CALL FOR PAPERS: Mendicants on the Margins

Deadline: 1 February 2018
School of History, University College Cork, 27 June 18

The Conference organisers are seeking contributions to a one-day symposium which will take place on 27 June 2018 at University College Cork, on the theme of ‘Mendicants on the Margins’, organised as part of an IRC-funded project ‘Spiritual Infrastructure, Space and Society: The Augustinian Friars in Late Medieval Ireland’. The Irish Augustinian and Carmelite friars, in comparison to their Franciscan and Dominican counterparts, have been rather neglected by scholarship, finding themselves on the ‘margins’ of mendicant studies in Ireland.In mendicant studies across Europe a similar pattern of marginality is evident, placed opposite to the perceived existence of core centres. These include geographical centres of mendicancy (i.e. countries where the orders first appeared); topographical centres with the ‘typical’ model of mendicant foundations located in urban areas with non-urban foundations regarded as peripheral; or the historiographical centrality given to the Franciscan and Dominican male orders rather than other mendicant orders and female branches; and a greater historiographical emphasis on royal and aristocratic patronage versus focus on support from local communities and the friars’ impact on the wider society.

In recent years, a number of publications, research projects and conferences have tackled aspects of mendicant studies on the margins of these various core centres, but there still remains a need for a discussion on whether there is a recognisable mendicant model, on potential differences and similarities between various models, the extent of divergence or adaptation, and on the links and contrasts between geographical areas.

This one-day symposium seeks to address these issues by bringing together researchers working on aspects of mendicant orders traditionally considered as ‘marginal’, be it geographical, topographical, gendered or historical. The aim is to go beyond the artificial construct of centrality and marginality in order to get a fuller understanding of the impact of the mendicants on all levels of medieval society across Europe.

Contributions, no more than 25 minutes long, might address the following issues:
  • Mendicant orders in geographical margins;
  • Lesser-known orders of the Augustinian friars, Carmelites and female communities;
  • Mendicant communities in the margins of the traditional model of urban mendicancy, such as foundations in non-urban environments;
  • Margins of social hierarchies such as patronage and benefactors from all elements of society, the impact of the friars on local communities, especially in foundations outside of urban centres and in geographically or socially marginal communities;
  • Aspects of mendicant studies challenging the traditional historiography of mendicant orders.

Priority will be given to papers that use a comparative approach, between the margins in question and what is considered the centre or a model, and to papers adopting a multi-disciplinary approach. Proposals of no more than 300 words should be sent to Dr Anne-Julie Lafaye, IRC postdoctoral researcher, before 1 February 2018.

The symposium will coincide with the Irish Conference of Medievalists, scheduled to take place at UCC, 28-30 June 2018 (

Download CFP Mendicants on the Margins (final).

CALL FOR PAPERS: Ancient and Modern Knowledges

A two-day colloquium at the University of Sheffield
Friday 22 and Saturday 23 June 2018

Categories which seek to draw distinctions between different areas of scholarly inquiry in the history of knowledge, most obviously, perhaps, the distinction between ‘humanities’ and ‘sciences’ have, in many cases, spawned their own extensive sub-histories – the history of science and, more recently, the history of the humanities. Yet categories which instead seek to draw boundaries between bodies of knowledge based on distinctions of chronological time also need to be interrogated. The spatial turn in the history of knowledge has been particularly important, with much attention paid in recent years to exploring circuits, networks, geographies and mobilities of knowledge. Less consideration, however, has been given to distinctions of chronological distance (in particular, the use of the terms ‘ancient and modern’) and the associated claims of authority, legitimacy, originality and significance, which are implied when these terms are used.

The colloquium aims to explore two related sets of questions:

(1) Firstly, how have ancient knowledges been discussed, adapted, interrogated, included, excluded or ignored by scholars, writers and thinkers but also merchants, diplomats and other creators of knowledge consciously identifying as modern?

In referring to ‘ancient’ knowledges, we are not limiting our consideration to the knowledge of Greece and Rome alone, but are keen to hear from scholars working on the later reception of ideas, texts, images and objects originating in other ancient cultures – in China, India, Persia, Africa.

