Call for Papers – Othello’s Island 2017

Othello’s Island 2017
The 5th annual multidisciplinary conference
on medieval and renaissance studies
and their later legacies

Venue: Centre for Visual Arts and Research (CVAR)
Nicosia, Cyprus, 6 to 8 April 2017
with optional historic-site visits on 9 April

Advance Notice

CALL FOR PAPERS a collaborative event organised by academics from Sheffield Hallam University, SOAS University of London University of Kent, University of Sheffield and the University of Leeds:


  • Emeritus Professor James Fitzmaurice, Northern Arizona University (USA)
  • Professor Lisa Hopkins, Sheffield Hallam University (UK)
  • Dr Sarah James, University of Kent at Canterbury (UK)
  • Dr Michael Paraskos, SOAS University of London (UK)
  • Benedict Read FSA, University of Leeds (UK)
  • Dr Rita Severis, CVAR (Cyprus)

We welcome applications from researchers to present papers at the 2017 edition of Othello’s Island.

First held in 2013, Othello’s Island now a well established annual meeting of academics, students and members of the public interested in medieval and renaissance art, literature, history and culture. 

Othello’s Island is growing in size and stature every year. In 2016 over seventy academics from across the world presented papers at the conference, whilst also experiencing the medieval and renaissance art, architecture and historical sites of Cyprus. 

This experience ranged from the island’s material culture, such as the French gothic cathedral of Nicosia, through to the remarkable living culture of the island that is still deeply affected by its medieval and renaissance past.

In 2017 we are interested in hearing papers on diverse aspects of medieval and renaissance literature, art, history, society and other culture.

Papers do not have to be specifically related to Cyprus or the Mediterranean region and do not have to be connected to Shakespeare.

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, to the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf and Margaret Cavendish.

That said, given our location, Cyprus, the Levant and the Mediterranean do impact on the conference. In part this is because Cyprus is a real gem for anyone interested in medieval and renaissance history. Experience from the conference over the past four years shows that for researchers interested in placing their text-based research in a material context, visiting the island adds a new dimension to their studies. This comes in part from the conference itself, but also from the rich treasury of architectural and other material culture relating to the period that is available on Cyprus.

Othello’s Island itself has developed a reputation as one of the friendliest 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.

For more informaton and submission deadlines please visit

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Call for Applications – Dante and the Visual Arts Summer Symposium at UCLA and the J. Paul Getty Museum

Call for Applications

Dante and the Visual Arts Summer Symposium at UCLA and the J. Paul Getty Museum
August 22–24, 2016

The UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (CMRS) invites applications from graduate students and post-doctoral scholars to attend the Dante and the Visual Arts Summer Symposium.  The symposium, organized by CMRS and the journal Dante e l’Arte in conjunction with the J. Paul Getty Museum, will take place August 22–24, 2016 in Los Angeles with sessions at UCLA and at the Getty Center.

The symposium is part of the larger research project Envisioning the Word: Dante and the Visual Arts 1300-1500 which is an ongoing collaboration between the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and the Institut d’Estudis Medievals at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. The project’s goal is to demonstrate and document how Dante’s imagery, particularly that associated with the Divine Comedy, draws upon the visual traditions of Dante’s own time and gives them a new form. It also examines the way that the Dante’s Comedy influenced the visual arts of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and the culture of early modern print.

The Dante and the Visual Arts Summer Symposium will consist of a day at the Getty Museum focusing on manuscripts and printed books of the fourteenth through the sixteenth centuries, concentrating on the long visual tradition associated with Dante and his milieu. Participants will also learn how books and manuscripts were made, illuminated, and illustrated. The symposium will then move to UCLA for two days of presentations and discussions focusing on the most important editions of Dante’s Comedy analyzing such factors as the relationship between text and image, the hermeneutic importance of the image, and the criteria by which a particular description in the text has been selected to be represented visually. An exhibit of early books and manuscripts will be on display in UCLA Library Special Collections in conjunction with the symposium.

ELIGIBILITY — Applicants must be graduate students or post-doctoral scholars who are doing research or specializing in some aspect of Dante studies. An ability to speak and to understand spoken Italian is preferred, but not required. Please note: Applicants who are not US citizens will be responsible for obtaining the appropriate visa if required. If selected for the award, the UCLA-CMRS staff will assist with this process.

AWARD — A total of 12 applicants will be selected to attend the symposium. Six of these applicants will be chosen from the southern Californian region. An additional six from outside the greater Los Angeles area will be selected to receive funding in the form of roundtrip, economy class travel to/from Los Angeles (i.e., airfare and ground transportation) and 5 nights lodging.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE — There is no application form. An application consists of these items:

1.  A cover letter with the following information: Name, mailing address, email address, telephone number, affiliation and status (school you attend or graduated from; highest academic degree and date awarded), and citizenship status. Please address the cover letter to Professor Massimo Ciavolella.

