Conference in Durham: Darkness and Illumination – The Pursuit of Knowledge in the Medieval and Early Modern World

640px-Durham_castleThe Medieval and Early Modern Student Association (MEMSA) will hold its ninth annual postgraduate conference on 15 – 17th July, 2015. The call for papers (still open until Friday 17th April) reads:

This year’s Medieval and Early Modern Student Association conference will focus upon aspects of knowledge, learning, and control over information in the medieval and early modern periods and in doing so broaden perspectives not just about how people perceived their world, but also how they interpreted the past and the idea of progress.

We welcome abstract from postgraduates and early career researchers on all aspects of this topic in medieval and early modern archaeology, history, literature, theology, art, music, and culture. Presentation topics may include, but are not limited to:

• The ‘myths’ of the Dark Ages and the Renaissance
• The limits of archaeological, literary, and historical evidence
• The creation of the ‘primitive’ past
• Ideas of spiritual progression and improvement
• The growth of networks of learning
• Historical characterisations of race
• Scientific knowledge and discovery
• The expansion of the known and unknown world
• Gendered control of knowledge
• Urban and rural centres of learning
• Heretics, mystics, and conflicts over belief
• Publication, translation, and the availability of texts
• Artistic, musical, and cultural innovation


This seems to be a fine opportunity especially for young, aspiring scholars in the field of Medieval and Early Modern studies.

Conference in Warsaw: The Tree of Knowledge: Theories of Sciences and Arts in Central Europe, 1400−1700

There is an interesting conference coming up in May organized by the Liberal Arts faculty of the University of Warsaw (Poland). The website reads:

The seminar is open to all scholars working in the field of early modern intellectual history, or related disciplines such as history of philosophy or theology, but contributions from younger scholars (doctoral candidates and post-doctoral fellows) are particularly invited.

Arbor scientiarumIt seeks to investigate the way in which new currents of reflection on epistemology, the structure of knowledge, and the relations between arts and sciences impacted the intellectual culture of Central Europe on a variety of different levels: from philosophy of knowledge and theoretical reflection, through pedagogical organisation and methodology – the reform of schools and universities, to the wider dissemination of knowledge through print, and the fostering of national and international intellectual networks. A particular focus will be on Ramism and the reception of Ramist, pre-Ramist and post-Ramist models in diverse intellectual and religious milieus of Central Europe. In this way the seminar aims to place Ramism (broadly understood) in a wider intellectual trajectory, stretching back to the Middle Ages and Renaissance and looking forward to the Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution.