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

The Medieval Women’s Writing Research Group Conference 2024 will be held on 18th June 2024 with the theme of “Exchanging Words” in Room 2 of the Taylor Institution Library both in person (presenters/attendees) and online (attendees).

Tuesday 18 June 2024, 9am – 5pm
Online and In-person, Room 2, Taylor Institution Library, Saint Giles’, Oxford OX1 3NA
Free but registration required
Register here for in-person attendance – Sold out
Register here to join the conference online
Online registration closes 15 minutes before the start of the event. You will be sent the joining link within 48 hours of the event, on the day and once again 10 minutes before the event starts.

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 are delighted to present the programme for the day:

9:00-9:30 Registration 
9:30-9:45 Welcome and Opening Remarks 
9:45-11:15 Session 1 “Scholarly Networks” 
Katrin Janz-Wenig (SUB Hamburg) & Lenka Panušková (The Czech Academy of Sciences) | Communication Strategies Through Change: Translations, Compilations and Ekphrasis 
Ved Prabha Sharma (Independent Researcher) | Women Scholars and Knowledge Exchange in Medieval Indian shāstrārth Tradition 
Tatiana Barkovskiy (University of Cambridge) | A Beguinian Learning Network, or How to Approach ‘Medieval Women Mystics’ as Philosophers  
11:15-11:45 Break with Refreshments 
11:45-13:15 Session 2 “Relationships With and Between Women” 
Costas Gavriel (University of Oxford) | Gaining the Queen’s Confidence: The Relationship Between Leonor López de Córdoba and Catherine of Lancaster, Queen of Castile 
Lucia Akard (University of Oxford) | Talking About Rape and Exchanging Knowledge in Medieval Dijon 
Meg Greenough (Independent Researcher) | The Wilton Matrix: Mothering in Goscelin of Saint Betin’s Liber Confortatorius
13:15-14:30 Lunch Break 
Exploring the Taylorian’s Treasures, with Professor Henrike Lähnemann (University of Oxford) 
14:30-15:45 Keynote Address 
Professor Diane Watt (University of Surrey) | Medieval Women Writers: Troubling a Feminist History of British Women’s Writing
15:45-16:15 Break with Refreshments 
16:15-17:45 Session 3 “Nuns’ Words” 
Francesca Maria Villani (University of Bari) | Eloise’s Psalmody: Body and Voice Through the Epistles
Jane Bliss (Independent Researcher) | The Nun Changes her Library Book 
Hilary Pearson (Independent Researcher) | Teresa de Cartagena’s Models of Female Authority 
17:45 Closing Remarks 
18:00 End of Conference

Please direct any questions to any of the conference organizers: 
Katherine Smith (
Marlene Schilling (
Carolin Gluchowski (
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.

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