2022 PMRG Conference – Registration and Programme

Registration is now open for the 2022 PMRG conference ‘Colonialism: Subaltern Voices, Contested Histories, Subverted Spaces’ at https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/pmrg-annual-conference-2022-tickets-424727851437.

The conference will be  held on Friday 14 and Saturday 15 October at the UWA EZone Building (North) in Fairway, Nedlands.

The full programme with abstracts is available here. (All times are AWST which is eight hours ahead of UTC/GMT) 

The hybrid conference can be attended in-person or online with full facilities available for each session via Zoom.

2022 PMRG Conference – Call for papers extended

The 2022 PMRG Conference will be held on 15 October 2022 as a hybrid event at the University of Western Australia and online. The theme of the conference is Colonialism: Subaltern Voices, Contested Histories, Subverted Spaces.

The call for papers has been extended to Monday, 22 August.

Please send proposals (150–200 words per paper), along with author’s name, paper/panel/round table title, and academic affiliation (if any) to [email protected]Proposals from third year and Honours students are welcomed.

Perth time is GMT+8hrs. We will try to accommodate different time zones for virtual presentations where possible.

Read more about the conference here.

Vale Dr Anne M. Scott

It was with great sadness that we learned of the death in September 2021 of our esteemed colleague Dr Anne M. Scott (UWA). Anne was the Convenor of the Australian Research Council Network for Early European Research (2006–2010), editor of Parergon (2006–2016), former President and long standing committee member of the Perth Medieval and Renaissance Group (PMRG), and honorary researcher in the School of Humanities at The University of Western Australia. Anne made an extraordinary contribution as a researcher and academic leader of the first order, and will be greatly missed.


The 2021 Annual General Meeting of the Perth Medieval and Renaissance Group Incorporated will be held on Monday, 15 March 2021, at 6:30pm at The University of Western Australia (Arts Building, ALR 8). The formal part of the meeting should conclude by 7pm.  We will then have a presentation from one of our founding members, Emeritus Professor Chris Wortham. Chris’s topic is ‘Shakespeare and the Forest of Arden’. 

Nominations are now open for people who wish to become a member of the PMRG Committee or wish to nominate for the positions of President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer.  The final date for nominations is Monday, 15 February 2021. Nominations should be sent to the PMRG Secretary: [email protected].

Public Lecture: "I’ve Got You under My Skin: The Green Man, Trans-Species Bodies, and Queer Worldmaking."

Thursday, 14 August 2014
6.30pm, Venue Arts Lecture Room 5 (G.61), Ground Floor, Arts Building, UWA

Carolyn Dinshaw
Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis and English
Chair, Department of Social and Cultural Analysis
New York University


The eerie figure of the foliate head, at once utterly familiar and totally weird, was a decorative motif well nigh ubiquitous in medieval church sculpture in Western Europe. This imagined mixture of human and vegetable — a head sprouting leaves or made up of vegetation — became known in the 20th century as the Green Man. It has proven to be a powerful icon of boundary crossings (sexual and racial) in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries in the US, UK, and Commonwealth countries. This aesthetically intricate, affectively intense image represents a body that is a strange mixture, a weird amalgam: it pictures intimate trans-species relations. Carolyn Dinshaw describes foliate heads in their medieval casino online settings and then traces modern and contemporary uptakes of this imagery in buy viagra online the US, UK, Canada, and Australia (including work by Western Australian author Randolph Stow), focusing particularly on the traumatic contexts of HIV/ AIDS and of decolonization out of which new queer worlds are being imagined.

About the Speaker

Carolyn Dinshaw is Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University. Her books include Chaucer and the Text (1988), Chaucer”s Sexual Poetics (1989), Getting Medieval: Sexualities and Communities, Pre- and Postmodern (1999) and How Soon is Now? Medieval Texts, Amateur Readers, and the Queerness of Time (2012). Find out more about Professor Dinshaw”s work and research interests here.

Dr Craig Taylor’s Visit

Book CoverSponsored by CMEMS and the Institute of Advanced Studies, Dr Craig Taylor (The University of York) is coming to visit in late June 2014. As well as taking part in the PMRG/CMEMS/CHE Symposium, ‘In Form of War: Emotions and Warfare in Writing, 1100-1820’, we can look forward to a Postgraduate Masterclass on ‘Chivalry’ and a public lecture on ‘The Trials of Joan of Arc’ on 26 June.

IAS/CMEMS Postgraduate Masterclass: ‘Chivalry’

In this masterclass, I will be asking students to consider the fundamental confusions that beset our modern use of the term ‘chivalry’. In general usage, the term now carries a set of romantic connotations that barely reflect neither the reality of aristocratic behaviour during the middle ages, nor the more complex representations offered by medieval commentators and writers. We will therefore consider how far such anachronistic assumptions prevent real engagement with the medieval past, as well as the deeper problem of defining chivalry simultaneously as the textual representation of knightly values and the wider aristocratic culture.

For more details, or to register, see: http://www.ias.uwa.edu.au/masterclass/taylor

IAS/CMEMS Public Lecture: ‘The Trials of Joan of Arc’

This lecture will explore the two great trials of the celebrated French heroine, firstly at Rouen in 1431 while in the hands of her enemies and then between 1455 and 1456, when a posthumous investigation nullified the verdict of the original trial. Given the rejection of the original trial as a sham, it is natural that modern scholars have offered increasingly sophisticated analyses of the records of Joan’s public and private interrogations at Rouen in 1431; under such careful scrutiny, these sources raise fascinating questions regarding the ‘truthfulness’ of medieval records and of Joan’s story, as well as different kinds of insights into wider questions of religion and gender in late medieval society. Yet the records of the second trial have not received as careful attention, in large part because they remain pivotal to undermining the credibility of the original heresy trial. In this lecture, I will therefore turn the spotlight into the second trial, suggesting new ways in which scholars might approach these familiar records.

For more details, or to book a seat (this is a free public lecture, but RSVPs are requested), see: http://www.ias.uwa.edu.au/lectures/taylor

About Dr Craig Taylor

Craig Taylor is a Senior Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of York, and a Fellow of both the Société de l’Histoire de France and the Royal Historical Society. Craig is currently Chair of the Graduate Board of Studies in the Department of History at the University of York, and in October 2014will become Director of the internationally-renowned Centre for Medieval Studies.

His research focuses upon the political, aristocratic and martial cultures of late medieval France and England, and in particular the intellectual and cultural representations of chivalry and warfare in the age of the Hundred Years War (1337-1453). His publications include Joan of Arc, La Pucelle (Manchester University Press, 2006), Debating the Hundred Years War: Pour ce que plusieurs (La loi salicque) & A declaracion of the trew and dewe title of Henrie VIII (Camden Series, 2007) and  Chivalry and the Ideals of Knighthood in France during the Hundred Years War (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013).

Craig is also a co-investigator on a major AHRC-funded project on England’s Immigrants which runs until February 2015. This explores the extensive archival evidence about the names, origins, occupations and households of a significant number of foreigners who chose to make their lives and livelihoods in England in the era of the Hundred Years War, the Black Death and the Wars of the Roses. The project will contribute creatively to the longer-term history of immigration to England, and help to provide a deep historical and cultural context to contemporary debates over ethnicity, multiculturalism and national identity.

Public Lecture: “Marriage, Passion and Love”

“Marriage, Passion and Love.” (A chapter from Anne of France’s ‘School for Ladies’: Gendered Emotions and Power in Early Modern France)
Associate Professor Tracy Adams (The University of Auckland & ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions Distinguished International Visiting Fellow)

Date: Monday 10 February 2014
Time: 5.30 – 6.30pm (please note that this is earlier than previously advertised)
Venue: Webb Lecture Theatre, G21, Geography Building, The University of Western Australia

Abstract: This project follows the careers of a female network originating at the court of Anne of France (1461-1522), regent for her brother Charles VIII, and mentor to many girls who went on to illustrious careers: Marguerite of Austria, Louise of Savoy, Diane de Poitiers and Anne of Brittany. To this original circle I add the next generation: Anne of Brittany’s daughters Claude, Queen of France and Renée, Countess of Ferrara, together with Louise of Savoy’s daughter, Marguerite de Navarre, who in turn trained her own daughter, Jeanne d’Albret. Master of politics, Anne passed on knowledge about succeeding in a man’s world. Her father Louis XI chose her to be unofficial regent on his deathbed, apparently believing that in this way she would encounter less opposition than if she were formally appointed. Although female regency in France continued to be exercised unofficially, it was an important institution. From the beginning of Anne’s regency until Louis XIV came of age, ending the regency of Anne of Austria, the kingdom was for all practical purposes ruled by women for about 42 years, which is to say that, in a kingdom that prohibited female rule, women ruled about 25% of that time.

I examine Anne of France’s extended circle as an “emotional community” with the goal of understanding how members were prepared emotionally to exercise power while conforming to a repertoire of female stereotypes. Their libraries are of special interest, because in the works they shared we find models for ideal emotional modulation. I will present from a chapter on marriage, passion, and love. Passionate love was the result of an imbalance of humors; marital affection was an idealized, modulated emotional state between spouses in dynastic marriages. I compare some idealized representations of marital relationships in works from the libraries of the women with reports about these relationships from chronicles and ambassadors’ letters. These sources are all “texts”, of course, but I believe that, in comparing what was perceived as an ideal with impressions of the women, we find clues as to how they assimilated and manipulated their
emotional models.

