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 ( and Eloise Davies (

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: 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

Medieval Academy of America Travel Grants

The Medieval Academy of America provides travel grants to help Academy members who hold doctorates but are not in full-time faculty positions, or are contingent faculty without access to institutional funding, attend conferences to present their work.

Deadline 1 November 2018 for meetings to be held between 16 February and 31 August 2019. For more information and to apply, see

Gender and Medieval Studies Group Student Essay Prize 2018

The Gender and Medieval Studies Group offers a postgraduate student essay prize, which is awarded at the GMS conference in January each year. The competition is open to students at all levels of graduate study including those who will be completing their degree in the coming year.

Essays should be between 4,000 and 6,000 words in length. This word limit is inclusive of footnotes but exclusive of the bibliography. Entries should engage with questions of gender and/or sexuality in the Middle Ages and follow a recognised academic referencing system (such as MHRA). A full bibliography should be included, and all images should be captioned.

Submissions from postgraduates working within any discipline in the field are encouraged.

The prize gives free conference fee registration to the GMS conference (held every January at a different UK institution) for two years (2019 and 2020), a £100 book token for Castle Hill Bookshop and a contribution towards UK travel costs to the conference.

The winning essay will also be considered for publication in the academic journal Medieval Feminist Forum, run by the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship (SMFS).

There may be years when no prize is awarded, depending upon submissions in any given year.

Electronic submissions should be submitted to Laura Kalas Williams (, by the student themselves, by 19 November 2018. In submitting an entry to this competition, entrants declare that the essay represents their own, original work.

For further information see

University of Glasgow Library Visiting Research Fellowships

The University of Glasgow Library is pleased to announce new annual Visiting Research Fellowships to support scholars from across academic disciplines to come to Glasgow to work on our unique research collections. The Fellowships are competitive peer-assessed awards. They are designed to provide financial support towards the costs of travel and accommodation to enable researchers to work on the unique collections held in the University Library. The successful recipients should spend between two and four weeks over the course of a year working with the collections in Glasgow. 

Glasgow is proud to have an outstanding library of old, rare and unique material, including many illuminated medieval and renaissance manuscripts of international importance, and more than 10,000 books printed before 1601. It also houses extensive collections relating to art, literature and the performing arts, as well as the University’s own institutional archive which dates back to the thirteenth century. It is also home to the Scottish Business Archive, with over 400 collections dating from the eighteenth century to the modern day.

One Fellowship is offered by the William Lind Foundation to support research into Scottish business history, otherwise the scope of proposals in open to applicants to define.

For further information and an application form, go to

Applications should be submitted by email to the Library Business Team by 19 November 2018.

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,

Call for book chapters: Predicting the Past (Brill)

Chapter proposals are invited for Predicting the Past. Worldwide Medieval Dream Interpretation, to be published in Brill’s series Reading Medieval Sources. This volume aims to give a high-level survey and analysis of dream-books in the Middles Ages (400-1500 CE) in different parts of the world: Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, and to explore their development, dispersal, and typologies. We also intend to investigate issues such as production, use, and audience according to different disciplinary perspectives (e.g. history, literature, art, and religion). We would also welcome reflections on the field – where it currently is and what the future approaches and debates might be.

We are looking for well-sculpted essays which take engagement with dream-books as their main focus, and use dream-books to shed light on particular aspects of medieval society and culture. To be part of the series Reading Medieval Sources, the source itself and its use, value, and application must be central to the essays.

For scholars interested in contributing an essay, please consider the sections of the volume:

1) the different traditions of dream-books and their presence / role in different countries over the Middle Ages (Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, the Americas) the materiality of the source, different formats, illustrations, etc.

2) intersections of dream-books with art, literature, censorship, interpretation, symbology, divination, etc.

Please submit your abstract (max. 500 words) and CV to Professor Valerio Cappozzo  (VCAPPOZZ@OLEMISS.EDU) by 30 December, 2018.

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

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 by 15 October 2018.

For further information, see

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.