Call for Papers – Medieval Textuality and its Material Display

WORDS – Medieval Textuality and its Material Display
Paris, June 30th – July 2nd 2016

Keynote Speakers:
Eric Palazzo (Université de Poitiers)
Geoffrey Koziol (University of California, Berkeley)

For its 13th Annual Symposium to be held in Paris, the International Medieval Society invites abstracts on the theme of Words in the Middle Ages. The digital humanities, while altering the landscape of Medieval Studies as a whole, have most importantly overhauled the concept, appearance, and analysis of words and texts. Between the increasing use of paperless media forms and the rise in the number of digital collections, medievalists are seeking to adapt to these new means of producing knowledge about the Middle Ages. At the same time, scholars in this field are also trying to outline the methodological and historical issues that affect the study of words, which now simultaneously exist in the form of primary sources, codices, rolls, charters and inscriptions, digitally reproduced images, and the statistical and lexicographical data made possible by storage platforms and analytical tools.

In parallel with the digital humanities, the 13th Annual IMS Symposium on WORDS aims to return to words themselves and to probe the intellectual, technical and aesthetic principles that underpin their use and social function in medieval graphical practices. By analysing the material and symbolic properties of a particular medium; the conditions in which texts become signs; and scribal expertise, this symposium will address questions that initially seem simple yet which define the very foundations of medieval written culture. What is a word? What are its components? How does it appear in a given medium? What is the relationship between word and text, word and letter, word and medium, word and reader? In a Middle Ages forever torn between economic and extravagant language, what is the status of the word and what kind of elements – visual or acoustic, linguistic or extralinguistic – does it contain?

This IMS Symposium will thus explore (but is not limited to) four broad themes with a particular focus on medieval France, Francia and post-Roman Gaul:

1)    Words and wording: medieval discourse on texts and writing; texts that reflect upon the act of writing (the poetic arts, prologues, colophons and signatures); the relationship between the writer (scribe, copyist, notary, stonecutter) and words, between copy and creation.

2)    Words in and of themselves: the word between alphabetical symbol/grapheme and other symbols; images and sounds of words (nomina sacra, punctuation, poetic features); musical notation (naming/interpretation of neumes, litterae significativae); variations of meaning e.g. between mots and paroles; hierarchies of writing and of content.

3)    Words and matter: the word and its format; the concept of the pagina, its definition, margins and limits, from manuscripts to inscriptions; the material turn and palaeography; writing and object, from book to amulet; the word beyond the text (images, heraldry, emblems, numismatics); impressions and the first printed texts, beyond the act of writing.

4)    Beyond words: content-less words (pseudo-writing, pseudo-alphabets, pseudo-texts); word, name and identity; etymologies; word games and wordplay; the middle-ground between word and text (calligrams, anagrams, epigrams); the relationship between words and music (verse, prose etc. as expressed in melodies).

Through these broad themes, we aim to encourage the participation of researchers with varying backgrounds and fields of expertise: historians, specialists in the auxiliary sciences (palaeographers, epigraphists, codicologists, numismatists) art historians, musicologists, philologists, literary specialists…By bringing together a wide variety of papers that both survey and explore this field, the IMS Symposium intends to bring a fresh perspective to the word in medieval culture.

Proposals of no more than 300 words (in English or French) for a 20-minute paper should be e-mailed to by 30th January 2016. Each should be accompanied by full contact information, a CV, and a list of the audio-visual equipment that you require.

Please be aware that the IMS-Paris submissions review process is highly competitive and is carried out on a strictly anonymous basis. The selection committee will email applicants in February to notify them of its decision. Titles of accepted papers will be made available on the IMS-Paris website. Authors of accepted papers will be responsible for their own travel costs and conference registration fee (35 euros, reduced for students, free for IMS-Paris members).

The IMS-Paris is an interdisciplinary, bilingual (French/English) organisation that fosters exchanges between French and foreign scholars. For the past ten years, the IMS has served as a centre for medievalists who travel to France to conduct research, work, or study. For more information about the IMS-Paris and past symposia programmes, please visit our website:

IMS-Paris Graduate Student Prize:
The IMS-Paris is pleased to offer one prize for the best paper proposal by a graduate student. Applications should consist of:

1) a symposium paper abstract/proposal
2) an outline of a current research project (PhD. dissertation research)
3) the names and contact information of two academic referees

The prize-winner will be selected by the board and a committee of honorary members, and will be notified upon acceptance to the Symposium. An award of 350 euros to support international travel/accommodation (within France, 150 euros) will be paid at the Symposium.

