Call for Papers: Memorial Symposium for Nigel F. Palmer

What: Literary, religious and manuscript cultures of the German-speaking lands: a symposium in memory of Nigel F. Palmer (1946-2022)

When: 19/20 May 2023

Where: Oxford, Bodleian Library, Taylor Institution Library, St Edmund Hall

To celebrate the life and scholarship of Nigel F. Palmer, Professor of German Medieval Literary and Linguistic Studies at the University of Oxford, we invite expressions of interest from those who wish to honour his memory with an academic contribution to speak at a symposium in Oxford that is to take place 19-20 May 2023. Presentations of twenty minutes’ length are sought. They should speak to an aspect of the wide spectrum of Nigel’s intellectual interests, which ranged extensively within the broad scope of the literary and religious history of the German- and Dutch-speaking lands, treating Latin alongside the vernaculars, the early printed book alongside the manuscript, and the court and the city alongside the monastery and the convent. His primary intellectual contributions were methodological rather than theoretical, and he brought together a study of the book as a material object with the philological and linguistic discipline of the Germanophone academic tradition.

The first session planned for the afternoon of Friday 19 May will take place consequently in the Weston Library, and will consider the manuscript cultures of the German-speaking lands; presentations may take a workshop format, and may – though need not – focus upon one or more manuscripts in the Bodleian collections. The second and third sessions will take place on Saturday 20 May in the Taylorian Library, and will consider the religious and literary history of the German-speaking lands in relation to the questions, issues and working methods central to Nigel’s published scholarship.

We would request expressions of interest, of not more than one full page, to be received by 11 November 2022, to be sent to Stephen Mossman. We ask in advance for the understanding of all who submit that we anticipate receiving many more expressions of interest than we can accommodate within the schedule. A reception will be held at St Edmund Hall on the Saturday afternoon, to which all are cordially invited and welcome, followed by a dinner in College. Those planning to attend are advised to reserve accommodation in good time, e.g. via universityrooms. We hope to secure funding to support early career researchers in attending the symposium, but anticipate that participants will need to cover their travel and accommodation expenses. Details of the symposium and registration will be available through the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages web-site in early 2023.

For the organising committee: Racha Kirakosian, Henrike Lähnemann, Stephen Mossman, Almut Suerbaum

Image: Nigel F. Palmer studying the facsimile of the Osterspiel von Muri on the gallery of the Taylor Institution Library. Photograph by Henrike Lähnemann

OMCN lectures now online

Trinity Term 2022 saw a lecture series at Christ Church on the medieval commentary tradition, organised by the Oxford Medieval Commentary Network. Video recordings of the lectures by Madalena Brito, Maria Czepiel, and Zachary Giuliano are now available to watch online, along with an extensive video archive of papers from last year’s OMCN workshop.

The CfP for the upcoming OMCN conference on 29 September is still open.

Outgoing OMS Events Coordinator: Tom Revell

The primary reason I threw my hat into the ring two years ago (as a first-year DPhil student) to help OMS run their events was because I was passionate about trying to help increase the access to and reach of the great variety of outstanding events that OMS was hosting. Especially in the deep-pandemic, when everyone (including myself) was learning how to make the best of things being done entirely online or in a hybrid format, it felt well worth giving a shot to help keep the medievalist community, in Oxford and abroad, in contact with one another in such a way. With this wish, a very modest amount of experience in running Zoom events and editing video, and having attended OMS events in the past, I was granted the opportunity to coordinate events for OMS. However, after two wonderful years, it is time for another person to take the reins.

The role requires overseeing the OMS Teams and YouTube Channels, being responsive by email to any queries about events, setting up Zoom streaming events, coordinating with individuals and institutions (such as TORCH, or the Bodleian Conservators or Centre for the Study of the Book) in both the preparation for and the real-time running of events (mostly hybrid and online, but also in-person), and maintaining open channels of communication before, during, and after events with the organisers and the rest of the OMS Team. For example, for an event such as the Murbach Hymns hybrid webinar (organised by Luise Morawetz), I was involved from the planning stage, helped to gather equipment and test rooms, monitored audio and visual in real-time for virtual presenters and attendees, and facilitated, recorded, edited, and uploaded the evening’s bilingual Singing from the Manuscript session (https://youtu.be/p4zImJl8ppY).

