Jobs for Medievalists


Deadline: October 31, 2018

Term: A full-time (12 months) position beginning July 1, 2019 for three years, with the possibility of renewal for a final fourth year.

Compensation: Salary commensurate with experience; benefits include room and board at the School.

Qualifications: Candidates must have earned the PhD from a North American university no more than three years prior to the application and must have spent a minimum of a year as a Member of the ASCSA. An active agenda for research and publication, knowledge of Greece and Modern Greek, and teaching experience are expected.

*To help the Director in the administration of School business and to stand in for the Director when needed. Reports to the Director of the School.
*To assist with the academic program under the direction of the Mellon Professor by lecturing, leading short trips or offering mini-seminars/workshops on area(s) of expertise.
*To serve as a contact and resource person for all members of the School and to live in Loring Hall.
*To help with the planning of the Summer Session by suggesting itineraries, speakers, and generally offering support to the Summer Session Directors, but not making actual arrangements.
*To be a visible presence in the Athenian social and academic scene by attending functions as an official of the School.
*To pursue research on a project.

The Assistant Director will be appointed by the ASCSA Managing Committee (through the Personnel Committee) in consultation with the Director of the School and the Andrew W. Mellon Professor. Please submit letter of application, curriculum vitae, and research project description (up to three pages in length) online at:

Three letters of recommendation are required. After you submit your online application, your recommenders will receive an automatic email with instructions about how to upload confidential reference letters. Final candidates may be interviewed at the annual meeting of the AIA in San Diego, California, in January.

The appointment will be announced by mid-February, 2019.

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Conferences – Byzantine Studies Conference

Conference: 2018 Byzantine Studies Conference/BSC

Conference Dates: Thursday, October 4, 2018 to Sunday, October 7, 2018

Location: The University of Texas at San Antonio/The Historic Menger Hotel, San Antonio

Conference Website:

Preliminary Program:

The Byzantine Studies Association of North America welcomes your list-serve members, interested colleagues, and students to attend the 2018 Byzantine Studies Conference in San Antonio, Texas, October 4-7, 2018.  Papers from a wide range of disciplines will be presented, including those connecting Byzantium and neighboring Christian Medieval traditions with Islamic art, architecture, and culture.

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Call for Papers – Text as Object in the Middle Ages

Call for Papers – Leeds International Medieval Congress, 1-4 July 2019, Leeds

The International Medieval Congress (IMC) is the largest medieval studies conference in the world. More than 2,900 medievalists from more than 60 countries participated in the 25th annual International Medieval Congress (IMC) from 2-5 July 2018.

In line with the Special Thematic Strand in 2019 “Materialities” ( and the recent creation of the strand “Manuscript studies”, we organize sessions on “Text as object in the Middle Ages”. Texts, indeed, are at the same time an idea and a form. The latter is the result of a combination of inherited social uses and specific intentions by the various actors involved in transmitting the text as idea. This process begins with the authors, continues to the craftsmen (parchment and paper makers, copyists and chancery clerks, painters and illuminators, sculptors and weavers, booksellers…) and then on to possessors, readers, archives and libraries. All textual artefacts are concerned: manuscripts, charters, inscriptions, tapestries, seals, coins, etc.

What scholars can study nowadays is however only one specific, if not final, state of those manuscripts, documents and inscriptions, from which they seek to reconstruct the respective intents of the actors. Under the topic “Text as object in the Middle Ages”, we intend to study the interplay of the original creation act, the possible transformations, and modern scholarship, especially along the following lines: “archaeology of a research concept”, “materiality in scholarly editions”, “genre and materiality”, “fragments”, “imaging techniques and physicochemical analysis”

          Archaeology of a research concept: awareness of materiality in the 15th-19th centuries

Medieval library catalogues started including dictiones probatoriae or secundo folio as identifiers of a given manuscript as object rather than as the bearer of a text; additional information on the physical appearance could also be indicated (size of the script, illumination, …). Cartularies and registers, but also inventories, sometimes include a description of the original charter, be it in a text form, be it as a  drawing (“copie figurée”), also for elements which are no validation signs. These are early examples of an awareness of material aspects in textual artefacts.  “materiality” as a term is rather new in historiographical research, however there is a complex archaeology of this research concept applied to texts. Starting in the Middle Ages, it became more prominent with the rise of the “auxiliary sciences” such as palaeography and diplomatics in the 17th and 18th century which were very much focused on the material aspects of written objects. By the 19th century it found its way into the bibliographic descriptions, either in a scholarly environment or in auction and sales catalogues as part of a bibliophilic interest.

This pre-historical time of “materiality” as a research concept is not well known. We welcome proposals dealing with examples of a “material” approach to manuscripts and documents in medieval and early modern times, and evidencing the consequences of this past material concern on modern scholarship (e.g. identification of well described manuscripts in past collections vs. apparently lost collections).

          Materiality in Scholarly Editions

When doing editorial work, scholars may take the materiality of the text into account and either decide to discard their observations or communicate them to the user. >From imitative, so-called “diplomatic” editions to very normalizing ones, several models coexist depending on editorial goals, national traditions, text genres, or witness tradition with regard to the nature of the textual work. Discussions of former editions and practices are welcome, as well as proposals discussing the current developments in scholarly editions. This could include reflections on the tensions resulting from tight schedules due to fixed-term contracts and the ideal of exhaustive material description and analysis.

          Genre and materiality: literary genre and their influence on layout, decoration, and scripts

The connection between text and object is reflected by specific requirements for the written object in the fields of diplomatics, epigraphy, codicology (layout, material structure), art history (iconography, decoration), and palaeography (script types, abbreviations, script size and degree of formality).

Recurrent patterns in book production have already been identified, such as books of hours and prayers for lay people being small in size, illustrated, and written in long lines, or genealogies and universal histories being written in scroll format in order to stress the continuity. There are also illuminators working mainly in the production of one or two literary genres, for whom it is not always possible to ascertained if it is a consequence of being hired by one librarian or if they specialized into specific iconographic types. Illuminated charters as a category may also be connected with specific conditions in their creation.

Connexions between script types and text genres also may be a medieval reality uncovered by modern research (Beneventan/Caroline scripts depending on genres) or a historiographical construct (such as the misleading “gothic liturgical script” or Uncial as Christian script). In this regard, cultural divide and contact zones (Beneventan, Wisigothic vs. Caroline; Humanistic vs. Gothic) deserve special attention, as well as a further study of “pragmatic literacy” under the pragmatic aspect of writing.

Medieval autographs form a cross-genre domain, in which the intervention of the author may provide modern scholars with additional information. Yet, only a reciprocal analysis of text and handwriting in their context should allow the expertise of autography. Theoretical proposals and case studies demonstrating how material (here mainly palaeographic) and textual inquiries interact are welcome.

 Papers could focus on new results within these known patterns or new connections between text and materiality.

          Fragments and damaged text objects: an ex post decided layout and format definition

Fragments are a challenging form to study manuscripts both as texts and objects. They pose specific challenges for the identification of the textual contents as well as the objects’ origin and life. Proposals may present innovative tools and projects, as well as scholarly research based on virtual or physical reconstruction of dismembered or fragmentary text objects. The organizers particularly welcome proposals dealing with the fragment as source for the broader historical context (e.g. textual history, reception and cultural transfers).

          Imaging techniques and physicochemical analysis of medieval text objects

The material analysis is not a new field any more. Imaging techniques available for manuscript research include those based on physicochemical properties (multispectral, X-ray fluorescence, etc.) as well as those that allow a better perception of the object (Reflectance Transformation Imaging, 3D scan). Recent technological advances now allow a better coordination of textual studies,imaging and physicochemical research. Examples include the Archimedes palimpsest, the manuscripts from Mount Sinai or the rolls from Herculanum and Ein Gedi. For this session we expect proposals illustrating how material analyses or imaging techniques can reveal hidden or illegible text layers and therefore have a direct impact on our understanding of the textual content and its history.


Papers of 20 minutes in length are invited. To propose a paper, please send a brief abstract (250 words max) to







The deadline for receipt of submissions is 25th September 2018.

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MAA News – From the Executive Director: Welcome Back!

August 23 was the 533rd anniversary of the death of King Richard III, a fact that was blogged and Tweeted that day by a medievalist website with the confident conclusion, “The death of Richard III is considered the end of the medieval era.” As a book historian, I disagree. For me, the medieval period begins with the slow transition from roll to codex and ends with the equally slow transition from manuscript to printed book. But we all know that periodization is anachronistic, complicated, relative, and messy. Every medievalist has their own sense of the parameters of our field. And so in response to the Richard III declaration I asked an innocent question of #MedievalTwitter: When do YOU think the Middle Ages ended? Clearly, I struck a nerve. After 758 “Likes,” 175 “Retweets,” and nearly 200,000 “Impressions,” I had my answer. The right answer isn’t Dante or Columbus or Luther or Henry VIII or even the Bolsheviks. It isn’t the Fall of Constantinople or the suppression of English monasteries or the “invention” of dimensional perspective. The right answer is, of course, “It depends.” The first editor of Speculum, E. K. Rand, put it best in his introduction to the first volume of our journal: “Just how many centuries are included in the Middle Ages everybody knows but no two can define in the same way…[we do] not consider dates and border-lines, if the point of [the] discourse is directed at what everybody would agree is Mediaeval” (Speculum 1 (1926), p. 4). In other words, we can’t define it, but we know it when we see it.

The parameters embraced by the Medieval Academy of America in the pages of Speculum and throughout our work have always been flexible and are becoming even more expansive. Under the editorship of Sarah Spence the journal has expanded its mandate geographically, topically, and chronologically, reflecting a more global perspective. The increased topical diversity goes hand-in-hand with our efforts to make the Academy a more welcoming place for all medievalists, and several new committees, policies, and grant-making programs were established in 2018 with that very goal in mind. The upcoming Annual Meeting (March 7-9 at the University of Pennsylvania) reflects this promising direction in its theme of “The Global Turn in Medieval Studies.” I hope you will join us in Philadelphia for what is certain to be a memorable conference.

You will soon be receiving a renewal notice for 2019. I hope that you have found membership in the Academy to be worthwhile and that you will renew when the time comes. If you can, please consider supplementing your membership dues by becoming a Contributing or Sustaining Member, or by making a donation to our endowment or to the Belle Da Costa Greene Fund. Your donations help subsidize reduced membership dues for student, contingent, unaffiliated, and retired medievalists and also make it possible for us to give out more than $100,000 in grants and fellowships each year (see below for details about upcoming application deadlines).

Whatever your field, role, subject, or demographic, there is a place for you in the Medieval Academy community of more than 3100 medievalists. As you gear up for a new academic year of whatever it is you’re doing – learning, researching, reading, writing, job-hunting, teaching, curating, editing, blogging, chairing – I wish you a productive and satisfying year full of friends and colleagues and discovery.

Please feel free to contact me at any time with your concerns, questions, and ideas.

Have a great year! I look forward to working with you.

– Lisa

Lisa Fagin Davis
Executive Director, Medieval Academy of America

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MAA News – Call for Prize Nominations

The Medieval Academy of America invites submissions for the following prizes to be awarded at the 2019 MAA Annual Meeting (University of Pennsylvania, 7-9 March). Submission instructions vary, but all dossiers must complete by 15 October 2018.

Haskins Medal
Awarded to a distinguished monograph in the field of medieval studies.

Digital Humanities Prize
Awarded to an outstanding digital research project or resource in the field of medieval studies.

Karen Gould Prize
Awarded to a monograph of outstanding quality in medieval art history.

John Nicholas Brown Prize
Awarded to a first monograph of outstanding quality in the field of medieval studies.

Van Courtlandt Elliott Prize
Awarded to a first article of outstanding quality in the field of medieval studies.

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MAA News – Upcoming Application Deadlines

The Medieval Academy of America invites applications for the following grants. Please note that applicants must be members in good standing as of September 15 in order to be eligible for Medieval Academy awards.

Schallek Fellowship
The Schallek Fellowship provides a one-year grant of $30,000 to support Ph.D. dissertation research in any relevant discipline dealing with late-medieval Britain (ca. 1350-1500). (Deadline 15 October 2018)

Travel Grants
The Medieval Academy provides travel grants to help Academy members who hold doctorates but are not in full-time faculty positions, or are contingent faculty without access to institutional funding, attend conferences to present their work. (Deadline 1 November 2018 for meetings to be held between 16 February and 31 August 2019)

MAA/CARA Conference Grant
The MAA/CARA Conference Grant for Regional Associations and Programs awards $1,000 to help support a regional or consortial conference taking place in 2019. (Deadline 15 October 2018)

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MAA News – CARA Prizes: Call for Nominations

Kindrick-CARA Award for Outstanding Service to Medieval Studies
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.

CARA Award for Excellence in Teaching
The CARA Award for Excellence in Teaching Medieval Studies recognizes Medieval Academy members who are outstanding teachers and 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.

Nominations and supporting materials must be received by Nov. 15.

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MAA News – Call for Fellows Nominations

To all Members of the Medieval Academy of America:

Members are hereby invited to submit nominations for the election of Fellows and Corresponding Fellows of the Medieval Academy of America for 2019.

The title of Fellow was created in 1926 to recognize and honor those scholars among us who over the years have made outstanding contributions to Medieval Studies through their teaching, scholarship, and service. Nominations are encouraged in all the varied fields encompassed by Medieval Studies, and all members of the Medieval Academy are free to submit nominations. Those nominations are overseen by the Fellows Nominating Committee, which is empowered to intervene only if there is some notable inequity in the list of proposed nominees. Existing Fellows will cast their ballots in December and January. The election of 2019 will operate under the by-laws and procedures adopted in 2013 and revised in 2015.

Existing Fellows may also have chosen to become Emeriti or Emeritae Fellows, which has the effect of opening up additional slots the following year for the election of new Fellows. Such Emeriti/Emeritae Fellows retain the position of Fellow in every respect but relinquish their right to vote in the election of new Fellows.

Current bylaws prescribe that there may be a total of up to 125 Fellows who at the time of election are members of the Academy and residents of North America, and in addition up to 75 Corresponding Fellows who at the time of election are residents of countries outside of North America. Following the rules established by the current bylaws, four (4) slots are available for the year 2019, for which there must be at least eight (8) nominations. For the nomination of Corresponding Fellows no established minimum number of nominations is required.

Instructions for submitting nominations are available here:

Please refer to the lists of current Fellows before proposing a nomination:

Current Fellows:

Current Corresponding Fellows:

Nominations may be submitted by email (as a PDF attachment) to the Executive Director at <> or by mail to:

Lisa Fagin Davis, Executive Director
Medieval Academy of America
17 Dunster St., Suite 202
Cambridge, Mass. 02138

Nominations for the 2019 elections must be received by 31 October 2018. Unsuccessful nominations from previous years may be resubmitted. Please contact the Executive Director for further information.

Finally, please note that nominations are to be kept in strictest confidence, from the nominee as well as from others.

– John Van Engen, President of the Fellows

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MAA News – Good News From Our Members

Former MAA President William C. Jordan (Princeton Univ.) has been elected a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy.

Thomas Madden (St. Louis Univ.) has been awarded an NEH Public Scholars grant to support research and writing of The Fall of Republics: A History, examining the forces that have threatened history’s great republics from Sparta in ancient Greece to the United States during its foundation in the late 18th century.

If you have good news to share, please contact Executive Director Lisa Fagin Davis (

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Call for Papers Digital Medievalist @IMC 2019

For more information, click here.

One of the major international medievalists scholarly gatherings happens every July in Leeds: the International Medieval Congress. This year the general subject is “Materiality”, and we think that this something digital medievalists can say a lot about:

Medievalists have long been aware that the objects of their research are conditioned by their materiality —  that the shape of a charter or a manuscript is a part of its meaning. Since the 1980’s, recognition of this principle has elevated the study of material culture to a field within the broader discipline of Medieval Studies.  At the same time libraries, research institutions, and museums have been intent on producing digital catalogues and images of their collections.

The result of these initiatives is a mass of data and metadata constituting a new frontier for digital methods: 3D modeling, multispectral imaging, and Handwritten Text Recognition create new modalities of representation, while Controlled vocabularies, Linked Data, Ontologies and APIs like IIIF enhance the possibilities to model and share descriptive data. Superadded to these developments, digital methods for the interpretation of source material and presentation of research results have grown beyond the materiality of printed books and articles: data publications have started to gain traction in the community; complex visualizations tell more than a description by words, and digital editions incorporate experimental forms of interaction with research data that goes beyond the traditional forms of publication. In all of this, Medievalists have been leaders in adopting digital methods to work with the physical heritage of the Middle Ages.

Given this ferment, the Digital Medievalist community is looking for proposals presenting projects making use of these new technologies to give further – and new! – insights into the materiality of sources, and how medievalists work with cultural heritage data to understand better the impact of the digital methods on our understanding of the Middle Ages.

Please send your proposal (300 Words incl. a short CV) to by Sept. 25th.

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