EMREM Symposium 2016

The registration for our annual symposium is open!


Chaos and Catastrophe;

Restoration and Renewal


5-6 May University of Birmingham, Arts Building, Lecture Room 3

Day One, Thursday 5 May

10.30– 11.30 Registration


11.30-13.00 Providence and Tragedy

Chair: Tayler Meredith

Polly Duxfield, UoB, ‘1275: The Catastrophic Year of Alfonso the Wise (1252-1284) and its Effects on the Rest of his Reign’

Kibrina Davey, Sheffield Hallam, ‘Preventing the Green Eyed Monster: Potential Othellos in Shakespeare’s Tragicomedies’

Jason R. Varner, St. Andrews, ‘Making sense of chaos: Puritain narrative cosmology in the experience of King Philip’s War’


13.00-14.00 Lunch (Danford Room)


14.00-16.00 Conflict and Rhetoric in 10th-14th century East Asia

Chair: Lance Pursey

Jonathan Dugdale, UoB, ‘Just a Kitan Dynasty Living in a Chinese World: Reconstructing the Political and Religious Networks of Post-Tang East Asia’

Chen Xue, UoB, ‘Rebels and Rebellions: The Identities and Boundaries in the 10th and 11th Century Chinese Historiography’

Lance Pursey UoB, ‘Ethnicity and Emplotment at the end of an Empire’

Geoffrey Humble, UoB, ‘Stories for Harmony? Biography, Conflict and Resolution Across Mongol China’


16.00-16.30 Tea Break


16.30-18.00 Byzantine Succession and Networks of Support

Chair: Francisco Lopez-Santos Kornberger

Joseph Parsonage, UoB ‘Marriage, Regency and Succession in Middle Byzantine Dynastic Strategy – Crisis and Renewal in the Imperial Family’

Niccolo Fattori, Royal Holloway, ‘With a Little Help from My Friends: Networks of Mutual Support in the Communities of the Greek Diaspora (16th c.)’

Onur Usta, UoB, ‘’From Catastrophe to Crisis: A Reconsideration of the Desert and Sown Paradigm in Relation to the Nomads of Asia Minor, (11th-13th and late 16th-early 17th centuries)’


18.00-19.30 Wine Reception, Sponsored by the Centre for the Study of the Middle Ages at the University of Birmingham


20.00-23.00 Conference Dinner


Day Two, Friday 6 May

10.00-10.30 Registration


10.30-12.00   Writing Lives and Ars Moriendi

Chair: Emily Buffey

Melanie Peters-Turner , UoB, ‘For the Divine Service which is to be Said for my Soul;: Testamentary evidence for Memorialisation in the Middling Classes’

Charles Green, UoB , ‘’The Death of all Arts’: Adapting Donne’s Apocalyptic Topoi in his Posthumous Poems (1633)

Alison Passe, Aberdeen, ‘The Multiple Deaths of Antony’


12.00-13.00 Lunch  (Danford Room)


13.00-14.30 The Book as an Object of Reform

Chair: Matthew Collins

Claire Harrill, UoB, ‘Royal Restoration: St Margret of Scotland and the Scottish Royal Line in the ‘Dunfermline’ Manuscript’’

Morvern French, St Andrews, ‘’Ostentatious by nature’: Flemish Material Culture, Conspicuous Consumption and Anglo-Scottish Relations at the court of James IV’

Ruth Caddick, UoB, ‘Renewing Romance: The Older Scots ‘Clariodus’ and its French Source’


14.30-15.00 Tea Break


15.00-16.30 Religious Reform, Heresy and Iconoclasm

Chair: Georgie Fitzgibbon

Ian Styler, UoB, ‘A Bishop, a Monk and a Saint and the Restoration of Monasticism: How AEthelwold, AElfric and AEthelthryth Influenced the Benedictine Reforms of the Late Tenth Century’

Mark Robinson, Nottingham Trent University, ‘The Council of Avignon 1209: Pacification, Reform and the Albigensian Crusade’

Sally Wadsworth, UoB, ‘Defiance in the Face of God: The Case of Henry Sherfield’


16.30, Closing Remarks and Refreshments


Please send your registration forms to emremforum@googlemail.com!










29th February, 7th March

Hello EMREM-ers!

We have decided not to run a session on Monday 29th February, as we anticipate that a lot of you will be attending the SHaC Academic Careers Series talk on ‘Becoming a Lecturer’ (4pm, Strathcona Lecture Theatre 7, more information can be found on the Facebook event).

We would love to see you all on Monday 7th March (as usual at 4pm in the Westmere Seminar Room). We will be talking about Birmingham’s new research institute for History and Cultures, BRIHC, and hope to have the interim director with us.

And finally, next Tuesday is our cfp deadline- please send us your proposals for papers, panels, or offers to chair!


Monday 8th February

On Monday 8th February we will be back in the Seminar Room of Westmere House at 4pm. 

Join us for a discussion on sources! Tell us about the interesting sources you are using, and feel free to bring along examples, as we think about the different approaches we are using in our research.

As usual, there will be nibbles!


Monday 25th January

Monday 25th January

6pm Bratby Bar

Join us for an informal planning session and social!


Important Information about Week 4:

On Wednesday 3rd February, our session will be at 3.30pm in the Barber Coin Gallery.

We will meet at 3.20 in the foyer. As space in the coin room is limited, could you please email us to sign up by Friday 29th January?

25th Jan

Monday 18th January


EMREM Material in the Cadbury Research Library

4pm in the Cadbury Research Library (basement of Muirhead Tower)

Interested in the CRL, the material it holds that might be useful for your research, or how to use archives more generally? Come along for an introduction by the archivists, and the chance to see some of the documents held on site!

Please note the change of venue!

18th Jan

Monday 11th January and key dates for Semester Two

Monday 11th January

4pm Seminar Room, Westmere House

Presentation Skills As You’ve Never Practiced Them Before!


Important Dates For This Semester:

Mon 18th January, 4pm in the Cadbury Research Library

Wed 3rd February, 3.30pm in the Barber Coin Gallery

Mon 21st March, 5.15pm, in the Bratby Bar


Call for Papers and Blog Posts

As with last semester, there is an open call for papers to be presented at our weekly sessions, and posts for the blog. If you have an idea, let us know!

11th Jan

Call For Papers: EMREM 2016 Symposium


The EMREM Postgraduate Forum

Annual Symposium

Thursday 5th and Friday 6th May 2016


Papers are invited for the 2016 EMREM two-day interdisciplinary symposium, to be held at the University of Birmingham. The theme for this year’s event is ‘Chaos and Catastrophe; Restoration and Renewal’.

Postgraduate speakers from all fields of EMREM are welcome to share their research and build networks at this friendly and well-established symposium.

Possible topics might include, but are not limited to:

Civil Wars                                       Restoration

Dynastic Feuds                              Legitimacy

Reformation                                   Counter-Reformation

Providential Disasters                 Conservation and Resilience

Disease and Famine                     Medicine and Containment

Memories of Catastrophe           Visions of Utopia

Death of a Leader                          Coronation

Collapse of Empire                        The New World

Sudden Death                                  Ars Moriendi

Apocalypse                                       Resurrection

Suffering                                           Hope


Papers should be 20 minutes in length. Please send proposals of approximately 300 words, OR 1000 words if applying as a panel, to emremforum@googlemail.com by 1st March 2016.

We have normally been able to provide the conference free of charge and with grants available to cover reasonable travel costs for speakers. We are confident that we will be able to do the same this year.