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A Journal of the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies

Manuscript Studies
A Journal of the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies

Manuscript Studies, is a new journal that embraces the full complexity of global manuscript studies in the digital age. It has been conceived with four main goals in mind. First, to bridge the gaps between material and digital manuscript research; second, to break down the walls which often separate print and digital publication and serve as barriers between academics, professionals in the cultural heritage field, and citizen scholars; third, to serve as a forum for scholarship encompassing many pre-modern manuscripts cultures—not just those of Europe; and finally to showcase methods and techniques of analysis in manuscript studies that can be applied across different subject areas.

The journal is accepting submissions in Word document format. Please email to Lynn Ransom

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Call for Papers – Digital Britain: New Approaches to the Early Middle Ages

Digital Britain: New Approaches to the Early Middle Ages

Location: Harvard University
Date: March 25–26, 2016

Medievalists already have an impressive track record in using the Digital Humanities in their teaching and research. It is now a common practice for an undergraduate to scrutinize high-resolution images of a thousand year-old manuscript while she transcribes the texts it preserves. A researcher can pinpoint when and where certain words were used, or identify the scribe who copied a particular manuscript, or map out the paths of literary borrowings thanks to online reference tools.

Now that we are well into the digital turn, this symposium seeks to take stock not only of methodology but also of avenues for future work. How should we keep rethinking traditional fields like paleography or source study? What can new media say to the old (and vice-versa)? And, in attending to a multimodal Middle Ages, how—and what—should we read? Traditional methods in literary analysis have already been challenged by Franco Moretti’s “distant reading” and Matthew L. Jockers’s “macroanalysis.” What is the appropriate scale for medieval literature? Is the sentence a viable unit for the Middle Ages? And how big is big data? We invite proposals that focus on research and on pedagogy. Papers might engage with a wide range of languages, including Old English, Anglo-Latin, Old Irish, Old Norse, Early Middle English, Anglo-Norman, and Middle Welsh; research topics, including quantitative formalism, corpus linguistics, social network analysis, TEI, manuscript studies, and maps; and new classroom technology, including annotation tools, online textbooks and courses, databases, and exercises. We particularly welcome proposals that challenge ideas of canonicity, or that situate Britain within a broader global sphere.

The conference will be hosted by Harvard University’s English Department and the Standing Committee on Medieval Studies, with support from the Morton Bloomfield Fund and the Provostial Fund for the Arts and Humanities. We are pleased to announce that Martin Foys (University of Wisconsin–Madison) and Timothy Stinson (North Carolina State University) will be delivering the plenary addresses.

Potential presenters should submit an abstract of approximately 250 words to Erica Weaver, Joey McMullen, and Samantha Berstler at by January 15, 2016. Presentations should be no longer than twenty minutes.

For more information, please visit

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Mellon-CES Dissertation Completion and Pre-Dissertation Research Fellowships

The Mellon-CES Dissertation Completion Fellowship is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and includes a $25,000 stipend, as well as assistance in securing reimbursements or waivers in eligible health insurance and candidacy fees. Mellon-CES Dissertation Completion Fellowships are intended to facilitate the timely completion of the doctoral degree by late-stage graduate students focusing on topics in European Studies in the humanities.

Applications are due (along with all supporting materials) on or before January 26, 2016.

For more information, visit:

The Pre-Dissertation Research Fellowship includes a $4,000 stipend, the opportunity to publish in Perspectives on Europe, a semi-annual journal of the Council for European Studies, and other professional development activities. CES Pre-Dissertation Fellowships fund two months’ travel to Europe to conduct the exploratory phase of a projected dissertation project in the social sciences or humanities which will require a subsequent stay in Europe.

Applications are due (along with all supporting materials) on or before January 16, 2016.

