Medieval Matters: Week 0

Here we are, at the beginning of a new term, and a new academic year. It gives me great pleasure to extend a warm welcome to those of you new to our Medievalist community at Oxford! You are now part of a network of over 200 medievalists across a wide range of disciplines and faculties. This weekly Medieval Matters Newsletter is you first port of call for all of Oxford’s rich and diverse medieval happenings, from CFPs and job opportunities to weekly seminars and reading groups.
I am thrilled to be returning as your Communications Officer for this year. Unfortunately we are running short on uplifting Old English wisdom, so this year I will be providing you with wisdomous tidbits from Alcuin of York (c. A.D. 732 to 804). As a polymath who taught and studied an exceptionally wide curriculum on both sides of the English channel and promoted education as a goal in and of itself, Alcuin embodies everything that we celebrate here at OMS. Here to get us started is his call for people to make good use of his work collecting sources:

Ne pereat labor noster in librorum collectione
[Don’t let the work I did building up the library go to waste!, Ep. 167]

This is a particularly relevant call for this week’s email, as I have been carefully compiling a ‘library’ of all of Oxford’s medieval seminars, events, reading lists and opportunities, for your perusal: the Medieval Booklet is now available! You can browse it at your leisure here. Please make good use of it: do not let my work go to waste! I will attach a “hard copy” to next week’s email, so if you have any last-minute changes or additions, please email them to me during this week.


  • St Edmund Hall Old Library Exhibition: Poem, Story, and Scape in the work of Kevin Crossley Holland’. This exhibition explores the work of Kevin Crossley-Holland (Honorary Fellow and 1959, English), prize-winning children’s author, translator, poet, librettist, editor and professor. Kevin engages creatively with language and poetry, place, history and legend. He captivates us by telling stories deeply rooted in past cultures, which he remakes to be compellingly contemporary and relevant. For this exhibition, Kevin has generously loaned items from his private collection to add to material from St Edmund Hall’s Archives and Special Collections. The exhibition will run from Friday 8 September – Monday 31 October. Visit by arrangement with the Librarian: or 01865279062. Public opening on Monday 24 and Friday 28 October 10am-4pm.
  • Booking is now open for Oxford Latinitas 2022/23 online classes in both Latin and Ancient Greek. The Autumn Term runs from 10th October to 2nd December, and classes are available at all levels in both languages; bookings may also now be made for two terms or for the whole year. Students new to Oxford Latinitas (or new to our courses in either language) will have a short diagnostic call with one of our teachers in order to make sure they are placed in the right group. Full details and link to application sign-up can be found here.
  • Booking is now open for the Oxford Latinitas Septimana Latina Hiemalis, to be held at Palazzola, Rome, from 3rd-9th December 2022. Whatever your current level of Latin, from beginner to advanced, this week offers you the opportunity to make real progress towards fluency, while enjoying like-minded company in a beautiful location. Full details and link to application sign-up can be found here.
  • Medieval Postdoctoral Network: The Medieval Postdoctoral Network is a small group of postdocs, new and returning, who work on various aspects of medieval studies. We meet once a month to discuss the development of our work, set goals, and share skills and tips which may be helpful for Early Career Researchers. All are welcome – please email Rebecca Menmuir ( or Julie Mattison ( to be added to the mailing list.
  • The Medievalist Coffee Morning is back! We kick off properly next week with a Mini-Medieval Roadshow. Join us at 10.30-11.30am next Friday, 14 October to meet all of the OMS Team and to hear more about events, seminars and reading groups taking place this term! If you would like to present your event/seminar etc, please do come along to advertise it! There might actually be manuscripts…


Monday 3rd October:

  • The Invisible East Lecture takes place at 4pm in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Lecture 1. The speaker will be Jonathan L. Lee, The History of the Armenian Community of Afghanistan. More information here.

Thursday 6th October:

  • The Invisible East Lecture takes place at 5pm online. The speaker will be Majid M. Mahdi, Islamisation, a closer look. Register for the webinar here.

Friday 7th October:

  • The Medievalist Coffee Morning takes place at 10:30-11.30am in the Visiting Scholars Centre in the Weston Library (access via the Readers Entrance on Museum Road: straight ahead and up two floors!).


  • CFP: The German Historical Institute Medieval History Seminar invites proposals from all areas and periods of medieval history and is not limited to historians working on German history or German-speaking regions of Europe. All methodological approaches are welcome. Applications from neighbouring disciplines are welcome if the projects have a distinct historical focus. The seminar is bi-lingual and papers and discussions will be conducted both in German and English. Participants must have a good reading and listening comprehension of both languages. Successful applicants must be prepared to submit a paper of approximately 5,000 words by August 15, 2023. They are also expected to prepare and present a commentary on the papers of another session. For full details, see our blog post.
  • Claudio Leonardi FELLOWSHIP for a critical edition of a medieval latin text (deadline November 7, 2022): The scholarship offered is aimed at the purpose of supporting research on medieval Latin culture and texts and especially to produce critical editions. The scholarship, in the amount of €30,000.00 is for one year from January 1, 2023. The critical edition produced will be published by the publisher SISMEL Edizioni del Galluzzo ( after passing the usual peer-review procedures. The fellow agrees to present his/her research during the General Assembly of S.I.S.M.E.L. (Florence, April 1, 2023) and to give three lectures at S.I.S.M.E.L. during the term of the fellowship. Applications, addressed to the president of S.I.S.M.E.L, must be received by e-mail at no later than 10. 00 on November 7, 2022.
  • Call For Papers – Contesting Authenticity in Literature, 1200-1700. Proposals are warmly welcomed for this two-day conference, which aims to bring together speakers from across languages, disciplines, and period boundaries. The conference will explore literature which engages with ‘contesting authenticity’ in some way: pseudotexts, forgeries, imitations, narrative authenticity, the practice of contesting authenticity, and many more interpretations of the conference scope. The conference will take place on 30-31 March 2023 at Senate House, University of London; speakers will present in-person. A limited number of bursaries will be available for speakers and attendees. The Call For Papers and further conference information can be found at:

I started this email by extending a welcome to our new members, so it seems fit to end on a ‘welcome back’ for those returning. For those of you returning to Oxford, whether from summer holidays or from careers elsewhere, we are delighted to have you back! If you (like me) managed to get less work done over the summer vac than you had hoped, some reassuring words:

Fervor mensis Augusti desidem, non voluntatis efficatia pigrum efficit
[It is the heat of August that has made him idle, not his desire to be lazy, Ep. 119]

Now we are in the cold of October, I am sure we will all get lots of productive research done! I am so looking forward to seeing many of you at events and seminars throughout the term. Wishing you all a successful and enjoyable term, filled with exciting research discoveries and the joys of medievalist community.

[Stepping into the RadCam after a summer away, a Medievalist shakes off their summer “idleness” and begins to feel much more like themselves again!]
Ashmole Bestiary, Bodleian Library MS. Ashmole 1511, f. 84r.
Viewable in full at Digital Bodleian

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