Friday, 18 January 2013

Call for Submissions: Wounds, Torture and the Grotesque

Hortulus: The Online Graduate Journal of Medieval Studies

Hortulus is a refereed, peer-reviewed, and born-digital journal devoted to the culture, literature, history, and society of the medieval past.

For the spring issue we are highly interested in reviews of books which fall under the current special topic. Our upcoming issue will be published in the spring of 2013, and concerns itself with the theme: wounds, torture, and the grotesque. These subjects have become increasingly popular in medieval scholarship. Hortulus invites full-length articles which consider these themes either individually or in tandem. We particularly encourage the submission of proposals that take a strongly theoretical and/or interdisciplinary approach, and that examine new and previously unconsidered aspects of these subjects.

Possible topics may be drawn from any discipline. Submission guidelines can be found on our website. Contributions may be submitted to the editors via email and are due February 15, 2013. If you are interested in submitting a paper but feel you would need additional time, please send an email and details about an expected time-scale for your submission.

Contact details:

Coming Soon... Aimee and the Bear by Toby Stone

So, this post is about a book I've recently edited, rather than a book I've written, but I'm so excited about it I thought it deserved a post.

Aimee and the Bear is the absolutely stunning debut novel by Toby Stone, to be published by Hic Dragones in February 2013. It's a dark (sometimes very dark) fantasy story about a troubled young girl who makes a dangerous journey into the world of her imagination. Stuffed to the brim with echoes of Oz, Wonderland and 100 Aker Wood - but with its feet firmly in early twenty-first-century Manchester - Aimee and the Bear is no children's story. It's captivating and unsettling piece of Manc magic realism that'll change the way you look at teddy bears (and Russian dolls) forever.

Aimee and the Bear is being launched on February 7th 2013, at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation in Manchester, with readings and wine reception. It's a free event, and there's more details on the launch party website. If you can make it, it'll be a great night. If you can't make it, I strongly recommend you get hold of a copy of the book as soon as you can!

OUT NOW: Dark Chaucer: An Assortment (Punctum Books, 2012)

Edited by Myra Seaman, Eileen Joy and Nicola Masciandaro

A new title from open-access publisher, Punctum Books, Dark Chaucer: An Assortment is now available in both print and digital formats. The open-access eBook is available for free, and the paperback edition is priced at $15 - both are available direct from the publishers. If you download the eBook, please also consider making a donation to support the publishers in fostering and developing new and innovative scholarship.

About the book:

Although widely beloved for his playfulness and comic sensibility, Chaucer's poetry is also shot through with dark moments that open into obscure and irresolvably haunting vistas, passages into which one might fall head-first and never reach the abyssal bottom. Opting to dilate rather than cordon off this darkness, this volume assembles a variety of attempts to follow such moments into their folds of blackness and horror, to chart their endless sorrows and recursive gloom, and to take depth soundings in the darker recesses of the Chaucerian lakes in order to bring back palm- or bite-sized pieces (black jewels) of bitter Chaucer that could be shared with others... an assortment, if you will. Not that this collection finds only emptiness and non-meaning in these caves and lakes. You never know what you will discover in the dark.


'and here we are as on a darkling plain' - Gary J. Shipley
'Dark Whiteness: Benjamin Brawley and Chaucer' - Candace Barrington
'Saturn's Darkness' - Brantley Bryant and Alia
'A Dark Stain and a Non-Encounter' - Ruth Evans
'Chaucerian Afterlives: Reception and Eschatology' - Gaelan Gilbert
'Black Gold: The Former (and Future) Age' - Leigh Harrison
'Half Dead: Parsing Cecelia' - Nicola Masciandaro
'In the Event of the Franklin's Tale' - J. Allan Mitchell
'Black as the Crow' - Travis Neal and Andrew Richmond
'Unravelling Constance' - Hannah Priest
'L'O de V: A Palimpsest' - Lisa Schamess
'Disconsolate Art' - Myra Seaman
'Kill Me, Save Me, Let Me Go: Custance, Virginia, Emelye' - Karl Steel
'The Physician's Tale as Hagioclasm' - Elaine Treharne
'The Light Has Lifted: Trickster Pandare' - Bob Valasek
'Suffer the Little Children, or, A Rumination on the Faith of Zombies' - Lisa Weston
'The Dark is Light Enough: The Layout of the Tale of Sir Thopas' - Thomas White