The Events Coordinator really comes down to two things: being organised, and being adaptable. Things will go wrong, but communicating with everyone involved and putting things in place ahead of time can save you when the Wi-Fi fails, when batteries run out, when someone is sick, or when the weather turns. Having an interest in much of the material is a bonus, but any medievalist should have this; and a little knowledge of any medieval or modern languages wouldn’t do any harm either, although this is not at all essential.

I had the privilege of facilitating a wide range of events: conferences, lectures, colloquia, plays, memorials, complines, and launches, all down to the variety of interests of medievalists at Oxford and around the world. One of my personal favourites was Alyssa Steiner’s Ship of Fools multi-manuscript event (https://youtu.be/8g3z6k4CSUg), showcasing surviving versions of the texts in different languages and editions that survive in Oxford, London, and Bamberg. Among the other events I was involved in, it was a real privilege to host Professor William Chester Jordan’s OMS Lecture (https://youtu.be/PWRVIX4B3hE), a memorial for Peter Ganz (https://youtu.be/2rhXw0YQOWk), and another OMS Lecture delivered by the inimitable Dr Jim Harris (https://youtu.be/vKs5wKg2Eh4). I would be remiss not to mention the other huge perk of the job: working with all the wonderful people whose research inspires these events, and alongside the amazing OMS Team (including Nikki from TORCH) who are each as delightful as the last.

I would encourage anyone with a spare couple of hours per week (though often less is required), any knowledge of Zoom and Teams, and a desire to help contribute to the continuing evolution of Oxford Medieval Studies, to throw their hat into the ring.

Tom Revell is a DPhil student in Old English poetry at Balliol College, and a College Lecturer at Keble College. He is also a Research Assistant on the CLASP Project.

Main image credit: Frontispiece of Bible Moralisee, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:God_the_Geometer.jpg

Medieval Matters: sigelbeorhte dagas

Trinity Term has ended, and with it, the academic year! Since this is the final Medieval Matters of the year, on behalf of everyone at OMS I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has enabled our many wonderful seminars, reading groups and events this year to happen. The Medievalist community at Oxford is incredibly fortunate to have such a diversity of scholarship and such a wealth of goings-on, and all of your contributions have made this year richer and more enjoyable! Here is some wisdom on doing good things, from Beowulf:

Lofdædum sceal
in mægþa gehwære man geþeon.

[By praiseworthy deeds one shall prosper among peoples everywhere.]

Wherever your summer is taking you, I am sure that your praiseworthy organisation, convening and paper-giving will lead you to prosper! Safe travels to those of you leaving Oxford and congratulations to our Masters students for finishing their studies. Please see below for the roundup of summer events, save the dates, and some important tasks to do:

Important To-Do:

  • For those leaving Oxford/changing college: if you would like to continue to receive Medieval Matters emails, please make sure to sign up with your new email address. You can do it yourself via https://medieval.ox.ac.uk/about/ or contact me. Please also alert any medievalist visitor or new student to this! For postgraduate course convenors: when your incoming students have their Oxford email addresses, please register them for the mailing list or contact me with a list of addresses and I can do this for you.

