Category Archives: conference

CFP Gender in Global Medieval Mysticism

Proposals are invited for the conference “Gender in Global Medieval Mysticism”, to be held 20-21 March 2020, Ashoka University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.

Keynote Speakers:

  • Professor Liz Herbert McAvoy, Swansea University
  • Professor Sa’diyya Shaikh, University of Cape Town

The French theorist Luce Irigaray has called mysticism “the only place in the history of the West in which woman speaks and acts so publicly.” This capacity of mysticism to disrupt gender norms and established hierarchies — theological and political — by giving women a public voice extends across geographic regions. In a wide array of religious traditions– Judaism, Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam–pre-modern women established private relationships with the divine. In doing so, they evaded patriarchal spiritual monopolies and laid claim to their own spiritual authority. Mysticism, a spiritual experience often associated with the private and the intimate, thus emerges as a gendered political mode.

While medieval women’s mystical visions differ widely across time, space and religious tradition, we also find striking points of convergence in the ways that women mystic exemplars translate their experience of intimacy with the divine. Early twentieth-century scholarship accounted for such commonalities by presuming a single mystical experience. However, this kind of comparativism has largely been rejected. Given these shifting grounds in comparative studies of mysticism, this conference asks: What are the points of intersection that emerge within studies of mysticism at the site of gender? What kind of dialogues can be forged within and across spiritual traditions, particularly between Europe and South Asia? How might inquiries into gender and mysticism open up political dimensions of mysticism that are often subsumed within the private, and how might they inform us about the entanglement of the public and private within the frameworks of pre-modern gender in the past as well as today?

This conference invites investigations of gender and mysticism in the medieval period that focus on either South Asia or Europe or take a comparative approach. Topics might include the following:

  • Women mystics
  • Theory and mysticism
  • Men speaking as women in mystical writings
  • Gender, Politics, and Mysticism
  • Comparative mysticism
  • Mystic scribes and spiritual authority
  • Mysticism & place
  • Spiritual influence
  • Friendship/Community
  • Mystical authority and political power
  • Queer phenomenology and mysticism
  • Mysticism and the body
  • Gender and South Asian Sufi-bhakti traditions
  • Gender, material culture, and mysticism
  • Mysticism and the vernacular
  • Gender, planetary emergency, and mysticism

Paper abstracts of no more than 250 words, plus one-page CV, should be sent to Abir Bazaz at abir.bazaz@ashoka.edu.in and Alexandra Verini at alexandra.verini@ashoka.edu.in no later than 1 October 2019.

Successful speakers will be notified shortly thereafter, and online pre-registration shall be open in November. Updates regarding the conference schedule, registration and accommodation details will be posted to http://gendermysticismconference.com/.

CFP Pfaff at Fifty: New Devotions and Religious Change in Later Medieval England

Originally published in 1970, Richard W. Pfaff’s New Liturgical Feasts in Later Medieval England
fundamentally changed the way humanities scholars thought and wrote about English religious development in the long fifteenth century. Pfaff asked important questions about the
process by which the new devotions that focused on Christ and the Virgin entered the liturgy in England and how a liturgical feast was ‘promulgated — at all the levels to make it effective — or accepted’. Moreover, he emphasised the gradual pace of liturgical change and its different stages.

Pfaff explored the relationship between liturgical and extra-liturgical devotions; demonstrated the variation in the pace and extent of regional, local and institutional change; and promoted the idea of the push and pull of popular demand for change in place of the traditional notion of
official promulgation from above. Most importantly, even though he was a liturgical scholar with deep, specialised knowledge of the material evidence and an intense insight into the practice of the period, Pfaff opened study of the cultural impact of these devotions to scholars of many adjacent fields. It is in honour of this wide sowing that we now gather, fifty years
on, to reap and to share.

