Category Archives: conference

CFP 2019 Conference: The Body and Politics

Cambridge Graduate Studies in Political Thought and Intellectual History invite proposals for the 2019 Conference: The Body and Politics, to be held at the University of Cambridge, 18-19 March, 2019.

Keynote speaker: Dr Anna Becker (University of Copenhagen)

The relationship between the body and politics has long been a central concern of political thought. The ‘body politic’ and ‘person of the state’ are core metaphors of European political theory. Understandings of the body have been used to delimit the sphere of political action, distinguishing human politics from sacred and animal relations, and excluding bodies through constructions of race, gender, and class; but the body has also been used to disrupt that sphere, from bodily obstruction as a form of defiance, to the invocation of bodily security as a justification for resistance.

In the latter half of the twentieth century, through explorations of ‘the King’s two bodies’ and legal and artificial persons, historians of political thought, from Ernst Kantorowicz to Quentin Skinner, sought to unpack the complex interactions between metaphors of the body, authority, and sovereignty from the medieval period to the modern. Meanwhile, Michel Foucault influentially redrew the relationship between the body, power and politics, interpreting the history of modern states through the emergence of ‘biopolitics’. Theorists and historians alike increasingly reflected on the connections between the exercise of state and imperial power, and gendered and racial constructions of the body.

Yet, for all its importance, the body has rarely been accorded the central consideration in historical thinking about politics it so clearly demands; it remains possible to insist, as Diana Coole has,the body has been widely neglected in political thought’. The work of our keynote speaker, Dr Anna Becker, on the gendered body in early modern political thought, suggests a powerful research agenda for future intellectual history to consider the multifaceted ways in which the body can be read into, and through, the political.

This conference encourages graduate researchers to take up this agenda, centering the body – human, animal, sacred, and political – in histories of political thought and scholarship. In thinking through the complex relation between the body and politics, participants are welcome to draw on insights from political thought and intellectual history, gender and post-colonial history, cultural history, and the history of science.

Submissions are invited on topics including, but not limited to:

  • Bodily metaphors in the history of political thought
  • Legal bodies: corpus and persona
  • Science, the body, and the politics of race and gender
  • Humans, animals, and the limits of the political
  • The body as a source of religious and scholarly controversy: ‘the body of Christ’ in the Eucharist; the corporeal resurrection; the nature of the Incarnation
  • Saintly relics, state funerals and the body in political memory
  • Biopolitics and the government of populations and territories
  • The body and laws of war: human shields, body counts and torture
  • The politics of medicine and the working of the body
  • Bodies on the move: refugees, migrants and statelessness
  • Free bodies and enslaved bodies
  • Planetary bodies and ideas of the universe

Interested doctoral students should send a short abstract (max. 500 words) and a brief CV (max. 2 pages) to the conveners, Hester van Hensbergen (hcv23@cam.ac.uk) and Eloise Davies (emmd2@cam.ac.uk).

The deadline for proposals is 31 October 2018.  

CFP 20th Australasian Association for Byzantine Studies Conference: Dissidence and Persecution in Byzantium

Paper and panel proposals are invited for the 20th Australasian Association for Byzantine Studies Conference: Dissidence and Persecution in Byzantium to be held at Macquarie University, Sydney, 19-21 July, 2019.

Keynote speakers:

Professor David Olster (University of Kentucky), speaking on ‘The Idolatry of the Jews and the Anti-Judaizing Roots of Seventh- and Early Eighth-Century Iconoclasm’

Associate Professor Jitse Dijkstra (University of Ottawa)

The Byzantine empire was rarely a stable and harmonious state during its long and eventful history. It was often in strife with those outside its borders and with those within them, and with so much power invested in its political and ecclesiastical structures it was ready to implode at times. This could result in persecution and the silencing of dissident voices from various quarters of society. The mechanisms by which the authorities controlled civil disorder and dissent, as well as discouraging criticism of imperial policies, could be brutal at times. In what sense was it possible, if at all, to enjoy freedom of speech and action in Byzantium? Was the law upheld or ignored when vested interests were at stake? How vulnerable did minorities feel and how conformist was religious belief at the end of the day? The theme of the conference aims to encourage discussion on a number fronts relating to the use and abuse of power within the history of Byzantium.

