Three Calls for Papers

The Nineteenth Century Studies Association has issued a Graduate Forum Call for Papers for its 34th Annual Conference to be held in Fresno, California on March 7-9th, 2013.

Building on the Nineteenth Century Studies Association’s 2013 conference theme of Loco/Motion, graduate students are invited to submit proposals about the medium of pilgrimage in the long nineteenth century (1789-1914) to a graduate student forum session.  From religious travels to personal journeys (actual and imagined), this panel seeks abstracts that will address the role of the pilgrim as traveler in the nineteenth century, whether in America or abroad.

Abstracts of 250 words (including the author’s name, paper title, and institutional affiliation) should be sent with a one page CV by email to Emily Bailey at no later than September 25th, 2012.

Presenters will be notified of their acceptance in November 2012.

For further details about the NCSA 2013 conference, please download the flyer posted at


The Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies has announced a Call for Papers for its 2013 Multidisciplinary Graduate Student Conference. The submission deadline is Monday, October 15th, 2012, and the conference will take place on January 24-26th, 2013.

The center invites abstracts for fifteen-minute papers from master’s or PhD students, on any medieval, Renaissance, or early modern topic in Europe or the Mediterranean or Atlantic worlds. We encourage submissions from disciplines as varied as the literature of any language, history, classics, anthropology, art history, music, comparative literature, theater arts, philosophy, political science, religious studies, transatlantic studies, disability studies, and manuscript studies.

Eligibility: Proposals are accepted only from students at member institutions of the Center for Renaissance Studies consortium, who may be eligible to apply for reimbursement for travel expenses to attend (visit for details).

Submissions are accepted online only, at


And finally, a Call for Papers from the 2013 annual conference of the Illinois Medieval Association, co-sponsored by the Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies. The conference will take place at the Newberry Library in Chicago, February 15-16th, 2013 and the keynote speaker will be Gary Macy of Santa Clara University. The theme of this year’s conference is “Piety, Ritual, and Heresy: The Varieties of Medieval Religious Experience.” Since 1983, IMA has promoted medieval studies in Illinois and the Midwest, hosting an annual meeting and publishing proceedings from those meetings in Essays in Medieval Studies.

Graduate students are invited to submit papers from across the disciplines; preference will be given to submissions related to the conference theme, but abstracts on any aspect of medieval studies are welcome. The conference welcomes proposals for individual papers as well as entire sessions. Three-paper sessions will be scheduled for 90 minutes, with 20 minutes for each paper plus time for discussion. Proposals should include a one-page abstract of the proposed paper, or an abstract for each paper in a proposed session, as well as contact information for the individual submitting the proposal.

Submit proposals electronically to Karen Christianson at, no later than October 15th, 2012. See the IMA’s web page,, for more information.


Newberry Library Grad Student Conference in Renaissance Studies, A Reflection

Interested in graduate student conferences? Read first-year MAE student Melissa Smith’s take on the Newberry Center for Renaissance Students conference, which she attended in late January.

The Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton St, hosted the Newberry Center for Renaissance Students 2011 Multidisciplinary Graduate Student Conference from Jan. 27–29, drawing students from all over, including two of DePaul’s Masters in English students—Brianna Tonner and Diana Anderson.

I don’t know how many of you have been to the Newberry Library, but it’s beautiful. A stone façade with rounded archways, opening up into a foyer, with staircases, as well as rooms on the first floor. So beautiful that many weddings are held there each year. Tucked away to right of the entrance is Ruggles Hall, where I attended a panel at the conference. The rich tones of the room created the perfect atmosphere for listening.

Now, I wasn’t able to attend the whole conference, but it was interesting to see exactly what scholars at the M.A. and PhD level are studying and researching.

“The Women, Men and the Ideal Marriage: Didactic Gender Messages in the Renaissance Arts” panel was one of the first sessions of the conference, drawing about 35 people to support these scholars and learn more about gender issues in The Canterbury Tales, The Duchess of Malfi, and cassone panels. For those not well versed in art history, cassone panels are painted images from a now defunct tradition of giving chests as a part of the dowry.

The four students treated the panel as any professional would— reading their papers and explaining concepts that might not be clear to the audience, trying to make us understand, as well as be able to give accurate feedback on their work. At the end, the student presenters fielded questions from the audience.

Brianna Tonner (MAE) spoke about the spectacle of pregnancy in The Duchess of Malfi. While I was unfamiliar with the text, she did a good job of making the audience understand the differences between the prose and play version of the narrative, as well as highlighted key scenes that illustrated her point. Although my research interests are mostly in Romantic and Victorian prose, I left the presentation wanting to read the text to discover the gender and class issues myself.

The other presenters also entertained the audience with unique perspectives on the works they were researching, and I was introduced to new thoughts on various Medieval stories and tales.

It has been a while since last I read The Canterbury Tales and I can honestly say I know nothing about art history or cassone panels, but it didn’t matter. I was able to follow along. The students presented clear, concise ideas about masculinity in “The Millers Tale,” ecocriticism in “The Franklin’s Tale” and the parable-like images of the Continence of Scipio.

Sitting in the audience, it wasn’t as scary as I thought, well for me anyways. The presenters may have been scared but they handled themselves well, especially when they realized that the audience was there because we wanted to learn.

MAE Students to Present at Newberry Renaissance Conference

You are invited to attend the Newberry Center for Renaissance Students 2011 Multidisciplinary Graduate Student Conference to be held January 27-29.

Seventy-two graduate students from consortium institutions throughout the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. will present their research during the conference’s eighteen sessions. Two DePaul University Masters in English students, Brianna Tonner and Diana Anderson, will be presenting. Support from their peers and colleagues is appreciated and encouraged.

From the website:

The Center for Renaissance Studies’ annual graduate student conference, organized and run by advanced doctoral students, has become a premier opportunity for maturing scholars to present papers, participate in discussions, and develop collaborations across the field of medieval, Renaissance, and early modern studies. Participants from a wide variety of disciplines find a supportive and collegial forum for their work, meet future colleagues from other institutions and disciplines, and become familiar with the Newberry Library and its resources. Each year since 2007, selected papers have been published in a peer-edited online conference proceedings.

The conference is free to attend, but registration is encouraged. You can view a conference schedule (PDF) and register at their website.

You are also welcome to attend the Newberry Consort performance of Baroque music and the dinner following on Friday evening (advanced registration required).

Congratulations Brianna and Diana!

Meet the GAs: Katie Wesolek

Program: MAE

Graduate Assistant Role:  tutor in the writing center and assistant to Matthew Pearson in faculty services

Accomplishments, Publications: presented at Chicagoland Writing Centers Conference last academic year, Sigma Tau Delta member, Golden Key Honor Society member

Favorite Author or Period of Study:  Early Modern drama, but I also love several authors outside of that period (of course) such as George Elliot, Flannery O’Connor, T.S. Elliot, and Jessica Powers

Plans for the school year: Finish two classes (Structure of Modern English and a Medieval req.) and write my thesis under the guidance of Professor McQuade. I also plan to attend a conference in November at Notre Dame and will submit a paper to the Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies graduate student conference. There are also a lot of great talks and symposia at the Newberry throughout the year that I plan to fit into my schedule. I am on the board of Sigma Tau Delta, the English honor society, and will be helping plan activities and events for English majors and grad students this year. 

My fascination with literature probably started with my parents reading aloud to my siblings and I from the time I was a toddler. I’m not sure what possessed them to begin with Beowulf, the Illiad, and the Oddessy since neither of them was an English major.

My undergrad studies were undertaken in a rather unconventional way, which, no matter how I explain it, always leaves people a bit confused. A condensed version follows: I joined a missionary outreach organization after high school and studied my undergrad through one of their universities. The university (Universidad Anahuac) is in Mexico City, but I spent the 4 years at the American campus in Rhode Island and earned a B.A.  in Education. After that, I spent 5 years in Dallas, TX involved in the mission work of the organization. At the same time, I continued studies with a university in Rome (Regina Apostolorum) for a licentiate in Religious studies with an emphasis on Catholic theology.

After leaving Dallas, I spent a short stint in the corporate world as an executive assistant in a Chicago area company. There, I realized I had no attraction to the corporate world, so I applied for the MAE program at DePaul and started in Januay 2008.

Apart from studying, I love to draw and paint, dance (swing, Latin, and ballroom), host dinner parties, play ultimate frisbee with my friends, hear classical music live, volunteer in the community and at my church, meditate, spend time with my 7 rowdy siblings and 2 baby nieces, and explore obscure and interesting aspects of Chicago. 

Stay tuned for more graduate assistant profiles in this series.

Newberry Library Milton Seminar

Please visit the Newberry Library’s website for more information on this event.

From the website…

Now in its twenty-fifth year, this seminar brings together interested scholars to read and discuss selected precirculated papers on aspects of Milton studies. Each meeting is conducted by a seminar leader, who delivers a brief presentation and leads a discussion based upon a paper he or she has written. To obtain precirculated papers, see the registration section below.

Sponsored by DePaul University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Loyola University Chicago, Northwestern University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Newberry Library Milton Seminar is directed by Christopher Kendrick, Loyola University Chicago; David A. Loewenstein, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Helen Marlborough, DePaul University; and Regina Schwartz, Northwestern University.

All sessions are free and open to the public; registration in advance is required.

The first event is Saturday, October 30, 2010 at noon.

Call for Papers: Graduate Renaissance Conference

The Newberry Library Center for Renaissance Studies is pleased to announce:

Call for Papers for the 2011 Multidisciplinary Graduate Student Conference

Deadline for submissions: October 15, 2010

Conference dates: January 27-29, 2011

PDF flyer printable in color or black-and-white. Please distribute and post.

We invite abstracts for 15-minute papers from master’s or Ph.D. students on any medieval, Renaissance, or early modern topic in Europe or the Mediterranean or Atlantic worlds. We encourage submissions from disciplines as varied as the literature of any language, history, classics, art history, music, comparative literature, theater arts, philosophy, religious studies, transatlantic studies, disability studies, and manuscript studies. We also hope to include at least one panel of papers dealing with the digital humanities.

Priority is given to students from member institutions of the Center for Renaissance Studies consortium.


Faculty and graduate students from Center for Renaissance Studies consortium schools are eligible to apply for travel funding to attend Center for Renaissance Studies programs or to do research at the Newberry Library. Contact your school’s faculty representative for details: The Center’s main web page is: