Call for Papers – Medieval Gateways: Threshold, Transition, Exchange

SEMA 2019
November 14-16, 2019
Greensboro, NC
Medieval Gateways: Threshold, Transition, Exchange

The Southeastern Medieval Association is pleased to announce the Call for Papers for its 2019 Conference to be held at UNC-Greensboro, co-sponsored by UNCG, North Carolina Wesleyan College and Wake Forest University. 

We invite proposals for individual papers, whole sessions, or round tables on the conference theme of “medieval gateways.” Papers might consider the notion of transforming places and identities within medieval history, literature, and culture; the role of liminality in literary and cultural productions; diaspora and migration in the medieval period; instances of ideological reform; transitions from the medieval to the modern; the rise of the vernacular, or iconoclasm.

The organizers are extremely proud that Greensboro was one of the earliest sites of the “sit-in” lunch counter protests that sparked the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s. Our downtown is home to the International Civil Rights Center and Museum, which is located in the Woolworth Building and houses the original lunch counter where non-violent protesters sat in early 1960. In honor of this important aspect of our area’s history, the conference organizers also propose a secondary thematic thread for the conference on “Resistance.” Papers on this sub-topic might consider the various means of transgressing the physical, religious, social, political, legal, and economic boundaries imposed during the Middle Ages and beyond.

Proposals for individual papers should be limited to 300 words. Session proposals or round tables should include abstracts for the three papers for a session, or 5-6 abstracts for a round table, as well as the contact information for all presenters.

Abstracts on any aspect of medieval studies are welcome, but we will give preference to submissions related to the conference theme. Please submit proposals to no later than June 3, 2019.

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Call for Papers – Panel on the Old English Alfredian Translations

Panel on the Old English Alfredian Translations

Deadline: June 1st, 2019
Babeș-Bolyai University (UBB), Cluj, Romania
Department of English Language and Literature
10th ‘Constructions of Identity’ International Conference
October 24-25, 2019;

Panel on the Old English Alfredian Translations

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the translations made under King Alfred’s patronage. The research leading to a new edition of the Old English Boethius (ed. by Malcolm Godden and Susan Irvine, Oxford UP, 2009) has reopened the discussion about Alfredian authorship, the Alfredian canon, the Latin and Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, the commentary tradition, translation strategies, the prefaces and epilogues to the Old English translations etc. The Brill Companion to Alfred the Great (ed. by Nicole Guenther Discenza and Paul E. Szarmach, Leiden/Boston, 2015) provides a useful status quaestionis, and opens new discussions about the Alfredian texts and their contexts. We invite papers on any aspect related to the Alfredian translations, or to their sources and influence.

Keynote Speaker: Prof. Susan Irvine (University College London) will give a talk on the Alfredian prefaces and epilogues (title tbc).

Please submit an abstract of 200 words and a short CV to Dr Adrian Papahagi at by June 1st, 2019. Applicants will be notified by June 30th, 2019.

Conference fee: 100 EUR; 50 EUR for PhD students.

Accommodation can be provided at the University hotel (Hotel Universitas, 30 €/night).

After-conference excursion to Alba Iulia and other medieval sites from Transylvania on Saturday, 26th October.

The University of Cluj (est. 1581) is Romania’s leading and largest university (36,000 students). Cluj is the main city of Transylvania, and can be reached by direct flights operated by Wizzair, Lufthansa and Tarom from many major cities in Europe, including London Luton and Gatwick, Birmingham, Liverpool, Doncaster-Sheffield in the UK.

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Call for Papers – “Languages, Literatures and Cultures German to 1700”

The MLA Forum “Languages, Literatures and Cultures German to 1700” and the Society for German Renaissance and Baroque Literature (SGRBL) are organizing three sessions at the MLA Convention, 9-12 January, 2020 in Seattle, WA. Please see information below.

  1. “Digital Humanities and Pre-Modern Germany: Roundtable” 

The brief contributions to this roundtable at the juncture of the Pre-Modern and Digital Humanities should address the full range of work at this exciting intersection. We welcome qualitative and quantitative approaches: cultural analytics, digital resources, theory, visualization, mapping, digitalization, gamification, and teaching. Topics can also address how the Digital Humanities can foster collaboration among researchers, new forms of multimodal scholarly publishing, and outward-facing projects that make the pre-modern accessible to broader audiences. The brief presentations will be followed by discussion.150-word abstract, 50-word CV, audio-visual requirements to Peter Hess ( and Karin Wurst ( by March 9, 2019.

