Medieval Matters: Week 5

The end of the teaching year is fast approaching! We’ve had such a busy and exciting year that I’m sure many of us are feeling rather exhausted – especially when it’s so warm outside! But there are still four more weeks of official term, and a medievalist’s work is never truly done – if you need some inspiration, heed this advice from Aldhelm, taken from the  Epistolae project

carissimi, si quamlibet parum a vestra bona consuetudine aliquando vel semel sentitis declinare: gravem casum gemendo vos incurrisse iudicate.
[dearest friends, if you ever feel that you are slipping occasionally or even once, from your good habits, however little it may be, consider with groans that you have incurred a serious fall.]
A letter (1102) from Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury to Edith

I take this to mean “no slacking in fifth week”! If you’re feeling weary and in need of perking up as we approach the end of the year, our blog post this week is sure to raise your spirits. The blog post about the first of three 12th Century Study Days at Iffley gives a fantastic insight into local history and sainthood, and a wonderful sense of our Medievalist community’s work outside of the University walls! To watch recordings of the talks by Andrew Dunning and Anne E. Bailey, read about future events from Living Stones, and sign up for the Pilgrimage walk along St Frideswide’s Way (26-29 June 2024), please visit the blog post here.

It’s also easier to keep up your “good habits” when you’re surrounded by such a wonderful community of medievalists – please see below for the week’s opportunities to keep up the good work:

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • On 25 May, there will be a workshop on The Reading and Reception of the Homeric Poems and the Nibelungenlied in Germany and Europe from the Eighteenth Century to the Present, at the Taylorian and the Bodleian; papers in the morning, manuscript sessions and an exhibition opening in the afternoon. The workshop is open to all with no attendance fee. The papers will also be livestreamed. Please register your interest before Thursday night by emailing John Butcher; for online attendance, a link will be sent out 24 hours in advance. A selection of the papers and the two guided tours will also later be made available as podcasts. The exhibition Epic! Homer and Nibelungenlied in Translation to coincide with the workshop will be open just for a week, so make sure to catch it between 22 and 29 May and / or download the exhibition catalogue which comes out as an open access publication as part of the ‘Cultural Memory’ series by Taylor Editions.
  • All are welcome to a new Latin palaeography group, organised by William Little and Rebecca Menmuir with the Societas Ovidiana. Our aim is to transcribe previously unedited material from a range of medieval manuscripts, beginning with a 12th-century commentary of Ovid’s Heroides 12 (Medea to Jason). This will be a friendly and informal group open to everyone interested in improving (or maintaining) their Latin and palaeography skills, encountering a range of medieval manuscripts, or learning more about classical reception. We will meet on Zoom every Wednesday, 10am EDT / 3pm BST / 4pm CEST, beginning Wednesday 29th May. Please email Rebecca Menmuir for more information and a joining link.
  • OCHJS: Concert – Blind Far Out at Sea: Eran Tzur in Conversation and Concert: 4th of June 2024, 18:00-20:00, Maison Française d’Oxford, 2 Norham Rd, Oxford. Tzur will reunite with his old friend, Elad Uzan, a member of Oxford’s Faculty of Philosophy. Together, they will explore the connection between the Hebrew language, medieval texts and musical expression, and the art of composing poetry, playing together from different periods of Tzur’s artistic catalogue. Register for Tickets here. The event is free, but space is limited, so book your tickets soon. For further information, please click here.

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 20th May:

  • The Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group meets at 1-2pm on Teams. A friendly venue to practice your Latin and palaeography on a range of texts and scripts. We will read a very entertaining account of the legendary foundation of Cambridge University by the Carmelite friar Nicholas Cantlow. Sign up to the mailing list to receive weekly updates and Teams invites.
  • The Tolkien 50th Anniversary Seminar Series meets at 5pm in the T. S. Eliot Theatre, Merton College. This week’s speaker will be Will Sherwood (University of Glasgow), “I am a link in the chain”: Victorian Transformations of British Romanticism and their Influence on Tolkien. For more information, please see https://tolkien50.web.ox.ac.uk/.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm in the Old Library, All Souls College and on Teams. The Teams session can be accessed by logging in to Teams with your .ox.ac.uk account and joining the group “Medieval History Research Seminar” (team code rmppucs). Alternatively, you can use this link. If you have any difficulties please email: medhistsem@history.ox.ac.uk. This week’s speakers will be Charles West (Edinburgh), Helen Gittos (Balliol) and Mirela Ivanova (Sheffield), in discussion:  Inventing Slavonic Cultures of Writing Between Rome and Constantinople. Please note the change of room.

Tuesday 21st May:

  • The Medieval English Research Seminar meets at 12.15pm in Lecture Room 2, English Faculty. This week’s speakers will be Alicia Smith (Corpus Christi College, Cambridge), Negotiating shame through the ‘harlot saint’ Thais and Nancy Jiang (University of Warwick) Medieval Penitential Piety and the Virtues of Debt Suretyship. Seminars followed by a sandwich lunch. All welcome!
  • Francesco Zimei (University of Trento): The Italian Lauda: Origins, Features, Connections (Digital Humanities and Sensory Heritage (DHSH) – Seminar  Series), St Edmund Hall, Old Dining Hall, 4.30pm 
  • CMTC presents — “Work in Progress” Colloquium (Trinity Term 2024) 5.15–6.45pm Memorial Room, The Queen’s College: Carolin Gluchowski (New College, Oxford), ‘Revising Devotion: Exploring Church Reform through Prayerbook MS. Lat. liturg. f. 4’ and Paola Rea (Scuola Superiore Meridionale, Napoli / Universitat de València), ‘Non ti maravigliare che io non mi distenda nelo scrivere: Female Autographs and Kinship in an Early-Modern Italian Epistolary Corpus’. Abstracts on https://cmtc.queens.ox.ac.uk/seminars/
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at 5.15pm in the Wellbeloved Room, Harris Manchester College. This week’s speakers will be Alex Still (BNC), Hrothgar’s horse:  the evidence for an interconnected elite across the North Sea world and Elizabeth Williams (LMH), Heavenly Sensations:  multisensory encounters with the liturgy in medieval Jerusalem’s Holy Sepulchre, c. 1099-1215. Everyone is welcome at this informal and friendly graduate seminar.

Wednesday 22nd May:

  • The Medieval German Graduate Seminar meets at 11.15am in Oriel College King Edward Street 7 (Annette Volfing’s office; press the intercom buzzer to be let in). The topic for this term is Konrad von Würzburg: ‘Der Schwanritter’. Open access edition here. If you are interested to be added to the teams group for updates, please contact Henrike Lähnemann.
  • The Medieval Latin Document Reading Group meets at 4-5pm on Teams. A document is sent out in advance but homework is not expected. Please contact Michael Stansfield for further details and the Teams link.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5.15pm at Auditorium, Corpus Christi College, and online via Teams. Teams link: https://msteams.link/FW0C. This week’s speakers will be Maximilien Durand (Musée du Louvre) and Jannic Durand (Musée du Louvre)   – ‘Creating the Louvre’s New Department of Byzantine and Eastern Christian Art: Issues and Challenges in a Turbulent World’. Please note the change in venue and start time!
  • The Book launch of Siân E. Grønlie’s The Old Testament in Medieval Icelandic Texts. Translation, Exegesis and Storytelling takes place at 5.30-7pm in Seminar Room 9, St Anne’s College. We celebrate the launch of the book (Boydell and Brewer, 2024), with a panel discussion with Prof Heather O’Donoghue, Prof Henrike Laehnemann, and Dr Rachel Burns, followed by a drinks reception. For further details, please see here.

Thursday 23rd May:

  • The All Souls Seminar in Medieval and Early Modern Science meets at 2– 3pm in the Hovenden Room, All Souls College. This week’s speaker will be Michael Hunter (Birkbeck, University of London), Robert Boyle’s Strange Reports: From the Outlandish to the Supernatural. To be added to our mailing list please email Dan Haywood mailto:daniel.haywood@sjc.ox.ac.uk

Friday 24th May:

  • Recording Oxford’s Medieval Lives. A Mise en Perspective of Lincoln Documents takes place from 10am-7pm at Lincoln College. The conference will include academic papers and presentations by students and participants in the year-long seminar ‘Exploring medieval Oxford through Lincoln Archives’. They will be presenting their work and discoveries at the conference alongside papers by David d’Avray (UL/Jesus College), Philippa Hoskin (CCC, Cambridge), Richard Allen (Magdalene College), Michael Stansfield (New College) and Alison Ray (St Peter’s and All Souls). Anyone with an interest in the history of medieval Oxford and medieval documents more generally is welcome to attend and can register by writing to Laure Miolo and Lindsay McCormack.
  • 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, coffee and the chance to see the view from the 5th floor terrace. This week, Thea Gomelauri will present medieval Hebrew manuscripts.
  • The Anglo-Norman Reading Group will meets at 5-6.30pm at the Julia Mann Room in St Hilda’s College, with the option to join remotely online. Those attending in person please be at the Lodge BY 5.00, where we will meet you and take you to the room in South Building. The texts, together with supplementary material, can be found on TT Padlet Please ensure you print the text (or bring it electronically), as we do not provide paper copies. Wine and soft drinks are available as usual!

Saturday 25th May:

Finally, for further inspiration to keep working hard through this last stretch of the teaching year, here is some further advice from Anselm:

Nullus enim potest vitare defectum, nisi qui se semper extendit ad profectum. 
[For nobody can avoid falling back except one who always strains towards progress.] 
A letter (1094/1095) from Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury to Nun M.

The sun should help to ward off any fifth week blues, and to ensure no “falling back” happens, but if you need further assistance, please do come along to the very friendly medievalists coffee morning. In the meantime, I wish you all a week of research and teaching progress!

[Medievalists diligently striving towards progress together…]
St John’s College MS. 61, f. 2 r. 
By permission of the President and Fellows of St John’s College, Oxford
Viewable in full at Digital Bodleian
 

Medieval Matters: Week 4

The sun has finally arrived in Oxford! After such a long winter and such a cold and windy April, I think I speak for us all when I say that seeing Oxford in the sunshine is a real joy! I for one was so overjoyed to see the sun this weekend that I was reminded of this wisdom from the  Epistolae project

non sic tempestate iactatus portum nauta desiderat, non sic sitientia imbres arva desiderant, non sic curvo litore anxia filium mater expectat, quam ut ego visibus vestris fruere cupio 
[more than the storm-tossed sailor longs for the harbour, more than the thirsty fields desire rain, or the anxious mother watches by the shore for her son, do I long for the sight of you.] 
A letter from Egburg/Egburga/Ecburg (716-20) 

Our blog post this week is a real delight, as both a celebration of a new book publication and a fantastic insight into medieval verse. Dr Daniel Sawyer writes about his brand new book, out this month with Oxford University Press, on Reading Middle English Verse. This will be such an invaluabe teaching resource for those of us teaching medieval literature, and I for one am hugely excited! To discover how studying Middle English verse can make us rethink our modern day use of English, to read more about the many varieties of Medieval English poetry, and to find a discount code for the book, read Daniel’s blog post here.

For further sights that are sure to bring you joy, feast your eyes on all of the fantastic events taking place this week: 

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Invitation to end of year celebration with OMSBook launch: On Tuesday 11 June 11, 2024. 5.00 p.m. for 5.15, the last meeting of the .Medieval Church and Culture‘ seminar’ In the chapel at Harris Manchester College will be combined with a drinks reception and a book launch of New Zealand medievalism: reframing the medieval, edited by Anna Czarnowus and Janet M. Wilson, Routledge. Speakers: Anna Czarnowus (Katowice), Carolyne Larrington (Oxford), David Matthews (Manchester), and Janet Wilson (Northampton). All welcome but RSVP by Friday 7 June 7 to Janet Wilson

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 13th May:

  • The Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group meets at 1-2pm on Teams. A friendly venue to practice your Latin and palaeography on a range of texts and scripts. We will read a very entertaining account of the legendary foundation of Cambridge University by the Carmelite friar Nicholas Cantlow. Sign up to the mailing list to receive weekly updates and Teams invites. https://web.maillist.ox.ac.uk/ox/info/medieval-latin-ms-reading
  • The Queer and Trans Medievalisms Reading Group meets at 3pm in Univ. This informal reading group will explore queer and trans themes in medieval texts. In Trinity, we’ll be thinking about queerness and transness on trial in the Middle Ages. This week’s theme will be The trial of Rolandina Ronchaia (Venice, 1355). All extremely welcome, both in-person and online! To join the mailing list and get texts in advance, or if you have any questions, email Rowan Wilson (rowan.wilson@univ.ox.ac.uk).
  • The Tolkien 50th Anniversary Seminar Series meets at 5pm in the Summer Common Room, Magdalen College. This week’s speaker will be Dr. Eleanor Parker (Brasenose College, University of Oxford), Tolkien and the Anglo-Saxon Calendar. For more information, please see https://tolkien50.web.ox.ac.uk/.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm in the Wharton Room, All Souls College and on Teams. The Teams session can be accessed by logging in to Teams with your .ox.ac.uk account and joining the group “Medieval History Research Seminar” (team code rmppucs). Alternatively, you can use this link. If you have any difficulties please email: medhistsem@history.ox.ac.uk. This week’s speaker will be Emma Hornby (Bristol): ‘Intertextuality in medieval Spain: liturgy, iconography, architecture and music at San Miguel de Escalada in the tenth century’.

