CfP ‘Objects of Devotion. Religion and its Instruments in Early Modern Europe’ (17-18 april 2020, University of Toronto)

Objects of Devotion. Religion and its Instruments in Early Modern Europe

How were religious ideas and practice realized through interaction with objects? How did the presence of sculptures, paintings, books, and church furniture—their visibility, tactility, and materiality—help form attitudes toward devotion, sacred history, and salvation? In other words, how did people think with things—both clerics and lay devotees? What was the complex role of sacrament houses, altarpieces, pulpits, jubés, and baptismal fonts in molding ideas about the central tenets of Christianity? How did statues of Christ and the saints make both present and problematic these issues—particularly when they involved performances: carried about the town, taken down from the cross and laid in the sepulcher, or lanced to emit spurts of blood? How did tombs help form ideas about the body, its mortality, and the hope of resurrection? How was the material of these objects comprehended—and what were the consequences of choosing sculpture over painting or selecting one stone over another? How were statues of Christ transformed when real hair was attached to their heads? How did lay, unoffical devotional practice differ from institutionalized forms of piety and how did they both influence each other? How did objects sustain both the status concerns and the often very precise religious beliefs of their patrons? Rather than verify these readings through early modern texts, we recognize both texts and objects as opaque cultural references that must be interpreted according to complex conventions and triangulated to offer compelling readings.

Historians of the late medieval and early modern period have created an antithesis between spiritual (inward) and physical (outward) devotion, branding the latter as superficial, ritualistic and mechanistic. More generally, from the first Protestant historians to Max Weber and his followers, the Reformation has come to be represented as the classic watershed between material, magical devotion and spiritual, rational belief. In a similar vein, art historians have opposed the notion of the medieval cult image, material and functional, to the early modern work of art, subject to aesthesis (Carolyn Walker Bynum, Hans Belting). Yet, does it make sense to distinguish between late medieval and early modern religious culture, given the fact that the definitions and boundaries of these periods are notoriously problematic and considerably overlap? To what degree have these differing traditions dictated separate approaches to these objects and their role in forming beliefs and practices?

We look for papers that draw from material culture studies, social history, art history, religious studies, and anthropology. And we envision a relatively small conference of about 18 speakers from a variety of disciplines. Talks will be limited to 20 minutes with equal time for discussion.

We are happy to cover hotel costs for 3 nights. Unfortunately we cannot reimburse travel expenses. If you are interested in this conference, please send us the following:

  • Name
  • Institutional Affiliation
  • Paper title (not more than 15 words)
  • Abstract (not more than 150 words)
  • Curriculum vitae of 2-3 pages
  • Brief explanation of the relevance of your paper to the theme of the conference

Please send your information and any questions to and

Ambachten en Stedelijke Economieën in de Zuidelijke Nederlanden (12e-19e Eeuw), Ieper 11 oktober 2019

Guilds and Urban Economies in the Southern Low Countries (12th-19th Centuries)

Ambachten en Stedelijke Economieën in de Zuidelijke Nederlanden (12e-19e Eeuw)


Place & date/plaats en datum: Vleeshuis, Boomgaardstraat 3-7, 8900 Ieper, Yper Museum, Friday 11 October 2019/Vrijdag 11 oktober 2019

Organisation/Organisatie: Jan Dumolyn (UGent) & Bart Lambert (VUB), with/samen met Sandrin Corevits (Yper Museum)

Supported by/Met de steun van City Alliantieonderzoeksgroep stadsgeschiedenis UGent – VUB, Henri Pirenne Institute for Medieval Studies (UGent) & Yper Museum

Please confirm your attendance before 15 September 2019 at and/or /Gelieve uw aanwezigheid te bevestigen voor 15 september 2019 via en/of



10:00 Welcome and coffee/welkom en koffie

10:30-11:30 Keynote Lecture/keynotelezing

Martha Howell (Columbia University, New York): ‘Artisans and the Civic Whole : Corporative Ethics, Economic Realities, and Sociopolitical Struggle’.

11:30 Coffee break/koffiepauze

11:45-13:15 Morning Session/ochtendsessie

Chair/moderator: Paul Trio (KULAK)

-Jan Dumolyn & Leen Bervoets (UGent): ‘Guilds, Urban Space and Collective Action in Thirteenth-Century Flemish Towns: The Ypres Cokerulle Revolt (1280) Revisited’.

-Peter Stabel (UA): ‘The Real Guild Revolution? Social Hierarchy and the Formalization of Labour Relations: Some Examples from the Ypres Textile Industry’.

-Wim De Clercq, Paulina Biernacka, Dante de Ruijsscher & Jan Trachet (UGent): ‘Ysere ghesleghen niew of hout. Interdisciplinary Research into the Ironworking Activities of the Medieval Harbour at Hoeke’.

-Lise Saussus (LAMOP, Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne): ‘Les hommes aux marteaux : productions, ateliers, niveaux de vie et relations professionnelles des métallurgistes douaisiens de la fin du Moyen Âge’.

13:15-14:15 Lunch, Museum Café Yper Museum

14:15-15:45 Afternoon Session/namiddagsessie

Chair/moderator: Jelle Haemers (KUL)

-Ward Leloup (VUB-UGent): ‘From Tanners Square to Tawers Street: The Leather Industry Located in Sixteenth-Century Bruges’.

-Wout Saelens (UA-VUB): ‘Industrial Energy Consumption in Eighteenth-Century Ghent and Leiden (c. 1650-1850’.

-Matthijs Degraeve (VUB): ‘Industrial Districts in the City: Locational Patterns of City Builders in 19th-Century Brussels’.

-Bert De Munck (UA): ‘A History of Anachronisms: Guilds from Bulwarks to Institutions to Commons’.

15:45-16:00 Coffee break/koffiepauze

16:00-16:30 Conclusions/conclusies: Marc Boone (UGent)

16:30-18:00 Opportunity to visit the Yper Museum/Mogelijkheid tot bezoek van het Yper Museum

new version of the Database of Byzantine Book Epigrams (DBBE)

We are excited to release a new version of the Database of Byzantine Book Epigrams (DBBE, hosted at Ghent University), freely accessible at

Thanks to the generous support of the Special Research Fund of Ghent University, DBBE has been completely redesigned over the past two years, in close collaboration with the Database, Document and Content Management research group of the Faculty of Engineering of Ghent University and with the Ghent Centre for Digital Humanities.

The corpus of Byzantine metrical paratexts collected in our Database has been consistently enlarged, through the systematic consultation of manuscripts and relevant secondary literature, and it now counts some 10700 single epigrams, over 7000 of which are the result of first-hand inspection of (reproductions of) manuscripts. In comparison with the previous version of DBBE, our users are offered the possibility to navigate more easily through the different records, which are much better linked to each other. The search function of Greek text has been refined and provides users with more accurate results.

While the distinction between Occurrences (unique epigrams as to be found in manuscripts) and Types (normalised texts of similar occurrences) has been retained, a new way to group epigrams has been introduced: the Verse Variants records. These pages display a clear overview of the parallels and deviations of single verse lines. The Verse Variants are accessible by clicking on single epigram verse lines.

The main scope of DBBE is collecting Byzantine book epigrams and offering their texts to the scholarly community. However, we are aiming to make available contextual data as well, and have paid major attention to the improvement of information on Manuscript and Persons. The Bibliography section has been adjusted and it now includes a search path.

We gladly refer to our Help page and Search Tricks and Tips page for more information.

We encourage users to explore the new features of DBBE and are eager to welcome their comments and feedback at

For the whole DBBE team,

Floris Bernard
Julián Bértola
Julie Boeten
Cristina Cocola
Sien De Groot
Kristoffel Demoen
Pieterjan De Potter
Ilse De Vos
Rachele Ricceri
Anne-Sophie Rouckhout

Petitie Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut in Rome

Het is niet gebruikelijk dat de Vlaamse Werkgroep Mediëvistiek petities doorstuurt, maar in dit geval willen wij een uitzondering maken omdat het hier het functioneren betreft van het Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut in Rome. Deze petitie is opgesteld door Maarten van Deventer en Minou Schraven naar aanleiding van de volgende berichtgeving in de NRC:

Bent u het eens met de petitie dan vragen wij u om deze te ondertekenen:

Net verschenen: ‘De Zwarte Koning’ van Michael Kestemont

De Zwarte Koning – Michael Kestemont

Hoe is het koningshuis in godsnaam betrokken bij de grootste doofpotoperatie uit de Belgische kunstgeschiedenis? En wat was de rol van de enigmatische Prins Karel, die zijn broer Leopold na de oorlog moest opvolgen?

De Zwarte Koning onthult de spannende intriges rond de koningskwestie en de link met het verdwenen paneel van de Rechtvaardige Rechters. Een extreem spannende pageturner voor de liefhebbers van Dan Brown!


Michael Kestemont is professor aan de Universiteit Antwerpen waar hij digitale tekstanalyse doceert aan het departement letterkunde. Aan de hand van kunstmatige intelligentie gaat hij na hoe computers kunnen bijdragen aan de studie van historische en hedendaagse literatuur. Zijn spraakmakende analyses wierpen al nieuw licht op het auteurschap van Karel ende Elegast, maar ook op de anonieme schrijver van het Nederlandse volkslied Wilhelmus.


Vacature – 5 PhDs voor “Innovation through Education: Pioneering Change in Law and Theology in Louvain’s Golden Age”

In oktober 2019 zal het interdisciplinaire onderzoeksproject “Innovation through Education: Pioneering Change in Law and Theology in Louvain’s Golden Age” worden gelanceerd.

