Ok, I think there’s enough in the inbox to warrant another post…The deadline to submit proposals  for Kalamazoo, May 10-13, 2012, is September 15, so you still have a few weeks!


“Diet, Dining, and Everyday Life: The Uses of Ceramics in the Third- to
Ninth-Century World”

Potsherds are the most ubiquitous archaeological evidence present from
the Late Antique and early medieval periods.  From the complete amphora,
preserved intact through the passing centuries, to the smallest
fragments of a cooking pot’s rim, nearly unidentifiable to all but the
trained eye, pottery has provided generations of historians and
archaeologists with information about the date of a site, the trade
networks on which it relied, and the general economic status of its

The focus of this sessions is on a different aspect of what ceramics are
capable of illuminating: the culture of a site’s inhabitants.  Pottery
was among the most prevalent man-made item in the lives of most people,
and the meals cooked and eaten with pottery were among the most
important aspects of day-to-day existence.  The common medium for
transactions of processed agricultural goods, pottery also speaks to the
range of individual economic exchanges and social structures that
underpinned relations between buyers and sellers.  As the scholarship of
Paul Arthur, Nicholas Hudson, and Joanita Vroom has shown, these
ceramics are essential for the study of what is usually the most
inaccessible part of the lives of the ancients: the quotidian, ordinary
activities that make up such an important part of culture, economy, and
identity.  These scholars use ceramics to explain, respectively, the
relationship between diet and cultural boundaries, the impact of
Christianity on dining practice, and cultural change over the longue
durée in Boeotia.

For this session we invite scholars working on ceramics from the eastern
and western Mediterranean –- and beyond –- to come together to discuss
the various ways pottery can be used to enhance modern understanding of
the cultures which produced it.

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words to Andrew Donnelly at
adonnel@luc.edu along with a participant information form (available
here: http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress/submissions/index.html#PIF)
by September 15, 2011. Any papers not included in this session will be
forwarded to the Congress Committee for possible inclusion in the
General Sessions.

Andrew Donnelly
Department of History
Loyola University Chicago


The Medieval Romance Society is soliciting paper proposals/abstracts for our three sessions at the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan in May 2012. Please see brief descriptions below for each of the three sessions. All proposals are due by September 15th, 2011.

Please remember that no individual may give more than one paper at Kalamazoo. Therefore, we ask that you do not submit a proposal to us if you plan to submit (or already have submitted) a proposal to another session. Please also remember that each paper proposal for Kalamazoo should be accompanied by a complete PIF (Participant Information Form), available at the Congress website:http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress/submissions/index.html#PIF

The Medieval Romance Society encourages interdisciplinary scholarship and is a graduate student-friendly organization.

Please forward as you see fit. Electronic submissions preferred.

Thank you!

Rebecca Wilcox

Co-Coordinator, Medieval Romance Society


Romance and Material Culture I: Objects in Romance

This session invites papers exploring the ways that objects are treated in medieval romances as well as the connections these objects have to the material world of the Middle Ages. Possible topics might include symbolic and magical objects; settings, whether domestic, martial, or natural; household furnishings; clothing; arms and armour; and representations of the visual arts.

Romance and Material Culture II: Romance and Material Wealth

This session invites papers that consider portrayals, perceptions, and possibilities of material wealth (or lack thereof). Papers for this session might cover topics such as wealth and social class; perceptions of wealth; royal wealth; the rejection of wealth; poverty; and the uses and abuses of wealth.

Romance and Material Culture III: Romance and the Material Book

This session invites papers that examine the production and presentation of medieval romance books. Possible topics might include the transmission of romance through physical books; manuscript decoration; book ownership and audience; romances alongside other texts in books; and the book as an object in romance.


The International Hoccleve Society

“Tradition and the Individual Hoccleve”

In “Tradition and the Individual Talent,” T.S. Eliot writes, “No poet, no
artist of any art, has his complete meaning alone…You cannot value him
alone; you must set him, for contrast and comparison, among the dead.”
Critics have long set Thomas Hoccleve among the dead, reading him in the
light of Chaucer and — to a lesser extent — Gower. Hoccleve invites
contrast and comparison with these predecessors by memorializing them in
his Regiment of Princes. While we might follow Eliot by asking what the
“individual Hoccleve” brings to what critics often call the Chaucerian
tradition, we might also follow Eliot by asking how this English literary
past is directed and altered by a Hocclevian present. For instance, how
“Hocclevian” is the version of Chaucer we see depicted in the Regiment?
Where does Hoccleve draw from his predecessors and where does he re-create
them in his own image? Recent Hoccleve scholarship has illuminated the
ways in which Hoccleve acts not as a passive recipient of literary and
artistic models, but rather as an innovator and instigator: John Bowers
has credited Hoccleve with creating the “first collected poems in
English”; Derek Pearsall associates Hoccleve with the “invention” of
English portraiture; Ethan Knapp finds in Hoccleve “the dramatic first
stirrings of vernacular autobiography”; and Bernard O’Donoghue sees “the
earliest and inchoate exponent of a mixed kind of writing that is found up
to the early Elizabethans…drawing on conventional frameworks and
apparently real experiences at the same time.” With this succession of
“firsts,” a different picture of Hoccleve emerges: a Hoccleve who proves
not only useful for his connection to “the dead,” but indeed capable of
creating new possibilities for the composition and preservation of English

This session invites papers that explore the tension and interplay between
“tradition and the individual Hoccleve”: What does the poet bring to the
poetic tradition that he works to establish? How does Hoccleve “make it
new”? How does the poet play the temporal against the timeless, the
contemporary against the conventional? We invite speakers to draw on any
of Hoccleve’s works when considering these questions and, equally, to
consider Hoccleve’s various roles as scribe, poet, and Privy Seal clerk.
We also invite speakers to consider how Hoccleve draws and distinguishes
himself from other traditions, whether literary, cultural, artistic, or
ecclesiastical. What of his connection to the French poetic tradition, for
instance, and to poets like Pizan, Deschamps, and Machaut? What of the
less well-charted waters of Hoccleve’s potential connections to Langland?
What new literary and textual compounds catalyze, react, and materialize
in the hands of an individual Hoccleve?

We invite you to submit proposals for 20-minute papers to
sebastian.langdell@seh.ox.ac.uk<mailto:sebastian.langdell@seh.ox.ac.uk> Please submit your proposal along with a
PIF form (available on the Congress website) by September 15, 2011.


CFP: Kalamazoo 2012, Syon Abbey Society Sponsored Session (www.syonabbeysociety.com)


The late-medieval English Birgittine house of Syon Abbey fostered a rich tradition of religious vernacular literature and translation within its walls. ‘Monastic Vernacularities’ is in the spirit of the Birgittines’ vernacular tradition, but is open to papers concerning any order of medieval Western Europe. We encourage submission of a broad range of abstracts related in some way to the idea of the vernacular within a monastic context.

Recent scholarship has explored the idea of the vernacular in terms of lay devotion, secular literature, and the gendered reader, and this session will both extend and build off these in order to more precisely understand how the vernacular operated for different communities of cloistered readers.

What was the relationship between the use of the vernacular and rates of literacy within monastaries and convents? Did individual houses foster distinctive ‘vernaculars’? How did the use of the vernacular evolve over time, in relation to the shifting sands of devotional trends and political climates? How did the vernacular operate in liturgy? We hope to foster an interdisciplinary discussion probing the multiplicity of vernaculars operating within the predominantly Latin monastic culture of the Middle Ages.

CFP deadline: Sept. 15. Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words to laura.miles@gmail.com

“Space and Place in the Medieval Imagination”
Sponsored by Hortulus: The Online Graduate Journal of Medieval Studies


This session welcomes scholars working on medieval representations of
spatial order, or on the sense of place in the construction of social
identities. We are seeking papers which investigate any time and place in
medieval Europe in which a strong local or regional identity was
emphasized; the papers should explore how an imagined order of space, or
the meaning of a particular place, aided in defining those identities. The
topic encourages literary scholars, historians and art historians to
consider the meaning of space in the past by situating it in its precise
historical context.

Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words, along with the
conference Participant Information Form, to Meghan Glass at
*m.r.glass@durham.ac.uk* by September 14, 2011. The Participant
Information Form can be found on the Congress website:

Participants will be contacted regardless of whether or not their proposal
has been accepted. All proposals submitted but not accepted will be sent
on to the general committee for consideration in one of the general
sessions at Kalamazoo. All proposals will additionally be considered for
special publication in Hortulus Journal.  For further information:



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