Tag Archives: Leeds 2015

CFP: Voices from the grave – the political function of church monuments from the 13th to 16th century (Leeds 2015)

Call for Papers:
Voices from the grave – the political function of church monuments from the 13th to 16th century
International Medieval Conference, University of Leeds, 6-9 July 2015
Deadline: 15 September 2014

Sponsors: University of Nottingham and University of Amsterdam
Leeds 2015 CFP - voices from the grave-1Notwithstanding their religious significance, in recent years scholarly attention has increasingly been drawn to the secular and political function of church monuments during the Middle Ages. The location of a tomb, its iconographical content or its stylistic composition could be used to convey a variety of explicit – or indeed implicit – political messages: a statement of solidarity; a marker of group or individual identity; a statement of national or dynastic pride; or a reconstruction of elements of the life of the commemorated.

This session welcomes contributions which focus on any aspect of the political function and utility of church monuments across Europe from the thirteenth to sixteenth centuries. Proposals in the form of short abstracts (up to 300 words) are invited for papers of a maximum 20 minutes in length. They can be sent to Sanne Frequin (s.frequin@uva.nl) or Matt Ward (matthew.ward@nottingham.ac.uk) before 15th September 2014. The organizers will announce all decisions about papers by 22nd September 2014.

CFP: Sharing the Holy Land: Perceptions of Shared Sacred Spaces (London, June 12-13 & Leeds, July 6-9, 2015)

Call for Papers:
Sharing the Holy Land: Perceptions of Shared Sacred Spaces
International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, 6-9 July 2015
Deadline: 12 September 2014

A symposium, Sharing the Holy Land: Perceptions of Shared Sacred Space in the Medieval and Early Modern Eastern Mediterranean will be held at The Warburg Institute, in London on 12-13 June 2015, featuring keynote speakers, Prof. Bernard Hamilton, Prof. Benjamin Kedar, and Prof. Ora Limor. See http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/events/colloquia-2014-15/sharing-the-holy-land/ for information.

Following on this, three sessions are being organized for the International Medieval Conference to be held at Leeds on 6-9 July, 2015. The three sessions seek to address how both Western pilgrims, and the indigenous Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Levantine populations perceived the sharing of religious shrines with other faiths. Of particular interest is how this sharing was described and explained in contemporary accounts and how this influenced the knowledge of other faiths among the Semitic religions. These sessions will focus on the period from c.1000 to c.1500, addressing the changing political context in the Levant and its influence on the sharing of sacred space.

Please send proposals for papers (title & 100 words abstract) to Jan Vandeburie at sharingtheholyland2015@gmail.com before 12 September 2014.

Call for Papers: Holy Heroes of Reform: Saints and their Roles in Medieval Reformation Movements, from Late Antiquity to the Protestant Reformation (Leeds 2015)

Call for Papers:
Holy Heroes of Reform : Saints and their Roles in Medieval Reformation Movements, from Late Antiquity to the Protestant Reformation
International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, 6-9 July 2015
Deadline: 15 September 2014

Medieval-SaintsWhether involved in local reformations of monastic houses, larger-scale regional reformations such as the Anglo-Saxon Benedictine Reform and the Cistercian movement, or the global Protestant Reformation, throughout the medieval period saints played a variety of roles as monastic and ecclesiastical institutions cleaned house.  This session seeks papers that will explore the myriad ways in which saints – including ex- and would-be saints – might be implicated in the many reform movements of the Middle Ages.  Papers from a wide array of disciplines, including art history, music history, literary studies, economic history, etc will be considered, and researchers taking an interdisciplinary or cross-cultural approach will be particularly welcome.

Papers should be 20 minutes in length, delivered in English.  Proposals including abstracts of about 250 words and a CV should be sent by 15 September to Kathryn Gerry ; email is preferred: kbgerry@gmail.com but hard copy proposals will also be accepted : Kathryn Gerry, Assistant Professor of Art History, Memphis College of Art, Gibson Hall, 1930 Poplar Ave, Memphis TN 38104, USA. Informal enquiries are also welcome.

