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Calls for Papers

Medieval Consent: A Critical Symposium

April 16-17, 2020
Linacre College, University of Oxford

The purpose of this event is to unite scholars across medieval disciplines in a two day symposium on sexual consent. The field of sexual consent and sexual assault studies is rapidly growing, and as the issue of consent looms large in the minds of university staff and students internationally, practitioners in Medieval Studies so too must take part in this conversation.

The symposium is designed primarily as a discussion-based workshop and will thus feature a combination of conference-style papers and reading-based discussions. We hope this format will allow participants the opportunity to read, reflect, question, and theorize about consent within a safe group setting.

We invite proposals for twenty-minute papers, and particularly encourage intersectional approaches on this topic. We do not view consent as a static event, but one where intersections ofgender, class, and race impact the individual.

Please contact the organizers with any queries. Please send a 250 word abstract to by January 10th, 2019.

Linacre College, Oxford     Worcester College, Oxford

Holy Passions: An Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference on Religion and Sex

March 27, 2020
1014 Tisch Hall
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Featuring a keynote talk by:
Helmut Puff

Elizabeth L. Einstein Collegiate Professor of History Germanic Studies
Director, Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies
University of Michigan

Abstract submission deadline: December 18, 2019
Please email abstracts to:
Notifications will be sent out in early January 2020

SEX! RELIGION! Do we have your attention yet? Good. This interdisciplinary graduate student conference, sponsored by the Religion in the Early Modern Atlantic Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop, focuses on the often-uneasy relationship between religion and sex, and the ways we as scholars study that relationship in our respective fields. 

We are framing this conference around the following questions: How is the category of “sex” concieved and understood by religious actors and institutions? How have religious laws, rules, and commands regarding sex been formulated, utilized, and contested? How has the tension between these two concepts of “religion” and “sex” been expressed in different times and places? How are the topics addressed or studied across various academic fields? 


Our goal for this conference is to open an interdisciplinary dialogue on topics which we all potentially find in our own disciplines, but approach from different angles. This will also be an opportunity for graduate students to receive feedback on their individual research from a broad group of scholars.

We invite graduate students of any discipline to submit paper proposals on the following (or related) topics. Your work does not have to focus on the early modern Atlantic world to be considered. You also do not need to be a graduate student at the University of Michigan to be considered.

  • Theologies of sex/sexuality
    Sexualized language in relation to the divine
    Sex acts in sacred spaces
    Sex acts in sacred texts
    Sexual deviancy and religious control
    Sexual orientation and religion
    Visualizing and envisioning sexuality and the sacred"
    Law and religious liberty
    Theorizing the categories of “religion” and/or “sex”

This conference is free and open to the public, and lunch will be served. We encourage interested parties to submit an abstract of up to 250 words by December 18, 2019 at 11:59p.m. to . Presentations should not exceed 15 minutes. Presenters will be notified of acceptance to the conference in early January 2020.


Note: a PDF version of this Call for Papers is attached to this email.


Benjamin T. Hollenbach

pronouns: he, him, his


Ph.D. Candidate

University of Michigan, College of Literature, Sciences, and the Arts

Department of Anthropology


Head Graduate Student Instructor, Introduction to Anthropology

CEAL Engaged Pedagogy Initiative Fellow


101 West Hall

1085 S. University Ave.

Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48109

Michigan Academy: Medieval Studies

Friday March 13, 202
Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, MI

Abstract deadline: 12/16/19

See this link for details.

Medieval Studies Section Chair
Martin Walsh, University of Michigan



Transcending Boundaries: Changes in Medieval Time and Space

7th Annual Medieval Studies Colloquium
April 3–4, 2020 | University of Wisconsin-Madison

DEADLINE: Jan 31, 2020

The Graduate Association of Medieval Studies is pleased to announce that our Seventh Annual Medieval Studies Colloquium will be held in Spring 2020. The two days of the Colloquium will include structured panels of presentations as well as two public lectures and two lunch workshops hosted by our keynote speakers: Dr. Nicole Guenther Discenza (English, University of South Florida) and Dr. Karlyn Griffith (Art History, Cal Poly Pomona).

A reception will conclude the Colloquium on Saturday afternoon, where attendees will be encouraged to ask follow-up questions and continue conversations with the presenters and keynote speakers that are more in-depth than time allows for during Q&A.

The UW-Madison GAMS Colloquium offers an opportunity for graduate students in multiple disciplines to present their research in the various fields of medieval studies, share and receive feedback, and participate in discussions on topics of interest with peers from a wider, interdisciplinary community of medieval studies scholars. This is the third year that GAMS invites abstracts from graduate students from other schools and the first year to invite undergraduate papers on topics relating to the Middle Ages, including topics related to Late Antiquity and the early Renaissance. Graduate papers will be 20 minutes, undergraduates 10–15 minutes, and all papers should be delivered in English. Each panel will be followed by 30 minutes for discussion. 

This year’s theme is Transcending Boundaries: Changes in Medieval Time and Space and we invite papers that examine ideas of boundaries (broadly defined). This can include papers dealing with time and space, physical and imaginary boundaries, creating and performing borders, and/or a lack of borders. All abstracts on any topic of medieval interest will be seriously considered. 

Please submit abstracts of no more than 300 words to by January 31, 2020 for consideration. 


Travelling Objects, Travelling People: Art and Artists of Late Medieval and Renaissance Iberia and Beyond, c. 1400-1550

Courtauld Institute of Art, London
May 28-29, 2020

Deadline: January 10, 2020

'Travelling Objects, Travelling People' aims to nuance our understanding of the exchanges and influences that shaped the artistic landscape of Medieval and Renaissance Iberia. Traditional narratives hold that late fifteenth-century Iberian art and architecture were transformed by the arrival of artists, objects and ideas from France and the Low Countries, while 1492 marked a chronological rupture and the beginning of global encounters. Challenging these perceptions, this conference will reconsider the dynamics of artistic influence in late medieval Iberia, and place European exchanges in a global context, from Madeira to Santo Domingo. Bringing together international scholars working on Spain, Portugal and a range of related geographies, it seeks to address the impact of ‘itinerant’ artworks, artists and ideas, and issues of migration and non-linear transfers of materials, techniques and iconographies.

The theme of ‘travellers’—artists who reached or departed the region, at times more than once in their lives, but also objects and concepts imported and exported—will expand and inflect traditional narratives of late medieval and Renaissance art, underscoring the complexity of global interactions and exchanges which connected the Iberian peninsula to Europe and beyond. Bringing together international scholars working on Iberia and a range of related geographies, the conference seeks to address the impact of ‘itinerant’ artworks, artists and ideas, and to expand the field of analysis beyond Europe to encompass relationships with newly acquired dominions, from Madeira to Santo Domingo.

Topics for papers may include, but are not limited to:

—Iberian artists employed abroad, from the master mason Guillelm Sagrera in Naples, to the sculptor Juan de la Huerta at the Chartreuse de Champmol
—The close imitation of northern artists in such works as the Portuguese copies of Quentin Metsys’s The Angel Appearing to Saints Clara, Colette and Agnes (early 16th century, Museu de Setúbal / Convento de Jesus, Portugal)
—‘Iberian’ objects produced elsewhere, for example Christian ivory carvings made in Goa or Kongo, Afro-Portuguese spoons, and Mexican ‘feather-work’ adopting the vocabulary of northern European late Gothic painting
—Works made for a non-Iberian audience but purchased and displayed by local patrons.

By encouraging conversations across such seemingly disparate topics and geographies, the conference aims to position the Iberian artistic landscape within the networks of artistic exchange that spanned the medieval and Renaissance worlds, challenging the significance of 1492 as a moment of rupture between the Middle Ages and Early Modern periods.

Proposals are welcome from postgraduate, early-career and established researchers working in all relevant disciplines. Please send a title and an abstract of no more than 300 words together with a short CV and 100-word biography to and by Friday 10 January 2020.

Papers should not exceed 20 minutes in length. Successful candidates will be notified by 17 February. In the first instance, applicants are encouraged to apply to their home institution for travel and accommodation funding. The organisers hope to provide financial support for travel and accommodation to speakers who require it. This conference is made possible by the kind generosity of Sam Fogg.

Reference / Quellennachweis:
CFP: Travelling Objects, Travelling People (London, 28-29 May 20). In:, Oct 29, 2019. <>.

Disciplining Emotions: Texts and Images in the Medieval and Early Modern

Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel, May 18 - 19, 2020
Deadline: Oct 30, 2019

In the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period, theologians and philosophers considered what we call today "emotions" to be complex mental states that encompass cognitive components. They viewed emotions as playing a central role in the soul, not only as an intuitive response to events, but also as a bodily and mental component that can be cultivated and disciplined in order to produce a moral individual. While some modern studies emphasize the essentialism and universalism of emotions, certain historians, sociologists, and anthropologists point at the power of social interaction in culture to nurture specific feelings while restricting others. Scholars have examined texts written and used by certain social groups (what Barbara Rosenwein terms "emotional communities") in their search for verbal expressions of feelings or "emotives" (William Reddy), in order to unveil how societies manage biologically-based emotions.

Indeed, the attempts to discipline emotions – whether restrict, prohibit, encourage or glorify them – through textual or artistic productions, are the focus of this conference. We invite abstracts which explore the means and methods used to discipline emotions through the production, the structure or the consumption of cultural creations.

In spite of the difference in media and in ways of expression between visual imagery and texts, we assume that they not only illustrated cultural norms but actively participated in their creation. Additionally, essential questions have been raised concerning the formation of emotions in societies in history: What kinds of emotions were presented in textual or art works? What artistic or thematic means were used by the authors/artists in order to evoke an emotional situation? What didactic message did they convey, and who was it destined for?

The conference is open to scholars of a broad set of disciplines: history, art history, literature, film and media studies, translation studies etc.
Although the conference will focus on the Middle ages and the early modern era, proposals related to other periods will be considered as well. In conjunction with the conference, a follow-up publication is planned. Colleagues wishing to participate in the conference are kindly asked to take this in consideration. Reworked papers will be due by 31 December 2020. They will be subjected to blind peer review.

The conference is part of the research group on “Emotions in Text and Art”, carried out at the Faculty of Humanities at Bar-Ilan University.

Proposals of up to 500 words (in English) for a 20-minute paper should be e-mailed to the following addresses no later than 30 October 2019:
Each proposal should be accompanied by full contact information and a short academic bio.

Proposal submission: 30 October 2019
Notifications of acceptance: 30 November 2019
Conference: 18-19 May 2020
Submission of revised papers for evaluation: 31 December 2020
Notifications of acceptance: 30 April 2021.

Thanks to the generous grant from the Bar-Ilan University Rector, there will be no registration fees, and the conference will include coffee breaks and light lunches for the attendees.  However, accommodation and travel fees will be covered by the participants.
We are looking forward to your proposal.

Organizing committee:
Hilla Karas (Bar-Ilan University)
Tovi Bibring (Bar-Ilan University)
Dafna Nissim (Ben-Gurion University)
Bar Leshem (Ben-Gurion University)
Ayelet Peer (Bar-Ilan University)

Scientific committee:
Prof. Mati Meyer (The Open University)
Prof. Myriam Greilsammer (Bar-Ilan University)
Dr. Revital Refael-Vivante (Bar-Ilan University)
Dr. Hilla Karas (Bar-Ilan University)
Dr. Tovi Bibring (Bar-Ilan University)
Dafna Nissim (Ben-Gurion University)

Reference / Quellennachweis:
CFP: Disciplining Emotions (Ramat Gan, Israel 18-19 May 20). In:, Oct 6, 2019. <>.  

More K-Zoo 2020: What Ever Happened to Baby Cain? Ambiguous Childhood in Medieval Literature

The deadline for abstracts is Friday 20th September. 

Growing up is a perennial feature of human societies. While anxieties surrounding childhood are universal, the manifestations of these concerns vary between cultures. This series of sessions proposes to shed light upon the nexus of ambiguity surrounding the medieval child, as depicted in contemporaneous literature. We invite abstracts for papers that will explore the representation of childhood in texts of any language, genre, and period within the Middle Ages. Topic may include, but are not limited to:

• Historical notions of education, child-rearing, and ‘good behaviour’.

• Non-human and/or monstrous children.

• Infantilised adults and inescapable childhood.

• Environments and spaces that are (un)suitable for children.

• Theological and medical approaches to conception, pregnancy, birth, and infancy.

• Pedagogy and didacticism in texts for and about children.

• The abject and uncanny child.

• Engagement with sensory experiences of growing up.

• Interactions between children and non-human animals.

• Depictions of the divine and demonic child.

• Children with adult roles: kings, saints, knights, etc.

• Crimes against and committed by children.

We welcome submissions from scholars of any level and particularly encourage applications from PGRs, ECRs, and independent scholars. Papers should be 15-20 minutes long.

Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words and a short biography of around 100 words to Please also include the following information in your submission:

• Full Name
• Institution/Affiliation (if any)
• Email address
• Postal address
• Any specific requirements for your presentation

The deadline for abstracts is Friday 20th September. We look forward to hearing from you.

K-Zoo 2020: Aristotle à rebours: Unconventional Aristotelianism in Medieval Italy and Beyond

Sponsored by Italians & Italianists at Kalamazoo
ICMS Kalamazoo 2020, May 7-10

Submission Deadline: 30 September 2019

Aristotle’s transformation from heretical source to intellectual authority testifies to the factthat his scholastic assimilation was uneven and often controversial, and it is the aim of thispanel to explore those figures whose Aristotelianism has been perceived, by either theircontemporaries or their scholars, as historically peculiar or unorthodox.

Engaging Aristotle's askance medieval reception, this panel invites papers that re-examinefundamental questions for the schoolmen and poets alike. To what extent did allegiance toAristotle and/or his commentators allow for novel, even undogmatic, ways of thinkingthrough foundational questions, such as the nature of the soul and body, the relationbetween the intellect and desire, or the meaning of virtue and nobility? It is this panel’swager that medieval Italy provides a testing ground for exploring how an “unconventional”Aristotle emerges in the overlaps between faith, philosophy, and poetry. At the same time,this panel welcomes papers that span medieval Europe, its borders, and beyond—especially those whose investigations illuminate the complexity of the linguistic, culturaland political factors tied to Aristotelian reception in the Middle Ages, and the Italian MiddleAges in particular.

Papers should be 15-20 minutes long.

Please send abstracts of c. 250 words and a brief bio to Joseph Romano( and Kristen Hook (

K-Zoo 2020: Prologues in Learned Text of Medieval Magic

Deadline for abstracts: 15 Sept 2019

Although the prologues of learned books of magic could take many forms, nearly all share at least one common characteristic: the claim to transmit a secret and pristine branch of knowledge. Such claims are frequently couched in the form of a narrative describing how this secret knowledge was originally revealed. Many employ the same actors (Hermes Trismegistus, King Solomon, Aristotle), the same objects (a tablet or disk made of precious material and inscribed with divine wisdom), and the same locations (a hidden cavern or lost pagan temple). These narratives helped to establish the authority of their texts, broadcast their affiliation with specific discourses, and signal how they should be read. Moreover, the prologues served to highlight the erudition of their authors through the use of classical and biblical references and often sophisticated word-play.

The aim of this session is to explore these still largely understudied prologues which testify to the variety of medieval approaches to “magic”. What do these prologues have to tell us about the institutional, cultural, and political milieux in which they were produced? How do certain recurring mythemes found in these prologues stand in relation to the various magical and divinatory arts, specifically those classified as natural or demonic? And to which philosophical, mystical, or religious beliefs do they appeal in order to justify the magical practices that they introduce?

