Wednesday, 16 April 2014

OUT NOW: K Bannerman, The Tattooed Wolf (Hic Dragones, 2014)

A fantastic new novel, edited by yours truly...

http://www.hic-dragones.co.uk/tattooed-wolf/


Caufield muttered as he slouched back in his seat and crossed his hands over his belly, smirking. “You’ve got my attention, Dan; I’ll humour you. Tell me, from the very beginning, how you got into this whole bloody mess.”

Morris Caufield thought he’d seen it all...

Until the moment Dan Sullivan walked into his office. Dan needs a divorce lawyer he can trust, and he thinks Morris is the man for the job. The thing is, Dan wants Morris to represent his wife. Who tried to kill him. Twice. And as if that wasn’t enough, Dan expects Morris to buy some crazy story about werewolves...

As Dan reveals the truth about his life and his marriage, Morris listens to a captivating tale of lycanthropy, love and betrayal. It’s lunacy, he’s sure of that, but there’s something about Dan Sullivan that makes it all very easy to believe.

Praise for The Tattooed Wolf:

“[K. Bannerman] displays unusual and sometimes uncomfortable characters, and I care about them all, the significant players and the extras. If you like reading stories about intriguing people, this story doesn’t disappoint... buy this book.”
- Joe Murphy, The Dragon Page

K Bannerman lives in a tiny house surrounded by forests on Vancouver Island, Canada, where she writes short stories, novels and plays. She is the author of four novels, including the historical murder mystery Bucket of Blood. Together with her partner-in-crime, Shawn Pigott, they run Fox&Bee Studio, where they have written, produced and directed over 100 short films.

For more information, please visit the publisher's website.

Monday, 7 April 2014

OUT NOW: Hannah Priest (ed.), The Female of the Species: Cultural Constructions of Evil, Women and the Feminine (Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2013)



Blurb:

From Alien Queens to prostitutes, 'phallic' mothers to child murderers, evil women proliferate across cultural productions that span millennia. This collections explores the perennial question of 'evil' and its relationship to women and femininity. Taking as their starting points material as diverse as Greek mythology, nineteenth-century medical texts, Elizabethan drama and contemporary cartoons, and informed by various theoretical perspectives, the authors scrutinise the construction of the feminine as evil, and vice versa. Throughout these essays, recurring anxieties of female agency, reproduction and the appropriation of patriarchal power are identified and explored. As the writers reveal, these anxieties are not always situated within the anatomically or genetically 'female' (or even human) body, but rather in culturally-constructed and pervasive concepts of femininity - which is at once recognisable and abject, necessary and disavowed. These essays reveal the strategies of construction and maintenance upon which the reification of feminine evil are based.

Contents

- Introduction, by Hannah Priest

Part I: Writing the Evil Woman

- Medea's Medicine: Women and Pharmaka in Greek Mythology, by Alison Innes
- The Representation of the Evil Woman in Elizabethan Literature, by Abdulaziz Al-Mutawa
- (De)centring Women in Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses, by Zubaidah Mohamed Shaburdin

Part II: Reproductive Evils

- Alien Queens and Monstrous Machines: The Conflation of the Out-of-Control Female and Robotic Body, by Simon Bacon
- The Ultimate Cold War Monster: Exploring 'Mother' in the Film The Manchurian Candidate, by Kathleen Starck
- The Tainted Birth in Lovecraft's Fiction, by Cécile Cristofari

Part III: The Evil That Women Do

- Sugar and Spice, But Not Very Nice: Depictions of Evil Little Girls in Cartoons and Comics, by Jacquelyn Bent, Helen Gavin and Theresa Porter
- A Wellspring of Contamination: The Transgressive Body of the Prostitute in Nineteenth-Century Medical Discourse, by J. Shoshanna Ehrlich
- Myra: Portrait of a Portrait, by Shelley Campbell

For more information, please visit the publisher's website.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

CFP: 'To Die Would be an Awfully Big Adventure': The Glory and the Gore of Death and Horror Through the Ages

Bangor University, UK
Friday 6 June 2014

Abstracts are now being invited for the 10th annual Medievalism Transformed conference at Bangor University, a one-day interdisciplinary event sponsored by the School of English Literature. We will be convening to explore the medieval world and its sustained impact on subsequent culture and thought.

Papers are welcome from all disciplines related to medieval studies as well as modern expressions of medievalism. All topics within the general scope of the conference will be considered, including:

• Preparing for death
• Dying well
• Limbo / Purgatory
• Underworld
• Disease / Black Death / Medicine
• Ghosts
• The Occult / Cults
• The grotesque
• Apocalypse
• Saints / Martyrdom
• Theme of horror in medieval literature

Your proposal for a 20-minute paper should be no longer than 300 words. Please make submissions electronically to the conference convenors by 18 April. Proposals should be accompanied by your name, institutional affiliation, email address, and contact information. Please also specify any audio / visual requirements.

Letters of acceptance will be sent via email unless a hard copy is requested.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Events at the University of Manchester

Some upcoming events at the University of Manchester that may be of interest to medievalists...

Wednesday 26th February 2014
5.15pm, 4.05 Mansfield Cooper

Art History Visual Studies Seminar Series 2013/4
Pilkington Visiting Lecturer

Horst Bredekamp, Professor of Art History (Humboldt University, Berlin): Charlemagne and the Image Politics of the Body

Monday 3rd March 2014
6pm, Historic Reading Room, John Rylands Library Deansgate

The Toller Lecture
Professor John Hines (University of Cardiff): A New Chronology and New Agenda: The Problematic Sixth Century

Followed by a free wine reception, and then dinner (at own expense). If you wish to attend the post-lecture dinner, please book by Monday 24th February with Gale Owen-Crocker.

Tuesday 15th - Thursday 17th April 2014
Hulme Hall

Registrations are now being taken for the MANCASS Easter Conference 2014 on Womanhood in Anglo-Saxon England. Programme and enrolment information is available from Brian Schneider.

CFP: Fons Luminis: Using and Creating Digital Medievalia

Fons Luminis, a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal edited and produced annually by graduate students at the Centre for Medieval Studies in the University of Toronto, provides a forum in which to address, challenge, and explore the content and methodologies of our various home disciplines. We invite current graduate students to submit papers relating in some way to the 2015 journal theme, “Using and Creating Digital Medievalia.”

Since the mid-twentieth century, computing has been and continues to be a major factor in the medievalist’s research. From Father Busa’s creation of the Index Thomasticus in the 1940’s to current library and archival digitization projects, computational methods are essential aspects of the medievalist’s occupation. Papers are encouraged to address: medievalist use of digitally stored information; social scientists and librarians as creators and/or curators of knowledge about the Middle Ages; future directions of digital humanities; the importance of digital humanities to work in paleography, codicology, diplomatics, and text editing.

Articles may also focus on topics including (but not limited to) mapping and space, the impact of digitization on concepts of the archive, and digital tools in teaching.

Contributions may take the form of a scholarly essay or focus on the study of a particular manuscript. Articles must be written in English, follow the 16th edition (2010) of The Chicago Manual of Style, and be at least 4,000 words in length, including footnotes. Quotations in the main text in languages other than English should appear along with their English translation.

As usual, we continue to accept other submissions on any aspect of medieval studies and welcome longer review articles (approximately 1,500 words) on recent or seminal works in medieval studies.

Submissions must be received by July 1, 2014 in order to be considered for publication.

Inquiries and submissions (as a Word document attachment) should be sent to the editors.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Win two amazing SIGNED books! (International entry allowed)

Another great competition from Hic Dragones... entry via the Rafflecopter widget below.

Enter now to win two SIGNED books:

The Palace of Curiosities by Rosie Garland 


 A luminous and bewitching debut novel that is perfect for fans of Angela Carter. Set in Victorian London, it follows the fortunes of Eve, the Lion-Faced Girl and Abel, the Flayed Man. A magical realism delight.

Before Eve is born, her mother goes to the circus. She buys a penny twist of coloured sugar and settles down to watch the heart-stopping main attraction: a lion, billed as a monster from the savage heart of Africa. Mama swears she hears the lion sigh, just before it leaps... and nine months later when Eve is born, the story goes, she doesn’t cry – she meows and licks her paws.

When Abel is pulled from the stinking Thames, the mudlarks are sure he is long dead. As they search his pockets to divvy up the treasure, his eyes crack open and he coughs up a stream of black water. But how has he survived a week in that thick stew of human waste?

Cast out by Victorian society, Eve and Abel find succour from an unlikely source. They soar to fame as The Lion Faced Girl and The Flayed Man, star performers in Professor Josiah Arroner’s Palace of Curiosities. And there begins a journey that will entwine their fates forever.

Rosie Garland is an eclectic writer and performer, ranging from singing in Goth band The March Violets through touring with the Subversive Stitch exhibition in the 90s, to her current incarnation as Rosie Lugosi the Vampire Queen, cabaret chanteuse, incomparable compere and electrifying poet. The Palace of Curiosities is her debut novel. Rosie's short story, 'Cut and Paste' is published in the Hic Dragones Wolf-Girls: Dark Tales of Teeth, Claws and Lycogyny anthology. 

Take a Bite by Nancy Schumann


Take a Bite is a non-fictional text discussing female vampires in folklore and Anglo-American Literature and how their characteristics changed through the ages.

Readers will find a concise introduction to female vampires in folklore of various regions; with specific focus on the Lilith and Lamia figures that later on feature prominently in art and literature and including an overview on the numerous superstitions and phenomena that gave rise to vampire belief around the world.

Further chapters deal with the representation of vampiresses in literature and how this changed through the eras; starting with early romantic works such as Le Fanu’s Carmilla and Keat’s Lamia where the vampires is a strong, independent woman who does not fit into the patriarchal society.

Dracula puts female vampires in an inferior position, as the count takes centre stage. The discussion of Dracula focuses on the character of Lucy Westenra as a woman misunderstood by many critics.

The works of Tanith Lee and Anne Rice also include very interesting female characters. Anne Rice’s male vampires have been discussed excessively but her vampiresses deserve much more attention than they have received so far.

The Vampire Diaries are conquering TV screens and with True Blood and Twilight vampires are all around us, but is there a vampire queen among them or are we all just lusting after Edward?

Nancy Schumann completed a master’s degree in English Literature at the University of Leipzig, Germany. Particular research interests were Gothic novels, detective stories and women’s studies. Her MA thesis was on female vampires through the ages. The topic combines feminism and Gothic novels with her personal interest in fanged fiends. This formed the basis to Take A Bite, now available in vamped up form for public consumption. Nancy's short story 'The Hostel' was published in the Hic Dragones Impossible Spaces anthology.

Enter the competition...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Manchester Medieval Society Meeting

Merchants and Makers: an Analysis of the Suppliers Named in Great Wardrobe Accounts of Henry VII and Henry VIII

Maria Hayward, Professor of History at Southampton University

Thursday 20th February 2014 at 6 p.m
Venue: Samuel Alexander A112, University of Manchester

For more information, please visit the Manchester Medieval Society website.

Miri Rubin Lectures at the University of Manchester (May 2014)

The Sherman Lectures in Jewish Studies 2014

Centre for Jewish Studies
University of Manchester

Thinking about Jews in Medieval Europe: Explorations with Text, Images and Sounds
Miri Rubin

Prof. Miri Rubin is professor of Medieval and Early Modern History at Queen Mary University of London. The dates of the University Lectures are 12-15 May 2014. Time: 5:15pm. Venue: Kanaris Lecture Theatre, Manchester Museum (located centrally on the University campus). There will also be a community lecture at 8pm on 11 May 2014 at a venue tbc.

Community Lecture: Jews in Medieval English Culture (Sunday 11 May)

Jews were embedded in the ideas and practices of every community of which they formed a part. Yet the experience of living as a Jew or with Jews varied greatly between European regions and over time. This lecture will consider the circumstances surrounding the settlement of Jews, and the intera_ctions and attitudes that developed towards them. It will point out, in particular, the diverse attitudes and interactions experienced in different milieus: monastic, urban, scholastic, courtly, as well as in Latin, English and French.