Individual papers of 20 mins or panels (3 papers) will be accepted on the following or related themes:

  • The rhetoric of persecution in hagiography and historiography
  • Monastic dissidence and dissidents
  • The persecution of minorities
  • Dissension in the military
  • Imperial usurpation and sedition
  • Discourses of violence and tyranny in literature
  • Popular uprisings and civil disobedience
  • Satire and literary subversion
  • Laws relating to prosecution and capital punishment
  • Depictions of persecution in Byzantine art
  • Slavery and manumission
  • The forced baptism of Jews and others
  • Heresy and the imposition of religious orthodoxy
  • The suppression and oppression of women
  • Persecution of philosophers and other intellectuals
  • Anti-pagan policies
  • Forced migrations and resettlements – Manichaeans and Paulicians
  • The liturgical celebration of martyrdom

Abstracts of 500 words should be emailed to the President of AABS, Dr Ken Parry: conference@aabs.org.au by the due date of 7 January 2019.

Panel convenors should outline briefly their theme (100 words), and (a) add all three abstracts to their application, or (b) list the three speakers on their panel with their own abstract, plus (c) nominate a chairperson. Panelists should indicate clearly the title of their proposed panel if submitting their abstracts individually.

Acceptances will be advised by 25 January 2019.

For further information, please see the conference website http://www.aabs.org.au/conferences/20th/

CFP International Association for the Study of Environment, Space and Place

Proposals are invited for the 15th annual IASESP (International Association for the Study of Environment, Space and Place) conference, to be held at Liverpool John Moores University, 24 – 26 April, 2019. The conference theme is ‘Spaces and Places on the Edge: Margins, Borders, and Thresholds’

Place or space identified as on the edge is often the result of a judgment from the center. But it is also along the edges that one can shape or define the center. Edge and center are clearly relational and dynamic. What is a liminal space from one perspective can be the center from another vantage point. A border or frontier can be a boundary defining a space, a frame, or a threshold to a different environment, a gateway. It can be a physical or virtual space as well as a psychological or emotional state. Where is the edge? Borders circumscribe or limit space but they also are zones of contact. How does one distinguish between a border and a threshold? How do people experience edges, borders, and thresholds (alarm, excitement, indifference)?

This interdisciplinary conference will explore questions related to spaces and places on the edge spatially, socially, politically, and metaphorically.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Barriers/perimeters
  • Borderland(s)
  • Boundaries
  • Buffers/buffer zones
  • Coastlines
  • Dialectic of center and periphery, metropole and frontier
  • Ecotones/ecoclines
  • Extinction thresholds
  • Fringe areas/movements
  • Frontiers
  • Horizons
  • Interstices
  • Liminality
  • Marshes
  • Mapping the edges
  • Marginalia
  • Marginalized people or places
  • Midrash or Tafsir
  • Natural or manmade borders
  • Phenomenology of edges
  • Suburbs
  • Thresholds

Please send an abstract and brief CV by 15 February 2019 to Troy Paddock, paddockt1@southernct.edu

CFP 40th Annual Medieval and Renaissance Forum

Proposals are invited for the 40th Medieval and Renaissance Forum: Listening and Learning in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, which will take place on 12 and 13 April, 2019 at Keene State College in Keene, New Hampshire. 

We welcome abstracts (one page or less) or panel proposals that discuss music and other aural experiences in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Papers and sessions, however, need not be confined to this theme but may cover other aspects of medieval and Renaissance life, literature, languages, art, philosophy, theology, history, and music.

