Jobs for Medievalists

Later Medieval English Literature – Associate Professor (1200-1500)
University of Toronto (St. George Campus)

Description:
The Department of English and the Centre for Medieval Studies in the Faculty of Arts & Science at the University of Toronto invite applications for a joint full-time tenure stream position (75% English & 25% Centre for Medieval Studies) in the field of Later Medieval English Literature (1200-1500). The appointment will be at the rank of Associate Professor, with an expected start date of July 1, 2021.

Click here for more information.

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2021 CAARI Fellowships

Encourage your colleagues, students, and friends to apply for CAARI’s fellowships. Information about each grant, including application forms, stipends, and expectations, is available at: www.caari.org/fellowships .

The grants include:

  1. Three graduate student stipends offering support for travel to Cyprus and lodging at CAARI. Application deadline: December 7, 2020.
  2. Two CAARI/CAORC postdoctoral fellowships that fund a month’s research in Cyprus: Application deadline: January 12, 2021.
  3. The postdoctoral fellowship in honor of Professor Eddie Peltenburg, that can support a full academic year’s research time on Cyprus. Application deadline: January 12, 2021.
  4. Scholar in Residence: Application deadline: January 12, 2021.

Other relevant fellowship opportunities are listed on the Fellowships page, as well.

Browse the possibilities, and apply!

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Rare Book School Scholarship and Fellowship applications open!

Rare Book School is now accepting applications for its 2020 scholarship and fellowship cycle. 

The deadline for RBS-awarded scholarships is Sunday, 1 November 2020. Scholarship applicants will be considered for all of the RBS-awarded scholarships for which they are eligible, including the new Access 2021 Scholarship. Created for use in the summer of 2021, this scholarship is intended to ensure that RBS courses are accessible to students who wish to attend, but whose usual professional development funds will be greatly limited or unavailable. More than 100 awards will be distributed for this scholarship!  For more information, visit https://rarebookschool.org/admissions-awards/scholarships/

Rare Book School’s Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography (SoFCB) invites applications for its 2021–23 cohort of Junior Fellows. The deadline is Monday, 2 November 2020. Continuing the work of the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Critical Bibliography (2012–17), this scholarly society works to advance the study of texts, images, and artifacts as material objects through capacious, interdisciplinary scholarship—and to enrich humanistic inquiry and education by identifying, mentoring, and training promising early-career scholars. Junior Fellows will be encouraged and supported in integrating the methods of critical bibliography into their teaching and research, fostering collegial conversations about historical and emerging media across disciplines and institutions, and sharing their knowledge with broader publics. For more information, visit https://rarebookschool.org/admissions-awards/fellowships/sofcb/

The M. C. Lang Fellowship in Book History, Bibliography, and Humanities Teaching with Historical Sources invites applications for its second cohort, due 30 November 2020. This fellowship is a two-year program designed to animate humanities teaching and equip educators (both library/curatorial staff and tenure or tenure-track faculty) to enlarge their students’ historical sensibilities through bibliographically informed instruction with original historical sources. Open to faculty and librarians at liberal arts colleges and small universities in the United States, this fellowship program will teach teachers how to discern and convey the human presences in original textual artifacts––and to inculcate wonder in their students through guided contact with original textual artifacts. For more information, visit https://rarebookschool.org/admissions-awards/fellowships/lang/

Applications for the second cohort of The Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Heritage are also due 30 November 2020. This three-year fellowship aims to advance multicultural collections through innovative and inclusive curatorial practice and leadership. Fifteen new fellows who identify with diverse racial or ethnic communities and/or who work primarily with collections that document minority, immigrant, and non-Western cultural traditions will be selected for the 2021–2023 cohort. The fellowship will seek to fulfill four core goals: 1) developing skills for documenting and interpreting visual and textual materials in special collections and archives; 2) raising awareness within professional communities about the significance of inclusive, multicultural collections, including their promotion, development, and stewardship; 3) building connections with diverse communities and publics through strategic programming, outreach, and advocacy; and 4) advancing careers for establishing new pathways and skills for professional growth. For more information, visit https://rarebookschool.org/admissions-awards/fellowships/mellon-diversity/

You can find more information about these scholarships and fellowships, including application instructions, by clicking on the links above. Please direct any questions to rbs_scholarships@virginia.edu

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Conference – Jewish Romance in the Middle Ages: Literature, Piety, and Cultural Translation

Event time:
Sunday, October 25, 2020 – 11:00am to 2:00pm

Admission:
Free, but register in advance

For registration and schedule, please visit:
https://ism.yale.edu/event/conference-jewish-romance-middle-ages-literature-piety-and-cultural-translation

Event description:

This conference will be free and open to the public via Zoom Webinar. Registration is required.

In the late Middle Ages, Jewish authors engaged with non-Jewish, vernacular literature to create new texts for Jewish audiences in a style that resembles medieval romance. Drawing on the popular vernacular stories of King Arthur, Alexander the Great, and heroic knights, some Jewish authors employed a variety of techniques to make these texts appropriate for Jewish audiences, including references to biblical events or replacement of non-Jewish words with ones relating to the practice of Judaism. Other Jewish authors, however, avoided biblical or pious language when crafting their new versions, putting into question the common assumption of an inextricable link between medieval Jewish piety and culture.

The contribution of medieval Jews and their participation in the narration and transmission of courtly non-religious literature has been largely overlooked in the past. Only in the past few decades have scholars focused on texts that can be considered part of a corpus of Jewish romance.

This conference brings together scholars working on medieval Jewish literature from varied perspectives to enable a cross-disciplinary, trans-institutional, and international dialogue that aims to highlight understudied voices in medieval literature and their significance. This approach allows conversations between Jewish texts globally, rather than traditional distinctions between geographical regions. Our participants have affiliations in diverse university departments, including German Studies, Spanish and Portuguese Studies, English, and Medieval Studies, in addition to Jewish Studies. Their papers explore not only the role of cultural transmission and literary creativity in these Jewish texts but also the idea of narrative universality more broadly.

Open to:
General Public

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Call for Papers – Princeton Medieval Studies Graduate Conference

Princeton Medieval Studies Graduate Conference 
March 6, 2021  

“Reclaiming Losses: Recovery, Reconquest, and Restoration in the Middle Ages” 

Loss can be accepted or contested. This conference will consider how perceptions of legacy and entitlement stirred ambitions to reassert lost claims from Late Antiquity through the Late Middle Ages. From the last great war of antiquity between Persia and Rome to Charlemagne’s Roman renovatio, Byzantine expansion, contestation over Iberia, and the later crusades, many medieval conflicts were justified as campaigns to reconquer and restore past order. Beyond political and territorial pursuits, contemporaries sought to reclaim losses of all kinds, whether legal, economic, intellectual, social, cultural, physical, emotional, or spiritual.  

This conference will explore the circumstances under which medieval people made claims to past legacies, how they asserted those claims, and what it meant to express them as calls for restitution. How did contemporary understandings of legacy and entitlement factor into perceptions of loss? How did the motive to restore a loss—whether real or imagined—shape contemporary choices and their outcomes? When was loss understood as a fundamental challenge to individual or collective identity and what resulted from such challenges? 

To this end, we invite 300-word proposals for fifteen- to twenty-minute talks on topics examining recovery, reconquest, and restoration in the Middle Ages. We welcome proposals covering any region of the world reflecting the time frame encompassing approximately 500-1500 CE. Please submit proposals or requests for more information to emedawar@princeton.eduProposals should be submitted by November 6, 2020, and applicants will be notified of decisions by November 16, 2020. 

The conference will be held on March 6, 2021 and will take place over Zoom.  Participation from any location is, therefore, warmly welcomed.

For further information, please visit our website: https://princetongradconference.princeton.edu/ 

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Rethinking Health and Power during Times of Crisis

Oct 29, 2020

Part 2 of Virtual Panel Series Racism in History and Context | 3pm – 4:30pm ET | Panelists: Manuela Boatcă (University of Freiburg), Teresa Koloma Beck (Bundeswehr University Munich), Monica Muñoz Martinez (UT Austin), and Kathryn Olivarius (Stanford) | Moderators: Elisabeth Engel (GHI Washington) and Leti Volpp (UC Berkeley)

This is part 2 of the panel series “Racism in History and Context” presented by the German Historical Association, the German Historical Institute Washington and its Pacific Regional Office, and the Institute of European Studies at University of California, Berkeley
> Register Here

The risk of physical harm posed by both the coronavirus pandemic and US police officers’ ongoing willingness to use violence against African Americans has been quickly conceived as a major feature of the current crisis. Governments and citizens in the U.S., Europe, and beyond squarely agree that ethnic and racial minorities are disproportionately imperiled due to longstanding and systemic disadvantages. We observe a long tradition of this phenomenon. Crises and, foremost, pandemics reveal predetermined breaking points of societies, including structural racism. Going back to the 14th century with the outbreak of the bubonic plague, pandemics have exposed social bias. Due to such structures, people have shaped starkly different and clashing responses to pandemics. Currently, apparent racial disparities in access to physical safety prompt fierce protest movements among citizens, on the one hand, and strong measures to control them on the part of governments and local authorities, on the other. Thus, health and power are at stake on either side of the conflict.

The panel aims to inquire into the role of racism in the history of epidemics and the history of state violence. This brings to light very specific problems in the various countries. Even though the overall phenomenon has characteristic features in every society, it is the result of specific historical processes and must therefore be understood and discussed in the respective historical contexts. Thus, the German Historical Association (Verband der Historiker und Historikerinnen Deutschlands e.V., VHD), the German Historical Institute Washington with its Pacific Regional Office, and the Institute of European Studies at University of California, Berkeley, have invited Manuela Boatcă (University of Freiburg), Teresa Koloma Beck (Bundeswehr University Munich), Monica Muñoz Martinez (UT Austin), and Kathryn Olivarius (Stanford) to trace the ways in which racism has figured as an aspect of their respective subjects of research.

The event is part two of the panel-discussion series “Racism in History and Context,” which brings together scholars from various fields to explore the histories of racism that have been constructed in current debates about the coronavirus pandemic and violent police confrontations. What and who defines the deeper and historically longer-term contexts of the present phenomenon? How do the various discourses and memories of racist violence differ in quite diverse national contexts and narratives, and what interdependencies can we discern? How do social and cultural tensions take form under the pressure of condemning racism in moments and historical narratives of crises? The first panel “Rethinking Memory and Knowledge during Times of Crisis” is available on our Vimeo channel.

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Call for Papers – Questioning the Crime of Witchcraft, Definitions, Receptions and Realities (14th-16th Centuries)

In the last decades, the multiplications of works in the field of Witchcraft Studies made it possible to profoundly renew the approaches and the study designs of the repression of witchcraft in the late Middle Ages and in the beginning of the Early Modern Era. Consequently, research has substantially specified the methods and configurations (ideological, political and doctrinal) that contribute to the genesis of the “witch-hunt”. Research also uncovered that the repression of witchcraft could take a number of different forms depending on the contexts, the spaces studied, the sources and the aims they seem to pursue. It underlines the extreme plasticity of the accusation of witchcraft and the categories of such a crime. Hence, the conference aims to focus the discussions on three main areas: the definition of the crime of witchcraft, its different receptions and the question of its reality.

The goal of the conference is also to discuss the crime of witchcraft by highlighting new fields of research and unstudied sources. The variety of definitions, the modalities of reception and the different realities that the crime of witchcraft had undergone in the late Middle Ages and at the beginning of the Early Modern Era (14th-16th centuries) will be addressed and debated.

Defining the crime of witchcraft: issues, concepts and debates

Historiography has frequently emphasized the richness of the lexicon involved in medieval and early modern sources to name witchcraft and those who practice it. Such a typological abundance is to be seen in the context of the numerous areas where the repression of the crime of witchcraft expanded, starting at the end of the 13th century. The most recent work, in particular those concerning the Alpine region, the Pyrenees and the Kingdom of France, have shown the specific features and the distinctive regional identities of the vocabulary used to define witchcraft.

Moreover, the crime of witchcraft appears as a criminal category with a flexible and dynamic definition where the wording is closely tied to the studied sources. Therefore, the study of witchcraft seems to bear witness that this crime is a concept under construction and in debate at the end of the Middle Ages. If these elements are relatively understood today, a comprehensive review from a comparative perspective remains to be done. The confrontation of various terrains of study mobilizing various materials (judicial, normative, theological sources, pardons, literature, predication) and highlight different production backgrounds (laypersons, clergy, inquisition) would enable us to lead a global reflection on the modalities of the emergence of the crime of witchcraft in the late Middle Ages. It would also help us to clarify the issues of the use of a certain type of vocabulary by highlighting what is at stake depending on the different regional or political units.

Finally, this comparative approach could enable to point out the modalities of diffusion and circulation of the words defining the crime of witchcraft. Therefore, it could permit us to specify the conditions of their reception and their possible influences of the repressive practices against witchcraft.

Reception of the crime of witchcraft: between support and resistance

Beyond its definition, a crime can be diversely received. It is clear that before the beginning the European witch hunt a notion of witchcraft preexists and differs depending on social classes or regions. It corresponds only partially with the concept of Sabbath that emerges in courts starting in the 15th century. It can be seen in the debates of theologians on the reality or fiction of nocturnal flights. It can also be seen in the denunciations generally targeting individuals instead of groups which could be perceived as acting secretly and collectively.

The question of the role of the population in repression is a key element to understand the phenomenon, both in the impact of the popular perception of witchcraft, and in individual actions. If the repression of the diabolical sect could, in certain cases, be exploited by individuals to satisfy their own agenda, oppositions to the concept of Sabbath or to specific trials existed. They are generally difficult to grasp since justice is exercised by the dominant. Those who wanted to contest, to avoid an open revolt, had to accept disguised ways to dodge any sanction. Nevertheless, the study of medieval and early modern bookkeeping enables us to provide elements to understand the adherence of populations to the phenomenon of repression.

Realities of the crime of witchcraft: accusations under tension

In historiography, there exists broad consensus stating that the Sabbath as well as most crimes of which the defendants were accused did not actually occur. Based on this hypothesis generally demonstrated since the 1970s, most historians are now asking the question of the reality which lies behind the crime. If most of the charges against the individuals accused of witchcraft cannot be proven, what pieces of information can be extracted from these documents? The points of view are many. Should the trials be read in a way that picks out elements falling outside the expected framework of their production? Should this information be compared with other sources informing us about social and political tensions within the communities or about the agenda of judges? And finally, what is the influence of the conservation of certain sources on our own vision of the phenomenon?

Papers with topics related to these different themes are particularly welcomed.

The conference will be in French and in English.

The conference is open to young researchers, PhD students, Post-doctoral researchers as well as advanced graduate students.

Submission:
You are invited to submit a 300-word abstract with key words in either English or French by November 30th, 2020 to the following email address: maxime.perbellini@ehess.fr. Please include: a brief résumé, the title of your presentation, as well as your name and your academic affiliation. Please send any additional questions you may have to the aforementioned email address. The presentations will have to be 20 minutes long maximum.

Practical information:

The conference is organized by Maxime Gelly-Perbellini (PhD student at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS, Paris, France) and at the Free University of Brussels, Belgium, Research and Teaching Assistant at the University of Reims Champagne-Ardennes, France) and Olivier Silberstein (PhD student at the University of Neufchâtel, Switzerland). It is sponsored by the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS, Paris, France). It will take place on the premises of the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS, Paris, France) on May 20th-21st 2021. The conference would start on May 20th at 2pm and would end on May 21st at 5pm.

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Panel Discussion: Multilingualism, Translation, Directionality in Global Medieval DH

Please join the Vanderbilt University Center for Digital Humanities and the Global Middle Ages Project on October 16 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 CDT / 12:00 – 1:30 p.m EDT  for a panel discussion about global digital projects and their use of languages.

New technologies allow us to experience the past more intimately than humans have ever been able to do before, and we can share our work more efficiently and completely than our predecessors could. But new problems arise, particularly as multi-national groups of scholars work on the histories and cultures of communities that lay claim to their own past and yet often cannot access the research results, often presented in English. In addition, scholars commonly structure databases using English and do their coding in English. How does language use exclude certain communities, and what are best practices for language use in global digital projects? We will discuss techniques and unsolved problems in an effort to make recommendations for global medieval projects.

This panel will bring together scholars working on global digital projects along with an expert in translation to talk about their perspectives on language use in global digital humanities projects.

Our panelists:

  • Zrinka Stahuljak, Professor of Comparative Literature and French, UCLA, and Director, UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies – expertise in translation, interpreting, and multilingualism

  • David Michelson, Associate Professor of the History of Christianity, Vanderbilt University – General editor of Syriaca.org and expertise in multi-national collaboration on digital projects with experience in establishing digital humanities standards for Semitic languages

  • David Joseph Wrisley, Associate Professor of Digital Humanities, NYU Abu Dhabi – multitext alignment methods, multilingual/multidirectional language data, politics and practice of interface localization, machine learning medieval scripta, directionality in digital projects, unidirectional fallacy

  • Roger Martinez-Davila, Associate Professor of History, University of Colorado – Colorado Springs – expertise in MOOCs, crowd-sourced research of manuscripts, virtual and augmented reality, and multi-national projects

  • Solomon Gebreyes Beyene, Research Fellow, University of Hamburg – expertise in multi-national manuscript editing and annotating Gǝʾǝz texts using TEI/XML.

The conversation will be moderated by Lynn Ramey (Vanderbilt University) and Dorothy Kim (Brandeis University).

All are welcome. There will be a question and answer period after panelists have spoken. You may submit your questions in advance (lynn.ramey@vanderbilt.edu) or live at the panel. The panel will be recorded and posted on the globalmiddleages.org portal.

Zoom link for the colloquium: https://tinyurl.com/globalmedieval

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Continuing Blog Post Series: Medievalists Beyond the Tenure Track

Danielle Griego received her PhD in History from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2018. She is currently an Independent Scholar, editing her manuscript and working on an essay in a forthcoming edited volume on medieval childhood. Her work focuses on emotional responses to child death in later medieval England. 

What are you going to do with the PhD when you graduate? Are you going to teach? These are perhaps the most daunting questions to hear as a graduate student in medieval studies for many reasons. For one, the academic job market is increasingly precarious and is even more uncertain now because of the economic challenges caused by COVID-19. But also because of the tremendous amount of pressure placed on students to find viable tenure-track careers after graduation.

Many times, the term “alt-ac” is used as a negative, suggesting that a career outside of academia is unfulfilling or an indication of failure. For many medievalists like myself, however, jobs in museums, historical societies, and libraries are neither unfulfilling nor alternative. While I enjoyed teaching in the university classroom, I knew early on that I also wanted to pursue jobs in public history. As I started to navigate the job market, I realized that those types of careers are rewarding and can provide a platform to teach, research, write, and remain active in the field of medieval studies.

My Journey:

Growing up in rural New Mexico, in a predominately Hispanic and Native American community, I drove by the Spanish landmarks and native pueblos that dotted the landscape every day. My experiences shaped the way I thought about contributing to history and inspired my desire to learn about material culture. I decided to enter the Archaeology program at The University of New Mexico and quickly became interested in the courses surrounding the Middle Ages. Wanting to know more about the historical aspect of the period, I went on to get an MPhil in Medieval History at Cambridge University and decided to continue my studies by entering the History PhD program at The University of Missouri-Columbia in 2012.

While finishing graduate coursework and working as a TA, a former archaeology colleague from New Mexico asked if I would be interested in freelancing (remotely) as a historian with her South Dakota based cultural resource management group. The organization specialized in archaeology, history, geophysics, and paleontology and needed someone with an archaeology/history background to research potential archaeological sites throughout Missouri before the construction of businesses or residences took place. The job was rewarding; the position’s flexibility allowed me to earn an extra income while keeping up with dissertation research. Moreover, I felt an increased connection to the material record and realized I was also bringing awareness to the value of cultural preservation.

