Medieval Academy of America Statement on Online Dissertation Embargoes

The Medieval Academy of America strongly encourages graduate programs and university libraries to adopt policies that allow doctoral candidates the option of withholding their Ph.D. dissertations from university-mandated open-access digital publication for up to six years. The Academy also encourages the disclosure of options available to students so they can make an informed choice.

Many universities require doctoral candidates to submit their dissertations digitally. Instead of conveying hardcopies to the university library or archive, they must post the digital dissertations online where they are freely accessible. The decision as to whether to allow immediate, free, digital access to research or to withhold such access for a limited period, should remain with the doctoral candidate. This decision is best made in close consultation with the student’s dissertation advisor and other mentors who can provide field-specific advice regarding career and publishing paths.

William Chester Jordan, President
Barbara Newman, Vice-President
Carmela Vircillo Franklin, Second Vice-President
and the Council of the Medieval Academy

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Medieval Studies Seminar: Hélène Debax next Monday, 21 April

The Medieval Studies Seminar is pleased to welcome Prof. Hélène Debax next Monday, 21 April at 4:30 pm (Barker 133), when she will speak on “Joint Lordship in the Medieval West, Eleventh through Thirteenth Centuries.” Prof. Debax recieved her Maîtrise and Ph.D. from the University of Toulouse, where she now is Professor of Medieval History and a director of the CNRS-sponsored project FRAMESPA (France Méridionale et Espagne: Histoire des sociétés du Moyen-Âge à l’époque contemporaine). A scholar of the social and political history of medieval France and the medieval aristocracy, with a special focus on Languedoc, Prof. Debax is the author of numerous articles and monographs, including La seigneurie collective: pairs, pariers, paratge (Rennes, 2012) and La féodalité languedocienne: serments, hommages et fiefs dans le Languedoc des Trencavel (Toulouse, 2003).

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Institute for Advanced Study Opportunities for Scholars 2015-2016


INSTITUTE FOR ADVANCED STUDY, School of Historical Studies, Opportunities for Scholars 2015-2016.  The Institute is an independent private institution founded in 1930 to create a community of scholars focused on intellectual inquiry, free from teaching and other university obligations.  Scholars from around the world come to the Institute to pursue their own research.  Candidates of any nationality may apply for a single term or a full academic year.  Scholars may apply for a stipend, but those with sabbatical funding, other grants, retirement funding or other means are also invited to apply for a non-stipendiary membership.  Some short-term visitorships (for less than a full term, and without stipend) are also available on an ad-hoc basis.  Open to all fields of historical research, the School of Historical Studies= principal interests are the history of western, near eastern and Asian civilizations, with particular emphasis upon Greek and Roman civilization, the history of Europe (medieval, early modern, and modern), the Islamic world, East Asian studies, art history, the history of science and philosophy, modern international relations, and music studies.   Residence in Princeton during term time is required.  The only other obligation of Members is to pursue their own research.  The Ph.D. (or equivalent) and substantial publications are required.  Additional information can be found on the School’s web page at, and on the School’s web site,  Inquiries by post should be sent to School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, Einstein Dr., Princeton, N.J. 08540 (E-mail address:  Deadline: November 1 2014.

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Keele Latin and Palaeography Summer School 2014

Now in its 37th year, this week-long summer school (26-31 July 2014) held at Keele University in North Staffordshire (between Manchester and Birmingham, UK) provides practical tuition in medieval Latin and palaeography in small groups. Using digital images of medieval documents from both The National Archives and local record offices in England, the sessions are intended to provide students of English history with a firm grounding in the reading and transcription of a range of English sources.

For details please visit the home page:  For further information please contact the Director, Dr Nigel Tringham at

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Call for Nominations: European Studies First Article Prize

The deadline for this year’s European Studies First Article Prize is fast approaching—all nominations must be received by April 14, 2014. Please take this opportunity to nominate a particularly impressive or noteworthy contribution to your field today! More information about the award, including the online Nomination Form, is available here.

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London Rare Books School

This is a reminder that the course discount (two courses for £1000) for London Rare Books School (LRBS) expires April 15. LRBS runs 23 – 27 June 2014 and 30 June – 4 July 2014.

The application form is available from the Institute of English Studies website. Individual courses are £600, and a £100 deposit is requested upon application.

A (very) limited number of partial bursaries are available. Placements are offered on a first-come, first-served basis, and courses are restricted to a maximum of twelve students. Courses may be taken for academic credit toward a postgraduate diploma in the History of the Book, or as part of the Institute’s MA in the History of the Book.

The courses are taught by internationally renowned scholars, using the unrivalled library and museum resources of London, including the British Library, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Lambeth Palace Library, and Senate House Libraries.

Applications should be submitted to

The course programme is below. For further details, see the LRBS website orcontact the Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London at or +44 020 7862 8679

WEEK ONE: 23 – 27 June 2014
Children’s Books, 1470-1980
European Bookbinding, 1450-1820
A History of Maps and Mapping
The History of Readers and Reading, 1770-2010 *new course
An Introduction to Bibliography
The Medieval Book
The Printed Book in Europe, 1450-2000

WEEK TWO: 30 June – 4 July 2014
The Book in the Ancient World
The Early Modern Book in England
The History and Practice of Hand Press Printing
An Introduction to Illustration and its Technologies
Modern First Editions: Dealing, Collecting, and the Market
The Printed Book in the East: China, India, and Japan *new course
Western Historical Scripts from Antiquity to 1600

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Call for Papers – Texas Medieval Association

The University of North Texas (Denton) is happy to announce that they will be hosting the annual conference of the Texas Medieval Association, October 3-4, 2014.  More information can be found on the TEMA website (

This year TEMA will be held in conjunction with the annual conference of the

NT Medieval Graduate Student Symposium, October 2, 2014.

