Thursday, April 26, 2012

April updates and medieval items in the news

From a 1514 edition of the Plenarium or vernacular lectionary, printed in Basel.

  • Selections from other blogs and the news
  • Medieval Academy: Annual Meeting, Knoxville, 2013: Call for Papers 
  • Thirty-Ninth Annual Saint Louis Conference on Manuscript Studies (note from the Vatican Film Library)
  • CfP: PhD student Essay Prize 2012: To what extent do medieval phenomena still exist in our present without being perceived as historical?


Selections from other blogs and the news (selected from American Libraries Direct):
British Library purchases St. Cuthbert Gospel
A 7th-century gospel discovered in a saint’s coffin more than 900 years ago, the oldest European book to survive fully intact, has been acquired by the British Library for £9 million ($14.4 million US). The manuscript copy of the Gospel of St John, called the St. Cuthbert Gospel, was produced in northeast England and placed in the saint’s coffin on the island of Lindisfarne, probably in 698. The manuscript features an original red leather binding in excellent condition. It was purchased at auction from the Society of Jesus (British Province)....
The Guardian (UK), Apr. 17

Bodleian and Vatican libraries to digitize ancient texts
The University of Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries and the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana in Rome have announced a new collaborative digitization project. The objective is to make 1.5 million pages from their remarkable collections freely available online to researchers and the general public. The initiative was made possible by a £2 million grant ($3.2 million US) from the Polonsky Foundation. The digitized collections will be in three subject areas: Greek manuscripts, 15th-century printed books (incunabula), and Hebrew manuscripts and early printed books....
Bodleian Libraries, Apr. 12

Reports of manuscript looting in Mali
The head of UNESCO has appealed to countries in North Africa to be on the alert for anyone attempting to sell ancient manuscripts. Director-General Irina Bokova said there were reports that rebels have overrun and looted depositories containing thousands of ancient books and documents in Mali’s historic city of Timbuktu. A World Heritage site since 1988, Timbuktu was taken over by rebels April 1 following their swift progress in the north....
UN News Service, Apr. 16

Spectral imaging of Shakespeare’s signature
Roger L. Easton Jr. writes: “One of the many treasures at the Folger Shakespeare Library is a copy of William Lambarde’s Archaionomia, a book on Anglo-Saxon law published in 1568 and acquired by the Library in 1938. Buried amidst the decorative border of the title page is a faded signature that has been judged by several authorities to be from the Bard himself. The value of clarifying the signature on both sides of the page was self-evident. Our team brought a scientific digital camera, spectral illumination panels, and processing computers to the library on March 12–13 to collect and process images of the front and back of this page.”...
The Collation, Mar. 19

The dirt on medieval manuscripts: What it tells us
Early users of medieval books of hours and prayer books left signs of their reading in the form of fingerprints in the margins. The darkness of their fingerprints correlates to the intensity of their use and handling. A densitometer—a machine that measures the darkness of a reflecting surface—can reveal which texts a reader favored. This article by Kathryn M. Rudy introduces a new technique, densitometry, to measure a reader’s response to various texts in a prayer book....
Journal of Historians of Netherlandish Art 2, no. 1–2 (2010)


 Medieval Academy
Annual Meeting, Knoxville, 2013: Call for Papers 
Deadline for submission is extended to 1 June 2012

The annual meeting of the Medieval Academy will be held from 4-6 April 2013, in downtown Knoxville, hosted by the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, the University of Tennessee Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and the Sewanee Medieval Colloquium.

The Program Committee invites proposals for papers on all topics and in all disciplines and periods of medieval studies. Any member of the Medieval Academy may submit a paper proposal, excepting those who presented papers at the annual meetings of the Medieval Academy in 2011 and 2012. Others may submit proposals as well but must become members in order to present papers at the meeting. Special consideration can be given to individuals whose specialty would not normally involve membership in the Academy.

The complete Call for Papers with additional information, submission procedures, selections guidelines, and organizers is available here

Please contact Prof. Jay Rubenstein at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville if you have any questions.  

1.  Militant Piety in Late Antiquity: Papers in Honor of the Memory of Thomas Sizgorich
2.  Militant Piety in Medieval History: Papers in Honor of the Memory of Thomas Sizgorich
3.  Sainthood and Regional Identity
4.  Maps and Mapping: Cities and Regions
5.  Unity and Regionalism in the Medieval Mediterranean
6.  Italy and the Mediterranean
7.  Trade between Region and Hinterland
8.  Regional and Vernacular Literature and Translations: Local Voices, (Trans)National Issues
9.  Family and the Land
10.  Erogenous Zones
11.  Beyond Borders: Kingdoms and Communities off the Map
12.  Resounding Spaces: Defining Communities and Geographies through Song
13.  North vs. South in Old and Middle English Literature
14. Milestones and Millstones in the Study of Old English Literature: The Most Significant - or Misguided - Works of Criticism
15. Drama in Medieval England
16. Greek East and Latin West
17.  Medieval Marketplace: Theory and Practice
18.  Economic Interaction in the Low Countries
19.  Social and Political Interaction in the Low Countries
20.  Science and Religion in Conflict
21.  Latin Translations of Vernacular Literature
22.  Medicine and Spirituality
23.  Latin Devotional Literatures
24.  The Reception of the Apocrypha
25.  Rumor and Infamy in Political Culture
26.  Archaeology and Region
27.  Depictions of the Liberal Arts
28.  Carolingian Manuscript Culture
29.  The New Constitutionalism Revisited: Documents, Texts, Cultures
30.  Saints, Sinners, and Inquisition
31.  Landscapes and Seasons of the Medieval World: Pearsall and Salter at 40
32.  Ecocriticism and Its Discontents
33.  Peasants and the Natural World
34.  Networks of Monasteries and Religious Orders
35.  The Millennium: Fresh Views of the End of Time
36.  Preaching and Public Religious Practice
37.  Bodies and Borders
38.  Women before the Inquisition: A Persecuted Sex?
39.  Gender, Family, and Place: Romancing the Home
40. Latin, Greek, Arabic, and Hebrew: Cosmopolitan Language and Regionalism in the Middle Ages
41. Holy Land(s) and Medieval Jews
42. Regional Traits in Illuminated Manuscripts: Style and Iconography

From Susan L’Engle at the Vatican Film Library:
With regard to our Thirty-Ninth Annual Saint Louis Conference on Manuscript Studies, coming up on October 12-13, 2012, there are three sessions that each lack a third presenter; please submit a proposal or write me with any questions if you would like to complete one of them:

Writing the Scribe:
The scribe has been variously assessed as a stenographer, historian, copier, visual programmer, and creative compiler of new texts. Papers will examine scribes as they pursue their trade within regions, scriptoria,or courts, or in facing unique problems of format or organization. Particularly welcome will be investigations of scribal challenges and solutions within specific time periods, geographical locations, or in response to the demands of patrons.

Theophilus Revisited:
Theophilus addressed the science of book production in the well-known On Divers Arts. Adding to the CFP in issue 4 of the Newsletter, this session welcomes papers that discuss the physical elements that enter into the process of making a manuscript: parchment, inks, paints, writing and drawing tools, chemical processes. What can we add to Theophilus’s rules for the preparation of materials; what have we learned about their durability or deterioration over time?

Fragments and the Fragmenting of Manuscripts:
Along the history of manuscript production there is a parallel history of manuscript plunder: the excision of initials, miniatures, bas-de-page decorations—or entire leaves—by individuals bent on profit or the creative re-use of these elements. Additionally, scraps of discarded manuscripts are used to reinforce bindings, serve as shopping lists, or to mend torn or missing sections of a variety of objects. Papers will discuss examples of fragmentation, and/or their perpetrators, and what we can learn from the surviving fragments.

Susan L’Engle
Assistant Director, Vatican Film Library Editor, Book Review Editor, Manuscripta Pius XII Memorial Library
3650 Lindell Boulevard
St. Louis, Missouri 63108
Tel. (314) 977-3084 / Fax (314) 977-3108

Received through the YMAGINA listserv:
CfP: PhD student Essay Price 2012: To what extent do medieval phenomena still exist in our present without being perceived as historical?
Is history shrinking? Researchers in the fields of social sciences and cultural studies have recently come to observe a global tendency: with the end of the 20th century, our relationship with the past has begun to change fundamentally. Sociologists, for instance, have detected a "de-temporalization of history" (Hartmut Rosa), tracing this development to the dynamics of acceleration and the multiplication of social change in modern life. With the "chronotope of historicism" on the wane, the border between present and past is becoming increasingly permeable: historical distance, it seems, is dissolving into an increasingly "broad present" (Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht). This change of perception affects our relationship with the Middle Ages in particular; after all, their baffling mixture of overtly marked historicity and oblique omnipresence permeates our present like few other periods. Today, medieval architecture can just as readily be found in historical city centres as it can be on the ahistorical sets of Harry Potter; modern life-style and wellness guides draw their inspiration from religious and medical texts of medieval monastic life; knights with swords and armour take their place on the battlefields of online role-playing games among a host of other fantasy characters as a matter of course. In more than 30 German cities, women now live together in communities modelled after those of the medieval Beguines; the 13th century roots as dwelling for a Christian sisterhood are by no means detrimental to their attractiveness as contemporary, emancipated forms of living. With the rapid spread of audiobooks we suddenly find ourselves experiencing literature in a manner surprisingly similar to that of the medieval semioral tradition; we do not, however, consider this development a "return to the Middle Ages." Apocalyptic scenarios re-emerge in literature and film as well as in scientific prognoses of today, displacing expectations of open future and progress and thereby re-introducing structural aspects of the medieval world view - though ecological and demographic catastrophes have long since taken the place of a Final Judgement in our imagining. Such phenomena seem to undermine the marked historicity of the Middle Ages. If the "simultaneity of the sequential" can be regarded as a key feature of how modern history has been experienced (Reinhart Koselleck), the combination of marked historicity and unmarked presence puts the Middle Ages beyond the reach of attempts at ordering even more fundamentally. It is the aim of this essay prize to support students' research into medieval culture and to honour particularly original ideas. The entry is open to every student (including PhD-students) who may apply with a previously unpublished essay answering the following question: To what extent do medieval phenomena still exist in our present without being perceived as historical?
All essays, written in German or English, must not exceed 55,000 characters (including spaces) and must be submitted to Bent Gebert (bent.gebert@ germanistik.unifreiburg. de; Deutsches Seminar der Universität Freiburg, Platz der Universität 3, 79085 Freiburg, Germany) before 10 Oct 2012. Please attach a valid copy of your certificate of enrolment. By submitting their contribution, participants agree to a possible publication afterwards. Every competitor may hand in one essay only. The best 10 essays will be awarded book prizes with an overall worth of Euro 1,700. Sufficient quality provided, successful contributors will be offered the prospect of publication of the winning essays by our partner, Rombach publishing house. The jury consists of members of the University of Freiburg Centre for Medieval Studies. The jury reserves the right to not award the prize at all or not for all places.
Bent Johannes Gebert, M.St. (Oxford)
Deutsches Seminar - Germanistische Mediävistik
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Platz der Universität 3
79085 Freiburg
Tel.: (0761) 203-2026

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Nuntia issue for Spring 2012 is here!

Greetings to all from Collegeville!

The latest issue of Nuntia, the newsletter for the Medieval Association of the Midwest, is now available online at the Association's website:

Among the stories included in this issue are:

  • MAM at Kalamazoo 2012 (schedule)
  • MAM Business Meeting Agenda for 2012
  • MAM Business Meeting Minutes from 2011
  • A Notice from the Convener of Conferences
  • MAM 2011 Conference at Saint Norbert College: Photo gallery
  • MAM 2012 Conference at Xavier University (Cincinnati, OH)
  • Upcoming MAM conferences (2014 in Madrid?)
  • MAM Professional News (alas, no submissions this time)
  • Updates on Enarratio
  • Announcing NuntiaBlog (as though you had not already heard of this)
  • Membership form
  • HMML Manuscripts at Kalamazoo 2012
  • List of Sustaining Supporters

(Please note that the following item from Alison Langdon also appears in Nuntia, but the blog editor thought it bears repeating.)

Procedures for Proposing a MAM-Sponsored Session at Kalamazoo

"While often sessions are generated out of interactions at the Congress itself, in order for members to vote on proposed sessions, please submit a session to me before the business meeting Thursday evening (simply a title for the session and your contact information will do at this stage, though I will need a brief session description soon after—see below).  If I receive session proposals after the business meeting, in absence of any other criteria I will opt for first-come, first-served.

The Congress Committee chooses the specific sessions from among those we propose, and their decisions are based in part on the brief session description and rationale provided for each.  Thus, any MAM member wishing to propose a session must also provide me with that description and rationale (100-200 words) by May 25 to allow me time to process everything and submit it to the Congress.

If there is a legitimate, pressing reason why your session cannot be scheduled for a particular day, please indicate this on your session paperwork.  While I will make such requests on the cover letter I submit with all the MAM paperwork, it is best to be safe.

As soon as I have notified session organizers that their sessions have been approved, they should post a detailed call for papers and the link to the Congress participant information form on the appropriate academic listservs.  As the September deadline approaches, post again.

Paperwork for approved sessions must be provided to me no later than September 25."

Contact Alison at:

Other news:

Check out the interesting blog post by Micah Irwin on medieval spectacles (as in eyeglasses, not theater):

"Many scholars rank the invention of eyeglasses among the most important contributions to humankind in the last 2,000 years. Yet, the inventor of this now thoroughly quotidian piece of technology remains anonymous. Indeed the inventor (or inventors) will almost certainly never be known, given the numerous conflicting claims, lack of specificity, and scarcity of surviving documentation. ..."

The 7th Annual Meeting of CARMEN, generously hosted by the Central European University in Budapest, will take place on 7 – 9 September 2012. The meeting is open to any medievalist interested in constructive collaboration, but especially to those representing an institution of medieval studies. A draft programme of events and a practical document provided by the local hosts to assist you with planning your stay in Budapest is available on the CARMEN web site:

CARMEN offers several opportunities for medievalists to pursue collaborative projects and is quite active. The NuntiaBlog editor recommends checking out their website for more information on their projects.

Achronicity/Anachronism (1000-1700)

An Interdisciplinary Conference to take place on March 21-23, 2013, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

 Call for Papers

 Anachronism is a term that seems to presuppose a fixed and dominant temporal order, a chronological sequence within which each element or event occupies its own proper coordinates within the orderly flow of time. A Greek term, the “anachronistic” has become inseparable from its close Latin counterpart, the “preposterous”—literally, the before-behind. Anachronism has often been seen as a fault; a fault either testifying to a given culture’s lack of historical consciousness and historicist sensibilities, e.g. the Middle Ages’s supposed inability to think in historicist terms, or else as a type of scholarly error. Anachronism is an accusation, an error, a transgression, a stigma. The charge of anachronism seeks to reveal a critical failure to understand the pastness of the past. This perceived failure in turn exposes to ridicule scholars, artists, and entire cultures that are guilty of this charge. 

Yet arguably, even the most academically disciplined ways of thinking historically cannot proceed without disavowed acts of anachronism. As scholars of the “medieval” and “early modern” eras, we know that the very names attached to our historical fields of specialty are the product of creative anachronism. The Middle Ages could not become its middling self until the moment of its death, the advent of the Renaissance. What is more anachronistic than the idea of “The Renaissance,” imagined as a phoenix-like return to antiquity that completely circumvents history—the “Middle Ages” itself?

Furthermore, medieval and early modern texts bear evidence of a multiplicity of temporalities that allow for various and varied experiences of time. This heterogeneous premodern notion of time includes Biblical time, historical time, seasonal time, and times for worship. It recognizes diverse practices of typological or allegorical reading that coexist with literal reading, and it suggests a complex understanding of notions such as originality, authenticity, and authority. In the context of this conference, achronicity refers to this productive multiplicity of temporalities.

This conference, organized by the Program in Medieval and Early Modern Studies at UNC-ChapelHill in collaboration with the Interdisciplinary Centre for the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Early Modern Times at the Freie Universität, Berlin, will provide a select group of scholars from a broad spectrum of disciplinary fields in the humanities an opportunity to investigate together the creative potential of anachronism and/or achronicity. It addresses the ways in which temporality was conceptualized, experienced, strategically exploited, aesthetically constructed and ideologically challenged in the medieval and early modern periods. Some of the questions driving this conference are: How can anachronism/achronicity be strategically deployed to highlight problematic aspects of temporality? How can anachronism/achronicity be used to signify competing temporal frames? How does anachronism/achronicity contribute to expressing complex schemes of history, e.g. by linking the eschatological to everyday experience? How does anachronism/achronicity point to the materiality of the historical object itself? 

Please submit 500-word abstracts to Prof. Christoph Brachmann ( by April 30, 2012. 

Sponsored by:

  • The Program in Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MEMS), UNC Chapel Hill
  • The Andrew W. Mellow Foundation
  • The College of Arts & Sciences, UNC, Chapel Hill
  • The Interdisciplinary Centre: Middle Ages, Renaissance, Early Modern Times, Freie Universität, Berlin

Explorations of the Holy Roman Empire. Medieval Studies Abroad in Summer 2012

Students can earn up to six credits in Medieval and Early Modern Studies in the University of Florida's summer study abroad program "MEMS in Mannheim: Explorations of the Holy Roman Empire."  Here is the program website:


In past years, students from Universities other than UF have participated in this program, which is now in its sixth year, and the group chemistry has always been very good. 

I will be team-teaching  this program this year with Professor Howard Louthan in the History Department.  If you have any students interested in working with us this summer and earning six credits, could you please direct them to me (<>)?

Best regards,

Will Hasty

Will Hasty
Professor and Graduate Coordinator for German Studies
Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
Co-director, Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies
University of Florida
301 Pugh Hall
PO Box 115565
Gainesville FL 32611-5565
Phone: 352.392.2422
Fax: 352.392.1443


From American Libraries Direct:

Recreating a medieval monastic library
The unique holdings of the medieval monastic library of Lorsch, located in Hesse, Germany, are currently scattered over 68 libraries worldwide. But now they are being reunited virtually. Heidelberg University Library and local government officials in Germany have been working since March 2010 to publish the 330 surviving Lorsch manuscripts and manuscript fragments online. The project, Bibliotheca Laureshamensis–digital, will continue through 2013...., Apr. 10

Return to lender
Bret McCabe writes: “When a slip in Paul Espinosa’s mailbox informed him that he had a package, the George Peabody Library rare books assistant had no idea what the small box contained. It had been addressed simply to the Peabody Library and bore no return address. Inside the box was a gorgeous illuminated manuscript, dated 1492. There was no indication that it belonged to the library, but when the rare books curator looked at it and recalled something about a manuscript that had gone missing, Espinosa wondered: Is somebody returning this?”...
Johns Hopkins Magazine 64, no. 1 (Spring)

Monday, April 2, 2012

News bits and Calls-for-Papers

Saint Audrey preparing her Kalamazoo presentation ...
(from a "series" of Benedictine READ posters on the Books from the HMML Basement blog).

 After a three-week hiatus, some NEWS!
  • MAM 2014 to meet at Saint Louis University - Madrid / MAM accepting proposals for 2013
  • DEADLINE REMINDER: SCSC 2012 Cincinnati Conference CFP (plus several individual CFPs for panels at the SCSC 2012 Conference)
  • Call for Papers: Medicine and Spirituality (Deadline May 15, 2012) for Medieval Academy in 2013
  • Two interesting stories on early books (one on a manuscript and one on an incunable)

MAM 2014 to meet at Saint Louis University - Madrid!

MAM has accepted an invitation to hold the 2014 meeting of the Society in Madrid, Spain.  Many thanks to Dr. Francisco Garcia-Serrano for the invitation and to Carlos Hawley for promoting this exciting idea! More details to come.

MAM is still accepting proposals to host the annual meeting in 2013. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact the MAM's president, Harriet Hudson (<>)

The Call for Papers for MAM 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio, will be coming out soon.

DEADLINE REMINDER: SCSC 2012 Cincinnati Conference CFP
The Sixteenth Century Society and Conference is now accepting proposal for individual papers as well as complete panels for the 2012 annual conference to take place in Cincinnati, Ohio from 25-28 October 2012 at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza.

The SCSC, founded to promote scholarship on the early modern era (ca. 1450 – ca. 1660), actively encourages the participation of international scholars as well as the integration of younger colleagues into the academic community. We also welcome proposals for roundtables sponsored by scholarly societies that are affiliated with the SCSC.

Individual papers and panels on all topics are welcome.

Abstracts (up to 250 words in length) for papers and sessions may be submitted online at:

If you experience any difficulty with our online submission process or have questions about how to submit a proposal please send an email message to:

The DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS is 15 April 2012. Within four weeks after the deadline, the Program Committee will notify all those who submitted proposals.

In thinking about session and paper proposals, please take advantage of these important Cincinnati resources:
  • The Klau Library at Hebrew Union College
  • The Taft Museum  Strong in 17th century Northern European painting and holds an important collection of 16th century French enamels.
  • The Cincinnati Art Museum  Has European objects from the 14th through the 17th century including Botticelli, Cranach, Hals, Mantegna, Memling, Isaac Oliver, Oosterwyck, Rembrandt, Terborch, Zurbarán, and van Dyck.
  • The Cincinnati Shakespeare company will perform Titus Andronicus and Romeo and Juliet during the SCSC.

SCSC Panel CFP :New Year’s Gift Exchanges at the Renaissance Court
Records of Renaissance courtly New Year’s gift exchanges convey a wealth of information about these institutions. The gift rolls provide important evidence on a broad range of topics, including court personnel, language, and social and economic conditions, as well as such topics in the history of art as the age’s costume, jewelry, and plate. Titles and abstracts are invited for papers on any aspect of the courtly New Year’s gift exchanges. This session is timed to coincide with publication in the fall of 2012 of The Elizabethan New Year’s Gift Exchanges, 1559-1603, edited by Jane A. Lawson (Oxford University Press for the British Academy, Records of Social and Economic History, v.51); however, paper proposals are welcomed that deal with the New Year exchange ceremonies at any Renaissance court.
Please send abstracts of about 150-200 words to Jane Lawson at .  Deadline: April 4.

Sixteenth Century Studies and New Technologies (SCSC Cincinnati Conference, 25-28 October 2012)
Since 2001, William Bowen and Ray Siemens have organized conference sessions that document innovative ways in which computing technology is being incorporated into the scholarly activity of our community. They also co-edit a publication series entitled New Technologies in Medieval and Renaissance Studies. The 3rd and 4th volumes of the NTMRS, published by Iter and Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, will be coming out this year. At the 2012 SCSC meeting (25-28 October), we will continue to pursue this interest across several key projects, through a number of thematic touchstones, and in several emerging areas. For these sessions, we seek proposals in the following general areas, and beyond: a) New technology and research (individual or group projects) b) New technology and teaching (individual or group projects) c) New technology and publication (e.g. from the vantage point of authors, traditional and non-traditional publishers) We invite proposals of 200-300 words for papers, panels, demonstrations, and/or workshop presentations that focus on these issues.

Please send proposals before April 10 to

Through the support of Iter, we are pleased to be able to offer travel subventions on a competitive basis to graduate students who present on these panels. Those wishing to be considered for a subvention should indicate this in their abstract submission. For details of the SCSC conference see William R Bowen University of Toronto Scarborough Ray Siemens University of Victoria Diane Jakacki Georgia Institute of Technology

"Representations of Labor in Early Modern Italy and England”
Organizers: Cynthia Klestinec, Miami University of Ohio; Meredith K. Ray, University of Delaware

We invite papers dealing with representations of work and labor in early modern Italy and England, including (but not limited to):

-Representations of labor in early modern literature
-Work and labor in Italy and/or England
-Professions and professionalization
-Representing labor in science and medicine
-Women and work
-Text-image relationships

Please send a brief abstract by Thurs, April 5, 2012 to both:
Meredith K. Ray -
Cynthia Klestinec -

Sixteenth Century Studies Conference
October 25-28, 2012, Cincinnati, Ohio

“Boccaccio in the Renaissance”