  1. “Emotions in Pre-Modern German Literature and Culture” 

We invite papers on all aspects of emotions found in premodern (pre 1700) German or Latin works including: the role emotions play in constructing social identity, gender, and authority; attempts to control and categorize emotions; the significance of individual and/or collective experiences of emotions; the presentation of emotions in non-verbal media; the ways in which premodern expressions of emotions are studied and described. 150-word abstract, 50-word CV, AV requirements to Peter Hess ( and Karin Wurst ( by March 9, 2019.

  1. “Transnational Boundary Crossing”

We invite proposals for papers that focus on the myriad connections between multilingual and often peripatetic German poets, dramatists, and prose writers with literary works originating elsewhere in Europe, and the engagement of German writers in literary life across the continent (1450-1720). We seek to move beyond familiar questions of literary influence, or the probing of the various ancient, medieval, and Renaissance sources that informed German literary works, to uncover moments of intercultural literary and intellectual exchange between the German lands, Europe, and the world. Papers are welcome on any aspect concerning the interconnections between German and European literary practice that reveal German literature as an integral component of early modern European letters. Questions may concern such topics as the role of translation in creating and exporting German and Neo-Latin literature; the relationships between German and European members of the respublica litteraria; varieties of multilingualism among German writers; movement of German writers across European and global boundaries; the contribution of non-German residents in the German states to the shaping of German literature; and conversely the engagement of German writers with the development of Latin and vernacular writing in other European lands and beyond. 150-word abstract, 50-word CV, audio-visual requirements to James Parente ( and Peter Hess ( by March 9, 2019.

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2019 CARA Award Citations

CARA Kindrick Service Award:

This year the CARA Committee is delighted to honor Carol Symes, Associate Professor in the Department of History with joint appointments in Global Studies, Theater and Medieval Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, with the CARA-Kindrick Service Award for her service to the profession and to Medieval Studies more broadly. As part of a core group of faculty at the University of Illinois, Professor Symes was instrumental in remaking the Medieval Studies Program and reimagining it as a part of a global project. In doing so, she “redrew the map for conceptualizing a global medieval program” at the University of Illinois, and beyond. Symes’s contribution went farther still: in 2012/13 she innovated a new scholarly journal dedicated to this approach, The Medieval Globe, published by ARC Humanities Press and open access. In the introductory issue Symes offered a lucid manifesto for global Medieval Studies that “lays out the stakes and the potentials for transforming our discipline.” Through her tireless work and dedication to a global conception of the Middle Ages, it is clear that Symes has changed our field and its orientation. She has offered a model for thinking broadly, reading widely and voraciously, and for seeing the medieval past in a dynamic framing that renders medieval studies a far richer, more complex and compelling field than previously conceived. Through her extraordinary leadership and dedication to new ideas, through her award-winning teaching and publication record, and in her dedication to mentoring graduate students, junior faculty, and colleagues, she has truly changed our field and pushed the boundaries of our disciplines. Carol Symes has provoked all of us to see the Middle Ages in a new global light and thus to see the potential for new kinds of scholarship, collaboration, and understanding.

CARA Awards for Excellence in Teaching Medieval Studies:

This year CARA is again very pleased to recognize two scholars for excellence in teaching. Elizabeth Sears is the George H. Forsyth Jr. Collegiate Professor of History of Art and Chair of the Department of History of Art at the University of Michigan. Over her three decades of teaching at Princeton University (1982-1989), Universität Hamburg (1991-1992) and the University of Michigan (1992-present) she has inspired and mentored undergraduate and graduate students in courses ranging from “The Medieval Book,” and “The Gothic Age” to “Medieval Image Theory” and “Aby Warburg and His Legacy,” all the while serving on numerous teaching and administrative committees. In her scholarly work she has managed to open up art history and the study of images for students of all levels as exemplified in her edited collection, Reading Medieval Images published in 2002 by combining concise discussions of methodology with in-depth case studies. Her teaching is inspired and seeks to explore the “rich ambiguity of medieval artifacts and texts of all kinds.” For this she also won the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science and the Arts’ Excellence in Teaching Award. As a teacher and graduate mentor, Professor Sears “fosters the individual.” In addition to serving as the editor of Gesta, Sears served as the publications chair for the International Center of Medieval Art (ICMA) and established a book series, Viewpoints. “Wise, measured, insightful, and dedicated, Professor Sears is a model for how to conduct ourselves in the field.”

The CARA Committee is also pleased to recognize Sonja Drimmer, Assistant Professor in the Department of Art History at the University of Massachusetts for her outstanding role teaching, mentoring, and inspiring undergraduate and graduate students. During her short time at UMass, Drimmer has created profound collaborations that have drawn together her colleagues at UMass as well as at Amherst, Smith, Mount Holyoke, and Hampshire Colleges, creating a vibrant medieval studies network. In the classroom, she is a brilliant and provocative teacher, often beginning lectures with a question or an object for discussion, provoking students to ask questions in turn. Quite simply, students in her classes have been “spellbound by her creativity.” In addition to her brilliant teaching, Sonja has developed a significant manuscript collection that her colleagues note “she has built seemingly out of thin air”. In collaboration with the librarians and archivists at Special Collections and the University Archives, she has assembled manuscripts and manuscript reproductions for faculty use with students in courses on early book history, medieval and late antique manuscripts, and textual transmission. She has created a “top-notch teaching collection” which makes possible a new kind of teaching at UMass. Bringing to bear her “capacious and elastic mind,” Professor Drimmer has fostered a form of teaching that is collaborative, generous, and exhilarating.

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MAA News – 2020 Annual Meeting Call for Papers

The 95th Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America will take place on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley on 26-28 March 2020. The meeting is jointly hosted by the Medieval Academy of America, the Program in Medieval Studies of the University of California, Berkeley, and the Medieval Association of the Pacific. The Call for Papers is now online here. The online submission system will be available as of 1 March 2019, and submissions are due on 1 June.

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MAA News – 2019-20 Schallek Fellow

We are very pleased to announce that the 2019-20 Schallek Fellowship has been awarded to Maj-Britt Frenze (Medieval Institute, University of Notre Dame), “Nature and the Supernatural in Medieval Romance: Translation and Transmission in England and Scandinavia.” The Schallek Fellowship is funded by a gift to the Richard III Society-American Branch from William B. and Maryloo Spooner Schallek. The Fellowship supports an advanced graduate student who is writing a Ph.D. dissertation in any relevant discipline dealing with late-medieval Britain (ca. 1350-1500). The Fellowship brings with it an award of $30,000 and was adjudicated by the MAA’s Schallek Committee.

Frenze’s dissertation examines nature and the supernatural in medieval romance, specifically how romance motifs were transmitted and incorporated into translated and original Middle English romances and Old Norse-Icelandic romances and legendary sagas. These romance motifs include those which entered Middle English and Old Norse-Icelandic literature from French sources, including the romance garden and the forest of aventure, but also those with evident Celtic roots like the supernatural figure of the Loathly Lady. While Middle English romance has enjoyed much scholarly engagement over the past decades, Old Norse-Icelandic romance as a genre has suffered relative neglect. Moreover, very few scholars have compared how English and Scandinavian authors developed alongside each other during the thirteenth through fifteenth centuries, a period in which both cultures were engaging with the same romance materials despite the decline of direct contact after the end of the Viking Age. For generations, the natural pairing of texts has occurred between Old English and Old Norse, an assumption that this dissertation challenges in placing Middle English and Old Norse-Icelandic texts in conversation. This dissertation opens new avenues of research comparing literary development in late medieval England and Scandinavia, focusing on cultural inflections of the natural and supernatural motifs of romance.

