Medieval Matters: Week 1

Welcome back to Oxford for Trinity Term! I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who contributed to making the Oxford Medieval Graduate Conference and Medieval Mystery Cycle so wonderful. So much hard work goes into these events, and you really showcased the wide range of approaches and the incredible vivacity of Oxford’s medieval community. We could not have hoped for a better start to the term. In the words of Alcuin:

tantas grates et laudes agimus […] quantas habet liber ille syllabas!
[I give you as many thanks and praises as the book has syllables! Ep. 206 ]

But of course, these events were only the beginning of what is sure to be a busy Trinity. Indeed, you will notice that a certain book of very many syllables has arrived in your inboxes this week: the Trinity Term Medieval Booklet is now live! I have attached the compressed pdf version for your reference, but for all of the very latest updates you can consult the live version here on our website. If events are cancelled or details change, we will update them on the calendar, so check that out in case of doubt. For a guide to everything happening this week, please see below:


  • SAVE THE DATE! The Oxford Medieval Studies Trinity Term Lecture will take place on May 4th at 5:30-6:30pm in St Edmund Hall, Old Library. Alison Ray (Archivist at St Peter’s) and Heather Barr (Library Trainee at St Edmund Hall) will be speaking on “GLAMorous work: Medievalist Pathways in Archives and Libraries”. Join us for a careers talk with a twist and with coffee and cake PLUS the chance to see an exhibition in the Old Library and handle some of the special collections!
  • To celebrate the life and scholarship of Nigel F. Palmer, Professor of German Medieval Literary and Linguistic Studies at the University of Oxford, Faculty, College and academic community will honour his memory with a symposium, to be held at the Taylorian and the Weston Library on 19-20 May 2023. Admission is free for symposium and reception; dinner to be charged (subsidized for graduate students and early career people). Please register to attend the symposium by 30 April 2023. There will be a separate registration deadline for attending the Garden reception on Saturday, 20 May, 5pm, to which everybody is welcome, and the dinner 7:30pm, both at St Edmund Hall.
  • The Centre for Manuscript and Text Cultures invites to a Round table: Digital publishing and future research in manuscript studies on Wednesday 5.15pm in the Memorial Room of The Queen’s College, Oxford in celebration of the release of vol. 2 of the Journal of Manuscript and Text Cultures (MTC), edited by our Co-Director Lesley Smith. All welcome!


Monday 24th April:

  • The Byzantine Graduate Seminar will meet at 12:30-14:00 via Zoom. This week’s speaker will be Prolet Decheva (University College Dublin), Late Antique Personifications of Abstract Ideas and Elite Identity. To register, please contact
  •  The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm at the Wharton Room, All Souls College. This week’s speaker will be Brianne Dolce (Merton) ‘Hell’s Army: Heretics and Usurers in Medieval Arras‘. The seminar will also be available remotely via Teams. The Teams session can be accessed by logging in to Teams with your account and joining the group “Medieval History Research Seminar” (team code rmppucs). If you have any difficulties please email:
  • The Oxford Interfaith Forum is hosting lecture on The Popes and the Jews in Sixteenth-Century Italy through the Chronicle of Pope Paul IV at 6pm, online. For full details and to register, please click here.

Tuesday 25th April:

  • The Medieval English Research Seminar will meet at 12:00 in Lecture Theatre 2, St Cross Building. This week’s speaker will be Hannah Lucas (Newnham College, Cambridge): Contemplating Criticism.
  • The Medieval Churchy and Culture Seminar meets at the Wellbeloved Room, Harris Manchester College, with tea & coffee from 5pm; papers begin at 5.15pm. This week’s speaker will be Claire Holthaus (Christ Church): Royal Displays of Power in the Welsh Castles of Edward I.
  • The Medieval French Research Seminar will meet at 5pm for drinks, with the presentation starting at 5:15pm, at the Maison Francaise d’Oxford on Norham Road. This week’s speaker will be Marion Uhlig (Université de Fribourg), ‘Tuer l’auteur. Sur quelques curieux cas de métalepse dans la littérature médiévale en français’. For more information, to be added to the seminar maillist, or for the Teams link to join a seminar remotely, contact

Wednesday 26th April:

  • The Medieval German Seminar will meet at 11:15-12.45pm at St Edmund Hall Old Library. This week we will have a shorter organisational meeting. In Trinity Term, we are continuing to discuss Heinrich von Neustadt’s texts, focussing on ‘Von Gottes Zukunft’. We will meet in person in the Old Library of St Edmund Hall. Further information and reading recommendations via the teams channel; if you want to be added to that: please email Henrike Lähnemann.
  • The Medieval Latin Document Reading Group meets on Teams at 4-5pm. We are currently focusing on medieval documents from New College’s archive as part of the cataloguing work being carried out there, so there will be a variety of hands, dates and types. A document is sent out in advance but homework is not expected. Contact Michael Stansfield for further details and the Teams link.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5pm at Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St. Giles. This week’s speaker will be Ivana Jevtić (Koç Üniversitesi, Istanbul) ‘The Landscape and Rock-Cut Architecture of Medieval Thrace: Historiography, Fieldwork, and Photogrammetry across Three Countries’.
  • The Centre for Manuscript and Text Cultures (CMTC) meets at 5.15pm in the Memorial Room of The Queen’s College, Oxford. In celebration of the release of vol. 2 of the Journal of Manuscript and Text Cultures (MTC), which takes an explicitly experimental approach of involving digital tools for the presentation of research in manuscript cultures, Round table: Digital publishing and future research in manuscript studies. To find out more, click here. The volume features two articles by Oxford Medievalists! One on The Karlevi runestone by Heather O’Donoghue and one on Cambridge, Trinity College, MS B.5.4, folio 135v: the Psalms, with commentary by Peter Lombard by Lesley Smith

Thursday 27th April:

  • The Piers Plowman in Context discussion group, for those who believe more Langland is better than less, kicks off in the Main Quad Boardroom at Univ from 16:30-17:30. This week’s seminar will be led by Professor Lawrence Warner (KCL). In preparation, please read Passus III of the B-text, plus the following short contexts: the Westminster Chronicle (pp. 60-65), John Leeder’s proclamation of 1421, and Deguileville’s Pilgrimage of Human Life (lines 2921-3300), all available through this link All welcome! Email with any questions.
  • Interface of Old English Dictionaries: Inflection and Derivation, a special talk by Javier Martín-Arista, Professor of Old English Linguistics at the Universidad de La Rioja and the President of SELIM (Spanish Society for Medieval English Language and Literature) will take place at 5pm at Magdalen College, Daubeny Laboratory.
  • The Oxford Interfaith Forum is hosting lecture on Seventy Languages (and Translations) for Seventy Nations at 6pm, online. Register here.

Friday 28th April:

  • The Medieval Coffee Morning meets as usual 10:30am in the Visiting Scholars Centre of the Weston Library (instructions how to find it) with presentation of items from the special collections. This week, Charles Webster will present some rare 17th century books from the Hartlib network.
  • The Anglo-Norman Reading Group meets at 5-6.30pm at the Julia Mann room, St Hilda’s College and online. This term we are reading extracts from Hue de Rotelands’s Protheselaus. Please contact Jane Bliss and/or Stephanie Hathaway to let us know if you can come in person (so we know whom to expect), also to obtain copies of the texts, and for the Zoom invitations.


  • CFP: Pax Normanna. This conference will address the notion of “first generations” in relation to the medieval Norman conquests in England, Wales, Ireland, southern Italy, Sicily, and the Crusader states. Focusing on the conquerors’ departure from their places of origin, the papers will explore the rhythms, modalities, reasons and objectives for leaving. Please send your paper proposal to and Deadline: 10 May 2023. For full details, please see the blog post here.
  • “Noblesse Oblige? Barons and the Public Good” Network: Last Call for Associate Membership! Though there might be another call next year, if you wish to take part in this year’s conference and associated events, please email with your CV and a brief cover letter. Full details can be found at and”
  • Job in Medieval History: UCD’s School of History has just advertised a position in medieval history through the Ad Astra Fellowship scheme. Appointments will be made with a view to permanency subject to a review after four years. Further details attached. To apply click on the ‘apply’ button in the link below:
  • PhD Opportunity: The Cluster of Excellence “Understanding Written Artefacts” is looking to recruit doctoral research associates to pursue their dissertation project. The core responsibility of the research associate is to pursue their dissertation project that fits the overall comparative research profile of the Cluster of Excellence “Understanding Written Artefacts”, and to contribute to the collaborative research activities of the Cluster. Candidates should have a strong interest in cooperating beyond disciplinary boundaries, especially across the humanities, natural science and computer sciences. For further information, see:
  • A postdoctoral position in Manuscript Studies and Digital Humanities is advertised at Princeton University through the Manuscripts, Rare Books, and Archive Studies working group and the Center for Digital Humanities. The deadline is May 7, 2023.
  • ASIMS announcement: The Terence Barry Prize for Best Graduate Paper in Irish Medieval Studies: The prize is open to graduate students from any field who either have presented or have written and intend to present a paper on a subject of relevance to Irish Medieval Studies at any conference, including virtual ones, during the year beginning with the Kalamazoo Congress (ICMS) in May 2022 and ending with the Kalamazoo Congress (ICMS) of 2023. Please note that only graduate student papers written/presented by members of ASIMS will be considered.  Membership may begin at the time of submission. For membership and more details, please see

It is always a pleasure to assemble your submissions for the Booklet: I’m always struck by the incredibly wide range of events and seminars happening at Oxford, and how lucky we are to have such a vibrant, busy community. In fact, there’s so much on that it can be hard to keep track. Afterall, as Alcuin says:

[memoria] saepe perdit quod servare debet, nisi in thesauro litterarum reconditum teneat
[the memory often loses what it should keep, unless it holds it stored away in the treasure hoard of the written word, Ep. 49]

I’m honoured to once again be your guide to the term’s events, and to store all of your information about Oxford’s medievalist happenings in the treasure hoard of our booklet and blog! If you have any treasures you would like to add to our proverbial hoard, be they news of publications, calls for papers, upcoming events, or even media appearances, please do get in touch: we’d love to advertise all of these things on our blog and celebrate them. For now, I wish you all a joyful first week!

[The communications officer gathering submissions to store in the treasure-hoard of the Medieval Booklet…]
Ashmole Bestiary, Bodleian Library MS. Ashmole 1511, f. 35v.
Viewable in full at Digital Bodleian

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