This public seminar is hosted by the Perth Medieval and Renaissance Group (PMRG), The Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (CMEMS) and the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (CHE).

MEMS Sundowner Programme

Over several evenings in September and October, our MEMS Sundowner series will showcase recent MEMS research by Masters students at UWA. Join us to hear papers from some of the Master of Medieval and Early Modern Studies students who completed their studies last year, and to toast their past and future success with wine and nibbles.

All of the Sundowner sessions will be held in Arts Lecture Room 6 at UWA (Arts Building, Ground Floor, G.62), commencing at 5.15pm and running until 6.45pm.

The Programme:

September 24th: Hugh Chevis & Sarah McKenna

Hugh Chevis
Inheritance strategies amongst families in the West Country woollen cloth industry in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

My aim was to study if and how families involved in the woollen textile industry in the West Country region of England maintained their commercial position through several centuries. I analysed the probate and other documents of 50 individuals (and over 450 beneficiaries).

I found there was considerable family continuity in the woollen textile industry in the West Country in the sixteenth to early eighteenth centuries. Continuity was achieved by the transfer of property to sons and other male heirs, but also in no small part by the active role of women and the extended family. This contrasts with London and perhaps other urban settings, where there was much less continuity and women, while active in business, were not as active in the wealthier trades or in managerial roles. These families were part of, or arose from, the peasant yeomanry to which the family based or domestic model applied. They developed a proto-industrial model to manage the textile industry, and achieved this, I hypothesize, by drawing upon the flexibility of the extended family or domestic model derived from their agricultural roots, rather than using traditional guild dominated models, or other business models used in urban industrial settings.

Sarah McKenna
The Prophetic Tradition of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Prophetiae Merlini in the Twelfth Century

Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote the Historia Regum Brittanniae, and included a set of prophecies attributed to the Welsh prophet Merlin. These prophecies related to political events in England occurring during the fifth century up until the twelfth century. To establish the authority for these prophecies Geoffrey of Monmouth copied the literary structures of several classical sources, such as Vergil’s Aeneid and from the Book of Daniel. This paper studies Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Prophetiae Merlini and how this twelfth-century historian used prophetic traditions to transmit the Welsh legend and prophecy to the Latin reading world.

October 8th: Jo Merrey & Michael Ovens

Jo Merrey
Shamefast and Shamefaced: Knights, Poverty and Shame in Late-Medieval English Romance.

In this paper I will explore the tensions inherent in the concepts of a chivalric ideal, poverty and shame in late medieval English romances through the lens of the knight-protagonists as either shamefast or shamefaced. For each of the knight-protagonists in the romances selected, their experiences of shame and poverty relate to and impact on their status or identity as knights. The appropriateness of the protagonists’ responses to their various situations provides a measure of attitudes towards the social, political and textual crises which occur when shame, poverty and chivalry collide.

Core texts: the Stanzaic Guy of Warwick, Sir Isumbras, Sir Amadace, Sir Cleges and Sir Launfal.

Michael Ovens
‘If thou wert sensible of courtesy’: Hal, Hotspur, and the English Gentleman in 1 Henry IV.

The combat between Hal and Hotspur at the end of Shakespeare’s 1 Henry IV can be read a symbolic encounter between two different world-views – but which world-views? In this paper I will argue that these characters do not represent simple binaries of old and new, medieval and renascent, broadsword and rapier. Rather, I will argue that Hal’s victory is a metaphor for the emergence of the social ideal of the English gentleman, and that Hotspur represents the past ideal of medieval English chivalry which, though praiseworthy, lacks the kind of ‘completeness’ required by the new social landscape of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

October 22nd: Alana Bennett & Brid Phillips

Alana Bennett
Music, Performance and ‘al maner menstraci’ in Medieval Romance.

Medieval romances are driven by performance: they are often recounted by first-person narrators and they feature characters whose musical performances influence the events of the narrative. My dissertation examined the place of musical performance and narrative performance within a range of Middle English, Old French, Anglo-Norman and Middle High German romances.

Bríd Phillips
The Locus Amoenus: Emotional Excess in the Ovidian Model

The locus amoenus or “pleasant place” is a topos popular from the classical Greek period through to the early Roman imperial period and is characterized by trees, shade, and cooling water. I explore how Ovid uses the space of the locus amoenus to disarm the reader with the beauty of the landscape before enacting a corruption that metamorphoses the body physically or psychologically. Having become, through Ovid, a site of extreme emotion, the locus amoenus was a place where desire and extremes of emotion could be discussed and explored by different writers across different periods. Use of the Ovidian locus amoenus allows Chaucer to examine extremes of emotions such as grief and desire which I explore in The Book of the Duchess and The Parliament of Fowls.