Tuesday 14th May:

  • The Medieval English Research Seminar meets at 12.15pm in Lecture Room 2, English Faculty. This week’s speaker will be Tim Glover (Emmanuel College, Cambridge), Compilatory Form and Authorship in Richard Rolle and in Late-Medieval Religious Literature. Seminars followed by a sandwich lunch. All welcome!
  • The Medieval Poetry Reading Group meets at 4pm in the Colin Matthew Room, Radcliffe Humanities Building. This week’s theme will be The Wakan Rōeishū (Japanese and Chinese-Style Chanting Collection, c. 1000): Sound and Manuscript. This is an activity of the TORCH Network Poetry in the Medieval World. For more information, you can refer to our website https://torch.ox.ac.uk/poetry-in-the-medieval-world; you can also contact Ugo Mondini at ugo.mondini@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk.
  • The 2024 Zernov Lecture meets at 5pm at the Maison française d’Oxford, 2-10 Norham Road, OX2 6SE. This year’s speaker will be Dr Sebastian Brock FBA, (University of Oxford), ‘The Ecumenical Journey of the Writings of St Isaac the Syrian’, introduced by David G.K. Taylor (Associate Professor in Aramaic and Syriac, Wolfson College, Oxford).
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at 5.15pm in the Wellbeloved Room, Harris Manchester College. This week’s speakers will be Elena Vermeer (Trinity), The Old English and Old Norse ‘Joshua’:  translation and readership in context and Vita Dervan (Lincoln), Rewriting Virgil through Dante:  Guido da Pisa’s Fiore d’Italia and medieval translation. Everyone is welcome at this informal and friendly graduate seminar.

Wednesday 15th May:

  • There will be no meeting of the Medieval German Graduate Seminar this week.
  • The Medieval Latin Document Reading Group meets at 4-5pm on Teams. A document is sent out in advance but homework is not expected. Please 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, Oxford, and online via Teams. Teams link: https://msteams.link/FW0C. This week’s speaker will be James Cogbill (University of Oxford) – ‘Fourteenth-Century Byzantine History-Writers and the Problem of Emperors’ Family Ties’.
  • The Oxford Interfaith Forum will meet at 6pm, online via zoom for Sounding the Silence – Contemplation as Poetic Practice; Poetry as Contemplative Practice by Dr Aaron Maniam. To register, please click here.

Thursday 16th May:

  • The Environmental History Working Group meets at 12.30-2pm in the Merze Tate Room, History Faculty. This week’s speaker will be Mim Pomerantz, “Ecological Automatism: Photography and Non-Human Creativity in Minotaure (1933-1939)”. We try to keep discussions informal, and we encourage anyone at all interested in these kinds of approaches to join our meetings, regardless of research specialism or presumed existing knowledge. For updates on meeting details, refer to the EHWG tab on the Environmental History website. For further information or to join the EHWG mailing list, please email environmentalhistoryworkinggroup-owner@maillist.ox.ac.uk
  • The Germanic Reading Group meets at 4pm online. Please contact Howard Jones Howard.Jones@sbs.ox.ac.uk to request the handouts and to be added to the list. This week will be on the Gothic Bible (Ryan leading).
  • The Medieval Women’s Writing Reading Group meets at 5-6.30pm in Lincoln College, Lower Lecture Room. This week’s theme is Arabic and Hebrew Medieval Women’s Writers. Stay up to date with events by joining our mailing list or following us on X @MedievalWomenOx. Texts for the reading group are shared on the mailing list.
  • The Medieval Visual Culture Seminar meets at 5pm at St Catherine’s College, Oxford, Arumugam Building. All welcome! This week’s speaker will be Livia Lupi, University of Warwick, Artistic Practice and the Emergence of the Architect in Italy, c. 1300 – c. 1480.

Friday 17th May:

  • 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, coffee and the chance to see the view from the 5th floor terrace. 
  • The final meeting of the initiative ‘Teaching the Codex’ will take place at Merton College 2-5pm on the topic of ‘hybridity’. Places are limited but if you would like to check whether there is still space, contact Mary Boyle
  • The Oxford Medieval Society Chain Maille Workshop takes place at 2-5.30pm, in St John’s College New Seminar Room. Registration is MANDATORY. Don’t miss out, places are limited! Tickets: £15. Refreshments will be provided. To register, click here.
  • The Oxford Medieval Manuscripts Group (OMMG) meets at 3.15pm at the V&A Museum, London. We will look at Illuminated Manuscript Cuttings at the V&A, London in conversation with Catherine Yvard, National Art Library Special Collections Curator. Places are limited: please write to elena.lichmanova@merton.ox.ac.uk by 10/05/2024.

Saturday 18th May:

  • Living Stones meets at 2pm in Iffley Church Hall for talks by Andrew Dunning and Anne Bailey on Oxford in 1160: Scholars and Pilgrims at St Frideswide’s Priory. For more information and Tickets please visit https://livingstonesiffley.org.uk/events.

I wish you a week of research joys and garden joys alike! 

A blue lion with orange and green leaves

Description automatically generated with medium confidence[A flock of Medievalists visit the University Parks to find some summer joys] 
St John’s College MS. 61, f. 23 v.  
By permission of the President and Fellows of St John’s College, Oxford 
Viewable in full at Digital Bodleian 

Medieval Matters: Week 3

Week 3 has arrived, and the term (and year) seem to be rushing by. Today is, of course, a bank holiday, but OMS is still here to bring you all of the latest Medieval News. I hope that you are all managing to get some rest as well as some work done. For those of you who (like me) feel that term is flying by, here is a reminder to slow down and enjoy our work, from the Epistolae project

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 6th May:

  • The Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group meets at 1-2pm on Teams. A friendly venue to practice your Latin and palaeography on a range of texts and scripts. We will read a very entertaining account of the legendary foundation of Cambridge University by the Carmelite friar Nicholas Cantlow. Sign up to the mailing list to receive weekly updates and Teams invites. https://web.maillist.ox.ac.uk/ox/info/medieval-latin-ms-reading
  • The Tolkien 50th Anniversary Seminar Series meets at 5pm in the Summer Common Room, Magdalen College. This week’s speaker will be Edmund Weiner (Oxford English Dictionary), ‘I always felt that something ought to be done about the word…’: Tolkien’s latchwords. For more information, please see https://tolkien50.web.ox.ac.uk/.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm in the Wharton Room, All Souls College and on Teams. The Teams session can be accessed by logging in to Teams with your .ox.ac.uk account and joining the group “Medieval History Research Seminar” (team code rmppucs). Alternatively, you can use this link. If you have any difficulties please email: medhistsem@history.ox.ac.uk. This week’s speaker will be Helen Flatley (Somerville, Oxford): ‘Reading the Arabic Documents of Medieval Toledo: Local Practice and Community Formation on the Iberian Frontier’.

Tuesday 7th May:

  • The Medieval English Research Seminar meets at 12.15pm in Lecture Room 2, English Faculty. This week’s speakers will be Audrey Southgate (Lincoln College, Oxford), ‘Playing the Ten-Stringed Lyre’: Psalter and Decalogue in the English Primers and Hannah Schühle-Lewis (University of Kent) ‘All suche clytter clatter’?: Medieval devotional compilations after the Reformation. Seminars followed by a sandwich lunch. All welcome!
  • The Medieval French Seminar meets at 5pm at the Maison Francaise. Drinks will be served from 5pm; the presentations will start at 5:15pm. All are welcome! This week’s speaker will be Richard Trachsler (Zurich University), ‘God’s Tennisman: the Jeu de Paume allégorisé and the Difficulty of Playing Ball in the Late Middle Ages‘.
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at 5.15pm in the Wellbeloved Room, Harris Manchester College. This week’s speakers will be James Buchanan (Kellogg) English Saints and the Normans:  tracing community and identity in the post conquest hagiography of St Dunstan and Cory Nguen (Univ.), Constructing Identity in 14thc Norman Ireland:  law, lyric, language. Everyone is welcome at this informal and friendly graduate seminar.
  • Fourth Lyell Lecture: What happens when incunables replace manuscripts? at 5.15 at the Weston Library lecture theatre by Stephen Oakley (Cambridge): Copying the Classics (and Fathers): explorations in the transmission of Latin text. Book her for in-person attendance or live-stream.
  • Yossef Rapoport from Queen Mary’s will give a special presentation on “Livestock and Pastoralism in late-medieval Fayyum” at 5pm in the Fletcher Room, Trinity College. This talk is affiliated with the Oxford Collective for Nomadic and Pastoralist Peoples.

Wednesday 8th May:

  • The Medieval German Graduate Seminar meets at 11.15am in Oriel College King Edward Street 7(Annette Volfing’s office; press the intercom buzzer to be let in). It will be a shortish planning meeting. The topic for this term is Konrad von Würzburg: ‘Der Schwanritter’. Open access edition here. If you are interested to be added to the teams group for updates, please contact Henrike Lähnemann.
  • The Medieval Latin Document Reading Group meets at 4-5pm on Teams. A document is sent out in advance but homework is not expected. Please contact Michael Stansfield for further details and the Teams link.
  • At 5pm in the Oxford Martin School, Prof Nicola Di Cosmo (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton) will give an Environmental History Talk sponsored jointly by the Oxford Centre for European History and the Centre for Global History and the Oxford Martin School: Historical research in the time of the Anthropocene: can climate data help us read the past (and, if so, how)?.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5pm at Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St. Giles, Oxford, and online via Teams. Teams link: https://msteams.link/FW0C. This week’s speaker will be Natalija Ristovska (University of Oxford) –‘The Byzantine Craft of Enamelling and its Links with Islamic Metalwork, ca. 800-1204’.

Thursday 9th May:

  • The Environmental History Working Group meets at 12.30-2pm in the Ashmolean Museum for a tour. For updates on meeting details, refer to the EHWG tab on the Environmental History website. For further information or to join the EHWG mailing list, please email environmentalhistoryworkinggroup-owner@maillist.ox.ac.uk
  • The All Souls Seminar in Medieval and Early Modern Science meets at 2-3.30pm in the Hovenden Room, All Souls College. This week’s speaker will be Henrique Leitão (University of Lisbon), Global Lines and Nautical Cartography in the Iberian Oceanic Expansion.
  • Fifth Lyell Lecture: Some generalizations about the shape and geographical spread of Latin textual traditions at 5.15 at the Weston Library lecture theatre by Stephen Oakley (Cambridge): Copying the Classics (and Fathers): explorations in the transmission of Latin text. Book her for in-person attendance or live-stream.

Friday 10th May:

  • 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, coffee and the chance to see the view from the 5th floor terrace. 
  • The Oxford Medieval Manuscripts Group (OMMG) meets at 5pm in the Hawkins Room, Merton College. Sara Charles, School of Advanced Study, University of London will speak on Pigments and Illumination in the Middle Ages (practice-based). All materials are provided. £5 fee (the price is subsidised by the OMS grant). Places are limited: please write to elena.lichmanova@merton.ox.ac.uk by 01/05/2024.
  • The Anglo-Norman Reading Group will meets at 5-6.30pm at the Julia Mann Room in St Hilda’s College, with the option to join remotely online. Those attending in person please be at the Lodge BY 5.00, where we will meet you and take you to the room in South Building. The texts, together with supplementary material, can be found on TT Padlet Please ensure you print the text (or bring it electronically), as we do not provide paper copies. Wine and soft drinks are available as usual!

OPPORTUNITIES:

  • Stipendiary Lectureship in Old and Middle English: Exeter College are recruiting a fixed-term, part-time Stipendiary Lecturer post in Old Englis/Middle English. Please see the website for more details: https://www.exeter.ox.ac.uk/vacancies/sl-english/

Medieval Matters: Week 2

Has a whole week really flown by already? They do say that time always flies when you’re having fun, and we’ve already been blessed with a wealth of amazing medievalist events! Every term when I assemble the booklet, I am always in awe of the great number of things on offer. Thank you to everyone who sent updates, corrections and omissions to the booklet. Here is some wisdom from the Epistolae project which sums up the work of the communications officer:

Divitis ingenii tibi copia dives abundat,
Quo potes erratus attenuare meos.

[A rich supply of rich wit abounds in you,
by which you might lessen my errors.]
A poem from Baudri to Muriel of Wilton

Thank you to all who lessened my errors this week! The updated booklet can from now on be viewed, in all of its high-resolution glory, on our website here. This is a live and updateable document, so please do send any further corrections or adjustments to me throughout the term. You can also keep track of the term’s happenings via our google calendar, visible on the side of our blog.

For this week’s round up, please see below:

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Teaching the Codex is running a small workshop on Hybridity (17th May, 14:00, Merton College): What constitutes hybridity in manuscript material, and how do we teach it? In teaching contexts which are often highly categorised, how can we find pedagogical value in such hybridity? Topics for discussion include how we teach texts transmitted in both manuscript and print; how we can help students to get to grips with instances of hybrid materiality in manuscript text; and the challenges and opportunities of teaching multilingual manuscripts. There are a very limited number of additional places available. You can register at http://bit.ly/TtCWorkshopRSVP (the form will close when the places have been filled). 
  • You are invited to celebrate the publication of Karl Kügle, Ingrid Ciulisova, Václav Žůrek (eds) Luxembourg Court Cultures in the Long Fourteenth Century:Performing Empire, Celebrating Kingship (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2024) Senior Common Room, Wadham College, Tuesday, 30 April, 6-7 pm. Speakers: Zoë Opačić (Birkbeck), Mark Whelan (Queen Mary), Václav Žůrek (CAS Prague). RSVP: Karl Kügle.
  • Save the date: booklaunch! Siân Grønlie’s The Old Testament in Medieval Icelandic Texts will have a launch party on 22 May 5:30-7pm: https://occt.web.ox.ac.uk/event/book-launch-of-the-old-testament-in-medieval-icelandic-texts-translation-exegesis-and-storytel.

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 29th April:

  • The Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group meets at 1-2pm on Teams. A friendly venue to practice your Latin and palaeography on a range of texts and scripts. We will read a very entertaining account of the legendary foundation of Cambridge University by the Carmelite friar Nicholas Cantlow. Sign up to the mailing list to receive weekly updates and Teams invites. https://web.maillist.ox.ac.uk/ox/info/medieval-latin-ms-reading
  • The Tolkien 50th Anniversary Seminar Series meets at 5pm in the Summer Common Room, Magdalen College. This week’s speaker will be Hugo Lacoue-Labarthe (Exeter College, University of Oxford), Tolkien’s Lancelot in The Fall of Arthur: the living memory of a decaying world. For more information, please see https://tolkien50.web.ox.ac.uk/.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm in the Wharton Room, All Souls College and on Teams. The Teams session can be accessed by logging in to Teams with your .ox.ac.uk account and joining the group “Medieval History Research Seminar” (team code rmppucs). Alternatively, you can use this link. If you have any difficulties please email: medhistsem@history.ox.ac.uk. This week’s speaker will be Elisabeth Lorans (Tours/All Souls), ‘The transformation of the monastic enclosure at Marmoutier (Tours, France) between the 11th and the early 13th century‘.

Tuesday 30th April:

  • The Medieval English Research Seminar meets at 12.15pm in Lecture Room 2, English Faculty. This week’s speakers will be Fred Morgan (Merton College, Oxford) Title TBC and Simon Heller (Lincoln College, Oxford), Rewriting Heorot in American Fiction. Seminars followed by a sandwich lunch. All welcome!
  • A Creative-Critical Afternoon , organised by Dr Laura Varnam, will take place at 2.30pm-4.30pm at University College (the Swire Seminar Room). There will be short talks from colleagues on their current creative-critical projects (ranging from poetry to performance, trade books to medievalism) and we’ll be discussing the benefits, opportunities, and challenges in this kind of work. There will also be chance to discuss using creative writing and creative responses in teaching. The hope is that we’ll get a sense of the vibrant work being done in this area in our period group and that there will be opportunities for future collaborations.
  • Queer and Trans Medievalisms: A Reading Group meets at 3pm, at Univ, and online. Today’s topic will be The questioning of Eleanor Rykener (London, 1394/5). All extremely welcome, both in-person and online! To join the mailing list and get texts in advance, or if you have any questions, email rowan.wilson@univ.ox.ac.uk
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar will go on a visit to the Ashmolean for a handling session with Jim Harris, 3:30-5pm. Limited numbers; sign up: Lesley Smith.
  • Third Lyell Lecture: Cross-fertilization and the limits of the genealogical method: the case of Catullus at 5.15 at the Weston Library lecture theatre by Stephen Oakley (Cambridge): Copying the Classics (and Fathers): explorations in the transmission of Latin text. Book her for in-person attendance or live-stream.
  • The Medieval Poetry Reading Group meets at 4pm in the Colin Matthew Room, Radcliffe Humanities Building. This week’s theme will be Introducing Medieval Japanese Poetic Forms: Sugawara no Michizane’s Poetry. This is an activity of the TORCH Network Poetry in the Medieval World. For more information, you can refer to our website https://torch.ox.ac.uk/poetry-in-the-medieval-world; you can also contact Ugo Mondini.

Wednesday 1st May:

  • The Medieval German Graduate Seminar meets at 11.15am in Oriel College King Edward Street 7 (Annette Volfing’s office; press the intercom buzzer to be let in). The topic for this term is Konrad von Würzburg: ‘Der Schwanritter’ and this week Marlene will be leading a close reading of the Marteneheschema and links with ‘Parzival’. Open access edition here. If you are interested to be added to the teams group for updates, please contact Henrike Lähnemann.
  • The Medieval Latin Document Reading Group meets at 4-5pm on Teams. A document is sent out in advance but homework is not expected. Please 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, Oxford, and online via Teams. Teams link: https://msteams.link/FW0C. This week’s speaker will be Polymnia Synodinou (University of Crete) – ‘The Church of the Holy Apostles (Hagioi Apostoloi) at Kavousi, Crete: Aspects of Byzantine Art under Venetian Rule’.

Thursday 2nd May:

  • The Environmental History Working Group meets at 12.30-2pm in the Merze Tate Room, History Faculty. This week’s speaker will be Ben Stemper, “The Nature of Utopia: The ecological foundations of Joseph Déjacque’s anarchist utopianism (c. 1850s)”. We try to keep discussions informal, and we encourage anyone at all interested in these kinds of approaches to join our meetings, regardless of research specialism or presumed existing knowledge. For updates on meeting details, refer to the EHWG tab on the Environmental History website. For further information or to join the EHWG mailing list, please email environmentalhistoryworkinggroup-owner@maillist.ox.ac.uk
  • The All Souls Seminar in Medieval and Early Modern Science meets at 2-3.30pm in the Hovenden Room, All Souls College. This week’s speaker will be Jeremy Schneider (Trinity College, University of Cambridge), Authenticating Nature: Fossils and Fakes, 1590-1620.
  • The Germanic Reading Group meets at 4pm online. Please contact Howard Jones to request the handouts and to be added to the list. This week will be on Old English charms/remedies (Morgan leading).
  • The Medieval Women’s Writing Reading Group meets at 5-6.30pm in Lincoln College, Lower Lecture Room. This week’s theme is Chinese Medieval Women’s Writers. Stay up to date with events by joining our mailing list or following us on X @MedievalWomenOx. Texts for the reading group are shared on the mailing list.

Friday 3rd May:

  • 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, coffee and the chance to see the view from the 5th floor terrace. This week, Thea Gomelauri will present medieval Hebrew manuscripts.

Finally, we cannot always send out email updates, but if you learn of new events, changes to schedules etc. we will always disseminate them on our social media, especially via X/Twitter. Do make sure to follow to keep up with all of the latest updates. And please do send any and all updates or corrections to me – I am reassured by this eighth-century letter from Eangyth that corrections are a historical inevitability:

postulamus pietatem tuam, ut tua rescripta trans pontum dirigere digneris et respondeas his, quibus in his kartis caraxavimus rustico stilo et inpolito sermone
[We beg you also to be so kind as to send us word across the sea in reply to what we have scribbled in this letter in our rude, unpolished speech.]

A letter from Eangyth, abbess (719-22)

With that said, I wish you a week free from errors wherever possible, and in my rude and unpolished speech hope that you all have a lovely week 2!

[A Medievalist spots an error…]
St John’s College MS. 61, f. 41 v. 
By permission of the President and Fellows of St John’s College, Oxford
Viewable in full at Digital Bodleian
 

Medieval Matters: Week 1

It brings me such great joy to welcome you all back to Oxford for Trinity Term! Whilst it’s always lovely to have research time outside of teaching term, Oxford seems so quiet in the vacations. As we learn from the Epistolae project, waiting for your friends and colleagues to return isn’t just a modern phenomenon:

Vestri etenim reditus optati terminus, quanto celerior et propinquior a pluribus mihi promittitur, tanto magis a me, vestra frui optante praesentia et locutione, desideratur. 
[The sooner and the closer the date of your desired return is promised to me by many people, the more it is desired by me, since I long to enjoy your presence and conversation.]
A letter (1106) from Matilda of Scotland, queen of the English, to Anselm

I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say that I’m looking forward to a wonderful term enjoying the presence and conversation of our fantastic medieval community. We have so many wonderful things lined up for you this term. To get a taste of everything to come, please see our brand new Trinity Term Medieval Booklet. A compressed copy is attached to the weekly email for your convenience, but for all of the latest updates and the booklet in its high-quality glory, see the online version here.

Here are the week’s announcements, events and opportunities:

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Save the date: A workshop on practices of contrafacture of monophonic song (1150-1550) will take place on 20th June at 10am-7pm, in the Committee Room, Faculty of Music. The schedule will be split into two parts: the first half is reserved for presentations of individual papers with a following discussion, in the second half we will collectively examine and interpret further selected case studies. Anybody interested is welcome to attend the presentations and take part in the discussions. If you want to attend or if you have questions, please email Philip Wetzler.
  • Register now for the Oxford Medieval Society Chain Maille Workshop! Week 4, Friday 17th May, 2-5.30pm, in St John’s College New Seminar Room. Come and learn how to make chain maille with Master Maille Maker Nick Checksfield! Nick is a world-leading expert in medieval chain maille, and will be visiting Oxford Medieval Society for an all-you-need-to-know workshop. Don’t miss out, places are limited! Tickets: £15. Refreshments will be provided. To register, click here.
  • Registration open: Workshop: Binding the world, withholding life. Poetry Books in the Medieval Mediterranean. Register via Eventbrite for online attendance. Online registration closes 2 hours before the start of the event. You will be sent the joining link within 24 hours of the event, 2 hours before and once again 15 minutes before the event starts. The full programme will be shared after registration and on https://torch.ox.ac.uk/event/binding-the-world-withholding-life.-poetry-books-in-the-medieval-mediterranean.

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 22nd April:

  • The Tolkien 50th Anniversary Seminar Series meets at 5pm in the Summer Common Room, Magdalen College. This week’s speaker will be Catherine McIlwaine (Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford), “Being a cult figure in one’s lifetime is not at all pleasant”: Tolkien’s relationship with his fans. For more information, please see https://tolkien50.web.ox.ac.uk/.
  • A Talk by Dr. Stephanie Pambakian will take place at 5PM in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Lecture Room 1. Dr. Pambakian (Tübingen / Venice Ca’Foscari) will be speaking on A 7th-century Armenian Cosmology: Anania Širakac’i’s treatise on the Universe.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm in the Wharton Room, All Souls College and on Teams. The Teams session can be accessed by logging in to Teams with your .ox.ac.uk account and joining the group “Medieval History Research Seminar” (team code rmppucs). Alternatively, you can use this link. If you have any difficulties please email: medhistsem@history.ox.ac.uk. This week’s speaker will be Lindy Grant (Reading), ‘Eleanor of Aquitaine: the power of a queen and duchess‘.

Tuesday 23rd April:

  • The Medieval English Research Seminar meets at 12.15pm in Lecture Room 2, English Faculty. This week’s speaker will be Christine Rauer (St Andrews), The Earliest Insular Almanac?: Types of Information in Old English and Insular Latin Calendrical Texts. Seminars followed by a sandwich lunch. All welcome!
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at 5.15pm in the Wellbeloved Room, Harris Manchester College. This week’s speaker will be Alexander Murray (Univ.). Everyone is welcome at this informal and friendly graduate seminar.
  • First Lyell Lecture: The transmission of Julius Caesar’s Civil War at 5.15 at the Weston Library lecture theatre by Stephen Oakley (Cambridge): Copying the Classics (and Fathers): explorations in the transmission of Latin text. Book her for in-person attendance or live-stream.
  • The Medieval French Seminar meets at 5pm at the Maison Francaise. Drinks will be served from 5pm; the presentations will start at 5:15pm. All are welcome! This week’s speaker will be Tom Hinton (University of Exeter), ‘What Did A French Language Learning Text Look Like in Medieval Britain?’.

Wednesday 24th April:

  • The Medieval German Graduate Seminar meets at 11.15am in Oriel College King Edward Street 7 (Annette Volfing’s office; press the intercom buzzer to be let in). It will be a shortish planning meeting. The topic for this term is Konrad von Würzburg: ‘Der Schwanritter’. Open access edition here. If you are interested to be added to the teams group for updates, please contact Henrike Lähnemann.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5pm at Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St. Giles, Oxford, and online via Teams. Teams link: https://msteams.link/FW0C. This week’s speaker will be Thea Ravasi (University of Newcastle) – ‘Imperial benefaction, sanitary and religious practices in 4th-century Rome. The archaeology of the Baptistery of St. John Lateran revisited’.

Thursday 25th April:

  • The All Souls Seminar in Medieval and Early Modern Science meets at 2-3.30pm in the Hovenden Room, All Souls College. This week’s speaker will be Michael Hunter (Birkbeck), Robert Boyle’s Strange Reports: From the Outlandish to the Supernatural.
  • Second Lyell Lecture: The transmission of the Corpus Cyprianum and Pontius’ Life of Cyprian at 5.15 at the Weston Library lecture theatre by Stephen Oakley (Cambridge): Copying the Classics (and Fathers): explorations in the transmission of Latin text. Book her for in-person attendance or live-stream.
  • The Oxford Old English Work in Progress Seminar (WOOPIE) meets at 5.15pm in the History of the Book Room, English Faculty. Prof. Paul Cavill (University of Nottingham) will speak on “Gathering up the Fragments: Homiletic Fragment II”. All welcome. If you would like to attend, please contact francis.leneghan@ell.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval Visual Culture Seminar meets at 5pm at St Catherine’s College, Oxford, Arumugam Building. All welcome! This week’s speaker will be Lucy Wrapson, University of Cambridge, ‘Colour Conventions and Material Hierarchies on Late-Medieval Rood Screens‘.

Friday 26th 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, coffee and the chance to see the view from the 5th floor terrace.
  • David Wiles (Emeritus Professor of Drama, University of Exeter) is performing the pseudo-Senecan Roman history play Octavia in the exuberant rhetorical language of the 1561 translation in the Wolfson College Buttery at 1.15pm, under the aegis of the Ancient World Research Cluster. The play lasts for half an hour; watch a recording here. You may have seen previous productions in the garden of St Edmund Hall – last year, Mary Magdalene Play from the Carmina Burana. This is also early notice that there hopefully will be another Medieval Mystery Cycle in 2025, probably 26 April in St Edmund Hall – mark the date!
  • The Medieval Latin Document Reading Group meets at 4-5pm on Teams. A document is sent out in advance but homework is not expected. Please contact Michael Stansfield for further details and the Teams link.
  • The Oxford Medieval Manuscripts Group (OMMG) meets at 5pm in the Weston Library. Martin Kauffmann, Bodleian Library will speak on A. C. (Tilly) de la Mare and the Formation of a Palaeographer. Places are limited, please write to Elena Lichmanova by 24/04/2024.

Saturday 27th April:

  • Special Event: Creating Chaucer. 11am-4pm at the Weston Library. Join the collective of Oxford medievalists to explore Chaucer’s world through creative activities, talks and discussion!
    • Take a highlights tour of the exhibition Chaucer Here and Now with curator Marion Turner
    • Make a moving puppet of Chaucer with Sigi Koerner
    • Learn cartoon drawing in a live session with artist Kristen Haas Curtis
    • Create your own original traveller’s tale and make a Tabard Inn for its telling  
    • Take the constellation challenge and discover how horoscopes were read in Chaucer’s day with Shelley Williams
    • Make a pilgrim badge as a souvenir of your visit
    • Print a Chaucer keepsake
  • Telling Tales: Marion Turner in conversation with Patience Agbabi, 1.30 – 2pm Sir Victor Blank Lecture Theatre. Professor Marion Turner, curator of Chaucer Here and Now, talks to prize-winning poet Patience Agbabi, author of Telling Tales, about how and why she created her own versions of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in forms ranging from rap to sonnets. Book now
  • Living Library, 1.30 – 3.30pm. Chat to academics in our ‘Living Library’ and explore topics including:
    • Travel and travel writing in the Middle Ages with Professor Anthony Bale
    • Chaucer in the nineteenth century with Dr Clare Broome Saunders
    • Scribes and readers of Chaucer: the first century with Professor Daniel Wakelin
    • Medieval women, modern voices with Dr Laura Varnam
    • ‘Hooly blisful martir’: Chaucer’s pilgrims in Canterbury with Dr Alison Ray
    • The Medieval in the Modern with Professor Carolyne Larrington

OPPORTUNITIES:

  • Call for Contributions: Medicine at the Fringes in the Northern World (1000-1500): Proposals for engaging essays (approximately 9,000 words) are warmly welcomed that explore and challenge our understanding of medicine in the Nordic-Atlantic areas. The essays will challenge conventional perspectives and delve into the intriguing realms of illness, health, body, disability, and medicine as depicted in manuscripts, literature, and society from the Northern Atlantic World during the medieval era. For full details, please click here.
  • Call for Papers for Three Early Career Workshops on Old English Prose: Paper proposals are invited from graduate students and early career researchers working on or interested in Old English prose. Each workshop will be led by an expert who will talk about their own research and lead discussion on a particular aspect of Old English prose. These events will provide an opportunity for graduate students and early career researchers to discuss their research projects with other scholars and to develop new skills. For full details, please click here.
  • CFP: International Workshop: Saints and martyrs between Italy and the Mediterranean in Late Antiquity: Movements, connections, and influences. You are invited to submit an abstract (maximum 300 words) accompanied by a short CV by 24 Mai. All submissions should include your name, e-mail address and academic affiliation (if applicable). Participants are expected to give a 20–30-minute talk, followed by an extended session for discussion. The workshop will take place in person in English at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich on 22-23 November 2024. A publication is planned, for which the contributions may be in English, German or Italian. A contribution will also be made towards travel expenses. For full details, please see here: http://medieval.seh.ox.ac.uk/2024/04/21/call-for-papers-international-workshop/

If you have forgotten to submit your Medieval Booklet entries, please do not worry: we will send a finalised version next week. Here is some final wisdom, surely on the topic of booklet omissions:

Si quid placet vestrae dilectioni mihi mandare, latori praesentium sicut mihi ipsi viva voce secure potestis intimare
[If it pleases your love to send me information about anything, you can safely tell it by word of mouth to the bearer of this letter as if to myself.] 
A letter (1102) from Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury to Matilda of Scotland

Luckily for us modern medievalists, no such go-between is necessary: you may simply and safely send me an email with all of your information about anything medieval, and I will make sure that it gets into the booklet. In the meantime, may you have a wonderful first week of term, and enjoy the sunshine!

[A rather sheepish Medievalist forgot to submit their contribution to the Booklet…]
St John’s College MS. 61, f. 25 v. 
By permission of the President and Fellows of St John’s College, Oxford
Viewable in full at Digital Bodleian
 

Medieval Matters: Week 8

Here we are at the very end of term! It’s been, as always, a delight to be your guide for these past 8 weeks. Thank you for all of your wonderful seminars, reading groups, and blog posts! In the words of Anselm, couresy of the Epistolae project:

os et stilus ad proferendum quod cor sentit non sufficit
[mouth and pen are not capable of expressing what my heart feels.]
A letter (1104) from Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury to Matilda of Tuscany

Our blog post this week is a real delight: Dr Laura Varnam blogs about writing a collection of poems for the women of Beowulf. In Dr Varnam’s words, ‘My project asks, what might happen if we imagined a female poet or scop reciting Beowulf?’. The blog post explains Dr Varnam’s rationale for the project, and also features extracts from the collection. What better way to end the term than new ways to think about old poems? To read the fantastic blog post (and poems!) please click here.

We have a full week of exciting events in store for you: not least the termly OMS Lecture! Please join us on Tuesday for Peregrine Horden’s lecture on ‘Healthy Crusading in the Age of Frederick II:  the puzzle of Adam of Cremona‘: poster attached to this week’s email!

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Are you interested in the history of the Turin Shroud? It will feature in Barbara Haggh’s seminar next Thursday (online), with lively discussion from the invited respondents – as well as from any knowledgeable attendees: registration link.
  • Save the date: ‘Historical research in the time of the Anthropocene: can climate data help us read the past (and, if so, how)?’ with Prof Nicola Di Cosmo will take place on May 8th, 5:00pm – 6:15pm. Registration Required To register and for more details.

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 4th March:

  • The Medieval French Palaeography Reading Group meets at 10.30-12 in the Weston Library. This group is open to anyone with an interest in Old French, Middle French and Anglo-Norman manuscripts. We study and read manuscripts from the 12th century to the late 15th century. If you are interested in joining the group or would like more information, please write to: Laure Miolo
  • The final session of the Seminar in palaeography and manuscript studies, Hilary Term 2024 takes place today:  Sara Norja (Turku) – ‘Exploring alchemical manuscripts’ Weston Library, Horton Room, 2:15-3.45pm.
  • The Medieval Archaeology Seminar meets at 3pm in the Institute of Archaeology, Lecture Room. This week’s speaker will be Karen Dempsey (Cardiff University), Special deposits in medieval households.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm in the Wharton Room, All Souls College. This week’s speaker will be Alison Beach (St Andrews), ‘From Text to Teeth: Embodied Stories of Premodern Women at Work’. The seminar will also be available via Teams: The Teams session can be accessed by logging in to Teams with your .ox.ac.uk account and joining the group “Medieval History Research Seminar” (team code rmppucs). Alternatively, it can be accessed via this link. If you have any difficulties please email: medhistsem@history.ox.ac.uk
  • The International Interfaith Reading Group on Manuscripts in Interfaith Contexts will meet at 6pm, online via Zoom. This week will be led by Professor Lawrence H. Schiffman, Global Distinguished Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, New York University, USA. Prof. Schiffman will be speaking on ‘The Dead Sea Scrolls and Jewish-Christian Dialogue’. To register, please click here.
  • The Old Norse Reading Group meets at 5.30-7pm. We’ll be translating a range of exciting Old Norse texts! To join the mailing list, email Ashley Castelino.

Tuesday 5th March:

  • The Europe in the Later Middle Ages Seminar meets at 2-3.30pm in the Dolphin Seminar Room, St John’s College. Tea and coffee available from 1.45pm. Undergraduates welcome. This week’s speaker will be Sophie Charron, Oxford, ‘Queens and Popes in the Later Middle Ages: Bohemian Case Studies‘.
  • A special seminar, ‘The Medieval Library’ with Professor Teresa Webber, Trinity College, Cambridge, will take place at 2.30-4.30pm at the Sir Victor Blank Lecture Theatre, Weston Library. This seminar explores the codicological and documentary evidence for reconstructing the contents and organisation of the libraries of ecclesiastical and academic institutions in the Middle Ages.
  • The Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies Online Conference has a session of interest to medievalists taking place at 2.30-3.45pm, online. The speakers will be Dean Irwin, University of Lincoln, “England Remembers, Jews Forget: Memory of Jews and England, 1290-1541”; Rory MacLellan, British Library, “Converts at the Royal Court in the 14th and 15th centuries”; and Cynthia Rogers, Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies, Univ Texas, “Crypto Jews and Jewish Heritage in England: The Ames Family”.
  • The Old High German Reading Group will meet at 4pm in the Committee Room, 41 Wellington Square. If there is appetite amongst attendees, the group will migrate to the Lamb and Flag after the session. Handouts will be provided and no prior knowledge is required! This term the texts—with a different theme for each session—will be chosen from different sections of the Althochdeutsches Lesebuch (Braune 1994), alternating between verse and prose. This week will be Old Saxon (prose), Altsächsische Beichte (Braune XXII.5) – “Old Saxon Confession”.
  • The Oxford Medieval Studies Hilary Term Lecture, Co-hosted by the Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at Wellbeloved Room, Harris Manchester College. Tea & coffee from 5pm; lecture begins 5.15pm. This term’s lecture is Peregrine Horden (All Souls), ‘Healthy Crusading in the Age of Frederick II:  the puzzle of Adam of Cremona‘. Everyone is welcome and there will drinks afterwards!

Wednesday 6th March:

  •  The Medieval German Seminar meets at 11.15, at St Edmund Hall, Principal’s Lodgings. Luise Morawetz will present the findings of her recently completed dissertation on the Old High German glosses of the Murbach Hymns. 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 at 4-5pm on Teams. A document is sent out in advance but homework is not expected. Please contact Michael Stansfield for further details and the Teams link.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5pm at The Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies 66 St Giles and online via Microsoft Teams by clicking here. This week’s speaker will be Petros Bouras-Vallianatos (National & Kapodistrian University of Athens) – ‘Byzantine Medicine in Light of the Global Middle Ages: Current Trends and Future Avenues’.
  • Dante Reading Group meets at 5.30-7pm in St Anne’s College, Seminar Room 11. Each week, we will be reading through and discussing a canto of the Divine Comedy in a relaxed and informal setting, delving into Dante’s language and imagination in manageable chunks. The group is open to those with or without a knowledge of Italian, the reading being sent out in the original and in translation. Refreshments, both alcoholic and otherwise, will be provided! To register or ask any questions, please email charles.west@regents.ox.ac.uk (Sponsored by TORCH).

Thursday 7th March:

  • The Ethics of Textual Criticism Seminar meets at 10am at Harris Lecture Theatre, Oriel College. This week’s speaker will be Carmen Cardelle de Hartmann (Zürich), ‘Marginalised authors, anonymous texts: the problems of attribution in medieval Latin‘.
  • The Middle Welsh Reading Group meets at 2-4pm in Jesus College, Seminar Room A. No previous knowledge of Middle Welsh is assumed. Translations will be provided with plenty of time to ask questions at the end. We’ll read a selection of early and late Middle Welsh prose and poetry to offer everyone a chance to experience the richness of Middle Welsh and its literary tradition. Please email to register your interest so that Svetlana knows how many people to expect: svetlana.osiochfhradhapresern@jesus.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Late Roman Seminar will meet at 4pm in the Seminar Room, Corpus Christi College. This week’s speaker will be Yaniv Fox (Bar-Ilan), ‘The Symbolic Worlds of Justus of Urgell and Gregory the Great’.
  • The Eastern Christianity in Interfaith Contexts Reading Group will meet at 5-6pm, online via Zoom. This week will be led by Professor Febe Armanious, Professor of History at Middlebury College, USA. Prof. Armanious will be speaking on ‘The Miracle of Pilgrimage: A Coptic Journey to the Holy Land During the Ottoman Period’. To register, please click here.
  • The Seminar in Medieval and Renaissance Music meets at 5pm via Zoom. If you are planning to attend a seminar this term, please register using this form. For each seminar, those who have registered will receive an email with the Zoom invitation and any further materials a couple of days before the seminar. If you have questions, please just send an email to all.souls.music.seminars@gmail.com. This week’s presenter will be Barbara Haggh-Huglo (University of Maryland at College Park), ‘Guillaume Du Fay between the Church and Two Courts: A Reassessment of his Biography’, and the discussants will be Anne Walters Robertson (University of Chicago) and Reinhard Strohm (University of Oxford).
  • The Lincoln Unlocked & Oxford Bibliographical Society Lecture takes place at 5.15pm in the Oakeshott Room, Lincoln College. Georgi Parpulov will be speaking on Lincoln College’s Greek Manuscripts. We will also be streaming the talk on Zoom; if you would like the link, please contact Sarah on sarah.cusk@lincoln.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Celtic Seminar meets at 5pm, online via Zoom. Please contact a.elias@wales.ac.uk for the link. This week’s speaker will be E. Wyn James, ‘Watford: man cyfarfod radicaliaethau rhyngwladol’.
  • The Medieval Women’s Writing Reading Group meets at 5-6.30pm in Lincoln College Lower Lecture Room. This week’s reading will be Female Poets in Al-Andalus. Stay up to date with events by joining our mailing list or following us on X @MedievalWomenOx. Texts for the reading group are shared on the mailing list.

Friday 8th March:

  • 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, coffee and the chance to see the view from the 5th floor terrace. This week there will be a special display for International Women’s Day!
  • The Late Antique Latin Reading Group meets at 12-1pm, in the Hovenden Room, All Souls College, and is open to anyone engaged in research on the late antique world. Though prior knowledge of Latin is required, we welcome people with a range of abilities. We particularly welcome graduate students and early career academics. If you would like to attend, or you have any questions, feel free to contact either of the convenors. Please do RSVP if you intend to attend, so that we can gauge numbers and circulate the readings. Contact: David Addison (david.addison@all-souls.ox.ac.uk) and Alison John (alison.john@all-souls.ox.ac.uk).
  • Exploring Medieval Oxford through Lincoln Archives meets at 2-3pm, in Seminar Room 2, EPA Centre, Museum Road. Anyone interested in analyzing primary sources and conducting a comprehensive examination of the documents are welcome to attend. Those who are interested can contact Lindsay McCormack and Laure Miolo via email: Lindsay Mccormack and Laure Miolo
  • The Tolkien 50th Anniversary Seminar Series meets at 4-5pm in Corpus Christi College Auditorium. This week’s speaker will be Anine Englund (University of Oxford) 
    “In the halls of Mandos”: Death, Deathlessness and Inter-Racial Relations in Beren and Lúthien. Free access (no need to book).

Finally, some wisdom for us all as we set off on research trips, conferences, and visits to family for the Easter vac:

Multae sunt aquarum congregationes inter me et te, tamen caritate iungamur quia vera caritas numquam locorum limite frangitur. 
[Many are the congregations of water between me and you, yet let us be joined in love because true love is never divided by the borders between places.] 
A letter (770s) from Berhtgyth to Balthard

Whether you’re staying in Oxford or going away over the congregations of water, know that OMS will be here waiting for you when you return. For those visiting scholars who are leaving us after this term: thank you for being part of our community, and please know that you always have a place at Oxford, whose love for the medieval is never divided by the borders between places!

[Wherever they may travel to, a Medievalist is never alone!]
St John’s College MS. 61, f. 23 v. 
By permission of the President and Fellows of St John’s College, Oxford
Viewable in full at Digital Bodleian
 

Medieval Matters: Week 7

We are heading towards the end of term but we still have plenty more events in store for you! Of course, the brevity of the Oxford term can make it feel as though the year is passing by very quickly, but we are still at the beginning of the calendar year. For those who, like me, are panicking that the weeks seem to be flying by at quite a pace, here is some comforting wisdom from the Epistolae project:

quantumcumque nobis videamur profecisse, semper iudicemus nos nondum nisi ad initium proficiendi pervenisse
[however much we may regard ourselves to be making progress we must always consider that we have only reached the beginning of our progress]
A letter (1093) from Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury to Ida of Lorraine

I take this to mean: even though Hilary Term and February are drawing to a close, we still have plenty of time to achieve fantastic medievalist things this year! Speaking of fantastic medievalist things, we have a full calendar of events and also many announcements this week – please peruse at your leisure:

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • This Thursday: “The hooly blisful martir for to seke: Manuscripts with Chaucer’s pilgrims”. Oxford Medieval Society talk and manuscript session with Andrew Dunning (Bodleian, Jesus) and Alison Ray (St Peter’s, All Souls). Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales tell the story of pilgrims ‘from every shires ende / Of Engelond to Caunterbury they wende’. Experience these journeys, both real and imagined, at 15:00–16:30 at the Weston Library Lecture Theatre, where we’ll explore the Chaucer Here and Now exhibition at the Bodleian Library and enjoy a private showing of manuscripts relating to pilgrimage and Thomas Becket. Entry is free, and all are welcome. To have an idea of numbers, please let us know if you’re coming at oxfordmedievalsociety@gmail.com.
  • Registration is now open for the 2024 Oxford Medieval Graduate Conference: ‘Signs and Scripts,’ which will take place on the 8th and 9th of April at the Maison Française d’Oxford. Please register for either in-person or online attendance at https://oxgradconf.wixsite.com/omgc/scripts-signs before March 15th. This year’s conference includes keynote lectures by Prof. Sophie Page (UCL) and Dr Hannah Ryley (Oxford).
  • Postponed: OMS Classics Reading Group Due to a number of reasons, OMS Classics Reading Group will not meet again until Trinity term.
  • Registration is now open for the Gender and Sainthood Conference! ‘Gender and Sainthood, c. 1100–1500’ will take place at the History Faculty on 5-6 April. Registration for in-person attendance is open until 10 March, and for online attendance until 3 April. Registration is open via this link: https://forms.office.com/e/rCinyKesGq. See the programme on our blog here.
  • Exhibition: New College Library is hosting a special exhibition ‘Medicine and Anatomy’, on Thursday 29th February 12PM-4PM, and have got quite a few medical manuscripts on display! For further information, please email Caitlín Kane (caitlin.kane@new.ox.ac.uk).
  • Room change: please note that the Medieval Women’s Writing research seminar on 29th February “Transforming the Material to Curate the Spiritual” will now take place at 47 Wellington Square Ground Floor Lecture Room 1.
  • Registration open: University of Reading GCMS Conference 2024. Thu, 14 Mar 2024 09:30 – 16:30 GMT. Please join us for a day of fascinating papers on saints and angels, followed by an open discussion on the topic in a supportive environment. To register, please click here.

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 26th February:

  • The Medieval French Palaeography Reading Group meets at 10.30-12 in the Weston Library. This group is open to anyone with an interest in Old French, Middle French and Anglo-Norman manuscripts. We study and read manuscripts from the 12th century to the late 15th century. If you are interested in joining the group or would like more information, please write to: laure.miolo@history.ox.ac.uk
  • The Medieval Archaeology Seminar meets at 3pm in the Institute of Archaeology, Lecture Room. This week’s speaker will be Lyn Blackmore (Museum of London Archaeology), The seventh-century bed burial at Harpole: Aspects of recent work.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm in the Wharton Room, All Souls College. This week’s speaker will be George Garnett (Oxford), ‘James Campbell, William Stubbs, and German Idealism’. The seminar will also be available via Teams: The Teams session can be accessed by logging in to Teams with your .ox.ac.uk account and joining the group “Medieval History Research Seminar” (team code rmppucs). Alternatively, it can be accessed via this link. If you have any difficulties please email: medhistsem@history.ox.ac.uk
  • The Italian Research Seminar meets at 5.15pm at the Taylor Institution Library, Main Hall. Alessandro Scafi (Warburg Institute, London) will present a guest lecture entitled “Time, Space, and Matter: Dante and the Paradise Paradox.” All members of the university are welcome. For any inquiries, please do not hesitate to contact italian.res-sem@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk.

Tuesday 27th February:

  • The Europe in the Later Middle Ages Seminar meets at 2-3.30pm in the Dolphin Seminar Room, St John’s College. Tea and coffee available from 1.45pm. Undergraduates welcome. This week’s speaker will be Trevor Dean, University of Roehampton, Families and Assassination Narratives in Italy and Europe.
  • The Medieval French Research Seminar will meet at the Maison Francaise d’Oxford on Norham Road. Drinks will be available from 5pm; presentations start at 5.15pm. This week’s speaker will be Dr Kate Travers (St Hugh’s, Oxford) ‘French Narratives, Italian Contexts: Approaching Chivalric Literature in Northern Italy’. All are welcome! For more information or to be added to the seminar maillist, please contact helen.swift@st-hildas.ox.ac.uk
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at Wellbeloved Room, Harris Manchester College. Tea & coffee from 5pm; papers begin at 5.15pm. This week’s speakers are Richard Gameson and Andy Beeby (Durham): aka Team Pigment, ‘Pigment Identification:  how, when, where, and why‘. Everyone is welcome at this informal and friendly graduate seminar!

Wednesday 28th February:

  • The Medieval German Seminar meets at 11.15, at St Edmund Hall, Old Library. Julia Lorenz and Marlene Schilling will discuss women and writ the writings by ‘Frau Ava’, the first women author whose name we know, transmitted in the Vorau Manuscript. We will work with the edition by Maike Claußnitzer and Kassandra Sperl. We will meet in the Old Library in St Edmund Hall. Tea and coffee are provided but please bring your own mug! 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 at 4-5pm on Teams. A document is sent out in advance but homework is not expected. Please contact Michael Stansfield for further details and the Teams link.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5pm at The Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies 66 St Giles and online via Microsoft Teams by clicking here. This week’s speaker will be Ekaterina Nechaeva (Université de Lille) – ‘Elite captives and defectors between Rome and Sasanian Iran. A prosopographical approach’.
  • The “Unprovenanced” Lecture Series (hosted by the Centre for Manuscript and Text Cultures) meets at 5.15pm in The Memorial Room at The Queen’s College, Oxford. The speaker will be Yağmur Heffron, UCL, ‘Fruits of the poisonous tree: unprovenanced artefacts and the ethics of consuming archaeological knowledge’. For full details, please see our blog.
  • Dante Reading Group meets at 5.30-7pm in St Anne’s College, Seminar Room 11. Each week, we will be reading through and discussing a canto of the Divine Comedy in a relaxed and informal setting, delving into Dante’s language and imagination in manageable chunks. The group is open to those with or without a knowledge of Italian, the reading being sent out in the original and in translation. Refreshments, both alcoholic and otherwise, will be provided! To register or ask any questions, please email charles.west@regents.ox.ac.uk (Sponsored by TORCH).

Thursday 29th February:

  • The Ethics of Textual Criticism Seminar meets at 10-12 in Harris Seminar Room, Oriel College. This week’s speaker will be Daniel Wakelin (Oxford) – ‘Editing the everyday in Middle English’.
  • A Book Presentation: THE LAILASHI CODEX: The Crown of Georgian Jewry – Survival in Soviet Times will take place at 11am in the McGregor Matthews room at New College, Oxford. The presentation will be convened by Dr Thea Gomelauri, Director of the Oxford Interfaith Forum, and Associated Member of the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Oxford. For more details please click here.
  • The Middle Welsh Reading Group meets at 2-4pm in Jesus College, Habakuk Room. No previous knowledge of Middle Welsh is assumed. Translations will be provided with plenty of time to ask questions at the end. We’ll read a selection of early and late Middle Welsh prose and poetry to offer everyone a chance to experience the richness of Middle Welsh and its literary tradition. Please email to register your interest so that Svetlana knows how many people to expect: Svetlana Ó Siochfhradha Prešern.
  • The Oxford Medieval Society talk and manuscript session “The hooly blisful martir for to seke: Manuscripts with Chaucer’s pilgrims”, with Andrew Dunning (Bodleian, Jesus) and Alison Ray (St Peter’s, All Souls) will take place at 3-4.30pm at the Weston Library Lecture Theatre.  Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales tell the story of pilgrims ‘from every shires ende / Of Engelond to Caunterbury they wende’. Experience these journeys, both real and imagined, at the Weston Library Lecture Theatre, where we’ll explore the Chaucer Here and Now exhibition at the Bodleian Library and enjoy a private showing of manuscripts relating to pilgrimage and Thomas Becket. 
  • The Late Roman Seminar will meet at 4pm in the Seminar Room, Corpus Christi College. This week’s speaker will be Alan Ross (Ohio) ‘Julian in Gaul’.
  • The Medieval Women’s Writing Research Seminar meets at 5-6.30pm at 47 Wellington Square Ground Floor Lecture Room 1. This week’s speaker is Carolin Gluchowski (New College, Oxford), Transforming the Material to Curate the Spiritual: Late-Medieval Prayerbook Revisions in the Cistercian Convent of Medingen. Stay up to date with events by joining our mailing list or following us on X @MedievalWomenOx. Funded by the “TORCH Critical-Thinking Communities” fund.
  • The Celtic Seminar meets at 5pm, online via Zoom. Please contact a.elias@wales.ac.uk for the link. This week’s speaker will be Elaine Treharne, ‘Moved by the nature of art’: Welsh poets and the medieval’.
  • The Old Occitan Literature Workshop meets at 5-6pm at Taylor Institution, Rm2. In Hilary term, we will read and translate extracts from texts written in Old Occitan. All welcome! Please email the address below for details of the texts we will be working on. Interested members will be invited to translate short passages which we will then workshop in meetings 2 and 3. To sign up, or for any other queries, email Kate Travers
  • The Oxford Old English Work-In-Progress Seminar (WOOPIE) meets at 5.15pm at St Cross Room, St Cross College. Today’s speaker will be Prof. Daniel Anlezark, University of Sydney: ‘The Origins of Anglo-Sacon Chronicle and the Eighth Century’. Followed by a drinks reception. All welcome – if you would like to attend, please contact Francis Leneghan.
  • The Italian Research Seminar meets at 5.15pm at the Taylor Institution Library, Main Hall. Marta Arnaldi (Oxford) will moderate a joint book launch, “Creative Criticism and Other Stories: Elena Lombardi and Nicola Gardini in Dialogue”, for Elena Lombardi (Oxford) and Nicola Gardini (Oxford), who have respectively published Ulysses, Dante, and Other Stories (ICT Berlin Press 2023) and Io sono salute. Quando la letteratura incontra la medicina (Aboca Edizioni 2023). All members of the university are welcome. For any inquiries, please do not hesitate to contact italian.res-sem@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk.
  • Sung Latin Compline in the Norman crypt of St-Peter-in-the-East (library church of St Edmund Hall) at 9:30pm. Contact Henrike Lähnemann if you would like to come and are not a member of St Edmund Hall.