CFP: Renovatio in the East Roman & Byzantine World, 395-1453 (Leeds 2015)

Call for Papers
Renovatio in the East Roman & Byzantine World, 395-1453
Proposed Sponsored Sessions at the Leeds International Medieval Congress, 6-9 July 2015
Deadline: 20 September 2014

640px-Diptych_Barberini_Louvre_OA9063_wholeA blurred program of reform presented as renewal, renovatio was an extremely important concept for the Classical Roman Empire, and remained so for the entire history of its eastern continuation. As emperors sought to establish their legitimacy through issuing law codes, building programs, and reconquering lost lands, both the reality and the rhetoric of renovatio had a fundamental impact on the Byzantine view of themselves and their state. Evidence of these programs for restoration resonates today throughout surviving texts, coins, and art and architecture, strongly influencing our historiographical reconstructions. We warmly invite papers dealing with these issues across the full lifespan of the Eastern Roman Empire and its successor states, from all areas of Late Antique & Byzantine studies. Suggested topics include:

– Justinian and his World – Reconquest, Reform, and Renewal
– Law and renovatio from the Theodosian Code to the Hexabiblos
– Iconoclasm, the Isaurians, and the Resurgence of Byzantium
– Rhetoric in Stone – Byzantine Architectural renovatio
– A Macedonian Renaissance?
– Literary renovatio – Historiography and the Greco-Roman Novel
– The ‘Komnenian Restoration’
– Art, Politics and renovatio in the post-1204 World

To apply please send an abstract of no more than 300 words and a short academic biography to byzantine.society@gmail.com by September 20th, 2014.

We encourage as many people as possible to apply, in order to help the growth of Byzantine studies, and foster interaction with late antiquists and medievalists with different specialisations. To this end, we also intend to host a drinks reception on one of the evenings of the congress.

CFP: New Directions in the Study of Women Religious: Four Sessions and a Roundtable (Leeds 2015)

Call For Papers
New directions in the study of women religious: four sessions and a roundtable
International Medieval Congress, Leeds, 6-9 July 2015
Deadline: 15 September 2014


These sessions are designed to bring together scholars working on nuns from any geographical region and religious tradition from 300 – 1500, in order to examine the methodologies and concepts that are being used currently by scholars to interpret evidence produced by and on nuns. They are intended to reflect new research in nuns’ studies; therefore, the themes outlined below are flexible, and are there to spark inspiration rather than to be treated as prescriptive. The organisers are central- to late- medievalists and are aware that issues relating to late-antique and early-medieval nuns might be very different to the ones that we have laid out below. If that is the case, do not be deterred; get in touch with your ideas and we will try to adapt accordingly. In addition to the four sessions, we are organising a roundtable on the central issues involved in the study of women religious. What are the main obstacles (intellectual and otherwise) to fruitful research on women religious? Where do we go next? If you would like to be included as a panellist, please get in touch with a brief description (one or two lines) of what you would like to talk about. Please send paper proposals (of approx. 250 words, with proposed titles) and roundtable topics to either Kirsty Day (University of Leeds) k.day@leeds.ac.uk, or Dr Kimm Curran (University of Glasgow; HWRBI)  elcho95@gmail.comas soon as possible, but by 15th  September at the very, very latest.

Sponsored by: The History of Women Religious of Britain and Ireland (H-WRBI) http://www.history.ac.uk/history-women-religious/content/welcome

SESSION 1: Old nuns, new narratives [SESSION FULL]

