Saturday, September 28, 2013

MAM in Terre Haute 2013 - Day 2 (and the evening before)

Stables Restaurant - site of Friday evening's banquet.

 Some more views of activities and discussions, conversations, and general fun for the Medieval Association of the Midwest at our 2013 meeting in Terre Haute (please click on pictures to enlarge them).

If anyone (and I mean anyone) who attended the conference would like copies of a picture please let me know!


Almost there ...


No, it was half-full when we started, or was that half-empty?

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Waiting for a Saturday session to start.

Introductions.

Before the second plenary.


Listening.

Second plenary lecture, by John Block Friedman.





Listening to the discussion after the plenary.




Must have been a good plenary lecture--they're smiling!

Before one of the Saturday afternoon sessions.

More introductions.

Discussion at the end of a session.





Two who are ready to head home to Kentucky at the end of a great conference.


One more round of thanks to Harriet Hudson, her staff of millions (there must be at least that many) and to the Department of English at Indiana State University!


Peace, and safe travels to all!



Friday, September 27, 2013

We Are in Terre Haute--Where Are You?

Some photographs from the first day of the MAM Conference at Indiana State University in Terre Haute--September 27, 2013.

Where we are meeting - The Hulman Memorial Student Union
CLICK ON ANY PICTURE TO SEE IT (AND THE OTHERS) IN A LARGER VERSION!

Getting ready for a session.

Welcome and introductions.

Discussion time.

Discussion.

Catching up with colleagues.

Ditto.

Welcome from Harriet Hudson and introduction of first plenary speaker.

Crowd at the plenary.

Plenary is about to begin.

Introductions.

Richard Firth Green preparing to give the first plenary address.

Richard Firth Green.

Discussion after the plenary.

Fielding questions at the plenary.

Tonight a special banquet at Stables Restaurant and tomorrow more sessions!

Peace from Terre Haute,

Matt Heintzelman









Friday, September 20, 2013

Position for Old English Language and Literature


Expanding our horizons -- a 13th-century T-map from a manuscript fragment.

The following was forwarded by the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.



ACADEMIC POSITION AVAILABLE

Position/Title Rank:  Associate/Full Professor – Tenure Stream (Old English Language and Literature)
Faculty/Division:  University of Toronto, Faculty of Arts & Science
Departments:  Centre for Medieval Studies and the Department of English
Campus:  St. George (Downtown Toronto)
Deadline/Closing Date for Application:  October 31, 2013

The Faculty of Arts and Science, University of Toronto invites applications and nominations for the Cameron Professorship in Old English Language and Literature. This is a tenured appointment at the rank of Associate or Full Professor in the Centre for Medieval Studies (51%) and the Department of English (49%) with special responsibility as Chief Editor of the Dictionary of Old English (DOE). The appointment will be effective July 1, 2014.

The successful incumbent for this position will demonstrate a deep commitment to producing the highest quality scholarship in the field of Old English language and literature. The incumbent will provide leadership and forge critical links between scholars of Old English language and literature at the University of Toronto and their counterparts at universities and specialized institutions across Canada and abroad. Candidates are required to have a PhD and demonstrated evidence of teaching and research excellence in both Old English and other relevant fields (e.g. Medieval Latin and Old Norse).

The Centre for Medieval Studies and the Department of English offer the opportunity to teach and to conduct research in units that are committed to studying both medieval culture and English language and literature in historical depth and geographical range. Situated in one of the most diverse cities in the world, the Centre and the Department reflect that diversity in their approach to English as a world language. The Centre and Department are committed to excellence in teaching and research. Candidates must display evidence of excellence in both these areas. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

All qualified candidates are invited to apply by visiting
www.uoftcareers.utoronto.ca. See job # 1301154. Applications should include a cover letter, curriculum vitae, teaching dossier (including a statement of teaching philosophy), a statement outlining current and future research interests (with special attention to the Dictionary of Old English), and a substantial writing sample. If you have questions about this position, please contact careers.english@utoronto.ca or director.medieval@utoronto.ca. All application materials should be submitted online.

