Civil War News Sources, and Calls for Papers: Vagantes, and The World Elsewhere

Posted: October 19, 2011 in Conferences
Tags: , , , , , , ,

In case you hadn’t noticed, the blog has a new look.  It seemed time to give things a facelift. I was initially inspired by a new theme from WordPress, but the inspiration cooled after noticing that said theme was $45, which at the moment isn’t worth it.  In the mean time, I hope that you enjoy the new look–at the very least, that it’s not painful on the eyes.  Please comment and suggest away!   The header image is a snippet from the Liber Ad Honorem Augusti, one of my favorite texts.

My friends at, seeming to not have enough to do, now have  a pretty darned impressive Civil War news website up and running.  Very impressive, and definitely taking its place in my news feed.

Speaking of, they just posted to a short article on the Van Pelt Library‘s digitization of medieval manuscripts, which is now apparently complete.

Another (semi-) digital initiative of note is the Victoria County History project, which I believe I saw via an IHR post the other day.   It’s a good place to keep abreast of county studies in Great Britain, as well as to track down relevant publications from the society.

Ok…as for the CFPs mentioned in the title.  There are a couple conferences of note that have come through my inbox. Here are the CFPs:

Call for Papers
Vagantes 2012
March 29-31
Indiana University, Bloomington
Vagantes is the largest conference in North America for graduate students studying the Middle Ages, and aims to provide an open dialogue among junior scholars from all fields of medieval studies. This year’s conference will feature keynote speakers Shannon Gayk (Associate Professor of English, Indiana University) and Professor Jordan L. Zweck (Assistant Professor of English, University of Wisconsin-Madison). They will be joined by at least twenty-four student presenters and an audience of approximately 100 people. Vagantes emphasizes interdisciplinary scholarship; each year, presenters from backgrounds as varied as Comparative Literature, Archaeology, Art History, Classics, History, Anthropology, English, Philosophy, Manuscript Studies, Musicology, and Religious Studies come together to exchange ideas. In this manner, Vagantes fosters a sense of community for junior medievalists of diverse backgrounds, and because the conference does not have a registration fee, this community can flourish within the margins of a graduate student budget.
Abstracts for twenty-minute papers are welcome from graduate students on all topics considering the Middle Ages. In keeping with the mission of Vagantes to advance interdisciplinary studies, we invite submissions in areas including but not limited to history, literature, art history, philosophy, religious studies, and musicology.
Vagantes is sponsored by the Medieval Academy of America.
Please email a brief vitae and abstract of no more than 300 words by October 25, 2011 to:
Diane Fruchtman
For more information, find us on the web at
Find us on Facebook at:


“For you the city, thus I turn my back: There is a world elsewhere.” – from Coriolanus, Shakespeare
Interdisciplinary German Studies Conference
University of California, Berkeley
March 16-18, 2012
Keynote speakers:
Professor James A. Schultz, Chair, Department of Germanic Languages, UCLA
Professor David Shneer, Department of History, University of Colorado
     The power of literature is to imagine worlds. From Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Kingdom of Zazamanc to fantastic imaginings of faraway lands in Medieval and Early Modern Cosmographia and from Calvinist cities upon hills to Kafka’s penal colony, its renderings and attempted realizations have fueled the imagination, sparked debate, and far too often led to disaster. The world elsewhere may, following Thomas More, be called Utopia, but this is both a ‘good place’ and ‘no place,’ making such constructions inherently fraught with challenges from pragmatism and problematic in their definitions of what ‘good’ is. These worlds are often fantastic, but can also be terrifying; are often familiar, but upon closer inspection utterly alien. They are ‘imaginative spaces’ in which we work through the hopes, fears, desires, and possibilities that human experience engenders.  They provide the means through which we imagine ourselves as part of a world, a universal community.  The Internet and digital media grant us new power to simulate our imagined worlds.  But how have the nature and use of these imagined worlds changed in our increasingly interconnected and globalized age?
For the conference, we encourage an interdisciplinary approach, seeking papers from scholars of modern and medieval literature, film and philosophy, history and art history, linguistics and sociology, and related disciplines.  We especially encourage submissions on Yiddish literature.
     The conference will be held in Dwinelle Hall at the University of California, Berkeley, March 16-18, 2012.  Please submit a 300 word abstract for a 15-20 minute paper by December 31, 2011, to:
     Possible topics include, but are in no way limited to:
Travelogues (e.g. Felix Fabri, Mendele Mocher Seforim’s The Travels of Benjamin the Third)
The past as imagined world
World literature and the making of worlds
Models of an ideal society (religious, philosophical, artistic, political)
Social media and connectivity
The reconstruction of language families (e.g. Proto-Indo European, Proto-Germanic)
Dystopian mirrors of modernity
Feminist utopian literature
Nostalgia for place (e.g. the shtetl, Heimat)
The imagined worlds of moving pictures
Utopian socialism and artistic communes (e.g. East Germany, Worpswede)
Colonial and post-colonial fantasies
Encounters with the ‘New World’ (e.g. Karl May, Alexander von Humboldt)
Frankfurt School utopias
The circulation of stories
New forms of authorship, publication and readership
Alternate histories
   Conference organizers: Jenna Ingalls, Tara Hottman, Kenneth Fockele
   Department of German
   5319 Dwinelle Hall
   University of California
   Berkeley, CA 94720-3243

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