Organizer: Meredith K. Ray, University of Delaware

On the 700th anniversary of the birth of Boccaccio, we welcome papers on any aspect of Boccaccio in the Renaissance, including:

-the reception of Boccaccio in the Renaissance
-the Decameron in the Renaissance
-the influence of Boccaccio on early modern literature, art, and culture
-Boccaccio and the questione della lingua
-Renaissance re-workings of Boccaccio

Please send a brief abstract by Thurs, April 5 2012 to Meredith K. Ray -

Sixteenth Century Studies Conference
October 25-28, 2012, Cincinnati, Ohio

“Superstition and Magic in Early Modern Italy”

Organizer: Meredith K. Ray, University of Delaware

Papers proposals may address (but are not limited to) the following topics:
-Superstition in Renaissance Italian literature and art
-literary representations of love magic and/or witchcraft
-Women, magic and superstition
-Legal contexts (trials, prosecutions, etc)
-Gender and religious difference

Please send a brief abstract by Thurs, April 5 2012 to Meredith K. Ray -

Sixteenth Century Studies Conference
October 25-28, 2012, Cincinnati, Ohio

"History of the Book in Italy: Past, Present, Future"

Organizer: Meredith K. Ray, University of Delaware

Paper proposals may address any aspect of the history of the book as related to the early modern Italian context, including (but not limited to):
-materiality of the book
-note-taking and referencing strategies in early modern Italy
-marginalia -book culture in early modern Italy
-literary and editorial networks
-women writers and the editorial world
-authorship and attribution
-history of the book in the digital age

Please send a brief abstract by Thurs, April 5 2012 to Meredith K. Ray -

Call for Papers: Medicine and Spirituality (Deadline May 15, 2012)

Medieval Academy of America Annual Meeting, 2013
University of Tennessee, April 4-6, 2013

Organizers: Mary Dzon (University of Tennessee, Knoxville), Irven Resnick (University of Tennessee, Chattanooga) and Winston Black (University of Tennessee, Knoxville)

Recent studies have traced the many and complicated intersections of medicine and spirituality in the Middle Ages (e.g. those of C. W. Bynum, N. Caciola, K. Park, M. van der Lugt, P.L. Reynolds, and M. Green). This session invites further exploration of how medical learning and practice and religious beliefs and practice intersected, the one discourse supporting, redefining, or challenging the other. These intersections are revealed in spiritual interpretations of disease (leprosy, plague, insanity) and medical interpretations of religious figures and phenomena (e.g. healing relics and saints, stigmata, visions, Arma Christi, and the Immaculate Conception). Tensions and compatibilities between medicine and spirituality are likewise revealed in the relations between medical practitioners and church authorities, medical practice and religious orders, popular healers and university culture, and heresy or religious difference and disease. Certain later medieval literary genres also bear witness to the influence of scholastic medicine on theology and the reverse, such as devotional literature, pastoralia, confessional manuals, and canonization records.

The deadline for submissions is May 15, 2012. Please send your abstract of 250 words, along with a cover sheet (described at to Jay Rubenstein, preferably by e-mail to, or two copies by mail to: Jay Rubenstein, University of Tennessee, Department of History, 6th Floor, Dunford Hall, Knoxville, TN, 37996.

From the blog Echoes from the Vault:
A conundrum solved, collectively
Daryl Green writes: “In January we posted a plea for help in identifying a motif found in one of the medieval manuscripts in the University of St. Andrews Special Collections: msBR65.A9S2, a Pseudo-Augustinian Sermones ad fratres eremo. This manuscript had been cataloged and thought of for quite some time as a 14th-century Italian manuscript. What followed was a largely profitable discussion conducted through emails, blog comments, and Twitter enquiries that resulted in us finding out much more about this manuscript.”...


From the blog The Cataloguer’s Desk:

Adam Douglas writes: “We recently acquired a rare and splendid 16th-century book, The recuile of the Histories of Troie, published by William Copland in London in 1553. The first edition of this text, published in Bruges in 1473 or 1474 by William Caxton, was the very first book printed in the English language. Caxton himself is famous as the first printer in England. But why was his first English book printed in Bruges?”...
The Cataloguer’s Desk, Mar. 16