NEWS FROM THE CENTRE FOR RESEARCH INTO FREEMASONRY
No. 28: JUNE 2008
Dear colleagues, dear friends!
Apologies for the slight delay in sending this newsletter.
1) Report from the Director’s travel to the United States
Between May 15th and June 1st, the Director of the CRF visited several states in the U.S. in order to establish contact with libraries with Masonic collections as well as academic institutions to negotiate potential co-operation with the Centre. Links were established with the following institutes:
• Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction (www.scottishrite.org)
• George Washington Memorial in Alexandria (www.gwmemorial.org)
• Livingstone library at the Grand lodge of New York (www.nymasoniclibrary.org)
• Grand lodge of Pennsylvania (www.pagrandlodge.org)
• Oakland Scottish Rite (www.scottish-rite.org)
• Henry Wilson Coil Library and Museum at the Grand lodge of California (www.freemason.org)
The Director of the centre presented a paper at the Scottish Rite bodies in Washington D.C. (www.dcsr.org) titled “From Darkness to Light in Swedish Scottish Degrees” and attended an open lecture lecture titled What is Initiation - Initiation Into What? by André Kestleloot at the lodge of Nine Muses in Washington (www.lodgeoftheninemuses.org). At the conference of the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies at the university of Bloomington/Indiana (depts.washington.edu/aabs/) the Director presented a paper titled “Imagining a Common Space: Freemasonry in the Baltic Sea Area in the 18th Century”. This offered also the opportunity to an inspiring meeting with world famous author of Freemasonry for Dummies, Chris Hodapp (members.aol.com/hodapp/fmfd.html).
A very inspiring meeting took place at UCLA, where future cooperation in the area of research into freemasonry were decided upon (see 2).
Without the help and support of the people below, the stay in the US would not have been as successful as it turned out. I want to express my gratitude to: Mark Tabbert, Brent Morris, Arturo de Hoyos, Heather Calloway, Jason Van Dyke, George Seghers, Tom Savini, Tom Jackson, Andrew Zellers-Frederick, Adam Kendall, Margaret C. Jacob, John Slifko and Chris Hodapp.
2) Memorandum of Understanding to be signed between the CRF and UCLA
As a result of a meeting at UCLA Faculty centre in Los Angeles in May, the Department of History and the Centre for Research into Freemasonry formalised their relationship through the forthcoming signing of an expression of intended co-operation, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The purpose of the MoU is to encourage the development in the following areas:
• Visits and informal exchanges of faculty, scholars and administrators in specific areas of education, research and outreach.
• Explore ways to co-operate in postgraduate education and training.
• Organize joint conferences, symposia, or other scientific meetings on subjects of mutual interest.
• Exchange of academic information and materials.
• Pursue avenues for graduate and professional student exchange during the academic year or summer terms.
• Explore the possibilities for developing joint research programs and collaborations.
• Other exchange and cooperation programs to which both parties agree.
Once the document is signed, it will be the first formal partnership agreement between the Centre and other academic centres and institutions.
3) ICHF 2009 – panel for Young Researchers
The deadline for submission of papers to next year’s ICHF is now closed. The Academic Committee will select among the 80 papers and panels submitted during the course of the summer. However, it has been decided to arrange a panel for Young Researchers (postgraduate and PhD-students) with the aim to discuss joint challenges and experiences. Young researchers are also invited to submit posters for presentation.
During a research seminar in London, a group of PhD-students discussed the outlines of this event and I am happy to forward their invitation:
‘A Young Researchers Panel will be held at next year's International Conference on the History of Freemasonry. Young researchers whose work is related to freemasonry are invited to present their research during a special gathering at the conference. Some PhD students are already involved in this project, which will be an excellent opportunity to discuss your research, and enquiries from interested PhD students is welcome. For further information you can contact Anaïs Maes (PhD student at the Free University of Brussels) through email: firstname.lastname@example.org.'
4) New CRFF Working Paper
The Working Paper “ ‘Men are not to be essentially distinguished…’ Cosmopolitan Foundations of Freemasonry” by Andreas Önnerfors will be published on the website of the Centre www.freemasonry.dept.shef.ac.uk/workingpapers.htm
5) New perspectives on research into guilds – a report from a conference in Konstanz/Germany
A conference on the history of craft guilds took place at the University of Konstanz/Germany June 12th-14th. The conference attracted 15 European experts on the topic with a focus on new perspectives and approaches, such as identity formation, establishment strategies and artistic expressions. The Director of the CRF presented a paper entitled, “From Stone-Masons to Gentleman-Masons: Changing Associational Patterns of Freemasonry in Early Modern Urban Space”. It is obvious that craft guilds are an inspiring field of research. Many speakers pointed out that a guild is to be understood as a dynamic and ‘universal model applicable to many situations’ (Praak) and that the varieties are larger than the constants. A revised history of guilds and craft fraternities calls for a revised history of freemasonry, especially in its history of transition towards the type of association so typical of the 18th century. Professor Marten Praak from Utrecht presented an inspiring keynote lecture on the construction of mediaeval religious buildings in comparison between Europe and Asia.
6) Conference on Spanish freemasonry in Almería 2009
Call for papers from the 12th International Symposium on the History of Spanish Freemasonry, 8th -10th October 2009 in Almería/Spain. The theme of the conference is “”Spanish Freemasonry: Repression and Exile”. A copy of the call as well as more information is available at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
7) Request for support concerning a PhD-project by Dorothe Sommer
As some of you know, I'm in the process of writing my PhD on freemasonry in Ottoman Syria before 1908. My idea is to introduce single chapters or paragraphs with quotes from masons. The question - my question is: what is it that makes masonry for you PERSONALLY important? What does it mean to you? I would be more than grateful if the masons among you would answer me with one or two sentences (please not more!).
Of course, if you don't want to be mentioned, I just note your initials!
Thanks a lot for your help!”
8) Project proposal on masonic certificates
During Spring 2008, Harriet Sandvall, an art historian worked at the Archive and Library of Freemasonry in London with a pilot study on masonic certificates. The primary goal was to gain experience in how this rarely used source material can be exploited in future studies. Some of the examples of Harriet’s work can be accessed through the catalogue in London (www.freemasonry.london.museum/catalogue.php type “certificate” in the search field). It is obvious that masonic certificates are one of the most fascinating sources of material in the history of the craft, and that there is hardly any methodology established in how to use them as sources for historical research. During the summer, the Centre will prepare a draft application for a major grant with the aim of launching a large-scale project on the history and function of masonic certificates. You are invited to provide with information on previous projects and publications on masonic certificates. If you have access to collections that hold masonic certificates, we would appreciate information on the number and age of these documents.
Sheffield, 30th June 2008
Dr. Andreas Önnerfors
Director / Senior Lecturer in History
Centre for Research into Freemasonry
34, Gell Street
Sheffield S3 7QY
Telephone: +44 (0)114 222 9893
Fax: +44 (0)114 222 98 94
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