MAA News – 2019-20 Schallek Fellow

We are very pleased to announce that the 2019-20 Schallek Fellowship has been awarded to Maj-Britt Frenze (Medieval Institute, University of Notre Dame), “Nature and the Supernatural in Medieval Romance: Translation and Transmission in England and Scandinavia.” The Schallek Fellowship is funded by a gift to the Richard III Society-American Branch from William B. and Maryloo Spooner Schallek. The Fellowship supports an advanced graduate student who is writing a Ph.D. dissertation in any relevant discipline dealing with late-medieval Britain (ca. 1350-1500). The Fellowship brings with it an award of $30,000 and was adjudicated by the MAA’s Schallek Committee.

Frenze’s dissertation examines nature and the supernatural in medieval romance, specifically how romance motifs were transmitted and incorporated into translated and original Middle English romances and Old Norse-Icelandic romances and legendary sagas. These romance motifs include those which entered Middle English and Old Norse-Icelandic literature from French sources, including the romance garden and the forest of aventure, but also those with evident Celtic roots like the supernatural figure of the Loathly Lady. While Middle English romance has enjoyed much scholarly engagement over the past decades, Old Norse-Icelandic romance as a genre has suffered relative neglect. Moreover, very few scholars have compared how English and Scandinavian authors developed alongside each other during the thirteenth through fifteenth centuries, a period in which both cultures were engaging with the same romance materials despite the decline of direct contact after the end of the Viking Age. For generations, the natural pairing of texts has occurred between Old English and Old Norse, an assumption that this dissertation challenges in placing Middle English and Old Norse-Icelandic texts in conversation. This dissertation opens new avenues of research comparing literary development in late medieval England and Scandinavia, focusing on cultural inflections of the natural and supernatural motifs of romance.

The main argument of this dissertation is that authors of Middle English and Old Norse-Icelandic romances shared many significant romance motifs, including some not found in extant French sources, and that many of these were culturally inflected in each body of literature. I argue that English and Scandinavian authors re-contextualized many of the same motifs to reflect the priorities of their own cultures and, additionally, that depictions of landscapes in both cultures occur in highly gendered ways, females and males consistently performing particular roles in specific natural settings. For example, while a Middle English romance might portray a conventional romance garden, an Old Norse-Icelandic work might depict a hnotskógr (“nut-grove”). Where a Middle English romance might have a Loathly Lady who transforms into a beautiful lady at the end of the tale, an Old Norse-Icelandic work might have two separate characters play a similar role: the Loathly Giantess and the Lovely Giantess. Where either literature tends to portray a supernatural “other” in a negative light, Middle English romance might depict that other in the alterity of Islam, while Old Norse-Icelandic romance tends to cast the other in the guise of Germanic paganism. Such comparisons teach modern readers about the enormous potential of romance to be incorporated and adapted into seemingly disparate literary cultures. This dissertation thus engages with the fields of romance, comparative literature, translation studies, landscape studies, ecocriticism and gender studies.

Click here for more information about the Schallek Fellowship and the Schallek Awards.

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MAA News – Inaugural Inclusivity and Diversity Travel Grant

We are very pleased to announce that the inaugural Inclusivity and Diversity Travel Grant has been awarded to Karen Pinto (Boise State University) for her paper “Mapping the Worlds of the Global Middle Ages,” to be delivered at the upcoming Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America.

The annual Inclusivity and Diversity Travel Grant of $500 is awarded to one Annual Meeting participant presenting on the study of diversity and inclusivity in the middle ages, broadly conceived. The Travel Grant was adjudicated by the Academy’s Inclusivity and Diversity Prize Committee and will be presented during the Annual Meeting on Friday, 8 March, at 12:45 PM in Meyerson Hall.

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MAA News – MAA Book Subventions: Call for Proposals

The Medieval Academy Book Subvention Program provides grants of up to $2,500 to university or other non-profit scholarly presses to support the publication of first books by Medieval Academy members. The deadline for proposals is 1 May 2019.

Click here for more information.

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MAA News – Renew Your Membership for 2019!

The year 2019 has begun, and it is time to renew your membership in the Medieval Academy of America for the current year if you have not already done so. You must be a member in good standing to apply for grants and fellowships given out by the Academy, to speak at the Medieval Academy Annual Meeting, or to participate in its governance.

Membership brings other benefits, such as:

– a subscription to Speculum, our quarterly journal
– online access to the entire Speculum archive
– access to our online member directory
– publication and database discounts through our website

Other memberships perquisites are listed here.

You can easily pay your dues and/or make a donation through the MAA website where, after you sign into your account, you can also adjust your membership category if necessary. Please consider supplementing your membership by becoming a Contributing or Sustaining member or by making a tax-deductible donation as part of your end-of-year giving. Your gift helps subsidize lower membership rates for student, contingent, and unaffiliated medievalists and also supports our grant-making programs.

You may also wish to remember the Academy with a bequest as a member of our Legacy Society (for more information, please contact the Executive Director).

With your help, the Academy increased its support of members in 2018, especially student, independent, and contingent scholars, through the numerous awards and fellowships offered annually. We sincerely hope that you will renew your valued membership in the Academy as we continue this work in 2019.

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

Click here to renew.

David Wallace, President
Lisa Fagin Davis, Executive Director

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Call for Papers – Medieval Religions

Medieval Religions
58th Annual Midwest Medieval History Conference at the University of Notre Dame (South Bend, IN)

20 and 21 September, 2019

Keynote Speaker: Anne E. Lester

The fifty-eighth annual meeting of the Midwest Medieval History Conference will be held on the campus of the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN on 20-21 September, 2019.

The conference will begin on Friday afternoon with graduate papers and a keynote by Anne E. Lester, John W. Baldwin and Jenny Jochens Associate Professor of Medieval History at Johns Hopkins University. She is the author of Creating Cistercian Nuns: The Women’s Religious Movement and Its Reform in Thirteenth-Century Champagne and has co-edited volumes on medieval materiality, religious movements, and crusades and memory.

The remainder of Friday and Saturday’s program will feature scholarly papers on all aspects of medieval history, especially those related to this year’s theme: Medieval Religion(s), and an exhibit of manuscripts. We welcome papers by graduate students (those presenting receive an honorarium), and independent, early-stage, and senior scholars. The programming committee is also happy to consider proposals addressing teaching, pedagogy, and digital humanities. Abstracts of 250-300 words may be emailed to the program chair, Jessalynn Bird, at Queries regarding organization may be sent to the conference organizer, Daniel Hobbins, at

Deadline for submissions: March 8, 2019

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Call for Papers – TEMA 2019


Texas State University is pleased to invite papers and sessions on all topics in medieval studies for TEMA 2019.  Both abstracts for individual papers and sets of abstracts for full panels are welcome. We especially invite papers and sessions contributing to the 2019 conference theme: –tongues – and all related words that serve as a conduit for the transmission of knowledge, culture, and art in verbal, written, oral, and visual forms.  Those who wish to connect to the conference theme may seek terms of their area of interest with topics of language, communication, dialogue, expression, terminology, thought:

Papers may be submitted in either English or Spanish. For presentations in French or Spanish, please specify this. Send title and abstract (in English) of approximately 200 words to Yasmine Beale-Rivaya ( or David Navarro ( no later than September 1, 2019. Early submission is encouraged: rolling acceptance will begin on June 1, 2019, and space may become limited after this date. Among proposals for full sessions, those including participants from more than one institution will be given priority. A prize will be awarded for the best paper by a graduate student. For more information, visit

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Call for Papers -The Spanish Society for Medieval English Language and Literature

The Spanish Society for Medieval English Language and Literature, and the local Organising Committee, cordially invite members of the Society and all scholars interested in the field to send their contributions for its 31st International Conference, which will be held at the University of Valladolid, Spain, on 19-21 September 2019.

The organisers welcome individual paper proposals dealing with any aspect of

+ Old and Middle English language and literature,
+ the medieval history the British Isles,
+ the transmission of their cultural legacy, and
+ the theories and methods to address them.

The following plenary speakers have confirmed their participation in the conference:

+ Prof Susan Irvine (University College London)
+ Prof Richard Sharpe (University of Oxford)
+ Prof María José López-Couso (U of Santiago de Compostela)
+ Prof Eva von Contzen (University of Freiburg)

Send your proposals via e-mail to, following the
submisison guidelines at the conference website
( The final deadline is Tuesday 30 April 2019.

For further information and updates, please visit our website or keep in touch through @SELIMconf2019.

Address your enquiries to the Conference Organising Committee at

We truly look forward to welcoming you to Valladolid.
The Organising Committee of SELIM 31

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Call for Sessions: Mary Jaharis Center Sponsored Panel, 45th Annual Byzantine Studies Conference

As part of its ongoing commitment to Byzantine studies, the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture seeks proposals for a Mary Jaharis Center sponsored session at the 45th Annual Byzantine Studies Conference to be held in Madison, Wisconsin, October 17–20, 2019. We invite session proposals on any topic relevant to Byzantine studies.

Session proposals must be submitted through the Mary Jaharis Center website site ( The deadline for submission is February 10, 2019. Proposals should include:
—Proposed session title
—CV of session organizer
—300-word session summary, which includes a summary of the overall topic, the format for the panel (such as a debate, papers followed by a discussion, or a traditional session of papers), and the reasons for covering the topic as a prearranged, whole session
—Session chair and academic affiliation. Please note: Session chairs cannot present a paper in the session.
—Information about the four papers to be presented in the session. For each paper: name of presenter and academic affiliation, proposed paper title, and 500-word abstract. Please note: Presenters must be members of BSANA in good standing.