Friday 1st March:

  • 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, coffee and the chance to see the view from the 5th floor terrace.
  • The Late Antique Latin Reading Group meets at 12-1pm, in the Hovenden Room, All Souls College, and is open to anyone engaged in research on the late antique world. Though prior knowledge of Latin is required, we welcome people with a range of abilities. We particularly welcome graduate students and early career academics. If you would like to attend, or you have any questions, feel free to contact either of the convenors. Please do RSVP if you intend to attend, so that we can gauge numbers and circulate the readings. Contact: David Addison and Alison John.
  • Exploring Medieval Oxford through Lincoln Archives meets at 2-3pm, in Seminar Room 2, EPA Centre, Museum Road. Anyone interested in analyzing primary sources and conducting a comprehensive examination of the documents are welcome to attend. Those who are interested can contact Lindsay McCormack and Laure Miolo via email: Lindsay Mccormack and Laure Miolo
  • The Tolkein 50th Anniversary Seminar Series meets at 4-5pm in Faculty of Classics Lecture Theatre. This week’s speaker will be Eduardo Gutierrez (University of Oxford), ‘Tolkien Beyond Tolkien: Unleashing the Sub-Creative Imagination in an Era of Bridge Building‘. Free access (no need to book).
  • The Oxford Medieval Manuscripts Group (OMMG) meets at 5pm at Merton College, Mure Room. This week’s speaker will be Peter Kidd, Independent Researcher, ‘Provenance and Medieval Manuscripts: A Case Study’. Drinks reception and dinner at Gino’s. All welcome! To subscribe to our mailing list, participate in library visits, propose a presentation of your research for work in progress meetings, or submit any queries, please write to: elena.lichmanova@merton.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Anglo-Norman Reading Group meets at 5-6.30pm, at St Hilda’s College, and on Zoom. Please let us know if you would like to attend, either in person or on Zoom. The text – some Jousting Letters from Edinburgh – will be provided via Padlet, and refreshments as usual to help us along. All welcome, at any level of Medieval French! Please contact Stephanie Hathaway or Jane Bliss for further details.

OPPORTUNITIES:

  • The University of Exeter is delighted to advertise a PhD studentship, fully funded for four years from September 2024, for a project focusing on the learning of French in medieval Britain or in a related field of enquiry as more broadly conceived. Relevant fields might include historical linguistics, codicology, textual-literary studies and social, educational or intellectual history. The studentship will be attached to the project ‘Learning Anglo-French: French Language-Learning Manuscripts in Britain, c.1200-c.1500’, awarded by an ERC Consolidator Grant and funded by UKRI under the Horizon Europe guarantee scheme, and will be supervised by the project PI, Prof Thomas Hinton. Further details, including how to apply, can be found via the following link: https://www.exeter.ac.uk/study/funding/award/?id=5060. Potential applicants are encouraged to contact Prof Hinton (t.g.hinton@exeter.ac.uk) with any preliminary enquiries.

Finally, some more wisdom from Anselm as we move into March:

Vita praesens via est. Nam quamdiu vivit homo, non facit nisi ire.
[This life is a journey. For as long as man lives, he is always moving]
A letter (c.1107) from Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury to Basilia

I wish you productivity as we move into seventh week, and warmer days as we move into March and, soon, Spring! May your week be a journey of research discovery, medievalist joys, and Oxford sunshine!

[A Medievalist, laden with research knowledge, moving through Hilary Term]
St John’s College MS. 61, f. 10 v. 
By permission of the President and Fellows of St John’s College, Oxford
Viewable in full at Digital Bodleian
 

Medieval Matters: Week 6

There has been some lovely sunshine in Oxford to remind us that spring is coming, but there is still a Iot of work to be done before term is over! Our taught postgraduate students are particularly busy, at this critical stage of their degrees. For all of our master’s students (and everyone else too), if you’re feeling a little tired this week, here is some wisdom from the Epistolae project:

moneo, precor, quanto affectu possum, ut […] perseverare
[I admonish and beg you with as much affection as I can that you may strive to persevere]
A letter (1102) from Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury to Edith

Of course, it’s much easier to strive and persevere when you have such a wonderful community around you. For this week’s blog spot I’d like to highlight the joy that is the medievalists coffee morning. This is a fantastic way to meet other medievalists, and also to meet some fantastic manuscripts. There are regular presentations – for a taste of some past sessions, you can view Andrew Dunning’s presentation on facsimiles at the Bodleian here, and Oxford Medieval Studies presents: Medieval Treasures of the Bodleian Library here. For more videos, and all of the details you need to attend the coffee morning, please see our blog post here.

We have another fantastic week ahead of us – see below for the full lineup!

    ANNOUNCEMENTS:

    • This year’s Keble Early Music Festival runs from 21-24 February, with a packed schedule of professional and student performances, workshops and talks. Of particular interest to OMS readers will be the performance by the award-winning Binchois Consort, celebrating 550 years of the afterlife of Guillaume Du Fay, taking place in the stunning surroundings of Keble Chapel at 8pm on Wednesday 21 February. All details of this and other events can be found at www.keble.ox.ac.uk/kemf.

    EVENTS THIS WEEK:

    Monday 19th February:

    • The Medieval French Palaeography Reading Group meets at 10.30-12 in the Weston Library. This group is open to anyone with an interest in Old French, Middle French and Anglo-Norman manuscripts. We study and read manuscripts from the 12th century to the late 15th century. If you are interested in joining the group or would like more information, please write to: Laure Miolo
    • The Seminar in Palaeography and Manuscript Studies meets at 2:15-3:45pm in the Weston Library, Horton Room. Access is by Bodleian/University card via the reader gates, Weston Library. Non-cardholders welcome but must emailbookcentre@bodleian.ox.ac.uk at least 24 hours in advance. This week’s speaker will be David D’Avray (Oxford) – ‘Researching papal history across multiple genres of manuscript’.
    • The Medieval Archaeology Seminar meets at 3pm in the Institute of Archaeology, Lecture Room. This week’s speaker will be John Naylor (PAS, Oxford), The use of gold coins in Anglo-Saxon graves.
    • The Eastern Christianity in Interfaith Contexts Reading Group will meet at 5-6pm, online via Zoom. This week will be led by Professor Laura Lieber, Professor of Religious Studies at Duke University, USA. Prof. Lieber will be speaking on ‘Setting the Stage: The Rose of Performance in Studying Late Ancient Hymnody‘. To register, please click here.
    • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm in the Wharton Room, All Souls College. This week’s speaker will be Nicholas Morton (Nottingham Trent), ‘Re-examining the role of inter-faith rivalry as the main driver of conflict in the Middle East at the time of the Crusades’. The seminar will also be available via Teams: The Teams session can be accessed by logging in to Teams with your .ox.ac.uk account and joining the group “Medieval History Research Seminar” (team code rmppucs). Alternatively, it can be accessed via this link. If you have any difficulties please email: medhistsem@history.ox.ac.uk
    • The Old Norse Reading Group meets at 5.30-7pm. We’ll be translating a range of exciting Old Norse texts! To join the mailing list, email Ashley Castelino.

    Tuesday 20th February:

    • The Europe in the Later Middle Ages Seminar meets at 2-3.30pm in the Dolphin Seminar Room, St John’s College. Tea and coffee available from 1.45pm. Undergraduates welcome. This week’s speaker will be Judith Bennett, USC Dornsife, ‘City of Women: Singlewomen, Spinners, and Houseling People in Late Medieval Coventry‘.
    • The Old High German Reading Group will meet at 4pm in the Committee Room, 41 Wellington Square. If there is appetite amongst attendees, the group will migrate to the Lamb and Flag after the session. Handouts will be provided and no prior knowledge is required! This term the texts—with a different theme for each session—will be chosen from different sections of the Althochdeutsches Lesebuch (Braune 1994), alternating between verse and prose. This week will be Moral instruction (verse), Memento Mori (Braune XLII).
    • The Medieval Poetry Reading Group meets at 4pm – 5pm in the Colin Matthew Room, Radcliffe Humanities Building. We warmly welcome academics and students of any level and with any background. Coffee, tea, and biscuits are offered to participants. This week’s topic will be Forms of Medieval Greek Poetry. Registration is required: If interested, please send an email in advance to ugo.mondini@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk.
    • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at Wellbeloved Room, Harris Manchester College. Tea & coffee from 5pm; papers begin at 5.15pm. This week’s speaker is James Miller (Univ), ‘The Body of St Benedict and the History of Monasticism‘. Everyone is welcome at this informal and friendly graduate seminar!
    • The Oxford Medieval Society Latin and Ancient Greek Reading Group meets at 5-6pm, in the ground floor lecture room 2 at 47 Wellington Square. Ancient Greek will be read in odd weeks, and Latin in even weeks. We hope to expand our understanding of these languages for the betterment of our own medieval studies by reading texts that are referenced or known of in the medieval world; please note that this is not a strict rule. Anyone from any background is welcome to attend. To register your interest, or for more information, please contact the society at oxfordmedievalsociety@gmail.com

    Wednesday 21st February:

    • The Medieval German Seminar meets at 11.15, at St Edmund Hall, Principal’s Lodgings. This week, Felix Kraft will present his doctoral project on ‘geistliches Lied’ and discuss with us medieval and medievalism implications of the topic. Further information and reading recommendations via the teams channel; if you want to be added to that: please email Henrike Lähnemann.
    • The Middle Welsh Reading Group meets at 2-4pm in Jesus College, Habakuk Room. No previous knowledge of Middle Welsh is assumed. Translations will be provided with plenty of time to ask questions at the end. We’ll read a selection of early and late Middle Welsh prose and poetry to offer everyone a chance to experience the richness of Middle Welsh and its literary tradition. Please email to register your interest so that Svetlana knows how many people to expect: Svetlana Ó Siochfhradha Prešern.
    • The Medieval Latin Document Reading Group meets at 4-5pm on Teams. A document is sent out in advance but homework is not expected. Please contact Michael Stansfield for further details and the Teams link.
    • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5pm at The Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies 66 St Giles and online via Microsoft Teams by clicking here. This week’s speaker will be Niels Gaul (University of Edinburgh) – ‘PAIXUE Byzantine and Tang/Song literati culture’.
    • The Medieval English Research Seminar will meet at 5.15pm in Lecture Theatre 2, St Cross Building. Today’s speaker will be Michael Kuczynski (Tulane), ‘Chaucer’s Parson in London’. The seminar will be followed by a wine reception. All welcome! 
    • Dante Reading Group meets at 5.30-7pm in St Anne’s College, Seminar Room 11. Each week, we will be reading through and discussing a canto of the Divine Comedy in a relaxed and informal setting, delving into Dante’s language and imagination in manageable chunks. The group is open to those with or without a knowledge of Italian, the reading being sent out in the original and in translation. Refreshments, both alcoholic and otherwise, will be provided! To register or ask any questions, please email Charles West.

    Thursday 22nd February:

    • The Ethics of Textual Criticism Seminar meets at 10-12 in Harris Seminar Room, Oriel College. This week’s speaker will be Gideon Bohak (Tel Aviv) – ‘Editing nasty texts: Gzar-dina de-Yeshu (‘The Sentencing of Jesus’) as a test-case‘.
    • The Environmental History Working Group meets at 12.30-2pm, in the History Faculty. For further information, please contact Ryan Mealiffe.
    • The Late Roman Seminar will meet at 4pm in the Seminar Room, Corpus Christi College. This week’s speaker will be James Corke-Webster (KCL) ‘Letters of Refuge: From Ancient Lyons to Modern Calais’.
    • The Medieval Visual Culture Seminar meets at 5pm in St Catherine’s College, Arumagam Building. This week’s speaker will be Paul Binksi (University of Cambridge), ‘Henry III’s Bed: Peace and Sacred Space at Westminster’.
    • The Medieval Women’s Writing Reading Group meets at 5-6.30pm in Lincoln College Lower Lecture Room. This week’s reading will be Gwerful Mechain’s Erotic Poetry. Stay up to date with events by joining our mailing list or following us on X @MedievalWomenOx. Texts for the reading group are shared on the mailing list.
    • The Celtic Seminar meets at 5.15pm, online via Teams. Please contact david.willis@ling-phil.ox.ac.uk if you need a link to join online. This week’s speaker will be Brent Miles (University of Toronto), ‘Kunstprosa or dodgy Welsh? Some challenges preparing a students’ edition of Ystorya Dared “Dares’s History of Troy”’

    Friday 23rd February:

    • 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, coffee and the chance to see the view from the 5th floor terrace.
    • The Late Antique Latin Reading Group meets at 12-1pm, in the Hovenden Room, All Souls College, and is open to anyone engaged in research on the late antique world. Though prior knowledge of Latin is required, we welcome people with a range of abilities. We particularly welcome graduate students and early career academics. If you would like to attend, or you have any questions, feel free to contact either of the convenors. Please do RSVP if you intend to attend, so that we can gauge numbers and circulate the readings. Contact: David Addison (david.addison@all-souls.ox.ac.uk) and Alison John (alison.john@all-souls.ox.ac.uk).
    • Exploring Medieval Oxford through Lincoln Archives meets at 2-3pm, in Seminar Room 2, EPA Centre, Museum Road. Anyone interested in analyzing primary sources and conducting a comprehensive examination of the documents are welcome to attend. Those who are interested can contact Lindsay McCormack and Laure Miolo via email: Lindsay Mccormack and Laure Miolo
    • The Tolkien 50th Anniversary Seminar Series meets at 4-5pm in Faculty of Classics Lecture Theatre. This week’s speaker will be John Garth (Writer and Journalist) Inventing on the hoof: How the Riders of Rohan suddenly became Anglo-Saxon. Free access (no need to book).

    OPPORTUNITIES:

    • Summer School: The University of Graz is hosting a summer school on Computational Language Technologies for Medievalists from 8th to 12th July 2024. This five-day program will equip participants with essential skills in Natural Language Processing (NLP) specifically tailored to the challenges of working with medieval languages.Application deadline is March 15, 2024.For further information and the application link, please visit our website: https://didip.eu/nlp-summer-school-2024
    • CFP: DPhil/PhD student papers for the Network Poetry in the Medieval World: the network is delighted to introduce “Projecting Poetry”, an initiative designed to promote cross-disciplinary discussion, foster collaboration, and provide a platform for DPhil/PhD students engaged in research across various fields and working on medieval poetry. The goal is to create an opportunity to present ongoing research to a diverse audience of fellow students and seniors. For full details, please see here.

    Finally, some more wisdom from Anselm, suitable for those trying to work to a research deadline:

    Qui enim in minimis servat diligentiam, non facile admittit in maioribus negligentiam.
    [Whoever observes diligence in the smallest details will not easily permit negligence in more important things.]
    A letter (1102) from Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury to Edith

    I interpret this to mean that a week of careful footnoting or indexing is still a week well spent! I wish you every diligence in your endeavours this week, and wish you all success in both the smallest details and important things!

    [A Medievalist pins down a footnote]
    St John’s College MS. 61, f. 32 v. 
    By permission of the President and Fellows of St John’s College, Oxford
    Viewable in full at Digital Bodleian
     

    Medieval Matters: Week 5

    The dreaded fifth week has arrived! Luckily today is a beautiful sunny day in Oxford, which makes everything feel a little bit brighter. If you’re still feeling weighed down by this notorious week, here is some advice from the Epistolae project:

    Deduc bonum in commune […] Ne fraudes tibi ipsi invicem.
    [Bring goodness to everybody […] And do not cheat yourself.]
    A letter (1102-03) from Matilda of Scotland, queen of the English to Anselm of Canterbury

    I take this to mean: attend many seminars and reading groups in fifth week, for this is the ideal time to share in the goodness of medieval studies! We have so many fantastic events this week which are sure to bring plenty of joy.

    If you’re struggling to find goodness to give to yourself, this newsletter hopes to bring some to you. In particular, our guest blog today should give us all something to smile about: Mathilde Mioche writes about the formation of a brand new research network at Oxford, the Oxford Medieval Manuscripts Group! Not only is this a fantastic addition to Oxford’s medieval offerings, but it’s also, excitingly, the work of some of the university’s newest medievalists, a collective of eight postgraduate students and early-career researchers who bonded in Oxford over their passion for medieval manuscripts! The founding members come from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds, and truly sum up everything we love to celebrate here at OMS. This all speaks so highly for medieval studies at Oxford that it’s impossible not to smile about it – even in fifth week. To read all about the group, read Mathilde’s blog here.

    This email brings particular goodness to all of you in the form of a calendar of exciting events this week – please see below:

    ANNOUNCEMENTS:

    • Medieval Church and Culture this week meets for a tour of the Bodleian’s Conservation Studio.  We’re starting at the earlier time of 4.25 to make sure we see conservators at work.  Numbers are limited, but there are still some places left.  Please email sumner.braund@hsm.ox.ac.uk  to book your place.
    • The Macintyre History Society (Magdalen’s student-run society), are delighted to host a special talk by Professor Sarah Foot, Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History and Dean of Christ Church, this Thursday at 5:30pm in the Sophia Sheppard Room, Magdalen College. Please see the listing below for full details.

    EVENTS THIS WEEK:

    Monday 12th February:

    • The Medieval French Palaeography Reading Group meets at 10.30-12 in the Weston Library. This group is open to anyone with an interest in Old French, Middle French and Anglo-Norman manuscripts. We study and read manuscripts from the 12th century to the late 15th century. If you are interested in joining the group or would like more information, please write to: laure.miolo@history.ox.ac.uk
    • The Centre for Early Medieval Britain and Ireland Research Conversation takes place at 2-3.30pm at the Memorial Room, Queen’s College. Researchers at any stage or from any background are most welcome and no preparation is required; simply come prepared to talk about your research and ideas about the connection between late antiquity and the Insular world. The conversation will be tailored toward sharing insights, forging connections and building our research community. Any inquiries should be directed to conor.obrien@queens.ox.ac.uk.
    • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm in the Wharton Room, All Souls College. This week’s speaker will be Claire Burridge (University of Oslo), ‘Medicine in the margins: Exploring the unexpected environments of early medieval medical knowledge’. The seminar will also be available via Teams: The Teams session can be accessed by logging in to Teams with your .ox.ac.uk account and joining the group “Medieval History Research Seminar” (team code rmppucs). Alternatively, it can be accessed via this link. If you have any difficulties please email: medhistsem@history.ox.ac.uk.

    Tuesday 13th February:

    • The Europe in the Later Middle Ages Seminar meets at 2-3.30pm in the Dolphin Seminar Room, St John’s College. Tea and coffee available from 1.45pm. Undergraduates welcome. This week’s speaker will be Julia Bray, Oxford, ‘Families in the Muslim Middle Ages – do they Matter?‘.
    • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets for a special Bodleian Conservation Studio Visit at 4.30pm. Strictly Max. 12 places: email sumner.braund@hsm.ox.ac.uk to sign on.
    • The Medieval French Research Seminar will meet at the Maison Francaise d’Oxford on Norham Road. Drinks will be available from 5pm; presentations start at 5.15pm. This week will be a Roundtable on Professional Careers for Medieval French Postgraduates: Dr Liam Lewis (University of Nottingham), Dr Hannah Marcos (School of Advanced Study, University of London), Dr Edward Mills (University of Exeter), and Dr Kate Travers (St Hugh’s College, Oxford)  All are welcome! For more information or to be added to the seminar maillist, please contact helen.swift@st-hildas.ox.ac.uk
    • The Oxford Medieval Society Latin and Ancient Greek Reading Group meets at 5-6pm, in the ground floor lecture room 2 at 47 Wellington Square. Ancient Greek will be read in odd weeks, and Latin in even weeks. We hope to expand our understanding of these languages for the betterment of our own medieval studies by reading texts that are referenced or known of in the medieval world; please note that this is not a strict rule. Anyone from any background is welcome to attend. To register your interest, or for more information, please contact the society at oxfordmedievalsociety@gmail.com
    • The Centre for Manuscript and Text Cultures (CMTC) ‘Work in Progress’ presentations. 5.15–6.45pm, Memorial Room, The Queen’s College. 1. A. D’Angelo (Rome ‘Sapienza’), ‘Catullan marginalia in the 16th century: the books of Piero Vettori’. 2. Marlene Schilling (Oxford), ‘A special form of devotion – personifications of time in late medieval prayer books from Northern Germany’

    Wednesday 14th February:

    • The Medieval German Seminar meets at 11.15, at St Edmund Hall, Principal’s Drawing Room. This week, Philip Wetzel will present his dissertation on medieval song. Further information via the teams channel; if you want to be added to that: please email Henrike Lähnemann.
    • The Middle Welsh Reading Group meets at 2-4pm in Jesus College, Habakuk Room. No previous knowledge of Middle Welsh is assumed. Translations will be provided with plenty of time to ask questions at the end. We’ll read a selection of early and late Middle Welsh prose and poetry to offer everyone a chance to experience the richness of Middle Welsh and its literary tradition. Please email to register your interest so that Svetlana knows how many people to expect: Svetlana Ó Siochfhradha Prešern.
    • The Medieval Latin Document Reading Group meets at 4-5pm on Teams. A document is sent out in advance but homework is not expected. Please contact Michael Stansfield for further details and the Teams link.
    • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5pm at The Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies 66 St Giles and online via Microsoft Teams by clicking here. This week’s speaker will be Alessia Zubani (University of Oxford) – ‘Automated Dialogues: Diplomacy, Technology, and Power in Late Antique and Medieval Eurasia’.
    • The Medieval English Research Seminar will meet at 5.15pm in Lecture Theatre 2, St Cross Building. Today’s speaker will be Elaine Treharne (Stanford), ‘The Presence of Abscence in Life before Death’. The seminar will be followed by a wine reception. All welcome! 
    • Dante Reading Group meets at 5.30-7pm in St Anne’s College, Seminar Room 11. Each week, we will be reading through and discussing a canto of the Divine Comedy in a relaxed and informal setting, delving into Dante’s language and imagination in manageable chunks. The group is open to those with or without a knowledge of Italian, the reading being sent out in the original and in translation. Refreshments, both alcoholic and otherwise, will be provided! To register or ask any questions, please email Charles West..

    Thursday 15th February:

    • The Ethics of Textual Criticism Seminar meets at 10-12 in Harris Seminar Room, Oriel College. This week’s speaker will be Chiara Meccariello (Exeter) – ‘Papyri and textual criticism: textual microhistories, materiality, and the prioritisation of text‘.
    • The Late Roman Seminar will meet at 4pm in the Seminar Room, Corpus Christi College. This week’s speaker will be Andrew Morrison (Glasgow) ‘Shaping the letter collections of Basil and Gregory of Nazianzus’.
    • The Medieval Women’s Writing Research Seminar meets at 5-6.30pm at the Main Hall of the Taylorian. This week’s speaker is Hilary Pearson, God Placed Cloisters on My Hearing: Teresa de Cartagena’s Spirituality of Deafness. Stay up to date with events by joining our mailing list or following us on X @MedievalWomenOx. Funded by the “TORCH Critical-Thinking Communities” fund.
    • The Seminar in Medieval and Renaissance Music meets at 5pm via Zoom. If you are planning to attend a seminar this term, please register using this form. For each seminar, those who have registered will receive an email with the Zoom invitation and any further materials a couple of days before the seminar. If you have questions, please just send an email to all.souls.music.seminars@gmail.com. This week’s presenter will be Johanna-Pauline Thöne (University of Oslo), ‘New Interpretations and Contexts for the Motet Fragments Basel 71 and 72 ca. 1400′, and the discussants will be Antonio Calvia (Università di Pavia), Kévin Roger (University of Tours) and Anne Stone (CUNY Graduate Center)
    • The Old Occitan Literature Workshop meets at 5-6pm at Taylor Institution, Rm2. In Hilary term, we will read and translate extracts from texts written in Old Occitan. All welcome! Please email the address below for details of the texts we will be working on. Interested members will be invited to translate short passages which we will then workshop in meetings 2 and 3. To sign up, or for any other queries, email Kate Travers
    • The Celtic Seminar meets at 5.15pm, in Memorial Room, Jesus College, and online via Teams. Please contact david.willis@ling-phil.ox.ac.uk if you need a link to join online. This week’s speaker will be Ranke de Vries (St Francis Xavier University), ‘Táin Bó Cúailnge as a medical text‘.
    • The Macintyre History Society (Magdalen’s student-run society), are delighted to host a special talk by Professor Sarah Foot, Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History and Dean of Christ Church, 5:30pm in the Sophia Sheppard Room, Magdalen College. Prof. Foot’s talk will be titled “Back to the Bible: Models of Kingship for Alfred the Great,” and she will speak for up to an hour, before audience members are invited to join in the discussion during a half-hour Q&A session. Wine will be provided, and all are welcome!

    Friday 16th February:

    • 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, coffee and the chance to see the view from the 5th floor terrace.
    • The Late Antique Latin Reading Group meets at 12-1pm, in the Hovenden Room, All Souls College, and is open to anyone engaged in research on the late antique world. Though prior knowledge of Latin is required, we welcome people with a range of abilities. We particularly welcome graduate students and early career academics. If you would like to attend, or you have any questions, feel free to contact either of the convenors. Please do RSVP if you intend to attend, so that we can gauge numbers and circulate the readings. Contact: David Addison (david.addison@all-souls.ox.ac.uk) and Alison John (alison.john@all-souls.ox.ac.uk).
    • Exploring Medieval Oxford through Lincoln Archives meets at 2-3pm, in Seminar Room 2, EPA Centre, Museum Road. Anyone interested in analyzing primary sources and conducting a comprehensive examination of the documents are welcome to attend. Those who are interested can contact Lindsay McCormack and Laure Miolo via email: lindsay.mccormack@lincoln.ox.ac.uk and laure.miolo@history.ox.ac.uk
    • The Tolkien 50th Anniversary Seminar Series meets at 4-5pm in Merton College T.S. Eliot Lecture Theatre. This week’s speaker will be Dion Dobrzynski (University of Birmingham), ‘Ents and Ecological Entanglements‘. Free access (no need to book). Please email julia.walworth@merton.ox.ac.uk if you need step-free access.
    • The Oxford Medieval Manuscripts Group (OMMG) meets at 5pm at Merton College, Hawkins Room. This week’s seminar will be a Work in Progress Meeting for Presentation and discussion of articles, thesis chapters, and conference papers in progress that concern medieval manuscripts. To subscribe to our mailing list, participate in library visits, propose a presentation of your research for work in progress meetings, or submit any queries, please write to: elena.lichmanova@merton.ox.ac.uk.
    • The Anglo-Norman Reading Group meets at 5-6.30pm, at St Hilda’s College, and on Zoom. Please let us know if you would like to attend, either in person or on Zoom. The text – some Jousting Letters from Edinburgh – will be provided via Padlet, and refreshments as usual to help us along. All welcome, at any level of Medieval French! Please contact Stephanie Hathaway <stephanie.hathaway@gmail.com> or Jane Bliss <jane.bliss@lmh.oxon.org>for further details. In association with Oxford Medieval Studies, sponsored by The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH).

    OPPORTUNITIES:

    For those still feeling in need of some cheer this fifth week, here is some advice from the eleventh century:

    Cum pondus auri radiantis attenditur, labor itineris levigatur.
    [When the weight of shining gold is considered, the labor of the journey is lightened] 
    A letter (1059-60) from Peter Damian to Blanche, Countess of Milan

    May you find a weight of shining gold in your research efforts this week, but if you don’t quite reach it, I hope that the labor of journeying towards your goals is at least made lighter by sunshine, unexpected discoveries, and above all, good medievalist company!

