Musée de la Franc-Maçonnerie

The Museum of the Grand Orient de France in Paris will formally change it's name to Museum of Freemasonry: Musée de la Franc-Maçonnerie, in February 2010. The museum, which will then reopen after extensive renovations, will become part of the Museums of France recognized by the Ministery of Culture. More information can be found on the new website: www.museedelafrancmaconnerie.org.
This marks a new step towards the general cultural and heritage sector, an example set by the Library and Museum of Freemasonry in London some years ago. (Hopefully, this will inspire the Dutch Grand Lodge, which is currently reviewing the plans for the future of it's collection.)


Vacancy: Postdoc Groningen University

The University of Groningen, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, invites applications for a Postdoc Position (1 fte, 3 years) with the chair of Religious Studies. The postdoc position is part of the larger research framework that addresses "The Transformation of the Religious Field since 1800".
Preference will be given to candidates whose research focuses on the relationship between modernization and religion. Projects may investigate discursive changes in the status of religion in Western societies, interactions between religious systems and other systems (such as the natural sciences, philosophy, politics, law, art, etc.), or related dynamics of modernization.
The candidate will need to hold a PhD in the Academic Study of Religion or in a related discipline. She/he will have demonstrated high-standing academic skills in her/his PhD dissertation and in subsequent publications, and she/he will have an international network of scholarly contacts.
The candidate will be expected to contribute to the research activities in the Department of Religious Studies of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, as well as to applications for research grants on national and international levels. She/he may also be asked to contribute to teaching in the BA and MA program.

For a detailed description of this opening, please see http://www.academictransfer.com/employer/RUG/vacancy/1954/lang/en/.

Copy Francken MS discovered

The editor of the masonic site Pietre-Stones has announced the (re)discovery of a copy of the famous Francken Manuscript with the rituals of the Rite of Perfection from 1783 in Lahore, Pakistan. Information is available on the Pietre Stones website.
Over the years, several modern transcripts of the Francken MS have been brought into circulation, one of which can be viewed on Google Books.

Prescott Director of Research at HATII

Prof. Andrew Prescott (former director of the CRFF at the Sheffield University and member of the comittee of recommendation of the OVN Foundation) has announced that he will be leaving his current position at the University of Lampeter. From January 1, 2010 he will be appointed as director of the Research Department of the Humanities Advanced Technology & Information Institute at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. This transfer will allow Prof. Prescott to once again make a contribution to research on the history of freemasonry. More information is available at the Glasgow University website.

UCLA Postdoctoral Fellowship

The University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and the Grand Lodge of California are offering a postdoctoral research position of one year. A PhD researcher, who has recently finished his thesis, will be able to reside at the UCLA from September 2010 to June 2011. He/she will be expected to teach a lecture series on American or European History in relation to freemasonry and will work together with an assistant researcher. A scholarship of $ 50,000, a workplace and a moving allowance are being offered. Candidates can send their resume and three letters of recommendation to Prof. Margaret C. Jacob before December 15, 2009.

Seminar: Jacobites and Freemasonry

On 5 December 2009 the University of Paris IV Sorbonne will host a seminar in collaboration with the journal Politica Hermetica: La Franc-Maçonnerie au XVIIIe siècle et les Stuarts, stratégies politiques, réseaux, entre mythes et réalité et. Speakers are:

- Duchein Michel, ‘Le contexte politico religieux dans l'Angleterre des derniers Stuarts: the Jacques aux hanovriens II’,
- Steve Murdoch, ‘Jacobites and Hanoverian British Freemasons in their Scandinavian Context’,
- Jean-Marie Mercier, ‘Les origines de la franc-maçonnerie jacobites avignonnaise, mythology historique à une repenser’,
- José Antonio Ferrer-Benimelli, ‘La présence de la Maçonnerie Jacobite à Madrid et à Rome’,
- Robert Collis, ‘L'influence des Jacobites sur le développement de la Russie’,
- Pierre-Yves Beaurepaire, ‘Le Parnasse the Chaulnes, royal et l'Art, peut-on parler d'une franc-maçonnerie Jacobite au XVIIIe siècle?’.

Exhibition: Freemasonry Unmasked!

The National Heritage Museum in Lexington (USA) has opened a new exhibition: Freemasonry Unmasked! Anti-Masonic Collections in the Van Gorden-Williams Library and Archives. The museum, founded and supported by the 32° Scottish Rite Freemasons in the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States, houses one of the most important masonic collections in the USA. The exhibition provides an overview of the most uninformed and absurd claims which have been made about freemasonry during three centuries, and shows many examples from the museum's collection of anti-masonic books.

