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  • 16 Nov 2023 3:17 PM | Kyle Lincoln (Administrator)


    Eleventh Annual Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies

    June 10-12, 2024

    Saint Louis University

    St. Louis, Missouri

    The Eleventh Annual Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies (June 10-12, 2024) is a convenient summer venue in North America for scholars to present papers, organize sessions, participate in roundtables, and engage in interdisciplinary discussion. The goal of the Symposium is to promote serious scholarly investigation into all topics and in all disciplines of medieval and Renaissance studies.

    The plenary speakers for this year will be Cynthia J. Hahn, of Hunter College and the City University of New York, and John Witte, Jr., of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University.

    The Symposium is held annually on the beautiful midtown St. Louis campus of Saint Louis University. On campus housing options include affordable, air-conditioned apartments as well as a more luxurious hotel. Inexpensive meal plans are also available, and there is a wealth of restaurants, bars, and cultural venues within easy walking distance of campus.

    While attending the Symposium, participants are free to use the Vatican Film Library, the Rare Books Division, and the general collection at Saint Louis University's Pius XII Memorial Library. These collections offer access to tens of thousands of medieval and early modern manuscripts on microfilm as well as strong holdings in medieval and Renaissance history, literature, languages, manuscript studies, theology, philosophy, and canon law. The Jesuit Archives & Research Center is adjacent to the university and also accessible to Symposium attendees.

    We invite proposals for papers, complete sessions, and roundtables. Any topics regarding the scholarly investigation of the medieval and early modern world are welcome. Papers are normally twenty minutes each and sessions are scheduled for ninety minutes. Scholarly organizations are especially encouraged to sponsor proposals for complete sessions, and organizing at least two sessions in coordination with each other is highly recommended. All sessions are in-person. Mini-conferences hosted by societies or organized around a theme occur in the context of the SMRS.

    Paper submitters are welcome to submit their paper for general consideration at the Symposium or for one of the mini-conferences. This year’s mini-conferences are:

    ● 49th Annual St. Louis Conference on Manuscript Studies

    ○ All areas of manuscript studies, including but not limited to paleography, textual criticism, codicology, preservation and curation, and art history, are welcome

    ○ Lowry Daly, SJ Plenary Speaker: Daniel Hobbins (University of Notre Dame)

    ● Boethius 2024: The 1500-Year Memorial Conference 

    ● The 2024 Conference on John Milton 

    The submission portal will open on November 1. The portal has buttons for submission to the main SMRS and for each of the mini-conferences. The deadline for all submissions is December 31, 2023.

    Decisions will be made by the end of January and the final program will be published in March.

    For more information or to submit your proposal online go to: https://www.smrs-slu.org/.

    Members of the SSCLE can also consult the pdf version of this Call for Papers here.

  • 25 Oct 2023 12:44 PM | Kyle Lincoln (Administrator)

    From Prof. Jonathan Phillips

    I am deeply saddened to convey the news that Professor Hans Eberhard Mayer has died at the age of 91. 

    What a giant of the subject we have lost. A glance at his extraordinary output reveals his startling levels of productivity and sheer, consistent excellence and innovation. His myriad books, articles, edited collections and, especially, editions of texts, have provided a baseline of research and insight that we are all indebted to. From his posts at the Monumenta Germaniae Historica (1956-67) and then the University of Kiel (1967 onwards), he authored (amongst many, many others), an edition of the Itinerarium peregrinorum, seminal articles on King Baldwin I of Jerusalem and Queen Melisende of Jerusalem, as well as his textbook, Geschichte der Kreuzzüge, eventually published in 10 editions, with an English translation in 1972 (second edition 1988). Mayer's expertise in the chancery of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem yielded the 2 volume Die Kanzlei der lateinischen Könige von Jerusalem (1996), and then, in 2010​, the huge 4 volume Die Urkunden​der lateinischen Könige von Jerusalem (2010), an utterly essential resource for anyone engaging with our subject. He was also a prolific reviewer, his razor-sharp mind (and trusty typewriter) audited a vast number of publications; an anxious moment for an author as the slightest slip was duly registered and corrected - although a (relatively) clean bill of health was, of course, a mark of particular esteem.

    In 1997, Professor Mayer was honoured with a Festschrift, Montjoie: Studies in Crusade History in Honour of Hans Eberhard Mayer (Ashgate), from which we have taken the inset classic photo below. He was also, in 1980, one the founding members of the SSCLE.

    We will publish a full appreciation in a forthcoming issue of Crusades.

    Best wishes,


  • 24 Apr 2023 6:20 PM | Kyle Lincoln (Administrator)

    We were very saddened to learn of the death of Professor Rudolf Hiestand, a scholar of immense importance to our field of study. Please find here a brief appreciation of his life and career from his friend and former student, Professor Jochen Burgtorf. A longer reflection on Professor Hiestand will appear in a forthcoming issue of Crusades.