2. A short description (500 words) of your academic or research interests and an explanation of how the Dante and the Visual Arts Summer Symposium will help you achieve your academic goals. Please describe your fluency with the Italian language.

3.  Curriculum vitae.

4.  Transcript(s) from all colleges or universities attended.

5. Two letters of recommendation from faculty or scholars familiar with your academic work.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES — Submit application items 1-4 by email attachment to; please use the subject line “Dante Application.” PDF format is preferred. Letters of recommendation should also be submitted by the recommender to the same email address. All applications and letters will receive an email confirmation of receipt.


If you need more information about the symposium or the application process, please contact Karen Burgess (UCLA-CMRS Assistant Director) at .

Click here to go to the page on the UCLA-CMRS website for an overview of the project.

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Call for Papers – New Approaches to Early Modern Literature and Culture

26 September 2016

The Department of English at Bates College invites papers on any topic related to new approaches to Early Modern Literature and Culture, for a day-long symposium showcasing the work of emerging scholars (recent PhD or ABD) from historically underrepresented groups.

The symposium will showcase new work by individuals from underrepresented groups in the professoriate, specifically defined as including African Americans, Alaska Natives, Arab Americans, Asian Americans, Latinas/os, Native Americans, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders.

We are particularly interested in questions that contest the boundaries of Early Modern English Literature, including (but not limited to) considerations of ethnography, genre, and geography; that interrogate its received forms, including material cultural and / or theoretical perspectives—including philosophies of race, gender, or sexuality—germane to emerging national literatures; and that broach its very definition as a period, arguably from 1500 to 1750, including points of contact with or reference to notions of the medieval and / or modern.

Invited speakers will have their travel expenses covered and will be guests of the College from the evening of 9/25 through breakfast on 9/27, with all paper presentations to occur on 9/26. Twenty-minute papers will be grouped into thematic panels, with additional roundtable and Q&A formats running throughout the day. We aim to create an intellectually enriching experience for all interlocutors, including the selected speakers and the faculty and students of Bates College.

What to Submit:

  • A 300-word abstract describing the paper’s argument, critical context, and significance
    • A current cv
    • A 1-page cover letter describing your interest in participating in the symposium

Where to Submit:

Abstract, cv, and statement should be submitted in PDF format by email to by 15 May 2016. Speakers will be notified of acceptance by 30 June 2016.

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Call for Papers – Archive Journal Special Issue: “Digital Medieval Manuscript Cultures”

CFP Archive Journal Special Issue: “Digital Medieval Manuscript Cultures”
Deadline: 20 May 2016

In medieval manuscript studies, an important feature of the “digital turn” has been the creation of digital surrogates. Until recently, this activity has taken one of two forms: either the digitization of major categories of manuscripts (such as the Royal Manuscripts at the British Library) or the digitization of a single manuscript (or small groups of manuscripts) holding a particularly significant canonical literary work such as the Beowulf manuscript or the Hengwrt manuscript of the Canterbury Tales. As new projects explore further possible areas of development, such as the “distant reading” of large quantities of manuscript images or the potential of digital paleography, the digital surrogate promises to become increasingly important in medieval studies.

This several-decades push for digitization carries significant implications for the future of medieval manuscript studies as well as medieval studies more broadly. On the one hand, digital facsimiles of medieval manuscripts make it easier for scholars, students, and wider publics to explore manuscripts and place medieval books alongside the literatures, history, art, and culture of the middle ages in and beyond Europe. On the other hand, digital surrogates are increasingly treated by some students and researchers as fully equivalent to the physical manuscript. And yet, digitization could be seen as the latest iteration of a process of copying that has always attended medieval manuscripts (e.g., modern facsimiles done by hand, or using photography or microfilm). Seen in this light, digitization might not necessarily represent a radical departure in the history of medieval manuscript production, compilation, or dissemination.

At the center of the debates about access and preservation, historical continuity and radical rupture, one thing is clear: the ways in which librarians, publishers and scholars create and use digitized manuscripts need to be critically aware and historically informed. For this special issue of Archive Journal (to be released in late 2016), we seek contributions from scholars, archivists, librarians, curators, and technologists that address the current practices and theories shaping the (re)production of digital medieval manuscript culture as well as the larger possibilities or limits of “digital manuscript cultures” today. We welcome essays — as well as interviews, case studies, or other formats beyond the essay — of 3,000 to 5,000 words: image, audio, video, and multimedia formats of approximate equivalent size are also welcome.

Please contact guest editors Michael Hanrahan ( and Bridget Whearty ( with any questions. Submissions due by 20 May 2016 to An open access, peer-reviewed journal, Archive Journal seeks content that speaks to its diverse audience that includes librarians, scholars, archivists, technologists, and students.