New Liturgical Feasts documented a process of increased elaboration and enhancement in
fifteenth-century English liturgy that would have profoundly impacted the experience of church-
going parishioners throughout the realm. Pfaff saw this as evidence of ‘liturgical vitality’ rather than of ‘an over-complicated and decadent system which was shortly to collapse through its own burdensomeness’ (p. 131). He called for scholars interested in ‘the whole of later medieval spirituality’ to consider both private devotion and ‘what goes on in the church’ (p. 132).

In the five decades since 1970, we have witnessed a very considerable flourishing of research —
conducted across many disciplines — on a wide range of aspects of late medieval religious life.
These include, among others, lay piety, the importance of gender in shaping religious belief and practice, religious observance in parish and cathedral churches, the religious orders, saints’ cults, mysticism, devotional reading, the material culture of religion, and heterodoxy and heresy. Pfaff’s pioneering study opened new pathways and provided a new impetus for scholars to explore religious culture as a whole in all its variety. As a result, fifty years after NLF’s publication, we have a much greater appreciation of the vitality, as well as the complexity, of late medieval religion.

‘Pfaff at Fifty’ will take place at the University of Nottingham, 2-3 July 2020. The conference aims to take stock of the enduring legacy of New Liturgical Feasts by reconsidering the important questions that this touchstone book raised. We invite abstracts that address the themes,  questions, and implications of Pfaff’s book in the light of new research. We encourage submissions from scholars working in any relevant discipline or field, including history, theology, art history, literary studies, archaeology, gender studies, musicology, and manuscript studies.

Please submit abstracts of no more than 300 words and a short biographical note to either of the email addresses listed below by 1 October 2019.

Dr Benjamin Barootes
Pontifical Institute of Mediæval Studies, Toronto
 
Dr Rob Lutton
University of Nottingham
 
The full call for papers can be downloaded below.

CFP How to do things with early modern words

Paper and panel proposals are invited for the conference ‘How to do things with early modern words: Interdisciplinary opportunities, dialogues, perspectives and methodologies’. The conference will take place at Loughborough University, UK, 23-25 April 2020.

2020 will see the publication of the first two volumes of The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Aphra Behn. Editing Aphra Behn’s remarkable oeuvre has involved the collaboration of an international and interdisciplinary team of scholars, drawing on expertise from across the humanities. ‘How to do things with early modern words’, a three-day conference to mark the 350th anniversary of the start of Behn’s public career, aims to celebrate and develop interdisciplinary approaches to early modern studies. Bringing together researchers working in all fields represented within the edition, including literature, history, theatre history, language, and digital humanities, between 1500 and 1750, the conference will explore current, cutting-edge themes, perspectives and methods in scholarship on the early modern world.

Proposals for either individual 20-minute papers or complete panels (comprising 3 or 4 papers) should be submitted to EMWords@gmail.com by 23 September 2019.

Papers which explore interdisciplinary approaches to early modern scholarship, or which address the challenges represented by digital technology, conceptual advances, or new archival discoveries (either within or across disciplines) are especially welcome. We encourage discussions of projects at initial or early stages of development for 10-minute Pecha Kucha presentations, and other formats of presentation and discussion are also invited.

Download (PDF, 237KB)

CFP Romance and the Animal Turn, ICMS 2020 (Kalamazoo)

The animal turn has become hugely influential in medieval scholarship over the last decade. However, the contributions of ecofeminism and queer ecology have often been side-lined. Nevertheless, scholars are increasingly finding these modes of analysis to offer useful ways of exploring the role of the animal in medieval romance texts.

The Medieval Romance Society is hosting three sessions on romance and the animal turn at the 55th International Congress on Medieval Studies 2020, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo. All papers must be presented in English; however, we welcome submissions on romances from any region in the Middle Ages. We invite papers that respond to ecofeminist and queer ecological literary criticism; papers that respond to posthumanist and related philosophical theories; and papers which do not take a theoretical approach.