Other potential topics relating to magical prologues include, but are not limited to

-- the rhetoric of authority and the relation between power and secret knowledge

-- the intersection of diverse intellectual traditions

-- the continuity and reception of the Classical Tradition

-- the appropriation of Jewish and Arabic traditions

-- the relation between the tropes and mythemes found in magical prologues and those in other literary genres, such as prophecies and romances

-- the assimilation of philosophical and medical texts

-- the use of the Bible and biblical traditions

-- philological and text-critical studies of magical prologues.

Sponsored by the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence

Contact: Vajra Regan


Two calls for K-Zoo 2020: Fictionality and Belief in Middle English Writing; Encountering the Strange in Early Medieval England

The Harvard Medieval English Colloquium will sponsor two panels this coming May at the 55th Annual Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo. Each of the panels has a "featured speaker": Julie Orlemanski has agreed to give a paper on "Fictionality and Belief in Middle English Writing," and Martin Foys has agreed to give a paper on “Encountering the Strange in Early Medieval England.” 

Fictionality and Belief in Middle English Writing

With Julie Orlemansky

Coleridge's famous phrase "the willing suspension of disbelief" implies that disbelief (i.e., secularity) is a precondition of fictionality. That argument is made explicitly in Catherine Gallagher's well-known article "The Rise of Fictionality"—but it is also often assumed in medieval studies, as fictionality is localized in secular romance and rarely considered in devotional contexts. Where do fictional writing and sincere belief meet, and how do they interact? This panel welcomes papers that investigate the relationship between fictionality and belief from any angle, but which might respond to one or several of the following questions: How are fictionality and religious devotion concatenated together in Middle English writing (e.g., in passion meditations, mystery and miracle plays, Piers Plowman)? How can we distinguish between invention and revelation, artful creation and receptive witness, in dream-visions and visionary writings? How do medieval audiences play with belief and take admittedly fictive claims seriously? And how do the different epistemic demands of fiction and devotion generate friction within particular texts and contexts? This is intended primarily as a Middle English panel, but if you work on similar issues in other times and places of the Middle Ages, we are happy to consider your submission.

Please submit a one-page abstract and PIF (available at to Kathryn Mogk ( by September 15.

Encountering the Strange in Early Medieval England

 With Martin Foyes

From Bede’s accounts of Britain’s originary myths to current scholarly and popular engagements with the Anglo-Saxon past, to encounter early medieval England is to depict or enact strangeness.

Taking Sarah Ahmed’s work on embodied strangeness, queer phenomenology, race, and related approaches as a source of inspiration, this panel welcomes papers that consider the strange in early medieval England.  Ahmed’s work on embodied others, for example, leverages feminist theory and postcolonialism to posit the stranger as an embodied, discursive creation formed not as a manifestation of the distant and unfamiliar, but rather an extension of the self. Similarly, Ahmed’s queer phenomenology productively re-conceptualizes phenomenology as a means of considering the orientation of the body to ideas and objects.  Proposed papers may consider the panel’s theme from any angle, including but not limited to such frameworks as: how cultural and/or social alterity manifests in Anglo-Saxon literature; how early medieval English subjects conceptualize the strange and/or the stranger; the function of strangeness in scholarly method, form, and object; the defamiliar of digitized Old English materials, or the aesthetics of estrangement as a poetic conceit, among others. Following the spirit of Ahmed’s work, paper proposals on race in early medieval England would be particularly welcome and salient.

Note on the selection process: A committee will choose three other panelists for the session by a process of blind review of the abstract submissions. The hope is that the blind review process would provide an unbiased chance for junior faculty, graduate students, and adjuncts to "break in" on a well-attended panel. The panels thus have a double purpose: first, to start a conversation between senior faculty and those whom academic conferences often leave underexposed, and second, to provide a space for dialogue between academics at widely differing stages of the career.

Please submit a one-page abstract and PIF (available at to Joseph Shack ( by September 15.