In defining ‘modern’ knowledges, we are adopting Peter Burke’s identification of 15th and 16th century Renaissance humanism as the first point at which societies began to view themselves as self-consciously modern, and we will extend our area of inquiry up to the long 18th century. In adopting this definition, we are aware that we are choosing to focus on a predominantly Western understanding of modernity. At the same time, we welcome papers exploring the concept of alternative and multiple modernities developed in other parts of the globe.

(2) The second set of questions we are interested in involve the different ways in which chronological markers (‘ancient’, ‘modern’, ‘new’, ‘old’, ‘traditional’, ‘novel’) have been used to draw distinctions and make claims about the legitimacy, authority and significance of different bodies of knowledge from the Renaissance onwards.

Papers could, for example, address the following issues:
  • the role of ancient knowledge in the intersection of (and the distinction between) the natural sciences and humanities
  • the role that individuals and informal institutions such as learned societies have played as agents in the formation of concepts and categories of knowledge.
  • how reading and re-reading classical authors and ancient historians, in particular, helped to shape concepts of history, verisimilitude, plausibility and falsehood.
  • the relationship between ancient and modern historiography
  • the tradition of other ancient authors such as Plutarch, Suetonius, Cicero and Sextus Empiricus which has been particularly influential in the formation of concepts of history.

Please send abstracts of 250 words for papers of 20 minutes and a short bio to: or by Tuesday 1st May 2018

Heather Ellis and Daniele Miano
University of Sheffield

Dr Heather Ellis
Vice-Chancellor's Fellow
School of Education
University of Sheffield

CALL FOR PAPERS: Glossing Cultural Change: Comparative Perspectives on Manuscript Annotation, C. 600-1200 CE

Deadline: 28 February 2018
National University of Ireland, Galway, 21–22 June 2018

Glossing, the practice of annotating manuscripts between the lines and/or in the margins, was a widespread cultural practice wherever books were being read, studied and taught. As an indication of this, the Network for the Study of Glossing ( currently has 75 members with research interests in glossed manuscripts written in Arabic, Breton, Chinese, German, Greek, Egyptian, English, French, Hebrew, Hittite, Irish, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Sanskrit, Turkish, and

This two-day conference aims to bring together specialists from a variety of fields to discuss aspects of glossing—in all its forms—from a comparative perspective. A particular focus will be on how glosses engage with and reflect the dynamics of contemporary cultural change, rather than acting merely as passive repositories of inherited tradition. Specific aspects of glossing could include any of the following:
  1. Glossing as a revealer of reading practices: e.g. considering the relationship between Classical/cosmopolitan written languages and spoken vernaculars; or different approaches to reading/performing sacred and secular texts.
  2. Glossing as a method of interpretation: both linguistic (translation) and cultural (e.g. mediating remote cultures and ideas).
  3. Glossing as an instrument of textual authority: mandating how texts should be read and understood; creating and re-shaping canons.
  4. Glossing as a vehicle for education: organisation of knowledge; delivery of a particular curriculum.
  5. Glossing as an intellectual effort: scholarship for its own sake; the creation of new knowledge.

Papers should last 20 minutes, allowing 10 minutes for discussion.  (Direct comparison between traditions is not expected. This will be facilitated during the event.)

This event follows on from another held at the University of Frankfurt on 2–3 December 2016. We aim to publish a selection of papers from both conferences together in a single volume.

Please send a title and abstract (300 words max) to (Pádraic Moran) by 23 February 2018.

Some limited financial assistance will be available.

Dr Pádraic Moran, Classics, NUI Galway | +353 91 492587

CALL FOR PAPERS: Sixth Annual Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies

June 18-20, 2018
Saint Louis University
Saint Louis, Missouri

The Sixth Annual Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies (June 18-20, 2018) is a convenient summer venue for scholars from around the world to present papers, organize sessions, participate in roundtables, and engage in interdisciplinary discussion. The goal of the Symposium is to promote serious scholarly investigation into all topics and in all disciplines of medieval and early modern studies.