Session I: Romance and the Animal Turn I: Romance and Ecofeminism

This session welcomes papers looking at representations of gender, masculinity and/or femininity in relation to animals and nature in romance texts. Example topics could include: the role of the horse in chivalric masculinity, animal foster-mothers for human children, or gendered discourses of meat-eating. We particularly encourage papers that respond to contemporary ecofeminist theory, although this is not required.

Session II: Romance and the Animal Turn II: Romance and Queer Ecology

This session invites papers looking at representations of sex and sexuality and/or queer identity in relation to discourses of animals and nature in romance texts. Papers might explore the role of animals in the construction of heteronormative ideologies, queer animals in romance narratives, and species panic. We particularly encourage papers that respond to contemporary theories of queer ecology, although this is not required.

Session III: Romance and the Animal Turn III: Romance and Posthumanism

This session welcomes papers that explore discourses of human and animal identity in romance texts. Example topics could include: the role of the animal in ideologies of race, interspecies hybridity, and animal subjectivity in romance. We particularly encourage papers that respond to contemporary posthumanist theory, although this is not required.

Please send abstracts of up to 300 words to Tim Wingard (tw659@york.ac.uk) by 1 September 2019.

For more information, visit: medievalromanceanimal.wordpress.com

CFP David Nichol Smith Seminar in Eighteenth-Century Studies XVII, Adelaide

Proposals are invited for the David Nichol Smith Seminar in Eighteenth-Century Studies XVII ‘Dark Enlightenments’, to take place 2-4 December 2020 in Adelaide, Australia.

Keynotes: Associate Professor Kate Fullager (Macquarie)
Professor Sasha Handley (Manchester)
Associate Professor Eugenia Zuroski (McMaster)

The Australian and New Zealand Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ANZSECS), Flinders University, and the University of Adelaide invite you to the 17th David Nichol Smith (DNS) Seminar for Eighteenth-Century Studies. Inaugurated in 1966 by the National Library of Australia, the DNS is the leading forum for eighteenth-century studies in Australasia. It brings together scholars from across the region and internationally who work on the long eighteenth century in a range of disciplines, including history, literature, art and architectural history, philosophy, theology, the history of science, musicology, anthropology, archaeology and studies of material culture.

The theme for this conference is ‘Dark Enlightenments.’ We ask delegates to consider the dark, shadowy aspects of enlightenment processes of the eighteenth century. When broadly conceived, the theme is open to numerous up-to-the-minute, interdisciplinary possibilities, including (for example):

  • the dark side of the public sphere, such as expressed in satire and polemic;
  • Empire and enlightenment;
  • critiques of empathy and humanitarianism;
  • negative emotions;
  • crime, conflict and violence;
  • the use and abuse of the past;
  • progress and ethics (political, social, scientific);
  • war;
  • romanticising death;
  • the Gothic;
  • the numinous eighteenth century;
  • the transformation of night-time;
  • developments in notions of privacy, secrecy and the hidden self;
  • the “shady” moralities of libertinism;
  • the aesthetics of darkness and light.

This, we believe, is a particularly timely theme, partly owing to the nationalist turn in global politics, and the recent controversy stirred in Australia by the proposed Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation. It offers both sides of the political spectrum the opportunity to interrogate and fully understand the costs, benefits, and legacies of eighteenth-century “progress.” It is also a theme designed to emphasise the Enlightenment in its moral complexity and richness, and the wide range of domains (from the everyday to philosophical thought) that contributed to its production.

We also welcome papers for subjects that fall outside the main conference theme.

Proposals for 20-minute papers should consist of a title, 250-word abstract, and short bio sent via email as a pdf attachment to DNS2020@flinders.edu.au.

We also accept proposals for panels of three papers, which should include all the above for each presenter, a panel title, and if possible, the name and short bio of the panel chair.

Deadlines for submissions:

For early deliberation: 1 November 2019.
A first round of acceptances will be made shortly after this date to facilitate international attendance.

Final deadline: 1 March 2020

For further details, please consult the conference website: https://dnsxvii2020.wordpress.com/

CFP Australia and New Zealand Law and History Society Conference

The 38th Annual Conference of the Australia and New Zealand Law and History Society will be held on 11-14 December 2019 at Victoria University College of Law & Justice, Melbourne, Australia. The conference theme is Does Law’s History Matter? The Politics of our Disciplinary Practices.

Writing law’s history has long been understood as a purposeful practice, both necessary and never complete, as the eminent British historian F.W. Maitland noted more than a century ago. Today with the flourishing of imperial and postcolonial scholarship, Maitland’s advocacy of researching law’s past prompts renewed attention to the progenitors, methods and politics of our disciplinary practices. The imperative of capturing and presenting that knowledge seems greater than ever before. Yet for those of us engaged in historical study it can often appear that what we do, and why we do it, is not always well recognised or as valued as it should be. Simultaneously, questions abound about the implications of our practice and its political impact or purpose.

For this conference, we invite those who bring an historical perspective on law to consider together the many ways our work has in the past, and continues into the future, to matter. For example: what is the politics in our chosen methods, or the value in our choice of subject matter? Does it matter how we present and produce work for different audiences (court, academy, or public), or has it mattered in the past? Does it matter to the reception of our work what sources we find and why we use them? And does it matter with whom we write; and whose laws, and experiences of law, we write about? What can we learn from critical study, however incomplete? This historical perspective on law is broadly defined – and includes those who position law in a temporal frame, who write legal history or histories of laws, lawmaking, legal ideas, jurisprudence, jurisdiction or legal institutions and their personnel.

On behalf of ANZLHS, the Conference Organizing Committee cordially invites papers on this theme from any period, geographical area, and from all disciplines – including but not limited to law, history, indigenous studies, environmental studies, legal theory, and gender studies. Please note presenters must be members of ANZLHS before their paper is accepted; and all presenters are invited to submit their papers after the conference to the ANZLHS journal, law&history.

Conference website: https://www.deakin.edu.au/about-deakin/events/2019-anzlhs-conference.

Proposals for papers/panels:

Please email proposals for either individual papers (20 mins) or panels of 3-4 speakers or both to anzlhs2019@deakin.edu.au by 21 July 2019.

Individual paper proposals must include an abstract (no more than 300 words) and a biographical statement (no more than 100 words). Panel proposals should include the above, plus a title and brief rationale for the panel as a whole (no more than 300 words) .
Note: All presenters must be financial members of the Australia and New Zealand Law and History Society for 2019. Please go to the ANZLHS website to register or renew your membership: https://anzlhs.org/.

Kercher Scholarships

Details can be found at https://anzlhs.org/prizes-and-scholarships/kercher-scholarships/. Please email applications to the Conference Convenor, Dr Jason Taliadoros at jason.taliadoros@deakin.edu.au by 31 August 2019.

CFP Carving Out Space for the History of Emotions

The call for papers is open for Carving out a Space for the History of Emotions, to be held at UCD Humanities Institute, Dublin, Ireland on 18 January 2020.

Deadline for submission: 16 September 2019

Funded by an Irish Research Council (IRC) New Foundations Award and organised in collaboration with the Architecture and Narrative Project, the UCD Centre for the History of Medicine and the UCD Humanities Institute.

Invited Speakers: Dr. Tiffany Watt-Smith, Prof. Dr. Margrit Pernau, and Dr. Rob Boddice

Since the 1980s, historians have developed a number of methodologies in the process of what Rob Boddice has called “carving out a space in which the history of emotions can exist.” The history of emotions is now one of the main preoccupations of the humanities, so much so that some have declared a ‘turn to emotions.’ This one-day conference aims to highlight the main trends and approaches in the history of emotions, demonstrating, above all, what the history of emotions is and is not. In doing so, it hopes to support the research that is being undertaken in Ireland on the history of emotions while also facilitating future developments. Submissions should address methodologies on topics including, but not limited, to:

  • Built environment and Emotions
  • Emotions, Disease and Health
  • Emotions and Childhood
  • Emotions and War
  • Emotions and Reform
  • Gender, Sexuality, and Emotions
  • Objects and Emotions
  • Affective Dimensions of Source Materials

Scholars from various disciplines and papers on any place/period are welcome. We accept proposals for individual papers, themed sessions, and round tables.

