Medieval Matters: Welcome Back!

It is now 0th week, which means that the new academic year has officially begun! We have so much in store for you this year at OMS, but whilst we wait for full term to begin, this week will bring a look back over everything that happened in 2022/23. Our impact report for 2022/23 is now published! I hope this will whet your appetites for things to come, and start the year off right by celebrating the amazing strength of our interdisciplinary community!

When I first joined OMS as a new postdoc in 2021, I was immediately struck by the tremendous scope of Oxford’s medieval community. Two years have passed, and I am still continually delighted and surprised by the great range of offerings we have, and the great diversity of work going on at Oxford. In 2022/23, there were an astounding 39 different medieval seminars, societies and reading groups, ranging from the Celtic Seminar to the Invisible East Seminar to Queer and Trans Medievalisms. There were eleven different language-specific groups (from Anglo-Norman to Old Norse); work ranging from the post-classical (Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar) to the immediate present day (Medieval Misuse Reading Group); and an incredible disciplinary range including archaeology, heraldry, history, literatures and languages, manuscript studies, music, numismatics, theology, and visual culture. Every year, there are new contributions, and one of the greatest joys of this work has been seeing new reading groups and societies blossom into long-standing mainstays of the weekly newsletter. 

But don’t just take my word for it: here are some statistics that highlight the astounding size and reach of our work. Over 850 people receive the Medieval Matters newsletter every week, and last year we had over 1,300 different visitors to the blog. Our reach extends far beyond Oxford itself: last year we had significant numbers of blog hits from the USA, Australia, Spain, Poland, Germany, China, France and Singapore. We have accounts on Twitter (currently at a strong 5823 followers), Facebook (914 followers), Instagram (654 followers), Mastodon (503 followers), YouTube (266 subscribers), TikTok (160 followers), and Threads (106 followers). Actual engagement is more difficult to judge and varies quite widely across platforms and their respective ever-changing algorithms but our most popular TikTok, which was Alison Ray talking about transferable skills in an archivist career, has 127 likes and 2001 views as of today, and our most viewed YouTube video appears to be James McGrath’s Bodleian Coffee Morning on Mandaean manuscripts, with 618 views. 

All of this is to say: medieval studies is flourishing at Oxford. As Communications Officer, my primary job is to bring together this enormous, vibrant community to foster interdisciplinary communication and to spotlight the very many happenings across the university (and beyond!). I am also extremely lucky to be able to work alongside both Oxford’s most long-serving academics and its very youngest, newest researchers. My role is twinned with work for the Humanities Division mentoring the Interdisciplinary Medieval Studies MSt students, and it has been a consistent joy to see so many bright young medievalists bringing new and exciting interdisciplinary approaches to our community. 

I hope you enjoy the impact report, which sums up the wealth of offerings and scholarship that happened at Oxford last year. It has been an honour to be at the helm of this, and I look forward to continuing to be your guide for 2023/24.


  • Medieval Booklet Michaelmas Term 2023. The first draft of the booklet is now available for viewing! To get a sneak peek at everything happening this term, please click here. If you have forgotten to send in your submission, please send it in before next Friday, when the final pdf version will be uploaded ready for distribution with Medieval Matters Week 1.
  • Medieval Blog Submissions. This year we are hoping to feature a greater range of blog posts to highlight Oxford’s vibrant medievalist community. We would like to have one blog post per week, and are currently looking for volunteers for MT. If you have a project / book release / manuscript that you would like to highlight, please do contact me. The OMS blog is seen by medievalists in and outside of Oxford and is a great place to showcase the achievements of our medieval community.
  • New Graduate Students / Staff Members. If you are the convenor of a medieval-focussed MSt/MPhil, have new DPhil students, know of new medieval staff members or are hosting visiting scholars, please send me a list of all of their email addresses so that I can sign them up for the mailing list. Alternatively, please distribute the following self-service link to allow them to sign up:


Tuesday 10th October:

  • Oxford Medieval Studies Social and Steering Group: We warmly invite you to join us for medievalist revelry to welcome in the new academic year, kindly hosted by the Medieval Church and Culture seminar. Further details to follow!


  • CFP: The Medieval Translator. Translation, Memory, and Politics in the Medieval World – To be hosted by the Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal, 17-21 June 2024. We invite submissions that address these themes and related topics in the context of the medieval world. Papers may be given in English, French or Portuguese, and should be twenty minutes long. Please send a 500-word abstract, an essential bibliography and a brief curriculum vitae by 15 October 2023 to: . For full details, please see the blog post here.
  • Assistant/Associate Professor of Medieval Literature & Language (University of Tennessee, Knoxville): The English Department at the University of Tennessee invites applications for a tenure-track assistant or associate professor in medieval literature and language, capable of teaching courses in both the Old English and Middle English periods, with a research specialization in either field. We particularly welcome candidates with interest in one or more of the following areas: digital humanities, medical humanities, and the global Middle Ages. (Deadline: November 1, 2023)
  • Assistant Professor of Classics in Medieval Latin & Digital Manuscript Studies (University of Tennessee, Knoxville): The Department of Classics has been authorized to make an appointment in Latin language and literature at the rank of tenure-track Assistant Professor. The expertise sought is Medieval Latin with a special interest in digital manuscript studies. This faculty member will teach undergraduate students in our department as well as train graduate students in UT’s Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. The successful candidate will have strong promise of scholarly achievement, demonstrated excellence in teaching Latin, as well as the ability to teach Medieval and Classical Latin, paleography, and digital manuscript studies, and to contribute to our departmental curriculum of large and small courses in classical civilization, literature, or mythology. (Deadline: October 31, 2023)
  • Assistant Professor in Early Modern French Studies (University of Tennessee, Knoxville): The Department of World Languages and Cultures at the University of Tennessee flagship campus in Knoxville is seeking applications for a full-time, 9-month tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant Professor in early modern French studies, with a focus on the 18th century, to begin August 1, 2024. To broaden our programs, innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to the field, such as Transatlantic studies, diaspora studies, medical humanities, and/or environmental humanities, are especially welcome. Expertise in theater is also desirable. (Deadline: November 1, 2023)
  • Assistant Professor in the History of Gender and/or Sexuality (University of Tennessee, Knoxville): The History Department at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville invites applications for a tenure-track assistant professor appointment in history with a focus on gender and/or sexuality from any world region or chronological period. Scholars whose research and teaching will complement the department’s current areas of strength are urged to apply. The position has a 2/2 teaching load. The successful candidate will teach introductory-level survey courses as well as upper division and graduate courses in the candidate’s area of expertise. (Deadline: October 1, 2023)
  • Assistant Professor in the History of Early Modern or Modern East Asia (University of Tennessee, Knoxville): The Department of History at the University of Tennessee invites applications for a tenure-track assistant professorship in the History of Early Modern or Modern East Asia (since 1500) outside of China. The research specialty is open and may treat any country or region within that scope. Applicants working in borderlands, cross-cultural contact, environment, migration, or science and medicine are encouraged to apply. The successful candidate will teach an undergraduate world history survey (1500 CE-present) and offer upper division and graduate courses in the area of specialty to complement our current strengths. (Deadline: October 15, 2023)
  • Associate Professor or Professor of Old Norse (St John’s College / English Faculty, Oxford): St John’s College and the Faculty of English invite applications from suitably qualified candidates for a Tutorial Fellowship and Associate Professorship in Old Norse, to be appointed with effect from 1 September 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter. The successful candidate will be both an Official Fellow and Tutor in English at St John’s, and a member of the Faculty of English. For full details, please click here.
  • Official (Tutorial) Fellowship in English at The Queen’s College and Associate Professorship or Professorship of Literature in English: The Queen’s College and the Faculty of English are seeking to recruit an Official (Tutorial) Fellow in English and Associate Professor or Professor of Literature in English to start on 1st September 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter. Applications are invited from well-qualified candidates with research expertise in the field of literature in English in the period from 1450-1550. This may include specialisms in areas such as medieval and early Tudor drama, early Scottish literature, women’s writing, or Henrician court literature. We also encourage applicants with comparative and global interests. The Faculty and College are strongly committed to encouraging diverse and inclusive approaches to literary study. For full details, please click here.

Finally, some wisdom from the Epistolae project on my hopes for the year as the Communications Officer:

Epistolam non ficta, sed fideli caritate et firma tibi a me missam suscipere, legere, audire atque exaudire dignare.
[Deign to receive, read, listen to and take notice of this letter which I am sending to you not with feigned but with faithful and strong charity]
A letter (1102-03) from Matilda of Scotland, queen of the English to Anselm of Canterbury

I interpret this to mean: may all of your emails be received, read, listened to, and answered with charity! Wishing you a week of charitable email replies, and I look forward to sending you our first full Medieval Matters of the year next week.

[A Medievalist looks at once back on the successes of the year just passed, and forward to the exciting year to come!]
St John’s College MS. 61, f. 47 v. 
By permission of the President and Fellows of St John’s College, Oxford
Viewable in full at Digital Bodleian

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