Conferences and CFPs

  • 10 Jul 2019 12:50 AM | Brandon Alakas

    Vernacular Devotional Cultures Group

    ICMS 2020

    Session #1: The Fruits of the Orchard

    Session #2: Anchoritic Ideals in Vernacular Devotional Texts (Co-Sponsored with the International Anchoritic Society)

    Session #3: Vernacular Exchanges

    The Vernacular Devotional Cultures Group is organizing three special sessions at the 55th International Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo in May 2020. The VDCG sponsors sessions on medieval mystics and mysticism and showcases recent scholarship on vernacular spiritual traditions in medieval Western Europe. 

    Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words and a completed Participant Information Form to the session organizers listed below for each session. The deadline for submissions is 15 September 2019. Electronic submissions are preferred.

    Session #1: The Fruits of the Orchard

    Session Organizer: Barbara Zimbalist

    This roundtable brings together respondents to Jennifer Brown’s important new work, Fruit of the Orchard: Reading Catherine of Siena in Late Medieval and Early Modern England (University of Toronto Press, 2018). As a study focused on the translation, transmission, and reading cultures inspired by one of the most important holy women of medieval Italy in late medieval and early modern England,  Brown’s exciting study invites consideration of how vernacular devotion travels, grows, shifts, changes, and circulates across language, time, and distance.

    This panel invites responses to Brown’s project and to her theoretical and methodological models more broadly. What new directions are currently emerging from new work on Catherine, and other holy women whose texts circulated as vernacular devotion? What other figures and texts traveled in similar ways, and toward what devotional ends? And perhaps most broadly, but most suggestively: how does the study of vernacular devotional cultures invite reflection on our own critical habits, methods, and commitments—and the types of work they enable, engender, or even prohibit or discourage?

    Contact Information:

    Dr Barbara Zimbalist
    Department of English
    The University of Texas at El Paso
    500 W. University Ave.
    El Paso, TX 79968


    Session #2: Anchoritic Ideals in Vernacular Devotional Texts

    Session Organizers: C. Annette Grisé and Stephanie Amsel

    Co-sponsored with the International Anchoritic Society, we emphasize crossing boundaries of class, language, and genre. This session explores the ways religious texts adapt and borrow from each other by focussing on anchoritic literature (in both Latin and the vernacular) and lay vernacular devotional traditions. By considering both elite religious and popular lay cultures, it highlights the intersections between these groups rather than maintaining rigid class and genre hierarchies. We are interested in examining how and why anchorites, anchoresses, their ideas, and their spaces are translated into lay contexts, that is, for readers who are adapting anchoritic concepts to their secular context. What happens when elite religious culture becomes popularized?

    This session values diversity in thinking and discourse, bringing a variety of texts and forms into the discussion. We will not seek to predetermine methodological perspectives (apart from expecting strong contextual frameworks and a focus on primary sources as well as relevant critical approaches) but we encourage new and innovative points of view on the topics.

    Contact Information:

    Dr. Catherine Annette Grisé
    Associate Professor
    Dept. of English and Cultural Studies
    McMaster University
    Hamilton, ON L8S 4L9


    Dr. Stephanie Amsel
    Department of English
    Southern Methodist University
    Clements Hall, G02AB


    Session #3: Vernacular Exchanges

    Organizer: Brandon Alakas

    The transmission and circulation of religious writing is never neutral. The production and circulation of vernacular theology in particular calls attention, as Barbara Newman has noted, to just who could read theology and, of course, who could write theology. Was the mere love of God sufficient or was Latin literacy and clerical ordination prerequisite? Over the last two decades scholars have explored the ways in which the writing of female visionaries such as Julian of Norwich, Catherine of Siena, and Birgitta of Sweden have created space for women to explore new theological possibilities and renegotiate the gendering of power within theological discourse. This panel on vernacular exchange considers the topic of transmission broadly to include the circulation of works across linguistic and national boundaries, and aims to explore the circulation of manuscript and printed text as indices both for particular tastes and for needs of individual readers and collective reading communities.  In taking this broad approach, this session also intends to further discussion of specific issues and networks of readers that facilitated the movement of texts among diverse communities.  

    Contact Information:

    Dr Brandon Alakas
    Department of Fine Arts and Humanities
    University of Alberta, Augustana
    4901 - 46 Avenue
    Camrose, AB T4V 2R3


  • 3 May 2019 8:35 PM | CSM Webmaster (Administrator)

    2019 Programme PDF

    Canadian Society of Medievalists


    La Société Canadienne des Médiévistes


    Congress/Congrès 2019






    Nous remercions les Musqueam de nous accueillir sur leur territoire. Nous travaillerons avec diligence pour assumer notre responsabilité collective d’honorer et de respecter leurs protocoles et leur patrie.



    We recognise that the land on which we gather is the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Musqueam People, and we strive to live up to the responsibility of care for the land and people that this acknowledgment bestows upon us.




    June 3 Juin


    Session/Séance 1: The Arras Witch Project: New Insights, New Queries - BUCH B213

    Chair/Président: Andrew Gow

    Jessica Roussanov, “Vauderie d’Arras: Financing a Crusade for Statehood”

    François Pageau, “From Hussites to Waldensians: A prosopographical study of a group of demonologists”

    Robert B. Desjardins, “A Twist on the Swerve? Epicurean Ideas in Two Demonological Treatises”


    Session/Séance 2: Conversations over time: Politics and the prosecution of crime and disorder in England, 1200-1700 – BUCH A103

    Chair/Président: Simon Devereaux

    Kenneth Duggan, “Community and Crime in Thirteenth-Century England”

    Shannon McSheffrey, “The Politics of Prosecution: Handling the Evil May Day Rioters in 1517”

    Andrea McKenzie, ““Fire and Fake News: Arson Prosecutions and Oppositional Politics during the Popish Plot, 1678-81”




    Plenary/Plénière 1 - BUCH A103

    Welcome: Kathy Cawsey

    Chair/Président: Jacqueline Murray


    Paul Dutton, “Rectangles of Conversation: The Bayeux Tapestry.”





    Session/Séance 3: Circling in on Medieval Romances - BUCH B213

    Chair/Président: Christa Canitz

    Richard Firth Green, “How ‘Courtly’ are the Poems of MS Cotton Nero A.x?”

    Geoff Rector, “The Reader as Lover: Enclosure, Identity, and Community in the Sociocultural Dynamics of Romance Reading (1150-1300)”

    Robert Rouse, “From Shields to Sheeldes: Changing Views of Romance Geography.”


    Session/Séance 4: Masculinities and Manuscripts - BUCH A103

    Chair/Président: TBA

    Jacqueline Murray, “Monks and Men: Masculinity and Religion in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries”

    Alison More, ““Masculinity and Corporeality the Vitae of Thirteenth-Century Conversi”

    Dominic Marner, “Touching the Word of God in the Floreffe Bible (BL Add MS 17738)”




    Roundtable/Discussion: Racism and Diversity in Medieval Studies - BUCH A103

    Chair/Président: Donna Trembinski

    Andrew Gow, “Beyond Pogroms and Persecution: Nationalist Historiographies and the Elision of Jewish and other Minority Realities in Representations of the Middle Ages”

    Michael Kent, “Opening those other medieval books: Reflections of a Judaica Librarian towards inclusive research”

    Dana Wessell-Lightfoot, “Intersectionality in the Classroom: Teaching Medieval Spain”

    Kathy Cawsey, “Discovering a White Supremacist in my class”

    Douglas Hayes, “Teaching the Middle Ages: Racism and Resistance”

    Amy Kaufman, “Alternative Narratives”

    June 4 Juin


    Session/Séance 5: Gender and Agency in Medieval Europe - BUCH B213

    Chair/Président: Meredith Bacola

    Joanne Findon, “Female Desire and Agency in Táin Bó Froích and Aislinge Óenguso”

    David Hay, “Finding the Female Combatant in Late Medieval Military Literature”

    Donna Trembinski, “Francis’ Disappearing Infirmities: Disability and the Expectations of Masculine Sanctity in the Thirteenth Century”


    Session/Séance 6: Medical Texts in Conversation - BUCH A201

    Chair/Président: Erik Kwakkel

    Nora Thorburn, “Pro myrrae troclidite: The influence of materia medica substitution lists”

    Jacob Goldowitz, ““Medical Innovation in Early Medieval Europe: Dynamidia Texts in Conversation”

    Vajra Regan, “The Poet, the Philosopher, and the Physician”




    Plenary/Plénière 2 - BUCH A201

    Chair/Président: Dominic Marner


    Marcus Milwright, “Architecture, Ornament and the early Qur’an Fragments from the Great Mosque of San‘a’ in Yemen​”





    AGM/AGA (Lunch provided) - BUCH B213




    Session/Séance 7: Constructing Medieval Worlds: Building Sustainable Medieval Studies via Immersive Environmental Spaces - BUCH B213

    Chair/Président: TBA

    Colin Gibbings, “Wrætlic is þes Performance Work: Differing Interpretations in Performance of 'The Ruin'”

    Michael Lazar, “Materiality and Spatiality in the Saga of Erik the Red: a methodology for historical literary engagement”

    Kenna Olsen and Elias Fahssi, “ Means and Methods: Ecologies of Sustainability for Medieval Texts”


    Session/Séance 8: Afterlives of Medieval Texts - BUCH A201

    Chair/Président: TBA

    Tristan Major, “Richard Retchford, a Forgotten Seventeenth-Century Anglo-Saxonist”

    Jes Battis, “The Medievalist Marketplace:  Convention Culture and Young Adult Fantasy”

    David Watt, “George R. R. Martin’s 15th century allusions”




    Session/Séance 9: Medieval Books and Documents in UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections - BUCH B213

    Chair/Président: Stephen Partridge

    Siân Echard, "Good Luck and Good Design: Building a Medieval Teaching Collection.”

    Erik Kwakkel, “UBC’s “1460” Catholicon fragment: watermark and type arrangement”

    Noelle Phillips, ““Discovering the Bulwer Family’s Fourteenth-century Charters in British Columbia”


    Séance/Session 10: Cercles de Conversations en France - BUCH A201

    Président/Chair: TBA

    Éduardo Fabbro, “The Aftermath of Fontenoy (841): Divine agency, violence, and the response to traumatic events in Carolingian Europe.”

    Stephanie Plante, “Une sociabilité littéraire. Le réseau manuscrit du compte de Flandre Gui de Dampierre”

    Christine McWebb, “Christine de Pizan ‘in Conversation’ with Dante Alighieri”


    Banquet/Banquette: Nuba - 3116 W Broadway, Kitsilano


    June 5 Juin


    Session/Séance 11: Holes and Wholes, Pieces and Seams: Physical and Political Connections and Ruptures - BUCH B213

    Chair/Président: TBA

    Sarah-Nelle Jackson, “Sovereignty on the Rocks: Eorthe, Land, and Resistance in the Peterborough Chronicle

    Kari North, “Rebellious Vassal Rulers: Commonalties Across the Mediterranean”

    Stephanie Lahey, “Patchwork Physic: British Library Sloane MS 783B”




    Session/Séance 12: Topical Texts and their Afterlives in the Later Middle Ages - BUCH B213

    Chair/Président: TBA

    Robert Shaw, “Church Reform, monastic reform and the legacy of Pierre Pocquet”

    Brandon Alakas, “Syon's fruytful orcherd: Textual Consumption and Spiritual Identity in Birgittine Devotional Literature”

    Geoffrey Dipple, “The Curious Afterlife of a Radical Text”

    Kristin Bourassa, “The Manuscript Afterlives of Political Texts: Jacques d’Armagnac and the Songe du viel pelerin” (co-author Justin Sturgeon)




    UBC Rare Books Workshop

    Leaders: Siân Echard and Erik Kwakkel


    Photo: Don Erhardt


    A hands-on session with medieval manuscripts and documents and early printed books from UBC's Rare Books and special Collections.


    REGISTRATION REQUIRED: Email kathy.cawsey @ to sign up



    President’s Reception/Réception du Président


  • 14 Mar 2019 12:59 PM | Anonymous


    Are you looking to learn some new DH skills? Would you be glad to refresh some old ones?  If you are attending the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Vancouver, join us for Digital Humanities Summer Institute @ Congress.   We invite Congress attendees to register for any and all workshops that engage their interest. At $25 each, the workshops are modular and no previous Digital Humanities experience is required. Participants must be registered with a association or society that is meeting at Congress.

    9:00-10:15 Opening plenary: Decolonial DH?: Maker Ethics Across Indigenous Studies and the Digital Humanities (David Gaertner)

    10:30-1:00 Session 1
      - CWRCshop (Susan Brown)
      - DH Pedagogy (Laura Estill and Diane Jakacki)
    1:00-2:30 Lunch
      - Special Graduate Student lunch event for registered students 
    "What I Wish I Knew as a Grad Student/New Scholar in the Digital Humanities" (Kim Martin and Chelsea Miya)

    2:30-5:00 Session 2 
      - Introduction to the Command Line (Megan Meredith-Lobay)
      - Best Practices for Data Visualization (Alison Hedley)

    Registration details and workshop descriptions are up at (click “read more")
  • 4 Mar 2019 10:59 AM | Anonymous

    The University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg invite you to the 40th edition of the Canadian Conference of Medieval Art Historians /Colloque canadien des historiens d’art medieval.

    "From Medieval to Medievalism: Medieval Art and Architecture and its Modern Canadian Transformations" Friday, 22 March University of Manitoba, Artlab Building, Room 368 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
    Saturday, 23 March University of Winnipeg, Duckworth Centre, Room 3D01 8:45 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

    Conference programme and poster:

    No conference fee; all are welcome

    For more information, contact or

  • 19 Feb 2019 6:04 AM | Anonymous

    The annual conference of the Atlantic Mediaeval Association will take place on 18-19 October 2019 at Memorial University in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. The deadline for submitting paper proposals (in English or French) is 31 March.

    Le colloque annuel de la Atlantic Mediaeval Association aura lieu les 18 et 19 octobre 2019 sur le campus de Memorial University à St-Jean, Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador. La date de tombée pour la soumission de propositions de communications (en français ou en anglais) est le 31 mars.

    More information here / de plus amples informations ici:

  • 29 Jan 2019 12:48 PM | Anonymous

    Call for Papers: New Approaches to the Archive in the Middle Ages

    due 15 February 2019

    The School of Art History, SAIMS and Special Collections Division at the University of St Andrews are pleased to announce an upcoming two-day conference on the archive in medieval art and thought.

    The word archive suggests the acts of taxonomy and conservation, but also interpretation and regulation. Its etymology traces back to the Greek arkheion, thus highlighting the political nature of the physical archive and the act of archiving itself. The medieval world maintained this sense of privileged access. Isidore of Seville connected the Latin word archivium with arca, strongbox, and arcanum, mystery. But the term was malleable, referring to collections of various goods and treasures, not just of parchment records and registers. And yet, Michael Clanchy has argued that the medieval mind did not always distinguish between the library and the archive, as we do today.

    The organisers therefore invite proposals on the theme of the expanded medieval archive, as it relates to art and material culture. What can medieval collections, compilations, and assemblages of material things tell us about the accumulation of knowledge and the preservation of memory? How is the archive manipulated to fit political or social agendas, and by whom? What are the limits of the medieval archive? Paper topics and themes may include, though are not limited to:

    Records or inventories of collections, secular, civic, and ecclesiastical;
    The archive as a physical object or visual record, including books and manuscripts, buildings, reliquaries, etc.;
    The accretive nature of written testimony in the form of: chronicles, herbals, visitations, necrologies, inscriptions and tituli;
    Time, writing history through the material, and collapsing temporalities;
    The creation and perpetuation of memory, identity, and authority;
    The accumulation and transmission of cultural or familial knowledge via material culture;
    The politics of preservation, documentation, and display in the medieval world, and of the medieval in the modern world.

    Collecting, Curating, Assembling: New Approaches to the Archive in the Middle Ages will take place 13–14 September 2019 in St Andrews, Scotland. Professor Erik Inglis (Oberlin College) will deliver the keynote. The organisers intend to publish the conference proceedings as an edited volume.

    All papers must be no more than 30 minutes maxmimum. Please submit a 250 word abstract and title by 15 February 2019. Prof Julian Luxford, Prof Kathryn Rudy, and Dr Emily Savage, along with Senior Archivist Rachel Hart, warmly welcome all submissions and queries at

  • 23 Jan 2019 11:08 AM | Brandon Alakas

    The Medieval Students Undergraduate Society at the University of Toronto is hosting its annual conference this weekend.

    Hosted by the University of Toronto’s Medieval Studies Undergraduate Society, the 3rd Annual Medieval Studies Undergraduate Conference will take place at St. Michael’s on the weekend of January 26 and 27. USMC President David Sylvester will deliver the keynote address in Charbonnel Lounge at 6 p.m. to open the conference on Saturday, Jan. 26, and a reception will follow in the Shook Common Room. The conference will then continue on Sunday, Jan. 27 in the Shook Common Room, beginning with a light breakfast at 9 a.m. U of T students and recent grads will present papers until the conclusion of the conference around 3 p.m. More information about the conference can be found on the MSUS - Medieval Studies Undergraduate Society Facebook Page (

  • 23 Jan 2019 11:04 AM | Brandon Alakas

    Myth and Dream / The Dreaming of Myth

    A two-day conference (23 and 24 May 2019) in the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures, at the University of Bologna

    Immemorially, myths and dreams have been closely associated as wellsprings for fantasy and the imagination. The pairing of myth and dream reaches far back into antiquity, to the story of Gilgamesh in the Middle East, to the epics of Homer and Virgil in Europe, and to the Dream Time of Australian aborigines. In the modern era, psychoanalytic theories have drawn freely upon mythic accounts and archetypal images in interpreting dreams and plumbing the depths of the unconscious mind, while artists of the surreal and symbolist painters have revelled in the transformations and displacements that recourse to the world of myth and dream affords. Jane Harrison encapsulated the association between the two when at the beginning of the twentieth century she wrote that ‘myth is the dream-thinking of a people, just as the dream is the myth of the individual’.

    The conference invites proposals addressing diverse approaches to the combination of myth and dream – literary, artistic, scientific or theological – that enjoy attention in the contemporary world. 

    Topics may include, but are not limited to:

    Biblical accounts
    Celestial realms
    Divine phenomena
    Dreamer as hero(ine)
    Dreams of other worlds
    Gates of ivory and horn
    Gods of dreaming
    Monads and dyads
    Mythical realism
    Shamanic possession
    Soul sleep
    Succubus and incubus
    Time and timelessness
    Wishes and desires
    Yin and yang

    The languages of the conference will be Italian and English.      

    Papers should be 20 minutes long. Please send proposals of 250 words (in Italian or English) to  by 1 February 2019.

  • 16 Jan 2019 10:19 AM | Anonymous

    Medieval Devotional Texts: Technologies Old and New

    Devotional texts, texts that are intended to encourage prayer, spiritual reflection or contemplation, dwell at the intersections between the literary, the historical and the theological. As one example, a prayer can be a lyric, an essential component of liturgy, or a personal text expressing the reader’s specific hopes and fears. It can stand alone or form part of competing networks of intertextuality, accommodating a wide range of different readings and significant contexts. While devotional texts may appear formulaic in that they are often characterised by formal qualities and constrained by the expectations of genre, the distinctive features of these texts also allow them to remain recognisable even as they are adapted to the demands of new reading communities and new media.

    We welcome papers addressing early and late medieval devotional genres or texts alongside the technologies employed in their creation, transmission and use. Correspondingly, we are also interested in papers discussing digital approaches to studying the production and reception of these texts.

    Abstracts are invited from researchers working in literary and related fields addressing any of the following topics:

    manuscript studies

    textual transmission

    devotional texts and material culture

    the place of devotional texts in miscellanies

    confessional practice

    prayer collections and compilations

    digital approaches to devotional texts in medieval literature

    Please send a 300-word abstract for a 25-minute paper to Sheri Smith at by 1st February 2019. We will be confirming participation by February 7th. We particularly welcome papers from graduate students and early career scholars and will cover the cost of one night of accommodation at our conference venue Schloss Mickeln for all speakers.

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