Medieval Matters: Week 1 TT21

Dear all,

At last, after much anticipation, the new term is finally here! Trinity is beginning with a (very sunny and pleasant) bang; take a look at the intellectual banquet on offer in the booklet (newly updated!) and on our digital calendar.

A few announcements to begin:

First, this term’s Oxford Medieval Studies Lecture will be livestreamed on the OMS YouTube channel tomorrow at 5 pm! Come watch Jim Harris present live from the Ashmolean on ‘Museum in the Middle: Medieval Things in a (Still) Medieval University’ and ask your questions on the live chat. We’ll also be officially launching the revived and revamped website.

Another wonderful conference meriting your attention: Medicine in the Medieval North Atlantic World, originally scheduled to take place in March 2020, will now be held over Zoom on 13-15 May 2021. This interdisciplinary event explores the reception and transmission of medical knowledge across England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and Scandinavia during the medieval period, and will draw on history, literature, philosophy, science, religion, art, archaeology, and manuscript studies. Plenary lectures include Debby Banham, Guy Geltner, and Charlotte Roberts. Full program and registration details here.

UCL’s Medieval Scandinavia Seminars will run again this term; on 29 April, 5-7 pm, Alisa Valpola-Walker (Cambridge) will speak on ‘Saga and Media-Consciousness in Two Late Fifteenth Century Manuscripts AM 589a-f 4to and AM 586 4to’, and on 27 May, 5-7 pm, Benjamin Allport (Bergen) will offer a paper on a title tbc – details forthcoming. Zoom link for the first seminar here and the second seminar here.

Abusing my position as Communications Officer for an announcement of my own: Oxford Fantasy, the university’s research cluster for fantasy literature, is producing a new series of our popular podcast! Do you have a fantasy author, text, or topic you could talk about accessibly and authoritatively for ten to fifteen minutes? Want to record an audio or video file that will be shared on, Spotify, and the beloved Great Writers Inspire site? Contact with your pitch. We’re particularly seeking scholars knowledgeable about N. K. Jemisin, Marlon James, and Nnedi Okorafor, but we’re interested in any topic that moves you and encourage a diverse range of fantasy texts and writers. Have a listen to some of our previous material here.

[Seminars], swete [seminars], mi druð, mi derling, mi drihtin, mi healend, mi huniter, mi haliwei. – The Wooing of Our Lord, when properly edited


  • The Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar meets at 12:30 pm on Zoom. Please register in advance by contacting This week’s speaker is Katherine Krauss (Somerville), ‘Rereading the “Canon” in Latin Late Antiquity: Exemplarity and Allusion in Macrobius’ Saturnalia’.
  • The Medieval Latin Reading Group meets 1-2 pm on Teams. Improve your Latin, learn palaeographical skills, and engage first-hand with medieval texts by reading reproductions of manuscripts. Submit your email address here to receive notices.
  • At 4 pm we have the Germanic Reading Group on Zoom, which will explore alliterative verse in a different Germanic language each week; this week, Rafael Pascual will lead a session on Old English. To be added to the list, contact
  • Sign up for Mark Williams’ class on Scottish Gaelic and Modern Irish Poetry, held Mondays at 4:30 pm. Contact for locations and links.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5 pm on Teams. This week’s speaker is Laurence McKellar (Exeter College), ‘The Language of the Royal Service in Castilian Political Culture, c. 1275-1325’.
  • Old Norse Reading Group continues its journey through Hervarar saga at 5:30 pm on Teams. Email to be added to the mailing list.


  • The Medieval Book Club meets at 3:30 pm on Google Meet. Contact for the link. This term’s theme is ‘Medieval Legends’, and Week 1 will kick things off with readings on unicorns!
  • The Medieval French Research Seminar and Medieval Church and Culture Seminar will not meet this week to allow everyone to attend the OMS Lecture at 5 pm.


  • The Medieval German Graduate Seminar meets at 11:15 am on Teams. This week will be a short organizational meeting, but guest lecturer Annette Gerok-Reiter will speak on the Tübingen SFB ‘Andere Ästhetik’ at 5 pm on Teams. Contact for more information.
  • Digital Editions Live, a seminar series presenting palaeographical, book historical, and digital humanities projects developed by MML Masters students, will meet at 3 pm on Teams. (Join the meeting here.) This week, Henrike Lähnemann, Emma Huber, and Andrew Dunning will offer an introduction, before Sebastian Dows-Miller speaks on ‘Re-Awakening Merton’s Beasts (Merton College MS 249)’.
  • The Medieval English Research Seminar meets at 4:30 pm (note the new time) on Teams. Contact if you need the link. This week’s speaker is Misty Schieberle (University of Kansas), ‘Rewriting Christine de Pizan: Hoccleve, Misogyny, and Manuscript Evidence’.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5 pm on Google Meet (link here). This week’s speaker is Przemysław Marciniak (Katowice), ‘Of Fleas and Men: Byzantine Cultural Entomology’. 


  • Sign up for David Willis’ class on Middle Welsh Bardic Grammars; contact for locations and links.
  • GLARE (Greek, Latin, and Reception) Reading Group meets at 4 pm on Teams. Email or to be added to the list. This week’s reading will be Aristophanes, Frogs, 51-82, 180-96, 689-99, 1019-56.
  • The Aquinas Seminar Series continues on the theme of De Magistro: Aquinas and the Education of the Whole Person, at 4:30 pm on Zoom. Please register in advance here. This week’s speaker is Rev Dr Nicholas Austin (Campion Hall), ‘The Education of the Eye: Aquinas and the Virtue of Right Attention’. 
  • Old English Reading Group soldiers through Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica at 5:30 pm on Teams. Email for more information.


Good seminars: swetter þen mildeu o muðe. Have a wonderful week!

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