Category Archives: lecture

Dr Diane Hall, The University of Melbourne Early Modern Circle Talk

The University of Melbourne, Early Modern Circle Public Lecture:

“Gender and Negotiating the Conclusion of Sieges in Early Modern Ireland”, Dr Diane Hall (Victoria University, Melbourne)

Date: 19 June, 2017
Time: 6:15pm
Venue: North Theatre, Old Arts, The University of Melbourne

The Early Modern Circle is an informal, interdisciplinary seminar group open to interested students, academics and researchers. Drinks are provided and a gold coin donation helps to make this possible.

This paper will analyse how women and men interacted with the complex and often opaque negotiations surrounding the conclusion of sieges during the period 1640s and 50s in Ireland. The paper will use the documents known as the “1641 Depositions”, the records of the trials of rebels in the High Court in 1652/3, the petitions for compensation as well as contemporary narrative descriptions. Sieges often involved non-combatants and there is a large body of contemporary evidence by and about women in these circumstances. There has been interesting scholarly attention paid to women who led the defence of their homes in the absence of their husbands, such as Lady Elizabeth Dowdall and Lettice Digby, Baroness of Offaly. Less attention has been paid to women who had lesser roles in sieges. These women are however often described as intervening in the decisions to seek quarter and to evacuate castles after defences were beaten, such as Martha Piggott of Dysart castle who described how she begged her husband John to seek quarter as it became clear that the castle was being overrun by Confederate forces. Emotive language used when seeking quarter or ending sieges was inflected by gender as well as class and military position. In the murky legal contexts of the conclusion of sieges, women and men occupied different positions, which could be used rhetorically to justifying actions such as seeking quarter or not fulfilling articles of quarter.

Dr Dianne Hall is Senior Lecturer in History at Victoria University, Melbourne. She has published widely on the histories of violence, gender, religion, race and emotion in medieval and early modern Ireland and the nineteenth century Irish diaspora. She is currently working on a monograph with Prof. Elizabeth Malcolm on gender and violence in Ireland from 1200 to 1900. She has held post doctoral research fellowships in the School of History at University of Melbourne and School of Geography, Queen’s University, Belfast before joining Victoria University.

Prof. Constant J Mews, The University of Melbourne Medieval Round Table Talk

The University of Melbourne: Medieval Round Table

“Abelard, Heloise and the Cistercians on Love: Vauluisant and the Paraclete Between History and Legend”, Prof. Constant J Mews (Director, Centre for Religious Studies, Monash University)

Date: 5 June, 2017
Time: 6:15 pm
Venue: North Theatre, first floor, Old Arts, The University of Melbourne

The Medieval Round Table is an informal discussion group open to interested students, academics and independent scholars. The Round Table meets monthly, usually on the first Monday of the month for presentations of papers, discussions of participants’ work in progress, discussions of readings etc.

Abelard, Heloise and Bernard of Clairvaux are three of the most well-known personalities of the twelfth century, identified with three of the most important developments of their age: scholasticism, love and monastic renewal. The persistant antagonism between conflict between Abelard and Bernard tends to mean that Heloise is marginalized as a figure, imagined as someone imprisoned within religious life rather, rather than as the innovative abbess of a religious community. I argue that there were close connections between the Paraclete under Heloise and the nearby Cistercian abbey of Vauluisant, founded in 1127, just two years before Abelard transferred control of the Paraclete to Heloise. While Heloise is often imagined as loyal to the memory of Peter Abelard, she combined certain of his ideas with those of the Cistercians, bringing together at the Paraclete two distinction visions of religious renewal. The fact that the love letters which Heloise and Abelard exchanged at the time of their affair should be preserved in the library of Clairvaux may not be as surprising as it first seems.

