Medieval Matters: Week 0 and HT Booklet

Welcome back to Oxford! It is now Week 0, which means that Hilary Term is upon us. I hope that you all had a restful and peaceful Christmas break, and are returning renewed and ready for more Medievalist happenings. Whether you’re looking to return to your usual seminars, or interested to see what else is out there, our Medieval Booklet lists a whole range of exciting events, seminars, working groups, and CFPs. Please do enjoy perusing. 

If by chance you realise that you have a medieval event, seminar, reading group or working group that you would like to be included in the booklet, do not fear: please get any final details to me before Friday 14th. A finalised pdf copy will also be disseminated with next week’s email. 

I’d also like to take this opportunity to remind you once again of our blog: all of our most up-to-date information can be found here, as well as an archive of all past Medieval Matters emails, CFPs, blogs from Oxford Medievalists, and a calendar that lists all of the term’s events. We would love to receive submissions for blog posts: if you have a research project, book, or cfp that you would like to be included, please email me at
Although seminars have not yet begun, I nevertheless have a few announcements for you this week:

  • The OMS Hilary Term Lecture, Lucy Pick: ‘Maimonides Latinus and a Thirteenth-Century Textual Community of Jewish and Christian Readers’’ takes place on Tuesday 8 February, 5pm, St Edmund Hall, Old Dining Hall, and live streamed online The lecture will be followed by drinks at St Edmund Hall. You are also warmly invited to dinner with the speaker, at your own cost. We have reserved eight places for graduate students at a discounted price of 10GBP. These places are strictly first come, first served. Please contact me by 31 January if you would like to come to dinner. It will be a great evening, and we look forward to seeing many of you there. 
  • The Oxford Heraldry Society meets at 6.15pm on Thursday January 13th via Zoom. This week’s lecture is John Whitehead: ‘Blood Will Out: The Heraldry and Heraldic Art of the Beaufort Family 1396-1526′. To join the Zoom meeting, click here:
  • A reminder that the Oxford Medieval Society Relaunch Party is cancelled. The committee sincerely apologise for any disappointment caused, and will be rescheduling this event for later in the term.  

Finally, some Old English wisdom for those of you returning to Oxford: 

Eadig bið se þe in his eðle geþihð
[Happy is he who prospers in his homeland]

May you be happy and prosper in your faculties, departments, and libraries that are your Oxford homeland this term! 

Medievalists returning to Oxfordafter the Christmas break
Merton College, MS 249, f. 8r.
View image and text in the Taylor Edition by Sebastian Dows-Miller

Medieval Matters: Booklet and Week 0

Welcome back to Trinity Term! As usual, it’s going to be a splendid term of seminars, events, and reading groups to keep you entertained and informed.

Without further ado, I present this term’s Medieval Booklet. Peruse and enjoy! Please take particular note of this term’s OMS Lecture, given by our own Jim Harris, Mellon Foundation Teaching Curator at the Ashmolean Museum. Jim will be speaking on ‘Museum in the Middle: Medieval Things in a (Still) Medieval University’ and presenting from the Ashmolean’s collections. You don’t want to miss this, so be sure to hop on the OMS YouTube channel on Tuesday 27 April at 5 pm! The direct link is here.

A few important announcements:

The Invisible East Project is hosting three (3!) amazing events this week. Tomorrow, Tuesday 20 April, at 5 pm on Zoom, will be the book launch for Faḍā’il-i Balkh or the Merits of Balkh, an annotated translation of the oldest surviving history of Balkh in Afghanistan. Register here. On Wednesday 21 April at 5 pm, the Marburg Museum of Religions is holding a special exhibition on the scholar Annemarie Schimmel; the flyer with the QR code to register is attached. And on Thursday 22 April at 5 pm, Oxford’s Arezou Azad will be speaking on ‘The Unheard Voices from Eastern Iran and the Eastern Islamicate World’ as part of the British Institute of Persian Studies’ 2021 webinar series. Register here.

The Bodleian Libraries would like to remind you that Bodleian acquisitions for 2020–21 must be delivered by the end of the financial year in July, and they aim to conclude their orders for the year by mid-May. If you have missed any books in the libraries this year, please complete the purchase request form or contact the relevant subject librarian. The librarians also welcome donations of any titles that the Bodleian does not currently hold.

The upcoming Communities and Networks in Late Medieval Europe (c. 1300-1500) Conference seeks your papers. Hosted at St Catharine’s College Cambridge on 9-10 September, the conference aims to build on and contribute to the expanding field of ‘networks’ research by investigating the internal and external dynamics of communities in the last two centuries of the European Middle Ages. Junior researchers (doctoral and postdoctoral) are especially welcome. Topics include but are not limited to: networks and the development of communities; networks in conflict and conflict resolution; oral and written communication networks; literacy and bureaucratization; development of infrastructure; warfare; possibilities and drawbacks of social network analysis as a methodological approach to medieval studies. Send your 300-word abstracts, along with a short author biography, to by 7 June.

