The Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry invites submissions for the 9th Annual Postgraduate Workshop

The Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry invites submissions for the 9th Annual Postgraduate Workshop

This year’s topic: “Experience and Experiment:
Materiality of (al)chemical texts and objects”

Hosted by: The Royal Institution, London, UK

To be held on: June 29th, 2018

SHAC’s annual series of workshops fosters interdisciplinary exchange among graduate students and early career scholars from any field whose work engages with the history of alchemy and chemistry.

We welcome abstracts that deal with this year’s topic within any historical period and geographical region. Projects pertaining to the material aspects of alchemical and chemical books, instruments, manuscripts, structures, substances, and other creative interpretations of this year’s theme are encouraged. Please be prepared to give a short presentation of your work and provide feedback for other’s pre-circulated papers.

There will be a keynote presentation from Professor Jennifer Rampling (Princeton University) as well as a guided tour of the chemical texts and objects housed at the Royal Institution led by Head of Collections, Professor Frank James.

Please send a 350 word abstract and CV by 31 March, 2018 to SHAC Student Representative, Megan Piorko, at If applicable, indicate your interest in a competitive travel stipend.

Sponsored by the Royal Institution and the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry.

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Call for Papers – Monsters and Medievalism

Monsters and Medievalism

Sponsored by The Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture for the Medieval & Renaissance Area of the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association

29th Annual Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association

Lord Baltimore Hotel, Baltimore, Maryland

8-10 November 2018

Proposals due by 30 June 2018

Monsters remain fascinating subjects, and intense discussion in recent years has focused on their representation in medieval texts, including stories as well as the art of the period. However, scholars have largely neglected the post-medieval afterlife of these horrors in later works. Monstrous entities manufactured to exist within re-creations of the Middle Ages in contemporary media share a similar fate in the academy. In short, medievalists appear to like monsters, but they do not always seem willing to explore their depictions in modern texts. Despite this neglect, the monsters found in medievalisms have merit in our classrooms and research, and we need to promote their exploits as well as those of the creatures existing within medieval artifacts.

In furtherance of the goals of The Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture, we seek in this panel to unite Medieval Studies, Medievalism Studies, Monster Studies, and Popular Culture Studies to highlight connections between medieval monstrosities and their post-medieval incarnations and successors. We hope to explore both continuity and change in addressing how terrors rooted in the medieval have been portrayed and how their inheritors have been developed.

Possible topics might include:




Elves/Fairies/Tuatha Dé Danann





The Green Knight

The Grendelkin


Loathly Ladies






Wild Men / Wild Women


Presentations will be limited to 10-15 minutes depending on final panel size.

Interested individuals should, no later than 30 June 2018, notify the organizers of their topic via email directed to using “Monsters and Medievalism” as their subject heading. They will also need create an account with the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association at AND submit into the system both an abstract of no more than 300 words and an academic biographical narrative of no more than 75 words.

Again, please send inquiries and copies of your submissions to the organizers at using “Monsters and Medievalism” as the subject heading.

In planning your proposal, please be aware of the policies of the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association (available at

Further details on The Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture can be found at its website:

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MAA News – The 93rd Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America

Margot Fassler delivers the Presidential Address (photo by Andrew Kraebel)

The 2018 Annual Meeting (Emory University, 1-3 March) was a great success, with around 350 attendees, four plenary sessions, more than 200 papers, receptions surrounded by a full-scale reproduction of the Bayeux Embroidery, and a closing planetarium field trip where we experienced Hildegard of Bingen’s Scivias as never before. The full program is available here.

The opening plenary, “Materials from the Margins: Islamic Connections as Pre-Mongol Globalism” was delivered by Finbarr Barry Flood (New York University), who discussed how traces of Mongol culture find their way into Islamic art on the western “fringes” of the Mongol empire. MAA President Margot Fassler (Univ. of Notre Dame) delivered her plenary lecture on the topic of medieval nuns as liturgists and composers, focusing in particular on sequences, a particularly poetic genre. The Fellows’ Plenary was delivered by Michael McCormick (Harvard Univ.), who dazzled the attendees with his lecture “DNA, Ice Cores, and Digital Humanities: Doing Medieval History and Archaeology in the 21st Century,” in which he demonstrated how recent developments in forensic anthropology, DNA recovery, ice core analysis, and dendrochronology are helping medievalists recover the stories and voices of the disenfranchised, powerfully combining humanism and science.

The plenary roundtable “Building Inclusivity and Diversity: Challenges, Solutions, and Responses in Medieval Studies” featured seven medievalists of color, some of whom recounted their personal experiences while others described their research into race and racism in the Middle Ages. It is our hope that these ongoing conversations, in combination with several new initiatives (see the Greene Fund below, for example) will help make the Medieval Academy a more welcoming place for all medievalists.