The U of T application system can accommodate up to five attachments (10 MB) per candidate profile; please combine attachments into one or two files in PDF/MS Word format. Submission guidelines can be found at:
http://uoft.me/how-to-apply.

Applicants should also ask three referees to send letters directly to the Centre for Medieval Studies via e-mail to
director.medieval@utoronto.ca by the closing date, October 31, 2013.

For more information about the Centre for Medieval Studies, the Department of English or the Dictionary of Old English, please visit our respective home pages:
http://www.medieval.utoronto.ca, http://www.english.utoronto.ca and http://www.doe.utoronto.ca.
The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from visible minority group members, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, members of sexual minority groups, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.
All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

So what's in a name? or Sir-name?




(this Arthurian legend from YouTube ...)


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  • Conference in Arizona (May 2014): Death and the Culture of Death ...
  • Annual seminar on "Understanding the Medieval Book"
  • Suggested "medieval" readings from American Libraries Direct

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The following is from Albrecht Classen:

"Early next May 2014, we will have the next international symposium here at the University of Arizona, with the theme: Death and the Culture of Death in the Middle Ages and the early modern world (you define the time limit, though ca. 1800 should be the max.). Here is the link for the webpage: http://aclassen.faculty.arizona.edu/content/11th-int-symposium-death-and-culture-death-middle-ages-and-early-modern-time

Please send abstracts for papers, if interested. We can take up to 24 speakers."

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Announcing the 4th Annual Seminar on “Understanding the Medieval Book”

The University of South Carolina invites participants to its 4th annual seminar, “Understanding the Medieval Book,” which will be held at the Hollings Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia, from 7-9 April 2014. This two-day hands-on seminar explores medieval books (e.g., Books of Hours, bibles, breviaries, etc.) under the direction of a specialist. Participants will use the university’s collection of 130 medieval manuscripts and fragments.

Our 2014 specialist will be Dr. Timothy Graham, Professor of History and Director of the Institute for Medieval Studies, University of New Mexico. Dr. Graham is holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge and an MPhil from the Warburg Institute, University of London. He teaches courses and seminars on medieval history, paleography, manuscript culture, and Anglo-Saxon studies. A recognized authority on medieval manuscripts, their production and use, his best-known book is Introduction to Manuscript Studies, which has become the leading international textbook on the subject of manuscripts and manuscript culture.

This seminar is free but limited to 25 participants. If you are interested in attending, information and a brief application can be found at this link:

http://artsandsciences.sc.edu/engl/files/Understanding_the_Medieval_Book_Graham.pdf

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Some suggested "medieval" readings from American Libraries Direct:


The 20 greatest epic poems of all time
Few have better expressed the tumultuous rise and fall of civilizations better than the great epic poets of ancient and modern times. By combining elevated language with war, betrayal, romance, adventure, and much reflection, these 20 lengthy tomes have captured the essence of whole peoples in single (albeit gigantic) works, ranging from semifictional accounts of war to satirical mockeries of misguided heroism....
Qwiklit, Sept. 10

The ancient roots of punctuation
Keith Houston writes: “The story of the hashtag begins sometime around the 14th century, with the introduction of the Latin abbreviation ‘lb’ for the Roman term libra pondo, or ‘pound weight.’ Like many standard abbreviations of that period, ‘lb’ was written with the addition of a horizontal bar, known as a tittle or tilde (an example is shown above, in Johann Conrad Barchusen’s Pyrosophia, from 1698).”...
The New Yorker: Page-Turner, Sept. 6

When books were shelved backwards
Stephanie Sylverne writes: “It may seem counterintuitive to us, but books were not always shelved to show the spine. In the 15th and 16th century, libraries often chained their books to shelves or lecterns, the medieval equivalent of the electronic security devices our libraries use today. The chains were connected to clasps that kept the books shut. It made sense to organize them with the clasps facing out so they could be pulled from the shelf.”...
Ephemeris, Aug. 29

Medieval manuscripts in America
Julie Somers writes: “Many collections in America have works that range from the 9th through the 16th centuries. The collections include Bibles, psalters, graduales, commentaries, books of hours, charters, and many other medieval texts. Various museum, university, and public libraries can provide access to the real thing. Plus, many have an added bonus of images available online.” Indeed, Lisa Fagin Davis and Melissa Conway have embarked on a Manuscript Road Trip, “a state-by-state tour of medieval manuscripts in the lower 48, focusing on less-well-known collections.”...
medievalfragments, Aug. 30; Manuscript Road Trip





Friday, September 13, 2013

Revised MAM Program for 2013 Conference!