SESSION 2: ‘Nuntastic studies’? Issues of terminology; medieval and modern
How far were nuns aware of what they were called, and how far did their designations shape how they thought about and enacted their vocation? What did it mean to be a Franciscan or a Cistercian nun, or a nun who followed the precepts laid out by Pachomius or Benedict? Discussions of what religio and ordo meant in their medieval contexts have taken place predominantly in the context of studies of male religious, using evidence on and by male religious only. Why has —  abundant — evidence produced by and on nuns been excluded from these discussions? Has a preoccupation with the religious orders overshadowed consideration of terminology before the establishment of the religious orders? Where, if at all, does terminology come into studies of female religious who existed before the turn of the twelfth century? Moreover, despite efforts made by those working on both male and female religious for inclusivity, ‘monastic studies’  is still not a field with which female religious are comfortably associated. Jacques Dalarun published an essay in 2011 which discussed the concept of ‘le monachisme féminin’. Terms such as this or ‘women’s monasticism’ employ a gendered qualifier that isn’t applied to their male counterparts — ‘men’s monasticism’ simply doesn’t exist  as a concept (should it exist?). This uneven application serves to naturalise monasticism as a male domain, making the presence of women’s evidence in this field seem unnatural. Is there a reason, then, why we keep using these terms (or terms such as, for instance, women’s Franciscanism)? What might work as an alternative? How far does modern terminological usage (gendered and/or otherwise) affect our understanding, categorisation, and analysis of evidence relating to female religious?

SESSION 3. Individual agency, change, and reform
In scholarly narratives involving female religious, agency for various types of change —  reform included —  is often attributed to a power external to the female religious under examination. How far did individual nuns,or individual communities, influence the changes to the rules and precepts that governed their vocations? The agency of women religious can also be traced in the rules or forms of life that women wrote for their own communities. Do rules that were written by women for women’s communities differ from those written by male guardians of women’s communities? The fact that rules or forms of life were often ultimately approved or issued by male ecclesiastics tends to obscure women’s agency in the creation of such texts. Scholarship on nuns has often been blind to where women may have written entire rules or forms of life that were then merely approved by a male ecclesiastical power, or where male religious wrote rules in response to the insistence of women religious. What methodologies can be employed to trace nuns’ agency in texts where they may appear to have had none? As the theme of this year’s IMC demonstrates, much intellectual discourse in the field of medieval religion has been formed around the issue of reform. However, evidence relating to nuns features either very little or not at all in many of the most recent surveys of monastic reform. Why has this been the case, and how can we reconcile this? What can the evidence left by women religious bring to discussions of reform in the Middle Ages? The extent to which reform is an appropriate metanarrative in medieval religiosity has been brought into question by a number of scholars. How far can we trace reform in evidence produced by and on nuns?

SESSION 4. Combining methodologies, illuminating nuns
Scholarly narratives of women religious have been created in a range of disciplinary fields, and using numberof different source types. As such, these narratives have often challenged —  albeit not always consciously — many of the problems inherent in the histories of medieval religion that are based purely on normative sources. For instance, scholarly narratives punctuated by ‘inspiration,’ ‘institutionalisation’,and ‘decline’ have found an alternative in recent studies of the history of nuns’ literacies. How might we employ a combination of approaches to ostensibly divergent source types to illuminate our understanding of medieval nuns: their place in the world of medieval religiosity and their understanding of this world; their lived experiences; their agency in shaping their vocations? Methodologies that we might use to read monastic architecture have been applied by some scholars to monastic rules, and vice versa, as a useful way of understanding the dynamics of enclosure. However, as Roberta Gilchrist has argued, histories of monastic archaeology have not escaped the androcentric biases present in text-based histories of religious communities. Is there a way of combining methodologies that have been generated in different fields as a fruitful way of understanding medieval nuns, without absorbing the problematic elements associated with these fields into new narratives of women religious?

CFP: The Empire of the Palaiologoi: Ruin or Renewal? (Leeds 2015)

Call for Papers:
The Empire of the Palaiologoi: Ruin or Renewal?
Session at Leeds International Medieval Congress, 69 July 2015
Deadline: 31 August 2014

