Category Archives: Conference

Conference on the Aldine Edition of the Ancient Greek Epistolographers – John Rylands Library, 17 June 2019

Reblogged on ‘What is a letter’.

Lives of Letters

The Aldine Edition of the Ancient Greek Epistolographers: Roots and Legacy

accompanied by an exhibition: “Old and Rare Editions of Ancient Greek Epistolographers”.

Monday 17 June 2019, 10.00 am – 4.00 pm, Christie Room, John Rylands Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3EH

The Aldine edition of Greek epistolographers, published in 1499 in Venice, is the first printed edition of most of the 36 letter collections that it contains. Its text was based on earlier medieval epistolaria, and itself formed the basis for most of the subsequent printed editions of the collections it contained. Despite its principal position and importance, the current value of this edition for the study of Greek epistolography is not widely understood. The aims of the Rylands event are to examine collections of ancient Greek epistolographers included in the Aldine and to explore i) the roots of the Aldine edition, ii) its relationship to the medieval Byzantine manuscript epistolary collections, iii) its…

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CA & CFP: Melancholy, Love and Letters – International Congress on Soror Mariana Alcoforado (1640–1723), Beja, Portugal – 15–17/11/19

Source of information and text/s: conference website
Name of event: Melancholy, Love and Letters – International Congress on Soror Mariana Alcoforado (1640–1723)
Dates: 15–17 November 2019
Hosts: NOVA University of Lisbon, in collaboration with the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Venue: tbc

Description (from the conference website; not edited): The obscure letters a nun from Beja, Portugal, wrote to her fugitive lover build a crescendo of longing, affliction and abandonment, refashioning the pristine motives of medieval Galician-Portuguese «songs of a friend» with a new baroque hypersensitivity. They have attained, since their unauthorized publication in 1669, 350 years ago, an improbable success throughout Europe and the world, sparking fashions, instigating literary and scholarly battles, and inspiring countless imitations and tributes.

About these poignant documents of hopelessness, everything has been questioned: the letters’ authorship and original language; their author’s sex and nation; the authenticity or artifice of the emotions they project; the veracity or fictionality of the biographical and topographic contexts they evoke. Scholars, polemists, literary critics and Mariana’s devotees have put forward strong arguments in favor of various hypotheses concerning the text’s authorship, which have been raised, denied, reformulated, resumed, recombined, and joined also by a growing corpus of recreations that threaten to relegate the text itself to a faded background. Despite this fertile reception, or by virtue of it, Mariana’s passion remains at the center of the gallery of Portuguese love myths, parallel to the tragedy of Pedro and Inês.

Three and a half centuries later, the time has come to rescue the text, reevaluate its authorship, and celebrate the inexhaustible fascination of its themes: volition and desire, expressed through the ancient practice of prayer; the penitent self-examination, trained in the rigorous discipline of confession; and the «contemptus mundi», root and pillar of the cloistered condition. Mariana’s tribulations thus attain the full potential of the four canonical readings: the historical (the unhappy convent romance in Beja), the allegorical (the existential solitude of any individual), the moral (the desperation of lovers facing the impossibility of total union), and the anagogical (the lament of the soul, while abandoned in its earthly exile, yearning for its return to the Creator).

The NOVA University of Lisbon, in collaboration with the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and with the generous support of Beja Town Council, will hold an International Congress on Soror Mariana Alcoforado in Beja, on 15-17 November 2019, to mark the 350 years of the princeps edition of ‘Lettres portugaises traduites en françois’ (Paris: chez Claude Barbin, 1669). The Portuguese National Library will showcase a related bibliographical exhibition, among other celebrations in Beja, Lisbon and worldwide.

For a description of the conference programme, see their website.

CFP: Please send paper proposals on Mariana Alcoforado, on love letters, or on Beja and Alentejo writers such as Mário Beirão (1890-1965), Luís Amaro (1923-2018), and others to mariana @ by June 30. Include title, 300-word abstract, and a brief bio note. Presentations in Portuguese, English, French, and Spanish will be accepted.

Submitted proposals will be reviewed by July 15 and acceptance decisions will be communicated by e-mail by July 20.

