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

The 2022 Medium Ævum Annual Lecture

The Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature are pleased to announce the 2022 Medium Ævum Annual Lecture will be 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

Dr Perry’s lecture will examine several devotional texts (such as pseudo-Bonaventure’s Meditationes vitae Christi and its English redaction by Nicholas Love) alongside manuscript assemblages to investigate how vernacular religious materials were put in service of individualised or household reading programmes. Such programmes might imitate the rhythms of the official liturgy or alternatively be understood in some respects as quasi-liturgies, reflecting improvised devotional regimens and structures of pious observance.

Registration details for in-person and online attendance are available at the following link: https://pfaff50.wordpress.com/keynote/

Medieval Matters: Week 8

Somehow we are now at the final week of the academic year! It seems to have flown by – it feels like only yesterday that I met many of you at the Michaelmas Term Medieval Roadshow. This year we’ve enjoyed the return of in-person seminars, covering topics from late Byzantine Arabic and Persian poetry to St Birgitta of Sweden; a whole range of OMS events ranging from special lectures by Caroline Danforth and Lucy Pick to the Medieval Mystery Plays; and a whole host of exciting events and conferences. A very short but very appropriate piece of wisdom today, taken from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle:

Wurðe ðe god se ende
[May the end be good]

To ensure that this term has a good end, here is the roundup of events that you can enjoy:

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Release of Oxford Research in English Issue 13: Masks. The committee for Oxford Research in English (ORE), the journal of the Faculty of English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford, is pleased to announce the release of its latest issue! This issue has been slightly delayed from Autumn 2021, but we are happy to announce it is now fully published. Its theme was ‘Masks’, and the committee were excited to have so many submissions of such high quality. Please find a copy available for download or online reading at this link

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 13th June:

  • The Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar will take place on Zoom at 12.30-2pm. This week’s speaker is Stephanie Forrest (Cambridge), Byzantine-Armenian Doctrinal Discourse in the Period of the Early Islamic Conquests, c. 630-720. To register, please contact the organiser at james.cogbill@worc.ox.ac.uk. Please note that there is no need to register if you have previously subscribed to the seminar mailing list.
  • The Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group meets at 1-2pm on Teams. Sign up here for the mailing list to receive details of each week’s sessions: Contact Matthew Holford, Andrew Dunning or Tuija Ainonen for further details.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm at the Wharton Room, All Souls College and online on Teams. This week’s speaker is Alice Taylor (KCL), ‘The Problem of Politics in C12 Europe’. The Teams session can be accessed by logging in to Teams with your .ox.ac.uk account and joining the group “Medieval History Research Seminar” (team code rmppucs). If you have any difficulties please email: medhistsem@history.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Forgotten Christianities Seminar meets at 5pm online. Booking is essential so that you receive the link for the seminar: please click here. This week’s speakers are Dr Peter Miller (Iowa), ‘Learning Ascesis in Three Steps: Training Novices in the Reform Monastic Tradition of the Church of the East‘ and David Gyllenhaal (Princeton), ‘The Rebuke Homily: Collective Trauma and the Christianization of the Syriac Speaking Peasantry‘.

Tuesday 14th June:

  • The Oxford Numismatic Society meets at 5pm. This week is the McKenzie Lecture. For further information please contact the secretary: giorgia.capra@new.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at 5pm in Warrington Room, Harris Manchester College. This week’s speaker is Ian McDole (Keble), ‘Bruno of Toul or Leo IX? Progressing from bishop to pope‘.