Michael_VIII_PalaiologosThe entry of Michael VIII Palaiologos into Constantinople in 1261 seemed to herald a new beginning for the Byzantine empire, consigning the shattering experience of the Fourth Crusade to the past. Initial hopes were soon dashed as the empire faced more enemies while disposing of fewer resources than ever before. Political, military, economic and ideological challenges were presented by the Latin west, the rising powers of the Muslim east and the newly independent nations of the Balkans. How successfully did Byzantines meet these challenges? Although it is easy to point to the empire’s ultimate demise, more recent scholars have shown that old narratives of decadence and decline are misguided. Astonishing feats of diplomacy and adaptation can be seen, as well as periods of intense intellectual, literary, theological and artistic energy. It was a period of new ideas, self-examination and unprecedented cultural engagement. But was the restoration doomed by unfavourable circumstances in a rapidly changing world, or were poor decisions by Byzantine elites to blame? How far were the Palaiologoi themselves, the most tenacious of all Byzantine dynasties, responsible? 

Please send proposals (abstract of 250-300 words and a 50-100 word biography) for 20 minute papers to: Brian Mc Laughlin (brian.mclaughlin.2009@live.rhul.ac.uk) or Christopher Hobbs (chris.hobbs.2010@live.rhul.ac.uk) by August 31, 2014.

Suggested topics include but are not limited to:

– Imperial policy and administration: ruin or renewal from above
– Popular political movements: ruin or renewal from below
– Orthodoxy: Union, Hesychasm, the Byzantine Commonwealth
– Artistic developments
– Byzantine historiography
– Byzantine identity
– Changes in trade and the economy
– Is the notion of Palaiologan ‘decline’ inescapable or outmoded?

CFP: The Myth of Origins. The (Re-)Making of Medieval Sacral Space through Liturgical Reform (Leeds 2015)

Call for Papers for three joint sessions to be submitted for the
International Medieval Congress, Institute of Medieval Studies, Leeds 6-9 July 2015
(special thematic strand: Reform & Renewal)
The Myth of Origins. The (Re-)Making of Medieval Sacral Space through Liturgical Reform
Deadline: 10 September 2014

Ivan Foletti, Universities of Brno and Lausanne
Elisabetta Scirocco, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz–Max-Planck-Institut
Sponsor: Center for Early Medieval Studies, University of Brno

The Myth of Origins. The (Re-)Making of Medieval Sacral Space through Liturgical Reform
i. The Second Vatican Council and Twentieth-Century Historiography
ii. Reformation and Counter-Reformation
iii. Gregorian Reform

elevationDivided into three sections, this proposal aims to reflect the ways in which the sacred space of late antiquity is constructed in a retrospective manner, through the most important reforms in the two millennia of the Western Church. Following a diachronic process in reverse, from the twentieth century to the Middle Ages, the stages identified are: The Second Vatican Council; The Council of Trent and the Protestant Reformation; the so-called Gregorian Reform. All coincide with significant moments of crisis for the Latin Church. In each of these historical phases, the answer to the crisis is found in the mythical past, in the origins of the Early Church. In the liturgical field, this is realized in an attempt to restore some of the distinctive elements of the old liturgy, or elements that were presumed to be so. The changes are associated with a critical rhetorical frame, which legitimized the process by virtue of emphasizing the importance of its supposed “authentic” origins. Thus, the innovative dimension of the reform was often denied: in the words of the reformers, what was being done was not to create a new solution, but going back to original ideals, to a Church fair and immaculate.

The search for “antique” elements and the discourse that accompanied their introduction inevitably ended up building a new past, which is reflected heavily in objects and spaces of the sacred, and in the following historiography.

The proposed sessions focus on the manner in which these “denied” reforms actually build history. The sessions will follow a reverse chronology: (i.) the Second Vatican Council and its historiographical premises, which have their roots in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; (ii.) the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counter-Reformation; and (iii.) the so-called Gregorian Reform of the eleventh century.

Participants are invited to reflect on such issues as: the methods used by the reformers to learn about the past; the manner in which the past is reconstructed and modified (consciously and unconsciously) in the texts and monuments; the impact of the “new past” on studies and on the perception of the ancient liturgy.

Papers from a historiographical and a diachronic art historical perspective are especially welcome.

Paper proposals of no more than one page, accompanied by a short CV, can be submitted by 10 September 2014 to: ivan.foletti@gmail.com and escirocco@gmail.com.