Workshop ‘Cultures of Use and Reuse. Towards a Terminological and Methodological Framework of Reframing and Recycling’

When:  3-6 April 2023
Where: Multiple Locations in Oxford, including the Bodleian Library, the Ashmolean and the archive of Balliol College
What: In recent years, various terms and concepts have emerged to analyse the phenomena of use and re-use of medieval objects. This workshop will work towards a common terminological and methodological framework, starting with two key approaches: recycling and reframing. An interdisciplinary group of scholars will offer insights into their own research and their respective academic fields in a series of seminars and visits to collections based in Oxford.


Monday, 3 April
17.00-18.45 Opening Keynote Lecture, Weston Library Lecture Theatre
17.00-18.45: Lisa Fagin Davis (Boston, USA): Framing Fragments

Tuesday, 4 April
9.00-10.30 & 11.00-12.30 Weston Library Sessions

Dr Hannah Ryley introducing manuscripts during the hands-on session

14.00-17.00 Paper Panel Session, St Cross Church, Balliol College Archives
14.00-14.30: Catherine Casson (Mancester, UK): Pioneers of Sustainability: Repair, Reuse and Recycling in the Middle Ages and its Relevance for Today
14.30-15.00: Reinhold Reith/Georg Stöger (Salzburg, AT): Materials, Things and Actors in Pre-Industrial Reuse and Recycling
15.00-15.30: David Rundle (Kent, UK): Why would they do that? Binders Choices in Reusing Manuscript and Print ‘Waste’
16.00-16.30: Orietta Da Rold (Cambridge, UK): Paper Reborn: Collecting and Repurposing Practices by Antiquaries in Late 17th- and 18th-Century England
16.30-17.00: Anna Reynolds (Steffield, UK): The Material and Imaginative Lives of Waste Paper and Waste Parchment in Early Modern England

Wednesday, 5 April
9.00-10.30 & 11.00-12.30 Ashmolean Museum Session with Dr Jim Harris (Teaching Curator at the Ashmolean Museum)

Oxford Medieval Studies lecture including some objects discussed in the session

14.00 – 17.00 Paper Panels, Lecture Room 23, Balliol College Main Site
14.00-14.30: Malena Ratzke (Jena, DE): Reframing the Lives of Christ and Mary in Codices of the Speculum humanea salvationis 
15.00-15.30: Magdalena Butz (Munich, DE): Reframing “Beichtformulare”: From Paraliturgical Contexts to Middle High German Poetry
16.00-16.30: Stefanie Seeberg: Reuse and Reframing of Textiles in the Middle Ages
16.30-17.00: Juliette Calvarin (Berlin, DE): Looking for Amices: Reused or purpose-made Embroideries of the Holy Face

Thursday, 6 April
9.30-11.00 Paper Panel Session, St Cross Church, Balliol College Archives
9.30-10.00: Alison Ray (Oxford, UK): Veneration and Preservation: the Role of Christ Church Priory Library in the Cult of St Thomas Becket

Dr Alison Ray introducing the Becket volume during the Bodleian Library hands-on session

10.00-10.30: Henry Ravenhall (Cambridge, UK): Studying Cultures of Touch and Use in the Illuminated Manuscripts of the Medieval French Biography of Julius Caesar (Faits des Romains)
10.30-11.00: Katarzyna Kapitan (Oxford, UK): Priceless or Valueless: Fragments in the Arnamagnæan Collection
11.30-13.00 Roundtable Discussion

14.00-15.45 Closing Keynote, Weston Library Theatre
14.00-15.45 Feature it, or hide it? (Kate Rudy, St Andrews, UK)

Keynote Lectures: We are delighted to have Lisa Fagin Davis and Kate Rudy as keynote speakers for our workshop. Both keynote lectures are free, but registration is required. For futher information, please click on the names of the respective keynote speakers.

Convenors: JProf. Dr Julia. von Ditfurth (Faculty of Art History, University of Freiburg); Dr Hannah Ryley (Balliol College, University of Oxford); Carolin Gluchowski, M.A. (New College, University of Oxford) in collaboration with the Ashmolean Museum Oxford, the Bodleian Libraries Oxford, and Balliol College Library.

This event this generously supported by the Oxford Berlin Research Partnership, New College, Balliol College, the Centre for the Study of the Book, the Ashmolean Museum, and the Bodleian Library. We are delighted to collaborate with Henrike Lähnemann, Alexandra Franklin, Andrew Dunning, and Jim Harris.

Image: Bodleian Library MS. Lat. liturg. f. 4, 9r: The prayerbooks of the Cistercian convent of Medingen are an outstanding example for the reworking of manuscripts in the course of late-medieval church reforms.

CfP: Textual Cultures in Contact

Early Text Cultures at Oxford, Trinity Term 2022

The Early Text Cultures research group based at the University of Oxford invites papers for its Trinity Term 2022 seminar on ‘Textual Cultures in Contact’, which will bring together scholars whose research focus is the interactions between pre-modern textual cultures. 

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.    

Subjects and case studies might include (but are not limited to):   

  • Texts that embed or are shaped by intercultural textual or literary interaction  
  • Texts that consciously reflect on that type of interaction (e.g. translations, adaptations, ancient or modern ethnographic accounts)
  • Histories of terminology and theoretical frameworks used to conceptualise ‘contact’ between textual cultures 
  • Investigations into the material, social and intellectual conditions that determined, and were shaped by, these interactions  
  • Examinations of the power relationships (political or otherwise) implicit in cross-cultural interactions  

If you would like to present a 20-minute paper at one of the seminars, please send an abstract of no more than 250 words to by Monday 11 April.

Papers by early-career and graduate researchers are particularly welcome. The seminar will be held in a hybrid form, taking place both in Oxford and on Zoom for those joining us from further afield. Speakers and auditors will be welcome but by no means obliged to come to Oxford to attend.  

The organising committee of the Early Text Cultures research cluster includes graduate students and early career researchers from different disciplinary backgrounds such as Classics (Bernardo Ballesteros Petrella, Domenico Giordani), Old-Norse studies (James Parkhouse), Early Chinese (Flaminia Pischedda, Maddalena Poli) and Japanese studies (Tasha Downs), Egyptology (Jordan Miller), and comparative literature (Harry Carter).

More information on our methodology and our past events can be found on our website. To be added to our mailing list, please email or