Het project wordt geleid door een team bestaande uit de LECTIO-leden prof. Wim Decock (Romeins Recht en Rechtsgeschiedenis, woordvoerder), prof. Wouter Druwé (Romeins Recht en Rechtsgeschiedenis), prof. Randall Lesaffer (Romeins Recht en Rechtsgeschiedenis), dr. An Smets (KU Leuven Bibliotheken) en prof. Violet Soen (Vroegmoderne Geschiedenis), met de steun van prof. Mark Depauw (Oude Geschiedenis/Digital Humanities), prof. Wim François (Geschiedenis van Kerk en Theologie) en prof. Jan Papy (Latijnse Letteren).

Het team opent nu een oproep voor 5 doctoraatsfuncties binnen het project, gefinancierd door het Onderzoeksfonds van de KU Leuven. Een volledige versie van de functiebeschrijving vindt u via deze link: Deadline voor sollicitaties is 15 augustus 2019.

Voor meer informatie kunt u contact opnemen met de woordvoerder ( of één van de teamleden.

Herinnering VWM-uitstap ‘Alamire Foundation en Abdij van Park’ – 21 juni 2019, Leuven

Op vrijdag 21 juni 2019 organiseert de Vlaamse Werkgroep Mediëvistiek haar jaarlijkse uitstap voor de leden. We bezoeken de Alamire Foundation (Internationaal Centrum voor de Studie van de Muziek in de Lage Landen) en de omliggende Abdij van Park, een norbertijnenabdij gelegen in Heverlee bij Leuven.

Directeur Bart Demuyt zal ons onthalen en laten kennismaken met de werking van de Alamire Foundation. Samen met mediëvist prof. dr. David Burns zullen we vervolgens de middeleeuwse handschriften van de collectie verkennen, waaronder het beroemde Leuven Chansonnier. Enkele onderzoekers van de Foundation zullen ook hun onderzoeksprojecten kort voorstellen. Ter afsluiting van de dag neemt dr. Stefan Van Lani ons op sleeptouw tijdens een exclusive rondleiding in de Abdij van Park.


De Alamire Foundation werd in 1991 opgericht als een samenwerkingsverband tussen KU Leuven, Onderzoekseenheid Musicologie en Musica, Impulscentrum voor Muziek. Als internationaal studiecentrum stelt de Alamire Foundation zich tot doel wetenschappelijk en praktijkonderzoek te stimuleren, te coördineren en uit te voeren. Daarbij concentreert zij zich specifiek op de muziek en het muziekleven in de Nederlanden van de middeleeuwen tot 1800. Bijzondere aandacht gaat uit naar het in kaart brengen en ter beschikking stellen van onbekend of onontgonnen materiaal.

Met inzet van state-of-the-art methodes, onder meer op het vlak van digitalisering, wordt dit muzikaal erfgoed geconserveerd, bestudeerd en gevaloriseerd. De muziek, in handschrift of druk, wordt ontsloten door traditionele publicaties als inventarissen, facsimile’s en kritische tekstuitgaven en via innoverende digitale databanken. De wetenschappelijke discussies en conclusies vinden hun weg naar monografieën en vaktijdschriften, waaronder het eigen Journal of the Alamire Foundation. Samenwerking en contacten met de academische en de uitvoerderswereld, erfgoedinstellingen en de culturele sector resulteren in internationale conferenties, muzieklabo’s, festivals, concerten, tentoonstellingen en multimedia-applicaties.

Lees meer over de geschiedenis van de Alamire Foundation


  • Datum: 21 juni 2019
  • De uitstap is gratis voor leden van de VWM. Niet-leden kunnen zich eveneens aansluiten, mits een bijdrage van 10 euro.
  • De Alamire Foundation is gevestigd in de gerestaureerde Mariapoort en Sint-Norbertuspoort van de Abdij van Park in Heverlee bij Leuven. We verzamelen om 10.15 uur aan de ingangvan de Sint-Norbertuspoort (zie kaartje onderaan), zodat we om 10.30 uur kunnen starten.
  • Lunch is niet inbegrepen. Tijdens de middagpauze kan men een eigen broodje eten of iets bestellen in ‘Brasserie De Abdijmolen’.
  • Gelieve in te schrijven vóór 1 juni via het onderstaande formulier (maximum 20 personen!)


Call for papers: International Meetings of the Middle Ages (28-29 November, Nájera)

Next Autumn, on 28-29th of November, the city of Nájera (La Rioja, Spain) will once again host the International Meetings of the Middle Ages, organized by the Medieval Research Group of the University of Cantabria.

Historians, PhD researchers and Graduate students are encouraged to submit abstracts for research presentations or posters on topics related to Law and Authority in the Medieval Atlantic city (and beyond).