For more information, visit:

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Call for Papers – “The Past, Present, and Future of Medieval and Renaissance Texts”

Call for Papers
RMMRA 2016
“The Past, Present, and Future of Medieval and Renaissance Texts”
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, June 16–18, 2016

The Rocky Mountain Medieval and Renaissance Association invites paper and panel proposals for its 2016 conference, to take place on the campus of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, June 16–18, 2016. The conference theme, “The Past, Present, and Future of Medieval and Renaissance Texts,” invites proposals that address any aspect of textual culture, including how medieval and Renaissance authors composed their texts; how texts were affected by their manuscript or early printed context; how works of art could function as visual texts; how texts were received by their intended and unintended audiences; how texts have been transmitted across the centuries; how editorial practice and literary theory have helped form modern approaches to medieval and Renaissance texts; and how advances in digital technology are shaping future directions in the presentation and analysis of texts. As always, while paper and panel proposals that address the conference theme will receive special consideration, proposals in any area of Medieval and Renaissance Studies will be welcome.

The conference will feature two keynote presentations by leading scholars: Sian Echard (University of British Columbia), “‘Examin’d with Original’: Facsimiles of Medieval Manuscripts in the Post-Medieval World”; and Adam Zucker (University of Massachusetts, Amherst), “‘Duller Parts’: Comic Stupidity and Difficult Texts.”

Paper and panel proposals should be directed to the RMMRA Program Committee via email to Timothy Graham ( Proposals are due by February 15, 2016. A proposal should include:

  • Name of presenter
  • Participant category (faculty/graduate student/independent scholar)
  • Institutional affiliation
  • Preferred mailing address
  • Email address
  • An abstract of the proposed paper/panel in about 250 words
  • Audiovisual requirements and any other specific requests

The Program Committee will notify participants if their proposals have been accepted by March 5, 2016. Note that all presenters at the conference must be active members of RMMRA who have paid their annual subscription of $25 by the time of the conference.

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Harvard Lectures and Workshops

There will be a series of events at Harvard at the end of this semester, co-sponsored by the Committee on Medieval Studies, the Baker Business Library, and the Houghton Library. Vanderbilt’s William Caferro will deliver two lectures and host two workshops, all focused upon the Baker Library’s rich collection of Medici accounting and business records (donated to the library by the department store mogul Harry Selfridge early in the twentieth century). A complete list of events, with dates/times/descriptions, can be found at the Baker’s Medici Collection website.

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Jobs for Medievalists

Cataloguer, Manuscripts Data Conversion Project

Fixed Term Contract – c 12 weeks until 31 March 2016
Full Time or Part Time hours considered

The British Library is seeking a number of cataloguers for a new catalogue conversion project. The project team will transcribe, enhance and place online a 19th-century handwritten catalogue of manuscripts, opening up access to a hitherto underused part of the manuscripts collection. Cataloguers will be required to type up handwritten entries from 19th-century ledgers, entering the data into Excel. They will check and amend the descriptions to take account of recent scholarship, and enhance the records with appropriate authority-controlled terms, adhering to international cataloguing standards for archives and manuscripts.

Successful applicants will have a demonstrable ability to read and transcribe 19th-century handwriting accurately and in a timely fashion, excellent IT skills, familiarity with terminology used to describe manuscript material and excellent time management skills. Either a formal qualification in archive administration or some experience of working with manuscripts or archives would be desirable, as would experience of cataloguing using the ISAD(G) standard.   Applicants seeking part-time or full-time work are welcomed.

Closing Date: 27 November 2015

Interview Date: 11 December 2015

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8-Week Intensive Greedk and Latin Summer School


June 20th – August 11th 2016

For the 17th year running, the Department of Classics at UCC offers an intensive

8-week summer school for beginners with parallel courses in Latin and Ancient Greek. The courses are primarily aimed at postgraduate students in diverse disciplines who need to acquire a knowledge of either of the languages for further study and research, and at teachers whose schools would like to reintroduce Latin and Greek into their curriculum. Undergraduate students are more than welcome to apply as well.

The basic grammar will be covered in the first 6 weeks and a further 2 weeks will be spent reading original texts.

The tuition fee (including text books) for the 8-week course is €1900.

For further information and an application form see our website:

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Call for Papers – 43rd Saint Louis Conference on Manuscript Studies (14-15 October 2016)

Paper or session proposals are invited for the 43rd Saint Louis Conference on Manuscript Studies, organized by the Vatican Film Library and to be held at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, MO, 14–15 October 2016. The guest speaker will be Madeline H. Caviness (Mary Richardson Professor Emeritus, Tufts University), speaking on “Medieval German Law and the Jews: The Sachsenspiegel Picture-Books.”

