Call for volunteers: The Mary Rose Trust

The Mary Rose Trust which looks after King Henry VIII’s favourite warship, 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.

The administrator writes: As you will see, I have included links to our website regarding being a Mary Rose Information Group (MRIG) volunteer. Usually, these talks are addressed to Probus and U3A groups and Women’s Institutes, as well as historical and archaeological societies and other interested parties. Talks normally last up to 45 minutes allowing for a 15-minute Q&A session afterwards.

The talks are a means by which we raise donations – normally £50 minimum per talk (although for groups exceeding 100, we would expect larger donations) – with the volunteer speakers receiving no reimbursement themselves apart from their travelling expenses (which are covered by the talk organisers, currently at 45p per mile if travelling by car).

In the information shown below (see first link) it says that volunteers could expect to conduct 1-2 talks per month. As the administrator of the MRIG programme at the Mary Rose Trust I can advise that, in reality, these tend to be far more infrequent – although, this does depend to a great extent on the volunteer speaker. Some speakers will pro-actively engage with local interested groups and generate talks for themselves, while others will be entirely reactive and simply conduct talks as and when requested, which could be as infrequently as one or two in a year.

One benefit of becoming a registered MRIG speaker is that while on the register the MRIG volunteer will have unlimited free of charge access to the museum and will also be invited to many of the special events the museum holds (either at the museum or remotely).

We are happy for anybody who feels appropriately qualified, to speak on our behalf – although we would, of course, have to determine ourselves whether we feel they were suitably qualified – and so this opportunity is potentially open to any member of staff as well as post-grads and even undergraduates who may be interested. Apart from our determining that a candidate has the requisite degree of knowledge, public speaking ability and enthusiasm there are other more practical considerations candidates would need to take into account  – the main ones being the ability to drive, or have access to transportation by car, in order to get to talk venues (quite often located in places poorly served by public transport) and the relative freedom to conduct talks at different times during the day and across the week (many talks, for instance, can take place from midday onwards on weekdays).

For more information on applying to be a Mary Rose Information Group (MRIG) speaker on behalf of the Mary Rose Trust, please see the third section under the heading ‘Volunteering’ at: https://maryrose.org/recruitment/#volunteering

To see the page explaining the role of the MRIG to those interested parties visiting our website please see: https://maryrose.org/information-group/

OMS Small Grants Now Open!

The TORCH Oxford Medieval Studies Programme invites applications for small grants to support conferences, workshops, and other forms of collaborative research activity organised by researchers at postgraduate (whether MSt or DPhil) or early-career level from across the Humanities Division at the University of Oxford.

The activity should take place between the beginning of Hilary term 2024 and the end of Trinity term. Closing date for applications: Friday of Week 4, 9 February 2024.

Grants are normally in the region of £100–250 and can either be for expenses or for administrative and organisational support such as publicity, filming or zoom hosting. Recipients will be required to supply a report after the event for the TORCH Medieval Studies blog. Recipients of awards will also be invited to present on their award at an OMS event.

Applicants will be responsible for all administrative aspects of the activity, including formulating the theme and intellectual rationale, devising the format, and, depending on the type of event, inviting speakers and/or issuing a Call for Papers, organising the schedule, and managing the budget, promotion and advertising.

Applications should be submitted to Prof. Lesley Smith  using the grant application form. Applications submitted in other formats or after the deadline will not be considered. Informal enquiries may also be directed to Lesley. The Oxford Medieval Studies Programme money is administered by The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) and the money will be paid out via their expenses system.

Poetry in the Medieval World

New TORCH Network approved

by Ugo Mondini

Poetry in the Medieval World is a network that explores premodern literature from a global perspective. Its aim is to address broad questions and seek answers building on contemporary discussions in comparative and world literature through a cross-disciplinary approach.

Our case study is currently poetry between c. 600 and c. 1250 CE. Poetry is a multifaceted phenomenon: it answers to different needs, travels across communities, and undergoes continuous changes. It is rooted in shared culture and knowledge; its intercultural communication or its appreciation by posterity can, at times, fail. There are recurring features: vivid images, complex words and rhythm, but also recitation music and singing. It is an expression of beauty and harmony. Even if poetry requires specialised experts to be scrutinised, yet its study should be easily approachable and crucial to the understanding of premodern literature, but also of literature as a whole. This – and way more – is the realm of poetry the Network will explore.

The Network creates an infrastructure for an open dialogue on medieval poetry with reading groups every two weeks, lectures by national and international scholars, and two annual meetings. The focus of our discussion is the production and transmission of poetry, its historical reception, and the challenges of translating it into modern languages, with a particular emphasis on English.

The Network connects people driven by scholarly curiosity. Therefore, we are extremely keen on receiving expressions of interest for collaboration from people at any phase of their career. If you are interested in this project and want to contribute to it actively, please email Ugo Mondini. The first events in Hillary 2024 will be shared in the coming weeks on the TORCH Networks website and the network’s X account (@PoetryMedieval), both of which are currently under development.

Images:

  1. Fujiwara no Yukinari (Kōzei), Excerpt from Bai Juyi’s “Autobiography of a Master of Drunken Poetry Recitation”
  2. David singing, MS BNF Par. gr. 139, f. 1v

Early Medieval Britain and Ireland Network Fieldtrip

Saturday 28 October 2023

40th Brixworth Lecture

Helen Gittos

Christianity before Conversion

Brixworth Church, Northamptonshire

1pm Meet outside Ashmolean Museum, Beaumont Street

2.30/ 3pm Meet Brixworth church with Jo Storey, Rory Naismith and students from the universities of Leicester and Cambridge

3.30pm Tea in the Village Hall

5pm Lecture

7pm Dinner in Coach & Horses, Brixworth

8.30pm Leave Brixworth

If you would like to join us to climb the tower of the grandest surviving Anglo-Saxon church and meet graduate students from Leicester and Cambridge, please send your name and phone number to Bobby Klapper: robert.klapper@spc.ox.ac.uk. Limited places available owing to minibus space. First come, first served.

Transport free. Tickets £8 from brixworthchurchfriends@brixworth.com [You may be able to reclaim this from your college]

CFP: Conflicts, Connections and Communities in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles

23 November 2023 [Australian Central Daylight Time]
Online via Microsoft Teams


Keynote speakers: Prof. Daniel Anlezark (University of Sydney) and Dr Courtnay Konshuh (University of Calgary)


The complex series of interrelated Old English annals known as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles (ASC) constitutes one of the richest surviving examples of historical writing from early medieval England. Compiled in several extant manuscripts at different centres of monastic, episcopal, and royal activity, these annals shed crucial light on changing dynamics of power, on important cultural developments, on linguistic evolution, and on the crystallisation of communal identities in England between the late ninth and mid-twelfth centuries. In recent decades, increased linguistic, palaeographical, historical, and literary scrutiny of the annals has laid secure foundations for fine-grained work on the ASC as cultural artefacts that were reworked, redeployed, and reinterpreted in many different contexts throughout the middle ages (and beyond).
This online symposium, hosted by researchers at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, seeks to build on this scholarship by foregrounding new approaches to the ASC. In particular, we invite scholars from various disciplines and different career stages to submit proposals for 20-minute papers (to be presented in English) relating in some way to themes of conflict, connection, and/or community in the ASC and their wider context.
Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Representations of war and/or violence in the ASC
  • Discrepancies within and/or between separate versions of the ASC
  • Cross-cultural encounters and interactions in the ASC
  • Relationships between manuscripts of the ASC and related texts
  • Representations of particular communities and/or their relationships in the ASC
  • The creation and use of copies of the ASC within specific communities in early medieval England
  • The dissemination of the ASC and related texts

Please send paper proposals, including a title, 150–200-word abstract, and short biography, to Dr James Kane (james.kane@flinders.edu.au) and A/Prof. Erin Sebo (erin.sebo@flinders.edu.au).

CFP: Affiliations: Towards a Theory of Cross-Temporal Comparison

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE, UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD 

24–25 MAY 2024  

Keynote speakers
Seeta Chaganti, Professor of English, University of California, Davis
Mark Currie, Professor of Contemporary Literature, Queen Mary, University of London
Carla Freccero, Distinguished Professor of Literature and History of Consciousness, University of California, Santa Cruz 

Funded by
Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation (OCCT) Research Centre, University of Oxford 

Organised by
Joseph Hankinson, Career Development Lecturer in English, University of Oxford
Gareth Lloyd Evans, Rebecca Marsland Lecturer in Medieval Literatures, University of Oxford 

In recent years, comparison and comparability have generated thorough critical discussion within the fields of cultural and literary studies. But despite the popularity of comparison as a critical methodology, it is nevertheless the case, as Rita Felski notes, that ‘comparison across space—that is to say, across nations, cultures, or regions—has received far more attention in comparative literature than comparison across time.’ To some extent, existing disciplinary distinctions produce this uneven distribution of attention. Period boundaries impose an often arbitrary temporal delimitation of inquiry, which in turn lends weight to reified and institutionalised categories of thought. Consequently, cross-temporal work is, as Felski argues, habitually ‘seen as evidence of dilettantism or insufficient professionalization.’ But, we suggest, that which has been dismissed as dilettantism itself promises reinvigoration and expansion of the possibilities of literary criticism more generally. Xiaofan Amy Li’s work on the ‘three kinds of comparabilities’ associated with the conventions of ‘existing comparative literature’ (the ‘genealogical, temporal, and generic comparabilities’) has provided a vocabulary for understanding the ways comparative thought makes assumptions about how texts might relate across time (2015, 14). Like the ‘world’ of world literature, which can serve, as Karima Laachir, Sara Marzagora, and Francesca Orsini have argued, as ‘dominant explanatory grid’ (2018, 291-2), time in ‘existing comparative literature’ tends to be either reduced to lines of inheritance or treated as a static frame or macro-category that justifies comparability in advance. With this in mind, this conference seeks to provoke discussion of and experimentation with asynchronous encounters, to stage interactions between texts and fields of research routinely kept separate, and to develop collectively a theory of cross-temporal comparison. 

Seeking to bring into discussion a wide variety of perspectives on the theory and practice of ‘cross-temporal comparison’, we invite proposals for papers of relevance to the subject of the conference, which might include considerations of: 

  • Case-studies which stage encounters between texts and contexts from antiquity to the present day, without recourse to lines of influence and inheritance, or a shared cultural context.  
  • Broader conceptual, philosophical, methodological considerations of the theory of cross-temporal comparison.  
  • Examinations of the role that social, political, economic, and cultural contexts play in shaping the ways in which cross-temporal comparisons are made, and how can we account for these factors when making such comparisons.  
  • Explorations of the pedagogical and institutional implications of any thinking-beyond the limits of periodisation. 

The conference will be in-person at St Anne’s College, University of Oxford. We welcome (but do not require) joint proposals and innovative styles of presentation. To submit a proposal, please include in one document the following information: proposals for 20-minute papers (300 words), paper title, and participant(s) biography (100 words). 

Please send proposals by email to affiliations.conference@gmail.com

The deadline for submissions is 15 November 2023.

Celebrating OMS 2022/23: Call for Submissions

As we wrap up the year, we here at OMS have been reflecting on the amazing accomplishments of Oxford’s medievalists in the last year. 2022/23 saw even more seminars and reading groups than ever before, covering an extremely diverse range of languages, themes, and ideas. We have also seen a considerable number of publications, special lectures, and practice-as-research events, like the Medieval Crafternoon and Mystery Plays.

Beginning this year, we will be creating an annual record publication to sum up the year’s events and spotlight the wonderful achievements of Oxford’s Medievalist community. This will be a place to celebrate major publications, highlight new and ongoing seminars/reading groups, and remember the special events that were held in the academic year.

If you have something to celebrate, we would love to hear from you! Submissions on the following would be much appreciated:

  • Book publications (monographs or edited volumes) by Oxford Medievalists in 2022/23 with a short summary or abstract (no more than 250 words).
  • Write-ups of special lectures, conferences, or events hosted at Oxford. If you have pictures of your event in progress, these would be particularly gratefully received! (no more than 500 words).
  • A paragraph about your reading group / seminar series, and what you did in 2022/23. We are particularly keen to hear from those who started new reading groups/seminars in the academic year 2022/23 (no more than 250 words).

Please send submissions to luisa.ostacchini@ell.ox.ac.uk. All submissions must be received by August 20th 2023. The OMS Record will be completed in time for the new academic year, both online and in (limited) print format.

OMS Small Grants TT 2023      

The TORCH Oxford Medieval Studies Programme invites applications for small grants to support conferences, workshops, and other forms of collaborative research activity organised by researchers at postgraduate (whether MSt or DPhil) or early-career level from across the Humanities Division at the University of Oxford.

The activity should take place between the beginning of Trinity term 2023 and end of the summer vacation. The closing date for applications is Friday of Week 5 of Trinity Term = 26 May);  decisions will be made promptly after the closing date.

Grants are normally in the region of £100–250. Recipients will be required to supply a report after the event for the TORCH Medieval Studies blog. Recipients of awards will also be invited to present on their events at the next Medieval Roadshow.

Applicants will be responsible for all administrative aspects of the activity, including formulating the theme and intellectual rationale, devising the format, and, depending on the type of event, inviting speakers and/or issuing a Call for Papers, organising the schedule, and managing the budget, promotion and advertising. Some administrative and organisational support may be available through TORCH subject to availability.

Applications should be submitted to  lesley.smith@history.ox.ac.uk  using the grant application form. Applications submitted in other formats or after the deadline will not be considered.

Informal enquiries may be directed to lesley.smith@history.ox.ac.uk

The Oxford Medieval Studies Programme is sponsored by The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH).

For more medieval matters from Oxford, have a look at the website of the Oxford Medieval Studies TORCH Programme and the OMS blog!

Workshop : The Order of St Victor in Medieval Scandinavia

Workshop 3: Victorine and Augustinian Influences in the North-East.

Aula Magna, Stockholm University, 25–26 May 2023.

Hosted by the Stockholm University Centre for Medieval Studies
Arranged by Prof. Roger Andersson, Stockholm University and Prof. Samu Niskanen, University of Helsinki. Open to interested subject to availability. Register interest by contacting roger.andersson@su.se.


Thursday 25 May

COFFEE 10:00–10:30

SESSION 1: 10:30–12:00

  • Welcome address and general introduction (Roger Andersson & Samu Niskanen)
  • Christian Etheridge, National Museum, Stockholm: ”The Abbey of St. Victor and Medieval Science”
  • Micol Long, University of Padova: ”Mind, Body and the Environment in some Twelfth Century Augustinian Authors From Paris to Scandinavia”

LUNCH: 12:00–13:30 Fakultetsklubben, SU


SESSION 2: 13:30–15:00

  • Sanna Supponen, University of Helsinki: ”Influence of Victorine Authorities on Magister Mathias’s Alphabetum Disctinccionum”
  • Biörn Tjällén, Mid Sweden University, Sundsvall: ” Hugh of St Victor, Ericus Olai and the Chronica regni Gothorum”
  • Fredrik Öberg, University of Helsinki: ”Using Saint Augustine as a Way to Legitimize Katarina Ulfsdotter as a Saint”

COFFEE 15:00–15:30


SESSION 3: 15:30–16:30

  • Jaakko Tahkokallio University of Helsinki: ‘Victorine texts and St Victor in Sweden. A conspectus of the evidence in the fragments of the National Archives’.
  • Olle Ferm, Stockholm University: ”Swedish Connections with Paris 1150–1250”

DINNER 19:00 Den Gyldene Freden, Österlånggatan 51, Old Town

Friday 26 May

SESSION 4: 10:00–11:00

  • Anna Minara Ciardi, Catholic Diocese of Stockholm, Lund University: “Augustinian Movement in the North: Reform or Resistance? The Archdiocese of Lund in the Twelfth Century”
  • Kurt Villads Jensen, Stockholm University: ”The Victorines and the Danish Flag from Heaven”

COFFEE 11:00–11:30


DISCUSSION: 11:30–12:15


LUNCH: 12:30–13:30 Fakultetsklubben, SU


EXHIBITIONS OF MANUSCRIPTS: 14:00–15:00 National Library of Sweden (for speakers)


EXHIBITION OF ALTAR PANELS: 15:30–16:30 The Historical Museum (for speakers)


DINNER 19:00 Restaurant Knut, Upplandsgatan 17, Vasastan


The workhop has been generously funded by NOS-HS.

CFP: Pax Normanna

The First Generations of the Conquest (Norman Worlds, 9th-12th Century) – 1. Departing
Symposium at the
Maison Française d’Oxford, 22-23 September 2023

Image: Dove of peace between two soldiers: Tours, Bibliothèque municipale, Ms. 568, f. 249v © BMT

This conference will address the notion of “first generations” in relation to the medieval Norman conquests in England, Wales, Ireland, southern Italy, Sicily, and the Crusader states. Focusing on the conquerors’ departure from their places of origin, the papers will explore the rhythms, modalities, reasons and objectives for leaving.

The conference aims at:

1/ Determining how relevant the notion of “first generations of the conquest” is. All these movements were phenomena that took place over several generations and featured different kind of protagonists – soldiers, mercenaries, pilgrims, merchants, clerics and monks.

2/ Considering the horizons of those who departed, while avoiding teleological and unilinear assumptions. These horizons require an analysis of diverse dynamics and “push and pull” factors: political motivations, economic grounds, social mechanisms, acculturation processes, social and political creativity.

3/ Exploring the documentation, approaches, and tools that help to answer these questions. Our documentation was often produced in the regions where the conquerors settled, and it focuses on their new status; it must be compared retroactively with sources from Normandy (and more broadly speaking from northern France) to enlighten the dynamics that led to the mobility of these people.

This symposium is part of the 2022-2026 research project Pax normanna (dir. Prof. Pierre Bauduin, University of Caen-Normandie, and Prof. Annick Peters-Custot, University of Nantes). Please send your paper proposal to pierre.bauduin@unicaen.fr and annick.peterscustot@univ-nantes.fr

Deadline: 10 May 2023