This year’s keynote speaker is Margot Fassler, Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Music History and Liturgy at the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Fassler is a music historian who gives the liturgy and its performance primary emphasis in her scholarly publications and her teaching. Her scholarship profoundly elucidates the connections between texts and music. Her 2014 book, Music in the Medieval West and its accompanying anthology (Norton) are now standard introductions to medieval music. Fassler’s many books, edited volumes, and articles focus on the Latin Middle Ages from around 800-1300, but she also has strong interests in contemporary sacred music and ritual, and in American song, singers, and song collections. She is currently writing a book on Hildegard of Bingen. Fassler is also a documentary filmmaker focusing on communities of song. She recently finished (with Christian Jara) the short documentary Where the Hudson Meets the Nile: Coptic Chant in Jersey City.

Students, faculty, and independent scholars are welcome. Please indicate your status (undergraduate, graduate, or faculty), affiliation (if relevant), and full contact information, including email address on your proposal.

We welcome undergraduate sessions, but ask that students obtain a faculty member’s approval and sponsorship.  

Please submit abstracts, audio/visual needs, and full contact information to Dr. Robert G. Sullivan, Assistant Forum Director at sullivan@german.umass.edu.

Abstract deadline: 15 January, 2019

Presenters and early registration from 15 March, 2019.

CFP Perdition Catch My Soul: Shakespeare, Hell and Damnation

This one-day symposium will be held at Shakespeare’s Globe, London on 8 December 2018. The symposium will examine the dramatization of early modern philosophies of hell and damnation. We will ask how Renaissance drama explored the hazards of judgement, damnation, and perdition. What did playwrights think it meant to sell one’s soul to the devil? What was their definition of sin? What role did the devil play in theatre – and in people’s everyday lives?

Papers are invited on (but not limited to) topics such as: hell, damnation, sin, the devil, the demonic, Satan, witchcraft, the supernatural, prophecy, theological disputes.

Proposals for 20-minute papers should be sent to research@shakespearesglobe.com by 15 October 2018.

For further information, see http://www.shakespearesglobe.com/whats-on-2018/shakespeare-hell-and-damnation

CFP Shakespeare FuturEd conference

Shakespeare FuturEd is an international conference exploring the nexus of Shakespeare Studies and Education to be held at the University of Sydney on 1 and 2 February 2019. 

We are seeking proposals for papers, panels and workshops that interrogate and experiment with new directions in Shakespeare pedagogy in theory and practice. We welcome proposals from primary and secondary teachers, tertiary educators, researchers, theatre practitioners, and anyone with an interest in Shakespeare and education.

What does Shakespeare education look like now? Where is it headed? What are its accepted norms and critical problems? How is it theorised? How does Shakespeare education manifest in institutions such as schools and universities? How is it performed by theatre companies and community organisations? How is it affected and transformed by digital, virtual and blended learning initiatives and contexts? What is the role played by collaborative educational projects and informal learning environments? How does present Shakespeare education—its theory, practice and needs—relate to imagined or experimental futures for education?

Keynote speakers:

Catherine Beavis, Professor, Curriculum, Pedagogy, Assessment and Digital Learning, and Deputy Director, REDI: Research for Educational Impact, Deakin University

Joanna Erskine, Head of Education, Bell Shakespeare

Laura Turchi, Assistant Professor of Education, University of Houston

Find out more about the CFP here. Ready to register? Registration is free and available via this link.

CFP Speaking Internationally: Women’s Literary Culture and the Canon in the Global Middle Ages

Paper proposals are invited for this international conference to be held at Bangor University, North Wales, 26-28 June, 2019. ‘This conference is the latest event in association with the International Research Network, Women’s Literary Culture and the Medieval Canon  (https://www.surrey.ac.uk/womens-literary-culture-medieval-canon).

Keynote Speakers:

Jonathan Hsy, The George Washington University
Shazia Jagot, The University of Surrey
Elaine Treharne, Stanford University

Our last conference, held at Bergen in 2017, encouraged lively conversations that focused predominantly on European texts and authors. At Bangor we aim to extend this dialogue by speaking internationally, and examining how our understanding of medieval European women writers and the canon might be enhanced by taking a more global perspective. What new light is shed by adopting a global perspective on medieval women’s literary modes and practices? What evidence exists for social and intellectual connectivity between European women’s textual culture and that of women living in the lands that border the Mediterranean and beyond? How do medieval women represent the global in their works and to what purposes?