    Remembering Rudolf Hiestand (1933-2023)

    “When you study the Crusades for years, you begin to view your own work ... as a pilgrimage over oftentimes hard and arid ground. Yet the desire remains to, one day, see the final destination and to, hopefully, reach it, too.” With these words, Rudolf Hiestand prefaced his 1985 volume on papal documents for the churches in the Holy Land, and they aptly illustrate his dedication to “peregrinatio” as an academic rite of passage, a research topic, and a life philosophy.

    Rudolf Hiestand was born in Zurich on August 30, 1933, the son of two secondary-school teachers, both with doctorate degrees in philosophy from the University of Zurich. Following in their footsteps, he enrolled at the same “alma mater” to study History, Romance Languages, and Classical Philology, with the intent to become a secondary-school teacher as well. Following a semester in Paris, he did indeed teach school in Switzerland for three years and, in 1958, submitted his doctoral dissertation, supervised by Marcel Beck, on Byzantium and the kingdom of Italy in the tenth century (published 1964). His academic “peregrinationes” subsequently took him to the “Istituto italiano per gli studi storici” in Naples (1958-1960) and the German Historical Institute in Rome (1960-1962). After some time at the University of Zurich (1962-1966) and the Max Planck Institute in Göttingen (1967-1968), he joined Hans Eberhard Mayer at the Christian-Albrecht University of Kiel, where, in 1972, he presented his habilitation thesis, a three-volume study on the papal legates of the Crusades and in the Crusader states. From 1976 until 1998, he was Professor and Chair of Medieval History at Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, yet his scholarly productivity continued after his retirement and well into the third decade of our current century.

    Not counting his archival explorations all over Europe, encompassing—in his own words—the space between Malta, Lisbon, Aberystwyth, Vilnius, and Budapest, and his travels throughout the “Orient,” Rudolf Hiestand lived thirty years in Switzerland, five years in Italy and the Near East, and over fifty years in Germany. Anyone who visited him in Düsseldorf, whether at home or on campus, quickly learned that it was important to him to have “a room with a view” (also the title of one of his articles), which he considered an antidote to any and all forms of narrow-mindedness. His multilingual publication record is extensive, and for scholars of the Crusades and the Latin East, his three volumes of “Vorarbeiten” (i.e., preliminary works) on the papal documents for Templars, Hospitallers, and churches in the Holy Land, in addition to scores of articles on a multitude of related subjects, will remain indispensable. To facilitate the eventual and, if need be, posthumous completion of his remaining projects, including the “Oriens Pontificius Latinus” and the edition of documents from the “Inventaire de Manosque,” he set the wheels in motion years ago.

    Teaching was perhaps Rudolf Hiestand’s greatest passion. In addition to brilliant lectures and fascinating seminars, he provided hands-on coaching in paleography and diplomatics, he encouraged his students to set out on their own “peregrinationes,” and he cherished the oftentimes daily “confabulationes” over lunch and coffee with his academic family. He took his motto from one of the great scholars of the Carolingian Renaissance: “Profectus discipulorum mihi merces apud Deum.”—“The students’ success shall be my reward before God.” Rudolf Hiestand died on March 31, 2023, in Düsseldorf. He will be missed dearly.

    Jochen Burgtorf

  • 12 Oct 2022 4:32 PM | Kyle Lincoln (Administrator)

    Registration for an online workshop about sermons and the liturgy as new pathways in crusade studies is now available

    From the conference website: 
    "The aim of this conference is to bring together scholars at all stages working in the above-mentioned fields and encourage further development in and between these innovative areas of research. It focusses in particular on the connection between crusading, crusade preaching, crusade ideology, or crusade commemoration on the one hand and theology, exegesis, sermons, liturgy, or apocalypticism on the other. Ultimately, the conference seeks to enhance understanding of the place of crusading in Latin Christian ecclesiastical and religious culture, and inspire debates on how the biblical metatext, disseminated via different media and in a variety of settings and circumstances, caused, shaped, and commemorated the crusades."

  • 4 May 2022 1:26 PM | Kyle Lincoln (Administrator)

    We are glad to share a new initiative, being organised by Professor Emanuel Buttigieg and myself from the University of Malta, and Dr Daniel Gullo from HMML (Malta Study Center): The early modern Hospitallers online talks series. 

    It's been evident to us for some time that while scholars working on the medieval military-religious orders (including the Hospitallers) are well organised and connected, those working on the early modern (and later) periods are still dispersed. Our hope is that this online series of talks might help foster a closer collaboration and stimulate multidisciplinary discussions, covering broad topics and bringing together a variety of specialists. At the same time, our goal is to create awareness of all the Hospitaller archival collections being digitised by the Malta Study Center and available online for free in the platform vHMML.org.

    We would like to invite you to the first seminar on Monday 16th May 2022 at 6.30 pm (Malta time) which will serve as an introduction to the series, with short interventions by myself and Professor Buttigieg, and a talk by Dr Gullo. The second one will be held on the 16th of June 2022 at 7pm on the theme of Venice, Malta, and the Ottomans. The speakers will be Professor Victor Mallia-Milanes, Professor Giancarlo Casale, and Liam Gauci.

    Each seminar will include 20-mins presentations and a discussion, focusing in particular on historiography, methodology and sources.

