Poetry at the Post: Mediated Phenomena and a Grapefruit Too!

Meditation on a Grapefruit
To wake when all is possible
before the agitations of the day
have gripped you


Call for Papers
The Virginia Graduate Colloquium in Theology, Ethics, and Culture

University of Virginia, May 6-8, 2016

Keynote Speaker: Talal Asad

The 2016 Virginia Graduate Colloquium invites creative submissions by graduate students on the conference theme: “Religion and Media.” We are honored to present as our keynote speaker renowned anthropologist Professor Talal Asad, whose transformative work on the genealogical mediations of religious and “secular” traditions has deeply influenced the study and practice of religion today.

Religion is often described as a “mediated” phenomenon, whether ritually, doctrinally, aesthetically, communally, politically, narratively, and/or violently. Potential topics could include: material histories of the Gutenberg press, oral epic traditions, Qur’anic calligraphy, televangelism, propaganda posters and wartime radio broadcasts, Mormon architecture, illuminated medieval manuscripts, and iconoclastic controversies. What, for example, is the significance of an online presence for religious authorities, like the Dalai Lama via Twitter? What is the function of “scientia media,” or middle knowledge, regarding divine omniscience in analytic philosophy? How is Christ depicted as “the Mediator” by Christian theologians? How is God both immediately and transcendently One within the Islamic intellectual tradition? What is the interpretation of Jehovah-rapha and covenantal remediation before and after the Holocaust? In short, the conference will initiate a dialogue about “media,” construed not only as a “mode of transmission” but also as a process of (re-)/mediation and repair, to open new lines of investigation for theological and religious studies.

We welcome a broad range of submissions including, but certainly not limited to:

Technology and Society

Race/Gender/Queer Studies

Scriptural Hermeneutics

Biomedical Ethics

American Religious History

Political & Material Cultures

Aesthetics & Literature

Digital Humanities/Media Theory

Philosophy of Religion

Religious Ethics

Interfaith/Inter-tradition Dialogue

Theology/Lived Theology

For more information, click here. 

Poetry at the Post: Texts and Transformations in Stellenbosch, South Africa

12 weeks 4 days sonar

…distressed I sit

and look at the eland the mountain and the sky so nothing
do I remember of the de-nothinged from which I come

“Stellenbosch WC ZA” by No machine readable author provided. Anicetolopez~commonswiki assumed (based on copyright claims). – No machine readable source provided. Own work assumed (based on copyright claims).. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons –

Call for Papers
Southern Africa Society of Medieval and Renaissance Studies Conference
26 – 28th August, 2016
We are pleased to announce that the 23rd biennial conference of SASMARS will be held at Mont Fleur in Stellenbosch, South Africa on 26 – 28th August 2016.
“Texts and Transformations: Medieval and Early Modern Cultures”
Medieval and Early Modern societies weathered various socio-cultural transformations, ranging from economic developments to religious conflicts, across a range of different geographies and in urban and rural spaces. How did poetry, theatre, prose, visual art, architecture, and other forms of art respond to such changes? How do we historically understand and assess various kinds of social transitions?
Topics for this conference can include but are not limited to:
• Adaptions of classical texts and artworks
• Translation of texts and ideas
• Contemporary readings of old texts
• Cross-cultural interactions and influences
• Historical transitions and periodisation
• Religious reform
• Urban renewal and development
• Medieval and Early Modern studies in contemporary education
• Appropriations of Medieval and Early Modern culture
• Cultural responses to economic change
• Representations of political dissent and rebellion
• Utopias and dystopias
• Gender, sexuality, and social change

“Bletterman House (corner view)” by HelenOnline – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons –

Deadline: A conference proposal and a short biography to derrick.higginbotham@uct.ac.za by 30 November 2015. Any inquires can be directed to the same email address.

Poetry at the Post: Medieval Natures at Sewanee

‌Treating of the nature of places, which derive from the habituation of the place to the heavens, first we will make mention of what was determined in the Physics. For there it was proved that place is an active principle of generation, just like a father (De natura loci, 1, 9-13). (Albertus Magnus)


Call for Papers

The Forty-Second Annual Sewanee Medieval Colloquium: Medieval Natures
April 1-2, 2016
The University of the South, Sewanee, TN
This colloquium will explore the varied concepts of nature in the medieval period. Papers might, for instance, approach nature as a philosophical category, an object of mimesis, an archive for scientific investigation, or consider nature through eco-criticism, race and ethnicity, animal studies, or the history of science. Papers are encouraged from all fields, and possible topics could include allegories of nature in literature or sculpture, theological arguments over the nature of divinity, alchemy, the history of agriculture, medieval perceptions of the natural world, depictions of animals, or astronomy. We welcome papers considering medieval European, Asian, and African, and cross-cultural perspectives.

We invite 20-minute papers from all disciplines on any aspect of medieval nature. We also welcome proposals for 3-paper sessions on particular topics related to the theme. Proposals for panel topics and threads are due August 31, 2015; they should be submitted directly to medievalcolloquium@sewanee.edu. Please submit an abstract (approx. 250 words) and brief c.v., using our abstract submission form if possible, no later than October 30, 2015. Commentary is traditionally provided for each paper presented; completed papers, including notes, will be due no later than March 1, 2016. Unfortunately, we cannot accept proposals from undergraduates; generally, all of our participants either hold a terminal degree, or are in the process of obtaining one.

We are also pleased to announce the Susan J. Ridyard Prize ($500), to be awarded to a paper that is especially exceptional in its response to the year’s theme. Prize papers are nominated by respondents. The R.W. Southern Prize ($250) will be awarded for the best paper by a graduate student or recent PhD recipient (degree awarded since July 2013). If you would like to be considered for the R.W. Southern Prize, please indicate so in your abstract.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Matthew W. Irvin
Director, Sewanee Medieval Colloquium

Poetry at the Post: Gender and Emotion

Channel Firing
That night your great guns, unawares,
Shook all our coffins as we lay,
And broke the chancel window-squares,
We thought it was the Judgment-day

Sections of the 1066 Medieval Mosaic re-creation in New Zealand
Sections of the 1066 Medieval Mosaic re-creation in New Zealand

Gender and Medieval Studies Conference 2016
The University of Hull
Gender and Emotion

6th – 8th January 2016

Call for Papers
The grief-stricken faces at Edward’s deathbed in the Bayeux Tapestry; the ambiguous ‘ofermod’ in The Battle of Maldon; the body-crumpling anguish of the Virgin witnessing the Man of Sorrows; the mirth of the Green Knight; the apoplectic anger of the mystery plays’ Herod and the visceral visionary experiences of Margery of Kempe all testify to the ways in which the medieval world sought to express, perform, idealise and understand emotion.
Yet while such expressions of emotion are frequently encountered by medievalists working across the disciplines, defining, quantifying and analysing the purposes of emotion and its relationship to gender often proves difficult. Are personal items placed in early Anglo Saxon graves a means for the living to let go of, or perpetuate emotion, and how are these influenced by the body in the grave? Do different literary and historical forms lend themselves to diverse ways of expressing men’s and women’s emotion? How does a character expressing emotion on stage or in artwork use body, gender and articulation to communicate emotion to their viewer? Moreover, is emotion viewed differently depending on the gendered identity of the body expressing it? Is emotion and its reception used to construct, deconstruct, challenge or confirm gender identities?
This conference seeks to explore the manifestations, performances and functions of emotion in the early to late Middle Ages, and to examine the ways in which emotion is gendered and used to construct gender identities.

A segment of the Bayeux Tapestry depicting Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, rallying Duke William's troops during the Battle of Hastings in 1066
A segment of the Bayeux Tapestry depicting Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, rallying Duke William’s troops during the Battle of Hastings in 1066

Proposals are now being accepted for 20 minute papers. Topics to consider may include, but are not limited to:
Gender and emotional expression: representing and performing emotion
The emotional body
Philosophies of emotion: theory and morality
Emotional objects and vessels of emotion
Language and emotion and the languages of emotion
Preserving or perpetuating emotion
Emotions to be dealt with: repressing, curtailing, channelling, transforming
Forbidden emotion
Living through (someone else’s) emotion
The emotions of war and peace
The emotive ‘other’
Place and emotion
Queer emotion

We welcome scholars from a range of disciplines, including history, literature, art history, archaeology and drama. A travel fund is available for postgraduate students who would otherwise be unable to attend.
Please email proposals of no more than 300 words to organiser Daisy Black at d.black@hull.ac.uk by the 7th September 2015. All queries should also be directed to this address. Please also include biographical information detailing your name, research area, institution and level of study (if applicable)

Thwaite Hall University of Hull, UK
Thwaite Hall
University of Hull, UK

Poetry at the Post: Mad For Brittany At This Moment….


Marie de France, translated Judith P. Shoaf ©1991

The adventure in my next tale
The Bretons made into a lai
Called “Laustic,” I’ve heard them say, In Brittany; in French they call
The “laustic” a “rossignol”
And in good English, “nightingale.”

Near St. Malo there was a town
(Somewhere thereabouts) of great renown.

Marie de France, from an illuminated manuscript now in the Bibliothèque nationale de France: BnF, Arsenal Library, Ms. 3142 fol. 256.
Marie de France, from an illuminated manuscript now in the Bibliothèque nationale de France: BnF, Arsenal Library, Ms. 3142 fol. 256.

My mother died this past February. She was 92. My father died in 1985. He had been a medic during World War II. He landed in Normandy three days after the initial invasion picking up the dead and wounded from the beaches through France and into Germany. His last assignment was at a concentration camp. I don’t know where as he never spoke of it. My mother said he had nightmares for a long while after the war ended and he returned home. He would wake up screaming, “They all want their moms.”

Every hour, she thinks, someone for whom the war was a memory falls out of the world. 
—From All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

I just finished reading Doerr’s sad but lovely book about a blind girl, a mechanical wizard and two lives caught in an inexplicable time. Much of the book takes place in St. Malo-an historic town almost completely destroyed by the Allies in 1944. If you haven’t read this award-winning novel yet—you must.

“Saint-Malo Novembre 2011 (10)” by Moustachioed Womanizer – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

Poetry at the Post: Heading Back in Time in Sarasota with a Fabliau!

Fabliau of Florida

Barque of phosphor
On the palmy beach,…

To this droning of the surf.

The twentieth biennial New College Conference on Medieval and Renaissance Studies will take place 10–13 March 2016 in . The program committee invites 250-word abstracts of proposed twenty-minute papers on topics in European and Mediterranean history, literature, art, music and religion from the fourth to the seventeenth centuries. In celebration of the conference’s twentieth anniversary, abstracts are particularly solicited for a thread of special sessions reflecting the conference’s traditional interdisciplinary focus: that is, papers that blur methodological, chronological, and geographical boundaries, or that combine subjects and/or approaches in unexpected ways. As always, planned sessions are also welcome. The deadline for all abstracts is 15 September 2015; please see the guidelines below.

Further anniversary events will include a retrospective panel on the conference’s forty-year history and a Saturday evening banquet. In addition, the second Snyder Prize (named in honor of the conference’s founder Lee Snyder, who died in 2012), will be given to the best paper presented at the conference by a junior scholar. The prize carries an honorarium of $400.

The conference is held on the campus of the honors college of the Florida state system. The college, located on Sarasota Bay, is adjacent to the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, which will offer tours arranged for conference participants. Sarasota is noted for its beautiful public beaches, theater, food, art and music. Average temperatures in March are a pleasant high of 77F (25C) and a low of 57F (14C).

More information will be posted here on the conference website (http://www.newcollegeconference.org) as it becomes available, including plenary speakers, conference events, and area attractions.

“Sarasota Ringling estate”. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

If you are considering submitting an abstract or session proposal, please be aware of the following:
1) So that we can accommodate as many scholars as possible, no one may present a paper in more than one session of the conference. Furthermore, no one should commit to more than two out of the following three activities: 1) presenting a paper; 2) chairing a session; and 3) participating in a roundtable. Organizing sessions does not count in these calculations, but session organizers are subject to them along with everyone else (i.e. you may organize as many sessions as you like, but you may only present one paper, and chair a separate session).

2) Session chairs should not also present in the panel they are chairing. Session organizers may either chair or present in a panel that they have arranged, but not both. If you are organizing a planned session, you may either arrange for a chair and include him/her in your proposal, or submit your panel without a chair and conference organizers will assign one. (The acceptance of your panel will not depend on whether or not your planned session already has a chair.)

3) Those organizing planned sessions should also know that the organizing committee strongly prefers sessions that include participants from more than one institution.

Please email info@newcollegeconference.org with any questions.