Category Archives: Prizes

CFP: 14th International Medieval Society Symposium: ‘Evil,’ Paris, June 29– July 1, 2016

ambrogio_lorenzetti_008Call for Papers: 14th International Medieval Society Symposium: ‘Evil,’ Paris, June 29– July 1, 2016
November 5, 2016

For its 14th Annual Symposium, the International Medieval Society invites abstracts on the theme of Evil in the Middle Ages. The concept of evil, and the tensions it reveals about the relationship between internal and external identities, fits well into recent trends in scholarship that have focused attention on medieval bodies, boundaries, and otherness. Medieval bodies frequently blur the distinctions between moral and non-moral evil. External, monstrous appearances are often seen as testament to internal dispositions, and illnesses might be seen as a reflection of a person’s evil nature. More generally, evil may stand in for an entire, contrasting ideological viewpoint, as much as for a particular kind of behaviour, action, or being. It may appear in the world through intentional acts, as well as through accidental occurrences, through demonic intervention as much as through human weakness and sin. It may be rooted in anger, spread through violence, or thrive on ignorance, emerging from either the natural world or from mankind.

Alongside those working on bodies and monstrosity, the question of evil has also preoccupied scholars working to understand the limits of moral responsibility and the links between destiny and decision as shown in medieval literary, artistic and historical productions. The 14th Annual IMS Symposium on Evil aims to focus on the many facets of medieval evil, analysing the intersections between evil as concept and form, as well as taking into account medieval responses to evil and its potential effects.

This Symposium will thus explore (but is not limited to) three broad themes:

1)    Concepts of evil: discourse on morality and moral understandings of evil; reflections on the relationship between good and evil; heresy and heretical beliefs, teachings, writings; evil and sin; evil and conscience; associations with hell, the devil; types of evil behaviour or evil thoughts; categories of evil; evil as disorder/chaos; evil as corruption; evil and mankind

2)    Embodied evil/being evil/evil beings: monstrosity; the demonic; perceptions of deformity and disfigurement; evil transformations and metamorphoses; magic and the supernatural; outward expressions of evil (e.g. through clothing, material possessions); evil objects

3)    Responses to evil: punishments; the purging and/or exorcism of evil; inquisition; evil speech; warnings about evil (textual, visual, musical); ways to avoid evil or to protect oneself (talismans etc.); the temptation of evil; emotional responses to evil; social exclusion as a response to evil.

Through these broad themes, we aim to encourage the participation of researchers with varying backgrounds and fields of expertise: historians, art historians, musicologists, philologists, literary specialists, and specialists in the auxiliary sciences (palaeographers, epigraphists, codicologists, numismatists). While we focus on medieval France, compelling submissions focused on other geographical areas that also fit the conference theme are welcome and encouraged. By bringing together a wide variety of papers that both survey and explore this field, the IMS Symposium intends to bring a fresh perspective to the notion of evil in medieval culture.

How to submit: Proposals of no more than 300 words (in English or French) for a 20-minute paper should be e-mailed to by November 5th 2016. Each should be accompanied by full contact information, a CV, and a list of the audio-visual equipment that you require.

Please be aware that the IMS-Paris submissions review process is highly competitive and is carried out on a strictly anonymous basis. The selection committee will email applicants in late-November to notify them of its decision. Titles of accepted papers will be made available on the IMS-Paris website. Authors of accepted papers will be responsible for their own travel costs and conference registration fee (35 euros, reduced for students, free for IMS-Paris members).

The IMS-Paris is an interdisciplinary, bilingual (French/English) organisation that fosters exchanges between French and foreign scholars. For the past ten years, the IMS has served as a centre for medievalists who travel to France to conduct research, work, or study. For more information about the IMS-Paris and past symposia programmes, please visit our website:

IMS-Paris Graduate Student Prize:

The IMS-Paris is pleased to offer one prize for the best paper proposal by a graduate student. Applications should consist of:

1) a symposium paper abstract

2) an outline of a current research project (PhD. dissertation research)

3) the names and contact information of two academic referees

The prize-winner will be selected by the board and a committee of honorary members, and will be notified upon acceptance to the Symposium. An award of 350 euros to support international travel/accommodation (within France, 150 euros) will be paid at the Symposium.

The European Center of the Romanesque (Europäisches Romanik Zentrum, ERZ) Award


The European Center of the Romanesque (Europäisches Romanik Zentrum, ERZ) Award
Deadline: April 10th, 2016

The European Center of the Romanesque (Europäisches Romanik Zentrum,
ERZ) awards outstanding international research works on the field of
Romanesque art and architecture. The award is donated by the Stiftung
Saalesparkasse (Halle) and Mr Gerhard Mauch (Ludwigshafen).

The award aims to promote, honor and encourage graduated junior
researchers contributing to the study of Romanesque art, history,
archaeology, Church history as well as history of the law.
Only unpublished research will be considered (PhD thesis). The
award is supposed to promote graduates. It is valued at 2000 Euro. The
ERZ’s international board of advisors will co-judge the selection of
the awardee. Accepting the award, the winner is encouraged to give a
public lecture at the ERZ.

Submission: Until April 10th 2016, the application (CV, certificates, references,
list of publications), one piece of his/her digitized research works
(PDF) including an abstract and the academic evaluation is to be sent
Direktor des Instituts Europäisches Romanik Zentrum
Domplatz 7
06217 Merseburg

ICMA: Graduate Student Essay Awards

E070014_for_TwitterThe International Center of Medieval Art wishes to announce its annual Graduate Student Essay Award for the best essay by a student member of the ICMA.  The theme or subject of the essay may be any aspect of medieval art, and can be drawn from current research.  The work must be original and should not have been published elsewhere.  The winner will receive a prize of $400.

Thanks to the generosity of one of our members, we are now be able to offer a second prize as well, of $200.  The donor of this prize has suggested that “special consideration be given to those papers that incorporate some discussion of the interconnections among medieval science, technology, and art.”  Although the prize will by no means be restricted to papers that address this theme, papers that do so will be given special attention by the selection committee.

The deadline for submission is 1 March 2016.

The winners will be announced at the ICMA meeting in Kalamazoo in May.

Applicants must submit:

  1.  An article-length paper (maximum 30 pages, not including footnotes) following the editorial guidelines of our journal Gesta.
  2.  Each submission must also include a 250-word abstract written in English regardless of the language of the rest of the paper.
  3.   A curriculum vitae

 Students must be current members of the ICMA for their essays to be considered.

All submissions are to be sent as PDF attachments to Ryan Frisinger at with “Student Essay Award” in the subject line..

The winning essay will be chosen by members of the ICMA Grants and Awards Committee, which is chaired by our Vice-President.


Essay Competition: SAIMS/The Medieval Journal


SAIMS invites entries for its annual Essay Competition, submitted according to the following rules:

1. The competition is open to all medievalists who are graduate students or have completed a higher degree within the last three years. For PhD students the time period of three years begins from the date of the successful viva, but excludes any career break. Any candidate in doubt of their eligibility should contact the Director of SAIMS at

2. A candidate may make only one submission to the competition.

3. The submission must be the candidate’s own work, based on original research, and must not have been previously published or accepted for publication.

4. Submissions are welcomed on any topic that falls within the scope of medieval studies.

5. The submission should be in the English language.

6. The word limit is 8,000 words, including notes, bibliography, and any appendices.

7. The text should be double-spaced, and be accompanied by footnotes with short referencing and a full bibliography of works cited, following the guidelines on the webpage: An abstract of 200 words should preface the main text.

8. The deadline for submissions is 24 March 2016.

9. The essay must be submitted electronically to, in both Word and pdf formats, to arrive by the deadline.

10. The submission must be accompanied by a completed cover sheet and signed declaration; the template for this is available at The candidate’s name should not appear on the submission itself, nor be indicated in any form in the notes.

11. Decisions concerning the Competition lie with the Editors and Editorial Board of The Mediaeval Journal, who can, if they consider there to have been appropriate submissions, award an Essay Prize and in addition declare a proxime accessit. In the unlikely event that, in the judges’ opinion, the material submitted is not of a suitable standard, no prize will be awarded.

12. The value of the Prize is £500.

13. A candidate whose entry is declared proxime accessit will be awarded £100.

14. In addition to the Prize, the winning submission will be published within twelve months in

The Mediaeval Journal, subject to the usual editorial procedures of the journal.

Any queries concerning these rules may be directed to the Director of SAIMS who can be contacted at: Department of Mediaeval History, 71 South Street, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9QW


The Apocalypse Art Prize

“The first rule of art is beauty.” So begins “A Primer of Pictorial Devices in Medieval Painting” written by artist Gloria Thomas. The primer is a guide to competitors in the Apocalypse Art Prize. The prize is $10,000 and the deadline for entry is December 31, 2015. Complete information about the prize and how to submit an entry can be found on the competition’s web site:

The theme for all entries is Saint John the Divine’s vision of the Apocalypse, the last book in the Christian canon, also called Revelation. The Apocalypse text is filled with metaphorical images that have influenced world literature and art for two millennia. Who has not heard of the “Mark of the Beast”, the “Battle of Armageddon” or the “Harlot of Babylon”? The competition web site lists 86 possible subjects for entrants to choose from the Apocalypse text, offering what Thomas calls “an unparalleled opportunity for imaginative representation.”


Subject matter is not the only criteria. The substantial cash prize will go to the artist who is best able to use analogical principles of composition in his or her work. These principles are described in the instructional videos: Revelations: Ideas in Images (Part I and II) also found on the Apocalypse Art Prize web site. Between the hard copy primer available to entrants at no cost and the plethora of resource materials loaded on the web site, participants have more than enough information to carry out the requirements set by the competition designer.

About the Competition Design
Gloria Thomas has spent more than 40 years researching and implementing the principles of pictorial analogy in her works that grace churches, museums and private homes. She now wishes to pass these principles on to other Christian artists, particularly young artists, as a traditional way of making contemporary religious art. Thomas wants to challenge artists to rethink not only subject matter and style, but also, and more fundamentally, how to convey the indescribable through images of things that can be pictorially represented.

There is nothing novel about the objective. Art is continually born and reborn from the desire to express relationships between the seen and unseen through artifact, music and poetry. What is exceptional about the competition is that participants are required to use the language of analogy in their submissions, and the models used to explain analogy are illuminated manuscripts of the High Middle Ages.


Seven Headed Beast from the Apocalypse Tapestries (1382 AD) created by Jean Bondol, housed in the Château d’Angers

Naturalism vs. Analogical Representation
The amount of art created in the Middle Ages about the Apocalypse is immense. The competition invites artists look to these fabulous examples of image metaphor for inspiration, works like the Abingdon Apocalypse, the Visio Santci Pauli Apocalypse, the Trinity Apocalypse, the Bodlein Douce Apocalypse, and the Angers Tapestries. While the images are highly representational, they share almost none of the aspects of naturalism associated with Renaissance painting. It is not simply because these works preceded the Renaissance; they are of a different order.


Antichrist Assault on the Church from the Abingdon Apocalypse (1270 AD) housed in the British Library, London

The appeal of Renaissance naturalism is in its portrayal of the arrested moment, a freeze frame in one-point perspective that presents an illusion of reality. The illusion created by naturalism is that the viewer is an eyewitness to some event or emotion captured in a work of art. By contrast, Medieval religious art uses representation of figures and things poetically in order to describe physical and metaphysical dimensions on the same surface. It is a picture plane similar to a stage on which it is possible to view at once “not only this world and the next, but the involvement of the entire cosmos.” As Thomas says, “Medieval art is not an illusion of reality, but an analogy of it. Its scenes are not ruled by light and shade as in nature. Everything is equally illuminated to create an analogy with the light of the intellect which sees all thought with the same clarity.” Analogy does not show how things are related to each other materially; it shows how they are “related conceptually” by giving thought material attributes.

A similar purpose is served in Eastern Orthodox iconography with its overlapping treatment of time and eternity and of the horizon-less earthly domain couched between heaven and hell. When the invention of the camera overwhelmed the artistic devices of naturalism, a long retreat from representational art ushered in a movement generally known as Modern Art in its many forms. Ironically, early modernists such as Cézanne, Matisse, Chagall, and Derain turned to the icon as a way of recovering the freedom of space, form and color exhausted by naturalism.

Modernists like Marcel Duchamp, however, preached a kind of militant iconoclasm that persuaded generations of artists to embrace contempt for meaning and beauty. “What I have in mind,” says Duchamp, “is that art may be bad, good or indifferent, but, whatever adjective is used, we must call it art, and bad art is still art in the same way that a bad emotion is still an emotion.”

History of the Apocalypse Art Prize
Thomas rejected this doctrine during her graduate studies at Queens College of the City of New York [1968-1970]. She reached instead for traditional aesthetics and her faith. “Having nearly lost my sanity in art school, I returned to things I loved as a child, the wonderful paintings of scenes from Holy Scripture.” Her first project inspired by this return was a series of paintings based on St. John’s vision of the Apocalypse. In 1994 Viking-Penguin Press published the series under the title “Revelations: Visions of the Second Coming from the Old and New Testaments.” The paintings were accompanied by a text complied from an interplay of biblical prophecy concerning the catastrophes to befall the cosmos at the end of time, leading up to the Last Judgment and the creation of new heavens and new earth.


