A response to: Oţa, Silviu. Review of Mária Vargha, “Hoards, Grave Goods, Jewellery: Objects in Hoards and in Burial Contexts during the Mongol Invasion of Central-Eastern Europe.”

A response to: Oţa, Silviu. Review of Mária Vargha, Hoards, Grave Goods, Jewellery: Objects in Hoards and in Burial Contexts during the Mongol Invasion of Central-Eastern Europe. Speculum 92/4 [2017]: 1263–65; doi: 10.1086/693915.

Author’s Response (Mária Vargha, University of Vienna)

My concerns are as follows: The reviewer misinterprets the conclusions and approaches of my work, presents ideas from historiographic overviews as the study’s own, and makes assertions that require corrections, which are discussed in detail below.

The reviewer misrepresented the initial concept of the book, regarding methodology, timeframe, and the geographical area covered, although the justification for all of these is stated clearly in the introduction (pp. 2–5). Furthermore, it seems that the reviewer also failed to appreciate the methodology of the work. In the scholarship that focuses on the period discussed (second half of the twelfth to the end of the thirteenth century), the chronology of small finds is rather vague, and their agency is rarely discussed, as a result of the lack of grave goods relative to the preceding era (from about the eleventh to the beginning of the twelfth centuries). This was made worse by historiographical trends discussed in the first chapter. The reviewer claims that the study focuses on one site, Kána, and extrapolates the conclusions from that site to the entire Hungarian Kingdom. But the main focus of the book is not on one single site, nor does it project results from that site onto any other one, much less to the whole kingdom. Kána, being a completely excavated settlement from the period that includes a church and cemetery made an excellent case study for a comparison made on small finds excavated from different contexts (settlement or grave goods). The study uses the site as a starting point in a period where the chronology of objects is hard to determine. Since I have conducted a complete analysis of that wholly excavated cemetery with around 1,000 graves, I was able to distinguish chronological phases within the cemetery, not derived from finds from graves, but rather from an independent, stratigraphical, and statistical method. This analysis allowed for much more precise dating for burial horizons—and with that the small finds found in such burials—than would have been possible by traditional archaeological methods. This resulted in a list of objects dated to a relatively short period, with a complete context and object biography. All of this was compared with small finds coming from the other well-known and well-dated hoard horizon (providing the second starting point) connected to the 1241–42 Mongol invasion of Hungary, which together provided a solid basis for comparison of similar finds from the narrower region (comprising the collection and comparison of each published object from the Carpathian basin, including Slovakia and part of Romania), and allowed for a more complex socioeconomic interpretation of finds, their agency, and relationship to changing burial customs.

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CARA News – Institute for Medieval Studies, University of New Mexico

The Institute for Medieval Studies (IMS) hosts its 33rd annual Spring Lecture Series, “Sacred Objects and Places of the Middle Ages,” from April 23-26, 2018. This week-long series of six lectures and a concert of early music attracts several hundred members of the Albuquerque community to hear lectures by eminent scholars from around the country, and sometimes around the globe. This year’s lectures are:

  • Monday, April 23, 7:15 p.m. “The Book of Kells—Seen and Unseen,” Bernard Meehan, Trinity College Dublin
  • Tuesday, April 24, 5:15 p.m. “Places to Go, Things to See: A Medieval Bucket List,” Concert by the UNM Early Music Ensemble directed by Colleen Sheinberg
  • Tuesday, April 24, 7:15 p.m. “Sacred Worlds in the Medieval Hebrew Book,” Adam S. Cohen, University of Toronto
  • Wednesday, April 25, 5:15 p.m. “The Dome of the Rock and Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem: An Exploration,” Jennifer Pruitt, University of Wisconsin
  • Wednesday, April 25, 7:15 p.m. “Vessel, Quest, Prize, Test, Threat: The Many Faces of the Grail,” Janina P. Traxler, Manchester Univeristy
  • Thursday, April 26, 5:15 p.m. “Irish Manuscripts before 800 A.D.”
  • Thursday, April 26, 7:15 p.m. “Watching the Birth of a Holy Object: The Icon of Kykkotissa on Cyprus,” Annemarie Weyl Carr, Southern Methodist Univeristy

Each spring the IMS welcomes a prominent scholar as the visiting “Viking Scholar” to teach the “Viking Mythology” course. This spring, Kendra Willson joined the UNM medievalist community for the semester. On Friday, April 13, she shared her work-in-progress talk entitled “Runes in the Margins of the Viking World.”

Earlier in the year, the IMS collaborated with UNM’s History Department to offer a series of events focused on Late Antiquity. In October, Noel Lenski (Yale University) offered a lecture entitled, “Roman Refugees: Settling Extra-Territorials inside a World Empire;” on March 3, a colloquium with the theme “Climate, Cartography, and Imperialism in Late Antique Eurasia,” featured contributions by Richard Talbert (University of North Carolina), Richard Payne (University of Chicago), Nicola Di Cosmo (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton), and Michael Maas (Rice University); and finally, in late March, Joyce Salisbury (University of Wisconsin, Green Bay) offered the lecture “Theology Is Personal in the Fifth Century.”

During the upcoming summer term, Institute Director Timothy Graham will offer his intensive graduate seminar, “Paleography and Codicology,” from June 4-28, with participants drawn from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of Oregon, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of New Mexico.

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Call for Papers – Government and Governance from Late Antiquity to the Renaissance: Representation and Reality

Government and Governance from Late Antiquity to the Renaissance: Representation and Reality

45th Annual New England Medieval Conference
University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH
Saturday, November 17th, 2018

Keynote Speakers:

Amy Appleford, of Boston University, “Governing Bodies in Late Medieval London”

Jonathan Lyon, of the University of Chicago, “Was there a Difference Between Lordship and Governance in Late Medieval Germany?”

The New England Medieval Consortium seeks abstracts for papers that consider questions and problems inherent in organizing sophisticated societies from late antiquity through the Renaissance. Submissions are welcome from all fields of scholarly study including but not limited to history, literature, philosophy, theology, numismatics, art history, and manuscript studies. Government and governance are understood for the purposes of this conference to include all aspects of human organization from neighborhood associations and guilds to kingdoms and empires, and from parishes and priories to the papacy. Possible areas of inquiry include corruption, patronage, ethics, reform, institutional structures, bureaucracy, propaganda, jurisdiction, rights, and obligations.

Please send an abstract of 250 words and a CV to David Bachrach (David.Bachrach@unh.edu) via email attachment. On your abstract please provide your name, institution, the title of your proposal, and email address. Abstracts are due by July 21, 2018.

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Call for Proposals: MAA and the Digital Latin Library

The Medieval Academy of America is pleased to announce a collaboration with the Digital Latin Library (DLL). This partnership demonstrates the Academy’s support of DLL’s open-access publishing model – in which text, apparatus, and image are made interoperable – and is in keeping with the Medieval Academy of America’s long-standing commitment to high-quality Latin editions. We offer this online platform in addition to our ongoing printed series Medieval Academy Books. The Medieval Academy of America will oversee the vetting and approval of DLL editions of medieval Latin texts, while the Digital Latin Library will facilitate XML encoding and online hosting. Vetted online editions will carry the imprimatur of the Medieval Academy of America and should be considered of equal status to similarly-vetted printed editions in application, promotion, or tenure dossiers.

The MAA’s Digital Humanities and Multimedia Studies Committee has established procedures and policies for the vetting and approval of DLL editions of medieval Latin texts, and we welcome the submission of pre-proposals. For information and guidelines, please visit our website or contact MAA Executive Director Lisa Fagin Davis.

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Call for Papers – International Conference “The Medieval Literary Canon in the Digital Age”

Call for Papers
International Conference “The Medieval Literary Canon in the Digital Age”

Ghent University, 17–18 September 2018

We invite submission of abstracts for the international conference “The Medieval Literary Canon in the Digital Age,” to be held at Ghent University from 17-18 September 2018.

An often repeated promise of the digital humanities, in the wake of the “computational turn,” is that the wide availability and accessibility of historical texts would enable scholars to breach the restrictions of a literary canon. The present international conference wishes to explore how exactly the digital humanities can provide such insights for medieval studies, in which such a promise raises critical questions.

(1) In spite of the computational turn, much of the digital scholarship for the Middle Ages still seems to hinge on well-conserved and therefore well-known theological and literary authorities, whose texts have been reproduced continuously in subsequent editions and translations. To what extent does today’s computational research manage to escape the straitjacket of the traditional canon?

(2) Considering that in the past decades, medieval scholars have become increasingly sensitive to the materiality of textual transmission in the Middle Ages, the virtual, normative and reductive character of a digital environment are not always compatible to their research interests.

As the emancipation of the digital humanities from their merely supportive role is proclaimed increasingly, and as the tools for digital medieval studies proliferate (e.g. digital scholarly editing, computational stylistics, digital palaeography, digital stemmatology, …), this conference welcomes papers —based on either case studies or broader research questions— that both problematize the specialized character of medieval literary production and demonstrate the potential for computational criticism to “breach” or “widen” the medieval canon through digital tools.

Full details on the topic and discussion of the conference are available on the conference website: http://www.mcda.ugent.be​.

The conference, to which we will accept 8 scholars in addition to the confirmed speakers (cfr. infra) will consist exclusively of plenary sessions, with ample time for discussion. The conference committee encourages proposal submissions by both established and junior researchers. Please send abstracts (ca. 300 words) and a five line biography via email to Jeroen De Gussem (jedgusse.degussem@UGent.be) by the ​10th of May. Participants will receive a notification concerning the acceptance of their application by the end of May.

We expect from our applicants that they have the ability of covering their own travel costs. Accepted speakers are offered lunches and an invitation to our conference dinner. Accepted speakers from abroad (any country other than Belgium) will also be offered up to 3 hotel nights in Ghent.

The following invited speakers have confirmed their participation: Godfried Croenen (University of Liverpool) / Maciej Eder (Pedagogical University of Kraków) / Julie Orlemanski (University of Chicago) / Peter Robinson (University of Saskatchewan) / Karina van Dalen-Oskam (University of Amsterdam) / David J. Wrisley (New York University Abu Dhabi)​

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Workshop & Study Day at the Armenian Museum of America, April 13, 2018

The Arthur H. Dadian and Ara Oztemel Chair of Armenian Art at Tufts University and the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture at Hellenic College Holy Cross in Brookline, MA, are pleased to announce our next East of Byzantium event:

Friday, April 13, 2018, 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

Armenian Museum of America, 65 Main Street, Watertown, MA

Workshop & Study Day at the Armenian Museum of America

A study day for students focusing on Armenian liturgy and Armenian liturgical objects. The morning will include a workshop and a handling session with liturgical objects from the Armenian Museum. Led by V. Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan, St. Nerves Armenian Seminary and Christina Maranci, Tufts University

Workshop seating is limited. Registration is required. Registration closes April 12 at noon. Additional information and registration at https://eastofbyzantium.org/upcoming-events/workshop-study-day-at-the-armenian-museum-of-america/.

A short group of pre-assigned readings will be circulated at least one week prior to the workshop. Participants are expected to complete the readings before the workshop.

Transportation between Harvard Square and Watertown will be provided.

East of Byzantium is a partnership between the Arthur H. Dadian and Ara Oztemel Chair of Armenian Art at Tufts University and the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture at Hellenic College Holy Cross in Brookline, MA, that explores the cultures of the eastern frontier of the Byzantine empire in the late antique and medieval periods.

Contact Brandie Ratliff (mjcbac@hchc.edu), Director, Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture, with questions.

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Digital Humanities: An Afternoon Symposium

Digital Humanities: An Afternoon Symposium

Date: Friday, April 6, 2:45-5:30pm

Location: Harvard Hall 102, 1465 Massachusetts Avenue More Info: http://darthcrimson.org/dh-afternoon-symposium/

This event is free and open to the public. The following invited speakers will share current research projects; presentations will be followed by a panel discussion.

Gregory Crane (Tufts University): Perseus Digital Library Lisa Fagin Davis (Medieval Academy of America): Medieval Scrolls Digital Archive Racha Kirakosian and students (Harvard University): Digital Editing at Harvard Gabriel Pizzorno (Harvard University): The Documentary Archaeology of Late Medieval Europe Michael Stolz (University of Bern): Parzival-Projekt Jeffrey Witt (Loyola University Maryland): The Scholastic Commentaries and Texts Archive

Moderation: William Stoneman (Harvard University)

For further information, contact Racha Kirakosian at rkirakosian@fas.harvard.edu.

Funded by the Barajas Dean’s Innovation Fund for Digital Arts and Humanities and supported by the Digital Scholarship Support Group.

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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 – Latest Issue of Speculum is Now Available Online

The latest issue of Speculum is now available on the University of Chicago Press Journals website.

To access your members-only journal subscription, log in to the MAA website using your username and password associated with your membership (contact us at info@themedievalacademy.org  if you have forgotten either), and choose “Speculum Online” from the “Speculum” menu.  Please refer to this video tutorial if you are having difficulty. As a reminder, your MAA membership provides exclusive online access to the full run of Speculum in full text, PDF, and e-Book editions – at no additional charge.

Speculum, Volume 93, Issue 2 (April 2018)

Raymond Peraudi in Zerbst: Corpus Christi Theater, Material Devotion, and the Indulgence Microeconomy on the Eve of the Reformation
Glenn Ehrstine

The Women and the Inquisitor: Peacemaking in Bologna, 1299
Melissa Vise

The Giant of Bremen: Roland and the “Colossus Imagination”
Assaf Pinkus

Edward I, Exodus, and England on the Hereford World Map
Debra Higgs Strickland

Book Reviews
This issue of Speculum features 81 book reviews, including:

Megan Cavell, Weaving Words and Binding Bodies: The Poetics of Human Experience in Old English Literature (2016)
Reviewed by Emily Thornbury

Andrew Hicks, Composing the World: Harmony in the Medieval Platonic Cosmos (2017)
Reviewed by Elizabeth Eva Leach

Tyler Lange, Excommunication for Debt in Late Medieval France: The Business of Salvation (2016)
Reviewed by Felicity Hill

Elizabeth Lapina, Warfare and the Miraculous in the Chronicles of the First Crusade (2015)
Reviewed by Cecilia Gaposchkin

Hela Ouardi, Les derniers jours de Muhammad (2016)
Reviewed by John Tolan

Dan Lord Smail, Legal Plunder: Households and Debt Collection in Late Medieval Europe (2016)
Reviewed by Guy Geltner

MAA members also receive a 30% discount on all books and e-Books published by the University of Chicago Press, and a 20% discount on individual  Chicago Manual of Style Online subscriptions. To access your discount code, log in to your MAA account, and click here.  Please include this code while checking out from the University of Chicago Press website.

The Medieval Academy of America

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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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