Conference fees: participants, including round trip Lisbon/Beja, 2 nights accommodation, dinner, luncheon and Congress Certificate – 25€; attendees – free (may join the travel, pending availability of places).

CFP: Epistolary Bodies: Letters and Embodiment in the Eighteenth Century, Leicester, 24/05/2019

Source of information: conference website
Date: 24 May 2019
Place: University of Leicester
Organisation: Sarah Goldsmith (Leicester), Sheryllynne Haggerty (Nottingham) and Karen Harvey (Birmingham) – as part of the Midlands Eighteenth-Century Research Network (MECRN).

Description: This interdisciplinary one-day conference explores the relationship between letters and bodies in the long eighteenth century, and the information that can be found about ‘embodiment’, or experiences of the body, in letters. What can letters add to our understanding of eighteenth-century bodies? How might letters allow us to ‘embody’ activities such as work, trade, sociability and worship? How did the form and style of letters shape the knowledge about the body that they communicated? As material objects themselves and often carried on the person, what relationship did letters have with the body? Can bodily states, such as illness, be discerned from the mingled intellectual and mechanical act of writing? Alternatively, consideration might be given to the metaphorical role of bodies in letters in the eighteenth century, in for example, bodies of correspondence or the body politic.

Call for Papers:: Please submit abstracts (max. 300 words) for 20-minute papers to by 25 February 2019. We also encourage postgraduate students to submit proposals (max. 100 words) for 3-minute lightening talks.

Topics might include:

  • Family letters on domestic, medical or corporeal practices
  • Doctor/patient correspondence
  • Business letters related to trades for the body (dress, food and beauty)
  • Differing discussions of the body as relating to age, gender, religion, politics etc
  • Foreign bodies in travel letters
  • Letters in novels
  • Representations of letters and reading in artwork
  • The material letter
  • The physical act of writing and/or reading
  • The body as a metaphor in letter writing

The event is open to all, and we particularly encourage proposals from the MECRN universities: Birmingham, Birmingham City University, Derby, Nottingham, Nottingham Trent, Leicester, Warwick and Worcester.

Original URL:

Reblogged – Fragmentary Lives: Conference Report — In Their Own Write

The first conference organised under the auspices of ‘In Their Own Write’ was held at The National Archives, at Kew, on Saturday the 9th of June. The theme of the conference was “the survival and interpretation of ego documents”, and it brought together a huge range of fascinating work on the subject. For those of […]

via Fragmentary Lives: Conference Report — In Their Own Write

Conference: Der Mittelalterliche Brief zwischen Norm und Praxis – Aachen (11/17)

Organisation: Prof. Dr. Florian Hartmann, RWTH Aachen University

Dates and venue: 30.11.2017-02.12.2017, Aachen, Historisches Institut, Leonardo-Raum, RWTH Aachen University, Theaterplatz 14, D-52056 Aachen

Im Jahr 2013 nahm das DFG-Netzwerk zur mittelalterlichen ars dictaminis seine Arbeit auf, um das erste Handbuch der mittelalterlichen Briefstillehre überhaupt zu verfassen. Mit diesem Werk wird erstmals ein umfassender Überblick über die bis heute in Tausenden von Handschriften überlieferten, in der mittelalterlichen Praxis also enorm geschätzten, in der Forschung aber meist ignorierten Prosalehren geboten, welche die theoretische Grundlage fast der gesamten Textproduktion des späteren Mittelalters waren. Parallel zur derzeitigen Schlussredaktion dieses Handbuches soll auf der internationalen Konferenz anhand ganz unterschiedlicher Beiträge die Vielfalt mittelalterlicher Briefkultur demonstriert werden. Ein wesentliches Ziel besteht darin,laufende Forschungsprojekte zu vernetzen und exemplarisch den Blick für das Potential und den Reichtum zu schärfen, den die wissenschaftliche Beschäftigung mit dem reichen Bestand mittelalterlicher Brieftheorie und Briefpraxis bereithält.