    [A medievalist struggles with fifth week… luckily a fellow medievalist approaches to help!]
    St John’s College MS. 61, f. 33 v. 
    By permission of the President and Fellows of St John’s College, Oxford
    Viewable in full at Digital Bodleian
     

    Medieval Matters: Week 4

    Here we are at the midpoint of term. This is usually the point where I realise that the term is going by very quickly, and has been so busy that many of the things I had promised myself to achieve ‘by February’ are still on my to-do list! If this sounds familiar, here is some motivation from the Epistolae project:

    Vestrum enim propositum, semper debet niti ad profectum
    [Your intention should always be to strive for progress]
    A letter (1106) from Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury to Eulalia

    Of course, Oxford’s medievalists have been consistently ‘striving towards progress’ this term. Our blog post this week comes from a collaboration between Annabel Hancock, Bee Jones, James Cogbill, and Susannah Bain, who last month hosted an international workshop on ‘Scales of Governance: Local Agency and Political Authority in Eurasia, 1000-1500’. The workshop was partially funded by OMS, and is a great example of the kind of thing that you can apply for small grant funding for. To read more about the fantastic range of papers at the workshop, and the organisers’ reflections on it, please click here.

    There are so many exciting medieval events to help us strive towards research progress this week, and also many announcements for upcoming events. Please see the full listings below:

    ANNOUNCEMENTS:

    • Special events on Saturday 10 February: 11am Interfaith Harmony: Singing from Medieval Manuscripts as part of the One World Festival at the Ashmolean, followed 2pm by a lecture on World Religions and Peace Education organised by the Oxford Interfaith Forum in the Taylorian.
    • Book Launch Invitation: Emperor John II Komnenos: Rebuilding New Rome 1118-1143: You are invited to the book launch for Emperor John II Komnenos: Rebuilding New Rome 1118-1143 (OUP) at 6pm on Friday 9th of February, to be held in the Naz Shah Centre, Worcester College Oxford, and supported by the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research. Please indicate your attendance by filling in this form by Wednesday 7th February: https://forms.gle/wDA1HMoLXhThdy8P8
    • CMTC presents — “Work in Progress” Colloquium (Hilary Term 2024). Tuesday the 13th of February 2024, 5,15–6,45pm UK time, Memorial Room, The Queen’s College. For the programme, please click here.
    • Books of Hours: A Showcase: 19 February 2024, 5.30pm – 6.30pm. New College Library and Medieval Women’s Writing invite you to attend a workshop showcasing New College’s Books of Hours. Beginning with a talk by New College’s Special Collections Curatorial Assistant Caitlín Kane, we will view and discuss seven Books of Hours from the New College collection. For full details and to register, please click here.
    • Love Research Data – Find Your Perfect Research Data Management Match: Wednesday 14 February, 2pm – 5pm, Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford. Join us to find your perfect match when it comes to storing and sharing your research data. For full information, please click here.
    • The Sleep and the Rhythms of Life Network is hosting a special event on Thursday 29 February 2024, 5.15pm on the topic of Sleep, Insomnia and Wellbeing: Historical Perspectives. The papers will be Brigitte Steger (University of Cambridge): “At night I lie in bed but cannot sleep” – Insomnia and loneliness in early Japanese literature ; and Megan Leitch (Cardiff University): ‘Sleeping it Off: Sleep, Wellbeing and the Emotions in Middle English Literature’. For full details and registration information, please click here.
    • Oxford University Byzantine Society Conference: We are delighted to announce the finalised programme (and opening of advance registration for online attendance) for the Oxford University Byzantine Society’s 26th Annual International Graduate Conference ‘Transgression in Late Antiquity and Byzantium’, taking place on the 24th-25th February, 2024 at the Faculty of History, George Street, OX1 2BE. To see the programme and read more, please visit our blog here.

    EVENTS THIS WEEK:

    Monday 5th February:

    • The Medieval French Palaeography Reading Group meets at 10.30-12 in the Weston Library. This group is open to anyone with an interest in Old French, Middle French and Anglo-Norman manuscripts. We study and read manuscripts from the 12th century to the late 15th century. If you are interested in joining the group or would like more information, please write to: Laure Miolo
    • The Seminar in Palaeography and Manuscript Studies takes place at 2.15-3.45pm, in the Weston Library, Horton Room. Today’s speaker will be Alison Ray (Oxford) – ‘Pecia manuscripts’. Access is by Bodleian/University card via the reader gates, Weston Library. Non-cardholders welcome but must email bookcentre@bodleian.ox.ac.uk at least 24 hours in advance.
    • The Medieval Archaeology Seminar meets at 3pm in the Institute of Archaeology, Lecture Room. This week’s speaker will be Kate Franklin (Birkbeck College), Making a World in Mongol Armenia: Vayots Dzor on the Silk Road.
    • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm in the Wharton Room, All Souls College. This week’s speaker will be Emily Winkler (Oxford), ‘Thinking about Grief and Loss in the High Middle Ages’. The seminar will also be available via Teams: The Teams session can be accessed by logging in to Teams with your .ox.ac.uk account and joining the group “Medieval History Research Seminar” (team code rmppucs). Alternatively, it can be accessed via this link. If you have any difficulties please email: medieval history.
    • The Old Norse Reading Group meets at 5.30-7pm. We’ll be translating a range of exciting Old Norse texts! To join the mailing list, email Ashley Castelino.

    Tuesday 6th February:

    • The Europe in the Later Middle Ages Seminar meets at 2-3.30pm in the Dolphin Seminar Room, St John’s College. Tea and coffee available from 1.45pm. Undergraduates welcome. This week’s speakers will be Jane Whittle and Grace Owen, University of Exeter, ‘Acknowledging the known unknowns: gender and wage labour in late medieval England‘.
    • The Old High German Reading Group will meet at 4pm in the Committee Room, 41 Wellington Square. If there is appetite amongst attendees, the group will migrate to the Lamb and Flag after the session. Handouts will be provided and no prior knowledge is required! This week will be Daily life (prose), Sangaller Schularbeit & Contra Paralysin Theutonice (handout to be provided) – “St Gallen School Work” & “Medicine for Gout”
    • The Medieval Poetry Reading Group meets at 4pm – 5pm in the Colin Matthew Room, Radcliffe Humanities Building. We warmly welcome academics and students of any level and with any background. Coffee, tea, and biscuits are offered to participants. This week’s topic will be Introduction to the Reading Group & Greek Romance in Verse. Registration is required: If interested, please send an email in advance to ugo.mondini@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk.
    • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at Wellbeloved Room, Harris Manchester College. Tea & coffee from 5pm; papers begin at 5.15pm. This week’s speaker is Helena Hamerow (Institute of Archaeology), ‘Women of the Conversion Period: a biomolecular investigation of mobility‘. Everyone is welcome at this informal and friendly graduate seminar!
    • The Oxford Medieval Society Latin and Ancient Greek Reading Group meets at 5-6pm, in the ground floor lecture room 2 at 47 Wellington Square. Ancient Greek will be read in odd weeks, and Latin in even weeks. We hope to expand our understanding of these languages for the betterment of our own medieval studies by reading texts that are referenced or known of in the medieval world; please note that this is not a strict rule. Anyone from any background is welcome to attend. To register your interest, or for more information, please contact the society at Oxford Medieval Society.

    Wednesday 7th February:

    • The Medieval German Seminar meets at 11.15, at St Edmund Hall, Old Library. In Hilary Term, we are going to discuss the writings by ‘Frau Ava’, the first women author whose name we know, transmitted in the Vorau Manuscript, discussing this week with Rebecca Schleuß the Latin phrases in the poems. 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 at 4-5pm on Teams. A document is sent out in advance but homework is not expected. Please contact Michael Stansfield for further details and the Teams link.
    • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5pm at The Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies 66 St Giles and online via Microsoft Teams by clicking here. This week’s speaker will be Matt Canepa (University of California, Irvine) – ‘Festive Discipline and Punishment
      in a Global Late Antiquity: The Iranian Political Sensorium as an Afro-Eurasian Technology of Power
      ’.
    • The Medieval English Research Seminar will meet at 5.15pm in Lecture Theatre 2, St Cross Building. Today’s speaker will be Marco Nievergelt (Paris), ‘A Middle English Poetics of Experience? The Case of Reson and Sensuallyte’. The seminar will be followed by a wine reception. All welcome! 
    • Dante Reading Group meets at 5.30-7pm in St Anne’s College, Seminar Room 11. Each week, we will be reading through and discussing a canto of the Divine Comedy in a relaxed and informal setting, delving into Dante’s language and imagination in manageable chunks. The group is open to those with or without a knowledge of Italian, the reading being sent out in the original and in translation. Refreshments, both alcoholic and otherwise, will be provided! To register or ask any questions, please email Charles West.

    Thursday 8th February:

    • The Ethics of Textual Criticism Seminar meets at 10-12 in Harris Seminar Room, Oriel College. This week’s speaker will be Colleen Curran (Galway) – ‘A new transmission of Aldhelm’s Carmen de virginitate’.
    • The Environmental History Working Group meets at 12.30-2pm, in the History Faculty. For further information, please contact Ryan Mealiffe.
    • The Middle Welsh Reading Group meets at 2-4pm in Jesus College, Habakuk Room. No previous knowledge of Middle Welsh is assumed. Translations will be provided with plenty of time to ask questions at the end. We’ll read a selection of early and late Middle Welsh prose and poetry to offer everyone a chance to experience the richness of Middle Welsh and its literary tradition. Please email to register your interest so that Svetlana knows how many people to expect:  Svetlana Ó Siochfhradha Prešern.
    • The Late Roman Seminar will meet at 4pm in the Seminar Room, Corpus Christi College. This week’s speaker will be Dorothee Schenk (Göttingen) ‘Character Networks, Semantic Networks and Social Network Analysis: Examples around Fulgentius of Ruspe’
    • The Medieval Visual Culture Seminar meets at 5pm in St Catherine’s College, Arumagam Building. This week’s speaker will be Jacopo Gnisci (University College London), ‘Sacred Space and Imperial Autority in ‘Medieval’ Ethiopia: The Portrait of Yekunno Amlak in Gannata Maryam.
    • The Medieval Women’s Writing Reading Group meets at 5-6.30pm in Lincoln College Lower Lecture Room. This week’s reading will be The Lais and Fables of Marie de France. Stay up to date with events by joining our mailing list or following us on X @MedievalWomenOx. Texts for the reading group are shared on the mailing list.
    • A Book Launch within the framework of the International Interfaith Reading Group on Manuscripts in Interfaith Contexts will meet at 6pm, online via Zoom. Dr Katherine Aron-Beller will be speaking on ‘Christian Images and Jewish Desecrators: The History of the Allegation in Manuscript Illustrations‘. To register, please click here.

    Friday 9th February:

    • 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, coffee and the chance to see the view from the 5th floor terrace.
    • The Late Antique Latin Reading Group meets at 12-1pm, in the Hovenden Room, All Souls College, and is open to anyone engaged in research on the late antique world. Though prior knowledge of Latin is required, we welcome people with a range of abilities. We particularly welcome graduate students and early career academics. If you would like to attend, or you have any questions, feel free to contact either of the convenors. Please do RSVP if you intend to attend, so that we can gauge numbers and circulate the readings. Contact: David Addison and Alison John.
    • Exploring Medieval Oxford through Lincoln Archives meets at 2-3pm, in Seminar Room 2, EPA Centre, Museum Road. Anyone interested in analyzing primary sources and conducting a comprehensive examination of the documents are welcome to attend. Those who are interested can contact Lindsay McCormack and Laure Miolo via email: Lindsay McCormack and Laure Miolo
    • The Tolkien 50th Anniversary Seminar Series meets at 4-5pm in Corpus Christi College Auditorium. This week’s speaker will be Holly Ordway (Word on Fire Institute), “Fundamentally religious and Catholic”? Authorial Intent and the Intentional Fallacy’. Free access (no need to book).

    OPPORTUNITIES:

    • Call for Papers – International Courtly Literature Society British and Irish Branch Conference 2024: Court Cultures: Texts and Contexts, Trinity College, the University of Dublin, 18-19 June 2024. We invite proposals in French or in English (maximum 200 words) for either 20-minute papers or full panels of three papers (each of 20 minutes duration) to be submitted by 5 p.m. on Friday 16 February 2024 to Dr Sarah Alyn Stacey (salynsta at tcd.ie) and Dr Thomas Hinton (T.G.Hinton at exeter.ac.uk ). Acceptance of papers will be confirmed by Friday 1 March 2024.
    • The Mary Rose Trust are looking for volunteer speakers across the country who are able to conduct talks on the Mary Rose on our behalf in an authoritative and entertaining way. For full details, please see their blog post here.

    Finally, a reminder that slow progress is still good progress:

    Utique sicut verum est: “qui modica despicit, paulatim decidit,” ita verum est quia qui modica non despicit, paulatim proficit.
    [As it is true that “one who despises the little things fails little by little” so it is true that one who does not despise the little things progresses little by little.]
    A letter (1106) from Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury to Eulalia

    I of course here take ‘modica’ to mean ‘footnotes’: those little things which can require such a lot of of time and effort in order to make seemingly very little progress! But, as Anselm reminds us: small progress is still progress! I wish you a week of many successful footnotes, and progress little by little.

    [Medievalist battling with a footnote]
    St John’s College MS. 61, f. 64 v. 
    By permission of the President and Fellows of St John’s College, Oxford
    Viewable in full at Digital Bodleian