New Voices 2022

We are delighted to announce that the first winner of Arc’s Future Perfect New Voices Awards Program is:

Tomislav Matić, Bishop John Vitez and Early Renaissance Central Europe: The Humanist Kingmaker

This is a study of tumultuous Central European politics, religion and culture, viewed from the perspective of the life and career of John Vitez, an influential figure of the Early Renaissance.

This monograph by Tomislav Matić, from the Croatian Institute of History, has been published in June 2022 in hybrid Open Access format (that is, free online on several digital platforms including OAPEN, Project MUSE and JSTOR, and also in hardback for libraries that wish to have a printed copy).

Its OA funding derives from donations (i) from fellow medievalists (sometimes in lieu of fees due to them): Ellie Woodacre (Winchester), Cristina Pimenta (Porto), Axel Mueller (Leeds), Andrew Elliott (Lincoln), and Nicholas Morrow Williams (Arizona State); (ii) from university libraries: Tilburg (NL), and Cardiff, Sheffield, and York (UK); and (iii) from partial match-funding from Arc Humanities Press. We are extremely grateful to all these contributors.


Provisional List of Arc’s Future Perfect New Voices Awards Program, 2023/2024

  • Chambers, Performing Disability in Medieval and Early Modern Britain

Taking an evidence-based and multidisciplinary approach to perceptions of identity and “othering” in premodern society, this book examines the nature and socialization of disabled performers in the medieval and early Tudor periods. Using Records of Early English Drama, literary representations, and targeted histories of disability in the medieval period, it unpicks the conceptualization of, “impairment” as a performative act during this period. It will appeal to a wide audience, including historians of theatre and performance, disability advocates and theorists, and social historians.

Mark Chambers is Teaching Fellow in the Department of English Studies at Durham University and co-editor of the Records of Early English Drama collection for County Durham.


  • Clark, Children’s Literature and Old Norse Medievalism

How do contemporary authors respond to and transform key aspects of Old Norse history and viking culture for a 21st-century audience? How do these texts reflect our beliefs about, and desires for the past, our constructions of childhood and adolescence, our anxieties around gender, sexuality, and ethnicity – and  a future occluded by apocalyptic ecological threat? David Clark explores these questions through readings of a rich body of diverse material which retells, updates and transforms Norse culture.

David Clark is the author of two monographs – Between Medieval Men: Male Friendship and Desire in Medieval English Literature and Gender, Violence, and the Past in Old Norse – and four edited collections. This is his first book on children’s literature.


  • Coker, Supernatural Speakers in Old English Verse: Poetic and Spiritual Power in Early Medieval Society

Drawing insights from various disciplines, including critical discourse analysis, social psychology, and oral poetry studies, Supernatural Speakers demonstrates how and why three poets—the poets of Genesis A, Christ C, and Guthlac A—marshalled their distinction as masters of the Old English poetic medium to perform the power of supernatural speech by means of masterful poetics. 

Matthew D. Coker is Visiting Instructor of English at the University of North Florida. He received his D.Phil. from the University of Oxford and specializes in the intersections of identity, style, and culture in medieval literature


  • Shifrin, The Museum as Experience

This interdisciplinary collection of essays brings into focus for the first time the uniquely human and humanizing experiences of museum spaces, exhibitions, and collections. In the aftermath of the worldwide tumult of 2020, its emphasis on museums’ roles in creating experiences that promote equitable communities and cultural and racial equity is particularly timely.

Susan Shifrin is the founding director of ARTZ Philadelphia. She is an art historian and arts accessibility advocate, and has served on the curatorial and education staffs of a number of large and small museums up and down the eastern coast of the United States.

This book already has $3,000-worth of funding towards OA from an anonymous donor.


  • Swift, Ritual, Spectacle, and Theatre in Late Medieval Seville: Performing Empire

From the fall of Islamic Išbīliya in 1248 to the consolidation of the Spanish empire under the Catholic Monarchs and conquest of the New World, Sevillian Christians, Jews, and Muslims coexisted through periods of cooperation, division, and violence. This book reinvigorates the study of medieval Iberian theatre by revealing the ways in which public expressions of devotion, penance, and power fostered cultural reciprocity, rehearsed religious difference, and ultimately helped establish Seville as the imperial centre of Christian Spain.

Christopher Swift is Associate Professor of Theatre, NYCCT/City University of New York. He publishes on medieval Iberian theatre, puppetry, phenomenology of space, and performance architecture. 


  • Vishnuvajjala, Feminist Medievalisms

This book engages the reader in a project of re-examining the Middle Ages with fresh eyes – a Middle Ages by and for women.

Usha Vishnuvajjala is a lecturer in the School of English, Communication, and Philosophy at the University of Cardiff in Wales. She holds a PhD in English and Medieval Studies from Indiana University. She won the 2021 International Arthurian Society-North American Branch’s James Randall Leader Prize for her article on women’s friendship published in Arthurian Literature 35. Her recent IHR (London) medievalism seminar “sold out” – it had so many registrants that they had to move the platform, and its organizer confirmed it was the highest-attended one yet, by far.


  • Wood, Magnus Maximus in Medieval Legend: British Identities and the Afterlife of a Roman Emperor

In the wake of his death, the historical Magnus Maximus was refashioned as a figure of myth and legend in medieval constructions of British identity. From the hero of Welsh myth and history to the elusive prince of Arthurian legends, each iteration of Magnus Maximus is steeped in contemporary dialogues about the nature of power and the origin of legitimacy. This volume unpicks the motives behind these varied creative afterlives, and the purposes they served.

Nova Wood was awarded a PhD in Ancient History from the University of Auckland in 2022 and specializes in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages.