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 scheme has a rolling deadline. Closing date for applications: Friday of Week 4 each term for activities taking place during that or the following term. An additional deadline for summer activities and Michaelmas Term is last Friday of July.

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. They can also be used to support staging a play for the Medieval Mystery Cycle, e.g. for buying props or material for costumes. Recipients will be required to supply a report after the event for the Oxford Medieval Studies blog and will 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 either the word grant application form or fill out the online form. 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.

The Oxford Medieval Mystery Plays 2025

Call for Actors, Directors, Costume Makers, and Musicians!

Would you like to take part in a medieval dramatic experiment? Directors, actors, costume makers and musicians wanted!

The next cycle is going to take place on 26 April 2025 at St Edmund Hall

These plays were a very popular form of drama in the Middle Ages – with different groups performing short plays telling stories from the Bible. To take part in the next performance, email Professor Henrike Lähnemann, Fellow at St Edmund Hall Fellow and Professor of Medieval German Literature and Linguistics, and Professor Lesley Smith, Fellow and Tutor in Politics and Senior Tutor at Harris Manchester College, Co-Directors of the Oxford Medieval Studies Programme at TORCH, under the address

More information and an overview of what was performed in 2019, 2022, and 2023 at

Books for Medievalists

Free books for medievalists! Professor Richard Sharpe (1954–2020) was Professor of Diplomatic in the University and one of the country’s foremost medievalists, whose research ranged from the early Irish church to Anglo-Norman royal acts to the transmission of medieval Latin texts and medieval books and libraries. He was also a large presence in the History Faculty and much involved in graduate tuition. Books from Professor Sharpe’s library are now being offered gratis to local medievalists. A great encourager of others, he would have been delighted to know that his books could be helping the next generation. For more information, please contact Elizabeth Champion to reserve books and arrange collection.

A Culture of Translation: British and Irish Scholarship in the Gennadius Library (1740-1840): 13Lynda Mulvin
Acts of GivingWendy Davies
Anglo-Norman England 1066-1166Marjorie Chibnall
Annuaire de l’nstitut Michel Villey – 2011 Vol 3Olivier Beaud, Denis Baranger
Antiquaries Journal
Antiquaries Journal Vol. LXIX Part II
Antiquaries Journal Vol. LXX Part I AND ii
Archaeologia 1991
Canon Law, Careers and ConquestJorg Peltzer
Carolingian EssaysAndrew W. Mellon
Charles the BaldJanet Nelson
Concise Dictionary of National Biography
Copistia Bologna (1265-1270)Giovanna Murano
Du Burca Rare Books Catalogues 132, 135, 136, 139, 140, 141, and ‘Irishwomen, Children, Education’
Ducal Brittany 1364-1399Michael Jones
Early Medieval ItalyChris Wickham
Early Medieval Spain, 2nd edRoger Collins
FeudalismFrançois Louis Ganshof
Folia CaesarAugustana I
Gaelic Literature SurveyedAodh de Blacam
Hereditas Monasteriorum Vols. 1-8
Hermanthena No. 194 Summer 2013
Ideal and Reality in Frankish and Anglo-Saxon SocietyPatrick Wormald
Il Libro e il Testo Atti del Convegno
Il registro di Andrea SapitiBarbara Bombi
Im Umkreis von AnselmBernd Goebel
Imperial Lives and Letters of the Eleventh CenturyMommsen and Morrison
Introducing the Old TestamentCoggins
Ireland and the Culture of Early Medieval EuropeL. Bieler
John Aubrey and the Advancement of LearningWilliam Poole
Journal of the British Archaeological Association Vols. 156-172
Journal of the British Archaeological Association Vols. 1990-99
Journal of Theological Studies New Series Vol. 35 Part 1
Journal of Theological Studies New Series Vol. 40 Part 1
Journal of Theological Studies New Series Vol. 41 Part 1
Journal of Theological Studies New Series Vol. 41 Part 2
Journal of Theological Studies New Series Vol. 43 Part 2
Journal of Theological Studies New Series Vol. 44 Part 1
Journal of Theological Studies New Series Vol. 45 Part 2
King David: A BiographySteven L McKenzie
La France CistercienneArmelle Bonis
La Vie Religieuse en France au Moyen AgeB. Merdrignac
Lawfinders and LawmakersHelen Cam
Les Origines de la BretagneLeon Fleuriot
Leviticus as LiteratureMary Douglas
Lexicography: An emerging international professionRobert F. Ilson
Magna Commoditas: A istory of Leiden University Library 1575-2005C. Berkvens-Stevelinck
Medieval French BridgesMarjorie Nice Boyer
Montaillou, Village OccitanLe Roy Ladurie
Nederlandse boekgeschiedenisJaarboek Voor
North Country Bishop; A Biography of William NicholsonFrancis Godwin James
Northern History vols. 1966-1995
Northern History, June 1964 February 1969, June 1969
Oxford University Calendar 1999-2000
Oxford University Calendar 2000-2001
Oxford University Calendar 2005-2006
Parliament and Politics in the Age of Churchill and Attlee: The Headlam diaries 1935-51Stuart Ball
Patrology Vol. IVAngelo di Berardino
Place Names of Northern Ireland, County Antrim I, Vol 4
Place Names of Northern Ireland, County Down I Vol 1
Place Names of Northern Ireland, County Down II Vol 2
Place Names of Northern Ireland, County Down IV, Vol 6
Pope John XXII and his Franciscan CardinalPatrick Nold
Proceedings of the British Academi, Bibiographical Memoirs of Fellows Vols. I-XVIII
Proceedings of the British Academy Lectures & Memoirs 1988-2000
Projets de CroisadeJaques Paviot
Province and EmpireJulia Smith
Religion and PowerDouglas Edwards
Royal Historical Society Centenary Guide 1868-1968
Scaliger’s Oriental Legacy in Leiden 1609-2009
Sean, nua agus síoraíocht : Féilscríbhinn in ómós do Dháithí Ó hÓgáinRíonach Uí Ógáin
Small WorldsWendy Davies
Society of Antiquaries of London Annual Report 1990-91
Studies on the Life and Legend of St PatrickL. Bieler
Sussex Archaelogical Collections Vol. 126
The Antiquaries Journal 1991-2019
The Antiquaries Journal Index 61-70
The Barbarian West 400-1000J. M. Wallace-Hadrill
The Christianisation of Latin MetreSeppo Heikkinen
The Dublin ScuffleJohn Dunton
The End of Ancient ChristianityR. A. Markus
The English Historical Review No. 323
The gate of horn: a study of the religious conceptions of the stone age, and their influence upon European thoughtGertrude Rachel Levy
The Irish Contribution to European Scholastic ThoughMcEvoy and Dunne
The Irish Matryoshka: A History of Irish Monks in Medieval EuropeHarkins/OhEarcain
The Kingship and Landscape of TaraEdel Bhreathnac
The Letters of Pierre de CrosWilliman
The Merovingian Kingdoms 450-751Ian Wood
The Settlement of Disputes in Early Medieval EuropeWendy Davies and Paul Fouracre
The Shorter Cambridge Medieval History Vols I and II
The Spanish Kingdoms 1250-1516: Vol. I 1250-1410
The Spanish Kingdoms 1250-1516: Vol. II 1410-1516
Trinity College Cambridge Annual Record 1995-2019
Wadham College Gazette 2017
Wadham College Gazette 2018
William BlackstoneWilfrid Prest

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:

To see the page explaining the role of the MRIG to those interested parties visiting our website please see:

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.


  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: Limited places available owing to minibus space. First come, first served.

Transport free. Tickets £8 from [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 ( and A/Prof. Erin Sebo (

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


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

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 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  using the grant application form. Applications submitted in other formats or after the deadline will not be considered.

Informal enquiries may be directed to

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!