Leeds 2020: Women and Artistic Production Beyond the Borders of Byzantium

Women and Artistic Production Beyond the Borders of Byzantium

Due date: September 10, 2019

International Medieval Congress / Leeds / 6-9 July 2020


Organizers:  Maria Alessia Rossi, PhD, Index of Medieval Art, Princeton University

              Alice Isabella Sullivan, PhD, Getty/ACLS Postdoctoral Fellow in the History of Art

The ever-shifting borders of the Byzantine Empire and the spiritual power of Eastern Orthodoxy contributed to the development of new visual forms in regions of the Balkan Peninsula and the Carpathian Mountains between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries. The rich art, architecture, and visual culture of these eastern European  regions remain to be fully explored, as do the key roles women played in the transfer of artistic and cultural knowledge, the development of local artistic styles, as well as in the establishment of diplomatic relations and the transformation of identities and ideologies. Women have been frequently overshadowed by powerful husbands, sons, and communities, and too often relegated to the margins of scholarly inquiry. This session explores women and female agency beyond the borders of Byzantium, in light of their roles within marital and inter-dynastic relations, as well as in religious and spiritual dynamics. In efforts to gain new perspectives on the nature of cultural contact and transfer, as well as on visual production in late medieval Eastern Europe as a result of the direct involvement of women, either as patrons, artists, mediators, and/or recipients, this session aims to focus on case studies that examine individual female figures from all walks of life (royal courts, noble families, monastic communities, etc.). Moreover, the session seeks to highlight the significance of prosopography, gender, and network studies in historical and art historical research.


Papers could address topics that include, but are not limited to:

-        The role of women as key agents of cultural contact, transfer, and adaptation of knowledge 

-        Women as patrons, artists, and recipients of art beyond geographical, socio-political, and religious boundaries

-        Instances of art (icons, embroideries, manuscripts, metalwork) and architecture that speak to women, allow for self-identification, and/or established gender roles and norms


Proposals for 20-minute papers in English should include an abstract (300 words max.) and a brief CV (2 pages max.), and should be sent to Alice Isabella Sullivan (aisulli[at] and Maria Alessia Rossi (marossi[at] by September 10, 2019.


This session is organized under the larger initiative North of Byzantium (, which explores the rich history, art, and culture of the northern frontiers of the Byzantine Empire in Eastern Europe between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries.

RSA The Renaissance Society of America CFP

View calls for papers worldwide on topics circa 1300-1700 here.

Bodies in Motion (in the Medieval and Early Modern World)

Ohio State University
Medieval and Renaissance Graduate Student Symposium

September 13, 2019

Numerous scholars in pre-modern fields have been investigating how the human body functioned during these eras, while others have been examining moving bodies in a more ambiguated sense, as in bodies of knowledge or the body politic. Since cultural, social, political, and economic systems are constantly in motion, and peoples, languages, and material situations exist in states of flux, we are interested in exploring questions on how that flux was experienced. How did premodern societies understand the motions and abilities of their physical bodies? For that matter, how were disabled bodies perceived and understood by both disabled and able-bodied alike?

How about trans bodies? What impact did the advancement of newly conceived astronomical systems have on the various classes that received them? How did the development of new political and religious bodies impact movements between stability and upheaval? Other subjects of interest may include but are not limited to:

Cosmic Movement | Nature in Motion | Cultural Exchange | Transforming Identities | Gender Embodiment | Migration | Disabilities | Kinesis | Stasis | Dance | Visual Art | Ekphrasis | Fashion Trends | Music | Textual Transmission | Pre-modern Reception in Subsequent Eras

Abstracts of no more than 250 words and panel proposals should be sent to by Monday, April 1st, 2019. All submissions should include a separate document containing the title of the paper(s) as well as the author’s name, institutional affiliation, and contact information. Chosen participants will be notified by e-mail no later thank April 22, 2019. Presenters should plan to deliver their papers in approximately 20-minute oral presentations.