Category Archives: ANZAMEMS

ANZAMEMS PATS: Approaching Medieval and Early Modern Conflict

Approaching Medieval and Early Modern Conflict
ANZAMEMS Postgraduate Advanced Training Seminar 2019
University of Queensland (St Lucia campus), 11–12 August 2019

Applications are invited from postgraduates and ECRs in Australia and New Zealand who would benefit from taking part in this year’s ANZAMEMS Postgraduate Advanced Training Seminar, which will focus on the study of medieval and early modern conflict.

Day One will be comprised of four methodological workshops:

Conflict in Crusade Narrative (Dr Beth Spacey);
Conflict in Monastic Narrative (Assoc. Prof. Kriston Rennie);
Conflict and Material Culture (Prof. Megan Cassidy-Welch); and
Conflict in Early Modern Print Culture (Dr Charlotte-Rose Millar).

The sessions will be followed by a roundtable discussion for broader reflection on the study of historical conflict. The workshops are designed to expose participants to a variety of approaches towards conflict in a historical setting, to enable engagement with ‘research in progress’, and to develop skills in textual, visual, and material cultural analysis. This is also an opportunity for participants working on cognate topics to connect with academics, students and ECRs from UQ and beyond.

On Day Two, participants will attend the one-day symposium at UQ, Landscapes of Conflict and Encounter in the Crusading World. This symposium brings together medievalists working on diverse areas of crusading activity in Europe, North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean, to give papers on the relationship between landscape, conflict and encounter. By focusing in on a particular aspect of medieval conflict, this symposium will allow participants to build their own knowledge around the theme, while providing an opportunity to network with an international group of scholars in the field.

The costs of participants’ return airfare and accommodation will be covered by ANZAMEMS and the University of Queensland.

To apply, please send the following information to Prof. Megan Cassidy-Welch (m.cassidywelch@uq.edu.au) by 17 May 2019:

  • Your name, affiliation and status (i.e. currently enrolled MA/MPhil, PhD, or ECR within 5 years of completing a postgraduate degree);
  • A copy of your academic CV;
  • A c.300-word overview of your research, including reflection on how you might benefit from participation in this PATs;
  • Estimated cost of your return economy airfare to Brisbane.

Please direct any queries to m.cassidywelch@uq.edu.au .

Parergon 36.1 preview: Sutton Hoo and assemblage theory

The latest issue of the ANZAMEMS journal is out and Parergon 36.1 is winging its way to members’ mailboxes. We’ve asked the contributors to give us some additional insights into their research and the inspirations for their articles. In this post, Georgina Pitt talks about her piece, “The Enigmatic Sutton Hoo Ship Burial: Fresh Insights from Assemblage Theory,” DOI: 10.1353/pgn.2019.0000

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/ce/Sutton_Hoo_helmet_%28replica%29.jpg/256px-Sutton_Hoo_helmet_%28replica%29.jpg

Replica of the Sutton Hoo helmet

It was the Sutton Hoo helmet, which is astonishingly beautiful (in replica) and yet so very intimidating, which first intrigued me and got me hooked on Sutton Hoo. This sumptuous ship-burial was undeniably a momentous event for its community — the extraordinary wealth of the grave-goods and the meticulous planning of the burial attest to that. This burial meant something profound to its community, and that meaning subsisted in the East Anglian community’s memory and sense of identity for a long time, because there was no attempt to rob the burial site for nearly a millennium. What was this all about? Why did they invest so much in this burial? Why did its power endure so that it lay undisturbed for so long, notwithstanding the retrievable wealth deposited in it?

This ship-burial is both an historical event and an archaeological site: the richest earliest medieval grave discovered intact and its grave–goods preserved, but we have no extant documentary explanation for it. The documentary record is silent but the material record gives exuberant voice. It seemed to me, reading the literature on Sutton Hoo, that historians had found the task of explaining the event too difficult in the absence of a contemporary text to analyse. There was no anchor point from which to safely venture an opinion on why the East Anglian community chose to invest so much wealth and labour in this burial. Yet there are useful clues in Bede, even though he never mentions Sutton Hoo. On the other hand, the material record is a familiar anchor point for archaeologists, and the archaeological evidence abundant and carefully recorded, but archaeologists give a variety of explanations for the ship-burial; they can’t all be right.

