ASRFF Newsletter 1 (2010:1)
ACADEMIC SOCIETY FOR RESEARCH INTO
FREEMASONRY AND FRATERNALISM
Sheffield, 26 April 2010
Dear recipients of this newsletter,
some of you might have observed that the Centre for Research into Freemasonry and Fraternalism at the University of Sheffield not has issued a newsletter since February this year. Newsletter 46 (2010:2) was the last disseminated during my directorship.
During 2009 the CRFF failed to capture substantial grants that would have allowed the continuation of our activities. Furthermore a promised donation has not materialized. As a consequence the Faculty or Arts and Humanities at the University of Sheffield has decided to suspend the activities of the CRFF for the time being. The website has switched into hibernation and is not updated anymore.
I will leave the university at the end of June 2010 and have currently no other position or engagement beyond that date.
For university-based academic research into freemasonry and fraternalism in Europe there are challenging times ahead. We had hoped to reorganize some of our activities at the Chair for research into freemasonry at Leiden University, but the tragic death of professor Malcolm Davies earlier this year has prevented such a move. It is currently uncertain when and if the chair will be advertised again.
When we finally launched our Journal for Research into Freemasonry and Fraternalism last year we discussed the option to form an Academic Society for Research into Freemasonry and Fraternalism. A constitution was drafted and a circle of pro tempore board members appointed – with Malcolm Davies as chairman. We are now discussing the future of this organization. The Journal is however the first tangible outcome of truly international scholarly cooperation in the field and issue 1 was finally published in January this year. We were surprised that the University of Sheffield didn’t want to take credit of this initiative and have since then been very cautious to make any further connections between activities in the research area and the university. This has also prompted us to draw a clear line between the society, the journal and the University of Sheffield. We are looking into different solutions to diffuse this newsletter in the future and have created a temporary website for the society and everybody interested in the progress of the research area as an academic topic, http://asrff.blogspot.com (will be updated on a regular basis). Please link to this website and remove all previous links to freemasonry.dept.shef.ac.uk. We are looking into options to retain some of the features of the old website. Lanes and Draffens digital list of lodges will be hosted in coordination with the Library and Museum of Freemasonry in London. The library of the CRFF will be relocated to Tapton Masonic Hall in Sheffield thanks to a generous donation from UGLE Prestonian Lecturer and RWM of QC-lodge No. 2076 Dr John Wade. The remainder of our publication series Sheffield Lectures on the History of Freemasonry and Fraternalism is still for sale.
To order Vol. 1 on Freemasonry and Fraternalism in the Middle East(2009); Vol. 2 on Freemasonry and Fraternalism in Eighteenth century Russia (2009) and Vol. 3 Researching British Freemasonry 1717-2017(2010) please contact firstname.lastname@example.org+441142229890, HRI 34 Gell Street, S3 7QY Sheffield, United Kingdom.
New issues of the JRFF under preparation
Despite of these negative developments we are proud to announce that issue 2 and 3 of the journal are under preparation, scheduled for publication autumn 2010 and spring 2011. Please consult the journal website
for further information about our future publication and most of all: please support the research area through subscriptions to the Journal which is published online and in hard cover. If you have a university affiliation we ask you to kindly to submit a request to your library to sign up for a subscription. I assume that public libraries can be asked for the same thing.
Conference and event calendar
Dr Andreas Önnerfors will present an illustrated lecture at the Sheffield Cathedral Music and Arts Festival “Sheffield's Lost Symbols: A Guide to Freemasonry symbolism around the city” on Monday 7 June at 19:30 in Sheffield Cathedral. This is probably the last public lecture presented to a local audience and will be followed immediately by a farewell-reception in downtown Sheffield, place The Graduate, 94 Surrey Street t.b.c. Please register with email@example.com.
The conference “Women and freemasonry since the Enlightenment”, to be organized 17-19 June 2010 at the university of Bordeaux in France will gather a number of the best scholars in the research area. We have posted a link to the most impressive conference program on our blogasrff.blogspot.com. Please note the strong Sheffield-participation with papers by Dr Róbert Péter, Dr Robert Collis and Dr Andreas Önnerfors.
The conference “Jacobites and Anti-Jacobites, culture and diaspora” will take place at the University of Strathclyde, 24-26 June 2010. Dr Andreas Önnerfors will present a paper on “Swedish Freemasonry and its Jacobite connections”.
Another great event that lies ahead of us is the Third International Conference on the History of Freemasonry (ICHF) to be held at the George Washington Masonic Memorial, Alexandria, Virginia, from 27-29 May 2011. The first announcement and call for papers has now been issued and is available at: http://bit.ly/cwlknu
Please note that the deadline for proposals for papers is 30 June 2010 and please feel free to repost this announcement to any other lists or sites that you think may find the conference of interest.
We are also pleased to announce that the program of the next International Canonbury Masonic Research Centre conference on “Anti-masonry”, to be held 29-31 October 2010 soon will be finalized and also gathers some of the most excellent scholars in this area. For more information, please consulthttp://www.canonbury.ac.uk/
On Saturday 17 April the annual Charles A. Sankey Lecture series at Brock university in Ontario, Canada was inaugurated by Dr Andreas Önnerfors who delivered the lecture “Perceptions of Freemasonry from the Eighteenth Century to the Internet” with 500 people in the audience. The lecture was also recorded for future dissemination and will eventually be published. The annual lecture series in memory of Dr. Sankey is the first step towards the establishment of an endowed Chair for masonic studies at the Canadian university, promoted by the Grand Master’s initiative of the Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario, RWM Raymond S.J. Daniels. For more information, see http://grandlodge.on.ca/
On Friday 9 April the first academic symposium organized by the Scottish Rite Museum of National Heritage in Lexington/Massachusetts “New perspectives on American Freemasonry and Fraternalism” took place. Jessica Harland-Jacobs delivered a keynote lecture on new theoretical approaches towards the subject followed by six individual presentations on a variety of topics ranging from antebellum Virginian associational life via the depths of American transcendentalism to the Ku-Klux-Klan in the early Twentieth century. The symposium was well attended, not at least by Grand Master and Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts as well as representatives of the Supreme Council 33°, Scottish Rite Northern Jurisdiction. The fascinating collections at the Van-Gorden-Williams Library and Archives were also well worth a separate visit:http://www.monh.org/Default.
On Saturday 13 March German lodge of research organized a conference on masonic ritual. Among such distinguished speakers as professor Jan Snoek, Dr. Andreas Önnerfors presented a paper titled “Das freimaurerische Ritual im Lichte neuer Ritualtheorien”.
Between Tuesday 9 March and Friday 12 March the research group Esotericism and Enlightenment (headed by prof Monika Neugebauer-Wölk) at the University of Halle, Germany organized its final conference “The Enlightenment in its referential context of modern esotericism”. Dr Andreas Önnerfors presented a paper titled “Esoteric performance–enlightened philosophy: the case of freemasonry”. The conference was very well attended and the scholarly debate of the topics presented was intense. The program of the research group is presented on