The conference will be full of conversation: a series of ‘In conversation with’ network members, poster presentations, panel discussions, and twenty-minute papers. We welcome individual and collaborative papers that speak internationally on topics that might include the following:

  • Women as authors
  • Women as patrons
  • Book ownership and use in the household
  • Genre and gender
  • Literary reception
  • Women as translators
  • Women readers
  • Book ownership in women’s religious communities
  • Manuscript production
  • Literary influence
  • Textual transmission
  • Collaboration
  • Women, Literature and Location: place, travel, pilgrimage
  • Women, Literature and Life-course
  • Literature and Trade

Paper abstracts of no more than 250 words, plus a short biography, should be sent to Dr Sue Niebrzydowski at s.niebrzydowski@bangor.ac.uk and Professor Liz Herbert McAvoy at e.mcavoy@swansea.ac.uk no later than 31 October 2018. Successful speakers will be notified shortly thereafter, and online registration will open in late November 2018.

CFP Othello’s Island interdisciplinary conference

The Academic Board for Othello’s Island invites applications to present papers at the 6th edition of Othello’s Island, the 6th annual interdisciplinary conference on Byzantine, Medieval, Renaissance and Early Modern art, literary, archaeological, historical and cultural studies. This will take place in Nicosia, Cyprus, in April 2019 and is organised in association with the University of Nicosia, the University of Kent, the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University.

We are interested in hearing papers on diverse aspects of Byzantine, Medieval, Renaissance and early modern art, literature, history, society and other aspects of culture. A special colloquium will also be held as part of the conference in 2019, focusing on Early Modern Women Writers,.

Our remit is broad, and so papers do not have to be related to Shakespeare, Cyprus or the Mediterranean. It is worth looking at the range of papers from past conferences to see that previous speakers have covered topics ranging from slavery in medieval Cyprus and Malta, to the impact of Italian Renaissance art on Cypriot Byzantine painting, and even discussion on the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf.

In the seven years of its existence, Othello’s Island has developed a reputation as one of the most liberal-minded and friendly medieval and renaissance studies conferences in the world today, and it is also genuinely interdisciplinary. In part this is due to the relatively small size of the event, which generates a true sense of community during the conference.

Our location in Cyprus allows for visits to some stunning medieval museums and other sites, including the French gothic cathedrals of St Sophia in Nicosia, and St Nicholas in Famagusta, and we are housed in the centre of the medieval old town of Nicosia, with its narrow winding streets and impressive city walls and gate houses.

Deadline for submissions is 31 December, 2018.

For the full call for papers please visit www.othellosisland.org

Lead Academic Co-ordinators: Prof. James Fitzmaurice (Northern Arizona University, USA); Prof. Lisa Hopkins (Sheffield Hallam University, UK); Dr Sarah James (University of Kent, UK; Dr Michael Paraskos FRSA (Imperial College London, UK)

Academic Board: Dr Stella Achillaos (University of Cyprus, Cyprus); Jane Chick (University of East Anglia, UK); Prof. James Fitzmaurice (Northern Arizona University, USA); Prof. Lisa Hopkins (Sheffield Hallam University, UK); Dr Sarah James (University of Kent, UK); Dr Richard Maguire (University of East Anglia, UK); Dr Michael Paraskos (Imperial College London, UK); Dr Laurence Publicover (University of Bristol, UK); Prof. David Rollo (University of Southern California, USA); Dr Rita Severis (CVAR, Cyprus); Prof. Astrid Swenson (Bath Spa University, UK); and, Dr Violetta Trofimova (St Petersburg University, Russia)

CFP Performance, Royalty and the Court, 1500-1800

Next year is the 400th anniversary of the death of Anne of Denmark (1574-1619), a queen consort of the king of Scotland, England and Ireland, who is well known for her patronage of art, architecture and court entertainments, in particular masques devised by Ben Jonson and Inigo Jones. To mark this important anniversary, the Society for Court Studies, with the support of the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and Birkbeck College School of Arts, is organizing a two-day conference (11-12 April 2019) focusing on performance and the courts of the British Isles and continental Europe during the early modern period, with the opportunity to explore the networks and encounters between courts, both within and beyond Europe. The interdisciplinary nature of the topic necessarily embraces cultural, political and economic history, literature, and the visual and performing arts.