In  May 2018, I defended my dissertation on the textual and physical representations of grief in medieval accounts of child death. Afterwards, I continued to freelance, but without the support of graduate funding, I eventually sought out a more consistent form of income. With sparse listings in the academic job market, I looked for a variety of history-related positions and noticed a part-time job opening, involving educational programming, at The State Historical Society of Missouri in Columbia. At first, I didn’t think that I would qualify for the position because I did not study Missouri history, but I decided to apply for the job anyway, since I did have experience writing, researching, organizing history conferences, and planning history outreach events. Later that summer, I was offered the position and eventually moved into a full-time role until July of 2020. Through this role, I was able to combine my love of history and archaeology and continue to promote the importance of historical preservation. I researched and designed exhibits about Missouri history based on local collections and implemented outreach programs geared towards youth, adult-learners, faculty, and students. I also served as the coordinator for the National History Day in Missouri program and organized the Society’s annual history conference, The Missouri Conference on History, which encourages the participation of all scholars, including medievalists.

Even though I did not follow the traditional tenure-track trajectory after the PhD, I continue to call myself a medieval historian. I publish essays, keep up with languages, present at conferences, and continue to work on edits for my manuscript. More recently, I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of the Ad Hoc Committee for Professional Diversity and to participate in the Medieval Academy of America Graduate Student Mentorship Program for the International Medieval Congress at Leeds.

Working at the Historical Society and freelancing allowed me to set aside time so that I could keep up with my research and remain active in the field. My work at the Historical Society, specifically, gave me a chance to bring awareness to medieval studies through National History Day in Missouri and The Missouri Conference on History. National History Day in Missouri is a program designed to encourage the study of history in grades 6-12. Students can research any topic of their choosing (as long as it relates to the yearly theme) and display their findings through websites, documentaries, exhibits, papers, or performances. Their projects then compete at the local, regional, state, and national level. I worked with students on projects centered on The Black Death and The Wars of the Roses, as well as with educators to add  medieval resources to their curricula. In addition, I was able to work with medieval scholars at The Missouri Conference on History and actively promote the participation of medieval studies students on the European Panel.

My goal has always been to teach and get people excited about history, both through textual and material analysis. Through my experiences freelancing and in educational programming, I realized that teaching comes in many forms and that jobs outside of academia can be used in conjunction with the university classroom to reach wide and diverse audiences.

My advice to those seeking jobs outside of academia or to those who are currently on the job market is DON’T LOSE HOPE. While the job market may seem overwhelming, medievalists have skills that are marketable for a variety of careers that will allow them to participate in the field and contribute in exciting ways. If and when it is possible, intern at museums and galleries, volunteer at historical societies and libraries, and explore the world of digital humanities. Not only will these be great opportunities to add to your resume and to see what type of work you enjoy, but you never know who you will meet and where these experiences can lead you in the future..

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Text Manuscripts at Les Enluminures: New Update

Les Enluminures is happy to announce that we just added new manuscripts to our text manuscripts site (https://www.textmanuscripts.com/medieval?inventorySearch=1).

Some highlights: a French translation of the Decretals of Gregory IX (TM 1097); a reportatio of the sermons of St. Bernardino of Siena (TM 999); Donato Accaiuoli, Life of Charlemagne (TM 1063) ; Ludovico de Guastis, Epitome of Pliny’s Natural History (TM 1098); Epistole Phalaridis (TM 1081); and a membrane from an illuminated Universal Chronicle roll (TM 1139).

There are currently 1021 manuscripts accessible on the site, including current and sold inventory, all with complete descriptions and images. The default on the site is to display current inventory (111 manuscripts, https://www.textmanuscripts.com/medieval).  To access the archives when searching, specify “archives” or “all items” under the drop-down menu, “more options/ inventory” at the top of the page.  From the Advanced Search page, you will find “inventory” as the last option on the page.

Laura Light
Director and Senior Specialist, Text Manuscripts, Les Enluminures

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