Dr Toby Burrows, Lecture @ WA Branch of Australian Society of Archivists

“Computing the History of Cultural Heritage Collections”, Dr Toby Burrows (Library Manager – Research Publication and Data Services, University of Western Australia)

Date: Tuesday, 30 May 2017
Time: 4:00PM – 6:00 PM
Venue: State Records Office of Western Australia, James Street, Perth
Registrations: Please register through the ASA website to help with planning for this event:
Cost: No charge for ASA members, gold coin donation for others on the day

This presentation will focus on the re-use of data relating to collections in libraries, museums and archives to address research questions in the humanities. Large-scale research into the history and characteristics of cultural heritage materials is heavily dependent on the availability of collections data in appropriate formats. Until recently, this kind of research has been seriously limited by lack of access to suitable data. The speaker will be discussing four major projects. The first two relate to medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, and involve using data from a range of digital and non-digital sources to reconstruct the histories of large numbers of manuscripts, both from the collection of Sir Thomas Phillipps and more generally. For the third project, “Collecting the West”, I am working with the British Museum to evaluate their ResearchSpace software, which is designed to integrate heterogeneous collection data into a cultural heritage knowledge graph. The final project is HuNI – the Humanities Networked Infrastructure – which is endeavouring to build a “virtual laboratory” for the humanities by reshaping collections data into semantic information networks.

Toby Burrows’ research interests focus on the history of cultural heritage collections and the use of digital humanities techniques and methodologies. He has held research fellowships at King’s College London, Churchill College Cambridge and the Free University in Amsterdam. Come and hear Toby Burrows before he heads off to UK in June.

James Shapiro: The Year of Lear @ Sydney Writers’ Festival 2017

James Shapiro, “The Year of Lear” @ Sydney Writers’ Festival 2017

Date: Friday 26 May, 2017
Time: 1:30pm
Venue: Roslyn Packer Theatre, Sydney
Tickets: Full $30; Concession $25. Book at:

James Shapiro is one of the world’s leading experts on Shakespeare. His latest book on the great Bard, 1606: The Year of Lear was listed among the best books of 2016 by The Wall Street Journal, The Times Supplement and The Guardian. He speaks with Tom Wright about 1606: the year that produced King Lear, Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra. In James’ deft hands, quantities of research become a brisk and animated history, as he illuminates Shakespeare’s bursts of creativity against the backdrop of a ‘troubled national mood’.

ANU HRC Seminar Series: Two Seminars of Interest

ANU HRC Seminar Series (Semester 1, 2017)

“‘Whites, Blacks & Tawney’: Perceptions of Native Americans in the Early Modern Anglo-Atlantic”, Dr Mark Dawson (Australian National University)

23 May, 2017
Time: 4:30pm–5:45pm
Venue: Seminar room 1 (3rd Floor of the Sir Roland Wilson Building), Australian National University, Canberra
More info:

“Before Race Mattered. Ethnic Prejudice in the French Empire, c. 1635—1767”, Dr Melanie Lamotte (Cambridge University)

Date: 6 June, 2017
Time: 4:30pm–5.45pm
Venue: Seminar room 2/3 (3rd Floor of the Sir Roland Wilson Building), Australian National University, Canberra
More info:

2017 Conference of the Society For The Study Of Early Christianity – Registration Now Open

Apostles And The Churches They Founded: History, Tradition And Legend
2017 Conference of the Society For The Study Of Early Christianity (SSEC) within the Ancient Cultures Research Centre, Macquarie University
Robert Menzies College, Trinity Chapel
Saturday 6 May 2017

Conference Website

Enquiries: Karyn Young or Professor Alanna Nobbs (SSEC Office (02) 9850-7512, Email:

Conference Programme:

Register for the Conference:

Note: There is no parking at the venue. Paid parking is available at Macquarie Uni and Macquarie Shopping Centre. Some parking is available in the streets nearby. We suggest you travel by train to the Macquarie University railway station or use other public transport eg. Government bus. If you require a disabled parking space, please contact us by email or phone.
Note: receipts will be sent via email to keep costs down. Paper receipts will be available at the conference registration desk.
Note: Limited places, we will take the first 120 registrations received at the SSEC office.

2017 Conference Curtain Raiser
Date: Thursday 4 May 2017
Time: 7:05pm
Venue: Ancient Cultures Research Centre, W6A-308
Speaker: Dr Geoffrey Dunn (ACU), SSEC visiting fellow
Topic: “Peter in Rome: The Papal Reimagining of a Scriptural Tradition”

The presence of Peter in Rome is not attested to in the New Testament. It is consistently asserted or presumed however, in early Christian literature, from 1 Clement and Ignatius of Antioch, and from the interpretation of archaeological evidence in the necropolis under St Peter’s Basilica.

While the literary tradition for Peter’s presence in Rome seems as unassailable and trustworthy as any ancient literary evidence can be, it does not answer the question of Peter’s precise role in Rome and its ongoing significance. This would come to be asserted in episcopal letters from Roman bishops in later centuries.

“Shakespeare & the Arts in the 21st Century” Talk @ ‘Outside the Square’ Panel Series

To Be Or Not To Be? How to Be Cultured: Shakespeare & the Arts in the 21st Century

Date: Thursday, 31 August, 2017
Time: 6:00pm – 8:30pm
Venue: Chippendale’s Creative Precinct
Register: Cost: $20 alumni; $15 student; $25 friend. For more info and to register:

  • Dr Huw Griffiths – Senior Lecturer in the Department of English
  • Kip Williams – Artistic Director of the Sydney Theatre Company
  • Alana Valentine – Playwright
  • …and more TBA

The 400 year anniversary of Shakespeare’s death was celebrated by many in 2016.
But will he be celebrated with the same passion in 2116?

The Bard’s relevance or decline – like that of the arts more generally – continues to be hotly debated. What is the point of reading or performing Shakespeare in 2017? How might theatre survive in a world where our culture is no longer determined by traditional art-forms? With the multitude of digital distractions jostling for our attention today, will we continue to attend the theatre, let alone Shakespeare, tomorrow? Really?

Join us for a frank discussion that will include some of our sharpest Shakespeare scholars and one of the country’s most acclaimed theatre directors.

Rare Bites: Rare Books Lunchtime Talks @ University of Sydney

Rare Bites is a series of informal and entertaining 30 minute lunchtime talks held monthly during semester in 2017 and beyond. If you want to learn about some of the treasures and lesser-known gems within Rare Books & Special Collections at the University Library, this is your opportunity. Audience attendance is free for all.

Bring your lunch and be entertained, informed and inspired – all welcome, no need to register or RSVP.

For more information, please visit:

Prof. Christophe Erismann, SSEC Evening Lecture @ Macquarie University

SSEC Evening Lecture:

“Philosophy and Theology in Byzantium before 1204”, Professor Christophe Erismann (Institute for Byzantine Studies, University of Vienna)

Date: Tuesday 4 April, 2017
Time: 7:05pm
Venue: W6A 308 (Doc centre), Macquarie University
Cost: members $5; alumni $7; non members $8

Hosted by Dr Ken Parry. Further information from

Professor Christophe Erismann is from the Institute for Byzantine Studies, University of Vienna. His research focuses on the reception of Greek logic (mainly Aristotle’s Categories and Porphyry’s Isagoge) in late ancient, Patristic, and early medieval philosophy. He has published on the problem of universals, individuality, causality, and relation. He is the author of L’homme commun: la genèse du réalisme ontologique durant le haut Moyen ge (Paris 2011).

Global Middle Ages Faculty Research Group @ The University of Sydney – 2017 Seminar Program

The Global Middle Ages Faculty Research Group emerged out of the research interests of a dynamic group of academics at The University of Sydney who are working on the medieval and early modern period from a non-Eurocentric perspective. Our group is especially interested in studying the cultural productions and material conditions of a number of different Medieval and Early Modern empires and civilizations, as well as in exploring the historical, economic, intellectual, religious interactions and exchanges between them and Europe.

The seminar series takes place in Kevin Lee Room in the Quadrangle A14:


For a full list of abstracts please go to the Global Middle Ages in Sydney website:

Wednesday 29 March 2017
Dr Mark Strange (ANU, College of Asia and the Pacific)
“Historical Method in Eleventh-Century China”

Wednesday, 26 April 2017
Dr James Kane (FASS-SLAM, Department of English, University of Sydney)
“Criminal crusaders? The yellow cross of penance and the punishment of heresy in thirteenth-century Occitania”

Monday, 15 May 2017

Prof Constant J. Mews (Monash University)
“Rethinking Religious History in Global Perspective: Songlines, Sacred Stories and Theologies”

Wednesday, 30 August 2017
Dr Michael Abraham-Sprod (FASS-SLC, Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies)
“Sanctifying God’s Name: The Ethos of Jewish Martyrdom in Medieval Ashkenaz (Germany)”

Wednesday, 20 September 2017
Prof Anne Dunlop (University of Melbourne)
“Mongol Eurasia and Cangrande’s Silk Suit”

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Prof Dominique Barbe (University of Noumea, New Caledonia)
“Oceania in the Middle Ages: A Connected World”