Do, 30.11.2017

Florian Hartmann (Aachen): Projektvorstellung und Zielsetzung des

Benoît Grévin (Paris): Potential und Desiderata der Forschungen zur
mittelalterlichen Briefstillehre: die Briefsammlungen

16:15 Pause

Sektion I (Matthias Thumser, Berlin)
Briefe, Briefsammlungen und ihre Überlieferung im späten Mittelalter

Micol Long (Ghent): Letters in context: Learning through letters in the
late Middle Ages

Sara Bischetti (Venedig): Tradizione e circolazione manoscritta delle
opere dettatorie di Guido Faba

Lena Vosding (Düsseldorf): Monastische Briefsammlungen des späten

Fr, 1.12.2017

Sektion II (Fabio della Schiava, Löwen)
Von der ars dictaminis zum Humanismus

Harald Müller (Aachen): Der Humanistenbrief und sein Publikum

Marco Petoletti (Mailand): Raccolte di lettere del Trecento

10:30 Pause

Clémence Revest (Paris): La diplomatica pontificia tra ars dictaminis e
umanesimo : metodi di ricerca e piste interpretative

11 :45
Thomas Wölki (Berlin): “Gnediger herr, lasst mich nit auf die
fleischpank geben!” Der Einsatz von Briefen in der politischen Kultur:
Unbekannte Briefe zur Gradner-Fehde 1455/1456

12: 30 Mittagspause

Sektion III (Benoît Grévin, Paris)
Forschungsperspektive 1: Ars dictaminis und Notariat

14:00 Matthieu Allingri (Aix-en-Provence): Culture notariale et Ars
dictaminis en Toscane et en Catalogne: une comparaison

14:45: Magdalena Weileder (München): Zur Benutzung von Formulae in der
Praxis in der Kirchenprovinz Salzburg

16:00: Führung durch den Aachener Dom für Referentinnen, Referenten und

Sektion IV (Antonio Montefusco, Venedig)
Forschungsperspektive 2: Von der ars dictaminis zur Literatur

17:30 Nicolas Michel (Namur): La place du Morale Somnium Pharaonis dans
le réseau des collections de dictamina, un cas atypique d’hybridation

18:15 Gaia Tomazzoli (Venedig): Dall’ars dictaminis al linguaggio
figurato dantesco: il caso delle metafore politiche

Sa 2.12.2017

Sektion V (Fulvio Delle Donne, Potenza)
Forschungsperspektive 3: Ars dictaminis als Zugang zu Wissen und

9:00 Francesca Battista (Wien): Women’s Voices in Medieval Letter
Collections and Artes dictandi

9:45 Francesca Tarquinio (Florenz): Storia e geografia nel

10:30 Pause

11:00 Martina Pavoni (Florenz): Il mondo nuovo nelle espistole. L’amore
nei “Carmina Ratisponensia”

11:45 Luca Core (Padua): La “revolutio” della “Rota Veneris”

12:30 Abschlussdiskussion: Ergebnisse und Forschungsperspektiven

Prof. Dr. Florian Hartmann
Historisches Institut
Wissensdiskurse des Mittelalters
RWTH Aachen University
Theaterplatz 14
52056 Aachen

Source URL: <;

CFP: Letters in Troubled Times: Evaluating Epistolary Sources; Tallahassee 02/2018

Organizers: Suzanne M. Sinke, Professor, Department of History, Florida State
University; G. Kurt Piehler, Director of the Institute on World War II
and the Human Experience, and Professor at Florida State University;
Sylvia Hahn, Vice-Rector and Professor, University of Salzburg

Conference date and venue: 16.02.2018, Tallahassee, Florida State University
Submission deadline: 22.10.2017

This conference seeks to bring together scholars of Austrian and American history along with others who have an interest in evaluating and utilizing letters from the past as sources. Representatives of the Austrian Migrant Letter Collection project, sponsored by the University of Salzburg, will discuss some of their findings. Representatives from the History Department and World War II Institute at Florida State University will provide insights from their collection. The organizers welcome other scholars with expertise in epistolary critique as well as those interested in Austrian migration more broadly. After the conference, the group plans to publish a selection of papers in a special edition of the Journal of Austrian-American History. There is no fee to participate. The conference sponsors will cover hotel and meal costs for accepted participants. Airfare will be available for a limited number of scholars as well.

Conference sponsored by the Department of History and Institute for World War II and the Human Experience at Florida State University and the University of Salzburg.

Please send an abstract of 150-250 words describing the paper you would like to present to by 22 October 2017.

Suzanne M. Sinke, Professor, Department of History, Florida State

URL of original source:

Colloquium: Varnhagen von Ense, seine Sammlung und sein Kreis in europaeischer Perspektive – 10/17

Source of original post:

Author: Dr Nikolaus Gatter

Organiser: Varnhagen Gesellschaft e. V.
Date & Place: 21.10.2017 – 22.10.2017, Le Relais Charlemagne, 4, Route de Laon,
02840 SAMOUSSY, France

“Napoleon war… bei Laon in seinem Unternehmen gescheitert”. Mit diesen Worten leitet Karl August Varnhagen von Ense (1785-1858) seinen Bericht von den letzten siegreichen Scharmützeln des europäischen Eroberers Bonaparte ein, dessen Ende 1815 durch die Schlacht von Belle-Alliance oder, wie es heute geläufiger heißt, Waterloo besiegelt wurde. Durch Arbeitstagungen und Colloquien, u. a. 2002 in Florenz (Villa Romana), 2004 in Kleve (Schloss Gnadenthal) und 2009 in Bad Münster am Stein / Ebernburg, deren Erträge der Almanach der Varnhagen Gesellschaft (bisher drei Bände, Berlin: Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag 2000-2015) dokumentiert, hat die Varnhagen Gesellschaft auf die Autographensammlung des Sammlers und Memoirenschreibers Varnhagen aufmerksam gemacht. Sie wird als Teil der im Zweiten Weltkrieg aus der ehemaligen Preußischen Staatsbibliothek ausgelagerten Bestände heute in Krakau (Biblioteka Jagiellonska) aufbewahrt. In Zusammenarbeit mit der Jagiellonischen Universität verweisen die dortigen Archivare auf die Bedeutung dieser Bestände als europäisches Kulturerbe, dessen Erschließung und editorische Bearbeitung noch kaum begonnen hat. Das hängt einerseiits mit der Fülle vorhandener Briefe von und an 9000 Personen, andererseits mit der Tatsache zusammen, dass durch Auslagerung und Teilung die Sammlung fast ein halbes Jahrhundert lang nicht genutzt werden konnte. Anlässlich ihres 20jährigen Bestehens lädt die Varnhagen Gesellschaft zu einem Colloquium in Samoussy bei Laon (Nordfrankreich) ein, das sich den europäischen Aspekten des Netzwerks widmet, das in den Briefen von und an 9000 Personen dokumentiert ist und nachzuvollziehen bleibt. Eine Anmeldung ist unter der Vereinsadresse erforderlich.


Samstag, 21. Oktober 2017

Stadtführung durch Laon mit dem Historiker MARIEL HENNEQUIN (Le Nouvion en Therache) Treffpunkt: vor dem Rathaus von Laon, Place du Général-Leclerc, 02000 Laon

Nachmittags bei Interesse der Teilnehmer evtl. Exkursion zum Chemin des dames im Umland

Sonntag, 22. Oktober 2017

MICHAEL JONES (Coleraine):
Frederick Augustus Hervey (1730-1803). European Traveller of his age

RAPHAEL CAHEN (Paris / Brüssel):
Friedrich Gentz 1764-1832. Penseur post-Lumières et acteur du nouvel ordre européen

“…hängt mit dem ganzen System der verbündeten Mächte eng zusammen”. Europa in Varnhagens Blättern aus der preußischen Geschichte

“alles mahnt mich nun dringend dir zu schreiben”. Rosa Maria Assing im Briefwechsel mit Karl August Varnhagen von Ense

Ein Leben auf Papier: Fanny Lewald und Adolph Stahr: Der Briefwechsel 1846-1852

KLAUS F. GILLE (Amsterdam):
Heine und Europa mit einem Seitenblick auf Varnhagen

The Jewess as Pariah: Rahel Varnhagen, Hannah Arendt and Eleanor Marx

Ende der Tagung gegen 17.00


Contact & more information:

Varnhagen Gesellschaft e. V.
Hausweilerstraße 2, 50968 Köln
++49 221 16812719
++49 221 16812719

Webseite der Varnhagen Gesellschaft mit aktuellen, unser
Interessengebiet berührenden Terminen, Hinweisen auf Vereinsaktivitäten
und einer Linksammlung. <>