It seemed to me that this ship-burial offered the perfect opportunity for interdisciplinarity. My background is in law; I was a commercial litigation lawyer for twenty years. I thought there would be a challenge in teasing out the clues in Bede and using a new theoretical lens (assemblage theory) to make sense of the evidence, to explore whether there was an alternative explanation compatible with the evidence. This was a challenge to be relished.
My particular interest is in issues of political power, identity, and community in the early medieval period. There is fluidity in each of these interlocking concepts in this period, wriggle-room for individuals and groups to re-invent themselves and to articulate different identities, negotiate different relationships. I think that the Sutton Hoo ship-burial is just such an exercise in negotiating identity, community and power. The Sutton Hoo ship-burial provides valuable insights into how early medieval people could manipulate material culture to construct and advertise identity, to define and cohere a community, and to instantiate and transfer political power.

Contributor bio:

I am a PhD candidate, and my doctoral research on Alfred the Great similarly focuses on issues of political power, identity and community. This is my first publication, although I am co-author (with Emeritus Professor Andrew Lynch) of the essay ‘Emotional Literatures of War’ in the forthcoming Routledge History of Emotions in Europe 1100-1700. Can I finish this blog with a shout-out? Heartfelt thanks to my two anonymous reviewers, whose careful reading and thoughtful remarks prompted many improvements to this article.

Parergon can be accessed via Project MUSE (From Volume 1 (1983)), Australian Public Affairs – Full Text (from 1994), and Humanities Full Text (from 2008). For more information on the current issue and on submitting manuscripts for consideration, please visit https://parergon.org/

Image credit: Mark Ramsay [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

New issue preview: Parergon 36.1

36.1 CoverANZAMEMS is delighted to advise researchers that the latest issue of the Association’s journal Parergon is now out. Issue 36.1 features 7 original research articles and over 40 book reviews. ANZAMEMS members will receive their print copies by post in the coming weeks. Digital content is available via Project MUSE, Australian Public Affairs – Full Text (Informit) and Humanities Full Text.

The research articles in issue Parergon 36.1 cover a breadth of medieval and early modern topics and disciplines:

Brows of Grace, Nerves of Steel: Malcolm and Macbeth
Elizabeth Mazzola

In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the legibility of a butcher’s designs is succeeded by the monstrous virtue of his replacement Malcolm, who artfully confuses the social world’s assumptions and habits, its ways of recognizing authority and punishing sin. This article explores Malcolm’s powers in terms of a new politics equally expert at manufacturing fear and imitating grace, with reference to witchcraft trials and to analogues provided by Rembrandt and Hobbes. It also considers theories about the workings of this new politics supplied by social scientists, concluding that Malcolm’s strategies for unleashing evil and its remedy similarly sequester and obscure people from each other.

The Enigmatic Sutton Hoo Ship-Burial: Fresh Insights from Assemblage Theory
Georgina Pitt

The sumptuous Sutton Hoo ship-burial has been much debated since it was discovered nearly eighty years ago, but there is no consensus on its interpretation. Assemblage theory, with its focus on the linkages between people, places, and objects, and the related concept of ‘fittingness’, may provide an alternative explanation that accounts for this ship-burial as both archaeological site and historical event. This article suggests that this ship-burial was a deliberate strategy to cohere and transmit secular political power across the hazardous liminal space between death and succession in troubled times in early seventh-century East Anglia, after the death of King Rædwald.

Language and Thought in Hildegard of Bingen’s Visionary Trilogy: Close and Distant Readings of a Thinker’s Development
Jeroen De Gussem and Dinah Wouters

By combining the methods of distant reading (computational stylistics) and close reading, the authors discuss the development of language and thought in Hildegard of Bingen’s visionary works (Sciuias, Liber uite meritorum and Liber diuinorum operum). The visionary trilogy, although written over the course of three decades, raises the impression of a monolithic and seemingly unchanging voice. Moving beyond this impression, the interdisciplinary analysis presented here reveals that the trilogy exhibits interesting differences at the word level which cannot simply be explained through external historical circumstances (e.g. manuscript transmission or different secretaries). Instead, the results raise pertinent questions regarding the trilogy’s internal development in didactic method, style, and philosophy.

John Harrison: A Case Study of the Acculturation of an Early Modern Briton
Rickie Lette

The important role that the Mediterranean played in England’s development as an imperial power in the early modern period has begun to be appreciated, but more work is required to properly historicize the interactions which occurred during this time and understand their impact. This article argues that to do this it is necessary to move beyond generalized interpretations and examine the impact of encounter at the individual level. Moreover, through examining the experiences of one such sojourner, it demonstrates how a focus on acculturative change can provide novel insights into the consequences of historical encounters between European and non-European peoples.

John Milton’s Samson Agonistes: Deathly Selfhood
Jennifer Lodine-Chaffey

Critical attention to death in Samson Agonistes has been dominated by the question of whether Milton’s drama glorified acts of religious terrorism, a question that involves death but unnecessarily narrows it. I seek to reframe our understanding of Samson by looking not only at his aggressive exploits, but also at his movement towards death. The poem illuminates Samson’s development of what I call a ‘deathly selfhood’, which relies on an interior awareness of who he is, rather than on an outward manifestation of his abilities, and only becomes available to him as he nears death.

Mealtime Sanctity: The Devotional and Social Significance of Mealtimes in The Book of Margery Kempe
Hwanhee Park

This article argues that mealtimes in The Book of Margery Kempe establish Margery’s orthodoxy and demonstrate her sanctity. Mealtimes provide Margery with a sufficiently flexible boundary between private and public for her to express her devotion and reach out to people without incriminating herself as a heretic. Medieval mealtimes, symbolizing community and hierarchy, enable Margery to express her sanctity and be accepted by respected figures. As a result, mealtimes allow Margery’s ministry to succeed at a time of religious dissent.

The Eastern Policy of Alfonso V the Magnanimous (of Aragon), Seen in the Light of His Political Relations with the Bosnian Duke-Herzog Stjepan Vukčić Kosača
Marijan Premović

This article re-assesses political relations between Alfonso V the Magnanimous (r. 1416–58), King of Aragon, Sicily, and Naples, and the Bosnian duke-herzog Stjepan Vukčić Kosača (r. 1435–66), analysing the period between Alfonso V’s conquest of Naples in 1442 until his death in 1458. It considers political developments in the Eastern Adriatic, particularly relations between Alfonso and Stjepan, and the policies that the king, as ruler of Naples, pursued toward the east, in order to argue that Alfonso’s activities in the Balkans were mainly intended to disrupt the interests of Venice and to solidify his rule over southern Italy.

Parergon welcomes article submissions on all aspects of medieval and early modern studies. We are especially interested in material that crosses traditional disciplinary boundaries and takes new approaches. For more information and submission guidelines, visit the Parergon website.

ANZAMEMS membership fees now due for 2019

Current and prospective members of ANZAMEMS are reminded that membership fees for 2019 are now due. New and renewing members are advised that you must be a financial member by 31 March 2019 in order to receive the upcoming issue of the Association’s journal Parergon (Issue 36.1) or vote in the elections to be held at the forthcoming AGM on 1 April. Those unable to attend the AGM need to return their proxy voting forms to the ANZAMEMS Secretary by 25 March.

Membership fees start at AUD$33 for concessional (student/unwaged/retired) and AUD$66 for full individual membership. Institutional subscriptions are also available. To join, please visit the ANZAMEMS website.

The benefits of membership include:

  • Subscription to Parergon — the latest research in medieval and early modern studies and reviews of recent books, published twice yearly (please note you will receive one hard copy of the journal only).
  • Opportunity to apply for a range of travel bursaries and publication prizes award by ANZAMEMS
  • Opportunity to review the latest academic titles for Parergon.
  • Inclusion on the ANZAMEMS mail-list — receive notifications of upcoming events and opportunities, be informed of the books available for review in Parergon.
  • Inclusion on the ANZAMEMS postgraduate and early career research social group on the social media platform Facebook.
  • Access to a dynamic and supportive international research network.

