2017 NEH Summer Seminar

John N. King of The Ohio State University and Mark Rankin of James Madison University will direct a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar for College and University Teachers on continuity and change in the production, dissemination, and reading of Western European books during the 200 years following the advent of printing with movable type. In particular, they plan to pose the governing question of whether the advent of printing was a necessary precondition for the Protestant Reformation. Participants will consider ways in which adherents of different religious faiths shared common ground in exploiting elements such as book layout, typography, illustration, and paratext (e.g., prefaces, glosses, and commentaries) in order to inspire reading, but also to restrict interpretation. Employing key methods of the History of the Book, our investigation will consider how the physical nature of books affected ways in which readers understood and assimilated their intellectual contents. This program is geared to meet the needs of teacher-scholars interested in the literary, political, or cultural history of the Renaissance and/or Reformation, the History of the Book, art history, women’s studies, religious studies, bibliography, print culture, library science (including rare book librarians), mass communication, literacy studies, and more.

This seminar will meet from 18 June until 15 July 2017 at The Huntington Library in San Marino, CA, one of the nation’s leading research and cultural centers. Among the Library’s 420,000 rare books and seven million manuscripts are major holdings in medieval manuscripts, books printed before 1501, Renaissance history and literature, maps, travel literature, and the history of science, medicine, and technology. The Huntington also boasts art galleries containing 650 paintings and 440 works of sculpture, as well as twelve botanical gardens containing 15,000 plant varieties.

Those eligible to apply include citizens of USA who are engaged in teaching at the college or university level and independent scholars who have received the terminal degree in their field (usually the Ph.D.). In addition, non-US citizens who have taught and lived in the USA for at least three years prior to March 2017 are eligible to apply. NEH will provide participants with a stipend of $3,300. Up to three spaces will be reserved for adjunct faculty.

Full details and application information are available at http://sites.jmu.edu/NEHformation-reformation-books2017/. For further information, please contact rankinmc@jmu.edu. The deadline for application is March 1, 2017.

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Call for Papers – Reuse Reconsidered

Reuse Reconsidered
September 15-17, 2017
Brown University, Providence RI

Spolia. Appropriation. Palimpsests. Afterlives…These terms, and others, have been employed by scholars across disciplines to describe the reuse of architecture and material culture. This conference aims to advance current scholarship by exploring some of these terms and unpacking the phenomenon throughout history and across cultures. From the Mexica reuse of Olmec relics to the fascist appropriation of historic styles in building projects—to name two examples—societies have given new meanings to objects, architectonic fragments, buildings, and styles by repurposing them for new contexts.

The field of reuse studies has grown rapidly in the last three decades. In the United States, this is a more recent conversation, particularly as a result of 2006’s “The Mirror of Spolia: Premodern Practice and Postmodern Theory” colloquium at the Clark Art Institute. The colloquium, and subsequent edited volume Reuse Value, covered a wide range of fields and time periods. In the years since, other academic forums have taken a more focused approach, such as Wesleyan University’s “Monuments as Palimpsests” symposium and a College Art Association session on reuse in the ancient world.

While acknowledging the importance of these more focused conversations, this conference aims to broaden the conversation once again. It seeks to unite scholars, from graduate students to senior faculty members, that study a variety of time periods, cultures, and types of reuse. This cross-disciplinary conference will explore the complex and multivalent motivations behind the reuse of cultural heritage. It will also seek to expand how we understand the phenomenon of cultural identity in relationship to the appropriation, memorialization, and reimaging of the past.

We imagine that papers could address questions including, but not limited to:

  • How do cultures (re)employ objects, buildings, or styles from the past as part of the definition of themselves in their present?
  • What is the role of the architect/patron in the act of reuse?
  • How does the cultural biography of the reused object or building inform its use in new contexts?
  • Why do certain things (buildings, styles, time periods) get called upon for a new use while others do not?
  • Why and how are specific buildings or cities reimagined in new contexts?
  • How is the history of museums and antiquarianism connected to the motivations behind reuse?

Abstracts (up to 300 words) and a CV should be sent to: Reuse.Reconsidered@gmail.com by April 14, 2017. Applicants will be notified by mid-May. Papers should be approximately 20 minutes. Any questions should be addressed Lia Dykstra at Reuse.Reconsidered@gmail.com.

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Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library Professional Fellowship Program 2017

Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library welcomes applications from current graduate students in library science, information studies, preservation, archives or a related program for its newly constituted professional fellowship program. The program has been designed to provide practical experience to current graduate students interested in pursuing a career in a special collections library setting.


The Beinecke Library is Yale’s principal repository for literary archives, early manuscripts, and rare books as well as strong collections of historical materials. Its collections are internationally known and heavily used by scholars from around the world. For further information about the Beinecke Library, consult the library’s web site at: http://www.library.yale.edu/beinecke.


Professional fellows will work in an area of their specific interest and have the opportunity to learn more about how special collection libraries and major research libraries are organized and function. Professional fellows will undertake and complete a project based on their interests and skills, as well as the needs of the Library.


The Beinecke Library has two professional fellowships available for the summer of 2017, and is looking to host a professional fellow in the following areas (see the list at end for additional details):


– Research services and teaching with special collections

– Rare book cataloging


Professional fellows will work closely with staff in each of these areas and will be integrated into the broader operations of the library through tours, meetings with staff in the Beinecke Library and the Yale University Library, and participation in special projects as available and necessary.


Eligibility and requirements


– Applicants must be current graduate students in good standing in a library science, information studies, preservation, archives or related program

– Applicants must have completed at least three courses before the start date of their professional fellowship

– Applicants must commit to 10 consecutive weeks of employment between June 1st and August 31st , 2017

– At the end of the professional fellowship, fellows will be required to submit a final report describing their experiences or participate in an exit interview

– Applicants must be eligible to work in the U.S.

– Successful applicants will need to pass a security background check


Professional Fellows will receive a stipend of $7,500 to be used for housing, travel and other expenses. The stipend will be divided into three payments: upon starting, halfway through, and upon completion of the professional fellowship.


Applicants should submit the items below by Feb. 28, 2017, with a decision made in the beginning of April. Successful candidates will be contacted in the beginning of April.

– Cover letter indicating professional fellowship area preference, as described below

– Current resume

– Three letters of reference and contact information, including one from your current institution

– List of completed classes (unofficial transcripts accepted)


After Feb. 1, 2017, apply online at https://yale.communityforce.com/Funds/Search.aspx


Please send any questions concerning the professional fellowships to Allison Van Rhee, Senior Administrative Assistant, Beinecke Library at allison.vanrhee@yale.edu




Research services and teaching with special collections

Working with the Research Services Librarian and the Assistant Head of Access Services, the professional fellow will:

– Provide research support for patrons and faculty in person and through email

– Be the Beinecke staff presence in select classes taught during the professional fellowship period

– Select materials for one or more “collection highlights” shows for later Beinecke staff use

– Give tours to interested groups


These duties will allow the professional fellow to develop skills in key aspects of public services in special collections and gain exposure to the complexities of providing those services in special collections settings, including using specialized databases, understanding legacy cataloguing, and remaining mindful of security considerations. The professional fellow will also assist Beinecke staff in their mission of making the library’s collections accessible and supporting the teaching and research mission of Yale University.


Rare book cataloging


Working with Catalog Librarians, the professional fellow will have a:

– Broad introduction to technical services functions for rare books with an emphasis on rare book cataloging for a wide range of material from the 15th century to the present

– Introduction and experience using Voyager, OCLC/Connexion and other bibliographic databases

– Introduction and experience with RDA, DCRM(B) (Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Books)), LCSH, genre headings, and authority control

– Specific projects will depend on a person’s language skills, cataloging background, and interests (e.g. early books, artist books, maps, serials, or music)


Yale University considers applicants for employment without regard to, and does not discriminate on the basis of, an individual’s sex, race, color, religion, age, disability, status as a veteran, or national or ethnic origin; nor does Yale discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from sex discrimination in educational programs and activities at institutions that receive federal financial assistance. Questions regarding Title IX may be referred to the University’s Title IX Coordinator, at TitleIX@yale.edu, or to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, 8th Floor, Five Post Office Square, Boston MA 02109-3921. Telephone: 617.289.0111, Fax: 617.289.0150, TDD: 800.877.8339, or Email: ocr.boston@ed.gov.

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Call for Papers – Big Data and Medieval Studies: the Present and Future of Medieval Text Archives

Big Data and Medieval Studies: the Present and Future of Medieval Text Archives
Trinity College Dublin, 27-28 June 2017

The last thirty years have seen the production of numerous large archives of medieval English texts, including the Dictionary of Old English Corpus (c. 3 million words), the York-Toronto-Helsinki Parsed Corpus of Old English Prose (c. 1.4 million words), the Manchester Eleventh Century Spellings Database (c. 300,000 words), the Linguistic Atlas of Early Middle English (c. 650,000 words) and the Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse (c. 5 million words). Since each of these freestanding corpora was built for a different purpose, there is minimal interoperability, and the user must learn separate user interfaces and search protocols for each. Their extraordinary collective power as a tool for cultural, historical, literary and linguistic analyses thus remains to be exploited. Early publications using the materials produced by the Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership (EEBO-TCP) have shown the revolutionary power of big data to reconfigure our understanding of the early modern, print past. This colloquium seeks to catalyse a similarly radical transformation in the possible methodologies for the study of the medieval period, by encouraging collaboration to increase the use and utility of existing text archives and setting a blueprint for their future development.

The colloquium will feature presentations from all the major text corpora of medieval English. A small number of places have been reserved for other contributors, and abstracts are now sought for 15-20 minute papers describing methodologically innovative, current research using these or other medieval text archives. Types of research particularly relevant to the aims of the colloquium include:
•    Research that spans multiple corpora that are non-congruent (e. g. parsed and     unparsed corpora, manuscript-focused and text-focused corpora, corpora of texts in     different languages)
•    The use of text archives for purposes beyond which they were designed
•    The use of text archives to address broader cultural, literary or historical research     questions

Abstracts of 250 words should be submitted to Mark Faulkner (faulknem@tcd.ie) by 26 February 2017.

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Special opportunity for graduate students during the Medieval Academy Annual Meeting in Toronto:

Wednesday 5 April, Thursday 6 April, and Sunday 9 April feature a Graduate Student Workshop on Medieval Manuscripts, by invitation only. The official Call for Applicants is available to download here: maa-graduate-workshop-2017-call-for-applicants, and the application form is available here: maa-graduate-workshop-2017-application-form. For further information on the workshop, please contact Jessica Henderson (jess.henderson@mail.utoronto.ca).

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Medieval Academy of America Response to Immigration Executive Order

The Medieval Academy of America wishes to express its grave concern over the recent Executive Order suspending entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days, barring Syrian refugees indefinitely, and blocking entry into the United States for 90 days for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. This order has, in practice, also been interpreted to deny legitimate green card holders and dual citizens from those countries re-entry to the United States.

This executive order not only directly impacts the transmission of knowledge and the free exchange of ideas – principles upon which this nation was founded – but also runs contrary to the work that we, as a scholarly community, do. As medievalists we critically engage the movement of peoples and the exercise of power across more than 1,000
years of human history. The European Middle Ages saw a range of approaches to religious and ethnic co-existence, including episodes of intolerance when religious minorities were subject to marking, restriction, and expulsion. We ask the Administration to learn from – rather than ignore – the past we work to illuminate.

In the days since the Executive Order was enacted, we have received several messages from members concerned that the EO may lead to a delay or denial of re-entry to the US if they attend our upcoming Annual Meeting in Toronto. To those members, please know that the governance of the Medieval Academy of America and the organizers of the meeting at the University of Toronto stand with you and share your concerns.


Please contact Executive Director Lisa Fagin Davis directly at <LFD@TheMedievalAcademy.org> and she will work with you and the University of Toronto team to ensure that your scholarship is presented as planned.


We are committed to disseminating the content of the Annual Meeting and are working on finding feasible ways to do just that. We will be sure to let you know how you can follow along remotely should you choose not to attend.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions or concerns as this process moves forward.

Carmela Vircillo Franklin, President
Lisa Fagin Davis, Executive Director

On behalf of the Council of the Medieval Academy of America

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2017-2018 Hellenic studies Library Research Fellowship Program announcement

Tsakopoulos Hellenic Collection
Library Research Fellowship Program, 2017-2018

Thanks to generous ongoing funding from the Elios Charitable Foundation and additional funding from the Tsakopoulos Hellenic Foundation, the University Library at California State University, Sacramento is pleased to announce the continuation of the Library Research Fellowship Program to support the use of the Tsakopoulos Hellenic Collection by fellows for scholarly research in Hellenic studies while in residence in Sacramento, CA. The Program provides a limited number of fellowships ranging from $1,000 to $4,000 to help offset transportation and living expenses incurred during the tenure of the awards and is open to external researchers anywhere in the world at the doctoral through senior scholar levels (including independent scholars) working in fields encompassed by the Collection’s strengths who reside outside a 75-mile radius of Sacramento. The term of fellowships can vary between two weeks and three months, depending on the nature of the research, and for the current cycle will be tenable from July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018. The fellowship application deadline is February 24, 2017. No late applications will be considered.

Consisting of the holdings of the former Speros Basil Vryonis Center for the Study of Hellenism, the Tsakopoulos Hellenic Collection is the premier Hellenic collection in the western United States and one of the largest of its kind in the country, currently numbering approximately 75,000 volumes. It comprises a large circulating book collection, journal holdings, electronic resources, non-print media materials, rare books, archival materials, art and artifacts. With its focus on the Hellenic world, the Collection contains early through contemporary materials across the social sciences and humanities relating to Greece, the Balkans, the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey, and the surrounding region, with particular strengths in Byzantine, post-Byzantine, and Modern Greek studies, including the Greek diaspora. There is a broad representation of over 20 languages in the Collection, with a rich assortment of primary source materials. Since 2009 the collection has experienced particularly dramatic growth through two major gift acquisitions. For further information about the Tsakopoulos Hellenic Collection, visit http://library.csus.edu/tsakopoulos.

For the full Library Research Fellowship Program description and application instructions, see: http://library.csus.edu/tsakopoulos/lrfp.asp.html. Questions about the Program can be directed to George I. Paganelis, Curator, Tsakopoulos Hellenic Collection (paganelis@csus.edu).

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The Digital Latin Library Summer Workshop

The Digital Latin Library project (http://digitallatin.org) announces a workshop on the preparation of critical editions of Latin texts according to the soon-to-be-released encoding guidelines for the Library of Digital Latin Texts (LDLT), a series of new, born-digital editions to be published under the auspices of the Society for Classical Studies, the Medieval Academy of America, and the Renaissance Society of America. The workshop will be held on the campus of the University of Oklahoma, the DLL’s institutional home, on June 29–30, 2017.

The LDLT guidelines aim to facilitate the creation of full critical editions—with prefatory materials, text, critical apparatus, and other common features of traditional editions—in a digital format that will open up new possibilities for scholarship. For example, texts encoded according to the guidelines can be used with digital tools that provide new ways of working with the information, from a text viewer that allows readers to evaluate variant readings by swapping them in and out of the text, to dynamic data visualization apps that show how different versions of the text relate to each other.