    The participation is free of charge but registration is required. Please fill in this form to receive the Zoom link: https://forms.gle/eyLFguqHmbemFCT98

    Your participation and contribution will make for a fascinating interaction and exchange of ideas. 

    Please feel free to spread the word about this initiative.

  • 26 Apr 2022 6:52 PM | Gordon Reynolds (Administrator)

    Many of SSCLE's friends and members will be interested in a new article on useful digital sources:

    Katy Mortimer (PhD, Royal Holloway) has produced an article outlining the online resources available for studying the crusades, and argued for further development of digital humanities projects within crusade-studies.

    You can find Katy's article under the following:  

    K. Mortimer, 'Networks of Crusading: An Introductory Overview of Digital Resources for Research into People, Place and Space', Medieval People, vol. 36, no. 1 (2021), article 14. 

  • 26 Apr 2022 6:15 PM | Gordon Reynolds (Administrator)

    SSCLE has a new instagram page - @thelatineast - to help broadcast the research of our members and friends, share news, and raise awareness of the society.

    If you would like to feature on the page, share photos from your research in archives, in the field, or from conferences, please get in touch.

    You can DM the Instagram page itself or send an email to: ssclesocialmedia@outlook.com

  • 23 Apr 2022 7:37 PM | Gordon Reynolds (Administrator)
    Jochen Burghof (California State University, Fullerton) will be delivering a hybrid lecture entitled, 'Refugees and Population Displacement in the Eastern Mediterranean During the Crusading Era', on Friday 29 April, 3pm CST. You can attend the event in person at Adorjan Hall Room 142, Saint Louis University, or join via Zoom. To attend online, simply sign up to SLU's 'The Crusade Studies Forum', through the following link: http://www.crusadestudies.org  
  • 22 Apr 2022 11:22 AM | Gordon Reynolds (Administrator)

    Online Lecture by Hayley Bassett, University of Cardiff, Wednesday 4 May, 7–8pm (BST)

    When Baldwin II King of Jerusalem died on 22 August 1131, his eldest daughter Melisende became Jerusalem’s first regnant Queen and was crowned jointly with her husband Fulk and infant son Baldwin III. This talk will examine the monarchical relationship between Melisende and her co-rulers; firstly with her father Baldwin II until his death in 1131, then with her husband Fulk until his death in 1143 and finally with her son Baldwin III until she stood aside in 1152. Co-rule was not a harmonious partnership and the kingdom was brought to civil war twice during Melisende’s reign as the men she ruled with sought to wield power alone. 

    Hayley Bassett is a PhD student at Cardiff University. Her research interests include Anglo-Norman politics and diplomacy, particularly royal succession, regnant queenship, marriage, consorts and gender authority. In 2021 she received the St John Historical Society Award for original research. She is a contributor to Queens in Waiting: Potential and Prospective Queens, Ambitions and Expectations, due to be published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2022.

    This talk will take place over Zoom and live subtitles will be provided by Stagetext. A link will be provided when you book your ticket through Eventbrite UK.

    Melisende Queen of Jerusalem: Co-rule and Conflict in the Kingdom of Heaven Tickets, Wed 4 May 2022 at 19:00 | Eventbrite

  • 6 Apr 2022 12:43 PM | Kyle Lincoln (Administrator)

    The Crusades and the Medieval Mediterranean

    Friday 27th May 2022, Nottingham Trent University, UK

    We invite proposals for 20 minute papers from postgraduate, ECR and established scholars from the fields of history, literature, art history, archaeology, music or any other relevant discipline. The NNSC links together scholars working on all aspects of the Crusades in the Midlands and the North of England but proposals are welcomed from anyone currently working on a related topic. Pending any future coronavirus restrictions, it is envisaged that this will be an in-person event hosted at Nottingham Trent University in the UK with a view to offering opportunities to scholars, ECRs and PhD students to develop their in-person presentation skills and network with each other, though there may be options for online provision. Postgraduate students and academics who are developing papers for future conferences are welcome to attend and present working papers in a welcoming and friendly environment.

    Papers may consider any aspect or area of crusading activity, with a special emphasis on those which explore the Mediterranean settings of crusading activity, whether contributing to or impacted by crusading across any chronological or geographical field of enquiry.

    Themes could include but are not limited to:

    New encounters and interactions with cultures and societies.

    Crossing or living in border and frontier zones both real and imagined.

    Narratives of invasion, conquest and displacement.

    Diplomacy, communication between peoples, borders, languages.

    Environmental cultures: impacts of and recovery from natural and human-generated crises.

    Belonging, exclusion and marginalisation, gender and identity.

    Performance and memory of crusading in Mediterranean contexts.

    Material evidence and culture.

    Travel by land and sea, migration, trade, slavery, pilgrimage and cross-cultural interaction.

    Proposals should include a title and abstract of c.200 words, together with your name, institutional affiliation, and email address to Adam.Simmons@ntu.ac.uk by Friday 22nd April 2022.

    Please also list any additional equipment required for your presentation. All papers presented should last for no more than 20 minutes.

    This NNSC event will be co-hosted by the Centre for the Study of Religion and Conflict at NTU.

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