Oxford Medieval Studies Newsletter – Week 1 Trinity Term 2020

Dear Medievalists,

Welcome to what is probably a very different Trinity Term to what we all expected, but here we are. There are many people trying to keep seminars and reading groups going online. OMS is going to try and keep you informed about what is happening to the best of our ability. So, while I’ve listed some things below, there will be more happening over the term and we will let you know in the Monday morning emails. So do keep an eye on them if you can. Also, as this is a group effort, please send information about any other events you know happening to OxMedStud@gmail.com.

Before going into what’s happening, there are a couple of notes. First, Tobias Capwell’s talk has been postponed, but not postponed like a Ryanair refund (i.e., cancelled); instead, Tobias will be giving his talk online (platform to be confirmed) on Monday 8th of June. Second, for a few of the events and reading groups you may need you to join the Oxford Medieval Studies Microsoft Teams, and you can do this by searching for its name or our ID which is: h8jk577.


  • The Monday evening Medieval History Seminar is keeping things going this term. While they are not meeting this week, I wanted to give everyone notice. Weeks 2, 3, 7, and 8 will be normal seminar papers, where the papers are made available in advance via Teams and the speakers will lead an online discussion starting at 5pm. The first talk will take place next Monday (4th May) when John Arnold will be speaking about ‘Confraternities in Southern France: collective enthusiasm or sedition and politics?’. More information about how to join the discussion will be distributed.
  • In weeks 4, 5, and 6, instead of these seminars, there will be an online graduate research colloquium. To contribute to this please send an abstract (200 words max) either individually or in groups to sumner.braund@history.ox.ac.uk by 1st May.
  • The Early Slavonic Seminar will be held at 5pm on Tuesday (28th) via Zoom. This week Vadym Aristov will be speaking about the ‘First Church of St Sophia in Kyiv’. You can register for the event here.
  • This Thursday (30th) at 4pm, our very own Henrike Lähnemann will be taking part in a webinar organised by The Institution of Conservation (ICON) on the topic of ‘Recycled Parchment: Manuscript Fragments in Medieval Dresses’. This will take place via Zoom and you can register here.
  • Instead of the English Research Seminar this term, there will be a series of Middle English Work in Progress sessions from weeks 1-4. This week, Marion Turner and Rebecca Menmuir will be discussing aspects of Chaucer. The sessions will take place via the OMS Teams and you can contact vincent.gillespie@ell.ox.ac.uk to be added or for more information.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar will host 5 talks this term, the first starting next week, when I will send more information.

Reading Groups

  • From 1st week, the Anglo-Norman Reading Group will be meeting on Friday in odd weeks from 5pm until 6.30pm. This term they will be working through Marie de France’s Fables. If you’d like to join please send an e-mail to andrew.lloyd@ling-phil.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Old English Reading Group will be meeting on Thursdays during odd weeks this term at 5.30pm. This term they will be looking at Ælfrics Homilies. For more information email tom.revell@balliol.ox.ac.uk or join the Chat Channel on the Oxford Medieval Studies Teams.
  • The Medieval Book Club will be meeting on Tuesdays between 3.30-4.30pm and this term will focus on the theme of ‘Travel’. You can join the club by joining them in their Chat Channel on Oxford Medieval Studies Teams. For more information see oxfordmedievalbookclub@gmail.com
  • The Old Norse Reading Group has combined with a Graduate Forum and will continue to meet this term via a Chat Chanel in Oxford Medieval Studies Teams. They will meet every Monday at 5.30pm starting today. Odd weeks will be the Graduate Forum and even weeks will be the reading group. For more information get in touch with william.brockbank@jesus.ox.ac.uk

Call for Papers

  • The Society for the Study of Languages and Literatures will be holding their conference ‘Dark Archives: A Conference on the Medieval Unread & Unreadable’ online (via Zoom) from the 8th-10th September. Discussion will be live, but the talks will be pre-recorded. If you would like to propose a paper or practical workshop, please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words by 31st July to Dr Stephen Pink at ssmll@history.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medium Aevum Essay prize is still accepting submissions from postgraduates and those with a higher degree. Prizes include possible publication in Medium Aevum, £500, and books! For more information and to apply see here.

Unfortunately, the Medieval Mystery Cycle could not take place, but we did get a hint of what it would have been like in a filmed version of the Mary Magdalen play. You can find out more here.

The Medieval Booklet is a rather dynamic document at the moment, and will be updated, as will the calendar on TORCH, when we receive word about events. You can access both here.

As mentioned before, we would love to feature blog posts about medieval events, initiatives or resources, e.g. we have been promised a blog post about the project to read daily Dante sonnets (look for the hashtag #Covidcanzoniere on twitter). TORCH is doing its best to promote all online activities and we are happy to tweet out from https://twitter.com/OxMedStud.

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