Thursday, July 2, 2009

Opportunities for scholars

Here are two opportunities for Masonic scholars to present their work and maybe earn a little praise as well.

Pythagoras Lodge of Research in Washington, DC invites the brethren to participate in its Masonic Research Awards Program, intended to encourage research and education work.

From the official announcement:

The following criteria will be used to evaluate all submissions:

Originality: The topic introduces new ideas, innovative concepts, unfamiliar resources, and/or creative methods. Topic is the writer’s choice.

Masonic connections: Interesting, informative, and innovative references to Masonic symbolism, ritual, practices, history, etc. are included.

Style: The author displays a thorough knowledge of the content. Alternative viewpoints are legitimately presented. The content is characterized by clear, unmistakable evidence, and focused on the central statement (thesis) or research topic with effective transitions between points.

Content: All information is well arranged with compelling presentation of the issue, question or problem. The research is supported by an investigation of facts and a development of the ideas. The paper is closed with strong supporting points that underline or expand the central postulate.

Persuasion: The concluding position provides coherent argument illustrative of critical analysis and a thoughtful level of inquiry, supported by well-founded, fact-based solutions and/or cause and effect relationships.

Format: The presentation is neat, correct and consistent in appearance, including margins, font size, indentations, titles, quotations, etc.

Grammar: The research paper is free of errors in terms of sentence structure, punctuation, spelling, and mechanics.

Person: The research paper is presented in perspective of Third Person focusing attention on the work, not on the author. Personal essays are not encouraged.

Citations: The bibliography demonstrates sufficient synthesis of relevant literature and practices. Citations are embedded, footnoted, and quoted correctly. A minimum of three external sources should be included.

Summary: An abstract briefly provides the key elements, main findings, and overall conclusions of the research.

Entries are to be submitted as Word documents by e-mail to W. Bro. Ted Berry at eab_dc(at) no later than October 31.

By submitting a paper, the author recognizes that such entries might be included in Pythagoras Lodge publications and/or forwarded to other Masonic research bodies for inclusion in their publications, with appropriate attributions.

Three medals will be awarded.

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In addition, the National Heritage Museum, located at the headquarters of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, is planning for its first symposium in what is hoped will become a bi-annual tradition.

“New Perspectives on American Freemasonry and Fraternalism” will take place April 9, 2010 at the museum in Lexington, Massachusetts.

From the official announcement:

Recently, a call for papers was issued, and we are pleased to announce that response has been brisk.

The symposium seeks to present the newest research on American fraternal groups from the past through the present day. By 1900, over 250 American fraternal groups existed, numbering six million members. The study of their activities and influence in the United States, past and present, offers the potential for new interpretations of American society and culture. Diverse perspectives on this topic are sought; proposals are invited from a broad range of research areas, including history, material and visual culture, anthropology, sociology, literary studies and criticism, gender studies, political science, African American studies, art history, economics, or any combination of disciplines. Perspectives on and interpretations of all time periods are welcome.

Possible topics include:

• Comparative studies of American fraternalism and other international forms
• Prince Hall Freemasonry and other African-American fraternal groups
• Ethnically- and religiously-based fraternal groups
• Fraternal groups for women or teens
• Role of fraternal groups in social movements
• The material culture of Freemasonry and fraternalism
• Anti-Masonry and anti-fraternal movements, issues and groups
• Fraternal symbolism and ritual
• The expression of Freemasonry and fraternalism through art, music, and literature
• Approaches to Freemasonry from disciplinary, interdisciplinary, or transnational perspectives; the historiography and methodology of the study of American fraternalism

If you know anyone interested in submitting a proposal, these are the details: Submit an abstract of 400 words or less with a resume or c.v. that is no more than two pages. Be sure to include full contact information (name, address, e-mail, phone, affiliation).

Send proposals to: Aimee E. Newell, Director of Collections, National Heritage Museum, by e-mail at anewell(at) or by mail to 33 Marrett Road, Lexington, MA 02421.

Deadline for proposals to be received is August 15. For questions, contact Aimee E. Newell as above, or call 781-457-4144.

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