CFP: Medieval Women’s Writing Research Group Conference 2024: Exchanging Words

The Medieval Women’s Writing Research Group is delighted to announce the date and the theme for their 2024 conference: The conference will be held in person on June 18th 2024 with the theme of “Exchanging Words” in Room 2 of the Taylor Institution Library.

The aim of this conference is to explore the concept of exchange, whether it be textual or material, to, for and between women in the global Middle Ages. As a research group based upon the concept of exchanging ideas, we wish to explore medieval women’s own networks of exchange and transmission, and the influence of this upon both the literature and culture of the period as well as the present day.

We therefore welcome papers exploring any aspect of connections, correspondence and communication in the field of medieval women’s writing, from any discipline, be it literary, historical or otherwise. There are no limitations on geographical or language focus, as long as the topic falls within the medieval period.  

Examples of areas of interest may include, but are not limited to:

  • Letters to, from, between and about women
  • Female epistolary networks
  • The epistolary genre, rhetoric, and ars dictaminis
  • Manuscripts, manuscript networks and transmission
  • Gifts between women
  • Female patronage of the arts and architecture 
  • Knowledge exchange by women
  • Applying theoretical approaches (e.g. feminist or queer theory) to medieval texts
  • The material culture of women’s writing

Papers should aim to be 20 minutes, to be delivered in English.

Please submit your abstracts (250-300 words) along with a brief bio (max. 100 words) to Katherine Smith ( and Marlene Schilling ( The deadline for the submission is March 31st 2024 and notifications will be made in mid April 2024. The final program will be published by the end of April 2024.

Please direct any questions to any of the conference organizers Katherine Smith, Marlene Schilling, Carolin Gluchowski or Santhia Velasco Kittlaus

The research group and the conference are generously funded by The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) and their “Critical-Thinking Communities” Initiative. 

One Reply to “CFP: Medieval Women’s Writing Research Group Conference 2024: Exchanging Words”

  1. When researching for my book, La Vie dEdouard le Confesseur by a Nun of Barking Abbey, I discovered that the Nun almost certainly had access to a manuscript of Aelred’s Vita different from the one currently available in PL (this ms has since been edited in Corpus Christianorum by Francesco Marzella, whose earlier work on it I was able to use).
    An account of this was included in the above book (Liverpool 2014), but it might be interesting for the Medieval Women’s Writing Research Group Conference 2024: Exchanging Words (under the Manuscripts etc heading) to revisit it, given the new context that you are offering; I have to admit I have not done any further work on the subject.
    If the conference is intended to include early-career scholars only, I would not qualify?

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