A Virtual Symposium: The Documentary Archaeology of Late Medieval Europe (DALME)

A Virtual Symposium
to launch the website of
The Documentary Archaeology of Late Medieval Europe

Friday, February 19, 2021
11-12:30 EST│16-17:30 GMT│17-18:30 CET

Join us as we introduce the DALME project and its newly-launched website, featuring hundreds of medieval-era inventories from households and institutions throughout Europe, transcribed and ready to explore.

Speakers include Project PIs:

Daniel Lord Smail, Harvard University
Gabriel Pizzorno, Harvard University
Laura Morreale, Georgetown University

with DALME contributing scholars & collection owners

Moderated by Anne E. Lester, The Johns Hopkins University

Register by February 18 to attend: https://harvard.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_B5hq3F9kRtOoMLnQ6CbsMw

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Dumbarton Oaks Awards Announcement

Virtual Bliss Symposium Awards

Applications for the Virtual Bliss Symposium Awards for Byzantine Studies is due February 15, 2021. Successful applicants will receive advance registration and online attendance of the symposium program to which they apply. In addition, awardees will receive up to five Dumbarton Oaks publications, of their choosing, including shipment.

2021 Byzantine Coins and Seals Summer Program

The 2021 Coins and Seals Summer Program will be held from June 28 to July 23, 2021. Applicants must send their application electronically by February 15, 2021, and more information about the application process can found here.

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Call for Papers – The Fourth Biennial Conference of the Medieval Central Europe Research Network Online

The Fourth Biennial Conference of the Medieval Central Europe Research Network
Online, organized by the University of Gdańsk, 7–9 April 2021

Call for Papers

After successful conferences in Budapest (2014), Olomouc (2016) and Zagreb (2018), the Fourth Biennial Conference of MECERN (http://mecern.eu/) (postponed from 2020 and moved to an online format) will examine the building of networks in Central Europe, as well as between Central Europe and other parts of Europe and the wider world. It will raise the question whether this process was based on cooperation or competition, on solidarity or rivalry, and will trace the short and long-term impacts, and eventual disintegration of these networks. In other words, the conference will explore medieval Central Europe as a conglomerate of structured and interrelated, but often changeable ties. By invoking new paradigms, this approach encourages historians from Central Europe or writing about Central Europe to reject the national perspective and national myths concerning this subject.

Due to the move to the online format, the Organizing Committee has decided to open the possibility for new applicants to propose papers for a short additional period. We welcome proposals from scholars at all stage of career, researching all aspects of medieval past, from political, social, cultural, economic, ecclesiastical, urban, artistic, material, literary, intellectual and legal history. Having Central Europe as their starting point, papers and session proposals may address the following issues:

  • rivalry and competition for power in Central Europe
  • building Central European alliances; dynastic connections, including contacts with Western Europe and wider Eurasia
  • temporary and permanent agreements or contracts of an economic, social or political nature
  • network building between families, kin-groups, social groups, economic organisations; trade contacts
  • Church connections and rivalry in Central Europe and beyond
  • religious organisations, brotherhoods, networks of monasteries and monks
  • medieval schools and universities as places of networking
  • the development of the idea of networks in the Middle Ages
  • networks of law; legal ties between cities
  • inclusion and exclusion: developments outside the network structure
  • artistic aspects of networks (the existence of artists’ networks)
  • material culture and of objects – what archaeology says about networks
  • modern historiography on networks; the concepts of rivalry and cooperation in the Middle Ages

Both individual and panel submissions are encouraged. Papers are twenty minutes long. In addition, the call is open for poster presentations.  A poster session will include five-minute presentations from each accepted poster presented.


Deadline for submissions: 23 January 2021

Please submit a 250-word abstract and a one-page CV to  mecerngdansk21@gmail.com

Expected registration fee: 30 EUR, PhD students: reduced fee 20 EUR

Accepted participants will be notified by 15 February 2021

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Upcoming Webinars on Medieval Studies / Ethiopian Studies

Upcoming event, a pair of webinars on “The Turn to the Medieval in Ethiopian Studies – The Turn to Ethiopia in Medieval Studies”:  https://www.ias.edu/hs/ias-ethiopian-studies-series

“We are eager to think together about the rich and often challenging complexities that have arisen as a result of the intersection of Medieval Studies and Ethiopian Studies over the past several years. These fields developed along very different lines, but have begun to mutually enrich – and interrogate – one another. In terms of regional networks, the two fields overlap in their concern with political, commercial, and cultural connections in the eastern Mediterranean: while Ethiopia represents for Medieval Studies an outgrowth of Mediterranean Studies, extending investigation for such exchanges down the Red Sea, Europe similarly represents for Ethiopian Studies a secondary ring of this zone of contact. Each offers the other a rich comparative (and sometimes connected) context for the study of Christian culture, including monasticism, hagiography, manuscript studies, and art and architecture, and both have investigated interconfessional relations in ways that might be mutually illuminating. Finally, together they contribute to an exploration of what ‘medieval Africa’ might entail, and allow us to explore the potentialities of more integrated, even global approaches to the premodern world. Yet the enrichment that this intersection of fields provides may also be problematic, as the distinctive chronologies, nomenclatures, and scholarly traditions of Medieval Studies and Ethiopian Studies meet. As research on premodern Ethiopia has greatly expanded in recent decades, and as Medieval Studies manifests increasing interest in Ethiopia, these paired webinars seek to explore what is gained and what is lost by more intensive conversation between them.”

February 19, 2021, 12:00 noon: The Turn to the Medieval in Ethiopian Studies – The Turn to Ethiopia in Medieval Studies I.

Andrea Achi (Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters at the Metropolitan Museum)
Marie-Laure Derat (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
Kristen Windmuller-Luna (Cleveland Museum of Art)
Felege-Selam Yirga (The University of Tennessee, Knoxville)

March 19, 2021, 12:00 noon: The Turn to the Medieval in Ethiopian Studies – The Turn to Ethiopia in Medieval Studies II.

Alessandro Bausi (Universität Hamburg)
Verena Berhan Krebs (Ruhr-Universität Bochum)
Eyob Derillo (The British Library)
Samantha L. Kelly (Rutgers and IAS)

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Call for Papers – Water in towns in North-West Europe in the early Middle Ages

Water in towns in North-West Europe in the early Middle Ages: an agent of urban spatial transformation
(4th−12th centuries)

Conference organized by the University of Tours (France)
21-23 October 2021
UMR 7324 CITERES − Laboratoire Archéologie et Territoires

Call for papers

Towns or, rather, urban societies maintained multiple and complex relations with water in the past. In its different forms, stagnant or dynamic, water was a prerequisite for human settlement. Most towns are located on a watercourse used for various purposes (food provision, craft production, energy, defence, transport…). Medieval towns were places where water was omnipresent and this constitutes a subject of choice for researchers, as shown by the many studies published on the subject (eg Leguay 2002, Guillerme 1983). Among all the symposia organised up till now on water in the medieval period, most papers have concerned the end of the period, for which written sources are more numerous and detailed. At the same time, at conferences and in publications devoted to towns in the early Middle Ages, the role of water has not been treated in much depth (Hodges and Hobley 1988), even if there are some well-known examples from this period, such as the harbour of Dorestad (Van Es and Verwers 1980) or Douai (Louis, Demolon and Louis-Vanbauce 1990). In 2004, publication of a symposium on rivers and marshes lent new impetus to approaches to human interaction with rivers and management of wetlands, including urban examples such as Tours (Burnouf and Leveau 2004).

Starting from the premise that a variety of towns existed during the early Middle Ages (towns of Roman origin, or growing up around a monastery, a defensive site or an economic hub), we propose to assess the role of water in these towns at three progressive levels: i) that of different users within a town, ii) at the level of the town as a whole, and iii) in the creation of urban networks. Our purpose is to draw together the most recent research, highlighting this subject through archaeological discoveries as well as critical analysis of written sources.

Communication or poster proposals should be submitted by 1 March 2021. Proposals should provide a title, a summary of 300 words in French or English and the institutional affiliation of the author. They must be filed on the website of the conference : https://eauvillehma.sciencesconf.org/.

It is planned to publish the proceedings of this conference.

The registration cost will be €20. Attendance is free of charge for students but they need to register. A buffet is organised for lunch for the first two days of the symposium (€15 for attendance). On the third day, a visit of the city of Vendôme will be offered to all the participants of the symposium.

For further information, please visit the website of the conference on eauvillehma.sciencesconf.org.

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2021 Medieval Academy of America Publication Prizes

The Medieval Academy of America congratulates the winners of the
2021 Medieval Academy of America Publication Prizes:

Haskins Medal: Robert G. Ousterhout, Eastern Medieval Architecture: The Building Traditions of Byzantium and Neighboring Lands (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2019)

Karen Gould Prize in Art History: Margaret Graves, Arts of Allusion: Object, Ornament, and Architecture in Medieval Islam (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2018)

Digital Humanities and Multimedia Studies Prize: Virtual Angkor (https://www.virtualangkor.com) (Principal Investigators: Adam Clulow and Tom Chandler)

John Nicholas Brown Prize: David Shyovitz, A Remembrance of His Wonders: Nature and the Supernatural in Medieval Ashkenaz (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017)

INAUGURAL Article Prize in Critical Race Studies: Shokoofeh Rajabzadeh, “The Depoliticized Saracen and Muslim Erasure” in Literature Compass, Special Issue: Critical Race and the Middle Ages, September-October 2019 (https://doi.org/10.1111/lic3.12548)

Van Courtlandt Elliott Prize: Esther Liberman Cuenca, “Town clerks and the authorship of custumals in medieval England,” Urban History 46:2 (2019): 180-201; and Noah Blan, “Charlemagne’s peaches: a case of early medieval European ecological adaptation,” Early Medieval Europe 27:4 (2019): 521-545

These Prizes will be presented at the upcoming Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America, hosted online by Indiana University, Bloomington. The presentation of the Prizes and the reading of citations will take place preceding the Presidential Address on Friday, 17 April, at 4:30 PM Eastern. We hope you will join us as we honor these scholars and acknowledge their important work. Information about the Annual Meeting may be found here: https://maa2021.indiana.edu/

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2021 MAA/CARA Awards

We are very pleased to announce the 2021 MAA Committee on Centers and Regional Associations (CARA) Awards:

The Robert L. Kindrick–CARA Award for Outstanding Service to Medieval Studies  recognizes Medieval Academy members who have provided leadership in developing, organizing, promoting, and sponsoring medieval studies through the extensive administrative work that is so crucial to the health of medieval studies but that often goes unrecognized by the profession at large. The 2021 Kindrick-CARA Award honors Axel Muller (International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds).

The CARA Award for Excellence in Teaching Medieval Studies recognizes Medieval Academy members who are outstanding teachers who have contributed to the profession by inspiring students at the undergraduate or graduate levels or by creating innovative and influential textbooks or other materials for teaching medieval subjects. The 2021 CARA Awards for Excellence in Teaching honor Christina Carlson (Iona College) and Geraldine Heng (University of Texas, Austin).

These prizes will be awarded during the April 16 virtual Business Meeting at the upcoming Medieval Academy of America Annual Meeting. Please join us as we honor these medievalists for their service and teaching.

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Registration for the 2021 Annual Meeting is Open!

Registration for the 96th Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America is now open.

The meeting is hosted by Indiana University, Bloomington, and will take place entirely online, from 15-18 April 2021. The program and registration information are available here. Register by March 10 to take advantage of the early-bird discount; please note that we will not be able to accept any registrations after March 25, because we need to enter information into the online conference platform.  Please register on time!

We wish we could welcome you in person to Bloomington, but we look forward to an interesting and exciting conference!

Please email any questions to maa2021@indiana.edu.

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MAA Public Statement on the Assault on the U.S. Capitol


The violent assault on the U. S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, which led to the tragic loss of five lives, represents yet another moment in American history that confronts us with the precarity of our democracy and its enduring, systemic inequalities, its underlying racist policies, and the failure of policing. The Medieval Academy of America unequivocally condemns the actions of those who stormed the Capitol and those who offered them support.

The presence of pseudo-medieval symbols and costumes among the rioters in the Capitol also reminded us once again of the particular responsibility we have as medievalists. Alongside the confederate flag, and anti-Semitic “Camp Auschwitz” tee-shirts, were displayed pseudo-Viking helmets and Norse Valknut tattoos, Templar and crusader crosses, and anti-circumcision posters. Beyond our commitment to identify these symbols and condemn the use of the medieval past to support white nationalism, we recognize our discipline’s complicity in the racist narratives of the past, and our responsibility to advocate unequivocally for anti-racism both in our policies as an organization, and in our teaching and scholarship as individuals. We will continue to think more deeply about how our organization can support members going further to promote social justice and community care.

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MAA News – From the President

Dear colleagues,

As I was preparing to write to wish you all a “Happy New Year,” share some thoughts, and heave a sigh of relief that we were finally turning the page on a challenging 2020, our hopes for a peaceful transition in our nation’s political life were shattered by the horrific assault on the Capitol which led to the loss of five lives. What happened in Washington on January 6, 2021 was nothing less than an attempt to abolish our democracy. This event was preceded by many other extremist rallies and violent inflammatory rhetoric on social media. It cast in particularly terrifying relief what has now been apparent for some time—the extreme polarization of our nation and the fragility of our democracy. The presence of pseudo-medieval symbols and costumes among the rioters in the Capitol also reminded us again of the responsibility we bear as medievalists, not only to set the historical record straight, but also to advocate unequivocally for anti-racism in our policies as an organization, and in our teaching and scholarship as individuals. A public statement from our Council will follow shortly.

Renate Blumenfeld Kosinski, President

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