The Apocalypse Art Prize is a continuation of Thomas’ abiding interest in these themes. It is also a meditation on how art communicates through its “first rule,” that is – beauty. The very notion is heresy in modernist terms of amorphous pigment splatters and just plain “bad art.” Like Thomas, philosopher Roger Scruton is convinced that art has a higher purpose than shock and disposable amusement. “Through the pursuit of beauty,” Sruton claims, “we shape the world as our own and come to understand our nature as spiritual beings. But art has turned its back on beauty and now we are surrounded by ugliness.”

Benefactors of the Apocalypse Art Prize are hoping artists will respond to Thomas’ encouragement to explore an artistic language with a long shelf life as well as a source of subjects with endless opportunities “for imaginative representation.”

Participation in the competition is free and open to all during the year 2015. Winners will be announced June 1, 2016 and awarded prizes according to the age category of the participant.

1. Participants older than 16 compete for a first prize of $7,000, 
a second prize of $3,000, and a third prize of $2,000.
2. Participants between 12 and 16 years of age compete for a $2,000 prize.
3. Participants 12 years old and younger compete for a $1,000 prize.

Persian scholar Seyyed Hossein Nasr beautifully articulates the philosophy of the benefactors of the Apocalypse Art Prize and the underlying crisis they seek to address.

“Traditional art is a channel of grace, and the sacred art which lies at its heart in a sense compliments the social and legal norms promulgated by the revelation. It reflects the beauty which guides us to the source of all beauty, to the one who alone is beautiful in the ultimate sense … to gain greater insight into the meaning of religious art in a world which has turned its back upon the very principles that govern all existence.”

For more infomation on the principles behind submissions, to order your free guide to creating your visualisation of scripture, and see the first year’s winners, visit

This article is taken, with permission, from the Orthodox Arts Journal, with updates for the current year’s competition.

Essay Prize: Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies: Best Article Prize (2015)

Essay Prize:
Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies: Best Article Prize (2015)

JMISThe editors of the Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies (JMIS) and Routledge are delighted to offer the first annual $500 prize for the most outstanding article published in JMIS in 2015. All articles published in JMIS in 2015 will automatically be considered for the Best Article Prize, and all submissions received during the calendar year 2014 will be considered for publication in 2015.
All submissions should be uploaded electronically through our online submission system ( Please direct any inquiries to

The Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies (JMIS) is an interdisciplinary journal for innovative scholarship on the multiple languages, cultures, and historical processes of the Iberian Peninsula, and the zones with which it was in contact. We encourage submission of all innovative scholarship of interest to the community of medievalists and Iberianists. JMIS, which aims to bring theoretically informed approaches into creative contact with more empirically minded scholarship, encompasses archaeology, art and architecture, music, philosophy and religious studies, as well as history, codicology, manuscript studies and the multiple Arabic, Latin, Romance, and Hebrew linguistic and literary traditions of Iberia.

We welcome work that engages peninsular Iberia in relation to other parts of the ‘post-classical’ world; which explores links of colonization and exchange with the Maghreb, addresses Iberia’s presence in the Mediterranean, or adopts a transatlantic frame.

The prize will be awarded by a panel of judges appointed by the Editor-in-Chief of JMIS. The judges’ decision will be final, and no correspondence will be entered into.

Essay Prize: The Juan Facundo Riaño Essay Medal

Essay Prize:
The Juan Facundo Riaño Essay Medal
Deadline: 1 November 2014

To encourage emerging scholars who are based in the UK, ARTES (the Iberian and Latin American Visual Culture Group) awards an annual essay medal to the author of the best essay on the art, architecture or visual culture of the Hispanic world. The winner is also awarded a cash prize of £400, and the runner-up is awarded a certificate and prize of £100. Prize-winners receive a year’s free membership to ARTES, and the winning essays are considered for publication in the annual visual arts issue of the peer-reviewed Hispanic Research Journal.

ARTES welcomes submissions from researchers in a variety of circumstances, but envisages that most essays will be submitted from early career scholars, post-graduate students or undergraduates with exceptionally good end-of-degree dissertations. Please consider submitting your own work, or encourage others to do so.

See for further details.