Contributions might include, but are not limited to, consideration of the following:

-How is the digital shift in medieval manuscript studies to be theorized?

– What are the cultural, social, institutional, and political implications of the process of digitization?

– (How) does digitization reinforce existing canonicities and/or open up new materials for research?

– What are the roles of non-subject-specialist and subject specialists in digital medieval manuscript culture? What kinds of expertise are necessary in this domain? What communities are useful in augmenting the conversations surrounding digital medieval manuscript culture?

– Does digitization transform the relationship between library, curator, scholar, and wider readership, or does it simply restate long-standing relationships and power structures?

-What are the advantages of and problems with the labor of digitization?

– What are the implications for medieval studies more widely of the complex financial, commercial and IP issues surrounding digitization of manuscripts? How far should libraries divert resources from other activities towards digitization? How far is digitization enhancing scholarly access? Or is it creating a digital divide, in which certain resources are only available to the richest institutions?

– How transformative are recent developments such as smart phones and cameras for DIY digitization?

– How will digitization encourage or discourage greater awareness of the nature, forms, and issues of medieval manuscripts?

– How do technologically-advanced forms of digitization (including multi-spectral imaging and XRF imaging) affect our understandings of textual and bibliographical objects?

-How do new textual strategies (involving visualization, quantification, collective annotation, etc) affect scholarship and librarianship related to manuscripts?

-What are the implications or possibilities of computational approaches (including the application of quantitative or automated techniques) to medieval manuscript culture?

-How are librarians as well as scholars promoting the use of digital medieval manuscript repositories, teaching with/about them, working with projects built around them?

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2016 Mellon Summer Institute in Italian Paleography

2016 Mellon Summer Institute in Italian Paleography
at the Newberry Library

Application deadline: March 1
Institute: Monday, June 27-Friday, July 15, 2016
Apply online:

9 am to noon, Mondays through Fridays, plus three mandatary afternoon sessions (to be announced). No meeting on July 4.

Directed by Maddalena Signorini, Università degli Studi di Roma

This three-week institute will offer intensive training in the accurate reading and transcription of handwritten Italian vernacular texts from the late medieval though the early modern periods. The instruction is intended to enable scholars in various fields of specialization to acquire the skills to work with primary sources. While the major emphasis is on paleographical skills, the course offers an introduction to materials and techniques, and considers the history of scripts within the larger historical, literary, intellectual, and social contexts of Italy. Participants receive an introduction to a wide range of types of writing and documents from literary to legal, notarial, official, ecclesiastical, business, and family documents. The course offers an overview of the system of Italian archives-public, ecclesiastical, and private. Participants also have the opportunity to work with original texts, using manuscripts and documents in the collections of the Newberry Library.

Eligibility: The institute will enroll 15 participants by competitive application. First consideration will be given to advanced PhD students and junior faculty at U.S. colleges and universities, but applications are also accepted from advanced PhD students and junior faculty at Canadian institutions, from professional staff of U.S. and Canadian libraries and museums, and from qualified independent scholars.

Prerequisite: This graduate-level course is taught entirely in Italian; advanced language skills are required.

Award: All successful applicants will receive a stipend of $950; non-local participants will receive an additional $2,500 to help defray the costs of travel, housing, and food. There are no fees associated with the institute.

Notification: We will notify all applicants by April 1 whether they have been accepted as a participant, placed on an alternate list, or declined. Invited participants will have until April 15 to confirm whether or not they will attend.

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2/27 Dante Lecture: William Franke

Saturday, February 27, 1:30 to 3 pm

Dante Lecture
William Franke, Vanderbilt University
“The Apotheosis of Self-Reflection: Dante and the Inauguration of the Modern Era”

A reception will follow the program.

This program is free and open to the public, but space is limited and registration in advance is required. Registration closes at 10:00 am, Friday, February 26. For more information and to register:

Faculty and graduate students at member institutions of the Center for Renaissance Studies consortium may be eligible to apply for travel funding to attend this program.

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Ten Reasons to Attend the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America (Boston, 25-27 February):

10) We’re awarding the Haskins Medal, Brown Prize, and Elliott Prize on Saturday, 27 February, at 10:45 AM;

9) CARA Awards for Teaching and Service will be presented on Friday, 26 February, at 1 PM;

8) The annual CARA meeting will take place Sunday, 28 February, and will feature a discussion of STEM and Medieval Studies;

7) The program features four sessions devoted to Digital Humanities in Medieval Studies;

6) You don’t want to miss the CARA session on “The Parameters of Pre-Modern Magic” on Friday at 8:30 AM;

5) Spend the weekend hunkered down at the Hyatt Regency Boston with more than 400 of your favorite medievalists;

4) The closing reception at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is going to be unforgettable;

3) The program includes fifty-one sessions with 170 papers, more than half of which are being presented by women;

2) Plenary lectures will be presented by Barbara Newman (Northwestern University), William Noel (Kislak Center for Special Collections, University of Pennsylvania), and Robin Fleming (Boston College);

1) And the no. 1 reason to attend the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America: Boston is beautiful this time of year!