The plenary speakers for this year will be Geoffrey Parker of The Ohio State University, and Carole Hillenbrand of the University of St Andrews.

The Symposium is held annually on the beautiful midtown campus of Saint Louis University. On-campus housing options include affordable, air-conditioned apartments as well as a luxurious boutique hotel. Inexpensive meal plans are available, and there is also a wealth of restaurants, bars, and cultural venues within easy walking distance of campus.

While attending the Symposium participants are free to use the Vatican Film Library, the Rare Book and Manuscripts Collection, and the general collection at Saint Louis University's Pius XII Memorial Library.

The Sixth Annual Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies invites proposals for papers, complete sessions, and roundtables. Any topics regarding the scholarly investigation of the medieval and early modern world are welcome. Papers are normally twenty minutes each and sessions are scheduled for ninety minutes. Scholarly organizations are especially encouraged to sponsor proposals for complete sessions.

The deadline for all submissions is December 31. Decisions will be made in January and the final program will be published in February.

For more information or to submit your proposal online go to:

CALL FOR PAPERS: ‘Aesthetics and Poetics in the History of Political Thought’

Image: Ambrogio Lorenzette, Allegory of Good Government (detail), c. 1338-9

Aesthetics and Poetics in the History of Political Thought
11th Annual Graduate Conference in Political Thought and Intellectual History
University of Cambridge, June 13, 2018
Keynote Address: Professor Martin Jay (Berkeley)

In recent years, appreciation for the relationships between politics and aesthetics has grown. Often associated with the writings of Jacques Rancière, partisans of the so-called ‘aesthetic turn in political thought’ have increasingly stressed the figurative and linguistic dimensions of political theory. Though these interrelationships have been a central concern of thinkers from Plato to the contemporary writings of Slavoj Žiž­­ek, much of this more recent literature recognises only a limited chronology. For intellectual historians, however, the now-classic methodological interventions of the ‘Cambridge School’ (Quentin Skinner, J.G.A Pocock and John Dunn) emphasised precisely these considerations for thinkers of a variety of historical periods. By highlighting the pivotal connections between the intentions of thinkers and the words and languages through which they were expressed, their writings confirmed Rancière’s own insistence that ‘There never has been any “aestheticization” of politics in the modern age because politics is aesthetic in principle.’

The uneasy distinctions between poetics, aesthetics and politics raise many important issues for historians of political thought. Can we sharply distinguish political and aesthetic concerns throughout history? Are political theories always determined by the languages and conventions in which they are uttered? What relationship does material culture have to the history of political thought? Aiming to explore these and related questions, the organisers of the 11th Annual Cambridge Graduate Conference in Political Thought and Intellectual History, scheduled for Wednesday, June 13, 2018, invite submissions for presentations on the theme ‘Aesthetics and Poetics in the History of Political Thought.’

Given the extensive range of the theme in question, proposals from a variety of sub-disciplines and across geographic and historical divisions are welcome. Topics can include, but are not limited to:
  • the politics of language
  • theories and nature of representation
  • histories of metaphor
  • gender, aesthetics and the political
  • the politics of art and architecture
  • conceptions of imagination and judgment
  • rhetorical strategies in the history of political thought
  • political thought and literature
  • material culture and political thought
  • the politics of cultural practice and exchange
  • national aesthetics
  • collecting and collections
  • authorial self-representation
  • histories of the book
  • illustrations, figures and the aesthetics of textuality

The conference will feature a keynote address by Professor Martin E. Jay, who is the Ehrman Professor of European History at the University of California, Berkeley. Participants will be invited to present their work in themed panels, which will be followed by question and answer sessions. Cambridge has a longstanding reputation for the study of political thought and intellectual history, and conference participants can expect to receive collegial feedback from members of the History Faculty.

Interested graduate students are asked to send an abstract (max. 500 words) for a 20-minute presentation and a short CV (max. 2 pages) to

The deadline for proposals is March 1, 2018.