About the publisher:

Punctum Books is an open-access and print-on-demand independent publisher dedicated to radically creative modes of intellectual inquiry and writing across a whimsical para-humanities assemblage. For more information, please visit the Punctum Books website.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

CFP: Borderlines XVII: Occupying Space

19th-21st April 2013
Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin

Trinity College Dublin are very pleased to announce the call for papers for this year’s Borderlines postgraduate conference kindly funded by the School of English, the Department of History, the Medieval History Research Centre and the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (CMRS) TCD.

The theme of Borderlines XVII will be Occupying Space. There is arguably no greater link to our past than that which is tactile. The castles and cathedrals which still occupy our urban and rural spaces are a bridge between the medieval and the modern. The manuscripts and books which have lasted centuries can tell us as much as the contents within. The tools, toys, weapons, clothes and everyday objects our forebears took for granted do not simply embellish historical events, they tell stories all by themselves.

In this conference, we hope to delve into material culture and the concept of physical presence, be it animate or inanimate, from the Middle Ages to the Early Modern period. We welcome papers from researchers in the fields of Anthropology, Archaeology, Codicology, Drama, Film Studies, Folklore, History, History of Art, Languages, Literature, Music, Paleography, Philosophy and Theology. Topics may include (but are not limited to):

-Human relation to objects
-Tools and objects in daily life
-Musical instruments
-Devotional objects
-Art and sculpture
-The body – living or dead
-Weaponry and warfare
-Manuscripts and books
-Clothing and costumes

Check out the website, Facebook and Twitter for info and updates.

Abstracts of 250 words plus a short bio for a 20-minute paper or poster are welcomed from postgraduates (MA, PhD and Postdoctoral students) and should be submitted by Friday February 22nd 2013 to the conference convenors.

Upcoming Conference: Stasis in the Medieval World

13th-14th April 2013
The Institute of Archaeology, University College London

'Had people ever been as nasty, as self-indulgent, as dull, as miserable, as cocksure, as bad at art, as dismally ludicrous, or as wrong as they'd been in the Middle Age(s)?' Kingsley Amis, Lucky Jim

Continuing the discussion begun by the University of York’s ‘Transition in the Medieval World’ conferences in 2012, the Early Medieval Interdisciplinary Conference Series (EMICS) is pleased to present ‘Stasis in the Medieval World’.

The Middle Ages are popularly represented as an age of repetition and stagnation in terms of their political, religious, and artistic culture. Medieval Studies bear the burden of popular conceptions of the ‘Dark Age’, before the flowerings of the Renaissance ushered a return to the progressive wisdom of the Classical era. The reality familiar to scholars and students of the Middle Ages – that theirs was a time of immense transition and transformation – requires no rehearsal. But is there an extent to which medievalism’s reaction to this marginalization has generated a desire to emphasize the period as one of change and development? Might there be equal value in reexamining those things which, conversely, remained static?

This conference approaches the theme of stasis in the broadest possible terms, from the early Anglo-Saxon period to the late medieval. Papers will seek to establish what really did remain static in the medieval period, and how the political and cultural upheavals generated stasis in the form of deadlock or preservation of traditions. The validity of the terms ‘stasis’ and ‘transition’ will be discussed, as well as current perceptions of medieval studies as themselves ‘static’, and the effects of disciplinary constraints.

Registration is essential
Attendance both days (including wine reception): £20.00 waged / £15 unwaged
For enquiries and registration please contact Victoria Symons, Mary Wellesley or Martin David Locker

This conference is organised as part of the Early Medieval Interdisciplinary Conference Series (EMICS)