Performance was at the heart of the early-modern period, with the court itself forming a stage for the construction, communication and display of power and privilege; a world in which the social relationships that circulated around rulers, their families and supporters took shape and found expression. Men and women played out a variety of important social, political, military and governmental roles as well as participating in dramatic events, with court rituals and ceremonies providing occasions for demonstrations of authority, prowess and magnificence. The architecture and decoration that surrounded the court, whether permanent or temporary, not only provided a physical setting but reinforced objectives and allegiances, as did dress, accoutrements and entourage. The court also formed a rich source of inspiration for composers, playwrights and actors, whether representing courts in their dramas, playing before the court or devising masques and ballets with courtiers as performers. Equally, art and artistic patronage were of central importance, not only through the direct participation of painters, designers and craftsmen in ceremonies, dramas and other occasions, but also through portraiture and other forms of representation. Indeed, a work of art was often perceived and described as a performance.

In all its senses, performance represented opportunities for individuals and groups to find ways of expressing their ideals, their ambitions and aspirations, their frustrations and hostilities. This conference aims to bring this sense of opportunity to the study of the early-modern court, thinking in the broadest possible terms about how we can define our approaches and how, by taking the theme of performance as our guide, we can open up the study of the courtly world and its peoples to new scholarship and new audiences.

Suggested themes include, but are not restricted to:

  • Political ritual and gift-giving
  • Diplomacy, power play and hospitality
  • Gender and modes of performance
  • Loyalties and affiliations
  • Control and freedom
  • Identity and values
  • Court rituals and traditions
  • Ceremonies, receptions, progresses and processions
  • Reception, audience and commentary
  • Drama, dance, music and speeches/addresses
  • Cultural and social patronage
  • Chivalric, sportive and martial performance (tournaments, barriers, manege)
  • Trade, commerce and entrepreneurship
  • Visual arts as performance
  • Architecture, interiors, settings and locations

Please send proposals of no more than 300 words along with a short biography to courtstudiesconference@gmail.com by  7 December 2018.

Convenors: Dr Janet Dickinson, Conference Secretary SCS and Oxford University; Dr Jacqueline Riding, Committee Member SCS and Birkbeck College.

The conference is being supported and hosted by the Paul Mellon Centre, 16 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3JA.

CFP Cross-cultural comparison in the premodern world

The Oakley Center, which has its home at Williams College, invites paper proposals for ‘The Global Archive of Comparison’, a conference and subsequent edited volume on the history of cross-cultural comparison in the premodern world. The conference will be held at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts (26–28 September 2019) and is organized by Alexander Bevilacqua. Anthony Grafton (Princeton) will deliver the keynote lecture.

Drawing on the study of humanistic traditions from across the globe in the era before 1800, the conference aims to assess the many ways comparison has served in the history of cross-cultural study. Through a series of focused case studies, scholars will ask: what forms of analogy, simile, equivalence, etc., did past thinkers employ, and what kinds of comparisons did these enable? How did such intellectual tools facilitate the transmission of texts, religion, or ideas from one context to another? What did they preclude? The goal is to reconstruct the range of ways that people of the past mediated intellectual traditions through comparative mechanisms. The further aim is to demonstrate the relevance of the premodern world to contemporary reflection on comparison.

The conference welcomes the work of advanced doctoral students and both young and established scholars in the fields of history, religion, philosophy, and literature.a.

Proposals — which should include a 500-word abstract, a brief curriculum vitae, and complete current contact information — should be sent by 15 October 2018 to the conference organizer.

Contact Info: 

Oakley Center for the Humanities and Social Sciences
90 Denison Park Drive
Williamstown, MA 01267

Contact Email: