Call for Papers – The 18th Vagantes Conference on Medieval Studies

The 18th Vagantes Conference on Medieval Studies, which will take place at the University of Toronto from March 20th-23rd, 2019, is seeking paper abstracts on any topic related to the Middle Ages.

Vagantes is North America’s largest graduate-student conference for medieval studies. Since its founding in 2002, Vagantes has nurtured a lively community of junior scholars from across all disciplines. The 18th Vagantes Conference on Medieval Studies in Toronto will feature thirty graduate-student papers and two keynote speakers.  On March 20th, we will also offer an intensive manuscript workshop that will use the collections of the Pontifical Institute for Mediaeval Studies Library and the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library.  There will be a separate registration process for the workshop that will be circulated at a later time.

Graduate students in all disciplines are invited to submit an abstract of 300 words on any medieval topic. Please also include the paper title and a 1-2 page CV in your submission. Your abstract will be blind-reviewed by an interdisciplinary panel of graduate students, and it should provide a clear summary of your proposed paper with language that is accessible to non-specialists.  Since Vagantes is an interdisciplinary conference, your audience might not know the history of the Carolingian Empire, the corpus of Geoffrey Chaucer, or the theology of Peter Comestor.  Please make your abstract concise and accessible.  Both your abstract and CV should be submitted in a Word document to Lane Springer at .

Out of consideration for graduate students’ budgets, Vagantes never charges a registration fee. The deadline for submissions is Friday, November 9th, 2018.  Some travel bursaries will be available for presenters.  In your submission, please indicate if you would be interested in applying for one.

Posted in Call for Papers | Leave a comment

Call for Papers – Fashion as an Economic Engine: Process and Product innovation, Commercial Strategies, Consumer Behavior

Applications due: Nov. 1, 2018
Conference occurs: May 10-13, 2020
Where: Prato, Italy

Call for Papers

Fashion as an economic engine:  process and product innovation, commercial strategies, consumer behavior

For further information and the application form, see:

Deadline for application form/abstract: Nov. 1, 2018

Fondazione Istituto Internazionale di Storia Economica “F. Datini”

Via ser Lapo Mazzei 37, I 59100 Prato, ITALY

The study of the textile industry has always been central in economic history, from reconstructions of dynamic growth in the medieval wool industry, to the success of silk processing and light and mixed draperies in the early modern period, and the role of cotton as a driving force in the process of industrialization. Although the dynamics which characterize the manufacture of textiles are closely connected with transformations in fashion, economic history has long neglected the role played by fashion as a factor in economic change, treating fashion primarily as a sort of exogenous catalytic element.  To examine these and other issues is the purpose of the 52nd Datini Study Week, which invites scholars to analyze the economic and commercial aspects of fashion in the pre-modern period (13th through 18th centuries) by considering the following questions. To what extent were innovations in products, technology, and marketing strategies for textiles and clothing during the pre-modern period responding to the social emulation and rapid pace of change characteristic of fashion? How did different types of consumers and behaviours stimulate the manufacture and trade in textiles, clothing, and dress accessories? Did particular price points or changing distributions of income allow consumers to make more choices about dress that supported individual aspirations? What role did cross-cultural contact play in the intensification of fashion in terms of the range of products available, new processes, and marketing strategies? How can economic historians draw on new methodologies and different types of sources for understanding the relationship between fashion and the economy?

Depending on the Institute’s financial resources, at least 25 scholars will be provided with travel subsidies and hospitality at Prato for the Study Week. The paper should represent an original contribution and either generally comparative or a specific case-study that speaks to the larger questions set out here. Papers proposed by projects or collaborative groups that link scholars from different countries and institutions will be assessed with particular interest if they offer a comparative analysis in geographical or diachronic terms across two or more related research themes. We will also consider innovative session formats for these types of proposals. Papers undergo a peer review process before being accepted for publication. All submitted contributions must be original and not previously published or translated from previous publications.

The provisional texts of the selected contributions or at least a synthesis must reach the Datini Foundation by 30 April 2020. They will be put online (with protected access reserved for the participants of the project and members of the Scientific Committee) in the Institute’s webpages before the Week of Studies in order to allow a deeper discussion of their contents. Authors and titles of provisional texts that have not reached the Fondazione that day can not be included in the final programme.

At the Settimana participants will offer a summary presentation of their contribution lasting 20 minutes.

Posted in Call for Papers | Leave a comment

Paul E. Szarmach Prize

The Medieval Institute draws your attention to the Paul E. Szarmach Prize for a first article published in the field of Anglo-Saxon studies. Inaugurated in 2017 by the Richard Rawlinson Center for Anglo-Saxon Studies and Manuscript Research, the Szarmach Article Prize is designed both to honor former Director of Western Michigan University’s Medieval Institute, Paul E. Szarmach, and to recognize new scholarship in his field.

Please consider making a nomination for the 2019 prize (deadline: November 1) and help us spread the word of this exciting opportunity.

If you prefer not to receive occasional notice of items of interest to Anglo-Saxonists from the Medieval Institute, please let us know by reply email message.

Posted in Announcements | Leave a comment

Jobs for Medievalists


Deadline: January 31, 2019

Six-Week Traditional ASCSA Summer Session: One or Two Positions
ASCSA Field Seminars: Two Positions


Term: Summer 2020

Eligibility: Former membership in the School and at least two years of teaching in a post-secondary educational institution. Qualified applicants in all areas of classical studies, including history, art history, languages, epigraphy, and archaeology, are encouraged to apply. Some knowledge of modern Greek, stamina, good health, and a sense of humor.

Description: See more information about the ASCSA Summer Sessions:

Duties: Plan the itinerary of the session/seminar, in consultation with the staff in Athens, at least six months prior to the session; collaborate with the Committee on the Summer Sessions in the selection of participants; correspond with participants concerning travel, equipment, academic requirements, etc.; supervise all aspects of the program in Greece, including teaching, coordinating with on-site expert lecturers, keeping a detailed log of the sessions, managing incidental expenses, and submitting a report to the Director.

Compensation: Stipend of $9,064, plus travel and expenses, housing for the Summer Session leader(s) for eight weeks in total as available June 1 to August 15. See the policy in the attached bulletin.

Application: A letter of application, a curriculum vitae, and three letters of support should be sent to: Committee on the Summer Sessions. E-mail:

The appointments will be announced by March 29.

Posted in Jobs for Medievalists | Leave a comment

MAA News – Renew Your Membership for 2019!

The end of the year is fast approaching, and it is time to renew your membership in the Medieval Academy of America. 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.

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. You can easily pay your dues through the MAA website or by returning the paper form you will soon be receiving in the mail. We hope you will consider supplementing your membership by becoming a Contributing or Sustaining member or by making a gift. These membership categories, along with your donations, help subsidize lower membership dues for student, contingent, and unaffiliated medievalists. 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).

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

David Wallace, President

Lisa Fagin Davis, Executive Director

p.s. Please note that we no longer offer Joint Membership for members residing at the same address. If you have been a Joint Member in the past, you will need to select a different membership category for 2019 and beyond. If you share a residence with another member and wish to receive only one paper copy of Speculum, please contact us at

Posted in MAA Newsletter | Leave a comment

MAA News – Slate of Candidates for the 2019 Election

To the Members of the Medieval Academy,

Voting in the Medieval Academy governance election is one of the most important means that members have to impact both the Academy and the future of medieval studies in North America. I am very pleased to announce the names of the Medieval Academy members who have generously agreed to stand for election to office in 2019:

Ruth Mazo Karras (History, Trinity College Dublin)

Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski (French, Univ. of Pittsburgh)

Thomas E. A. Dale (Art History, Univ. of Wisconsin)

Councillors (four seats available):
Lynda Coon (History, Univ. of Arkansas)
Hussein Fancy (History, Univ. of Michigan)
Fiona Griffiths (History, Stanford Univ.)
Elizabeth Papp Kamali (Law, Harvard Law School)
Adam J. Kosto (History, Columbia Univ.)
Karl Kügle (Musicology, Univ. of Oxford/Utrecht Univ.)
Anne Latowsky (French/Latin, Univ. of South Florida)
Catherine M. Mooney (Theology, Boston College)

Nominating Committee (two seats available):
Stephen Jaeger (German Lit., Emeritus, Univ. of Illinois Champaign-Urbana)
Kathy Lavezzo (English Literature, Univ. of Iowa)
Ann Marie Rasmussen (German and Slavic Studies, Univ. of Waterloo)
Sif Rikhardsdottir (Comparative Literature, Univ. of Iceland)

In addition to biographical information, each candidate has submitted a statement detailing their vision for the Academy and their reasons for wanting to participate in its governance. It is our hope that these statements will assist members in making informed choices about the governance of the Medieval Academy. These statements are online here:

There are eight candidates for four openings on the Council, the governing body of the Academy. There are four candidates for two openings on the Nominating Committee, tasked with proposing candidates for the annual Council and Officers’ election. As is our practice, the slate of three Presidential Officers is presented unopposed, although nominations by petition may be made as follows, in accordance with article 26 of the By-Laws:

Nominations of other members of the Academy for elected officers, Councillors, or members of the Nominating Committee may be made by written petition signed by at least seven members of the Academy. A nomination by petition may be for a single office, several offices, or an entire slate. Such petitions must be received by the Executive Director within twenty days of the circulation of the report of the Nominating Committee (article 25), unless the Council extends the period for making nominations by petition.

As the slate of candidates is being announced on 25 September, the closing date for nomination by petition has been set at 11:59 PM, 14 October 2018. Additional information about the governance of the Academy can be found on our FAQ page:

My thanks to the 2019 Nominating Committee for their work in establishing the slate of Council candidates: Ken Pennington (Chair), Robin Fleming, Bernice Kaczynski, Susan Kramer, and Catherine Saucier. My thanks as well to President David Wallace for proposing the slate of Nominating Committee candidates.

Electronic balloting will open on 16 October. If you would prefer to receive a paper ballot and have not received one in the past, please contact me at

Please vote and let your voice be heard. I look forward to your participation in the election of the leadership of the Medieval Academy of America.

– Lisa Fagin Davis, Executive Director

Posted in MAA Newsletter | Leave a comment

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 if you have forgotten either), and choose “Speculum Online” from the “Speculum” menu.  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 4 (October 2018)


Vt hkskdkxt: Early Medieval Cryptography, Textual Errors, and Scribal Agency
Benjamin A. Saltzman

Dominicans and Demons: Possession, Temptation, and Reform in the Cult of Vincent Ferrer
Laura Ackerman Smoller

Doing Things beside Domesday Book
Carol Symes

Inspiration and Imagination: Visionary Authorship in the Early Manuscripts of the Revelations of Birgitta of Sweden
Thomas Luongo

Book Reviews

This issue of Speculum features more than 70 book reviews, including:

Joachim Yeshaya and Elisabeth Hollender, eds., Exegesis and Poetry in Medieval Karaite and Rabbanite Texts 
Reviewed by Esperanza Alfonso

Helen J. Swift, Representing the Dead: Epitaph Fictions in Late-Medieval France 
Reviewed by Ashby Kinch

Elizabeth M. Tyler, England in Europe: English Royal Women and Literary Patronage, c. 1000-c. 1150
Reviewed by Stacy S. Klein

Craig Williamson, trans., The Complete Old English Poems
Reviewed by R. M. Liuzza

Jana Madlen Schütte, Medizin im Konflikt: Fakultäten, Märkte und Experten in deutschen Universitätsstädten des 14. bis 16. Jahrhunderts 
Reviewed by Debra L. Stoudt

Patrick J. Murphy, Medieval Studies and the Ghost Stories of M. R. James 
Reviewed by Robert S. Sturges

Steven A. Schoenig, SJ, Bonds of Wool: The Pallium and Papal Power in the Middle Ages
Reviewed by Warren T. Woodfin

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

Posted in MAA Newsletter | Leave a comment

MAA News – Belle Da Costa Greene Award: Call for Applications

Applications are now being accepted for the inaugural Belle Da Costa Greene Award supporting research by medievalists of color.

The Belle Da Costa Greene Award of $2,000 will be granted annually to a medievalist of color for research and travel. The award may be used to visit archives, attend conferences, or to facilitate writing and research. The award will be granted on the basis of the quality of the proposed project, the applicant’s budgetary needs (as expressed by a submitted budget and in the project narrative), and the estimation of the ways in which the award will facilitate the applicant’s research and contribute to the field. Special consideration will be given to graduate students, emerging junior scholars, adjunct, and unaffiliated scholars.

Belle Da Costa Greene (1883-1950) was a prominent art historian and the first manuscript librarian of the Pierpont Morgan collection. She was also the first known person of color and second woman to be elected a Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America (1939). According to the Morgan Library & Museum website, “Greene was barely twenty when Morgan hired her, yet her intelligence, passion, and self-confidence eclipsed her relative inexperience, [and] she managed to help build one of America’s greatest private libraries.” She was, just as importantly, a black woman who passed as white in order to gain entrance and acceptance into the racially fraught professional landscape of early twentieth-century New York. Her legacy highlights the professional difficulties faced by medievalists of color, the personal sacrifices they make in order to belong to the field, and their extraordinary contributions to Medieval Studies.

Applications must be submitted by 15 February and will be adjudicated by the Academy’s Inclusivity and Diversity Prize Committee. The application will consist of a biographical form, CV, a one-page proposal, and a simple budget. Letters of recommendation (no more than two) are optional. So as not to burden the applicant, it is perfectly appropriate to include material and letters prepared for other grant applications. Applicants must be members in good standing of the Medieval Academy as of 15 January of the year in which they apply. Click here to apply.

To make a donation in support of the Greene Award, please visit the MAA website.

Posted in MAA Newsletter | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in MAA Newsletter | Leave a comment

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 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)

Posted in MAA Newsletter | Leave a comment