Speaking of CfPs, the annual Norse in the North Conference has extended its deadline until 26 April. Durham University will host the conference online on Saturday 12 June, on the theme ‘Transformation and Preservation in Old Norse Studies’. This year’s keynote will be Ármann Jakobsson, ‘Till Undeath Do Us Part: Some Norse Non-Transformations’. Learn more here and email your 300-word abstract to

As you will see from the booklet, the Oxford Medieval Book Club wants your input! This friendly and informal group is inviting members of the OMS community to guide the group through readings they’ve discovered on the topic of Medieval Legends in weeks 4-7. Possible topics include but are not limited to folk legends, founding myths, legendary places and creatures, the Grail legend, tall tales, false identities, and imposters. Send your suggestions to

Go forth, check out the medieval booklet, and get your calendars filled! It looks to be a brilliant term. This time last year we were embarking on our first term in lockdown, our first term of digital seminars. This year has been longer and harder than we were told to expect, but the difference between Trinity Term 2020 and Trinity Term 2021 — the number and range of exciting seminars, the quality, ease, and attendance levels of our online events — is something we should be collectively proud of. And now we can, quite genuinely, look forward to being back in lecture theatres and seminar rooms with one another soon.

Medieval Matters: Week 0 HT21

Dear all,

Term time approaches! And at long last, the thing you’ve been waiting for all vac: get a sneak peek at all the exciting events, seminars, and reading groups you can attend in Hilary in the MEDIEVAL BOOKLET! Peruse it here! The OMS website and digital calendar will be fully updated by the end of the week.

In the meantime, a few things that merit your attention: 

*This Thursday, 14 January, at 2 pm GMT, Helsinki’s Anu Lahtinen and our own Juliana Dresvina are hosting a Zoom seminar on the History of Domestic Violence. There will be much medieval material: Hannah Skoda and Kristi DiClemente will both present on medieval France, while Kirsi Kanerva and Ilya Sverdlov will be speaking about the Icelandic family sagas, alongside other papers of general interest. For further information, contact Julie at You can join the Zoom meeting here.

*Next Monday, 18 January, 5:15 pm to 6:30 pm GMT, will be the Oxford Italian Sub-Faculty research Seminar. The speaker is Dr David Bowe (University College Cork) on ‘Meditation and/as Dialogue in Dante’. To register, contact to be added to the Teams channel.

*To get us all through Lockdown 3.0, Sebastian Dows-Miller has some excellent Twitter-tainment. The various beasts of Merton’s copy of Philip de Thaun’s Bestiary haved joined forces to provide you with regular updates, complete with manuscript illuminations. Follow @MertonBeasts on Twitter for some #LockdownBestiary antics!

Your regularly scheduled Medieval Matters emails will resume next week. Prepare yourselves!

All best wishes,


Medieval Matters: Week 0 MT

Dear all,

At long last, the moment you’ve all been waiting for! The much-anticipated, dearly awaited, mind-blowingly exciting MEDIEVAL BOOKLET has been released for this term. Updates will be made over the next week or so, but any changes will be minor. You can see the full booklet, and print it off should you want it in physical form, on our blog.

If you’ve submitted a seminar, event, or reading group to the medieval booklet, we would love you make a five-minute presentation about it at this term’s MEDIEVAL ROADSHOW, Tuesday 13 October at 5 pm on the OMS Teams Channel. Advertise your events to new medievalists! Show us the texts for your reading group! Offer all the exciting information that didn’t fit in your booklet submission! Please email to register your participation.

In the meantime, there are a few events this week and next to have on your radar:

  • For those of you new to Oxford, there will be a digital introduction to online sources for medievalists, on Wednesday of Week 1 (14 October) from 2-2.30 pm, hosted by Matthew Holford, Tolkien Curator of Medieval Manuscripts, and Isabel Holowaty, Bodleian History Librarian. More information to follow soon, but mark your calendars now.
  • The PERLEGO Network, dedicated to academic research at the interface of text and image, is holding a digital conference from 19-22 October, ‘Critical Perspectives on Image and Text’. There will be some brilliant medieval papers given, and to view the full program and register for the conference you can visit the PERLEGO website.
  • One of the perks of online seminars is that we can attend seminars at other institutions without having to travel! This term’s interdisciplinary Earlier Middle Ages Seminars at King’s College London are open to Oxford medievalists, meeting on select Wednesdays (7 October, 21 October, 18 November, and 2 December) at 5:30 pm. Registration links for each lecture can be found in the OMS Digital Calendar.

And for those of you in need of medieval entertainment to sustain you in these strange times, we recommend a new, free to download documentary film on local singing group ‘The Oxford Trobadors’, involving several twelfth century songs, lots of spoken Occitan, and fascinating discussions of the history of the troubadours. Keep an eye on the OMS blog next week for a longer list of podcasts, videos, and blogs to get your medieval fix while working from home!

With all best wishes for the start of term.