Thinking about Jews in Medieval Europe: People and Places (Monday 12 May)

Who created ideas about Jews in medieval Europe, and how were these transmitted and recorded? Why did some periods display an intensity of interest in Jews compared to others? This lecture will consider the challenge posed by the presence of Jews to those who managed, taxed, led and educated medieval communities. It will probe the directions of change over time, as well as regional variation across Europe.

The Jewish Body (Tuesday 13 May)

Difference between social groups is always marked by external signs and often by the attribution of physical difference. The Middle Ages saw the development of some powerful ideas about the Jewish – usually male – body. This lecture will explore these ideas and their relation to prevailing concepts of well-being and virtue. It will probe how the Jewish body came to be seen as threatening and indeed predatory, and an enduring obstacle to true conversion.

Jews and Children (Wednesday 14 May)

One of the most horrific accusations born in medieval Europe was that of child murder. This lecture will explore the conditions that made the birth of such slander in twelfth-century Norwich possible. It will also consider how Christians viewed childhood and attempted making sense of Jewish kinship and family life.

Jews and Material Christianity (Thursday 15 May)

Everywhere they turned Jews saw and heard the signs of Christian religious culture: cathedrals, statues at street corners, shrines, processions, and bells. The final lecture explores the ideas Jews developed towards these pervasive images and sounds, and explores the rejection – as well as attractions – experienced towards what Caroline Bynum has called Material Christianity.

For more information, see the Centre for Jewish Studies website or email.

OUT NOW: Undead Memory: Vampires and Human Memory in Popular Culture (Peter Lang)

Edited by Simon Bacon and Katarzyna Bronk
Foreword by Sir Christopher Frayling



Vampires have never been as popular in Western culture as they are now: Twilight, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries and their fans have secured the vampire’s place in contemporary culture. Yet the role vampires play in how we remember our pasts and configure our futures has yet to be explored. The present volume fills this gap, addressing the many ways in which vampire narratives have been used to describe the tensions between memory and identity in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

The first part of the volume considers the use of the vampire to deal with rapid cultural change, both to remember the past and to imagine possible futures. The second part examines vampire narratives as external cultural archives, a memory library allowing us to reference the past and understand how this underpins our present. Finally, the collection explores how the undead comes to embody memorial practice itself: an autonomous entity that gives form to traumatic, feminist, postcolonial and oral traditions and reveals the resilience of minority memory.

Ranging from actual reports of vampire activity to literary and cinematic interpretations of the blood-drinking revenant, this timely study investigates the ways in which the 'undead memory' of the vampire throughout Western culture has helped us to remember more clearly who we were, who we are, and who we will/may become.

Contents:

- Introduction - Simon Bacon and Katarzyna Bronk

Part I: Death and Becoming: How the Human Past Becomes the Vampire Future

- Memento (non)mori: Memory, Discourse and Transmission during the Eighteenth-Century Vampire Epidemic and After - Leo Ruickbie

- Vampire Narratives as Juggling with Romanian History: Dan Simmons's Children of the Night and Elizaeth Kostova's The Historian - Marius Crişan

- André Gide, Nosferatu and the Hydraulics of Youth and Age - Naomi Segal

- Constitutional Amnesia and Future Memory: Science Fiction's Posthuman Vampire - Hadas Elber-Aviram

Part II: Vampiric Memorials: Place, Space and Objects of Undead Memory

- Archives of Horror: Carriers of Memory in Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Katharina Rein

- Vampire Echoes and Cannibal Rituals: Undead Memory, Monstrosity and Genre in J.M. Grau's We Are What We Are - Enrique Ajuria Ibarra

- 'Old things, fine things': Of Vampires, Antique Dealers and Timelessness - Sorcha Ní Fhlainn

Part III: Memory Never Dies: Vampires as Human Memory and Trauma

- Pack versus Coven: Guardianship of Tribal Memory in Vampire versus Werewolf Narratives - Hannah Priest

- Death and the City: Repressed Memory and Unconscious Anxiety in Michael Almereyda's Nadja - Angela Tumini

- The Inescapable Moment: The Vampire as Individual and Collective Trauma in Let Me In by Matt Reeves - Simon Bacon

For more information about the book, please see the publisher's website.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

My Favourite Fictional World... a guest post by Tracy Fahey and Laura Brown

As part of the Impossible Spaces blog tour currently being run by Hic Dragones, I've been inviting some of the authors onto my blog to talk about their favourite fictional worlds. So far, I've had guest posts from Douglas Thompson and Margrét Helgadóttir. Today I'm very pleased to welcome Laura Brown and Tracy Fahey to the blog.

A lover of all things strange and unusual, Laura Brown is a fantasy author and artist from Hampshire, England. A self-proclaimed Goth, geek, bookworm and bunny-rabbit, Laura has been writing and drawing ever since her fingers could manage a pen. She is also a writer for online magazine EGL Magazine (under the penname Blackavar), for which she writes lifestyle articles, music reviews and interviews. Since the summer of 2012, she has been writing fiction professionally, with her first short story, ‘Alone in the Dark’, being published in an eZine in July 2012, and ‘Candlelight’ appearing in print for the first time in October 2012. ‘Skin’ (her short story in Impossible Spaces is her third story in print.

So, Laura, what's your favourite fictional world?

This is a question not easily answered! I'm sure depending on what day of the week it could have been different (and my recent leisure activity has possible influenced my answer!). However, I'm going to be a bit of a cheat by choosing... the worlds of Kingdom Hearts.

You have may have noticed I've used the plural word, 'worlds'. Hehe, yes, I've cheated.

For those unfamiliar with it, Kingdom Hearts is a video game series that combines Disney and Square Enix's Final Fantasy characters and aesthetics - the short description could possibly be Disney meets Final Fantasy. The game series has been hugely popular, and brings a wonderful sense of nostalgia combined with a storyline that is sweet and heartening but not without its depths and dark side. The adventures take the player through various Disney-inspired worlds, such as Wonderland, Halloween Town, Agrabah, and even the Hundred Acre Woods. But the worlds I enjoy the most are the original ones created for the series.



They are beautiful - some are ethereal, or grand and Gothic structures, or mystical looking landscapes. Some are dark and mysterious, and others are sweet and cosy. Some even manage to appear cyberpunk. Creating already set worlds did not stop the creators of the game series from flourishing with their own creativity.



What is it in particular I like about these worlds? Well, despite their differences and individuality, all have a lovely dreamlike quality about them that particularly appeals to me. Fiction is a living dream state for me, taking me away from reality, and these worlds work in the same way (arguably more vividly, as they can be seen on the screen, although I have certainly never had trouble painting a landscape mentally). Combining the emotional aesthetic of the games' storylines with these surroundings that are beautifully crafted and lovingly presented (be they frightening places or comforting ones), that dreamy quality is what appeals to me so strongly. I enjoy looking at the tiny details, and find them very inspiring in my own work also. As a fantasy writer who spends much of her time in a dream-world, it would make sense that these fictional environments would appeal to me so much.

Thanks, Laura! And today's second guest... Tracy Fahey.

Tracy Fahey is a Gothic devotee whose research interests lie chiefly in Gothic domestic space and its various interactions and intersections with literature, art, design and folktales. She works as Head of Department of Fine Art at Limerick School of Art and Design. She also runs a fine art collaborative practice, Gothicise who have carried out a number of site-specific projects in Limerick, including ghostwalk/ghosttalk (2010), The Double Life of Catherine Street (2011) and A Haunting (2011). Tracy has published in the Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies and the Gothic Studies Journal. She has given papers in New Zealand, California, Denmark, Scotland, Wales and England on a variety of topics including Irish castles, domestic Gothic, folklore and the Gothic, fairy-tale architecture, and werewolves.

So, Tracy, tell us about your favourite fictional world...