Keynote Speakers:

  • Dr. Barbara Rosenwein, Loyola University, Chicago: “Jean Gerson’s Interdisciplinary Theory of Emotions.”
  • Dr. Bruce Holsinger, University of Virginia, “Voice/Text/Character: Historical Fiction in the Archives.”

Call for Papers and Sessions

Deadline for submission of a 300 word abstract is August 15, 2014.

Abstracts and short CV should be sent to:

While we will entertain papers on any topic, from any discipline of Medieval Studies—Art History, Religion, Philosophy, English, History, Foreign Languages, Music, we particularly welcome those that engage the multifaceted topic of

“Interdisciplinarity in the Age of Relevance.”*

Many of us in the academy, even those amongst us who are preparing for a career in the academy, are confronted with the constant refrain of “relevance.” The state of the academy and its public rhetoric profess among its highest goals an emphasis on community engagement, tangible solutions to “real” world problems, and quantifiable results that produce change and progress.  Highlighting the value of stem research, and stressing the potential for expansive pools of external funding, we in the Humanities are asked to consider the creative potential and lucrative benefits of interdisciplinary research clusters and cross-campus collaborative partnerships.   The underlying suggestion in this none-to-subtle rhetoric–even recently professed by the President of the United States—is, of course,  that the humanities in general, and Medieval Studies in particular,  are less-relevant in our current era because we do not on the surface contribute to this over-arching public mission.

Beginning however, with the understanding that all the various disciplines comprising Medieval Studies—English, History, Music/Liturgy, Philosophy/Religion, Archaeology, Art History, Language Studies—are inherently interdisciplinary and in some sense inseparable, we seek papers that explore or exploit  the difference between “Interdisciplinary,” “Intra-disciplinary,” Extra-disciplinary,” and even “Super-disciplinary” studies.  We are interested in examples of those who are engaging technology in their studies and/or have incorporated a theoretical stance in line with the hard sciences, or perhaps seek to turn the notion of “Relevance” on its head.  We ask: What role do Medievalists play in this new age?  Where do we see ourselves and our projects in the world of “real solutions?”

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Executive Director Announcement

To the Members of the Medieval Academy,                      

On behalf of the Council, I am delighted to announce the appointment of our new Executive Director, Lisa Fagin Davis. The Council’s decision comes after an extensive search, with wide consultation and expressions of interest solicited both within and beyond the Academy. We are all, I am sure, grateful to the Search Committee, consisting of vice presidents William Chester Jordan (chair) and Barbara Newman, Treasurer Gene Lyman, Councillor Bonnie Effros, and former Executive Director Rick Emmerson, for their diligent work in identifying Lisa as the right person to lead us. Many of you will already know Lisa through her fine work as acting director, a post which she accepted in May, 2013. Since then I am sure you have been impressed, as has the Council, by her enthusiasm, her hard work, her willingness to learn (and learn quickly) and, above all, her deep commitment to the Medieval Academy. I am sure you join me in wishing her well in the full-time post which she assumes officially on July 1 of this year, when she will drop the ‘acting’ from her title. All of us involved with the administration of the Academy in recent months know we are in good hands. Congratulations to Lisa.

Richard W. Unger, President

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Conferences – Imagining Medieval English

The University of Notre Dame will host “Imagining Medieval English” on September 15, 16, and 17. The conference, which is open to the public, will bring together 12 distinguished scholars who will speak on topics such as the reasons for positing coherence in the linguistic record of 500-1500; the kinds of coherence and difference that can be identified among medieval English regional dialects; the role of historical grammars and dictionaries in the construction of medieval English; the nature of historical linguistic evidence; and the relations between literary language and linguistic history. For additional information contact Tim Machan ( or see

(See our calendar for more conferences)

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Call for Papers – Copies, Copying, and Mimetic Acts

Copies, Copying, and Mimetic Acts

New England Medieval Studies Conference

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Middlebury College

The medieval world teemed with copies of every variety: holy Christian figures looked to Christ as the ultimate imago; scribes copied the written word in biblical and historical texts; illuminators worked with pre-established models; goldsmiths sculpted simulacral figures of saints and sacred objects; political and ecclesiastical figures modeled their ritual behavior to connect themselves to the historical and biblical pasts; preachers drew from large collections of exempla to integrate into their sermons. As much as we can say that all of these cultural phenomena involved copying and, often, mimesis, it is also clear that the medieval culture of the copy was multivalent and flexible.

We invite proposals for 20-minute papers that address any aspect of these and related concepts in any field of medieval studies. We welcome papers that integrate new theoretical approaches to this material, and we especially encourage work that pays close attention to things copied and the copies themselves. By Sunday, June 1, 2014, please email abstracts of no longer than 250 words along with a current cv to the conference organizers at:

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