Conference: freemasonry and slavery

The University of Bordeaux will host a conference on 7 and 8 December 2009, discussing the relationship between freemasonry and slavery: Société des plantations, slavery Abolition et dans la Caraibe anglophone, francophone et hispanophone. Speakers are:

- Jacques de Cauna (Université de Pau), ‘Etienne de Polvirel, un projet abolitionniste d'inspiration magonnique?’,
- Eric Saunier (Université du Havre), ‘Les francs-maçons, la traite des noirs et l'esclavage: un bilan de la recherche’,
- Cécile Rivauger (Université de Bordeaux 3), ‘Franc-maçonnerie, esclavage et abolitions dans deux colonies britanniques: la Barbade et Trinidad’,
- François Hubert (Musée d'Aquitaine et Jacques de Cauna): ‘La réprésentation de la traite et de l'esclavage dans les nouvelles salles du Musée d'Aquitaine’,
- François Poirier (Université de Paris VIII), ‘From dreamland to nightmare: the Sierra Leone plantation, 1787-1810’,
- Pedro Welch, (UWI, Barbados), ‘Precursors to Abolition in the British Caribbean: Manumission and Freedom Maneuvers in the Case of Barbados’,
- Dominique Gongalves (Université de Bordeaux), 'Evangélisation, rentabilité et sécurité dans les plantations sucréhres cubaines la fin du XVIIIe siècle’.
- Agnès Renault (Université du Havre), ‘Les esclaves de Français dans les plantations de café Cuba’,
- Karen Bourdier, (Université de Pau), ‘La mère et l'enfant dans les sucreries du Nord de Saint-Domingue entre profit iconomique et sauvegarde du capital humain’,
- Trevor Burnard, ‘Jamaican Planters and the Growth of the Plantation System in Jamaica, 1674-1744’,
- Marcel Dorigny, ‘La société de plantation de Saint-Domingue : l'apport des statistiques de la traite "la connaissance des structures de la plantation domingoise" la fin de la période coloniale’.

Information: cecile.revauger @ u-bordeaux3.fr.

New research centre in Canada

The newsletter of the Centre for Research into Freemasonry at the University of Sheffield and Fraternalism announces plans for a new research centre in the field of study in Canada.
The Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M. of Canada aims to raise funds through the Grand Master’s Project (2009-2011) for a Centre for Masonic Studies, to be established in collaboration with the Province of Ontario and Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario. The project will be dedicated to the name of R.W. Bro. Charles A. Sankey (1905-2009), principal of the university from 1969-1974 and prominent freemason. His collection of rare masonic publications is part of the James Gibson Library in Brock. The kickoff for the project will be given in a series of lectures in the spring of 2010. Donations to The Masonic Foundation of Ontario, project number 2937, are welcome.

The CRFF has also been approached by the Grand Lodge of Manitoba, which is researching the possibility of establishing a university chair.
And from Brazil there’s news that the University of São Paulo is in contact with the local Grand Lodge to explore the possibilities of collaboration.

Fortunately, the few Dutch researchers who once took the initiative for the establishment of the OVN are no longer alone. Perhaps now we will also see the same amount of research funds and grants being established worldwide...?

New publications

Winfried Dotzauer, Freimaurerei global (Quellen und Darstellungen zur europäischen Freimaurerei, Band 11), Study Verlag Innsbruck 2009, 160 pp., ISBN 978-3-7065-4828-1, € 23.90.

Vence Jean Gaspard (1747-1808), corsaire et franc-Macon, the premier maritime prefect Toulon, Éditions Le Phare de Misaine, Nantes 2009, 75 pp., ISBN 978-2-917827-02-4, € 10, -. Orders: aspoma@rllaperouse.org.

Totalitarianisms - Repression - Expulsion (Papeles the masonería III), Centro Ibérico de Estudios Masónicos, € 12, -. Orders: info_ciem@yahoo.es.

Freemasonry and Fraternalism in Eighteenth-Century Russia, (Sheffield Lectures in the History of Freemasonry and Fraternalism, Vol. 2) CRFF, Sheffield 2009, 20 GBP (approx. € 23 =, -).

Vera Chakmakjian, ‘The Fiftieth Anniversary of The Grand Lodge of Japan (1957-2007)’, CRFF Working Papers 5, available as pdf-download.

Wouter J. Hanegraaff / Joyce Pijnenburg (eds.), Hermes in the Academy: Ten Years Study of Western Esotericism at the University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam 2009, 163 pp., ISBN 9789056295721, € 32.50.

CRFF lectures online

The Center for Research into Freemasonry and Fraternalism at the University of Sheffield regularly offers lecture series, allowing researchers in the field of study to discuss their research. Because not everyone has the opportunity to attend them in person, the CRFF offers these lectures online as audio files. Already available are:

- Professor Margaret Jacob (UCLA), ‘Masonic Secrecy and the Paradox of Modernity: New Archives from 18th Century Bordeaux’,
- CRFF Panel discussion on Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol with Dr. Andreas Onnerfors, Dr. Robert Peter and Dr. Robert Collis,
- Dorothe Summer (University of Sheffield), ‘Conspiracy Masonic Online’.

Listen to the lectures via this link. The coming period the following lectures will be added:

- Robert Collis (University of Sheffield), ‘Chivalric Muses: The Role of Protectresses in Eighteenth-Century Jacobite Fraternities’, November 26, 2009,
- Robert Peter (University of Sheffield), ‘The Image of Freemasonry in Eighteenth-Century British Press’, December 10, 2009.