Friday, September 23, 2016

Call for Papers: Fifth Annual Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Saint Louis University
St. Louis, MO
June 19-21, 2017

The Annual Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies provides a convenient summer venue in North America for scholars in all disciplines to present papers, organize sessions, participate in roundtables, and engage in interdisciplinary discussion. The goal of the symposium is to promote serious scholarly investigation of the medieval and early modern worlds.
We invite proposals for papers, sessions, and roundtables on all topics and in all disciplines of medieval and early modern studies. Proposals from learned societies and scholarly associations are particularly welcome. The deadline for proposals submissions is December 31.
The plenary speakers for this year will be Christopher Baswell, of Barnard College and Columbia University, and Bruce Campbell, of Queen's University, Belfast.
The Symposium is held on the beautiful midtown campus of Saint Louis University, hosted by the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. On-campus housing options include affordable, air-conditioned apartments and a luxurious boutique hotel. Inexpensive dorm meal plans are available.
All sessions take place in state-of-the-art classrooms and auditoriums with complete audiovisual facilities. All sessions, events, meals, and housing are located within easy walking distance of each other. A rich variety of restaurants, bars, and cultural venues are also only a short walk away.
During their stay, participants are welcome to utilize the Vatican Film Library as well as the rare book and manuscript collections of the nearby Pius XII Library. Those interested in using the Vatican Film library, should contact Susan L'Engle ( by email or phone at 314-977-3090. Participants may also use the library's regular collections, which are especially strong in medieval and early modern studies.
All sessions are 90 minutes long. A variety of session formats are welcome. Preference will be given to organized sessions that involve participants from multiple institutions.

The John Doran Prize - $500
Dr. John Doran (1966-2012) was senior lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Chester, UK, and an expert in the history of the papacy and the city of Rome. In honor of his commitment to scholarly excellence, the annual John Doran Prize recognizes outstanding work by a graduate student. The author of the winning paper will receive $500 and the option to have their paper published in the journal Allegorica. The prize is endowed by the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Saint Louis University. Submissions are due by April 31, and the winner will be announced at the Symposium. More info at
Fifth Annual Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies
June 19-21, 2017

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Looking for Papers!!

Merovingians and Their Neighbors
Sponsor: The Heroic Age
Session Organizer: Deanna Forsman

Contact: Deanna Forsman North Hennepin Community College 7411 85th Ave. North Brooklyn Park, MN 55445 Phone: 763-488-0405

Recent scholarship has suggested that the political landscape of early medieval northwestern Europe owed a greater debt to the Huns, as opposed to the Romans or Germanic peoples. This session invites paper proposals that examine the Merovingian Kingdoms within the context of their relationships with their neighbors. We are particularly interested in papers that examine traditionally studied relationships from new perspectives and papers that examine little-studied interactions.

Echoes of Columbanus
Sponsors: The Heroic Age, ASIMS
Session Organizers: Deanna Forsman and James Lyttleton

The Irish ascetic Columbanus is the most famous example of the classic peregrinus: an individual who chooses a life of exile among foreigners as a form of religious devotion. Columbanus is also famous for his monastic establishments and Rule, as well as his interactions with royalty and the bishop of Rome. This session seeks to further explore the long-term influence of Columbanus in multiple venues. Papers will examine the influence of the Columbanian Rule on ascetic practice, the relationship between monastery and royalty, sources of spiritual authority, the practice of peregrinatio, etc.

Contact: Deanna Forsman North Hennepin Community College 7411 85th Ave. North Brooklyn Park, MN 55445 Phone: 763-488-0405

Monsters III: Monstrous Acts of HeroismCo-sponsors: MEARCSTAPA, The Heroic Age
Session Organizers: Deanna Forsman and Asa Simon Mittman
Contact: Asa Simon Mittman California State Univ.–Chico Dept. of Art and Art History Chico, CA 95929-0820 Phone: 530-898-6885;
Are there times when heroic acts might, from another perspective, be seen as monstrous? How are Crusader tales narrated in Muslim sources, expulsion tales in Jewish sources, battles from the losing side, slaying tales told by dragons? If we listen for the subaltern to speak, what will we hear? Can we hear the legitimate laments of Grendel's mother, or understand the actions of Lanval's fairy lover? How didretinues of “Saracen” princes perceive the oft-valorized scenes of conversion? Should we praise St. Patrick for cursing inlets and killing the local “wizards” upon his arrival in Ireland? Other saints are valorized for acts of mortification, self-mutilation, and willful starvation. What do we learn if we shift our perspectives, if we re-view these images and narratives from other angles? We invite panelists for a roundtable on “Monstrous Acts of Heroism,” and welcome analysis of surviving texts and image, as well as creative and speculative retellings of medieval tales.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

CfP: Lineage, Loyalty, and Legitimacy in Iberia and North Africa (600-1600)
The Center of Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Saint Louis University in conjunction with the Medieval Iberia and North Africa Group at the University of Chicago invite abstracts for an upcoming conference, “Lineage, Loyalty, and Legitimacy in Iberia and North Africa (600-1600),” to be held at the SLU campus on June 19-21, 2017 during the 5th Annual Symposium of Medieval and Renaissance Studies. The aim of this subconference is to build on recent scholarship which has sought to move beyond notions of “the state” as a mode of inquiry in Iberian and North African studies, and to promote instead a more holistic, interdisciplinary approach to the study of the politics, cultural production, and religious practices of these regions. Toward that end, this conference will bring together scholars from a range of disciplines in order to facilitate conversations about the relationships between politics, historiography, art, literature, and religion in medieval and early modern Iberia and North Africa.
Preliminary guiding questions for proposals include:
  • How were kinship and patronage networks forged and negotiated, dismantled and maintained?
  • What (in)formal bonds and socio-religious rituals demonstrated (dis)loyalty, whether within families or between political actors?
  • How were institutions formed and maintained?
  • How were concepts of (il)legitimacy produced, critiqued, and perpetuated during this period?
  • What role did art, architecture and material culture play in the construction of notions of legitimacy and authenticity?
  • How did the transmission or co-production of knowledge and culture across religious boundaries contribute to medieval and early modern genealogies of knowledge? How did these processes bolster or discredit claims to epistemological legitimacy?
These questions are meant to be interpreted broadly, and applicants are invited to submit brief proposals for papers addressing the conference’s title themes. Possible topics include but are not limited to: royal and noble families; inheritance and succession; marriage; dynastic politics and genealogical narratives; oaths and fealty; jurisprudence and theology; intellectual traditions and networks; textual and artistic production, especially the “co-production” of culture across social, ethnic, and religious boundaries; document authenticity and forgery; administra9tive precedent and innovation.
We encourage submissions for 20-minute papers from a range of disciplines including: history, religious studies, literary studies, anthropology, archaeology, manuscript studies, and art history. The hope is that this conference will provide a forum for discussion and collaboration between scholars.  Graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, and early-career faculty are particularly encouraged to apply.
Please submit a brief CV along with an abstract of roughly 300 words to Edward Holt ( by December 15. Direct any questions or concerns to Edward Holt or Mohamad Ballan (
Emily Butler (John Carroll Univ.), Irina Dumitrescu (Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Univ. Bonn), and Hilary Fox (Wayne State Univ.) are delighted to issue the following CFP. The full call appears below; it can also be consulted at

Project email:

Abbess Hild. Empress Helen. Mary of Egypt. Juliana. Bugga. King Alfred’s mother. Grendel’s mother. The Welsh slave of Riddle 12. The nuns of Barking. The lamenting wife. Prudentius’ virtues and vices. The African woman picking up gold in Exodus. The Geatish woman with a dark vision of the future in Beowulf. What might it mean to tell the stories of Anglo-Saxon women -- historical, fictional, allegorical -- together?

This project confronts the frequent marginalization and erasure of women by contemporary scholarship from the historical record, and shows, by means of brief essays, what can be gained by focusing on female figures in the past. For example, an examination of the roles and rights of women in Anglo-Saxon England undermines narratives of societal progress. This is especially true in areas such as education or property rights, where women often had greater agency in the Anglo-Saxon period than in later periods. The lives and careers of the women featured in this collection also illustrate the complexity of Anglo-Saxon authorship and the roles of female audiences in male authorship, sanctity, and heroism.
We seek contributors for a collection of short, interpretive pieces (600-800 words) on a range of women in Anglo-Saxon England. These women include not only those long-recognized and studied, but those who occupy the background of texts--mothers, daughters, brothel-keepers--and who may not even have a name. The goal is the compilation of a florilegium of women from across the textual and material record that will reveal the obvious and obscure roles women played in Anglo-Saxon culture and their often over-looked, yet palpably felt, presence in their texts. We hope that this florilegium will be a resource for teachers to use in the classroom and for students to use while selecting research topics. We also hope that it will be a pleasure to read, both for Anglo-Saxonists and for those curious about the field.

By September 30, 2016, email the following to
1.) A list of 3-4 women on whom you would like to write, in order of preference
2.) A short academic biography or vita (no more than 1 page)
3.) Indication of willingness and ability to write more than one entry, if necessary.

Article assignments will be made on a first-come, first priority basis.
The list of potential entries can be found at
If any woman or female figures does not appear on this list, please feel free to include them, along with the text in which they appear, in your list of choices. 
Guidelines for micro-essays are available at Drafts will be due January 31, 2017.
SASMARS on Facebook!
We are moving with the times!
Our thanks and good wishes are due to Carin Marais, who has taken over the task of ensuring the SASMARS presence on the internet. Carin has set up a Facebook page at
Please have a look and ‘like’ our page! You are welcome to contact Carin at
The SASMARS homepage, with links to pages for the biennial conferences since 2010, is still at
My sincere thanks to all who have been in touch and contributed to the SASMARS Newsletter since we entered cyberspace in 2008. Interest in SASMARS has grown beyond our wildest expectations and has attracted the attention of scholars from all over the world. As a result, our 20th biennial conference in 2010 received the largest group of international delegates ever and served to forge important links between international scholars and their Southern African counterparts. This trend has continued, as evidenced in the diverse mix of delegates to our recent conference at Mont Fleur in August this year. My contact with so many interested and interesting people locally and abroad has been personally enriching.
Warm wishes
Leonie Viljoen – signing out
Formerly Associate Professor and Research Fellow, Department of English Studies, Unisa
Cell: 0829244733
COMITATUS: A JOURNAL OF MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE STUDIES, published annually under the auspices of the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, invites the submission of articles by graduate students and recent PhDs in any field of medieval and Renaissance studies.


The Comitatus editorial board will make its final selections by early May 2017. Please send submissions as email attachments to Dr. Blair Sullivan,
As the strand-director for Music & Liturgy at the International Medieval Congress at Leeds, I direct your attention to an upcoming deadline for session proposals (Sept. 30) for the 2017 IMC 3-6 July 2017.  

Paper and session proposals on any topic related to the Middle Ages are welcome. TheHowever, every year, the IMC chooses a special thematic strand which – for 2017 – is ‘Otherness’. Sessions on any aspect of Music or Liturgy are welcome, including all aspects of secular Medieval music.

The conference is especially interested in bolstering participation from scholars and practitioners in the field of music.

Instructions and the CFP can be found here:

Best wishes,

Daniel J. DiCenso
Strand Director, Music & Liturgy
International Medieval Congress, Leeds