Individual paper sessions will consist of 3 papers, each of which will be presented within 20 minutes. Submissions should include: 1) An abstract of no more than 250 words; 2) A short biography of no more than 100 words including contact information.

Themed sessions will consist of 3 papers, each of which will be presented within 20 minutes. Submissions should include: 1) A 300-word rationale for the session as a whole; 2) An abstract of no more than 250 words for each contributor; 3) A short biography of no more than 100 words for each contributor including contact information.

Round table sessions will consist of 4 papers, each of which will be presented within 10 minutes. Round table sessions will provide an opportunity for researchers to present and discuss work in progress, especially, regarding methodologies. Submissions should include: 1) An abstract of no more than 250 words; 2) A short biography of no more than 100 words including contact information.

Submissions should be sent by 16 September 2019 to Dr. Sara Honarmand Ebrahimi at irelandforthehistoryofemotions@gmail.com.

You will be informed by 31 October 2019 whether your submission has been accepted.

About: The Carving out a Space for the History of Emotions conference is organized as part of the event series “Worrying about the Field of the History of Emotions in Ireland.” The events have been funded by an Irish Research Council New Foundations award and is a collaboration between the Architecture and Narrative project, the UCD Centre for the History of Medicine and the UCD Humanities Institute.

For more information about the events visit https://carvingemotionshistory2019.wordpress.com

CFP Performing Power in the Premodern World

Submissions are invited for Performing Power in the Premodern World, a one-day, interdisciplinary conference to be held at University of Warwick, 9 November 2019.

Keynote Speaker: Dr Naomi Pullin (University of Warwick)
‘The Power of the Light: Quaker Women’s Negotiations of Power and Authority in the Early Modern British Atlantic’

In Shakespeare’s Henry V, a disguised king mingles with his soldiers at Agincourt. Hearing criticism of his actions, he claims ‘the king is but a man, as I am’. Then, when he is alone, he soliloquises, asking ‘what have kings, that privates have not too, / Save ceremony, save general ceremony?’ These lines acknowledge that power and performance have always been interlinked. Monarchy has always had a performative aspect, and the ruled have responded in kind with their own performances. Whole genres of entertainment and performance, as well as specific discourses and conventions, were devised to allow the performance of power to be beneficial to, and understood by, both the ruler and the ruled. Recent scholarship has begun to expand the dramatic canon to include these genres of performance, and scholars have increasingly focused on the duality of power, emphasising the role of the ruled in perpetuating the ruler’s power. Performing Power in the Premodern World aims to expand this conversation.

Proposals are therefore invited for 20-minute papers that deal with the intersection of power and performance in the premodern world. Topics could include, but are not limited to:

  • Court entertainments, including plays and masques;
  • Royal progresses, pageants, entertainments, and tours;
  • Coronations, royal weddings, royal funerals, and other religio-political events;
  • Methods of counsel;
  • Public speeches by monarchs, politicians, and courtiers (especially those that were later published);
  • Plays that depict power and authority;
  • Publicity, fame, celebrity, and power;
  • Broadside ballads and other forms of popular critique;
  • Print culture, cheap print, newsbooks, and other forms of commentary;
  • Patronage and sponsorship;
  • Royal art, architecture, and costuming/fashion;
  • Medallions, and commemorative souvenirs;
  • Performativity and power.

While our temporal parameters stretch from antiquity to the end of the eighteenth century, we have no geographical limits. We are also interested in modern performances that adapt, or interact with, these premodern examples.

Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words for presentations of 20 minutes and biographies of no more than 100 words to aidannorrie@gmail.com and sophie.l.shorland@gmail.com by 30 August 2019.