Pre-registration closes on February 10. Onsite registration will be available, but at a slightly higher rate. Click here  for more information and to register.

Follow us on Twitter at #MAA2016 and @MedievalAcademy. We hope to see you in Boston!

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Call for Papers – Manuscript Studies: A New Journal from the Schoenberg Institute

The Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries is pleased to announce its new semi-annual journal Manuscript Studies. This journal aims to bring together scholarship from around the world and across disciplines related to the study of pre-modern manuscript books and documents.
We are actively seeking submissions for 2017 and beyond. The journal is open to contributions that rely on both traditional methodologies of manuscript study and those that explore the potential of new ones. We seek articles that engage in a larger conversation on manuscript culture and its continued relevance in today’s world and highlight the value of manuscript evidence in understanding our shared cultural and intellectual heritage. Studies that incorporate digital methodologies to further understanding of the physical and conceptual structures of the manuscript book are encouraged. A separate section, entitled Annotations, features research in progress and digital project reports. Book,  digital project, and exhibition reviews will also be included. For more information, go to

The following articles will be featured in first issue, to be published April 2016. For subscription information, please visit the website.
·Christopher Blackwell, Christine Roughan, and Neel Smith, Citation and Alignment: Scholarship Outside and Inside the Codex
·Benjamin J. Fleming, The Materiality of South Asian Manuscripts from the University of Pennsylvania MS. coll. 390 and the Rāmamālā Library in Bangladesh
·Evyn Kropf, Will that Surrogate Do?: Reflections on Material Manuscript Literacy in the Digital Environment from Islamic Manuscripts at the University of Michigan Library
·Nigel Ramsay, Towards a Universal Catalogue of Early Manuscripts: Seymour de Ricci’s Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada
·Linda H. Chance and Julie Nelson Davis, The Handwritten and the Printed: Issues of Format and Medium in Japanese Premodern Books
·Timothy L. Stinson, (In)Completeness in Middle English Literature: The Case of the Cook’s Tale and the Tale of Gamelyn
·Y. Tzvi Langermann, Transcription, Translation, and Annotation: Observations on Three Medieval Islamicate Medical Texts in UPenn MS Codex 1649
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Teaching “Beowulf” in the Context of Old Norse-Icelandic Literature

National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute for College and University Teachers, Teaching “Beowulf” in the Context of Old Norse-Icelandic Literature this summer.

Directed by Jana Schulman, this Institute focuses on the Old English poem “Beowulf,” engaging participants in learning about or refreshing their knowledge of the poem and its cultural and historical background in conjunction with various Old Norse-Icelandic texts. All primary texts will be read in translation. Visiting and guest scholars include R.D. Fulk, Dawn Hadley, Heather O’Donoghue, Gísli Sigur∂sson, and Kevin Wanner.  To be held in Kalamazoo, MI, this four-week Summer Institute runs from June 19 through July 15. Applications are due by March 1, 2016.

The institute’s website is

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Medieval and Modern Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age (MMSDA)

Medieval and Modern Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age (MMSDA)
2 – 6 May 2016, Cambridge and London
We are very pleased to announce the sixth year of this course, funded by the Digital Scholarly Editions Initial Training Network (DiXiT), and run by King’s College London with the University of Cambridge and the Warburg Institute. The course will run in two parallel strands: one on medieval and the other on modern manuscripts.
The course is open to any doctoral students working with manuscripts. It involves five days of intensive training on the analysis, description and editing of medieval or modern manuscripts to be held jointly in Cambridge and London. Participants will receive a solid theoretical foundation and hands-on experience in cataloguing and editing manuscripts for both print and digital formats.
The first half of the course involves morning classes and then afternoon visits to libraries in Cambridge and London. Participants will view original manuscripts and gain practical experience in applying the morning’s themes to concrete examples. In the second half we will address the cataloguing and description of manuscripts in a digital format with particular emphasis on the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI). These sessions will also combine theoretical principles and practical experience and include supervised work on computers.
The course is free of charge but is open only to doctoral students (PhD or equivalent). It is aimed at those writing dissertations relating to medieval or modern manuscripts, especially those working on literature, art or history. Eight bursaries will be available for travel and accommodation. There are thirty vacancies across the medieval and modern strands, and preference will be given to those considered by the selection panel likely to benefit most from the course. Applications close at 5pm GMT on 22 February 2016 but early registration is strongly recommended.
For further details see or contact
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