The main argument of this dissertation is that authors of Middle English and Old Norse-Icelandic romances shared many significant romance motifs, including some not found in extant French sources, and that many of these were culturally inflected in each body of literature. I argue that English and Scandinavian authors re-contextualized many of the same motifs to reflect the priorities of their own cultures and, additionally, that depictions of landscapes in both cultures occur in highly gendered ways, females and males consistently performing particular roles in specific natural settings. For example, while a Middle English romance might portray a conventional romance garden, an Old Norse-Icelandic work might depict a hnotskógr (“nut-grove”). Where a Middle English romance might have a Loathly Lady who transforms into a beautiful lady at the end of the tale, an Old Norse-Icelandic work might have two separate characters play a similar role: the Loathly Giantess and the Lovely Giantess. Where either literature tends to portray a supernatural “other” in a negative light, Middle English romance might depict that other in the alterity of Islam, while Old Norse-Icelandic romance tends to cast the other in the guise of Germanic paganism. Such comparisons teach modern readers about the enormous potential of romance to be incorporated and adapted into seemingly disparate literary cultures. This dissertation thus engages with the fields of romance, comparative literature, translation studies, landscape studies, ecocriticism and gender studies.

Click here for more information about the Schallek Fellowship and the Schallek Awards.

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MAA News – Inaugural Inclusivity and Diversity Travel Grant

We are very pleased to announce that the inaugural Inclusivity and Diversity Travel Grant has been awarded to Karen Pinto (Boise State University) for her paper “Mapping the Worlds of the Global Middle Ages,” to be delivered at the upcoming Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America.

The annual Inclusivity and Diversity Travel Grant of $500 is awarded to one Annual Meeting participant presenting on the study of diversity and inclusivity in the middle ages, broadly conceived. The Travel Grant was adjudicated by the Academy’s Inclusivity and Diversity Prize Committee and will be presented during the Annual Meeting on Friday, 8 March, at 12:45 PM in Meyerson Hall.

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MAA News – MAA Book Subventions: Call for Proposals

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 2019.

Click here for more information.

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MAA News – Renew Your Membership for 2019!

The year 2019 has begun, and it is time to renew your membership in the Medieval Academy of America for the current year if you have not already done so. You must be a member in good standing to apply for grants and fellowships given out by the Academy, to speak at the Medieval Academy Annual Meeting, or to participate in its governance.

Membership brings other benefits, such as:

– a subscription to Speculum, our quarterly journal
– online access to the entire Speculum archive
– access to our online member directory
– publication and database discounts through our website

Other memberships perquisites are listed here.

You can easily pay your dues and/or make a donation through the MAA website where, after you sign into your account, you can also adjust your membership category if necessary. Please consider supplementing your membership by becoming a Contributing or Sustaining member or by making a tax-deductible donation as part of your end-of-year giving. Your gift helps subsidize lower membership rates for student, contingent, and unaffiliated medievalists and also supports our grant-making programs.

You may also wish to remember the Academy with a bequest as a member of our Legacy Society (for more information, please contact the Executive Director).

With your help, the Academy increased its support of members in 2018, especially student, independent, and contingent scholars, through the numerous awards and fellowships offered annually. We sincerely hope that you will renew your valued membership in the Academy as we continue this work in 2019.

Thank you for your support. We look forward to working with you in 2019 and hope to see you at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy in beautiful Philadelphia (March 7-9).

Click here to renew.

David Wallace, President
Lisa Fagin Davis, Executive Director

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Call for Papers – Medieval Religions

Medieval Religions
58th Annual Midwest Medieval History Conference at the University of Notre Dame (South Bend, IN)

20 and 21 September, 2019

Keynote Speaker: Anne E. Lester

The fifty-eighth annual meeting of the Midwest Medieval History Conference will be held on the campus of the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN on 20-21 September, 2019.

The conference will begin on Friday afternoon with graduate papers and a keynote by Anne E. Lester, John W. Baldwin and Jenny Jochens Associate Professor of Medieval History at Johns Hopkins University. She is the author of Creating Cistercian Nuns: The Women’s Religious Movement and Its Reform in Thirteenth-Century Champagne and has co-edited volumes on medieval materiality, religious movements, and crusades and memory.

The remainder of Friday and Saturday’s program will feature scholarly papers on all aspects of medieval history, especially those related to this year’s theme: Medieval Religion(s), and an exhibit of manuscripts. We welcome papers by graduate students (those presenting receive an honorarium), and independent, early-stage, and senior scholars. The programming committee is also happy to consider proposals addressing teaching, pedagogy, and digital humanities. Abstracts of 250-300 words may be emailed to the program chair, Jessalynn Bird, at Queries regarding organization may be sent to the conference organizer, Daniel Hobbins, at

Deadline for submissions: March 8, 2019

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