Summer events:

  • Coffee Morning with Professor William Chester Jordan, 23rd June 10.30-12 noon. The Faculty of History and Oxford Medieval Studies are pleased to invite you to an informal meet and greet coffee morning with William Chester Jordan (Professor of Medieval History, Princeton University) on the occasion of his reception of an honorary degree of the University of Oxford, in the garden of Harris Manchester College (Mansfield Road), or in the Warrington Room in the case of rain. Coffee and croissants will be provided. For catering purposes, please register your attendance if possible: https://forms.gle/AkvPUsX2Ur1hbgTU7
  • Mandeville 700 Conference, 30 June 2022. In 1322, Sir John Mandeville left his native England to travel through Europe, to the pilgrim sites of Jerusalem, and beyond to the Far East, where he served as a mercenary in the Great Khan’s army before returning home 34 years later to write an immensely popular and influential account of his travels. Or not: historical research has been unable to find any John Mandeville who can be firmly identified either as traveller or author, and the book itself was largely adapted from other sources. To mark the 700th anniversary of his supposed departure, this conference will bring together scholars working on one of the most striking and enduring inventions of the late Middle Ages. For further information and to book, please click here.
  •  Medium Ævum Annual Lecture taking place on Saturday, 2 July (4:30-6pm BST): Dr Ryan Perry (University of Kent) will deliver the annual lecture on ‘Middle English Books of Devotion and Liturgical Privatisation in Fifteenth-century England’, as part of the ‘Pfaff at 50’ conference at the University of Nottingham marking 50 years since the publication of Richard W. Pfaff’s ground-breaking New Liturgical Feasts in Later Medieval England. Registration details for in-person and online attendance are available at the following link: https://pfaff50.wordpress.com/keynote/
  • The Oxford Festival of the Arts has a smorgasbord of exciting events of interest to medievalists:
    -The Art of Illumination: makers and users of medieval manuscripts (June 25, Lecture Theatre, Weston Library, 2pm – 4.30pm)
    -Illuminated Manuscript Workshop with Patricia Lovett MBE (June 26, Magdalen College School Studio, 10am – 5pm)
    -Professor Robert Bartlett: The Middle Ages and the Movies (June 27, Festival Marquee, 8pm)
    -Treasures from Around the World at New College Library (July 2, 11am-4pm, Lecture Room 4, New College)
    -British Society of Master Glass Painters Centenary Touring Exhibition (The Chapter House, Christ Church Cathedral (throughout the festival))
    -Dr Janina Ramirez in discussion with Peter Frankopan (July 5, 7.30pm, Festival Marquee, Magdalen College School, Oxford)
    -John Leighfield: Atlases and Maps (July 6, 5pm-7pm, Magdalen College School Studio)
    For full details of these events, and links for booking, please consult our blog here.

Save the Date:

  • Prof. Ardis Butterfield giving the Michaelmas Medieval Studies Lecture: ‘Do we mean lyric or song?’ We’re very pleased to announce that Prof. Ardis Butterfield (Yale) will give the Medieval Studies Lecture in Michaelmas Term, as part of her stay in Oxford as an Astor Visiting Lecturer. She will be here in week 4 of term (31 October to 4 November), taking part in a number of events and seminars and working with students in a number of medieval disciplines, in particular on medieval lyric and song. The lecture itself is planned for Monday 31 October, and its provisional title is ‘Do we mean lyric or song?’.
  • Medieval Mystery Cycle 2023. Following the successful Medieval Mystery Cycle 2.0, plans are underway for the third iteration of what has fast become an Oxford tradition. Please reserve the date of 22 April 2023 (Saturday before Trinity Term) and spread the word! 

Opportunities:

  • Oxford Medieval Commentary Network Second Conference, 29 September 2022: Call for Papers and Sign-up. Proposals are invited for the second conference organised by the Oxford Medieval Commentary Network, following the successful launch of the Network last year. The one-day conference will take place at Christ Church, Oxford, on 29 September 2022. For full details, please see our blog.
  • Graduate Convenor for the Medieval Mystery Cycle 2023: we are looking for a graduate convenor who will take on the mantle of Eleanor Baker in masterminding the operation. Have a look at seh.ox.ac.uk/mystery-cycle for getting a sense of the scope and watching the plays performed in 2019 and 2022. Please send expressions of interest for the Graduate Convenor by 30 June 2022 to Co-Directors Henrike Lähnemann and Lesley Smith under medieval@torch.ox.ac.uk.
  • CFP: Christian Political Cultures in Late Antiquity. We invite papers for a conference (and planned edited volume) on Christian Political Cultures in Late Antiquity. This conference is designed as a pre-publication workshop for a planned edited volume on Christian Political Cultures in Late Antiquity. The deadline for proposals is 30 June 2022. Please send a title and an abstract (no longer than 500 words) to robin.whelan@liverpool.ac.uk. If you have questions, do not hesitate to get in touch with one of the organisers. For full details, click here.
  • CFP: Early Book Society University of Limerick, 11th-15th July 2023: Meaning, Memory, and the Making of Culture: Manuscripts and Books, 1350–1550. The 18th biennial conference of the Early Book Society will be hosted by Carrie Griffin and Eleanor Giraud at the University of Limerick from 11th to 14th July 2023, with an excursion on 15th July. Confirmed keynote speakers include John Thompson, Emeritus Professor, Queen’s University Belfast, and Lisa Fagin Davis, Executive Director, Medieval Academy of America. Planned activities include an early music concert and hands-on use of the university’s printing press. Please mark your calendars.  We invite proposals for 20-minute papers, themed panels (three papers and a chair), roundtables, and 5-minute lightning papers (ideal for work-in-progress updates). Scholars at all levels, including graduate students and early career researchers, are cordially invited to participate. 

Finally: It has been an honour and a delight to be your guide to all things Medieval in Oxford this academic year. Here is my final piece of Old English wisdom for the academic year, taken from the Old English Maxims:

Ræd biþ nyttost,
yfel unnyttost.

Good advice is the most useful, bad the least useful.

I hope that some of this year’s Old English Wisdom has fallen into the former category! I am delighted to be remaining in my role as Comms Officer for 2022-23, so I will be back in your inboxes come September. Until then, I wish you all a productive and restful summer – may you enjoy these ‘sigelbeorhte dagas’ (sun-bright days)!

Medievalists leaving Oxford for the summer encounter some strange adventures…
Merton College, MS 249, f. 7r.
View image and text in the Taylor Edition by Sebastian Dow

Medievalist Events at Oxford Festival of the Arts

The Art of Illumination: makers and users of medieval manuscripts

Prof Michelle Brown, Patricia Lovett MBE, Dr Andrew Dunning

June 25, Lecture Theatre, Weston Library, 2pm – 4.30pm

It is the brilliance of yellow gold set off by jewel colours that makes so many mediaeval manuscripts so eye-catching.”

Join us for fascinating insight with our festival triumvirate of experts on illuminated manuscripts. Fresh from her involvement in the British Library’s journey from East to West through the dazzling beauty of fifty spectacular manuscripts across cultures for their exhibition
‘Gold’, world-renowned scribe and illuminator, Patricia Lovett MBE will talk about the origin and use of pigments and the mediaeval craft processes that enabled these luminous manuscripts to ‘catch the light’. Professor Emerita of Medieval MS Studies (SAS, University of London) and former Curator of Illuminated Manuscripts at the British Library, Michelle Brown will discuss these wonders from an historical perspective, using the manuscripts as windows into the lives of those who made and used them, and into the age in which they were made. This evening of medieval wonder is made whole by the display on manuscripts curated by Dr Andrew Dunning, R.W. Hunt Curator of Medieval Manuscripts; Supernumerary Fellow in Book History (Jesus College), who will speak to the manuscripts.

This event was curated to coincide with Sensational Books – a Bodleian Libraries exhibition at ST Lee Gallery, Weston Library.

Details & Booking for THE ART OF ILLUMINATION.



Illuminated Manuscript Workshop with Patricia Lovett MBE

June 26, Magdalen College School Studio, 10am – 5pm

Patricia Lovett MBE is a world-renowned scribe and illuminator who has taught and lectured at many prestigious institutions in the UK and abroad.

This is your chance to join the Festival Glitterati! Spend a day illuminating with real gold leaf and painting an animal from a medieval bestiary (book of beasts). You will be able to choose your own animal to copy from a small selection and be shown how to prepare calfskin vellum for painting, how to apply gold leaf and the sequence of medieval painting for miniatures using a fine Kolinsky sable brush. You will go home with your illumination on vellum ready to frame.

Since this workshop is one which will have a focus on one-to-one instruction, it is restricted to 16 people. We suggest early booking. Anyone taking part in this workshop will need to be contacted by Patricia in advance of the session, so please be aware that email and/or other contact will be required.

Details & Booking for ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT WORKSHOP.


Professor Robert Bartlett: The Middle Ages and the Movies

June 27, Festival Marquee, 8pm

 ‘This book will entertain and intrigue historians and film buffs alike. In a wide-ranging critical study of the creative process that tackles head-on the exchange between historical fact and artistic licence, Robert Bartlett shows how twentieth-century cinema’s variously imagined Middle Ages speak as much to modern sensibilities as to any reconstructed past.’ – Professor Christopher Tyerman

How was Umberto Eco’s Name of the Rose translated from page to screen? Why is Monty Python and the Holy Grail funny? And how was Eisenstein’s Alexander Nevsky shaped by the Stalinist tyranny under which it was filmed?  These, and many more questions will be answered tonight by eminent historian Robert Bartlett, who takes a fresh, cogent look at how our view of medieval history has been shaped by eight significant films of the twentieth century: from the concoction of sex and nationalism in Mel Gibson’s Braveheart, to Fritz Lang’s silent masterpiece Siegfried; the art-house classic The Seventh Seal to Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublev and the epic historical drama El Cid.

Robert Bartlett is Bishop Wardlaw Professor of Mediaeval History Emeritus at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. His many books include the Wolfson Prize-winning The Making of Europe: Conquest, Colonization and Cultural Change, 950–1350 (1994), and he has written and presented three television series for the BBC, Inside the Medieval Mind, The Normans and The Plantagenets.

Details & Booking for ROBERT BARTLETT.


Treasures from Around the World at New College Library

July 2, 11am-4pm, Lecture Room 4, New College

More manuscripts survive from the medieval library of New College than from that of any other Oxford or Cambridge college. Today, New College Library holds what is probably the finest collection of medieval manuscripts of any of the Oxford colleges, also holding more incunabula (15th-century European imprints) than any other undergraduate college at Oxford. The Library’s collections of rare and early printed books are likewise spectacular.

View some of the Library’s fabulous manuscript and rare book treasures from around the world. Our world tour starts from 13th-century Catte Street, Oxford with one of the world’s great illuminated manuscripts (now housed just a few hundred metres away from where it was first created), and it takes in gorgeous and resplendent manuscripts and printed books from China to Constantinople, by means of Arabic, Armenian, Belgian, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, and Syrian treasures, which date from the 11th century onwards.

Details & Booking for TREASURES FROM NEW COLLEGE. Entrance is free


British Society of Master Glass Painters

Centenary Touring Exhibition

The Chapter House, Christ Church Cathedral (throughout the festival)

Coming to Oxford from the cathedrals of Ely, Winchester, Wells and Worcester, this touring exhibition of stained glass panels celebrates the centenary of the British Society of Master Glass Painters. Over 90 artists from across the UK and overseas contributed to the exhibition. The tour highlights 60 of these panels that celebrate the unique art of glass. The works have been created using both traditional and modern glass techniques, demonstrating the extraordinary range of stained glass currently practiced.

The artists explore a variety of subjects such as the environment and the beauty of nature. The exhibition portrays an understanding of the concerns of glass artists a hundred years after the society was established to help stained glass remain relevant today. Displayed in the Chapter House of Christ Church Cathedral, this exhibition will also give the visitor the chance to explore the Romanesque doorway and interior.

Founded in 1921, the British Society of Master Glass Painters is the UK’s leading organisation
devoted exclusively to the art and craft of stained glass. In collaboration with Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford.


Dr Janina Ramirez in discussion with Peter Frankopan

July 5, 7.30pm, Festival Marquee, Magdalen College School, Oxford

We look forward to a stimulating and lively conversation between two brilliant Oxford historians; Dr Janina Ramirez, cultural historian, broadcaster and author, whose passion for communicating ideas about the past is always conveyed with an infectious enthusiasm, as exemplified in her brand new book FEMINA: A New History of the Middle Ages Through the Women Written Out of It; and the acclaimed historian Peter Frankopan, Professor of Global History and Director of the Centre for Byzantine Research at Oxford University, who is particularly interested in ‘exchanges and connections between regions and peoples’. Peter’s seminal book The Silk Roads: A New History of the World, (Dazzling – The Guardian; Phenomenal – Die Welt) was an international bestseller, topping the non-fiction charts all around the world, followed by The New Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the World, a ‘masterly mapping out of a new world order’ (Evening Standard).

Join us tonight to see the medieval world with fresh eyes and discover why the remarkable women ‘rediscovered’ in Janina’s Femina were removed from our collective memories. This book is a ground-breaking reappraisal of medieval history revealing why women were struck from our historical narrative, and restoring them to their rightful positions as the power-players who shaped the world we live in today.

Details & Booking for DR JANINA RAMIREZ IN DISCUSSION WITH PETER FRANCOPAN.


John Leighfield: Atlases and Maps

July 6, 5pm-7pm, Magdalen College School Studio

Join John Leighfield CBE, for his highly illustrated talk about how the maps of Oxford have developed from the 16th century until the present. Highly respected for his knowledge of the maps of the county and city of Oxford, John has had a passion for maps since his schooldays and has built a marvellous collection, some of which will be on display after the talk.

Details & Booking for ATLASES AND MAPS.

Call to Action: Medieval Mystery Cycle 2023

Following the successful Medieval Mystery Cycle 2.0, plans are underway for the third iteration of what has fast become an Oxford tradition. Please reserve the date of 22 April 2023 (Saturday before Trinity Term) and spread the word! We are looking for actors, directors, musicians, prop makers, and above all a graduate convenor who will take on the mantle of Eleanor Baker in masterminding the operation. Have a look at seh.ox.ac.uk/mystery-cycle for getting a sense of the scope and watching the plays performed in 2019 and 2022.

Please send expressions of interest for the Graduate Convenor by 30 June 2022 to Co-Directors Henrike Lähnemann and Lesley Smith under medieval@torch.ox.ac.uk

Coffee Morning with Professor William Chester Jordan

The Faculty of History and Oxford Medieval Studies are pleased to invite you to an informal meet and greet coffee morning with William Chester Jordan (Professor of Medieval History,
Princeton University) on the occasion of his reception of an honorary degree of the University of Oxford.
When? Thursday 23rd June, 10.30am-12 noon
Where? The garden of Harris Manchester College (Mansfield Road), or in the Warrington
Room in the case of rain.
Coffee and croissants will be provided.
For catering purposes, please register your attendance if possible:
https://forms.gle/AkvPUsX2Ur1hbgTU7

Bill Jordan gave the 2021 Oxford Medieval Studies keynote lecture “A Thirteenth-Century Polymath Considers the Jews” – watch it here:

Oxford Medieval Studies lecture 2021

Dag Nikolaus Hasse (Würzburg University): What is European? Medieval, Colonial and Postcolonial Perspectives

Friday, 10 June 2022, 5pm, in St Edmund Hall, Old Library

We often talk about Europe, but our traditional ideas about European culture are questionable. This is because we carry views from the colonial and romantic periods that distort our image of history and geography and may prove a burden for future coexistence on the continent. I would like to encourage us to think more openly about Europe, about its broad cultural roots and its intensive relations with its continental neighbours. 
This includes reflecting on medieval clichés: medieval Europe was not a “Christian land” as the Romantics Novalis and Chateaubriand dreamed it. It was much more than that.

If you would like to participate remotely, please contact Henrike Lähnemann to be added to a teams call.

Storyteller (meddah) at a coffeehouse in the Ottoman Empire. The first coffeehouses appeared in the Islamic world in the 15th century. Source: Wikimedia

(23rd May) Botany and Zoology Treasure of New College Library

When? – 11 am – 4 pm, Monday 23rd May
Where? – New College’s Lecture Room 4

As part of New College Library’s series of subject-themed exhibitions, on Monday, 23 May we shall have on display for you rare books and manuscripts from the library’s fabulous collections relating to Botany and Zoology.

This exhibition is the latest in a series, instituted in 2018 by the library, that has so far featured Classics, Geometry and Astronomy, Modern Languages, and New College Women Writers.  And it marks our return to subject-themed exhibitions since the start of the pandemic.

For this display, we are providing you with a rare opportunity to see, among many other treasures: a 13th-century manuscript of Pliny’s Historia naturalis; the first known description of plants from the Americas (1542) by Leonhart Fuchs (after whom the fuchsia is named); the best-known English herbal, by John Gerard (1633); the first published book by New College fellow Robert Sharrock, on growing vegetables (1660); a first edition of Robert Hooke’s spectacular Micrographia (1665); and a printed natural history of Oxfordshire, with the first known published illustration of a dinosaur bone (1677).

From 11 am till 4 pm on Monday in New College’s Lecture Room 4, we shall be exhibiting for you—with explanatory captions—some of our Botany and Zoology treasures.

Please do come along—and enjoy our exhibition.

We very much hope to see you there.

ETC Seminar on Textual Cultures in Contact (Oxford, TT22)

The Early Text Cultures research cluster based at Oxford is pleased to present its Research Seminar series in Trinity Term (May and June 2022), which will be on ‘Textual Cultures in Contact’. Through sessions comprising paired papers, this seminar series will enable participants and attendees alike to gain fresh perspectives on the nature of ‘contact’ among textual cultures, and on the affordances and limitations of their fields’ methods and approaches to the topic. 

The seminar will be held in a hybrid form, with Zoom connection complementing on-site presence atthe Dickson Poon Building (China Centre, Oxford), Lucina Ho Seminar Room, on Tuesdays 16:30-18:00 UK time. Auditors are most welcome to attend in person. Zoom links will be provided on each session’s day to those who sign up here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1BtWbVHXkBFq-CvimjVnVolSeDcpR54ssZdWUC6jf15I/edit.

Please find the programme below; abstracts may be found on our website (https://www.earlytextcultures.org/events/current-events/research-seminar-tt-22).

Programme

§ Session 1 (17 May)
Cross-Cultural Competition
(Near East, Hebrew Bible, Greece)

Joe Barber (Oxford): ‘Walk about the City and See Its Walls: An Echo of the Epic of Gilgameš in Psalm 48?’
Alexander Meeus (Mannheim): ‘Josephus’ Historiographical Theory in Against Apion: Jewish or Greek Method?’

§ Session 2 (24 May)
Scribes as Cultural Vehicles
(Near East, China and the Silk Road)

Ludovica Bertolini (Prague): ‘A Preliminary Reflection on the Use of Sumerian Literature in Scribal Education at Ugarit’ 
Christopher Foster (SOAS) & Tomas Larsen Høisæter (Western Norway): ‘Writing Between Empires: Script Use in the Tarim Basin along the Southern Silk Road’

§ Session 3 (7 June)
Materiality of Translation 
(Medieval Greek and Latin, China)

Erene Rafik Morcos (Princeton/Rome): ‘… διὰ χειρὸς τοῦ πολυαμαρτήτου ῾Ρωμανοῦ… by the hand of the great sinner Romanos …’ 
Nelson Landry (Oxford): ‘A Five Dynasties Manuscript in Relation to Tang Buddhist Culture: A Study of S.3728 from the British Library’

§ Session 4 (14 June)
Religion Through Cultural Boundaries
(Iran, India and China)

Aleksandra Wenta (Florence): ‘Early Tantric Magic: An Example of Śaiva (Hindu)-Buddhist Intertextuality in Pre-modern India’ 
Francesco Barchi (Munich): ‘Traces of “Buddhist Iranian” in Early Chinese Buddhist Translations’

We hope to see many of you there!