Thursday, 22 November 2012

CFP: Psalm Culture and the Politics of Translation

Charterhouse Square, QMUL, London
15-17 July 2013

We invite paper and session proposals for an interdisciplinary conference on English responses to the Psalms, from the Anglo-Saxon period to the Civil War. Keynote addresses to be given by Daniel Anlezark (Sydney), Brian Cummings (Sussex), Vincent Gillespie (Oxford), Hannibal Hamlin (Ohio State), James Simpson (Harvard) and Eric Stanley (Oxford).

The Psalms have been at the centre of English religious life, language and identity since the Augustinian mission. This conference aims to bring together scholars working in different periods and disciplines to open up new avenues of discussion and debate. We are interested in all aspects of the English Psalm tradition, from the conversion to the Civil War, and possible areas of exploration might include:

■The authority of the vernacular, and the controversy of translation
■Specific contexts for translation (monastic production, translations by prisoners, etc.)
■Psalms as political commentary
■Musical settings of Psalms, on the page and in performance
■Psalm books as physical objects and works of art
■Iconography
■Ecclesiastical and private devotion
■Psalms and the formation of an English literary canon
■Literary borrowings and intertextuality
■Reading, annotating and glossing
■Comparative analysis of individual Psalms across languages and periods
■The Psalms as a site of inter-cultural dialogue (between faiths, between countries)

We welcome proposals for papers (no more than 20 minutes) and panels (of 3 papers) from both established scholars and graduate students. It is envisaged that selected papers will be considered for publication in an edited, peer-reviewed collection.

Please submit all proposals and correspondence via the website or email the conference convenors.

Deadline for proposals: 1st December 2012

Organisers: Ruth Ahnert (QMUL), Tamara Atkin (QMUL), Francis Leneghan (Oxford)

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

CFP: Gender and Transgression in the Middle Ages

2nd - 4th May 2013

We are pleased to announce the call for papers for Gender and Transgression in the Middle Ages 2013, a three-day interdisciplinary conference for postgraduate and early career researchers hosted by The University of St Andrews Institute of Medieval Studies (SAIMS). Now in its fifth year, the conference aims to create a lively and welcoming forum for speakers to present their research, make contacts, and participate in creative discussion on the topics of gender and transgression in the Middle Ages.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Professor Pauline Stafford, Emeritus Professor in Early Medieval History at the University of Liverpool, who will be speaking on reading gender in chronicles, with special reference to the old English vernacular. We invite postgraduate, postdoctoral and early career researchers from departments of History, Modern and Mediaeval Languages, English, Art History, Theology and Divinity, in addition to scholars working in any other relevant subject area, to submit a papers of approximately 20 minutes that engage with the themes of gender and/or transgression in the mediaeval period. Possible topics for papers might include, but are by no means limited to gender and/or transgression in the fields of:

• Politics: kingship, queenship, the nobility, royal/noble household, royal favourites and mistresses, royal ritual, display and chivalry.

• Legal Studies: men, women and the law, court cases, law-breaking, marriage and divorce.

• Social and economic history: urban and rural communities, domestic household, motherhood and children, widows, working women, prostitution and crime.

• Religion: monastic communities, saints and saints' lives, mysticism and lay religion.

• Literature: chivalric texts, romances, poetry, vernacular works.

• Visual culture: depictions, architecture, art, material culture and patronage.

• Masculinity and femininity in the middle ages and their application in current historiography.

• Homosexuality, sexual deviancy and cross-dressing.

To mark the launch of St Andrews Centre for Mediaeval and Early Modern Law and Literature (CMEMLL) we shall be holding a session on medieval law and literature within the broader conference theme of gender and transgression and therefore particularly welcome papers within this field.

Those wishing to give a paper please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words to the conference convenors by Monday 11 February 2013. Your abstract should be attached to your email as a Microsoft Word or PDF file and include your name, home institution and what stage of your postgraduate or postdoctoral career you are currently at.

Registration for the conference will be £5 for students/unwaged, £10 for staff, which will cover tea, coffee and lunch on two days, and two wine receptions. All delegates are also warmly invited to the conference meal on Friday 3 May, the cost of which will be covered for speakers. Further details can be found at our website as they come available and we can be followed on Twitter.

EVENTS TONIGHT - ALL WELCOME

Two events tonight at the University of Manchester...

Dress and Textile Discussion Group

Dr. John Peter Wild: Roman Textiles
5pm,Studio 5, Samuel Alexander Building

Manchester Medieval Society

Dr. William Rossiter (Senior Lecturer, Liverpool Hope University): 
Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio: The Trecento Anxiety of Influence?
6pm, Room A102, Samuel Alexander Building

Friday, 2 November 2012

CFP: Literature in English Symposium (Poznan, Poland)

21 April 2013

'I am an exile from heaven beating on its closed doors'*:
Saints and Sinners: Postmodernism, Feminism and Medievalism in Literature in English

'I am a stranger in this world' says the nun, the narrator of a story of a forbidden book by Marguerite Porete. The year is 1340, thirty years after Marguerite was burned at the stake for writing and disseminating her heretical work, The Mirror of Simple Souls. The place is England, a Cistercian nunnery where she tells her story the night before her death, knowing that the book irretrievably changed but also shortened her life. But the idea of being a stranger in the world is not an uncommon one for many other Michele Roberts’ characters.

From the early feminists to postmodern protagonists her novels rewrite medieval saints and sinners, Victorian mediums and contemporary visionaries, offering us new perspectives on well known stories and motifs. As Michele Roberts herself will be our guest of honor at the Faculty of English, her work is the inspiration for our 2013 Literature in English Symposium but we welcome papers about topics related to postmodern rewriting of history and culture as well as the feminist standpoint on both contemporary and earlier literature in English.

The conference will take place at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland (Niepodleglosci Street). The deadline for abstract submissions is 15th December 2012. Please send your proposals and a short bio to Dr Katarzyna Bronk.

*The quotation comes from Michele Roberts The Book of Mrs Noah (1999: 125). London: Vintage.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

CFP: 2nd Global Conference: Apocalypse: Imagining the End

Wednesday 10th July–Friday 12th July 2013

Mansfield College, Oxford

Call for Presentations:

From Christian concept of the ‘Apocalypse’ to the Hindu notions of the Kali Yuga, visions of destruction and fantasies of the ‘end times’ have a long history. In the last few years, public media, especially in the West, have been suffused with images of the end times and afterward, from the zombie apocalypse (the AMC series The Walking Dead) to life after the collapse of civilization (the NBC series Revolution.) Several popular television series and video games (Deep Earth Bunker) are now based on preparing for and surviving the end of the world. Once a fringe activity, ‘survivalism’ has gone mainstream, and a growing industry supplies ‘doomsday preppers’ with all they need to the post-apocalyptic chaos. One purpose of the conference is to explore these ideas by situating them in context — psychological, historical, literary, cultural, political, and economic. The second aim of conference is to examine today’s widespread fascination the apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic thought, and to understand its rising appeal across broad sections of contemporary society around the world.

This interdisciplinary project welcomes presentations from all disciplines and research areas, including anthropology, psychoanalysis, political economy, psychology, area studies, communal studies, environmental studies, history, sociology, religion, theology, and gender studies.

Presentations,papers, performances, reports, work-in-progress, workshops and pre-formed panels are invited on issues related to (but not limited to) the following themes:

- Decline, Collapse, Decay, Disease, Mass Death
- Survivalism and Doomsday Preppers
- Revolution
- Theories of Social Change
- Peak Oil, Resource Depletion, Global Warming, Economic Collapse
- The Second Coming/Millenarianism/Rapture
- The Hindu Kali Yuga
- Sex and Gender at the End of Time
- Ironic and/or Anti-Apocalyptic Thinking
- Utopia and Dystopia
- Intentional Communities as Communities of the End Times
- Selling the Apocalypse, Commodifying Disaster, and Marketing the End Times
- Death Tourism and Disaster Capitalism
- The Age of Terror
- Zombies, Vampires, and Werewolves in Post-Apocalyptic Fiction
- Disaster Fiction/Movies/Video Games
- History as Apocalypse
- Remembering and Reliving the Collapse of the Western Roman Empire

What to send:

300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 8th February 2013. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 10th May 2013. Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract, f) up to 10 keywords.

E-mails should be entitled: Apocalypse2 Abstract Submission.

Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs:

Charles W. Nuckolls 

Rob Fisher 

The conference is part of the ‘Ethos’ series of research projects, which in turn belong to the Critical Issues programmes of ID.Net. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and challenging. All papers accepted for and presented at the conference will be published in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers may be invited to go forward for development into 20-25 page chapters for publication in a themed dialogic ISBN hard copy volume.

For further details of the conference, please click here

Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.

CFP: 4th Global Conference: Revenge

Sunday 14th July–Tuesday 16th July 2013

Mansfield College, Oxford

Call for Presentations:

Confucius is said to have remarked, ‘Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves,’ implying that revenge cannot be undertaken without recursive deleterious effects on the revenging agent. This is the view that revenge is at best counterproductive, or that seeking it runs counter to the ethical mandate that one turn the other cheek. Does that mean that vengeful motives are out of place in seeking justice for real wrongs? Should the law attempt to exclude vengeance-seeking? Do some economic or political systems tolerate, or even require, elaborate systems of revenge? Not all societies, of course, would agree that revenge is ethically problematic; some would define revenge as a necessary component in social relationships, even as a method for connecting people across time or over distances. Traditional grudges are commonplace in places as cultural different from each as the Swat Valley (Pakistan) and the American Southeast. Given all this, is is even possible to come up with a universally relevant concept of revenge that would make comparison possible?

This multi-disciplinary research and publications project seeks to explore the different ideas, actions, and cultural traditions of vengeance or revenge. The project explores the nature of revenge, its relationship with issues of justice, economy, and social organization, and its manifestation in the actions of individuals, cultures, communities and nations. We will also consider the history and political economy of revenge, its ‘legitimacy,’ the ‘scale’ of vengeful actions, and whether or not revenge has (or should have) ‘limits.’ Representations of revenge in film, literature, law, television, and cultural performances will be analysed; cultural ‘traditions’ of retaliation and revenge will be considered. And the role of mercy, forgiveness and pardon will be assessed.

Presentations will be considered on the following or related themes:

- Philosophies of revenge
- Revenge and political economy
- Revenge in the philsophies of East and South Asia: Confucian and Hindu perspectives
- Revenge in Maori culture
- Vengeance and gender
- Vengeance in history, literature, and popular culture
- Revenge cross-culturally
- Is there any proper and improper time for revenge? Can an act of revenge be carried across generations?
- Revenge, vengeance, retaliation
- Justice and revenge
- Betrayal, humiliation, shame, resentment, and revenge
- Revenge and the individual; revenge and the group; revenge and the nation; revenge and capitalism
- Revenge in music and the arts
- Revenge in television, film, radio and theatre
- Relationship between revenge and mercy, forgiveness, pardon
- Revenge case-studies: individual, cultural, and historical

The Steering Group particularly welcomes the submission of pre-formed panel proposals.

What to send:

300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 8th February 2013. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 10th May 2013. Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract, f) up to 10 key words

E-mails should be entitled: REV4 Abstract Submission.

Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Joint Organising Chairs:

Charles W. Nuckolls 

Rob Fisher 

The conference is part of the Probing the Boundaries programme of research projects. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting. All papers accepted for and presented at this conference will be eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers maybe invited for development for publication in a themed hard copy volume(s).

For further details of the conference, please click here

Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.

Manchester Centre for Anglo-Saxon Studies (MANCASS) Programme 2012-13

Monday 8 October 2012, 5pm: Faye Simpson (Manchester Metropolitan University): ‘An Anglo-Saxon woman – and a cow’

Monday 12 November 2012, 5pm: Peter Darby (University of Leicester): ‘Bede’s history of the future’

Monday 11 February 2013, 5pm: Helen Gittos (University of Kent): ‘The Languages of the Liturgy in Medieval England’

All in the Samuel Alexander Building, rooms to be announced

Monday 4 March 2013, 6pm: The Toller Lecture: Leslie Webster (formerly of the British Museum)
The Historic Reading Room, John Rylands Library, Deansgate, Manchester
Followed by a FREE wine reception in the foyer of the building. Anyone wishing to attend the dinner following the reception (at Pesto, Deansgate) should contact Gale Owen-Crocker by 18 February 2013. The cost will be around £25 per person.

Thursday 21 March 2013, 6pm: Joint Meeting with Manchester Medieval Society: Hannah Cobb (University of Manchester): ‘The Viking Ship from Arnamurchan, Scotland’
The Historic Reading Room, John Rylands Library, Deansgate, Manchester
Anyone wishing to attend the dinner following the lecture (at Pesto, Deansgate) should contact Susan Thompson by 7 March 2013.

Easter Conference: ‘The Vikings in the North-West’: details to be announced.

There will not be a MANCASS postgraduate conference in 2013, but we hope to resume in 2014.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Upcoming London Medieval Colloquium

The London Medieval Society Colloquium on

Who read what in the Middle Ages?

Saturday 17 November, 2012
The Lock-Keeper’s Cottage,
Queen Mary, University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS

10.30-11.00
COFFEE AND REGISTRATION

11.00-11.45
Jane Williams (QMUL)
A Merchant and his books: Book-ownership in the Forster Family Circle


11.45-12.50
Derek Pearsall (University of York)
The Idea of the Vernacular Author


12.50-2.00
LUNCH
(Please bring your own packed lunch. Hot and cold drinks will be available.)

2.00-3.00
Pamela Robinson (School of Advanced Study)
Who read what? From Aristotle to ‘lewde calendars’


3.00-3.30
TEA

3.30-4.30
Ryan Perry (University of Kent)
The Material Text: Identity and the Late Medieval Book


4.30-5.00
Roundtable discussion
Facilitated by Tom Lawrence


5.00-6.00
Wine Reception to welcome Professor Julia Boffey to the LMS Presidency

The Colloquium is free to members of the London Medieval Society. New members are always welcome, see www.the-lms.org to download an application form.

Membership is annual £20 (£10 concessions). The cost to attend any colloquium for non-members is £10 (£5 concessions).

Members please book free on: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk and search London Medieval Society. (This is an experiment: we expect our colloquia to be busy and want to ensure we have enough room.)

Any queries please contact Diane Heath (Colloquium Secretary)

Dates for future Colloquia in the 2012-2013 academic year:

23rd February 2013: ‘Rhetoric’
Mary Carruthers, Rita Copeland, Ian Wei, Gwilym Dodd, Jon Morton

27th April 2013: 'Postgraduates Present’ with guest speaker Professor David d’Avray (UCL)
Postgraduates are invited to submit abstracts of 250 words on their chosen topic by 18th March 2013

16th November 2013: LMS hosts the 5th Biennial London Chaucer Conference

For full details, please see the website

President: Professor Julia Boffey
Patron: Professor Michael Clanchy

Upcoming Talk by Richard Britnell


MANCHESTER MEDIEVAL SOCIETY

Founded 1933

Secretary: Susan Thompson ~ President: Cordelia Warr ~ Treasurer: Hannah Priest

Lords and Tenants in the North: a Cross-Border Perspective.

Professor Richard Britnell

Durham University

THURSDAY October 18th at 6 pm.

Venue: Samuel Alexander A101

 
Note change of venue

Sunday, 7 October 2012

University of Manchester History Seminars

1st Semester 2012-13
All Welcome

Research Seminars:
Alternate Thursdays, 4 for 4.15pm
Room 4.206, University Place
(Followed by drinks with the speaker)


4th October: Everyday Life and the Scales of History
Frank Trentmann, Manchester & Birkbeck

18th October: From Cordoba to Prague: Ruler, Cities and the Power of Place in the Middle Ages
David Rollason, York

8th November: History, Memory and the English Reformation
Alexandra Walsham, Cambridge

22nd November: E.P. Thompson: War Experiences, Activism and Social History
Holger Nehring, Sheffield

6th December: The Cult of Queen Victoria in India
Miles Taylor, IHR

Lunchtime Seminars:
1-2pm, Room S3.1, Samuel Alexander
(Feel free to bring your lunch)


26th September: The political redefinition of tobacco smoking after Liberation (1949)
Yangwen Zheng

10th October: Imposter! Fraud and authenticity in the charitable market, c. 1870-1912’
Julie-Marie Strange and Bertrand Taithe

24th October: Famine and Society in Warlord China, 1920-21
Pierre Fuller

14th November: The End of the Celtic Latin Charter Tradition Revisited?
Charles Insley

28th November: The Monetary Origins of Luther's Reformation
Philipp Rössner

For more information and other news, please click here.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Dress and Textile Discussion Group 2012-3 Programme

Some information from Alex Makin, co-ordinator of the Dress and Textile Discussion Group...

Programme for 2012-13

Where: Room A18, The Samuel Alexander Building, The University of Manchester

Time: 5pm

Thursday 18th October 2012: Professor Gale Owen-Crocker
Embroidered in Gold with Stars: the inventories of St Paul's Cathedral

Thursday 15th November 2012: Dr. John Peter Wild
Roman Textiles

Thursday 31st January 2013: Ruth Gilbert
Process and product: experimental archaeology, replicas and fakes

Thursday 7th March 2013: Jackie Tomlinson
15th Century Stitch 'n' Bitch: the northern French 'Distaff Gospels'

Thursday 2nd May 2013: Dr. Frank Rhodes
Structural Descriptions of Medieval Conventional Flowers, and the Winchcombe Pomegranate

Thursday 30th May 2013: Christina Petty
Tablet Weaving: evidence, tools, textiles, and use

I am always looking for people who would be interested in talking to the group. If you think you might like to talk to the group then please e-mail me with your idea. At present the focus of the group is dress and textiles from c. 450-1450. However, I am willing to discuss ideas outside of this time-frame as they may help to contextualise dress and textiles of the medieval period.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

CFP: 4th Global Conference: Storytelling

Tuesday 21st May – Friday 24th May 2013

Prague, Czech Republic

Call for Presentations

Human life is conducted through story, which comes naturally to us. Sharing stories is arguably the most important way we have of communicating with others about who we are and what we believe; about what we are doing and have done; about our hopes and fears; about what we value and what we don’t. We learn about and make sense of our lives by telling the stories that we live; and we learn about other lives by listening to the stories told by others. Sometimes, under the influence of the culture in which we are immersed, we live our lives in ways that try to create the stories we want to be able to tell about them.

Members of many professions, including medicine, nursing, teaching, the law, psychotherapy and counseling, spend a great deal of their time listening to and communicating through stories. Story is a powerful tool for teachers, because it is a good way of enabling students and other learners to integrate what they are learning with what they already know, and of placing what is learned in a context that makes it easy to recall. Story plays an important role in academic disciplines like philosophy, theology, anthropology, archaeology, history as well as literature Narrative methods for the collection of data are increasingly used in research in the social sciences and humanities, where the value of getting to know people in a more intimate and less distant way – almost as if we are getting to know them from the inside, begins to be viewed as having some value. Some academics have begun to realise the value of storytelling as a model for academic writing.

Most of us have lots of experience of relating to other lives through narrative forms, including the nursery stories we encounter as children; the books we read and the movies we watch. When we are moved by a play or a film or by a novel, we are moved because we begin imaginatively to live the lives of the characters that inhabit them. If we are lucky we will encounter as we grow up, fictional stories that stay with us like old friends, throughout our lives that we will revisit again and again as a way coming to terms with and responding to experiences in our own lives.

Storytelling: global reflections on narrative, will provide a space in which stories about story can be told, and in which the use of stories in the widest possible range of aspects of human life, can be reported. Abstracts are invited for individual contributions and for symposia of three closely related papers. They may address any aspect of story or narrative, including, for example:

Story as a pedagogical tool in academic disciplines such as history; anthropology, psychology, theology, cultural theory, medicine, law, philosophy, education, and archaeology.

Narrative and the gathering of stories of lived experience, as a research approach in any area of academic, professional and public life.

The place of story and storytelling in the practice of journalism; PR advertising; conflict resolution; architecture; religion; tourism, politics and the law, and in clinical contexts such as medicine, psychotherapy, nursing and counseling.

Finally abstracts may feature storytelling in any aspect of culture, including music (from opera to heavy metal, folk and sacred music); fine art; theatre; literature; cinema and digital storytelling.

Alongside traditional conference papers, participants are invited to propose presentations of other kinds including, for example, theatrical performance or song, or workshops aimed at engaging participants in active learning about story and its possibilities.

The Steering Group particularly welcomes the submission of pre-formed panel proposals. Papers will also be considered on any related theme.

What to Send:

300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 30th November 2012. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 15th February 2013 Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract, f) up to 10 keywords.

E-mails should be entitled: STORY4 Abstract Submission.

Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs

Gavin J Fairbairn 

Rob Fisher 

The conference is part of the Persons series of ongoing research and publications projects conferences, run within the Probing the Boundaries domain which aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore innovative and challenging routes of intellectual and academic exploration.

All papers accepted for and presented at the conference will be eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers may be developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume. All publications from the conference will require editors, to be chosen from interested delegates from the conference.

For further details of the conference, please click here

Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.

CFP: Sensing the Sacred: Religion and the Senses, 1300-1800

The University of York
21-22 June 2013

Confirmed keynote addresses from:

Nicky Hallett (University of Sheffield)
Matthew Milner (McGill University)
& Chris Woolgar (University of Southampton)

Religion has always been characterised as much by embodied experience as by abstract theological dispute. From the sounds of the adhān (the Islamic call to prayer), to the smell of incense in the Hindu Pūjā (a ritual offering to the deities), the visual emblem of the cross in the Christian tradition, and the ascetic practices of Theravada Buddhism, sensation is integral to a range of devotional practices. At the same time, the history of many faiths is characterised by an intense suspicion of the senses and the pleasures they offer.

This international, interdisciplinary conference, to be held at the University of York from 21 to 22 June 2013, will bring together scholars working on the role played by the senses in the experience and expression of religion and faith in the pre-modern world. The burgeoning field of sensory history offers a fertile ground for reconsideration of religious studies across disciplinary boundaries. We welcome papers from anthropologists, archaeologists, art historians, historians, literary scholars, musicologists, philosophers, theologians, and any other interested parties. Possible topics might include, but are by no means limited to:

- Synaesthesia: how do religious rituals blur sensory boundaries, and challenge sensory hierarchies?

- Iconography and iconoclasm: how might we conceive the ‘rites of violence’ in sensory terms? How does iconography engage the non-visual senses?

- The senses and conversion: how are the senses used to elicit conversion?

- Material cultures of religion: what role do the senses play in mediating between bodies and sacred objects?

- The senses and gender: are sensing practices gender specific?

- The inner (spiritual) senses: how do they relate to the external (bodily) senses?

- Sensory environments: to what extent do environments shape devotional practices and beliefs, and vice versa? How do we use our senses to orient ourselves in space?

- Affect: what role do the senses play in the inculcation of religious affect?

Proposals (max. 300 words) for papers of 20 minutes are welcomed both from established scholars, and from postgraduate students. Applications from panels of three speakers are encouraged, as well as individual proposals.

They should be sent to conference organisers Robin Macdonald, Emilie Murphy, and Elizabeth Swann by 6pm on 5 November 2012.

CFP: 2nd Global Conference: Monstrous Geographies

Wednesday 15th May – Friday 17th May 2013

Prague, Czech Republic

Call for Presentations:

What is the relationship between the monstrous and the geographic? From ‘Aristotelian’ spaces – as containers of monsters and the monstrous – to ‘Leibnizian’ spaces, where the monstrous emerges from the topological relation between events and localities, monstrous geographies have always haunted the human cultural imagination. From the Necropolis to the Killing Fields and from the Amityville Horror to the island of Dr. Moreau, geographical locations may act as the repository or emanation of human evil, made monstrous by the rituals and behaviours enacted within them, or by their peculiarities of atmosphere or configuration. Whether actual or imagined, these places of wonder, fear and horror speak of the symbiotic relation between humanity and location that sees morality, ideology and emotions given physical form in the house, the forest, the island, the nation and even far away worlds in both space and time. They may engage notions of self and otherness, inclusion and exclusion, normal and aberrant, defence and contagion; may act as magnets for destructive and evil forces, such as the island of Manhattan; they are the source of malevolent energies and forces, such as Transylvania, Area 51 and Ringu; and they are the fulcrum for chaotic, warping energies, such as the Bermuda Triangle, Atlantis and Pandemonium. Alongside this, there exist the monstrous geographies created by scientific experimentation, human waste and environmental accidents, creating sites of potential and actual disaster such as the Chernobyl nuclear plant, the Gulf of Mexico in the wake of the BP oil disaster, and the devastated coastline of Tohuku, Japan. These places raise diverse post-human quandaries regarding necessities in the present leading to real or imagined futures of humanity and habitation.

Encompassing the factual and the fictional, the literal and the literary, this project investigates the very particular relationships and interactions between humanity and place, the natural and the unnatural, the familiar and the unfamiliar, and sees a multitude of configurations of human monstrosity and evil projected, inflicted, or immanent to place. Such monstrous geographies can be seen to emerge from the disparity between past and present, memory and modernity, urban and rural and can be expressed through categories of class, gender and racial difference as well as generational, political and religious tensions.

Presentations, papers, reports, performances, work-in-progress, workshops and pre-formed panels are invited on issues related to any of the following themes:

Monstrous Cartographies
~Terra incognita
~Real and Mythic lost lands: eg., Atlantis, D’yss, and Shangri-La
~Utopias/Dystopias, future cities in time and space
~Malevolent regions: eg., Lemuria, Bermuda Triangle, Transylvania
~Sublime landscapes
~Bodies as maps and maps as bodies, eg. Prison Break

Monstrous Islands
~As sites of experimentation. Dr. Moreau, Jurassic Park etc As a beacon for evil: eg., Manhattan in Godzilla and Cloverfield
~As site of ritual evil and incest: eg., Wicker Man, Pitkin Islands, Isle of the Dead
~Imperialist intent and construction: eg., Prospero’s Island, Hong Kong, Hashima

Monstrous Cosmographies
~Evil planets and dimensions
~Comets, meteorites and beings from unknown worlds
~Worlds as dark reflections/twins of Earth
~Planets and alien landscapes that consume and mutate earthly travelers

Monstrous Environmental Geographies
~Polluted lakes and landscapes
~Landfills, oil spills and mining sites
~Melting icecaps and landforms at risk from global warming
~Land impacted by GM crops and associated experimentation
~Sites of starvation, disaster and pestilence
~De-militarized zones and no-man’s lands

Monstrous Religious Sites & Ritualistic Monstrosity
~Armageddon, Apocalypse and final battlegrounds
~Hell, the Underworld and Valhalla
~Eden, Purgatory, Paradise, El Dorado, Shangri La
~Sites of religious ritual, sacrifice and burial
~Houses and haunts of murderers and serial killers

Monstrous Landscapes of Conflict
~The land of the enemy and the other
~Sites of attack and retaliation
~Sites of revolution and protest
~Concentration camps, prisons and other sites of incarceration
~Sites of genocide, battlefields and military graveyards
~Border crossings
~Ghettos, shanty towns and relocation sites
~Urban and rural, cities, towns and villages and regional and national prejudice
~Minefields and sites of damage, destruction and ruin
~Arsenals, bunkers and military experimentation

Uncanny Geographical Temporalities
~Old buildings in new surroundings
~Buildings with too much, and those without, memory
~Soulless Architecture
~Ideological architecture, palaces, museums etc
~Places held in time, UNESCO sites and historical and listed buildings
~Old towns and New towns, rich and poor
~Appearing and disappearing towns/regions, eg., Brigadoon, Silent Hill

Monsters on the Move
~Contagion, scouring and infectious landscapes
~Monsters and mobile technologies: phone, video, cars, planes, computers etc
~Fluid identities, fluid places
~Touring Monstrosities, dreamscapes and infernal topologies

Architectural Monstrosity
~Mazes and labyrinths (with or without the Minotaur)
~Unsettling/revolting geometries (E.A. Abbot’s Flatland, H.P. Lovecraft’s City of R’lyeh)
~Monstrous/abject building materials (bones, concrete, excrements, the corpse in the wall)
~The architecture of death (hospices, death row, funeral homes, slaughterhouses)

What to Send:

300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 30th November 2012. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 15th February 2013. 300 word abstracts should be submitted to the Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats, following this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract, f0 up to 10 keywords

E-mails should be entitled: Monstrous Geographies 2 Abstract Submission

Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs

Jessica Rapson 

Rob Fisher 

The aim of the conference is to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting. All papers accepted for and presented at this conference are eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers may be invited to go forward for development into a themed ISBN hard copy volume.

For further details of the conference, please click here

Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.

CFP: 5th Global Conference: Evil, Women and the Feminine

Saturday 18th May – Monday 20th May 2013

Prague, Czech Republic

Call for Presentations:

"A wanton woman is the figure of imperfection; in nature an ape, in quality a wagtail, in countenance a witch, and in condition a kind of devil."

(Nicholas Breton, 1615)

Despite the attempts of feminists the conjunction between evil and the feminine seems unbroken. Established as secondary, derivative and hence inferior, women have been long suspected of being the source of human (though more often masculine) miseries, always in cahoots with the forces of evil and destruction. Paradoxically, at the same time, some have also been put on the pedestal and lauded as ideals of purity and dedication, yet these paragons only proved the rule that, on average, the feminine/woman equals imperfect and transgressive. Mischievous, beguiling, seductive, lascivious, unruly, carping, vengeful and manipulative – these are only a few of the epithets present in cultures and literatures across the world. In grappling with our understanding of what it is to be and do ‘evil’, the project aims to explore the possible sources of the fear and hatred of women and the feminine as well as their manifestations and pervasiveness across times, cultures and media.

This interdisciplinary project invites scholars, artists, writers, theologians, sociologists, psychologists, historians, etc. to present papers, reports, work-in-progress, art pieces and workshops on issues related but definitely not limited to the following themes:

~ Evil Women and Feminine Evil: Vices and Sins of Women

~ Representing and Misrepresenting the Female; Evil Women 'Talking Back'

~ Motherhood; Monstrous Motherhood; Infertility and its Meaning across Cultures

~ Monstrous Births and Infanticide

~ Matriarchy/Matricide/Spouse Murder

~ Devious Sexuality and Feminine Perversions

~ Women and/as the Abject; Unnatural Women/Femininity

~ Menstruation, Castration

~ Fears and Myths: Feminine Blood, Witchcraft, Vamp(ires)s, Sirens, Harpies, Lamias, etc.

~ Anthropological and Historical Perspectives on Evil Feminine and Femaleness

~ The Evil Woman in Literature, Religion, Medicine, Law across Times and Cultures

~ Psychoanalytic Perspectives: 'Vagina Dentata,' 'the Wandering Womb,' 'Poisonous Look' etc.

~ Sexualizing the Female or Evil Objectification

~ Trans-Cultural Conceptualisations of Femme Fatale vs the Perfect Woman

~ Women and (Misuse of) Power

~ Evil Beauty; the Meaning of Hair and Make-up

~ Evil, Feminine in Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Horror, Thriller

~ Evil, Feminine in Mythologies and Religions across the world

~ Case Studies: Evil Women on the Agenda

The Steering Group particularly welcomes the submission of pre-formed panel proposals. Papers will also be considered on any related theme.

What to Send:

300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 30th November 2012. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday15th February 2013. 300 word abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract, f) up to 10 keywords.

E-mails should be entitled: EWF5 Abstract Submission.

Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs:

Natalia Kaloh Vid 

Rob Fisher 

The conference is part of the At the Interface programme of research projects. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting. All papers accepted for and presented at the conference will be eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers may be developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume(s). All publications from the conference will require editors, to be chosen from interested delegates from the conference.

For further details of the conference, please click here.

Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.

Call for Submissions: Monsters and the Monstrous Journal

Volume 3, Number 1, Themed Issue on Monstrous Spaces/Spaces of Monstrosity

This issue is concentrating on spaces that are considered monstrous or are themselves capable of producing monstrosity. these spaces can be actual or authored, real or imaginary. Spaces of violence and murder, social taboo, ideological excess and human depravity from the past, present or future. Equally spaces natural or supernatural, earth found or star bound that produce, spawn or inevitably return to monstrosity in all its many human, cultural and temporal forms.

The Editors welcome contributions to the journal in the form of articles, reviews, reports, art and/or visual pieces and other forms of submission on the following or related themes:

● Monstrous Landscapes of Conflict: Genocide, battle zones, imprisonment, execution, torture

● Monstrous Environments: Biological experimentation, nuclear fallout, GM crops

● Monstrous Temporalities: Other dimensions, spirit worlds, mythical places

● Monstrous Cosmographies: Outer Space, Alien worlds, Terra Incognita, space craft, parallel universes

● Monstrous Religious Spaces: Hell, Hades, Purgatory, Heaven, Nirvana, Valhalla, Samsara, Paradise

● Monstrous Ideological Spaces: Society, Politics, Difference, Gender, Colonial, Post Colonial, Disabilities

Submissions for this Issue are required by Friday 8th March 2013 at the latest.

Contributions to the journal should be original and not under consideration for other publications at the same time as they are under consideration for this publication. Submissions are to be made electronically wherever possible using either Microsoft® Word or .rtf format.

For Further Information, please visit the journal's website.

Contributions are also invited for future issues of the journal which will include: “Monstrous Beauty/The Beauty of Monstrosity.”

We also invite submission to our special features on Non-English Language Book Reviews. Please mark entries for these topics with their respective headings.

All accepted articles, artworks and prose pieces will receive a free electronic version of the journal.

Length Requirements:

Articles – 5,000 – 7,000 words.

Reflections, reports and responses – 1,000 – 3,000 words.

Book reviews – 500 – 4,000 words.

Other forms of contributions such as artworks, photographs, poetry, prose and short stories are welcome.

In the case of visual work and images we ask that all copyrights to publication are either obtained or owned by the author/artist.

Send submissions via e-mail using the following Subject Line:

'Journal: Contribution Type (article/review/…): Author Surname'

Submissions E-Mail Address 

Submissions will be acknowledged within 48 hours of receipt.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

CFP: 3rd Global Conference: Femininities and Masculinities

Tuesday 21st May – Friday 24th May 2013

Prague, Czech Republic

Call for Presentations:

Gender studies is an interdisciplinary field of academic study on the issues of gender in its social and cultural contexts. Since its emergence from feminism, gender studies have become one of the most deliberated disciplines. The following project aims at an interdisciplinary exchange of ideas and perspectives on the issues of femininity and masculinity in the 21st century. It invites ground-breaking research on a plethora of topics connected with gender, to propose an interdisciplinary view of the frontiers and to stake out new territories in the study of femininity and masculinity.

Papers, presentations, performances, workshops and pre-formed panels are invited on issues related to any of the following themes:

1. Representations of Femininity and Masculinity

~ Femininity and masculinity in history and the history of gender
~ The representation of gender in culture, art, film, literature
~ The representation of gender in popular culture and media
~ Gender in the relation to politics, law and social studies

2. Gender Borders and Transgressions

~ Performativity of gender
~Female masculinities / male femininities
~ Androgyny
~ Transgender issues
~ The body and its transgressions

3. New Directions in Femininity and Masculinity Studies

~ New perspectives in masculinity and boyhood studies
~ Men in feminism
~ Third wave feminism, womanism
~ Postfeminism, post-feminism and postfemininity
~ Lesbian feminism
~ Eco-feminism
~ Cyberfeminism
~ Individual feminism
~ Feminist disability studies

4. Global and Regional Perspectives on Gender

~ Gender and race
~ Gender and nationality
~ Gender and (post)colonialism
~ Case studies of gender issues in local/regional/national perspectives
~ Global masculinity/ femininity

5. Gender in Relationships

~ Motherhood/fatherhood
~ Gender and family
~ Matriarchy/ patriarchy
~ Sororophobia and matrophobia
~ Misogyny and misandry
~ Female genealogy
~ Gender and maturity

6. Gender in Experience

~ Gender in visual and performance arts
~ Gender in advertisement
~ Gender mainstreaming
~ Gender in psychotherapy
~ Gender equality education
~ Gender in religion
~ Gender and NGOs

Papers will also be considered on any related theme. 300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 30th November 2012. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 15th February 2013.

300 word abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract, f) up to 10 key words

E-mails should be entitled: FM3 Abstract Submission.

Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs:

Barbara Braid 

Rob Fisher 

The conference is part of the At the Interface programme of research projects. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting. All papers accepted for and presented at the conference will be eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers may be developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume(s).

For further details of the conference, please click here

Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.

CFP: 11th Global Conference: Violence

Thursday 9th May – Saturday 11th May 2013

Prague, Czech Republic

Call for Presentations:

This conference is one of a continuing series that aims to bring together people from a wide range of disciplines to focus on Violence. Our intention is to contribute to the body of thought which seeks to understand the nature and causes of this endemic feature of society. Such a complex phenomenon has many faces, a multitude of contexts (real or imagined), and many possible explanations in relation to causation and to the role Violence has played and still plays in societies all over the world and at every stage of development. Perpetrators may be states, political or religious factions within states, military groups, state or private institutions, communities, gangs, families or individuals. The range of possible victims is equally diverse and possible explanations range across historical, cultural, political, ethical, literary, functional, psychological, criminological, sociological, biological and economic sources. We therefore invite contributions from any and all of these disciplinary areas.

Our inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary approach seeks to do justice to the richness of this theme at a conference where fruitful dialogue between and across disciplines is highly valued.

The Steering Group particularly welcomes the submission of pre-formed panel proposals.

What to send:

300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 30th November 2012. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 15th February 2013. 300 word abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract, f) up to 10 keywords.

E-mails should be entitled: Violence 11 Abstract Submission.

Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Joint Organising Chairs:

Diana Medlicott 

Rob Fisher 

The conference is part of the Probing the Boundaries programme of research projects. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting. All papers accepted for and presented at the conference will be eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers may be developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume(s).

For further details of the conference, please click here

Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Conference Review: Society for Renaissance Studies Biennial Conference

University of Manchester

9-11 July 2012

Compiled by Dr. Hannah Priest



In July 2012, the University of Manchester hosted the biennial Society for Renaissance Studies conference. Keynote addresses were given by Bette Talvacchia, Roger Chartier and Alan Stewart; papers were given by scholars from around the globe, working in numerous disciplines; and delegates enjoyed tours of local places of interest: The John Rylands Library, Deansgate, Chetham’s Library and the People’s History Museum. Wine receptions were held at the Whitworth Art Gallery and the Manchester Museum, sponsored by the Society for Renaissance Studies and Manchester University Press respectively. A full programme for the conference can be found here.

The conference was organized by Dr. Jerome de Groot, and a group of undergraduate and postgraduate students in English and American Studies helped out in a variety of roles. Some of these students have contributed some comments on their experiences of the conference:

Rosie Rees-Bann (MA student): On the Chetham’s Library Tour we were introduced to the history of the library and its beginnings as a charitable venture by Humphrey Chetham. We were then taken to the reading room and introduced to a sample of the collections. This included Ben Jonson’s copy of Plato, a polyglot Bible and Henry VIII’s copy of Prosper of Aquitaine. We were then shown the Chetham’s small printing press and given a demonstration of how it works. The tour was extremely enjoyable and I think it reflects the wealth of resources that Manchester has to offer.

I particularly enjoyed the panel on Middleton that took place on the first day. There was a good discussion at the end of the papers that was very stimulating. I also found the workshop on education very interesting. The focus of the workshop was trying to work out ways of strengthening the links between schools and universities. Having a panel like this alongside others with a more literary focus demonstrates the breath of research that was being discussed at the conference.

Annie Dickinson (BA student): As I am currently studying for an undergraduate degree I had not until the 2012 SRS conference had the opportunity to attend an academic conference, and I found it very exciting to have the opportunity to hear first-hand the newest research on the Renaissance period. I specialise in English literature, and from a literature perspective there were many enjoyable papers, a highlight being the panel on Early Modern Friendship. Amritesh Singh’s paper, ‘“Twinned lambs that did frisk i’th’sun”: Marriage, Adultery, and Queer Friendships’ was particularly interesting, and raised ideas that I believe will be useful with regard to work on Early Modern identity and selfhood that I plan to undertake in the final year of my degree. However what really grabbed my attention was the array of subjects on offer; I was able to attend sessions on areas as diverse as cartography, art history, and translation. Alan Stewart’s final plenary on ‘The Strange Friendship of Edward and Gaveston’ I think summed up the interdisciplinary nature of the conference, demonstrating the interconnectedness of history, politics and literature.

Katie Nicholas (BA student): During the SRS conference 2012 I attended several sessions including a discussion of Thomas Nashe and heard a paper on ‘The Genius of Shakespeare’ which was particularly relevant having just finished a course about the language of Shakespeare and the adaptation of his works. This was my first experience of an academic conference and I really enjoyed it, meeting new people and hearing papers from all over the world from leaders in their fields. A personal highlight was a tour of the John Rylands University Library on Deansgate. I loved the possibility to look at several books from their vast collection in such beautiful surroundings. Of particular interest were several books from the Crawford Collection as they were sourced from the Earl of Crawford’s library in my hometown, Wigan. The conference was well organised and has encouraged me to visit future conferences both for academic and social reasons. It gave me the opportunity to make new friends with other girls from my course whom I look forward to catching up with as I enter my 3rd and final year at the University of Manchester.

Mike Collier (MA student): All the sessions were well attended and the level of engagement in the sessions was excellent, generating much debate both with members of the panel as well as among the audience themselves. The keynote speakers were also excellent, both entertaining as well as informative.

Michele Collier (MA student): My conference experience ended on a high note. In a seminar that I had expected to be less than full, as it was the last of the conference and trains were beckoning, I found myself looking after a room that was filled to bursting, with latecomers accommodated on the floor and in the doorway. Given that Peter Mack was presenting I perhaps should have expected that this would be the case, and in what were shortened versions of the original papers (it had only been realised that morning that the length of time available for the session was one hour instead of the usual hour and a half) he entertained hugely with his paper on the emotions in Cavalcanti’s La Retorica, as did Emmanuelle Lacore-Martin in her discussion of the anatomy of emotion in Rabelais.

It was however the final paper that was a brilliant end to the day and the conference, and which was entitled ‘Playing on Emotions in Early Modern Public Executions’. Presented with wit and style by Una McIlvenny, the paper was interspersed by Una’s delivering, in a lovely Irish lilt, her rendition of each ballad to its original tune, prior to giving her insights on the use and reception of each of the works.

For more information about English and American Studies at the University of Manchester, please click here.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Conference Review: Religious Men in the Middle Ages

University of Huddersfield, 6-8 July 2012

by Dr. Hannah Priest



At the beginning of July, I attended the Religious Men in the Middle Ages conference at the University of Huddersfield. This conference was an interdisciplinary exploration of the intersection of masculinities and religious identities, across the entirety of the Middle Ages.

The conference began with the first of three plenary sessions: Professor Michael L. Satlow (Brown University) speaking on ‘Antique and Early Medieval Rabbinic Thought on Constructions of Masculinity and Religiosity with Particular Reference to Torah Study’. Satlow explored the representations of religious masculinity in Rabbinic thought, particularly as relates to hegemonic discourses of masculinity and desire. Using ancient and early medieval examples, he argued that the evident shift from the metaphor of Torah study as the ‘salve’ or ‘cure’ for desire to the martial imagery of ‘conquest’ and ‘domination’ of desire created a discourse of masculinity that, though it differed from hegemonic discourse, did not oppose it. Satlow’s engaging and informative address set the tone for the conference to come – the definitions of ‘religious’, ‘men’ and ‘Middle Ages’ were to be broad, but also understood with close attention to specifics and contexts.

My own paper – ‘Intersections of Christological Devotion and Romance Masculinity’ – was in the first of the parallel sessions that followed the coffee break. The panel I was in was entitled ‘Christocentric Piety’, and also included Matthew Hoskin (University of Edinburgh) – speaking on ‘The Close Proximity of Christ to the Male Monk in John of Ephesus’ Lives of Eastern Saints’ – and Carolyn Muir (University of Hong Kong) – ‘Bride/Bridegroom Revisited: Further Thoughts on Men and Mystic Marriage’. Both Hoskin and Muir gave fascinating papers, and I was glad to be first in the session so I could devote my full attention to my co-presenters. Hoskin’s paper struck a good balance of depth and accessibility, which was good for those of us less familiar with the Eastern traditions. Muir spoke on various presentations of John the Evangelist as ‘bride of Christ’, and was illustrated with both visual and textual examples. That our panel spanned literary, historical and art historical perspectives, with some good discussions and parallels drawn, indicates the interdisciplinary nature of the conference as a whole.

Highlights of the first day also included, for me, papers by Lisa Kranzer (University of Birmingham) and Sarah Bastow (University of Huddersfield) discussing self-perception, writing and exile during the Reformation. It is still somewhat unusual to get papers on Reformation writings at a self-styled ‘medieval’ conference, but Kranzer and Bastow’s contributions allowed for a consideration of periodization and cultural shift, while also highlighting the continuity of certain (gendered) constructions of identity.

So, the first day began with a discussion of ancient Rabbinic thought, and ended with papers on Elizabethan Protestant reform.

The second day was equally diverse. I attended papers on male devotional practice, demonstrations of personal faith by warriors, pastoral responsibilities of laymen in the late Middle Ages, seventh-century Eastern traditions of the monk as mourner, male tears in the fourteenth century, Jewish bans on polygamy, Henry of Huntingdon, Hereward the Wake, and the Buddha Gautama. All the papers were of a very high standard, it is difficult to choose ‘highlights’ from a consistently strong programme. However, I was very taken by James MacGregor (Georgetown University)’s ‘Dude Prays Like a Lady? Varieties of Male Devotion to Saint George in Late Medieval England’ and Hannah Hunt’s ‘The Monk as Mourner: Eastern Christian Self-Identity in the Seventh Century’ – the former, because it spoke clearly to my own work on chivalric and martial masculinity in late medieval literature; the latter, because it was so far removed from my own research that it served as an engaging and enlightening introduction to something almost entirely new to me.

The second plenary of the conference, in the late morning session of the 7th July, was Professor James Clark (University of Bristol), speaking on ‘The Attractions of the Monastic Life for English Men Between the Black Death and the Reformation’. Drawing on Steve Rigby’s argument that there was a 30% increase in the number of men living in monastic houses in 1500 as compared to 1400, Clark explored the numerous reasons ‘why men became monks’. He argued that the number of dispensations sought at this time to ordain young men below the canonical age suggests that there was a ‘ready supply of young men’ seeking to swell the numbers of older monastic houses; this, Clark asserted, may well mean that the ‘last’ monks of medieval England were also, in many ways, the youngest generation of monks for some time. The main body of Clark’s lecture, however, was concerned with the reasons for this shift, and he explored the idea of monastic ‘career progression’ in depth, as well as the potential for establishing social capital exploited by merchant families entering their sons into monastic houses. Clark’s argument was compelling, and went a long way to dispelling some of the myths of the decay and decrepitude of the decades leading to the dissolution of the monasteries.

The final half-day of the conference offered parallel sessions, followed by the third plenary. The session I attended first had papers from Emma Wells (University of Durham), Marita von Weissenberg (Yale University) and Andrew Fleming (University of Oxford), who spoke on the experience of royal pilgrimage in the late Middle Ages, married male saints (also in the later Middle Ages) and Thomas of Cantilupe respectively. The papers worked well together, and led to some interesting discussions in the question sessions afterwards.

To end the conference, there was a plenary session with Dr. Jennifer Thibodeaux (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater) speaking on ‘The Discourse of Clerical Masculinity: Masculinity and Sexuality in the Writings of Norman Clerics’. Thibodeaux’s paper focussed on the Anglo-Norman pro-clerical marriage tracts that appeared after the First and Second Lateran Councils’ voiding and banning of clerical marriage. With close readings of particular tracts, Thibodeaux argued that the writers drew on certain Pauline writings on marriage to suggest that disorder would necessarily follow a ban on clerical marriage. She went on to illustrate some of the ways in which these tract writers negated the reformed new model of masculinity (based in celibacy) by relying on a ‘householder model’ of the male as husband and father. While, as Thibodeaux pointed out, these tracts were localized both geographically and temporally, this final plenary offered a thought-provoking interrogation of a ‘battle’ for religious masculinity that is often overlooked.

In conclusion, I would offer a warm congratulations to the conference organizers (Dr. Pat Cullum and Dr. Katherine J. Lewis) for putting together such a full and stimulating programme. I know they are in the process of putting together an edited collection based on the conference, and I will look forward to seeing this.

Monday, 16 July 2012

CFP: 14th Global Conference: Perspectives on Evil and Human Wickedness

Sunday 10th March – Tuesday 12th March 2013

Lisbon, Portugal

Call For Presentations:

This inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary conference seeks to examine and explore issues surrounding evil and human wickedness. In wrestling with evil(s) we are confronted with a multi-layered phenomenon which invites people from all disciplines, professions and vocations to come together in dialogue and wrestle with questions that cross the boundaries of the intellectual, the emotional and the personal. Underlying these efforts there is the sense that in grappling with evil we are in fact grappling with questions and issues of our own humanity.

The complex nature of evil is reflected in this call for presentations: in recognising that no one approach or perspective can adequately do justice to what we mean by evil, so there is an equal recognition that no one form of presentation ought to take priority over others. We solicit contributions which may be

~ papers, panels, workshops, reports

~ case studies

~ performance pieces; dramatic readings; poetic renditions; short stories; creative writings

~ works of art; works of music

We will also consider other forms of contribution. Successful proposals will normally be given a 20 minute presentation space. Perspectives are sought from all academic disciplines along with, for example, those working in the caring professions, journalism, the media, the military, prison services, politics, psychiatry and other work-related, ngo and vocational areas.

Key themes for reflection may include, but are not limited to:

what is evil?
the nature and sources of evil and human wickedness
evil animals? Wicked creatures?
the places and spaces of evil
crimes, criminals and justice
psychopathic behaviour – mad or bad?
villains, wicked characters and heroes
vice and virtue
choice, responsibility, and diminished responsibility
social and cultural reactions to evil and human wickedness
political evils; evil, power and the state
evil and gender; evil and the feminine
evil children
hell, hells, damnation: evil and the afterlife
the portrayal of evil and human wickedness in the media and popular culture
suffering in literature and film
individual acts of evil, group violence, holocaust and genocide; obligations of bystanders
terrorism, war, ethnic cleansing
fear, terror, horror
the search for meaning and sense in evil and human wickedness
the nature and tasks of theodicy
religious understandings of evil and human wickedness
postmodern approaches to evil and human wickedness
ecocriticism, evil and suffering
evil and the use/abuse of technology; evil in cyberspace

The Steering Group also welcomes the submission of pre-formed panel proposals.

What to Send

300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 12th October 2013. All submissions are minimally double blind peer reviewed. Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract f) up to 10 key words

E-mails should be entitled: Evil14 Abstract Submission.

Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs

Stephen Morris 


Rob Fisher 

The conference is part of the At the Interface programme of research projects. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting.

For further details of the conference, please click here.

Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.

CFP: 2nd Global Conference: Sins, Vices and Virtues

Wednesday 13th March – Friday 15th March 2013

Lisbon, Portugal

Call For Presentations:

Not every culture recognises the notion of sin but all of them recognise the idea of a religious or spiritual transgression. All or nearly all the ‘Christian’ vices-virtues were those espoused by Greek-Roman philosophers first and are, therefore, not exclusively Christian in the origin. The Judaic idea of ‘sin’ varies considerably across time and the accountability of society/group vs. individual fluctuates as well. Also, the (Latin) idea of sin as ‘transgression’ or ‘breaking of the (divine) law’ is at variance with the (Greek) idea of sin as ‘missing the mark’ and ‘mistake/error.’

The idea of virtues likewise does not seem to be universal, though all offer guidelines to what they consider ‘right living. Actions that violate rules of morality and the guidelines concerning virtuous living have been the foundations of every culture across centuries.

However, due to civilisational progress and secularisation, the ideas and definitions behind the variously understood concepts of ‘sin’, ‘vice’ and ‘virtue’ have changed. For instance, in Christian culture the traditional list of the Church Fathers was unofficially updated to include social sins prevalent in what is called the era of ‘unstoppable globalisation’ and these DO not necessarily embrace Christians only.

Thus, apart from the familiar: Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Anger, Greed, Sloth, which individuals were to test their conscience for, the Roman Catholic Church now cautions the whole of humanity inter alia about: Genetic modification and human experimentations; Polluting the environment; Social injustice; Causing poverty; Paedophilia, contraception, abortion; Taking drugs; and Financial gluttony. Not only are the ‘new sins’ not necessarily Christian in nature but they seem inter- and transcultural, disregarding religious persuasion. It seems no longer the matter of individual transgression that has spiritual repercussions, but rather the sin whose subject is the entire, global and transcultural society. Furthermore, the question that arises is whether the notions of virtue are changing their meaning in the commercially-driven ‘dog-eat-dog’ modern world as well, and whether to be ‘good’ or ‘virtuous’ means the same for all cultures.

Are we then to talk about a completely new culture-blind hamartiology or new schematization of virtues? What are the real changes between medieval and today’s religious/moral doctrines preached across the modern world and its diverse cultural make-up? What about non-Christian cultures with different categories of religious/spiritual transgressions? May one actually still talk about ‘sin’ at all or is it an obsolete word in a multicultural world? Are all Western Christian sins, vices and virtues recognised and shared by other cultures as well?

This interdisciplinary conference seeks a new, provocative, intercultural perspective on some enduring truths concerning virtues and vices, sins and transgressions. Do we need a new list of moral commandments in the globalised, multicultural 21st century? Should they be religious or secular in nature? Who are these aimed at? And, finally, is it possible, reaching back to the origins of humanity, to find common denominators between religious/spiritual definitions of vices and virtues of all belief systems? Can discussions of ‘sin’ not introduce theology and religion into the contemporary discussion?

We are inviting scholars, theologians, anthropologists, artists, teachers, psychologists, therapists, philosophers, teachers of ethics, etc. to present papers, reports, works of art, work-in-progress, workshops and pre-formed panels on issues related but not limited to the following themes:

The genealogy of the idea of sin or religious transgression around the world
Anthropology of transgression
Sinful/Transgressive actions, evil thoughts, religious taboos in Christian and non-Christian cultures
What are the pre-Islam Arabic ideas of sin? How do these influence Islamic thought and how do they shape or not shape fundamentalist Islamic political thought?
Lexicon of sinfulness/transgression and virtuousness in Christian and non-Christian cultures
Social functions of sins and virtues
Modern sins and vices: Individual and social; religious and secular; intercultural
Social ‘sins’: ‘Institutional’ and ‘structural’; their social ramifications
‘-isms’ in religious and spiritual discourse
Communal versus individual sins/transgressions: Do societies sin? How are societies policing them?
The concept of sin or spiritual transgression/deviation and philosophy
The notions of ‘sins’, vices and virtues on the political arena (secular morality or no morality)
Psychology of sin (‘sinful’ or ‘abnormal’?; the concept of sin after Darwin, Nietzsche and Freud)
Emotions and moral decision-making
How to represent evil and morality in art: Representation of sins and sinners, vices, transgressions and virtues in art, literature, movies in Christian and non-Christian cultures
Genderisation of sins, vices and virtues in Christian and non-Christian cultures
Ideology of sin/religious transgression and technological progress: G/god or the Machine; ‘sins’ of productive necessity
Theologies and Nature: Environmental studies and the notions of ‘sin’, transgression and virtue
Sins/Vices and/in the Media (ie adveritising)
Medieval crusades and modern (holy) wars
Sinless, non-transgressive life in 21st century: Possibility or wishful thinking?
Fear of the confessional or ‘McDonald-isation’ of spiritual life; is confession needed at all?
Public and penitential practices across the ages and cultures
Punishment for sin/transgression and rewarding virtue across the ages and cultures: individual and collective
Visions of Hell, Paradise and other afterlife Realms across cultures
Virtues in the modern times; virtues in a modern man

What to Send

300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 12 October 2013. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper of no more than 3000 words should be submitted by Friday 18th January 2013. Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract

E-mails should be entitled: Sins and Virtues 2 Abstract Submission.

Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs

Katarzyna Bronk 

Rob Fisher

The conference is part of the At the Interface series of research projects. The aim of the conference is to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting. All papers accepted for and presented at this conference are eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers may be invited to go forward for development into a themed ISBN hard copy volume.

For further details of the conference, please click here.

Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

GUEST POST: Carnal Delights: Sex, Food, Wolves and Women

We're pleased to be participating in the blog tour organized to coincide with the launch of a new collection of short fiction, Wolf-Girls: Dark Tales of Teeth, Claws and Lycogyny. Today's guest post is from Kim Bannerman, whose story 'A Woman of Wolves Born' is set during the Middle Ages and draws on both Crusade narratives and hagiography, as well as some of the medieval stories of werewolves.



Last night, after a particularly busy day, I went outside to watch the stars. As I sat in the cool evening with only myself for company, I became aware of a distant sound, a haunting call that echoed faintly between the mountains. "Ah", I thought with satisfaction, "The wolves have returned."

My small town, located on the west coast of British Columbia, is surrounded on all sides by vast rainforests. We're used to living in close proximity with nature. Deer eat my tulips, raccoons live in our attic, and black bears ramble through our streets almost every night during autumn - I have a ravaged, punctured 'animal proof' trash can to prove it.* However, the wolves rarely come into our community. They sing from the mountain tops when the summer comes. Late at night, when there's no traffic, I can catch their faint howling on the still air.

The sound, while beautiful, once struck fear into the hearts of medieval folk, and I understand their reaction. Those notes hold a primal quality. It reminds us, no matter how distant we believe ourselves to be from brute nature, that we remain a part of the natural world, and perhaps we are not as high on the food chain as we'd like to think. To those living in medieval Europe, the wolf had no practical uses; unlike deer or boar, it could not be eaten, and its hide was notoriously difficult to tan. However, wolves posed a constant threat to the security of home and livestock. The wolf was reputed to devour human flesh, and those haunting notes were a reminded to all who heard them that people were food to be eaten. The terrifying concept of being devoured, often forgotten in today's urban world, was ever-present in the medieval mind.