Participants in the workshop will learn about the encoding guidelines and see demonstrations of some of the applications that will be released later this year. They will also spend time working with facilitators who can answer questions and provide advice about how to apply the guidelines to their projects.

Applications are invited from anyone who would like to learn about the Library of Digital Latin Texts and the potential of born-digital critical editions, but preference will be given to applicants with existing projects. Applications should include:

  1. A statement of interest, describing how the applicant will benefit from participating in the workshop,
  2. A description of the applicant’s existing project (if there is one),
  3. A brief description of the applicant’s experience with both textual editing and digital technology.

These items should be in a single PDF document of no more than 1000 words.

Prior experience with XML and related technology is not required.

The Digital Latin Library will pay for participants’ airfare, hotel accommodation, local transportation, meals, and per diem expenses. For this reason, seating in the workshop is limited.

Send all application materials by email as a single PDF to dll-workshop@ou.edu. The deadline for applications is March 10. Applicants will be notified by April 1, 2017.

Questions may be directed to dll-workshop@ou.edu.

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Call for Papers – Rewiring Romans. Medieval Liturgies as Tools for Transformation

Call for papers:

Rewiring Romans. Medieval liturgies as tools for transformation

Workshop, 15-17 June 2017, The Norwegian Institute in Rome

Liturgies are multisensory reconstructions of narratives. Enacted in highly structured architectural spaces, supported by visual representations, by sounds, smell, touch, and movement, medieval liturgies created and sustained a repertoire of narratives, reframing identities and social meanings. These multimodal forms of social communication tap into powerful structuring processes in human cognition, redefining the boundaries between self and other and reorganizing the hierarchy of values. Participatory multimodal enactments of narrative dramas, defining new goals, obstacles, resources, and strategies, communicate a collective vision that not only informs, but transforms.

The aim of this workshop is to bring together scholars studying individual and collective identity formation within texts, material culture, and performative liturgies in the middle ages with researchers from cognitive science and visual communication to build a new integrated framework for understanding social change and the multimodal communicative tools developed to foster such change. We ask, how did the liturgy change people? What were the underlying principles for its design? What can we learn about the cognitive and cultural processes involved in social change from liturgical practices and its underlying theories?

In early and high medieval societies, the locus of transformation was the liturgical event and its multimodal registers in the form of surrounding pictorial and architectural structures, chants, correlated sermons and preaching, and their informing theoretical framework expressed in the liturgical commentaries. The ritual spaces provide a stage – both internal and external – in which new identities could be enacted. The liturgy was by far the most high-tech as well as the most pervasive of all communication forms in the Latin West. The liturgy engaged rich and poor, clerical and lay, military and ecclesiastical, male and female, urban and rural, literate and illiterate (Heffernan & Matter 2001:4). It was a ‘structuring force’ for medieval communities (Le Goff, 2003:30), the ‘social glue’ that held a political and social entity together (Romano 2014:6). It was also highly flexible, continually adapting to changing circumstances (Boynton 2006). Despite scholarly intuitions about the pervasive force of the liturgy, a concrete understanding of the actual processes at work — its textual, auditive, visual, gestural, kinaesthetic, and experiential dimensions — still await critical elucidation. Additionally, scholars have taken an interest in the material culture of performative devotion, dedicating attention to the role of artefact in their ritual settings and emphasizing the role of images – immaterial and material – in medieval cognition and culture (Carruthers 1998). Some of the most recent work has opened up to the topic of liturgical multimodality (Palazzo 2014; Jørgensen, Laugerud & Skinnebach 2015); we wish to broaden this scholarship to encompass interactions with social and cognitive processes. Like social media today, liturgical rituals were a pervasive aspect of medieval life, performative, multisensory, and immersive. They were performed in dedicated spaces designed to facilitate collective transcendence, providing material anchors for new identities in the form of paintings and statues of the saints — new role models for a new society.

Emphasizing the need for cross-cutting insights into overarching themes, synthesizing the unique individual perspective from different subdisciplines into a shared and unified vision, we invite scholars from a broad range of disciplines — including history, religion, literature, anthropology, art history, musicology, and theology– to contribute their perspectives on the transformative potential of sensory experience and the tools developed and refined to shape new narratives and identities in post-Roman and medieval Europe.

Central questions for the workshop are:

  • What were the social and cognitive processes involved in religious ritual, such as imaginative immersion, deictic displacements, and elements of play and performance?
  • What were the underlying principles and theories for the design of the liturgy, especially medieval theories of cognition, rhetoric, and the senses that structured visual representations and liturgical performances?
  • What is the illocutionary force of liturgies: What makes a performance valid? How could the liturgy breach the boundaries between heaven and earth, here and now and there and then?
  • How did the changing designs of ritual spaces and practices have impact on society in relation to political legitimacy, creation of social unity, etc.?
  • What were the mechanisms of the liturgical influence out of Rome / into Rome in the medieval period?
  • What can we learn about how medieval liturgies spread and developed in the middle ages from perspectives of connectivity, socio-spatial networks, social network analysis, (SNA) and distributed cognition?
  • How did medieval liturgies work to transform people’s self-defining goals, obstacles, strategies, and resources, i.e., their framing narratives?
  • Can we tease out from our limited sources bottom-up perspectives on social change, in contrast to more common top-down perspectives?

We invite abstracts (up to 250 words) and a brief bio (up to 100 words). Presentation format is 20 minutes with 10 minutes Q&A. Please send abstract and bio to: l.c.engh@roma.uio.no

Workshop language: English
Deadline for submitting abstracts: 15 March 2017
Workshop dates: 15-17 June 2017
Venue: Norwegian Institute in Rome, Viale XXX Aprile 33, 00153 Rome, Italy



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Call for Papers – Mobility and Space in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe

Mobility and Space in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe
23-24 June 2017, Radcliffe Humanities Building – University of Oxford
Organisers: Luca Zenobi (New) and Pablo Gonzalez Martin (Wadham)
Keynote speakers: Rosa Salzberg (Warwick) and Mario Damen (Amsterdam)

The application of spatial paradigms to the study of late medieval and early modern societies is now well underway. In contrast, the so-called ‘mobility turn’ has struggled to find its way from the social sciences to the humanities and particularly to disciplines concerned with the study of the past. This conference proposes to bring the two together by exploring how everyday mobility contributed to the shaping of late medieval and early modern spaces, and how spatial frameworks affected the movement of people in pre-modern Europe.

In focusing on these issues, the conference also intends to relate to current social challenges. The world is now more mobile than ever, yet it is often argued that more spatial boundaries exist today than ever before. The conference hopes to reflect on this contemporary paradox by exploring the long-term history of the tension between the dynamism of communities, groups and individuals, and the human construction of places and boundaries.

Prospective speakers are invited to submit proposals of no more than 300 words for 20-minute papers. Papers may engage with questions of mobility and space at a variety of levels (regional, urban, domestic) and interdisciplinary approaches are particularly encouraged.

Potential sub-topics may include, but are by no means limited to:

  • Performing space through movement (urban processions, revolts on the move, border patrols & frontier trespassing)
  • Mobile practices in public spaces (itinerant courts & diplomatic exchanges, periodic markets & temporary fairs, travelling performances)
  • Narrating movement, imagining space (pilgrimage guides, merchant itineraries travel diaries, maps & portraits)
  • Digital scholarship in exploring the intersections between mobility and space (network analysis, flow modelling, GIS-based research)

We plan to edit a volume which will include selected papers from the conference.

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, we may also be able to provide some travel bursaries to PhDs and ECRs not in receipt of institutional support.

Please send your proposal and a brief bio by 1 February 2017 to luca.zenobi@new.ox.ac.uk & pablo.gonzalezmartin@wadh.ox.ac.uk and tweet us using the hashtag #mobilityandspace.

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