The convenors intend to submit a proposal for a special issue of the Royal Studies Journal on ‘Performing Royal Power’, consisting of papers from the conference that focus on performances of royal and monarchical power (and responses to these).

Download (PDF, 75KB)

CFP SMFS sessions at Southeastern Medieval Association Conference

The Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship is seeking abstracts for papers to be delivered in two SMFS-sponsored sessions at the Southeastern Medieval Association Conference, which will convene in Greensboro, North Caroliina 14-16 November, 2019.

Please submit an abstract of 300 words plus a brief bio by 3 June, 2019. (Please note that the sessions are contingent upon conference organizers’ approval, although we have an excellent track record of having our sessions accepted at this conference.)

Contact: Melissa Ridley Elmes, MElmes@lindenwood.edu

Session 1: Sex, Gender, and Violence on the Premodern Stage

This session seeks 15-20 minute papers discussing any aspect of gender and violence as they relate to premodern dramatic texts and/or staging practices. We encourage papers from any discipline and/ or theoretical approach. We are particularly interested in papers examining female/women characters and violence in medieval drama, which is profoundly understudied, but will also happily consider abstracts for papers dealing with masculinities and/or queerness, and papers examining early modern drama.

Session 2: Women and Medicine in the Medieval World

This session seeks 15-20 minute papers on the topic of “women and medicine in the medieval world.” This subject can be construed broadly as women working in a variety of medical practices, or medical practices involving or focused on women, or the writing about and/or theoretical considerations of either, or how women and medicine are depicted in medieval literature, or research on gender and disease, or visual depictions of women and medicine/ medical practices, and similar. We encourage papers from any discipline, and are especially interested in research that engages with the subject of women and medicine, or what we might term “health sciences,” today, from a non-Western or comparative viewpoint although of course any strong proposal will be considered.

CFP Histories of Death: An International Symposium

Histories of Death: An International Symposium will take place at the University of Turku, Finland, February 19–21, 2020.

Our understandings of death come with long and complex histories, shaped by culture, place, time, power, and identities. Historical analysis allows us to better understand the paths that have led to the recent move toward “death positivity,” and the popularity of death doulas, “death cafes,” alternative and ecological burial solutions, and new understandings of grief. The interdisciplinary and rapidly growing field of Death Studies raises awareness about how we die and mourn, and the ways social factors – class, migrant background, and gender, among them – can result in unequal access to “good death” in many countries and communities today. This International Symposium seeks to delve into the many varied and interwoven Histories of Death to further explore the traditions, ideologies, and institutions that shape our experiences with death.

Death sets people into action, caring for the dying, the deceased, and the grieving in ways that range from the intimate to the professional. The Histories of Death Symposium invites researchers to share their work and engage in dialogue about the different ways people have approached dying, death, and mourning from everyday, cultural, and structural perspectives. The symposium calls for papers, posters, and creative works that may analyze:

  • the social and everyday histories of death
  • histories of death in the context of migration(s)
  • narratives and/or life writing of death and mourning
  • histories of emotion and mourning
  • sensory and corporeal histories of death and mourning
  • childhood and family histories of death
  • health, gerontological, and palliative care histories
  • art and craftwork in histories of death
  • methods and ethics for the study of death in history

Proposals across times and places are welcome. Though the focus is on death and mourning in historical contexts, the symposium is particularly interested in exploring inter/transdisciplinary approaches, and scholars from all backgrounds are welcome to participate.

Please email abstracts of 250 words, indicating whether you are proposing a paper presentation, poster presentations, or creative work, together with a max. 150-word bio, including name, institutional affiliation and position, and email address, to historiesofdeath@gmail.com by 15 August, 2019.

Information about registration, plenary speakers, travel, and accommodation will be posted shortly on the Symposium website.

The Symposium is hosted by the John Morton Center for North American Studies at the University of Turku’s Department of Philosophy, Political Science, and Contemporary History. The Symposium in funded by the Academy of Finland.