Wednesday 15th June:

  • The Medieval German Seminar meets at 11.15-12.45 in St Edmund Hall in the Principal’s Drawing Room for a presentation by Linus Möllenbrink on his project of Reading Practices. For more information, please email henrike.laehnemann@seh.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval Trade Reading Group meets at 1pm in the Mertze Tate room of the History Faculty and online. Anyone interested in any element of medieval trade and its study are very welcome to join, from any department. To be added to the mailing list and team please email Annabel Hancock at annabel.hancock@history.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Iberian History Seminar takes place at 4.30pm at Rector’s Drawing Room, Exeter College. Today’s speaker will be Rosa Vidal Doval – ‘Tracing the Medieval Genealogies of ‘Limpieza de Sangre’.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5pm at Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St. Giles. This week’s speaker is Ugo Mondini (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften) – ‘John Mauropous: verse, structure, and poetry book‘.
  • The LIPS: Manuscript Studies Lecture takes place at 5pm at The Senate Room, First Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU. The speaker will be Sonja Drimmer (University of Massachusetts, Amherst), on “Witness/Copy/Record: Towards an Expansive Manuscript Studies“.

Thursday 16th June:

  • Choral Eucharist for Corpus Christi takes place at 12pm at St Edmund Hall. This lunchtime service in the Crypt of St Peter’s-in-the-East celebrates the Feast of Corpus Christi, instituted in the late Middle Ages to give thanks for the gift of Holy Communion. A consort will sing John Taverner’s Mean Mass for five voices and William Byrd’s Ave Verum Corpus. The service will conclude with a procession from the Crypt to the Chapel and with final Benediction hymns there.
  • The After Rome and Further East Seminar takes place Online. This week’s speaker is Barbara Roggema (CERES), ‘The Abbasid translation movement on the move: Qusta ibn Luqa’s refutation of the inimitability of the Qur’an and his move to Armenia’. Zoom meeting link.

Friday 17th June:

  • The Medievalist Coffee Morning takes place at 10.30pm in the Visiting Scholars Centre in the Weston Library (access via the Readers Entrance on Museum Road: straight ahead and up two floors!). This week, Andrew Dunning and Henrike Lähnemann will present the Bavarian prayerbook manuscript left by Nigel Palmer to the Bodleian Library (which used to have the shelfmark Utopia Armarium codicum bibliophilorum Cod. 1!).

OPPORTUNITIES:

  • Call for papers: Thematic issue “Memory and truthfulness in narratives of conflicts: England and France in the Middle Ages” We invite submissions of articles, translations and reviews. For more information, reach us at fernando.p.santos@unesp.br or Academia.edu (https://unesp.academia.edu/FernandoSantos). Don’t forget to have a look at Brathair (Journal of Celtic and Germanic Studies) (ISSN: 1519-9053) website: https://ppg.revistas.uema.br/…/bra…/announcement/view/72. Call for papers postponed until July, 30th.
  • Job Opening: Editorial Assistant for Studies in Late Antiquity. Studies in Late Antiquity (SLA) is a journal that provides a forum for scholarly research on global Late Antiquity (150 – 750 CE). This field-leading, international journal is published quarterly by University of California Press and is currently operated at Princeton University. We seek an editorial assistant for SLA who will oversee editorial management of the day-to-day operations of the journal. To apply, click: <https://main-princeton.icims.com/jobs/14999/editorial-assistant/job> To learn more about the journal, click: <https://online.ucpress.edu/sla>.

Finally, some timely wisdom from Beowulf about endings:

Ure æghwylc sceal ende gebidan
worolde lifes; wyrce se þe mote
domes ær deaþe.

[Each of us must await the end of life in this world; let him who can achieve glory before death.]

I interpret this to mean that, though term will inevitably end on Friday, we can nonetheless achieve medievalist glory in the meantime by enjoying seminars and events and catching up with our colleagues before we all go our separate ways for the summer! I’ll be back briefly next week with some final announcements / exciting opportunities happening over the summer, but for now, I wish you an enjoyable and ‘glorious’ last week of term.

[A Medievalist shocked and horrified to discover they have reached the end of the term]
Merton College, MS 249, f. 5v.
View image and text in the Taylor Edition by Sebastian Dows-Miller
https://editions.mml.ox.ac.uk/editions/bestiary/#Mustele

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

Medieval Matters: Week 7

Although the weather wasn’t always sunny, this weekend saw much celebration in Oxford, bringing both the platinum jubilee and LGBTQIA+ Pride! In honour of these events I have, of course, been on the look out for some seasonal wisdom. There is plenty of Old English guidance on kingship, but the Instructions for Christians holds some particularly pertinent wisdom on the subject for us as academics:

[Leornunge] geeadmodað eghwylcne kyng,
swilce þone earman eac aræreð

[Learning humbles every king, and likewise raises up the poor]

Though some seminars have now wound down for the summer, we still have plenty of opportunities for leornunge this week which are sure to raise us all up, both in mind and in spirit. Please see below for the weekly schedule:

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 6th June:

  • The Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar will take place on Zoom at 12.30-2pm. This week’s speaker is Natacha Puglisi (KCL), ‘Sanctity in Late Antiquity‘ (exact title TBC). To register, please contact the organiser at james.cogbill@worc.ox.ac.uk. Please note that there is no need to register if you have previously subscribed to the seminar mailing list.
  • The Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group meets at 1-2pm on Teams. Sign up here for the mailing list to receive details of each week’s sessions: https://web.maillist.ox.ac.uk/ox/info/medieval-latin-ms-reading. Contact Matthew Holford, Andrew Dunning Tuiija Ainonen for further details.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm at The Wharton Room, All Souls College and online on Teams. This week’s speaker is David d’Avray (UCL), ‘How to do medieval papal (and perhaps most) history’. The Teams session can be accessed by logging in to Teams with your .ox.ac.uk account and joining the group “Medieval History Research Seminar” (team code rmppucs). If you have any difficulties please email: medhistsem@history.ox.ac.uk.

Tuesday 7th June:

  • The Medieval Book Club meets at 3.30-4.30pm at the Old Law Library in Magdalen College. We will be reading on Women Writers: Women’s Letters.
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at 5pm in Warrington Room, Harris Manchester College. This week’s speaker is Scott Moynihan (Pembroke), ‘God Wills It? Crusade and inter-religious diplomacy in the 13th century‘.
  • The Medieval French Research Seminar meets online only at 5.15pm. This week’s speaker will be Domenic Leo (independent researcher): ‘“Authorial Presence” in a Manuscript of Guillaume de Machaut’s Collected Works (Paris, BnF, ms. Fr.1584)’. Please email helen.swift@st-hildas.ox.ac.uk for video-conference link.

Wednesday 8th June:

  • The Medieval German Seminar meets at 11.15-12.45 in St Edmund Hall, Old Library. We are discussing Seuse’s ‘Büchlein der ewigen Weisheit’, this week Nia Moseley-Roberts on Citational Practice in German and Latin and Rebekka Gründel on Women as readers. For more information, please email henrike.laehnemann@seh.ox.ac.uk.
  • Dumbarton Oaks Ukraine Lecture Series: The Cathedral of St. Sophia, Kyiv takes place online at 12-1.30pm. The cathedral of St. Sophia in the historic center of Kyiv dates to ca. 1037 and is one of the most remarkable medieval monuments of Kyivan Rus. This roundtable brings together three scholars who will address the distinctive architectural and decorative features of this impressive monument, as well as its visual and symbolic transformations from the Middle Ages into the present. Speakers: Thomas Dale (University of Wisconsin-Madison), “‘In Heaven or on Earth’: Saint Sophia in Kyiv and the Reinvention of Byzantine Sacred and Palatine Architecture in the Kyivan Rus”; Ioli Kalavrezou (Harvard University), “The Original Mosaic Program of St. Sophia in Kyiv”; and Sofia Korol’ (National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine), “To the History of the Interwar Church Decorations in Galicia: Kyivan Rus’ Images and Motifs (P. Kholodny and M. Osinchuk)”. To register, please click here to visit the website.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5pm at Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St. Giles. This week’s speaker is Arietta Papaconstantinou (University of Reading) – Greek letters from the Arab chancery: who wrote the governors’ missives in eight-century Fusṭāṭ.

Thursday 9th June:

  • The Middle High German Reading Group meets at 10am at Somerville College Productivity Room (Margery Fry). This term’s topic is ‘Maeren’. If you have any questions or want to participate, please send an e-mail to melina.schmidt@lincoln.ox.ac.uk.
  • Oxford Medieval Society Public Lecture: Christine de Pizan: Guilty Feminist? Dr Charlotte Cooper-Davis will give this lecture in the New Seminar Room in St. John’s College, 1-2.30pm. All are very welcome, and please do not hesitate to get in touch with any questions at oxfordmedievalsociety@gmail.com. We look forward to seeing many of you there!
  • The After Rome and Further East Seminar takes place at Trinity College (Levine Auditorium) at 5pm. This week’s speaker is Adrian Pirtea (Universität Wien), ‘Syriac Monastic Networks and the Transfer of Knowledge between the Eastern Mediterranean, Sasanian Iran and Central Asia’. Follow the link to the Zoom meeting.
  • The Old English Reading Group takes place at 5.30pm. For more information and to receive the text in advance email eugenia.vorobeva@jesus.ox.ac.uk.

Friday 10th June:

  • The Medievalist Coffee Morning takes place at 10.30pm in the Visiting Scholars Centre in the Weston Library (access via the Readers Entrance on Museum Road: straight ahead and up two floors!)
  • The Anglo-Norman Reading Group meets at 5pm in Taylorian Room 2 and on Zoom. This term, Luca Crisma (EPHE, Paris) will lead reading of the Anglo-Norman Letter of Prester John. For texts, joining instructions, and further information, please email Stephanie Hathaway or Jane Bliss.
  • Lecture at St Edmund Hall: Dag Nikolaus Hasse (Würzburg University) will speak on ‘What is European? Medieval, Colonial and Postcolonial Perspectives‘ at 5pm in St Edmund Hall Old Library and on Teams. If you would like to participate remotely, please contact Henrike Lähnemann to be added to the teams call.

Finally, in the spirit of Pride, some wisdom contained in a 12th Century lesbian love letter written by a nun, preserved in München Clm 19411:

Revera iuxta quendam sapientem magna miseria est hominis,
cum illo non esse
sine quo non potest esse

[Indeed, as a certain wise person says, it is a great misery for somebody not to be with the person without whom they cannot be.]

May your week be filled with all of the people and learning without whom you cannot be!

[A couple of Medievalists, having had a rather celebratory weekend, take a small break from being raised up by learning to enjoy just ‘being’]
Merton College, MS 249, f. 9v.
View image and text in the Taylor Edition by Sebastian Dows-Miller
https://editions.mml.ox.ac.uk/editions/bestiary/#Colum

Medieval Matters: Week 6

June seems to have snuck up on us: already we are fast approaching the end of the academic year! One very nice aspect of this is that the days are getting so much longer and lighter. The Old English Menologium or ‘Metrical Calendar’ tells us that the reason for this is that the sun wishes to spend longer regarding the earth:

Wyle syððan leng
grund behealdan and gangan lator
ofer foldan wang fægerust leohta,
woruldgesceafta.

[Then the fairest of lights and of things in this world wishes to behold the ground longer and go more slowly over the earth]

I interpret this to mean: no matter how busy and important a person might be, it is still important to take a moment to slow down and ponder! Take time this week to ‘behold’ some of the events that we have on offer:

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Save the date: on Thursday 9th June 2022, Dr Charlotte Cooper-Davis will give a lecture entitled “Christine de Pizan: Guilty Feminist?”. The lecture will take place in the New Seminar Room in St. John’s College, 13:00-14.30. All are very welcome, and please do not hesitate to get in touch with any questions at oxfordmedievalsociety@gmail.com. We look forward to seeing many of you there!
  • New Seminar Series:Forgotten Christianities‘ is a seminar series exploring critical theories of identity formation, communal memory, and intellectual exchange. Each session will bring together doctoral students and ERCs from various fields such as history, archaeology, theology, and the social sciences. Spanning Late Antiquity, the early Islamic era, and the Middle Ages, they will provide a diachronic and kaleidoscopic view of these historical communities and their self-representation. Seminars will be held on Zoom. For further details, and to sign up for events in advance, please click here or contact forgottenchristianities@gmail.com.

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 30th May:

  • The Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar will take place on Zoom at 12.30-2pm. This week’s speaker is Luca Farina (Tübingen), ‘Arabo-Greek Astrological Manuscripts: The Vind. Phil. Gr. 115 and Its Anonymous Chapters‘. To register, please contact the organiser at james.cogbill@worc.ox.ac.uk. Please note that there is no need to register if you have previously subscribed to the seminar mailing list.
  • The Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group meets at 1-2pm on Teams. Sign up here for the mailing list to receive details of each week’s sessions: Contact Matthew Holford, Andrew Dunning or Tuija Ainonen for further details.
  • The Oxford Medieval Commentary Network meets at 4pm at Lecture Theatre 2, Christ Church. This week’s speaker is Audrey Southgate, ‘Experiments in Openness: Reading the Wycliffite Interpretations of the Psalms’. For further information, email cosima.gillhammer@chch.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm online on Teams. Please note that there is no in-person seminar this week. This week’s speaker is Fanny Bessard (Trinity), ‘Riches and Respect. Baghdad’s robber barons (892-945)’. The Teams session can be accessed by logging in to Teams with your .ox.ac.uk account and joining the group “Medieval History Research Seminar” (team code rmppucs). If you have any difficulties please email: medhistsem@history.ox.ac.uk.

Tuesday 31st May:

  • The Oxford Numismatic Society meets at 5pm. This week’s speaker is Dr. Elena Baldi – works on Ostrogothic coinage, title TBC. For further information please contact the secretary: giorgia.capra@new.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at 5pm in Warrington Room, Harris Manchester College. This week’s speakers are Diana Myers (St Benet’s Hall), ‘Gendered authority in the Barking Abbey Ordinal (Oxford, Univ. Coll. MS 169)‘ and Barbara Pinto De Almeida Lima (Wolfson), ‘Sexual Agency and Violence: the construction of female sexuality in the 13thc pastourelle‘.

Wednesday 1st June:

  • There is no meeting of the Medieval German Seminar.
  • The Medieval Trade Reading Group meets at 1pm in the Mertze Tate room of the History Faculty and online. Anyone interested in any element of medieval trade and its study are very welcome to join, from any department. To be added to the mailing list and team please email Annabel Hancock at annabel.hancock@history.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5pm at Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St. Giles. This week’s speaker is Ine Jacobs (University of Oxford), ‘The Byzantine Dark Ages at Aphrodisias‘.
  • The Medieval English Research Seminar meets at 5.15pm in Lecture Theatre 2, Faculty of English. This week’s speaker will be Vincent Gillespie (University of Oxford), ‘Preaching to the choir: a sceptical look at English Carthusian transmission of vernacular spiritual writings’ (chaired by Laura Ashe). For further information, contact daniel.wakelin@ell.ox.ac.uk.

Thursday 2nd June:

  • The Middle High German Reading Group meets at 10am at Somerville College Productivity Room (Margery Fry). This term’s topic is ‘Maeren’. If you have any questions or want to participate, please send an e-mail to melina.schmidt@lincoln.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Greek and Latin Reading Group meets at 4pm in Harold Wilson Room, Jesus College – meet at Jesus lodge. This week’s text is Lucian, The Dream (or, the Cock) 18-19. Contact John Colley or Jenyth Evans to be added to the mailing list.
  • The After Rome and Further East Seminar takes place at Trinity College (Levine Auditorium). This week’s speaker is Alberto Riggolio (Durham), ‘Towards a History of Syriac Rhetoric in Late Antiquity’. Zoom meeting link.