I started this piece still wondering which of all these fictional worlds I would choose. In The Bloody Chamber, Angela Carter’s velvety, sinister prose paints all kind of unlikely and glittering worlds, half-fairytale, half-nightmare, wholly sensual. I feel like I’ve lived through Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, attending enchanted classes in Greek culture, and lolling round ancestral homes soaked in gin and murder. But if I had to choose one fictional world which has haunted me since I first read about it, it has to be Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, the supreme novel of dark domesticity.

Be warned. This is not a pleasant place. From the second chapter, the world shrinks to the size of one intimidating, watchful, sepulchral house. The opening sentence tells you everything you need to get your bearings in this universe:
“No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.”
So. Not sane. Holding darkness within. And worst of all, the awful, casual reference to “whatever walked there”. From the beginning, the figure of Shirley Jackson stands to the side of the Victorian monstrosity that is Hill House, arms folded. You are warned. Last chance to get off the rollercoaster before it starts.



Ostensibly a story about a group of paranormal investigators, the novel is much, much more. The world of Hill House is a waking nightmare, a swelling undertow that pulls you in, and traps you within its dark walls. The interiors are designed to confuse and chill:
“It had an unbelievably faulty design which left it chillingly wrong in all dimensions, so the walls seemed always in one direction a fraction longer than the eye could endure, and in another direction a fraction less than the barest possible tolerable length...”
Hill House is sentient, that much is apparent from the first paragraph. But it is also malicious. It preys on the protagonist, timid Eleanor, freed at last from servitude to her bullying mother and unpleasant family who treat her with a calculated brutality. Eleanor is a non-person, a service provider, someone who has been almost painted out of existence. All she wants is to find her place in the world: “I never had anyone to care about... I want to be someplace where I belong.” When Hill House wraps itself around her, calling to her, knocking on her door, writing messages to her on its own walls, she is terrified, excited and ultimately seduced.

So come in. Visit. This is not a pleasant world. But I do guarantee that once you’re in, you’ll never forget the experience. Once you step into the world of Hill House it will grip you. Even when you come out of it and close the covers of the book, darkness will seem a little darker, noises heard in the night will be just a little more frightening.

Be warned. Now come in.

Laura Brown's story 'Skin' and Tracy Fahey's story 'Looking for Wildgoose Lodge' are among the short stories in Impossible Spaces - out now from Hic Dragones.

Dress and Textile Discussion Group Meeting

Below are details of the next Dress and Textile Discussion Group meeting at the University of Manchester.

Our speaker is Dr John-Peter Wild who will be talking about: 'Cotton - the New Wool. A Developing Tale from Roman Egypt'. The meeting will take place on Thursday 13th February between 5-6 pm. The room is Seminar Room 1 in the Graduate Suite, Ellen Willkinson Building, University of Manchester.

To find the room you will need to enter the building via the north entrance. The Graduate Suite is on the left of the foyer. You will need to swipe your university card to gain access. If you do not have a card, the person on duty will know about the meeting and will let you in. They will also be able to guide you to the room which is on the ground floor.

John Rylands Medieval Research Seminar

(including information on Manchester Medieval Society lectures)

Semester 2, 2013-2014

February 6th 2014 – John Rylands Medieval Research Seminar (5.30pm) Professor Gale Owen-Crocker, English, University of Manchester, ‘The significance of the Bayeux Tapestry’ (Venue: John Rylands Library Deansgate, Christie Seminar Room)

February 20th 2014 - Manchester Medieval Society Lecture (6.00pm) Professor Maria Hayward, Southampton University, ‘Merchants and Makers: An analysis of the suppliers named in Great Wardrobe accounts of Henry VII and Henry VIII’ (Venue: Samuel Alexander A112, University of Manchester)

March 6th 2014 – John Rylands Medieval Research Seminar (5.30pm) Dr Charles Insley, History, University of Manchester, ‘Ottonians with Pipe Rolls? Kingship and symbolic action in the kingdom of the English’ (Venue: John Rylands Library Deansgate, Christie Seminar Room)

March 20th 2014 – John Rylands Medieval Research Seminar (5.30pm) Dr Georg Christ, History, University of Manchester, ‘Age of Empire: Information and knowledge management in the Venetian and Mamluk empires during the fifteenth century’ (Venue: Samuel Alexander A112, University of Manchester)

April 3rd 2014 - Manchester Medieval Society/MANCASS Lecture (6.00pm) Kevin Leahy, University of Leicester, ‘New Finds of the Staffordshire Hoard’ (Venue: TBC)

May 1st 2014 - John Rylands Medieval Research Seminar/Brook Lecture (5.30pm) Professor Andrew James Johnston, Freie Universitaet Berlin, ‘Chaucer's Postcolonial Renaissance’ (Venue: John Rylands Library Deansgate, Christie Seminar Room)

Supported by the John Rylands Research Institute

CFP: North Texas Medieval Graduate Student Symposium

8th Annual University of North Texas
Medieval Graduate Student Symposium

October 2nd, 2014

Interdisciplinarity in the Age of Relevance

We are happy to announce that the College of Visual Arts and Design of the University of North Texas in Denton Texas will be sponsoring our 8th Annual Medieval Graduate Student Symposium on Thursday October 2nd, 2014. Details can be found on the UNT symposium website.

This year the Symposium will be held in conjunction with the annual conference of the Texas Medieval Association, October 3-4, 2014. All Symposium participants are invited to attend TEMA’s meetings free of charge.

General Theme: “Interdisciplinarity in the Age of Relevance”

Keynote Speakers:

· Dr. Barbara Rosenwein, Loyola University, Chicago: "Jean Gerson's Interdisciplinary Theory of Emotions"

· Dr. Bruce Holsinger, University of Virginia: "Voice/Text/Character: Historical Fiction in the Archives"

Discussant:

· Dr. Joan Holladay, University of Texas, Austin

Call for Papers

While we will entertain papers on any topic, from any discipline of Medieval Studies — Art History, Religion, Philosophy, English, History, Foreign Languages, Music — we particularly welcome those that engage the multifaceted topic of “Interdisciplinarity in the Age of Relevance.” We encourage submission of papers that have been submitted and/or delivered elsewhere.

Travel subvention of $300 will be awarded to the best paper.
Deadline for submission of a 300 word abstract is June 1, 2014. Selected full papers will be due September 15th, 2014.
Paper Abstracts of 300 words should be sent to Mickey Abel   

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Happy Holidays: Three Lady Gaga Covers

I haven't blogged in a while... working five jobs and trying to get both academic and creative publications completed makes blogging a little difficult. I resolve to do better in 2014.

So this is just a little drunken Christmas Eve musical post. And it begins with a confession: I don't really care for Lady Gaga. I'm a child of the 80s, so the blonde pop star with controversial sexual under/overtones and bizarre imagery will always be Madonna. Lady Gaga can't compete.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I discovered that if you mix Lady Gaga with three of my favourite things (Eric Cartman, political history and the bassoon), you can create the BEST THINGS EVER.

And here they are... you are welcome.

Cartman sings Poker Face



I adore Eric Cartman (in a way that suggests he's some sort of expression of repressed id that my therapist would have a field day with). In my defence, I would like to say that I do give a crap about whales, and have been a fully paid-up supporter of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society for over twenty years. That probably just supports the repressed id theory though.

History Teachers sing Bad Romance



This Hawaiian couple's take on Bad Romance is so unbelievably stylish and catchy that I have now forgotten the words to the original. Even when I hear Lady Gaga's song, I still sing 'La-la-liberte, e-egalite, fra-fra-ternite...' I also think they capture a certain grandeur and threat when they introduce Robespierre that is surprising and impressive, given that they're working within the constraints of the song. Check out their YouTube channel; I particularly recommend the Charlemagne, Constantine and Beowulf songs (if you can forgive a rather definite, early dating of Beowulf).

The Breaking Winds play a Lady Gaga Medley



I love this. I played bassoon all through my teen years and I miss it so much nowadays. The arrangement is great, but the girls' performances are AWESOME. I really wish I still played.

Happy Atheistically-inflected (but I know the theory) Holidays to you all!