Proposals should address the material aspects of late antique, medieval, or Renaissance manuscripts. Papers are twenty minutes in length and a full session normally consists of three papers. Submissions of papers may address an original topic or one of the session themes already proposed. Submissions of original session themes are welcome from those who wish to be organizers.


Patterns of Exchange: Manifestations of Cross-Cultural Practice and Production in Medieval and Renaissance Hebrew Manuscripts

Every year we try to have a panel that parallels the topic explored by the keynote speaker. To complement Madeline Caviness’s “Medieval German Law and the Jews: The Sachsenspiegel Picture-Books,” we welcome papers that will explore/discuss medieval and Renaissance Hebrew manuscripts that reflect cultural interactions between Christian and Jewish communities in diverse geographical locations.

Manuscripts for Travelers: Directions, Descriptions, and Maps

This session focuses on manuscripts of travel and accounts of places and geographies intended for practical use: perhaps as guidance for a journey; descriptions of topography and marvels, or as travel accounts of pilgrimage, mission, exploration, and commercial or diplomatic expeditions. They could constitute itineraries, guidebooks, narratives, surveys, chorographies, or practical maps such as city plans, local maps, or portolan charts. We invite papers that examine any of these aspects of manuscripts associated with travel, with particular attention to their production, illustration and decoration, use, transmission, or preservation.

Pages with Extended Pedigree: Second-Hand Manuscripts and Their Owners

The names of famous manuscripts come quickly to mind, especially because of their association with wealthy and celebrated figures: the Bedford Hours; the Très Riches Heures of Jean, Duke of Berry; the Bible of Borso d’Este, for example. Less well-known are their subsequent owners, who may have been equally notable but have been eclipsed by the aura surrounding the first. This panel seeks papers that examine the cumulative ownership history of extraordinary manuscripts, before they entered their present holding institutions.

Open Panel

Here is your chance to propose and assemble, or propose and contribute to a panel that speaks to a manuscript theme that you have long been wishing to see explored, or investigated from a particular standpoint. We are open to proposals on all manuscript genres, from any geographical locale, on all aspects of manuscript study: transmission and reception, codicology, local practices of production, collecting, library history, cultural influence, and scholarly use.

Please submit a paper or session title and an abstract of not more than 200 words by 15 March 2016 via our online submission form. Those whose proposals are accepted are reminded that registration fees and travel and accommodation expenses for the conference are the responsibility of speakers and/or their institutions. For more information, contact Erica Lauriello, Library Associate Sr for Special Collections Administration, at 314-977-3090 or . Conference information and the online submission form are posted at

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Musicology Lectures, November 13 & 14

Two musicology lectures will be presented in conjunction with the Boston Byzantine Music Festival.

Friday, November 13, 2015, at 2:00pm: Ivan Moody, The Byzantine Octopus, or the Ramifications of Musical Traditions

Composer, conductor, and musicologist Ivan Moody will present “The Byzantine Octopus, or the Ramifications of Musical Traditions.” Extending throughout musical history like the tentacles of an octopus, Byzantine chant in its various forms and its descendants have provided starting points for composers of polyphonic music. Dr. Moody reflects on the surprisingly persistent influence of Byzantine and other Orthodox chant traditions in the work of a number of contemporary composers, including Michael Adamis, Arvo Pärt, Alexander Raskatov, John Tavener, and Dr. Moody himself.

Saturday, November 14, at 10:00am: Panayotis League, Myth, Mimesis, and Mimicry: Rebetic and Byzantine Echoes in Traditional Greek Music

Ethnomusicologist Panayotis League will present “Myth, Mimesis, and Mimicry: Rebetic and Byzantine Echoes in Traditional Greek Music.” The lecture examines the role Greek Orthodox liturgical music and the syncretic urban genre rebetika play in the popular music of insular Greece.

Both lectures will take place in the Archbishop Iakovos Library Reading Room at Hellenic College Holy Cross (50 Goddard Avenue, Brookline, MA).

For more information about the lectures, visit or contact Brandie Ratliff (, Director, Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture.

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