*Keynote Speakers: Prof. Miri Rubin (Queen Mary University, London); Prof. Roser Salicrú i Lluch (Institució Milà i Fontanals,CSIC,Barcelona); Prof. Teresa Shawcross (Princeton University)
Life in the central and late Middle Ages was characterised by high levels of mobility and migration. Shifts in political, economic, cultural and religious life encouraged and sometimes forced individuals and groups to move ‘abroad’ permanently or temporarily, to places nearby or further afield.
The position and impact of these ‘foreigners’in societieshas been widely discussed. However, what isless consideredis how theyunderstood and (re)presented themselves. Ourconference aimsto explorethe construction, expression, and practical significance of different forms of social identity among individuals and groups living ‘abroad’ in Europe and the Mediterranean in the period between the eleventh andfifteenth centuries.
We invite proposals for 20-minute papers from graduate and early career researchers working across all relevant disciplinesin the Humanities and Social Sciences. By bringing together a variety of different perspectives, the conference not only aims to consider how ‘identity abroad’ functioned in specific contexts, but also to emphasise developments, patterns, and divergences. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
• Individuals and groups living ‘abroad’, such as merchants, artisans, pilgrims, scholars, diplomats, soldiers, exiles, ethnic and religious minorities, and captives and enslaved people
The first workshop and initial meeting of the Medieval Commentary Network will take place at Christ Church, Oxford, on 9 October 2021, from 9am – 5pm. A buffet lunch will be provided. The workshop is free of charge for all participants. This will take place as an in-person workshop (unless government regulations change). Unfortunately we are unable to live-stream the event, but we are hoping to make recordings of some talks available online after the event (subject to speaker approval).
Speakers include Alastair Minnis, Andrew Kraebel, Edit Lukacs, Audrey Southgate, Elizabeth Doherty, Malena Ratzke, Zachary Guiliano, Bond West, Rachel Cresswell, and others. The full conference programme will be available at https://medievalcommentary.network/ by the end of July.
We recognise that the current situation brings with it a great deal of uncertainty regarding travel; if you find you are no longer able to attend, please let us know as soon as possible.
Please email email@example.com with any questions and for further information.
This event marks the completion of a three-year digitization project delivered by the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford and the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbuttel. The ‘Manuscripts from German-Speaking Lands’ project, funded by The Polonsky Foundation, has digitized hundreds of medieval manuscripts from collections at The Herzog August Bibliothek and the Bodleian and made these freely available online to scholars and the public.
The panel discussion will explore the journey of these manuscript collections from their origins in the religious houses of medieval Germany, their acquisition by the libraries in Wolfenbüttel and Oxford and their digitization and publication online.
Richard Ovenden OBE, Bodley’s Librarian
Julia Gross, Chargé d’ Affaires a.i. of the German Embassy London
Marc Polonsky, The Polonsky Foundation
Peter Burschel, Herzog August Bibliothek
Henrike Lähnemann, University of Oxford
Joanna Story, University of Leicester
When you have booked your place, the ticketing system will send you an automated confirmation.
A link to access the online event will be sent by the morning of the event to the email address associated with your booking.
See our project website for more information about the project and to see the digitized collections.
On Saturday the 9th of March, thirty-one pilgrims (and one canine pilgrim companion) met at St Helen’s Church in Abingdon, ready to walk the twelve miles to Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford. Much like the Canterbury Tales, our party was diverse; there were students from across the UK and across disciplines and stages, porters, academics from far and wide and members of the public (one of which who had run a half marathon the very same morning). As a BYOB (Bring Your Own Beliefs) pilgrimage, there were also a range of reasons for pilgrimaging present among our group. This was the start of the Oxford Medieval Studies Pilgrimage Day 2019, a day that would engage with the practice, literature, history and revitalisation of medieval pilgrimage.
At St Helen’s we handed out pilgrim badge replicas, kindly funded by the Oxford Pilgrimage Studies Network, to each of our pilgrims. Beautifully recreated in pewter by Lionheart Replicas, the original badge dated from the fifteenth century and depicted two pilgrims, one male and one female, ready to set out on their walk. After some quick ground rules, some advice for how to make the most of a pilgrimage and a rousing reading of the opening lines to the General Prologue of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales from Rebecca, we set off on our journey.
Although the preceding week had been plagued with rain and wind, the day was miraculously sunny with only the occasional gusty spell, the perfect walking weather. Our next stopping point was only five minutes away: the Abingdon Abbey buildings. The curator of the buildings, Tim Miller, led us around the surviving buildings of the Benedictine Abbey, including Unicorn Theatre, the Long Gallery and the Chequer. Tim was an excellent guide for us, bringing the stories of the abbey and its uses to life and showing us the most impressive parts of the building, such as the beautifully painted remains of a Tudor room partition decorated with roses and pomegranates.
After leaving Tim, we then had a long walk ahead of us. We walked through the grounds of Radley College and across the countryside until we reached the picture-perfect village of Sunningwell and its church, St Leonard’s, at just past midday. This was our lunch stop, many of the pilgrims pausing to eat their packed lunch in the sunny grounds of the church or enjoying some hot chips and a pint at the local pub. This church is now mostly fifteenth century, but the village and its association with Abingdon abbey traces back far further. It also features a stunning seven-sided porch at its entrance, the victorian stained glass of which was designed by J.P. Seddon.
We then moved off again, quickly looking at the well after which the village took its name. The landscape was a little steeper as we climbed Boar’s Hill, but the view on the descent of Oxford’s ‘dreaming spires’ was worth it, and we then arrived at St Lawrence’s Church in South Hinksey. Father Ben Drury kindly gave us an history of the church and pointed out the distinctive minstrel’s gallery and the little private window for viewing mass.
We then set off on the last part of our walk, trekking over the train lines and the river, then through the outskirts of the city to Christ Church Cathedral – our pilgrims had made it home! We rounded off the walk with Rebecca reading from the Book of Margery Kempe, a moving passage describing how she reaches the English shore after a stormy passage, before our pilgrims dispersed for a well-earned rest.
The last order of the day was a talk from Dr Guy Hayward, co-founder of the British Pilgrimage Trust, at St John’s College. Guy talked about his experience of pilgrimage, its history and how he is working to revive the practice in the UK – the perfect reflective end to the day with the lasting message that we should all work to bring pilgrimage back. If you would like to walk a pilgrimage to Oxford, we encourage you to check out the BPT website http://britishpilgrimage.org/portfolio/five-ways-to-oxford/ and let us know how you get on!
Some feedback from our pilgrims:
‘Talking with people about their different life experiences was enlightening’
‘I think it was great. The highlight for me was doing a journey together with people from different walks of life.’
‘Well co-ordinated, well supported, very friendly. Had a lovely day. One to remember.’
‘Really enjoyed it, would love to do more’
We would like to say thank you to the OMS Small Grant at TORCH for their support, and that of the Oxford Studies Pilgrimage Network. We would also like to say a special thank you to Guy Hayward, Tim Miller, Fr Ben Drury and Robert Culshaw for helping the smooth running of the day, and, of course, our brilliant pilgrims.
The Public Affairs Directorate (PAD) would like to hear from research staff who would be interested in writing a blog for publication with the University Bulletin. This is a fabulous opportunity for research staff to give insight into their area from their perspective.
Those interested in writing a blog should contact Rakiya Farah, PAD. Rakiya will need a one-line description of the subject of the proposed blog and an indicative time line that would work for the researcher.
About the blog: We send out a weekly blog with University Bulletin, usually written by a senior member of staff. Several hundred staff read it every week and we are now keen to ensure that our colleagues hear from a broader range of staff at Oxford.
We’d particularly like to profile more Early Career Researchers in the blog to give more visibility to their work, and because research stories are consistently among the most popular articles we share in the Bulletin.
With this in mind, we would like to invite you to write one of our blogs. This would be a platform to describe your work to a (predominantly) uninitiated audience, to reflect on your experiences as a researcher, your motivations, and to share your perspective on research at Oxford.
The brief: • Informal, personal style and tone • A reflective piece that gives staff some insight into your area – we tend not to use the blog as a place for formal announcements • Content: a guiding question, when writing your blog, might be good to think about what staff across the University would find most interesting about your work and experiences • Around 250 words, but can be longer – they can be up to 450 • Deadline: end of Thursday preceding the Monday edition – unless you are drafting a blog not for inclusion on a set date • We are finding that staff are really responding to this style and have been asking to hear from a wider range of staff.
Timing: We would welcome a blog that you draft at your leisure, which we can slot in as appropriate. But if you had a particular week in mind, we could also pencil this in provisionally. All of our blogs are subject to final approval by the Vice-Chancellor.
Everyone is welcome at this informal and friendly graduate seminar. This Trinity Term, as always, MCC will feature presentations from the 2020-21 Medieval Studies MSt cohort on their upcoming dissertations.
Week 2 (4 May): Pilar Bertuzzi Rivett (Lincoln): Ten Names, One God: Exploring Christian-Kabbalistic affinity in a Christian hymn of the twelfth century Samuel Heywood (St Peter’s): The Finnish Product: translation and transmission of Luther’s hymns in Finland and Sweden
Week 3 (11 May): Jennifer Coulton (Wolfson): Tongue-tied and Legal Loopholes: binding motifs in Early Medieval England Florence Eccleston (Jesus): The Emotional and Embodied Experience of the Seven Deadly Sins, c.1350-c.1500
Week 4 (18 May): James Tomlinson (Magdalen): The Relationship between Music and Architecture in Late Medieval Creativity: structure, allegory, and memory Irina Boeru (Wadham): At the frontier of the known world: cartographic and heraldic encounters inLibro del Conosçimiento de todos los Rregons et Tierras et Señorios que son por el mundo, et de las señales et armas que han
Week 5 (25 May): Arielle Jasiewicz-Gill (Oriel): Lay Devotion and Performative Identity in the Fifteenth Century Florence Swan (Wolfson): The devel of helle sette his foot therin! A literary historical analysis of the cook in late medieval England
Week 6 (1 June): Thomas Henderson(Linacre): Twelfth-Century Mathematical Thinking: an anonymous fractions treatise, Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Auct. F.1.9
About the seminar: Founded in 1970/1, the London Society for Medieval Studies seeks to foster knowledge of, and dialogue about, the Middle Ages (c.500–c.1500 CE) among both scholars and the wider public in London. Organised by postgraduates and early career academics, our fortnightly seminars showcase the latest advances in all areas of medieval studies, including history, art, politics, economics, literature and archaeology. All are welcome.
The TORCH Oxford Medieval Studies Programme invites applications for small grants to support conferences, workshops, and other forms of collaborative research activity organised by researchers at postgraduate (whether MSt or DPhil) or early-career level from across the Humanities Division at the University of Oxford.
The activity should take place between April 2021 and October 2021. The closing date for applications is Friday of Week 1 of Trinity Term 2021.
Grants are normally in the region of £100–250. Recipients will be required to supply a report after the event for the TORCH Medieval Studies blog. Recipients of awards will also be invited to present on their events at the Medieval Roadshow in 1st week of Michaelmas Term 2021.
Applicants will be responsible for all administrative aspects of the activity, including formulating the theme and intellectual rationale, devising the format, and, depending on the type of event, inviting speakers and/or issuing a Call for Papers, organising the schedule, and managing the budget, promotion and advertising. Some administrative and organisational support may be available through TORCH subject to availability.