Session organizers must present a paper in the session or chair the session. If a co-organzier is proposed for the session, the co-organizer must also give a paper in the session or chair the session.

Applicants will be notified by February 15, 2019. The organizer of the selected session is responsible for submitting the session to the BSC by February 25, 2019. Instructions for submitting the panel proposal are included in the BSC Call for Papers (

If the proposed session is approved, the Mary Jaharis Center will reimburse session participants (presenters and chair, if the proposed chair is selected by the BSC program committee) up to $600 maximum for North American residents and up to $1200 maximum for those coming from abroad. Funding is through reimbursement only (check issued in US dollars or wire transfer); advance funding cannot be provided. Eligible expenses include conference registration, transportation, and food and lodging. Receipts are required for reimbursement.

Please contact Brandie Ratliff (, Director, Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture with any questions.

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Call for Papers – Premodern Food Cultures Conference

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities,

October 17-19, 2019

We welcome proposals for panels or papers related to premodern food studies for the Premodern Food Cultures Conference at the University of Minnesota, October 17-19, 2019, organized by the Center for Medieval Studies, the Wangensteen Historical Library of Biology and Medicine and the James Ford Bell Library and co-sponsored by the Medieval Academy of America.

Plenary speakers include:

  • Paul Freedman
    (professor of History, Yale University) author of Food, The History of Taste, Ten Restaurants that Changed America, Out of the East: Spices and the Medieval Imagination and
  • Theresa McCulla, brewing historian at the National Museum of American History, and author of Consumable City: Food and Race in New Orleans.

In addition to traditional panels, in which experts present 15-20 minute papers on their research, we welcome proposals (at for other forms of scholarly engagement and presentation, including workshops on teaching and outreach on food history, converting historical recipes, and other innovative formats (as taken from the MLA):

  • Creative Conversations: These sessions may be roundtables or special sessions that feature free-form dialogues or forums between published authors or other artists and an interviewer. This might include sessions that consider single works, classics, emerging formats, films, plays, artwork, and such.
  • Electronic Roundtables: These digital-demonstration sessions reconfigure the familiar poster session, allowing participants to identify and exchange findings on topics such as incorporating digital media technologies into teaching, scholarship, and administration; to use digital media to explore a particular issue such as community engagement, student research, or textual editing.
  • Ignite Talks: This session format includes brief, timed presentations, such as those in the PechaKucha style. In that format, twenty images are shown for twenty seconds each, and panelists talk along with their images.
  • Case-Study-Themed Sessions: These sessions can be organized around any single topic ranging from workshops on members’ syllabi to conversations on new approaches to organized learning.
  • Master Classes: Such sessions center on widely held member interests and might feature accomplished scholars or teachers leading how-to sessions in different presentational styles or structures (workshops, roundtables, panels).

If you are interested in anything other than presenting a traditional paper, the complete session with all members must be included in your submission. You also may put together a complete panel for traditional papers, but we welcome traditional paper proposals from individuals. Please submit proposals via our online Google form:

  • If you are proposing a panel or roundtable, please provide an abstract of the proposed panel, session or roundtable. Include the format, names, institutional affiliation and contact information for all participants. 500 word maximum.
  • If you are submitting a proposal for a standard conference paper, submit title, abstract (300 word max) as well as c.v. by Febuary 15, 2019.

Questions should be directed to Michelle M. Hamilton, Director of the Center for Medieval Studies ( or Marguerite Ragnow, Curator of the James Ford Bell Library (

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2019 MAA Publication Prizes Winners

The Medieval Academy of America congratulates the winners of the 2019 MAA Publication Prizes:

Haskins Medal: Philip L. Reynolds, How Marriage Became One of the Sacraments. The Sacramental Theology of Marriage from Its Medieval Origins to the Council of Trent (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016)

Karen Gould Prize in Art History: Ivan Drpić, Epigram, Art, and Devotion in Later Byzantium (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016)

Digital Humanities and Multimedia Studies Prize: John Wyatt Greenlee, The Mapping Mandeville Project (

John Nicholas Brown Prize: Anna Zayaruznaya, The Monstrous New Art: Divided Forms in the Late Medieval Motet (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015)

Van Courtlandt Elliott Prize: Alice Isabella Sullivan, “Visions of Byzantium: The Siege of Constantinople in Sixteenth-Century Moldavia,” The Art Bulletin 99 (2017), 31-68; and Adam Woodhouse, “‘Who Owns the Money?’ Currency, Property, and Popular Sovereignty in Nicole Oresme’s De moneta,” Speculum 92:1 (2017), 85-116.

Please join us for the publication prize ceremony on Saturday, 9 March, at 10:45 AM in Meyerson Hall at the University of Pennsylvania, in conjunction with the Medieval Academy of America Annual Meeting.

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