Friday, August 11, 2017


“Social Justice” is generally understood as the quest for empowerment, equality, and equity in all matters of civics, law, and labor, and extending as well to nature and the environment. Many universities are focusing their curricula on 21st century themes of social justice due to the rising demand placed on academia to help make sense of the rapid pace of social change in the modern world. Following on recent Kalamazoo panels, of the last three years in particular, that have looked to medieval literature as a site to explore issues of contemporary urgency such as rape culture, misogyny, and ableism, this panel investigates how the great 14th-century poem Piers Plowman both treats issues of social justice in its own time and invites, in pedagogy, dynamic engagement with issues relevant to today' world. One particular site inviting such engagement between the medieval and the modern is labor.  Piers Plowman asks questions about sustainability, gainful employment, disability as it relates to labor and access, the role of government and charity as it pertains to work, the integrity of labor, and a host of other issues. The session also welcomes  broader constructions of Langland and social justice issues that mediate the medieval and the modern, such as: the rhetorics of patient poverty; the visibility of disability, reimagining class distinctions; the ethics of animal-human labor; and the ongoing relation between humankind and the natural world.

Michael Calabrese (
Department of English
California State University, Los Angeles
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032

Elizaveta Strakhov
Assistant Professor of English
Marquette University
Marquette Hall 242
PO Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881
Kalamazoo 2018​
Monsters I: Immigration and Migration
Organizer: Asa Simon Mittman
What happens when the monster—the outsider, the “othered” figure from not-here—arrives, settles, or is already here? When the supposed monsters appear on the shore and move into the house next door? Medieval groups grappled with this concern on a regular basis, as demonized groups were often on the move from one region to another. Sometimes, the groups in question were seen as arriving from distant locales: Jews in England, Muslims in Italy, and both in Spain; Mongols in Eastern Europe. Recent arrivals were often demonized by locals who themselves were rarely indigenous peoples: invaders pushed native populations out beyond their borders and were in turn pushed back by waves of new invaders. Each successive wave of immigrants, once settled, found ways to dehumanize the previous inhabitants – often depicted as autochthonous giants – and the next wave, making monsters out of migrants. Immigrants were viewed with suspicion and derision from populations fraught with their own anxieties of identity. The medieval world marginalized migrants and immigrants – foreign populations and native – because of what they feared in themselves. Rulers prop up their authority and consolidate their power by building walls of rhetoric to protect their own cultural identity from perceived threats and incursions, but what are the costs to those on each side? What can we learn from medieval moments of immigration and migration? Can we identify both errors to be avoided and exemplars of inclusivity to be emulated?
We invite papers from all disciplines and national traditions. Additionally, MEARCSTAPA will provide an award of $500 to the best graduate student submission to this or any of its sessions to help offset the costs of travel and lodging for the ICMS.
Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words together with a completed Participant Information Form (available here: to session organizer Asa Simon Mittman ( by September 15. Please include your name, title, and affiliation on the abstract itself. All abstracts not accepted for the session will be forwarded to Congress administrators for consideration in general sessions, as per Congress regulations.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Dear Colleagues,
We invite you to register for the 56th Midwest Medieval History Conference. You will find the link to the conference page and online registration below, which provides information on the program, registration, hotel, meals, venue, and so on. (See We at Western Michigan have always sought to promote open and friendly scholarly dialogue and we hope that this meeting will reflect that spirit. We particularly wish to thank Amy Livingstone, our program chair, for assembling an exciting program of diverse scholarship on medieval history. We look forward to seeing you on September 29th and 30th in Kalamazoo.
Yours Sincerely,
Robert Berkhofer and Jana Schulman, co-hosts MMHC 2017
Contact Info: 
Amy Bosworth
Department of History
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306
Contact Email: 
Second call for papers
K'zoo 2018 -- Eustache Deschamps -- Deadline, Sept. 10, 2017

Eustache Deschamps -- Gourmet, Bailiff, Courtier, and Social Critic: 
A Fourteenth-Century Gentleman Looks at Life
Organizer:  Deborah Sinnreich-Levi (Stevens Institute of Technology)

The work of Eustache Deschamps (1340-1406) survives principally in one immense, complete manuscript (BNF ff 840).  Contained therein are some 1500 poems offering insights into the life the poet who served generations of nobility.  Although the poet fulfilled his societal obligations to his royal masters, his main delights stemmed from capturing in verse the foibles and fashions of those around him, great and small.  The food of Paris, Brie and Champagne was beyond reproach:  that of Germanic lands, beyond contempt; the manners of courtly diners, atrocious; people’s grimaces, amusing; and ladies’ under garments, torture devices.  His own appearance was such that he styled himself the King of the Ugly.  Diseases and their cures; the study of the seven liberal arts; the practical jokes of Oton de Grandson and the poetry of Geoffrey Chaucer and Guillaume de Machaut; and the life styles and deaths of the rich and famous – all fascinated Deschamps, and all have been preserved in his poems.  His Livre de memoire does not survive, but hundreds of shorter poems attest the focus that Deschamps had on his contemporaries and the peculiarities of life at court in the fourteenth century.  The reigns of Charles V and Charles VI, the battle of Nicopolis, the Hundred Years’ War; outbreaks of the plague; the death of Bertrand du Guesclin – all these are chronicled by the poet alongside cheeses and wines; meals of fish and fowl; condiments and convicts; arms and armor; seduction and satiety; fevers and fat waistlines.

Papers on any aspect of Deschamps’ take on medieval life are welcome.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

CFP: Mary Jaharis Center Sponsored Panel at Leeds 2018

by Brandie Ratliff
The Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture seeks proposals for a Mary Jaharis Center sponsored session at the 25th International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, July 2–5, 2018. We invite session proposals on any topic relevant to Byzantine studies.
The thematic strand for the 2018 IMC is “Memory.” See the IMC Call for Papers for additional information about the theme and suggested areas of discussion.
Session proposals should be submitted through the Mary Jaharis Center websiteThe deadline for submission is September 1, 2017.Proposals should include:
  • Title
  • 100-word session abstract
  • Session moderator and academic affiliation
  • Information about the three papers to be presented in the session. For each paper: name of presenter and academic affiliation, proposed paper title, and 100-word abstract
  • CV
Successful applicants will be notified by mid-September if their proposal has been selected for submission to the International Medieval Congress. The Mary Jaharis Center will submit the session proposal to the International Medieval Congress and will keep the potential organizer informed about the status of the proposal.
If the proposed session is approved, the Mary Jaharis Center will reimburse session participants (presenters and moderator) up to $600 maximum for European residents and up to $1200 maximum for those coming from outside Europe. Funding is through reimbursement only; advance funding cannot be provided. Eligible expenses include conference registration, transportation, and food and lodging. Receipts are required for reimbursement.
The session organizer may act as the moderator or present a paper. Participants may only present papers in one session.
Please contact Brandie Ratliff (, Director, Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture with any questions.
These sessions form part of the on-going reevaluation of the present state of the study of Anglo-Saxon law which began with the celebration of the centenary of Felix Liebermann's Gesetze der Angelsachsen.  Recognizing the extent to which our understanding of early law has changed over the last century, the purpose of these sessions is to bring together scholars from a variety of disciplines to discuss new ways of understanding pre-Conquest legal culture.   We invite papers that examine the many ways in which law was made, understood, practiced, promulgated, and transcribed in the Anglo-Saxon world.   We are eager to receive submissions representing a variety of perspectives, methodologies, and disciplines.  Possible topics include (but are not limited to): royal legislation, legal manuscripts, law in/and literature, legal procedure, charters and diplomatics, writs and wills, dispute resolution, theories of law and justice, perceptions of early law in later periods, law in/and art,  We welcome traditional philological and historicist approaches, as well as those informed by modern critical theory. The last few years have witnessed the most extensive reconsideration of Old English law since Liebermann himself, and this session offers an important opportunity to discuss the progress and publicize the research taking place in this field.
The purpose of this session is to reevaluate the legacy of one of the most important authors of the later Anglo-Saxon period.  We invite papers covering all aspects of Archbishop Wulfstan's career as "homilist and statesman," to borrow Dorothy Whitelock's famous formulation. We are eager to receive submissions representing a variety of perspectives, methodologies, and disciplines.  We welcome traditional philological and historicist approaches, as well as those informed by modern critical theory. Archbishop Wulfstan is perhaps the most important and influential political thinker of the later Anglo-Saxon period, and this session offers a valuable opportunity to reassess his legacy.
Andrew Rabin
Professor and Vice Chair
Department of English
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292

Sunday, August 6, 2017

all for Papers: “Barbarians and Barbarians Kingdoms I-II”: ICMS 53, Kalamazoo, MI, May 10-13, 2018.
Debate remains lively concerning the barbarians of late antiquity, their impact on late Roman civilization (and its impact on them), and the manifold continuities and discontinuities within their early medieval kingdoms. Scholars of all levels are thus invited to submit an abstract for one of two sessions at ICMS 53 that will focus on “Barbarians and Barbarian Kingdoms.” These sessions are intentionally broad in scope, allowing for an extensive range of topics that might focus on a specific region, time, or development; comment on a vast array of written and/or material sources; or treat a particular theme, person, or event. What they will all have in common is barbarians and/or barbarian kingdoms, c. 250-700.
Inquiries or Abstracts and a completed Participant Information Form (here: should be submitted to Jonathan Arnold ( by the congress deadline of September 15

Jonathan Arnold
Associate Professor of History

University of Tulsa