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Conferences and CFPs

  • 12 Oct 2018 3:51 AM | Kristin Bourassa

    In 1922 Carl Schmitt published his essay “Politische Theologie,” arguing that all concepts of modern political thought are secularized theological concepts. In 1934, the same year that Schmitt released a revised edition of his essay, Henri-Xavier Arquillière published a short study entitled L’Augustinisme politique, arguing that all concepts of early medieval political thought are sacralized temporal concepts.

    In recent years many scholars of modern and early modern history, political theory, and law have returned to these entanglements of sacrality and secularity posited by Schmitt and Arquillière, and have sought to identify and trace their influence upon the development of Western sovereignty, governmentality, and politics as such. Notably, the contemporary philosopher Giorgio Agamben has developed his prominent theorizations of the “state of exception” and “homo sacer” through a close engagement with Schmitt’s provocative ideas.

    Scholars of late antique and early medieval history and theology have also recently concentrated on the entanglements of sacrality and secularity, but have largely done so by following the lead of Robert Markus, Peter Brown, and their interlocutors in their exploration of the ideas and influence of men such as Augustine and Gregory the Great.

    While the focus of one group has been on the processes and effects of secularization at work from the late Middle Ages to the present, the focus of the other has been on the “de-secularization” of the world from late antiquity into the early Middle Ages. While the former attempts to understand what remains of the medieval sacral sphere within secular modernity, the latter seeks to identify what was lost from the late Roman “secular” civic sphere upon the institutionalization and development of Christianity.

    In this year’s Medieval Workshop, we seek to bring these two scholarly traditions on the historical relationship of the sacral and the secular into conversation. At what point did temporal political concepts become merged with Christian theology? Was there something particular to the Christian cosmology that accommodated this fateful merging, or was it only a consequence of certain political exigencies following the Roman Empire’s adoption of Christianity? What concepts distinctive to Christian theology remain within the political, legal, and cultural structures of the “post-Christian” West? More generally, has a faltering confidence in the progressive secularization of the contemporary world led to the renewal of interest not only in the processes of early medieval sacralization, but also in the pre-Christian “sacral” views and practices that were adapted, eliminated, or cast into oblivion thereby? What are the stakes in opening ourselves to the implications of a pre-Christian order of “sacrality?” What part have differing understandings of time itself played in these processes? In short, what has Augustine to do with Giorgio Agamben? Pseudo-Dionysius with Erik Peterson? Thomas Aquinas with Arquillière? These are just a few possible questions we hope to explore in an effort to initiate dialogue and exchange among the disciplines regarding theologies of the political.

    Keynote speaker – Conrad Leyser (University of Oxford)

    Papers should not exceed 20 minutes. Send an abstract (max. 500 words) and short bio by e-mail to Courtney Booker (History) <>, to arrive by November 1, 2018.

    Conference website

  • 11 Oct 2018 2:12 AM | Kristin Bourassa

    The 18th Vagantes Conference on Medieval Studies, which will take place at the University of Toronto from March 20th-23rd, 2019, is seeking paper abstracts on any topic related to the Middle Ages.

    Vagantes is North America’s largest graduate-student conference for medieval studies. Since its founding in 2002, Vagantes has nurtured a lively community of junior scholars from across all disciplines. The 18th Vagantes Conference on Medieval Studies in Toronto will feature thirty graduate-student papers and two keynote speakers.  On March 20th, we will also offer an intensive manuscript workshop that will use the collections of the Pontifical Institute for Mediaeval Studies Library and the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library.  There will be a separate registration process for the workshop that will be circulated at a later time.

    Graduate students in all disciplines are invited to submit a paper title, an abstract of 300 words on any medieval topic, and a 1-2 page CV to Lane Springer at Your abstract will be blind-reviewed by an interdisciplinary panel of graduate students, and it should provide a clear summary of your proposed paper with language that is accessible to non-specialists.  Since Vagantes is an interdisciplinary conference, your audience might not know the history of the Carolingian Empire, the corpus of Geoffrey Chaucer, or the theology of Peter Comestor.  Please make your abstract is concise and accessible.  Both your abstract and CV should be submitted in a Word document.

    Out of consideration for graduate students’ budgets, Vagantes never charges a registration fee. The deadline for submissions is Friday, November 9th2018.  Some travel bursaries will be available for presenters.  In your submission, please indicate if you would be interested in applying for one.  

    For  more information:

  • 20 Sep 2018 9:25 AM | Anonymous



    "From Medieval to Medievalism: Medieval Art and Architecture and its Modern Canadian Transformations"

    The 40th Canadian Conference of Medieval Art Historians will be co-hosted by the History Department of the University of Winnipeg and the School of Art at the University of Manitoba, on March 22-23, 2019. Papers are invited on any topic relating to the art, architecture and visual/material culture of the Middle Ages or its post-medieval revivals. Papers may be in English or French. Please submit a short abstract (250 words) and brief (one-page) C.V. by 3 December 2018 to Jim Bugslag ( Scholars at every stage of their careers are encouraged to submit proposals.

    Le département dHistoire de lUniversité de Winnipeg et lÉcole dArt de lUniversité du Manitoba accueilleront conjointement le 40colloque canadien des historiens de lart médiéval qui se tiendra à Winnipeg les 22 et 23 mars 2019. Les communications portant sur tout sujet relatif à lart, à larchitecture et à la culture visuelle/matérielle du Moyen Âge ou à ses renaissances postmédiévales seront bienvenues. Les interventions peuvent être faites soit en anglais ou en français. Veuillez soumettre un court résumé de votre communication (250 mots) ainsi quun bref C.V. (une page) dici le 3 décembre 2018 à Jim Bugslag ( Les chercheurs/chercheures qui sont à différentes étapes de leur carrière académique sont encouragé(e)s à participer.

    Winnipeg, March/Mars 22-23, 2019

  • 4 Sep 2018 3:59 PM | Brandon Alakas

    CFP: Medievalism in Popular Culture: PCA/ACA 2019 National Conference

    April 17th – 20th, 2019 – Washington, D.C.

    The Medievalism in Popular Culture Area (including Anglo-Saxon, Robin Hood, Arthurian, Norse, and other materials connected to medieval studies) accepts papers on all topics that explore either popular culture during the Middle Ages or transcribe some aspect of the Middle Ages into the popular culture of later periods. These representations can occur in any genre, including film, television, novels, graphic novels, gaming, advertising, art, etc. For this year’s conference, I would like to encourage submissions on some of the following topics:

    • The Arthurian World
    • Medievalism and Superheroes
    • “Medieval” as a social and political signifier
    • Medievalism in Game of Thrones
    • Representations of medieval/Renaissance nobility and royalty in television (Reign, The White Princess, Wolf Hall, etc.)
    • Robin Hood
    • Medievalism and Teaching
    • Medievalism in Various Forms of Gaming
    • Anglo-Saxon or Viking Representations
    • Medievalism in Novels/Short Stories/Poems

    If your topic idea does not fit into any of these categories, please feel free to submit your proposal as well. I would like to encourage as much participation as possible, and depending on submissions, I may rearrange the topic groupings.

    All papers will be included in sessions with four presenters each, so plan to present on your topic for no more than 15 minutes, inclusive of any audio or visual materials.

    Panel submissions are also welcome on any topic of medievalism. If you would like to propose a panel, please submit your complete panel to me directly at Individual papers will then have to be submitted to the PCA online system (see below).

    Submission requirements:

    Please submit a title and a 250 word abstract to All submissions must be directed to the online database. Be sure to indicate whatever audio/visual needs you may have. Traditionally, all rooms at the PCA/ACA conference provide a projection screen with sound capability. Presenters are required to bring their own laptops and any special connectors.
    Deadline for submission: October 1st, 2018
    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Christina Francis, Associate Professor of English, Bloomsburg University, at

  • 30 Aug 2018 9:41 AM | CSM Webmaster (Administrator)

    Depending on precisely when in that infamous ninth year of Edward’s reign Sir Thomas Malory completed his work, 2019 marks perhaps the 550th anniversary of Le Morte Darthur. Accordingly, we mark the occasion with a special conference, and are pleased to invite proposals on any aspect of Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur: text(s), contexts, old or new critical approaches.

    Send proposals of 250 words, along with contact details, to Cory and Kevin: and

    **Proposals are due no later than 3 January 2019**

    For details, see

  • 30 Aug 2018 9:40 AM | CSM Webmaster (Administrator)

    Vernacular Devotional Cultures Group

    ICMS 2019

    The Vernacular Devotional Cultures Group is organizing the following three special sessions at the 54th International Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo in May 2019. 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 Dr Catherine Annette Grisé ( by 15 September 2018. Electronic submissions are preferred.

    Contact Information:

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

    1) Marguerite Porete and her Contemporaries (Session of Papers)

    This session will on the French Beguines, with particular focus on Marguerite Porete, who began her spiritual authority as a Beguine, but was burned for heresy in 1310. We wish to explore how Marguerite's female vernacular theology and Beguine mysticism provided both a space for female mystical discourse and, in turn, a challenge to established medieval patriarchal theologians.

    2) Early Print Culture and The Many Faces of Reform (Session of Papers)

    This session draws on member interest in pre-Reformation print culture and provides more context for the wide appeal of devotional texts in early print. While the printing presses were an influential forum for major reformers, they were also used as a tool by Catholics who advocated for adaptations of conservative practices and for the promotion of current lay trends. Furthermore, Humanist agendas brought a number of recovered religious texts and new ideas into print that changed the devotional landscape. We welcome papers that explore the way in which vernacular devotional literature intersects with any one of these issues.

    3) Vernacular Spiritual Writings: Adaptations and Contexts (Session of Papers)

    This session will focus on manuscript contexts for devotional writings in the vernacular. Many treatises are excerpted, adapted, and anthologized to suit new circumstances. The adaptors/ translators change texts for the situations of their new audiences—in some cases, dramatic changes are made, in others small adaptations occur. In this panel, we invite papers that trace such changes to help us better understand the evolving devotional landscape and the roles that audiences and other contextual factors played in the ways that source materials were used.

  • 16 Jul 2018 3:24 PM | Anonymous

    Monsters and Materialities

    Proposed session for the 2019 IMC (Leeds),1-4 July, Leeds, UK

     Organizers: Asa Simon Mittman and Renée Ward

    We seek papers to compose a session on the subject of “Monsters and Materialities” for the 2019 International Medieval Congress at Leeds. The Congress theme is “Materialities.” 

    Monsters abound in medieval culture, from giants to serpentine women and dog-headed saints. Often, monsters threaten communities through evocative ways; the most terrifying or even edifying monsters are those whose physical form is a mystery. Grendel terrorizes Heorot, but exact details of his physical appearance are unclear despite gestures towards his size, ferocity, and monstrosity. Yet monsters also frequently leave traces that suggest the magnitude of their physical presence. Early archaeological sites such as Maen Ceti (the 14 ft rock Arthur purportedly pulled from his shoe and threw away) speak to the gigantism often associated with Arthur’s figure, while the footprint embedded on the window sill and the trembling of the tower upon which Melusine perches emphasize the sheer weight of her winged and tailed body. In other cases, they leave behind more direct relics, such as the “griffon’s claw” associated with St. Cuthbert, or the many “unicorn horns” owned by European royalty as talismans against poison. Monstrous bodies were thought to exist in time and space; their presence is felt in real and palpable ways. No matter their size, these monsters leave their physical imprint upon the material structures of the world around them. However fantastic, however elusive, monsters exist in material and tangible ways—woven into tapestries, painted into frescoes, and melded into glass.

    This panel seeks to examine the material aspect of monstrous beings in medieval culture, to uncover the impact of their presence in the world that imagines them in various forms. We invite papers from all disciplines and national traditions that examine every aspect and avenue this connection evokes. Topics may include: literary representations that emphasize the material nature of monsters; material depictions of monsters in other media such as sculpture, architecture, tapestry, glassworks, frescoes, and paintings; and physical remains or archaeological artefacts associated with monstrous beings and myths and legends.


    Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words together with a brief bio to session organizers Asa Mittman ( or Renée Ward ( by the 31 August 2018. Please include your name, title, and affiliation on the abstract itself. All abstracts will be vetted by the MEARCSTAPA board and the full session will be submitted to the Congress mid-September 2018. Additionally, MEARCSTAPA will provide an award of $500 to the best graduate student/independent/unwaged submission to this or any of its sessions to help offset the costs of travel and lodging for the IMC.


    Diversity Statement

    As an organization dedicated to the study of marginalized communities and entities in the Middle Ages and beyond, MEARCSTAPA affirms its position on diversity, inclusion, and inquiry within all academic discourses. We support and embrace those who have been marginalized, excluded, and othered in medieval studies. We disavow hatred and intolerance. We walk the borders, but do not police them; we welcome your company.

  • 16 Jul 2018 3:21 PM | Anonymous

    Animals and Materiality in the Arthurian Tradition

    Proposed session for the 2019 IMC (Leeds)

     Organizers: Melissa Ridley Elmes and Renée Ward

     We seek papers to compose a session of 3 or 4 papers on the subject of “Animals and Materiality in the Arthurian Tradition” for the 2019 International Medieval Congress at Leeds. The Congress theme is “Materialities.”

    While the subject of animals in medieval literature is enjoying substantial scholarly focus, especially considerations of animals in medieval French and English encyclopediae, bestiaries, and romances, relatively little critical work exists dealing specifically with animals in the Arthurian legend, particularly so when we look beyond the mythical White Hart, the Questing Beast, and the dragons. Yet, animals real and imagined abound throughout the pages of Arthurian narratives, appear in related artefacts (art, architecture, stained glass, paintings, and tapestries, for example), and are present in the very production of the manuscripts that preserve the legend. Moreover, recent trends in critical animal studies demand that we expand our understandings of such animal appearances to consider them for their animality—for the qualities that make them beings unto themselves rather than as analogies and metaphors for humans and their environs.

     This proposed session seeks to explore animals and materiality within Arthurian traditions, to serve as the beginning of a continued scholarly discussion of the place of animals within the Arthurian realm, especially of their animality or materiality. We are particularly interested in the ways in which animals and their bodies figure as objects of veneration and/or consumption within the legend, or how, as objects themselves, they contribute to the legend’s production, preservation and perpetuation into post-medieval periods. Do animals within Arthuriana have agency beyond their symbolic functions? How might animals be considered a part of the material landscape of the legend both within and outside of the textual narratives? How, where, when, and to what purpose or function are animals found in material Arthurian spaces such as 2- and 3-d artworks, stage, television, and/or film? In what ways have animals carried the Arthurian legend across space and time from the medieval period to the present?

     We invite papers from all disciplines and national traditions, and interdisciplinary projects are especially welcome. Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words together with a brief bio to session organizers Melissa Ridley Elmes ( and Renée Ward ( by 31 August 2018. Please include your name, title, and affiliation/status on the abstract. Abstracts will be selected, and then a full session proposal will be submitted to the Congress in mid-September 2018.

  • 15 May 2018 2:26 PM | Anonymous

    Canadian Society of Medievalists Annual Meeting Rencontre annuelle de la Société Canadienne des Médiévistes

    Congrès 2018 Congress

    28-30 May/Mai 2018
    Regina, Saskatchewan

     Gathering diversities/Diversités convergentes

    Monday, May 28 / lundi, le 28 Mai

    900-1200    Session 1. Athol Murray College of Notre Dame (Wilcox, SK)

    We will arrange a carpool to Athol Murray College for those wishing to visit its collections. Cars will depart from Regina at 8:15 a.m. Please contact David Watt ( by noon on Sunday, May 27 if you plan to attend and indicate whether you need a ride to Wilcox or can provide a ride to others (please get in touch sooner if you can).

    The manuscript holdings (a 13th-century Venetian deed) and early printed books at the Archer Library, University of Regina, are available at request.

    1200-1330    Lunch/Dîner

    1330-1500    Session 2. Language Institute 216 Rotunda Authorship and Authority in Medieval England
    Chair/Président: Dominic Marner, University of Guelph

    Perceforest as Mirror: Catching the Imagination of Edward III Melissa Furrow, Dalhousie University

    The Pearl-Poet, the Gawain-Poet, and the substantival adjective Richard Firth Green, The Ohio State University

    Reading Mary: John Lydgate’s Life of Our Lady and Henry Chichele’s Reform of the English Church
    Brandon Alakas, University of Alberta

    1500-1530    Break/Pause

    1530-1700    Session 3. Language Institute 216 Rotunda Food: Feasting and Fasting in the Middle Ages
    Chair/Présidente: Christa Canitz, University of New Brunswick

    Butter, oil, eggs, and meat: Requests for Dispensations from Fasting and Abstinence Requirements in Britain, 1248-1503
    Allison Fizzard, University of Regina

    The Chester Noah's Flood: Animals and Dietary Regulations Ernst Gerhardt, Laurentian University

    The Bakers’ Play of the Last Supper in York: Christ’s Body as Holy Bread, Christ’s Body as Eucharistic Wafer
    Leanne Groeneveld, University of Regina

    1930    All participants are invited to join an informal social gathering at The Bushwacker Brewpub (2206 Dewdney Avenue)
    CSM Executive Meeting

    Tuesday, May 29 / mardi, le 29 mai 845-1015    Session 4. Language Institute 216 Rotunda
    Medieval Texts, Modern Lenses

    Chair/Président: Marc Cels, Athabasca University

    Teaching Old English Through Translations: The Triangulation Method Michael Kightley, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

    Medieval Mansplaining: The Disruption of Female Knowledge Dissemination Brenna Duperron, Dalhousie University

    Professional Pages, Done Dirt Cheap: On the Genre of English Offcut Manuscripts Stephanie Lahey, University of Victoria

    1015-1030    Break / Pause

    1030-1200    Session 5. Language Institute 216 Rotunda Plenary with Scandinavian Society
    Chair/Présidente: Natalie Van Deusen, University of Manitoba

    Sacrality and the Landscape in the Nordic Middle Ages Thomas Dubois, University of Wisconsin at Madison

    1200-1215    Break/Pause

    1215-1345    Lunch/Dîner (AGM)

    1345-1400    Break/Pause

    1400-1530    Session 6a. College West 115

    Landscape and Gender in Medieval Scandinavia
    Chair/Président: David Watt, University of Manitoba

    Landscape, Language, Maternal Space, and Child Exposure in Jómsvíkinga Robin Waugh, Wilfred Laurier University

    “‘There are Few Things More Powerful than Destiny.’ Gender, Power and Foresight in The Sagas of the Icelanders"
    Amy M. Poole, University of Guelph

    Gender, Crime and Space in Medieval Scandinavian Law Christine Ekholst, Uppsala University

    Session 6b. Language Institute 216 Rotunda

    Ecclesiastical Questions
    Chair/Présidente: Meredith Bacola, University of Manitoba

    Sanctuary and Abjuration in Thirteenth-Century England Kenneth F. Duggan, Huron University College

    Why Should a Blockhead Have One in Ten? Thinking About Tithes at the End of the Middle Ages
    Derek Neal, Nipissing University

    1530-1600    Break/Pause

    1600-1715    Session 7. Language Institute 216 Rotunda Icelandic Romance
    Chair/Président: Christopher Crocker, University of Winnipeg

    Romance Elements in Icelandic Virgin Martyr Legends Natalie van Deusen, University of Alberta

    Diverse Gatherings: Imagining the New North Sea Empire in Old Icelandic Romance Andrew Klein, Wabash College

    1900    Banquet/Banquette

    All are welcome (and encouraged) to attend Crave Kitchen + Wine Bar (1925 Victoria Ave). Please speak to Meredith Bacola ( The cost will be $39 plus tax, gratuity & your own beverages.

    Wednesday, May 30 / mercredi, le 30 mai 900-1015    

    Session 8. Language Institute 216 Rotunda
    Chair/Président: Dominic Marner, University of Guelph

    CSM Plenary (Past President)
    What Do We Study When We Study Manuscripts in Canada?
    David Watt, University of Manitoba

    1015-1030    Break/Pause

    1030-1200    Session 9. Language Institute 216 Rotunda Medieval Film and The Modern Classroom
    Chair/Présidente: Melissa Furrow, Dalhousie University

    The Real Middle Ages vs The Reel Middle Ages Jacqueline Murray, University of Guelph

    Sanctity on Screen: Performativity, Sanctity, and the Medieval Imaginary Alison More, University of Toronto

    Hits and Flops: The Pedagogical Value of Medievalist Historical Films across Disciplines and Borders
    Felice Lifshitz, University of Alberta

    1200-1330    Lunch/Dîner

    1330-1500    Session 10. Language Institute 216 Rotunda Medieval Hagiography
    Chair/Président: Brandon Alakas, University of Alberta

    Reading Sanctity in the Epigraphic Poetry of Damasus
    Zach Yuzwa, St Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan

    Establishing a Sacral landscape in Felix’s Life of St Guthlac Meredith Bacola, University of Manitoba

    Measuring Time and Topography in the Cult of Cuthbert at Durham Dominic Marner, University of Guelph

    1500-1530    Break/Pause

    1530-1700    Session 11. Language Institute 216 Rotunda The Material Medieval Memory Project
    Chair/Président: Michael Kightley, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

    Deforestation, Energy Penury, and the Old English Poems of the Exeter Book Murray McGillivray, University of Calgary

    Memorializing Matter: Early Medieval Scandinavian Identities and their Material Memories
    Jaclyn Carter, University of Calgary

    Building matters: a case study in partnerships for environmental sustainability Kenna L. Olsen, Mount Royal University

    1700    President’s Reception/Réception du Président

  • 22 Apr 2018 10:58 AM | CSM Webmaster (Administrator)

    The Spanish Society for Mediaeval English Language and Literature and the local organising committee invite members of the Society and all other scholars interested in the field to participate in the 30th International SELIM Conference (, which will be hosted by the Department of English, French and German of the University of Oviedo from September 27th to 29th 2018.

    The organisers welcome papers dealing with any aspect of mediaeval English language and literature and particularly encourage the submission of papers that offer new readings or perspectives on mediaeval English texts, as well as new approaches and analytical techniques.

    Scholars interested in offering 20-minute papers (followed by a 10-minute discussion) should submit their abstracts in electronic format via e-mail to by April 30th 2018. Abstracts should include name(s), institutional affiliation(s) of the author(s), as well as e-mail address and the technical support required for the presentation. They should preferably be submitted in Microsoft Word, Rich Text Format, or PDF format, and should not exceed 400 words (including references). Acceptance of proposals will be confirmed as soon as the proposals have been peer-reviewed.

    Sociedad Española de Lengua y Literatura Inglesa Medieval
    Spanish Society for Medieval English Language and Literature

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