelines for proposals:

    Please submit a 250 word abstract explaining the topic and main arguments of the paper. All disciplines and fields welcome. Papers must engage in and contribute to the scholarly discourse; works of advocacy or mere summary will not be considered. Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes. Proposals should include all contact information including institutional affiliation and any technical request such as audio-visual equipment. These proposals as well as any questions or requests for further information should be sent to the following address:

    Publishing Possibility: Following the conference, a select number of high quality papers will be considered for publication in a special volume.

  • 8 Nov 2018 4:26 AM | Kristin Bourassa

    Dates: 2‒4 October 2019

    Venue: University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

    Committee: David Dean, Kathryn Prince, Piroska Nagy

    Call for Papers Deadline: 1 December 2018

    Enquiries/Submission of Proposals:

    Conflict (whether interpersonal, intercultural, interspecies or individual) can lead to devastating consequences, but it is also an important catalyst for creativity and an indicator of social change. The emotions associated with conflict can be as pleasurable as the relish of dramatic tension or as devastating as a complete physical and mental collapse of the self. 

    We invite participants to consider the emotions associated with conflict, to examine how various cultures have understood the nexus of emotions and conflict, and to explore conflicting emotions in any context. Approaches from all disciplines broadly related to the History of Emotions are welcome. Given uOttawa's bilingual mission, participation in French is welcome and encouraged. A version of the call for papers is also circulating en français. The deadline is 1 December 2018 to submit proposals (in English or French) for individual papers, panels, and creative presentations (200–300 words with a short biographical statement) to the conference organisers David Dean, Kathryn Prince and Piroska Nagy at the conference address:

    The conference will take place at uOttawa, located downtown near Ottawa's many galleries and museums, the Rideau Canal, and other attractions, including a shuttle to see the autumn colours in Gatineau Park.

    Key Dates
    • 1 December 2018: Deadline for proposals 
    • 15 January 2019: Decisions announced about proposals, along with information about hotel options and registration.
    Conference Committee
    • David Dean, Director, Centre for Public History, Carleton University, Ottawa
    • Kathryn Prince, Department of Theatre, University of Ottawa
    • Piroska Nagy, Professor of Medieval History, Université du Québec à Montréal
    For more information, see the CFP at the Society for the History of Emotions website.
  • 17 Oct 2018 7:23 AM | Kristin Bourassa

    Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (ACMRS) and Medieval Association of the Pacific (MAP) Joint Conference: Magic, Religion, and Science in the Global Middle Ages and Renaissance (2019)

    The ACMRS and MAP Joint Conference: Magic, Religion, and Science in the Global Middle Ages and Renaissance (2019) ​​​is ​​​an ​​​annual ​​​gathering ​​​of ​​​scholars, ​​​students, ​​​retirees ​​​and ​​​members ​​​of ​​​the ​​​general ​​​public ​​​interested ​​​in ​​​medieval and Renaissance ​​​studies. ACMRS is proud to announce that its 2019 conference will be held jointly with the Medieval Association of the Pacific. We welcome papers that explore any topic related to the study and teaching of the Middle Ages and Renaissance and especially those that focus on the general theme of ​​​“Magic, Religion, and Science ​​​in ​​​the ​​​Global ​​​Middle ​​​Ages ​​​and ​​​Renaissance.” The ​​​conference ​​​lasts ​​​four ​​​days, ​​​from ​​​Wednesday, ​​​February ​6​, ​​​with ​​​sessions ​​​beginning ​​​at ​​​1 ​​​p.m., ​​​until ​​​Saturday, ​​​February ​​​9 ​​​at ​​​9 ​​​p.m. ​​​ 

    For more information.

  • 12 Oct 2018 3:51 AM | Kristin Bourassa

    In 1922 Carl Schmitt published his essay “Politische Theologie,” arguing that all concepts of modern political thought are secularized theological concepts. In 1934, the same year that Schmitt released a revised edition of his essay, Henri-Xavier Arquillière published a short study entitled L’Augustinisme politique, arguing that all concepts of early medieval political thought are sacralized temporal concepts.

    In recent years many scholars of modern and early modern history, political theory, and law have returned to these entanglements of sacrality and secularity posited by Schmitt and Arquillière, and have sought to identify and trace their influence upon the development of Western sovereignty, governmentality, and politics as such. Notably, the contemporary philosopher Giorgio Agamben has developed his prominent theorizations of the “state of exception” and “homo sacer” through a close engagement with Schmitt’s provocative ideas.

    Scholars of late antique and early medieval history and theology have also recently concentrated on the entanglements of sacrality and secularity, but have largely done so by following the lead of Robert Markus, Peter Brown, and their interlocutors in their exploration of the ideas and influence of men such as Augustine and Gregory the Great.

    While the focus of one group has been on the processes and effects of secularization at work from the late Middle Ages to the present, the focus of the other has been on the “de-secularization” of the world from late antiquity into the early Middle Ages. While the former attempts to understand what remains of the medieval sacral sphere within secular modernity, the latter seeks to identify what was lost from the late Roman “secular” civic sphere upon the institutionalization and development of Christianity.

    In this year’s Medieval Workshop, we seek to bring these two scholarly traditions on the historical relationship of the sacral and the secular into conversation. At what point did temporal political concepts become merged with Christian theology? Was there something particular to the Christian cosmology that accommodated this fateful merging, or was it only a consequence of certain political exigencies following the Roman Empire’s adoption of Christianity? What concepts distinctive to Christian theology remain within the political, legal, and cultural structures of the “post-Christian” West? More generally, has a faltering confidence in the progressive secularization of the contemporary world led to the renewal of interest not only in the processes of early medieval sacralization, but also in the pre-Christian “sacral” views and practices that were adapted, eliminated, or cast into oblivion thereby? What are the stakes in opening ourselves to the implications of a pre-Christian order of “sacrality?” What part have differing understandings of time itself played in these processes? In short, what has Augustine to do with Giorgio Agamben? Pseudo-Dionysius with Erik Peterson? Thomas Aquinas with Arquillière? These are just a few possible questions we hope to explore in an effort to initiate dialogue and exchange among the disciplines regarding theologies of the political.

    Keynote speaker – Conrad Leyser (University of Oxford)

    Papers should not exceed 20 minutes. Send an abstract (max. 500 words) and short bio by e-mail to Courtney Booker (History) <>, to arrive by November 1, 2018.

    Conference website

  • 11 Oct 2018 2:12 AM | Kristin Bourassa

    The 18th Vagantes Conference on Medieval Studies, which will take place at the University of Toronto from March 20th-23rd, 2019, is seeking paper abstracts on any topic related to the Middle Ages.

    Vagantes is North America’s largest graduate-student conference for medieval studies. Since its founding in 2002, Vagantes has nurtured a lively community of junior scholars from across all disciplines. The 18th Vagantes Conference on Medieval Studies in Toronto will feature thirty graduate-student papers and two keynote speakers.  On March 20th, we will also offer an intensive manuscript workshop that will use the collections of the Pontifical Institute for Mediaeval Studies Library and the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library.  There will be a separate registration process for the workshop that will be circulated at a later time.

    Graduate students in all disciplines are invited to submit a paper title, an abstract of 300 words on any medieval topic, and a 1-2 page CV to Lane Springer at Your abstract will be blind-reviewed by an interdisciplinary panel of graduate students, and it should provide a clear summary of your proposed paper with language that is accessible to non-specialists.  Since Vagantes is an interdisciplinary conference, your audience might not know the history of the Carolingian Empire, the corpus of Geoffrey Chaucer, or the theology of Peter Comestor.  Please make your abstract is concise and accessible.  Both your abstract and CV should be submitted in a Word document.

    Out of consideration for graduate students’ budgets, Vagantes never charges a registration fee. The deadline for submissions is Friday, November 9th2018.  Some travel bursaries will be available for presenters.  In your submission, please indicate if you would be interested in applying for one.  

    For  more information:

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