Notice of ANZAMEMS AGM

The Annual General Meeting of ANZAMEMS Inc. will be held on Monday 1 April 2019 at 10:00am-12:00pm (WST).

The meeting is hosted by The University of Western Australia and will be held via the video conferencing software Zoom. 

Local times (for your convenience):
WA: 10:00am-12:00pm
QLD: 12:00pm-2:00pm
SA: 12:30pm-2:30pm
VIC/NSW/TAS/ACT: 1:00pm-3:00pm
New Zealand: 3:00pm-5:00pm

Current members should have received by email details of matters to be voted on at the upcoming AGM, along with a Proxy Voting Form for those members who are unable to attend the meeting in person, and details for joining the meeting by Zoom video conferencing. If you are a current financial member and have not received this information, please contact the ANZAMEMS Executive Administrator Marina Gerzic.

You must be a financial member of ANZAMEMS for 2019 in order for your vote to be considered valid. To renew your membership for 2019, or to join ANZAMEMS, please visit: https://anzamems.org/?page_id=75

New member publication: Contemporary Chaucer across the Centuries

Contemporary Chaucer across the Centuries cover imageCongratulations to ANZAMEMS members Helen Hickey, Anne McKendry and Melissa Raine on the publication of their co-edited collection Contemporary Chaucer across the Centuries (Manchester University Press, 2018). It is doubly pleasing that the book is a festschrift for long-time ANZAMEMS member and past president Stephanie Trigg, who has contributed so much to the Association and to the wider field of medieval and early modern studies. Below, the editors reflect on what inspired their book and the diverse approaches contributors take to its unifying themes.

“We were delighted to take up the opportunity to celebrate Stephanie Trigg’s academic achievements as well as her tireless fostering of scholarly communities throughout her career. Our intention was to create a vibrant collection that attests to her achievements and her generosity as a researcher. We felt that within Stephanie’s wide-ranging interests, Geoffrey Chaucer was central to the progression of her own ideas and her sphere of influence. For over 700 years, many readers have claimed powerful personal connections not only with Chaucer’s writing, but with the author himself. Stephanie’s Congenial Souls (2001) delved deeply into the desires that Chaucer’s literary output has both created and fed throughout those seven centuries. This mode of inquiry, which she describes as a symptomatic long history, makes explicit the stakes and the manoeuvres that give shape to the experience of communing with the Chaucerian text, its author, and the age in which he lived, claims that are at times proprietorial and exclusive, and at others challenging and resistant. Stephanie has since employed this methodology to interrogate hierarchised distinctions between scholarly and creative responses to medieval culture, the latter often known as medievalism. Congenial Souls therefore offers an important contribution to Chaucer scholarship, but further lays down groundwork for researchers of medieval culture to reflect on the broader significance of their own practices.

Two decades after the publication of Congenial Souls, we felt it was timely to review current debates surrounding the traditions, emotions and intellectual underpinnings of Chaucer scholarship, and the implications of this work for researching the Middle Ages more generally. Contemporary Chaucer across the Centuries showcases the contributions of fourteen outstanding thinkers in the field who explore both Chaucer’s writing and the longue durée of its reception. The diversity of topics and approaches evinces the dynamic and innovative research that Chaucer’s writing continues to inspire, as well as the resonance of Stephanie’s insights within contemporary Chaucer research.

Each essay stands alone as a significant contribution to Chaucer scholarship, in some cases drawing attention to features of Chaucer’s poetic techniques and intertextual allusions that have gone unnoticed, despite extensive poring over Chaucer’s oeuvre. Some are inspired by or engage directly with Stephanie’s work on authorship, emotions and medievalism to produce fresh insights into the faces, bodies and environments found within Chaucer’s narratives; others consider emotions and connection with Chaucer himself in critical analyses as well as in creative forms such as cinema and stand-up comedy.

The historical development of Chaucer’s legacy is represented in a variety of contexts, from scribal activity and early print culture through to contests over national identity in the nineteenth century. Several essays address how critical trends and challenges both shape and are impacted by Chaucer’s canonical status, and many individual essays attend to combinations of these themes. Together, they create a dialogue about what the past means in our own present moment, and why Chaucer continues to be such a source of fascination and reward. These essays confirm that we are never truly “done” with the past; we continue to return with new questions to Chaucer’s writing and the astonishing experience of immediacy that it produces in readers even as temporal distance increases. The changing present compels us to reconsider, re-evaluate, and reappraise the connections between literary traditions and contemporary scholarship, and past and present more broadly.

Contemporary Chaucer across the Centuries is also inflected by the diversity of our own research interests. Melissa is currently working on children’s voices in both medieval literature and contemporary Australian culture. In both contexts, she explores how historically specific ideas about childhood, especially the relationships of children with adults, shape the communication of actual and imagined children, including some created by Chaucer. Anne is at the proofing stage of her first monograph, Medieval Crime Fiction: A Critical Overview, which will be published by McFarland in April and offers the first sustained analysis of this neglected but extremely popular example of contemporary medievalism. She is also finalising an article for Exemplaria that considers Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale through Georges Bataille’s theory of an economics of waste. Helen is currently working on feet in medieval and early modern poetics and art, and on ideas of beauty and aesthetics in medieval European poetry. She is completing a chapter on Thomas Hoccleve’s poetics through theories of embodiment.

Helen M. Hickey, Anne McKendry and Melissa Raine are Research Associates at the University of Melbourne’s School of Culture and Communication. A substantial preview of Contemporary Chaucer across the Centuries can be downloaded for free from the publisher’s website: http://www.manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/9781526129154/

ANZAMEMS members wishing to promote their research through the ANZAMEMS newsletter are invited to email the editor, Amanda McVitty. We particularly welcome approaches from early career scholars.

 

Call for EoI: ANZAMEMS PATS training seminar

ANZAMEMS invites expressions of interest from Association members to host a Postgraduate Advanced Training Seminar (PATS) in Australia or New Zealand in the second half of 2019. The Association makes up to $5,000 available for the PATS. Preference may be given to applications which can provide matching funding.

Expressions of interest should include:

  • Proposed title / skill area to be addressed
  • Name(s) of local presenters
  • Name(s) of international presenters (if applicable)
  • Proposed venue(s)
  • Proposed budget
  • A draft day-by-day plan of the event

A copy of the Association’s Equity and Inclusivity Guidelines for ANZAMEMS Conference and Event Planners can be downloaded at the ANZAMEMS website: https://anzamems.org/?page_id=7

Expressions of interest must be submitted by 31 March 2019 by email to the Executive Administrator, Marina Gerzic at info@anzamems.org.

Expressions of interest will be judged by a three-member panel of the ANZAMEMS Committee (Sue Broomhall, Clare Monagle, Peter Sherlock). The outcome will be announced no later than 14 April 2019.

About PATS

ANZAMEMS is committed to supporting postgraduates and early career scholars by providing funding for specialist, intensive training seminars that can assist in their development as researchers. PATS events also provide attendees with valuable opportunities to network with experts and other postgraduates working in similar fields. Recent PATS include “Digital Editing and the Medieval & Early Modern Manuscript”, “Doing Digital Humanities: From Project Planning to Digital Delivery”, and “Marginalia and Markings: Reading Early Modern and Medieval Readers”. For more information about ANZAMEMS PATS, please see https://anzamems.org/?page_id=10

ANZAMEMS Prize Winners, 2019

Congratulations to all the recipients of ANZAMEMS biennial conference awards and publication prizes, announced last week at the ANZAMEMS 2019 conference.

2018 Philippa Maddern Early Career Researcher Publication Prize
Kirk Essary, for his article “Clear as Mud: Metaphor, Emotion and Meaning in Early Modern England”, English Studies, July 2017.

The Philippa Maddern ECR Publication Prize is awarded to an Early Career Researcher (ECR) for the best article-length scholarly work in any discipline/topic falling within the scope of medieval and early modern studies, published within the previous two years.

2018 Patricia Crawford Postgraduate Publication Prize
Amy Brown, for her article “Female Homosociality and the Marriage Plot: Women and Marriage Negotiation in Cligés and Le Chevalier au Lion“, Parergon, 33.1 (2016).

The Patricia Crawford Postgraduate Publication Prize is awarded to a postgraduate student for the best article-length scholarly work in any discipline/topic falling within the scope of medieval and early modern studies, published within the previous two years.

2019 George Yule Prize
Jennifer E. Nicholson (University of Sydney) “’Pronouncing…some [un]doubtful phrase’: Speech, Agency, and Editing Hamlet via Montaigne’s Essais”

The George Yule Prize is awarded to the best essay written by a postgraduate. It is awarded biennially, at each ANZAMEMS conference.

2019 Kim Walker Postgraduate Travel Bursary
Jane Bitomsky (postgraduate enrolled at University of Queensland and currently based in New Zealand) 

In 2003, ANZAMEMS established a bursary to honour the life and work of Dr Kim Walker, lecturer in English (with specialties in renaissance studies and Shakespeare) at Victoria University of Wellington. The prize winner is selected from among the applicants for conference bursaries.

For further information on ANZAMEMS prizes and awards, please see the Bursaries and Prizes section on the ANZAMEMS website.

Sydney Medieval and Renaissance Group reception and book launch

Attendees at ANZAMEMS 2019 are invited to an end-of-conference reception hosted by the Sydney Medieval and Renaissance Group.

Launch: AEMA member Sharon Davidson launches her book on the history of the Sydney Medieval and Renaissance Group
Host: John Ward

Medieval nibbles, inspired by recipes in Lorna Sass’ cookbook To the King’s Taste, will be served along with a selection of drinks including Hippocras.

Friday 8 February, 6-7pm
MacLaurin Hall, Quadrangle Building
University of Sydney

ANZAMEMS 2019: Register now for special events

If you are joining us for ANZAMEMS 2019 at the University of Sydney next week, please take a few minutes to check the website for a range of special events the conference team has planned. These include:

Manuscript/Early Book Tour of the State Library of New South Wales

Tuesday 5 February, 2:30-4pm 

Join curators from the State Library of New South Wales for a tour of the library, which can trace its history back to 1826. The tour will provide an overview of the different reading rooms in the Library and some of the beautiful spaces and exhibitions in its historic Mitchell Wing. The tour will also include a private viewing of some Renaissance treasures from the Library’s rich and varied collections.

Free, but please register through this EventBrite link

Postgraduate Reception: Let’s Meet and Eat

Thursday 7 February, 6-7pm, Courtyard Restaurant and Bar at the University of Sydney

Per ANZAMEMS conference tradition, the current Postgraduate Representatives to the Executive Committee (Lisa Rolston and Hannah Skipworth) will hold a reception for ANZAMEMS postgraduates. The ambition behind this year’s event is to provide postgraduates with an opportunity to meet their peers from around Australia and New Zealand and establish connections that will carry them into future endeavours. Honours students and ECRs are most welcome to attend.

Free. Please register through this EventBrite link.

Treasures of the Fisher Library

The librarians of the Rare Books and Special Collections in the Fisher Library at the University of Sydney have generously arranged to show some treasures of the library to conference attendees at a number of scheduled times during the conference. The books include manuscripts and early printed books generally related to the conference theme. The numbers in these sessions will be capped so that visitors can examine the books and talk with the librarians about them.

A range of timeslots are available throughout the conference (5-8 February). Please see the ANZAMEMS 2019 conference website to check times and register.

Other special events include a screening of the film The Devil’s Country, a documentary that explores the intersection of the medieval demonic, the colonial experience of the Australian landscape, and the Indigenous experience of invasion and westward expansion through NSW.

There will also be a concert by The Marais Project. This group, founded in 2000 by viola da gambist, Jennifer Eriksson, focuses on the music of the baroque era with a particular emphasis on the works of Marin Marais, a performer and composer at the Court of Louis XIV.