Abstracts should be no more than 500 characters and should clearly state the purpose, thesis, methodology, and principal findings of the paper to be presented. Successful proposals will be published in 2020. All abstracts and a short CV should be submitted electronically to Jesús Solórzano and Jelle Haemers.

The deadline for submissions will be September 1st, 2019. More information about the topic of the conference and practical details can be found in the following file: Najera meetings call for papers 2019.

Boekvoorstelling ‘La transmission du pouvoir monarchique, entre droits et devoirs. Du moyen Âge à nos jours’, 24 mei (Brussel)

Op vrijdag 24 mei om 17.00 uur stelt Standen en Landen trots volume 113 in de reeks voor. La transmission du pouvoir monarchique, entre droits et devoirs. Du moyen Âge à nos jours bundelt bijdragen van Jean-Marie Cauchies, Gustaaf Janssens, Frédérique Lachaud, Sophie Glansdorff, Klaas Van Gelder, Frederik Dhondt, Pierre-Olivier De Broux, Vincent Dujardin en Matthias El Berhoumi. De voorstelling wordt opgeluisterd door een lezing van Prof. Gilles Lecuppre (UCLouvain/Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense) en gaat gepaard met een receptie en bezoek aan de kelders van het voormalige paleis van onze landsheren.

 Voor meer informatie kan u terecht op deze link.

CfP “The Literature, Literary Culture and Historiography of the Middle Ages” (Paris, 4.-7. November 2019)

The University of Bergen, the Bergen Medieval Research Cluster and the Norwegian University Centre in Paris are happy to welcome all PhD candidates to apply to an interdisciplinary PhD Workshop in Paris in 4-7 November 2019. The seminar will be held in English, and will feature a series of leading medieval scholars – including UiB’s professor Leidulf Melve and professor emeritus Sverre Bagge. The full lecture programme will be published in due course.

In addition to the key note lectures from invited lecturers, the seminar will consist of presentations and discussions of the PhDs’ papers. The aim of the seminar is to highlight the role of the Middle Ages in French and Norwegian historical traditions, the changing role, methods, purposes and uses of the humanities, potential problems in reception research and historiographical analysis. While we hope that the workshop will serve to inspire theoretical reflection and to heighten the awareness of the general aspects of the participants’ own projects, the candidates’ papers should primarily be of specific (and specified) use in the PhD applicant’s own projects.

Call for Papers

The Middle Ages have been the object of enduring interest for scholars ever since the Middle Ages were constituted as an analytical framework by renaissance scholars and enlightenment philosophes. The ‘Medieval’ has for all successive generations been simultaneously a term of abuse, a label for primitivism and ridicule, for complexity and abstraction, a space for poetic and spiritual reflection, a caricature of depotism, barbarism and popular liberty, a source for political renewal and golden age-theories, as well as an object of study. The Middle Ages have been a movable feast – a label which has changed its meaning and been applied to different times, places, ideals and problems in posterity. To a wide range of disciplines, the evolving reception of the written texts of the Middle Ages gives a particularly poignant lens through which to view the development of national narratives, political theory and the humanities as academic disciplines.

The seminar will take place at the Centre Universitaire Norvègien de Paris, located close by the old university quarters in Paris at the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme. The following themes are example of the approaches that could be discussed at the seminar:

– The research history of medieval studies, in particular the Scandinavian and the French traditions.

– The development of a particular historical topic through the course of a literary tradition.

– The changing perceptions of the literary culture, production and contexts in the Middle Ages.

– The development of method(s) in scholarly writing about the Middle Ages.

– The relationship between history-writing and political theory, religious thought, philosophy, law or political rhetoric.

– The use of the Middle Ages in political theory, religious thought, philosophy, law or political rhetoric.

– The Middle Ages in national narratives, in particular the Scandinavian and the French traditions.

– Medievalism in music, literature, architecture, art or aesthetic theory.

– Comparative, methodological or critical perspectives on the given topics.

Apply to participate

Before the course starts, each participant will prepare a paper for pre-circulation. The paper will address your research project in relation to (a) course theme. A paper of no more than 15 pages must be submitted by 1 October. 30 minutes will be allotted to each presentation, followed by comments and a discussion of 15 minutes. The seminar will start with lunch Monday 4 November and end with lunch Thursday 7 November. Participation in the seminar will be accredited by 5 ECTS points. The course is capped at 14 PhD candidates.

We will be able to fund the housing and dining costs of the participants, but travel expenses have to be covered by the home universities. Please send us the preliminary title of your paper and a short abstract of no more than half a page  your PhD project before 15 June, so that we can assess applications to join. We welcome candidates from all nationalities, backgrounds and relevant disciplines!

You can send your application via e-mail to the Bergen Medieval Research Cluster coordinator Dr. Irene Baug and other enquiries to Peter Hatlebakk.