NEH Funding for Overseas Summer Programs

To the Members of the Medieval Academy,

This morning, the letter copied below was sent on behalf of the Officers and Council of the Medieval Academy to William Craig Rice (Director of the National Endowment for the Humanities Division of Education Programs) and to several other NEH staffers.

We will keep you informed as this situation develops.

Dear Mr. Rice,

We are joining with other scholars to express our surprise and dismay that the NEH has determined to discontinue supporting Summer Institutes and Seminars unless they are held within the United States or its territories.

We understand that the NEH has come under increasing budgetary pressure in recent years; however, we feel it continues to be crucial that the NEH support the best possible programming, and the best possible professional support for our Humanities scholars. Excluding Institutes on the basis of their geographical location seems at odds with this.

A foreign-based NEH Summer Institute or Seminar provides many scholars with a rare opportunity to work abroad, to experience the places they study, to consult original documentation and artifacts, and to meet with foreign scholars and lay the groundwork for future collaborations. All of this enriches both the scholarship of these academics and the scholarly culture of our country. Moreover, our participating scholars act as scholarly and cultural ambassadors for the U.S., at a time when our country’s position as a leader in setting global cultural and intellectual trends is increasingly less secure. Cultural isolationism is a not an effective strategy either for our country or for the NEH.

As the leadership of The Medieval Academy of America, the largest learned society in the world devoted to the study of the Middle Ages, we can confirm that these NEH Summer Institutes have served as the springboard for many extremely productive collaborative scholarly projects and institutional collaborations with foreign counterparts which otherwise would not have taken place. The Medieval Academy has co-sponsored such international NEH Summer Institutes in the past, most recently a Dante Institute in Florence in 2009 under the leadership of Paul Szarmach and Christopher Kleinhenz. The Dante Institute was a great success. Access to original resources studied in context inspired all of the participants in multiple ways and resulted in significant and original scholarship.

In sum, this decision represents a considerable loss to the NEH, and to U.S. scholarship. We are disappointed that the decision was taken apparently without consultation or the opportunity for discussion or debate. We sincerely hope that the NEH will reconsider, and at the least place a two or three-year moratorium on this policy until such a time as it can be carefully considered, and with the input of those whom it will affect most.


William Chester Jordan, President of the Medieval Academy of America, Dayton-Stockton Professor of History and Chairman of the History Department, Princeton University

Lisa Fagin Davis, Executive Director, Medieval Academy of America

On behalf of the Officers and Council of the Medieval Academy of America

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Call for Papers – Journeys through the Middle Ages and Renaissance Worlds

Journeys through the Middle Ages and Renaissance Worlds
March 6th to 8th 2015

Travels of all types provide ways of understanding the Middle Ages and Renaissance in terms of exchange, transformation, and knowledge.

By the word “travels,” we envision journeys of the mind, the body, and the spirit. The theme of the conference includes mapping, historiography, migrations, nomadic cultures and people, movements of objects, inner journeys such as dream-visions, introspection or conversion, as well as explorations of gender and social identity, exile, adoption, foreign language acquisition etc.

On behalf of Mardinalia Research Collective, the Medieval Studies Course Union, and the Program of Medieval Studies at the University of Victoria, we are inviting students and scholars to submit proposals for papers (20 min), creative performances, or art works pertaining to all types of journeys, from the 4th century CE up to the 17th century.

Submissions may address but are not limited to the following topics:

  • Utopian Worlds and Imaginary Places
  • Transoceanic journeys, Colonial expeditions, Commercial Encounters
  • Migrations, Displacements, and Settlements
  • Dream-visions and revelations
  • Pilgrimages and spiritual journeys
  • Travellers of all kinds and stations
  • Voyages and Transfers of Ideas, Books, Technologies, Science etc.
  • Networks of Knowledge

Undergraduate students, graduate students, and independent community researchers, creative scholars, artists, and performers are encouraged to submit a proposal by December 14th, 2014. Late submissions will not be considered.

Please send to the following:

  • Title of the paper
  • Paper Proposal (250 words maximum)
  • Biography (100 words maximum)
  • Additional Information: Email address, University, Area of Studies, and Status (Undergraduate/Graduate/Independent Researcher)

NB: Light lunches will be provided. Casual accommodation can be arranged. Travel expenses will not be covered.

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Haverford College Special Collections Gest Fellowships

Haverford College Special Collections invites applications for month-long $2,000 fellowships for researchers to use our unique materials. All projects should include religion as a focus; in the spirit of Margaret Gest’s vision, projects should be interdisciplinary and cross-cultural.

Projects engaging with any religion, religious community, or historical religious practices will be considered. We hope that materials created through these fellowships advance scholarship and engage with our collections in unique and creative ways. Fellowships are open to scholars at any stage in their careers.

Research may be conducted from June 1, 2015 to May 31, 2016.

To apply, submit the following materials, which must be received electronically by February 3, 2015:

  • A three to five page statement of research goals, including what progress has been made on your research project to date; a statement of how this project will benefit the scholarly community with which it intersects, an assessment of how Haverford’s materials can further its progress and what particular materials at Haverford you wish to use, and an estimate of when the project is expected to be completed.
  • A current vita or resume.
  • A writing sample.
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals who are familiar with both the field in which the applicant proposes to work, and with the applicant’s work. (Reference letters must also be received by the February 3 deadline). Please also include their names and contact information in the application materials.
  • Permanent and any temporary addresses and phone numbers.

Materials should be sent electronically to Sarah Horowitz at

Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated understanding of the applicability of Haverford’s collections to the project.
  • Probability that the project will result in a product that will advance scholarship.
  • Evidence of the applicant’s prior familiarity with and effective use of similar collections.

Successful applicants might pursue research in the J. Rendel Harris collection of Middle Eastern manuscripts, examine personal accounts of religious practice through letters and diaries, explore Quaker faith and practice, compare different versions of the Bible from our collection of American Bibles, or study missions and missionaries, among many other topics.

Applicants will be notified by April 1, 2015 of the results of the application process.
Please visit the website or contact Sarah Horowitz for more information.

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Call for Papers – “The Functions and Dysfunctions of the Medieval and Renaissance Family”

Call for Papers for the Rocky Mountain Medieval and Renaissance Association 2015 Conference: “The Functions and Dysfunctions of the Medieval and Renaissance Family”

The 2015 annual meeting of the Rocky Mountain Medieval and Renaissance Association will be held in conjunction with the Wooden O Symposium at Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah, August 3-5. The Wooden O Symposium, sponsored by the Utah Shakespeare Festival and Southern Utah University, is a cross-disciplinary conference focusing on the text and performance of Shakespeare’s plays, and is held in one of the most beautiful natural settings in the western U.S. Both the RMMRA and Wooden O Symposium will organize sessions in this year’s joint conference.

The RMMRA invites all approaches to the Middle Ages and Renaissance, welcoming scholars in a broad range of disciplines including history, literature, art history, music, and gender studies, with special consideration given to paper and panel proposals that investigate this year’s theme, “The Functions and Dysfunctions of the Medieval and Renaissance Family.” Abstracts for consideration for the RMMRA sessions should be sent to Program Chair Jen McNabb at Participants in RMMRA sessions must be members of the association; RMMRA graduate students and junior scholars are encouraged to apply for the $250 Walton Travel Grants; see details at

The Wooden O Symposium invites panel and paper proposals on any topic related to the text and performance of Shakespeare’s plays. The conference also seeks papers/panels that investigate how his works reflect or intersect with early modern life and culture.

This year’s symposium encourages papers and panels that speak to the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s 2015 summer season: The Taming of the Shrew, Henry IV Part Two, and King Lear. Abstracts for consideration for the Wooden O sessions and individual presentations should be sent to

The deadline for proposals is May 1, 2015. Session chairs and individual presenters will be informed of acceptance no later than May 15. Included with 250-word abstracts or session proposals (including individual abstracts) should be the following information:

• name of presenter(s)
• participant category (faculty, graduate student, undergraduate, or independent scholar)
• college/university affiliation
• mailing address
• email address
• audio/visual requirements and any other special requests.

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Medieval Academy 2015 Annual Meeting

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

I write to extend you a warm welcome to join us for the annual meeting of the Medieval Academy of America, which our Medieval Institute will host at the University of Notre Dame on March 12-14, 2015. Please mark your calendars, and note the somewhat earlier than usual date. Our plans are taking final shape. Registration should go up on line early in December.

This will be the ninetieth annual meeting of the Medieval Academy–a noteworthy milestone in the rich history of medieval studies in North America. Our Medieval Institute at Notre Dame has been an integral part of that history since its founding in 1946. This first-ever MAA meeting on our campus will allow us to share with you our Institute’s wonderful library and campus facilities.

We have settled on a varied program, reaching across the disciplines, with roughly fifty sessions. Our plenary speakers are three. William Chester Jordan, Dayton-Stockton Professor of History at Princeton University, will deliver the presidential address. The opening plenary will be delivered by Elizabeth Eva Leach, Professor of Music at the University of Oxford, and the Fellows’ Session will be keynoted by Lawrence Nees, Professor of Art History at the University of Delaware. Manuscript exhibitions will be on display in the Special Collections Department of the University’s Theodore M. Hesburgh Library and at the University’s Snite Museum of Art (which maintains a permanent medieval collection for viewing). You may also choose to consult some of our manuscripts while you are here. The opening reception will be held in the Jordan Hall of Science, and includes a multimedia display of music and images centered on Hildegard of Bingen’s “Cosmic Egg” illumination. The CARA meeting will follow the conference on Sunday, March 15.

For those of you who are aficionados of the American automobile, or old enough to remember Studebakers, I remind you that they (along with Oliver farm equipment and much else) were manufactured in South Bend. You may choose to visit the Studebaker Museum, or take a meal at the Studebaker mansion built at the turn of the century in grand Romanesque style (where you are allowed to wander the rooms with their sampling of old photographs).

In sum, we hope to make this a memorable and intellectually productive meeting of the Academy. To receive conference updates, be sure to follow us on Facebook (a dedicated conference site will be launching soon) and Twitter (@MedievalND).

I wish each of you a productive academic year, and once again warmly invite you to join us at Notre Dame on March 12-14 for the annual meeting of the Medieval Academy of America.

John Van Engen
Andrew V. Tackes Professor of Medieval History
Robert M. Conway Director of the Medieval Institute

P.S. Our desire is to ensure a wonderful experience for each of you, beginning with your travel plans. If you feel that our personal touch could assist with any questions regarding special needs or other concerns you may have, please email

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Jobs for Medievalists


The University of Western Australia (UWA) is a member of Australia’s prestigious Group of Eight and ranked among the top 100 universities (88th in the world) with a broad and balanced coverage of disciplines in the arts, sciences and major professions.

For the past 100 years, UWA has contributed significantly to the intellectual, cultural and economic development of the State of Western Australia and the nation as a whole.

Applications are invited for the position of Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (CHE). The Director will occupy a professorial position within the Faculty of Arts at UWA.

The Centre is based at UWA, with nodes at The University of Adelaide, The University of Melbourne, The University of Queensland and The University of Sydney. The Centre has developed a vast range of collaborative links to international institutions in Asia, Continental Europe, the UK and North America and has established partnerships with such arts industries and community groups as the National Gallery of Victoria, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Musica Viva, and the Zest Festival. Besides its wide-ranging research projects, the Centre maintains a nation-wide program of community outreach and education events.

The appointee is expected to be:
• an academic leader, both in the CHE as a whole and in the University;
• a productive and original researcher and research mentor;
• an energetic and collegial director of the Centre’s core activities;
• able to lead the Centre in new research directions;
• able to communicate the value and vitality of the Centre’s research to the public, in the media and
throughout the education system;
• able to undertake research at the highest international level on a history of emotions project, studying
an aspect of Europe 1100-1800, in the disciplines of history, literature, performance studies or music;
• able to oversee management of the whole Centre of Excellence.

Contact: Deputy Director of the Centre for the History of Emotions, Professor Jane Davidson,
Closing date: Monday 24 November 2014.

An attractive and flexibly constructed remuneration package will be negotiated including generous superannuation, leave provisions and fares to Perth (if applicable) for the appointee and dependants along with a relocation allowance.

Application Details: Applications must be submitted online. Full details of the position’s responsibilities and the selection criteria are outlined in the position description and applicants should clearly demonstrate they meet the selection criteria.

Apply online at:

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Jobs for Medievalists

The University of Kansas Libraries seeks a knowledgeable, energetic and innovative individual to develop, document and implement workflows that will improve access to complex archives and collections of manuscripts in order to increase the value of these materials to research, teaching, and learning.  The Archives and Manuscripts Coordinator serves as the supervisor of the Manuscripts Processing Unit. This is a 3-year, limited term position. Salary range starts at $45,000, but will be commensurate with experience.

Please see the description:

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Ransom Center Fellowships

The Harry Ransom Center, an internationally renowned humanities research library and museum at The University of Texas at Austin, annually awards more than 50 fellowships to support projects that require substantial on-site use of its collections. The fellowships support research in all areas of the humanities, including literature, photography, film, art, the performing arts, music, and cultural history.

The fellowships range from one to three months, with stipends of $3,000 per month. Also available are $1,200 to $1,700 travel stipends and dissertation fellowships with a $1,500 stipend.

The Ransom Center invites applications for its 2015-2016 fellowships, which will support research visits that will take place during the period June 1, 2015-August 31, 2016. Applications must be submitted through the Center’s website by January 15, 2015, 5 p.m. CST. More information about the fellowships and the Ransom Center’s collections is available online at

Fellows will become part of a distinguished group of alumni. In the 25 years since the fellowship program’s inauguration, the Center has supported the research of more than 900 scholars from around the world through fellowship awards.

Questions about the fellowship program or application instructions should be directed to

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MAA News – Medieval Academy Grants and Awards

Deadlines are approaching for several Medieval Academy awards:

Graduate students:
(Deadline 15 February)

Independent Scholars/Unaffiliated Faculty:
Travel Grants
(Deadline 1 November 2014 for meetings to be held between 1 March and 31 August 2015)

Post-doctorate and/or Pre-tenure Scholars:
Olivia Remie Constable Award
(Deadline 15 February 2015)

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MAA News – CARA Awards

Boethius, De Musica, from Naples, Biblioteca Nazionale Vittorio Emanuele III, MS V. A. 14.

Boethius, De Musica, from Naples, Biblioteca Nazionale Vittorio Emanuele III, MS V. A. 14.

We invite members to submit nominations for the prizes offered by the Academy and its Committee on Centers and Regional Associations (CARA) for excellence in teaching and superior commitment to medieval studies through service:

The CARA Award for Excellence in Teaching

The Robert L. Kindrick-CARA Award for Outstanding Service to Medieval Studies

Nominations must be submitted by 15 November. Follow the links above for further information.

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