Also posted on the web-page for the Conference:




Thursday, September 26

Welcome Reception, 6:00-9:00,  Courtroom, Scott College of Business


Friday, September 27

Registration 8:00 – 11:30  Hulman Memorial Student Union vestibule (HMSU)

Session 1, 8:30-9:45

A.   Local Literature,  HMSU 307
Chair: Erin Mann, Lindenwood University-Bellville
Ludlow, Shropshire: The Town, the Scribe and Fouke le Fitz Waryn
Catherine A. Rock, Stark State College        
John Audelay and Fifteenth-Century Shrewsbury
Susanna Fein, Kent State University             
 “I wold to God my moder were her:” East-Anglian Devotion to the Virgin in the Brome Play of Abraham & Isaac
Laurie Murphy, New York University
           
B.   Anchorites: Physical and Spiritual Space, HMSU 321 
Chair: Steven A. Stofferahn, Indiana State University
Christianity at the Limit: Julian of Norwich, Enclosure, and Continental Anchoritism
Joshua Easterling, Emporia State University 
Julian of Norwich: The Intersection of Voice and Space in The Revelations of Love
 Therese Novotny, Marquette University      
Modern Places and Medieval Spaces: Adaptive Reuse of English Anchorholds
 Michelle M. Sauer, University of North Dakota      
________________________________________________________________________

Session 2, 10:00-11:15

A.  Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur, HMSU 307
Chair:  Stephen Yandell, Xavier University
Lack and Plenty: The Grail Knights in Sarras
Elizabeth Melick, Kent State University       
Thomas Malory’s Neglected Nyneve: A Hero in Disguise
 Kristin Bovaird-Abbo, University of Northern Colorado
Strategic Thinking in Malory’s “Tale of Sir Gareth of Orkney”
Kurt Haas, Colorado Mesa University


B.  Medieval Churches: Use of Space,  HMSU 321
Chair:  Annette Morrow, Minnesota State University
Fortuitous Consequences of Flying Buttresses: Uses of the Inter-Buttress Zone
 Maile Hutterer, Rutgers University              
The Sense of Smell in Medieval Churches
 Katelynn Robinson, University of Missouri
From Hugh to Hugh, or Saint to Saint: Enshrining Medieval Jewish-Christian Relations in the Space of Lincoln Cathedral
 Erin K. Wagner, The Ohio State University
_______________________________________________________________________

Plenary Session I, 11:30-12:30: Dede III                        
Joseph Schick Lecture Series

The Medieval Changeling: A Secret History

Richard Firth Green,
 Humanities Distinguished Professor of English, The Ohio State University
_______________________________________________________________________

Lunch 12:30-1:30, on your own, HMSU Commons food court
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Session 3, 1:30-2:45

A.  Gendered Readings,  HMSU 307
Chair: Carlos Hawley, North Dakota State University
Exemplary Aristocratic Masculinity in the Medieval Castilian Frame Tale
 Megan Havard, Washington University, St. Louis               
 “Agayn my los, I will have esement:” Masculinity and the Affective Economy in Chaucer’s Reeve’s Tale
Travis W. Johnson, Central Methodist University     
A Flood of Feeling: Queer Sympathies in Cleanness
            Erin Mann, Lindenwood University-Belleville
           
B.  Monasteries, Medieval and Modern, HMSU 321
Chair:  Lois Huneycutt, University of Missouri
A New Border: The Communal Patronage Program of Agnes of Burgundy, 1040-1050
Adam Matthews, Western Michigan University
In the Family of St. Peter: Carolingian Women, St. Peter, and Rome in the Eighth and Ninth Centuries
Autumn Dolan            , University of Missouri         
Medieval Mindsets in Surprising Spaces: Indiana Monk-Missionaries on the American Great Plains, 1887- 1954
            Steven A. Stofferahn, Indiana State University
________________________________________________________________________
Session 4,  3:00-4:45

A.  Early Books on Parchment, Paper, Film, and Screen,  HMSU 307
Chair: Edward Risden, St. Norbert’s College
When Surrogates Work Well: On Using Digital and Microfilm Copies of Manuscripts
            William F. Hodapp, The College of Saint Scholastica
Ain’t Nothin’ Like the Real Thing, Baby: Working with Original Manuscripts at the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library
            Matthew Heintzelman, Hill Museum and Manuscript Library          
An Embarrassment of Riches: Working in Low Country Archives
Barbara Zimbalist, University of Texas at El Paso
Beyond the Guildhall: Ink Recipes and Book Making in Late Medieval England
Michael Johnston, Purdue University

B.  Literary Spaces,  HMSU 321
Chair: Timothy R. Jordan, Zane State College
What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You: Chaucer’s Spatial Poetics and the Reeve’s Tale
 Emilie Cox, Indiana University                    
Painting the Memory Palace: Narrative Walls as Subversive Mnemonics in Guigemar and The Book of the Duchess
 Stephen Yandell, Xavier University             
Households and Havens in The Owl and the Nightingale
Wendy Matlock, Kansas State University     
The Author’s Place: Creating John Lydgate Within His Books
 Alaina Bupp,University of Colorado

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Banquet, 6:30, Stables Steakhouse,  939 Poplar Street
______________________________________________________________________


Saturday, September 28

Session 5, 8:30-9:45

A.  Medieval Places: Iberia, HMSU 307
Chair: Harriet Hudson, Indiana State University
The Culture of the Cuaderna Via
Carlos Hawley, North Dakota State University
Identifying a Pirate in the Late Medieval Mediterranean
David Terry, Western Michigan University               
Toledo, Compostela, Braga and the Dividing of Christian Iberia
Patrick Harris, Western Michigan University


B.  Literary Responses and Writers Revisited, HMSU 321
Chair: Michael Johnston, Purdue University
Fifteenth-Century Readings of Cato’s Estates in William Worcester’s Of Olde Age in Manuscript and Print
 William Fahrenbach, DePaul University       
Shakespeare’s Gower in Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Marilyn Claire Ford, Indiana University       
Reading the Lines and Writing in the Interstices:  James I’s Poetic Response to the Knight’s Tale, lines 1070-9
 William F. Hodapp, The College of Saint Scholastica
_____________________________________________________________________
           
Session 6, 10:00-11:15

A.   A Middle English Miscellany, HMSU 307
Chair:  Alison Langdon, Western Kentucky University
Conflict Zones: Affect and Culture Clash in Chaucer’s Man of Law’s Tale
 Bonnie Erwin, Wilmington College
To Have or To Hold? An Interpretation of Puns in a Middle English Lyric
 Matthew Hulan, Independent Scholar
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and the Real Fairy World of Hautedesert
Mickey Sweeney, Dominican University

B. Anglo-Saxon Literature, HMSU 321
Chair: Matthew Heintzelman, Hill Museum and Manuscript Library
An Architectonic Aesthetics of Beowulf
Edward Risden, Saint Norbert’s College
Unhale Eagan: Impairment and Epistemology in the Metaphor of the Mind’s Eyes in the OE Soliloquies
Karen Bruce Wallace, The Ohio State University                 
Mary’s Womb as Dwelling: The Virginal, Fertile, and Maternal Body of Mary in Anglo-Saxon Literature
 Rebecca Straple, Western Michigan University
________________________________________________________________________

Plenary Session II, 11:30-12:30,  Dede III                        

Joseph Schick Lecture Series

Hairy on the Inside: Marie de France’s Bisclavret and Medieval Werewolf Illustration

John Block Friedman
Professor Emeritus of English and Medieval Studies, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________

Lunch 12:30-1:15, on your own, HMSU Commons food court
______________________________________________________________________

Session 7,  1:15-3:00

A. Modern Takes on Medieval Materials, HMSU 307
Chair:  Kristin Bovaird-Abbo, University of Northern Colorado
Playing at Truths: Looking for Dante in Beatrice and Virgil
 Alison Langdon and Amanda Mitchell, Western Kentucky University
Chaucer, Hawthorne and “The Canterbury Pilgrims”
 Timothy R. Jordan, Zane State College        
The Resonance of Place and Medievalism in Alain-Fournier’s Le Grand Meaulnes
            Aubri McVey Leung, Butler University
Between the Rivers: Stobi, Macedonia
Annette Morrow, Minnesota State University

B.  Saints and Shrines, HMSU 321
Chair: Kristen Figg, Kent State University
The Romanesque Pictorial Space, or the Not “Being-to-the-World”
Alfons Puigarnau, International University of Catalonia
Chaucer, Thomas, and Canterbury
 David Raybin, Eastern Illinois University                  
From Alexandria to Aberdeen: The Scottish Cult of St. Katherine in the Late Middle Ages
Melissa M. Coll-Smith, Aquinas College       
The Shrine of St. Andrew and the Scottish Crown in the Reform Era

Lois Huneycutt, University of Missouri


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Hurray! School is back in session! New News, Old News!


Medieval READ posters - just for the medieval librarian in all (some?) of us ...

Here are fuller descriptions of the MAM sessions at Kalamazoo 2014. The due date for all submissions is rapidly approaching.


The Formation of Identity in Middle English Arthurian Romance
Session Organizer: Kristin Bovaird-Abbo (Kristin.BovairdAbbo@unco.edu)

This session will explore issues of identity formation in Middle English Arthurian Romance through the lens of gender, class, and/or nationality. Although abstracts dealing with Malory and/or Sir Gawain and the Green Knight will be considered, I am particularly interested in abstracts that consider less frequently discussed texts such as Awntyrs off Arthur, Gologras and Gawain, Ywain and Gawain, Libeaus Desconus, et cetera. How are the massive political and cultural changes that define the later Middle Ages in Britain reflected, explored, and/or critiqued in Middle English Arthurian romance? Possible topics may include the contested space between subject/object, material culture's participation in identity formation, knightly masculinity/femininity, spiritual/religious identity, geographical (or environmental) impacts on identity formation, transmission of characters from French romances to Middle English romances, boundaries between the human and the monstrous, et cetera.


Innovative Approaches to Teaching Dante
Session Organizer: Alison Langdon (alison.langdon@wku.edu)

This session will be a roundtable discussion on teaching modules that focus on topics related to Dante and his works.  The units could be part of classes devoted entirely to Dante or Dante units within classes on broader topics. Unlike other sessions that concentrate on philosophical or critical approaches for design of an entire course, this session would emphasize ideas for particular assignments (papers, units, or projects).  Projects could be self-contained or parts of larger scaffolded assignments. As faculty and students seek new ways of teaching and being taught, medievalists need to hear of innovative teaching strategies that have worked for colleagues.


Lydgate Without Chaucer?
Session Organizers: Timothy Jordan (tjordan@cotc.tec.oh.us) and Alaina Bupp (alaina.bupp@colorado.edu)

The 2013 International Medieval Congress hosted two panels devoted to John Lydgate’s poetry. Both these sessions provided answers as to why we should study Lydgate, but they also raised questions as to his literary independence. In the question and answer sessions, the subject of Lydgate’s dependence on and indebtedness to Chaucer caused heated debate. And though one panel was boldly titled “Lydgate without Chaucer,” and the papers presented a strong case for examining Lydgate for Lydgate’s sake, the link between the two authors appears to be, in the minds of some, unbreakable.

The purpose of this session, then, would be to explore this connection and ask the question if we can, or should, study Lydgate without acknowledging his reliance on Chaucer. Can Lydgate be viewed as his own link in the chain of literary history? Or do we heed Lydgate’s own words and recognize that Chaucer’s influence cannot be surmounted? This debate gets at the heart of fifteenth century English literature: how do we deal with self-proclaimed ‘translators’ and ‘compilers’ and their relationship to their sources?

This is a crucial time in Lydgate studies. Interest in Lydgate is growing as scholars explore different aspects of his work, such as his roles as an early playwright or a religious poet. But in order for this scholarship to progress, in order for us to know Lydgate, his relationship with Chaucer must be resolved.


Cultural Approaches to Teaching History of the English Language
Session Organizer: Kristen Figg (kfigg@kent.edu <mailto:kfigg@kent.edu> )

Medievalists are often called upon to teach History of the English Language because of their knowledge of Old and Middle English, but intensive study of these languages is often not the most useful approach for the students who actually enroll in the course.  This session will explore ways that medievalists can use students’ enthusiasm for medieval culture to help them understand the dynamics of social contact and develop a useful understanding of how political history, social history, and linguistic processes have interacted to create a complex modern language.
 
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With apologies to the organizers of the conference below--this came to me while I was away in early August and I missed posting it before the due date for abstracts. I am posting it here in case anyone wishes to attend the conference in late October/early November 2013. (mzh)

The Ninth Biennial Conference of the International Association for Robin Hood Studies will be October 31-November 3, hosted by Saint Louis University. This year's theme will be “The Games of Robin Hood,” focusing on any aspect of games or game-playing associated with the Robin Hood stories and plays, ranging from the May-Games of the medieval outlaw, the mischief of Robin and the Sheriff, to Munday’s plays, to games the movies play with their audiences, to videogames. The deadline for abstracts has been extended to August 15, 2013.

Please see the conference’s website to upload your abstract and to register: http://robinhood.slu.edu/

Also, please email your abstract to Thomas Rowland: trowlan1@slu.edu.

There is a discounted registration rate for students.

FYI: Saint Louis University, located in lovely midtown in St. Louis, Missouri, is within walking distance to many historic attractions (like the Fox Theatre) and restaurants, and within sight of the Arch and downtown. There is a nice boutique hotel on campus, and two inexpensive hotels nearby, one in the upscale Central West End and by Forest Park, the other by the trendy South Grand district. The University is home to the Vatican Film Library, repository of manuscripts on microfilm and center for paleographical study, and the St. Louis Room for rare books. Due to its central location, St. Louis usually features less expensive airfare and associated costs for traveling and staying here.

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Explorations of the Holy Roman Empire. Medieval Studies Abroad in Summer 2014

Students can earn up to six transfer credits in Medieval and Early Modern Studies in the University of Florida's intensive six-week summer study abroad program "MEMS in Mannheim: Explorations of the Holy Roman Empire."  The program lasts from ca. the beginning of July to about mid-August.  Here is the program website:

<http://www.clas.ufl.edu/mems/mannheim/index.shtml>.

In past years, students from Universities across the country have participated in this program, which in 2014 will be in its eighth year. 

The program, which includes excursions to Trier, Nuremberg, Worms, French Alsace, and Vienna, is team-taught by faculty in the Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies at the University of Florida.
If you have any students interested in Medieval Studies abroad next summer and in earning six semester credits that should be transferable to your institution, please draw this to their attention and direct them to me (<hasty@ufl.edu>).

Best regards,

Will Hasty


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“Performance of Women’s Voices in Medieval Lyric: Theory and Evidence”- International Congress on Medieval Studies: May 8-11, 2014

Session Sponsored by the Medieval Studies Institute, Indiana University

Performance of Women’s Voices in Medieval Lyric: Theory and Evidence:

The representation of women’s voices in medieval lyric texts, whether composed or performed by men or women, can reveal much about medieval constructions of gender.  Nevertheless, assessing the evidence about medieval performances of gender from the documents that remain is complex. How are such performances constructed by particular language, visual spectacle on a page, or aural embodiments of voices sung or spoken in social contexts? How might self-conscious cross-gender performance complicate or illuminate our understanding of women’s voices in medieval lyric? Can manuscript context, illustrations, musical notation, or owner’s inscriptions help us understand the elements that shaped construction of women’s voices in medieval lyric?  The papers in this panel will seek to bring current theory and medieval evidence into closer dialogue.  

~Deadline for paper submission:

Sept. 15, 2013.

~Submissions:

Proposals should be 500 words maximum and must include a Participant Information Form (available for download at the International Medieval Congress Website: http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress/submissions/index.html#PIF

Papers not accepted for this session will be forwarded Oct. 1 to the Congress for consideration for inclusion in a General Session.

~Send submissions and inquiries to:

Rosemarie McGerr
Director, Medieval Studies Institute, Indiana University
rmcgerr@indiana.edu
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Don't let this bug you ... (from American Libraries Direct)

Attack of the bookworms

Christina Duffy writes: “Where the passionate reader sees inspiration and literary genius, the pest sees a delicious and satisfying papery meal. Holes in books and bindings, large chewed areas and scraped surfaces are all evidence of pest attack. Thankfully, damage like this is largely historic and it is a matter for conservation rather than pest control. Here we take a look at a few of the culprits.”...
British Library: Collection Care Blog, Aug. 27
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(from American Libraries Direct)

A beginner’s guide to reading early modern texts

Benjamin Breen writes: “Why does S look like F? This is an accessible overview of how to read books and manuscripts from the early modern era, the period spanning the early Renaissance to the French, American, and Industrial revolutions. To tackle the S first: The long S dates back to the old Roman cursive handwriting, and survived as an artifact in the earliest printed book fonts, which were modeled on various medieval handwriting forms.”...
Res Obscura, July 29
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(from American Libraries Direct)

Conserving a mold-damaged iron-gall-ink manuscript
Francesca Whymark writes: “When paper is badly degraded, and especially when there has been mold damage, it often needs to be washed. Washing paper helps to remove acidic degradation products and reforms the hydrogen bonds in the paper structure, making it stronger. Iron gall ink was the primary ink used in Europe from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. It was often homemade and there is a huge variation in recipe, but its principal ingredients are tannins (usually extracted from oak galls), iron(II) sulfate, and water.”...
British Library: Collection Care Blog, Aug. 8

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(from American Libraries Direct)

10 beautiful medieval maps
This is a list by Medievalists.net of the best medieval maps—10 maps created between the 6th and 16th centuries that offer unique views into how medieval people saw their world. The maps are arranged chronologically, which helps to reveal some of the changes that took place during the Middle Ages in how people created maps....
Medievalists.net, July 28


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NEH Awards Grant for WorldMap Development

Professors Peter Bol and Suzanne Blier have received a $320K award from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Digital Humanities Implementation Grant for their proposal on “Extending WorldMap to Make It Easier for Humanists and Others to Find, Use, and Publish Geospatial Information”. This work is supported by technical staff at the Center for Geographic Analysis, especially Ben Lewis who is the chief architect and project manager of the WorldMap project, and by administrative staff at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science.

This 2-year project will enhance the current WorldMap platform to make it easier for the world to find and use a key class of interactive maps called “map services” which are hosted by servers around the world, including WorldMap itself. Currently estimated in the millions, there is no complete index for such services. This work will allow users from any online mapping application to be able to search for and use these map services as interactive map layers. The objective is to make it possible for everyone to see the development of human civilization in all its diversity and complexity in spatial contexts, to take advantage of the knowledge of others to enhance our own interests, and to create a sustainable and scalable platform in which students and scholars can participate in creating and sharing any work that can be represented spatially.

For more information, please see the NEH award announcement: http://www.neh.gov/divisions/odh/grant-news/announcing-6-digital-humanities-implementation-grant-awards-july-2013; Information about the current WorldMap: http://about.worldmap.harvard.edu; Center for Geographic Analysis: http://gis.harvard.edu; and Institute for Quantitative Social Science: http://www.iq.harvard.edu/.

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