When it came to procreation, the wolf represented something more lascivious, too. Thomas Aquinas said that "in sexual intercourse, man becomes a brute animal". The copulation of beasts is "loud and noisy," said Albert the Great, while human coupling is "discrete, rational, prudent and bashful".** Placed against this ideal, the wolf was reputed for its insatiable lust. The wolf took what it wished, loved freely, and rejected any restrictions to its passion. Its carnal desires followed no rules. In a society which functioned on the constant suppression of desire, where man had been set apart from the animals by his reason and intellect, the wolf provided a poignant example of rampant sexuality.

The werewolf, then, represented the struggle between reason and impulse. Every transformation was the victory of mad desire over reason; what a horrifying thought to people who poured every resource into reaching a Heavenly ideal by rejecting earthly sin. It's easy to see why the female werewolf is rare in medieval lore, for she was truly a terrifying beast to consider: an aberration of unrestrained female lust, an insatiable nymph with a savage hunger for the flesh of reasonable men. If that most rational creature in God's creation, mankind, could barely contain his passion and took to the fields in the guise of a wolf, how much more untamable must the woman be who joins him?

Or, even worse, rejects him?

I'm thrilled to say that my short story, "A Woman of Wolves Born", appears in the anthology Wolf-Girls: Dark Tales of Teeth, Claws and Lycogyny, but it was originally written as a companion piece to my first novel, The Tattooed Wolf. I wanted to play with a powerful female character in a medieval world. I wondered, how can a woman remain true to herself in a place that so desperately strives to restrict her? It's a question that can be applied to women in many cultures and in many eras, but for me, the werewolf became the perfect symbol of an intelligent being trapped between two ideals: the role placed upon her by society and the freedom to be herself. For me, werewolves are not hungry monsters consumed with lust and blood; they’re creatures who have managed to straddle two worlds and have embraced their role in nature.

As I sat on my porch last night and listened to the wolves sing, my heart longed to be with them. That wild song, once responsible for making good medieval men tremble in fear like rabbits, spoke of dark glades and deep ravines far from the influence of church or state. I raised my voice, cupped my hands around my lips, and howled. At first, my voice wavered, but my notes grew stronger with each ardent breath. And unbounded by rules or ceremony or silly old notions of sin, the distant wolves howled back.

Photo Credit: Shawn Pigott


*Here, air quotes are necessary. I've watched the bears tip over my trash can, then bounce on it until the top pops off. The manufacturer wasn't specific about what kind of animal, I suppose, but it certainly isn't bears.

** Really, Albert? I bet you weren't exactly a hit with the ladies, were you...

Wolf-Girls: Dark Tales of Teeth, Claws and Lycogyny is edited by Hannah Kate, and published by Hic Dragones. For more information about the book, please visit the publisher's website. To find out more about Kim's work, please visit her blog.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

CFP: Cannibals: Cannibalism, Consumption and Culture

25-26 April 2013
Manchester, United Kingdom

From contemporary horror film to medieval Eucharistic devotions, from Freudian theory to science fiction, cannibals and cannibalism continue to repel and intrigue us in equal measure. This two-day interdisciplinary conference will explore humanity’s relationships with, and attitudes towards, cannibalism, whether fascination, horror or purely practical considerations.

Papers are sought from all disciplines, including but not limited to literature, film studies, history, anthropology, archaeology, psychology and medicine.

Call for Papers:

Proposals are sought for 20 minute papers. Possible topics may include:

• Cannibalism in popular culture
• Cannibalism as cultural metaphor
• Theorizations of cannibalism
• Taboos, socialization and psychoanalysis
• Survival and necessity
• Maternal infanticide
• Vampires, werewolves and zombies – a question of species?
• Eating the enemy
• Rites, rituals and sacrifice
• Serial killers (in life and in fiction)

Please send 300 word abstracts to the conference convenors by 31st December 2012.

For more information, please see the conference website.

Manchester Medieval Society Excursion 2012

Post written by Dr. Susan Thompson, Manchester Medieval Society Secretary

Sawley Abbey


Each year MedSoc organises an excursion to one or more places of interest and this year we managed to fit in four. Our first stop was at Sawley Abbey, founded in 1146 on land given by William, third Lord Percy, and the Percys, Northumberland’s greatest family, remained patrons of the abbey for much of its existence. In 1296 Stanlaw Abbey in Cheshire was refounded at Whalley, nine miles from Sawley, and the two Cistercian houses immediately quarrelled. Their lands adjoined and they squabbled over grain supplies and fishing rights in the River Ribble. The feuding officially ended in 1305, but the monks of Sawley, the senior foundation, continued to feel aggrieved. Sawley was considerably poorer than Whalley: it was impoverished by litigation, the ‘cruel and inhuman spoliation’ that accompanied Scottish raids about 1320, and the expense of providing board and lodging to travellers – unlike many Cistercian houses it lay on a busy main road. In spring 1536 Sawley surrendered during Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries. However, that autumn, during the northern rising known as the Pilgrimage of Grace, the abbey was restored under a new abbot, William Trafford. The rebellion failed and Trafford was hanged at Lancaster in March 1537 and the abbey immediately plundered of its valuables. During the following three centuries all the high-quality stone was taken and reused in neighbouring farms and cottages, and many of the abbey buildings disappeared. In 1848 the first archaeological investigation of the ruins was undertaken, and during the twentieth century the site was taken into the care of English Heritage, cleared of debris and conserved.

Whalley Abbey


Having walked round the site and identified as many of the buildings as possible we went on to the nearby abbey of Whalley where the main site of interest was expected to be the 14th century gatehouse to the Abbey; Laurence Nowell went to school here. Whalley Abbey, second richest of Lancashire’s monasteries, was founded in 1296, when the monks of Stanlaw moved there from their flood-prone site on the Cheshire shore of the River Mersey near Ellesmere Port. Most monasteries were demarcated by gatehouses that prevented access by any except authorised visitors, allowed the gatekeeper to keep a close watch on traffic and provided basic defence in times of military and political insecurity. At Whalley, as at other monasteries, there was a steady stream of beggars and poor travellers seeking food or help, which the monks could not readily deny. Thus, the gatehouse was also the place where alms were dispensed and food and drink given to the poor.

Rufford Old Hall


However, we had arranged to visit the parish church of St. Mary first and we were met here by an official guide to the church, Mr. Thorpe. He proved to be a mine of fascinating information on the building which dates from the early 13th century. The church contains excellent medieval and post-Reformation woodwork, but the treasure of Whalley is the set of clergy choir stalls rescued from the abbey. They were carved in about 1430 and, rare among medieval works, the name of the carver survives, a Mr. Eatough. There are also three Anglo-Saxon crosses in the churchyard. By now it was time for our next port of call, Rufford Old Hall, where we had lunch. This is Lancashire’s finest Tudor building with a timber-framed great hall built in the late 15th century to a late medieval pattern. The hall has a ‘movable’ screen, the only surviving example of its type, and it is said that a young Will Shakespeare performed here. The house contains furniture, paintings and armour and there are gardens and pasture to the rear and side of the hall and woodland at the front. The hall is reputedly haunted by a grey lady, Queen Elizabeth I and a man in Elizabethan clothing.

File:The Church of St Thomas the Martyr, Upholland - geograph.org.uk - 2056849.jpg
Church of St. Thomas the Martyr, Up Holland


Our final stop for the day was at The Church of St. Thomas the Martyr in Up Holland. The oldest part of the church is the nave, dating from the 14th century. The tower was built in the late 1400s and the present chancel was added in 1882-86. Up Holland Parish Church was originally a Priory, founded in 1307 as a college for a Dean and twelve secular priests, by Sir Robert de Holland (b.1270, Up Holland, d.1328, Borehamwood, Herts), secretary to Thomas Plantagenet, Earl of Lancaster. Sir Robert was married to Maud, daughter and heiress of Alan, Lord Zouche of Ashby. It was dedicated to St. Thomas the Martyr. Charges of misbehaviour led Walter de Langton, Bishop of Lichfield, to convert it to a Priory with twelve monks in 1319 - the last foundation of its kind in pre-Reformation England. In 1323, King Edward II stayed at the Priory for a fortnight during his Royal Progess in the north country.

By the Dissolution in 1536 there were only five monks and twenty-six servants with an income of around £78, so the Priory was closed, even before Henry VIII began to close the smaller monasteries. Little can be said of the remains of the monastic buildings - they were to the south of the church but did not join it except in the western range of claustral buildings. Part of the western wall is standing; it was of two storeys with a row of windows on the west. In 1546 a chamber was mentioned at the west end of the chancel, which may be that on the south face of the tower, the roof corbels of which still remain.