Two K-12 sessions addressed questions of how teachers can integrate medieval studies into their curricula while still adhering to standards and protocols set by the state, and presented ways to involve students in medieval studies through participation in National History Day. The Graduate Student Committee’s roundtable, “A Future Outside of Academia: Alternative Careers for Graduate Students in Medieval Studies,” addressed the pressures of the academic job market and presented ideas for a broader definition of a successful search outcome, for example, in the fields of library science or curatorial work.

Cynthia Hahn is inducted into the Fellows (L-R: Robert Bjork (Scribe), Cynthia Hahn, John Van Engen (President of the Fellows), and Rita Copeland (Orator))

The annual meeting of the Committee on Centers and Regional Associations (CARA) took place on Sunday morning and was attended by thirty CARA delegates, each of whom was there representing their program or department. The morning began with a roundtable on fundraising, a master class in navigating campus funding with Barbara Shailor (Yale Univ.), Margot Fassler (Univ. of Notre Dame), and Robert Bjork (Arizona State Univ.). The roundtable was followed by a discussion and brief updates from each delegate.

A graduate student workshop on the identification, cataloguing, and TEI-transcription of Emory’s fifteenth-century English chronicle scroll took place on campus in the days leading up to the Annual Meeting, a workshop that grew out of the “Digital Editing the Medieval Manuscript Roll/Fragment” workshops previously held at Yale University and University College London among other locales. These workshops were partially funded by seed money from a Medieval Academy/GSC Grant in Innovation. See for more information about this project.

We are extremely grateful to Elizabeth Pastan, James Morey, Jenny Bledsoe, Nicole Corrigan, the Program Committee, the graduate student volunteers, and the staff of the Emory Conference Center and Hotel for their work in organizing and implementing such a splendid meeting. Our thanks as well to Emory University for its support. We look forward to seeing you in Philadelphia next year!

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MAA News – 2019 Annual Meeting Call for Papers

The 94th Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America will take place in Philadelphia on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, from 7-9 March 2019. The meeting is jointly hosted by the Medieval Academy of America, Bryn Mawr College, Delaware Valley Medieval Association, Haverford College, St. Joseph’s University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Villanova University.

The Global Turn in Medieval Studies: Medievalists across various disciplines are taking a more geographically and methodologically global approach to the study of the Middle Ages. While the Organizing Committee invites proposals for papers on all topics and in all disciplines and periods of medieval studies, this year’s conference spotlights the “global turn” in medieval studies. To this end, we encourage session and paper proposals that treat the Middle Ages as a broad historical and cultural phenomenon, encompassing the full extent of Europe as well as the Middle East, southern and eastern Asia, Africa, and beyond.  We also invite proposals that explore departures from traditional teleological discourses rooted in national interests, ones that apply disciplinary and interdisciplinary methods to study a broad array of subjects.

The full call for papers is available here.

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MAA News – MAA/CARA Summer Scholarships Deadline

The MAA/CARA Summer Scholarships support graduate students and especially promising undergraduate students participating in summer courses in medieval languages or manuscript studies. Applicants must be members of the Medieval Academy in good standing with at least one year of graduate school remaining and must demonstrate both the importance of the summer course to their program of study and their home institution’s inability to offer analogous coursework. Click here for more information. The due date for applications is 15 March.

Applicants for these and other MAA programs must be members in good standing of the Medieval Academy. Please contact the Executive Director for more information about these and other MAA programs.

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MAA News – Mirador for Medievalists: IIIF, Shared Canvas, and Digital Images

We are now accepting applications for this digital humanities workshop co-sponsored by The Medieval Academy of America and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Co-taught by Benjamin Albritton (Computing Info Systems Analyst, Stanford University Libraries) and Lisa Fagin Davis (Executive Director, Medieval Academy of America), the workshop will take place at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University from 10-12 July 2018.

So much of the work currently being undertaken by medievalists is dependent on primary resources that may not be close at hand, and digital imagery alone can only take us so far. We have limited storage space for the enormous images we want to work with, and so we need to work in an online environment. In keeping with digital best-practices, we want to avoid siloing of files in sealed-off digital repositories. We need to make these images, and our work, discoverable, and so we need consistent metadata and annotation tools. We want to work with open data, including our own, data that can be shared, downloaded, manipulated, visualized, and mined. As scholars, we have limited funding and technical support, and so we need tools that are free, open-access, and easily implemented. The combination of the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) and a shared canvas viewer such as Mirador opens new avenues for researchers and students to discover, access, compare, annotate, and share images of and data pertaining to artifacts and manuscripts. Cloud-based, flexible, open-access, and easily implementable, IIIF and Mirador are a particularly powerful combination.

Participants in this three-day intensive workshop will have the opportunity to learn about the International Image Interoperability Framework and Mirador, and learn how this technology can facilitate new methodologies in manuscript and art history research. Working with their own images, participants will 1) upload their images into a IIIF server (if they aren’t already served by a IIIF-compliant platform); 2) work with the instructors to develop annotations and tags in keeping with their research project; 3) save the annotation layers for future use.

Click here for more information and to apply. Applications must be received by June 1.

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MAA News – Belle Da Costa Greene Fund

The Medieval Academy of America is very pleased to announce the establishment of the Belle Da Costa Greene Fund.

Belle Da Costa Greene (1883-1950) was a prominent art historian and the first manuscript librarian of the Pierpont Morgan collection. She was also the first known person of color and second woman to be elected a Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America (1939). According to the Morgan Library & Museum website, “Greene was barely twenty when Morgan hired her, yet her intelligence, passion, and self-confidence eclipsed her relative inexperience, [and] she managed to help build one of America’s greatest private libraries.” She was, just as importantly, a black woman who had to pass as white in order to gain entrance and acceptance into the racially fraught professional landscape of early twentieth-century New York. Her legacy highlights the professional difficulties faced by medievalists of color, the personal sacrifices they make in order to belong to the field, and their extraordinary contributions to Medieval Studies.

Once the endowment goal of $45,000 has been reached, the Belle Da Costa Greene Award of $2,000 will be granted annually to a medievalist of color for research and travel. This is one of several incipient actions designed to make the Medieval Academy of America a more welcoming place for all medievalists.

Click here to donate to the Belle Da Costa Greene Fund

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MAA News – MAA@Kalamazoo

As always, the Medieval Academy of America will have a strong presence at the 2018 International Congress on Medieval Studies  (May 10-13).

1) The Friday morning plenary, sponsored by the Academy, will be delivered by Sara Ritchey (Univ. of Tennessee-Knoxville), “‘Salvation is Medicine’: The Medieval Production and Gendered Erasures of Therapeutic Knowledge” (Friday, 8:30 AM, Bernhard, East Ballroom). Two related sessions  organized by Prof. Ritchey and Prof. Monica Green will take place on Friday at 10 AM (Session 211) and 3:30 PM (Session 326). Both sessions will take place in the Bernhard Brown & Gold Room.

2) On Friday at 10 AM, the Graduate Student Committee is sponsoring a roundtable titled “Meet the Editors: Tips and Techniques on Article Submission for Graduate Students (Session 183, Schneider 1220). The GSC reception will take place on Thursday at 5:30 PM in Fetzer 1035.

3) The Committee on Centers and Regional Associations (CARA) is sponsoring two panels this year. The first, “The Twenty-First-Century Medievalist: Digital Methods, Career Diversity, and Beyond,” will take place on Thursday at 1:30 PM (Session 47, Valley III, Eldridge 309). The second, “Teaching a Diverse and Inclusive Middle Ages,” will take place on Saturday at 10 AM (Session 388, Bernhard 208).

4) The annual CARA Luncheon will take place on Friday at noon (Bernhard, President’s Dining Room). If you would like to attend as a representative of your program or institution, please register online. There is no fee to attend, but pre-registration is required. All are welcome!

5) Finally, we invite you to stop by our staffed table in the exhibit hall to introduce yourself, transact any Medieval Academy business you may have, or pick up some chocolate to keep you going during those long afternoon sessions.

See you at the ‘Zoo!

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MAA News – Call for Subvention Applications

Medieval Academy Publication Subventions:
Applications Due May 1

The Medieval Academy Book Subvention Program provides grants of up to $2,500 to university or other non-profit scholarly presses to support the publication of first books by Medieval Academy members. The deadline for proposals is 1 May 2018.

Click here for more information

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Conferences – From Iceland to the Americas

From Iceland to the Americas, September 24-26, 2018, at the University of Notre Dame

A three-day international conference exploring the impact that brief medieval Norse settlements have had on cultural imagination in and of the Americas – in novels, poetry, history, politics, arts and crafts, comics, films, and video games. Speakers: Christopher Abram, Adolf Friðriksson, Dustin Geeraert, Simon Halink, Kevin J. Harty, Jón Karl Helgason, Verena Höfig, Seth Lerer, Emily Lethbridge, T. W. Machan, Amy Mulligan, Heather O’Donoghue, Matthew Scribner, Angela Sorby, Bergur Þorgeirsson.

For additional information, contact Tim Machan (

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