Friday 3rd June:

  • Because of the bank holiday, there will be no Medievalists Coffee Morning this week. But do return next week when Chris Fletcher has promised we will be shown one very recent  acquisition and one which had been ‘hiding in plain sight’ for almost 100 years and is effectively new! 

OPPORTUNITIES:

  • CFP: The Great Medieval Feast, c.1050-1500: We ask for paper submissions covering topics on European feasting cultures and practices between c.1050–c.1500. These include papers that cover works or portrayals of courts outside Europe, but have some basis in European literature, art, or practice. Please send abstracts of up to 250 words to thegreatmedievalfeast@gmail.com. Paper presentations should last 20-minutes. Papers can cover material from any language, but sources not in English should be presented with translations. Presenters can be at any stage in their career; we particularly welcome early career researchers. For full details please see the full CFP here.

Finally, for days when it isn’t as sunny, some wisdom on a more metaphorical kind of light:

Wisdom is leoht wera æghwilcum
to habbanne her on weoruldæ.

[Wisdom is a light for all to have here in this world]

Of course, I hope that you get to enjoy the light of wisdom and of the sun this week!

[A very busy Medievalist carves out a little time for themselves]
Merton College, MS 249, f. 8v.
View image and text in the Taylor Edition by Sebastian Dows-Miller
https://editions.mml.ox.ac.uk/editions/bestiary/#Fenix

Medieval Matters: Week 5

We are now half way through Trinity Term! Though it is one of the busiest times of year, we also get to enjoy how beautiful Oxford looks in the sunshine. The fact that everything just looks better in the summer is acknowledged in the Old English Seafarer:

Bearwas blostmum nimað, byrig fægriað,
wongas wlitigað

[The groves begin blossoming, the cities grow fair, the plains become beautiful]

Even if it’s not sunny outside, we can still enjoy some nature today: if you would like a break from work, New College Library has a one-day exhibition in lecture room 4 from 11-4pm, showing rare books and manuscripts from the library’s fabulous collections relating to Botany and Zoology, including a 13th-century manuscript of Pliny’s Historia naturalis! Though not all of our offerings this week are so nature-inspired, they will nonetheless bring plenty of joy, and make Oxford feel brighter, whether you’re frantically finishing your MSt dissertation or marking exams:

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Registration open: Oxford conference on Julian of Norwich. “New Visions of Julian of Norwich” is a conference which will take place at Somerville College, Oxford, on Friday 15th-Saturday 16th July 2022, bringing together old and new voices on the work of the medieval visionary, theologian, and writer Julian of Norwich. The conference is organized by Antje E. Chan (Lincoln College, Oxford), Godelinde Gertrude Perk (Somerville, Oxford), Raphaela Rohrhofer (Somerville, Oxford), Alicia Smith (English Faculty, Oxford). To see the programme, please visit the conference website here. Click here to book: in-person bookings available till 29th June, online bookings open till 11th July.
  • 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, on Thursday 23rd June, 10.30am-12 noon, at the garden of Harris Manchester College. For catering purposes, please register your attendance here by 14th June. NB: Bill Jordan’s lecture for OMS “A Thirteenth-Century Polymath Considers the Jews” from last year is available to watch online.
  • Small grants are open once again! Send in 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.
  • Postponed: Oxford Medieval Commentary Network Lecture Series. Due to speaker illness the convenors have had to postpone the next lecture, originally planned for 23 May. They will aim to reschedule this for another week later this term. The lecture series will continue on 30 May (Week 6), 4pm, with Audrey Southgate’s lecture on ‘Experiments in Openness: Reading the Wycliffite Interpretations of the Psalms’.

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 23rd May:

  • Botany and Zoology Treasures of New College Library: 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. 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.
  • The Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar will take place on Zoom at 12.30-2pm. This week’s speaker is Tiffany VanWinkoop (Wisconsin-Madison), ‘Blueprints of Power: Roman Statecraft and Politics in Konstantinos VII’s ‘Book of Ceremonies. To register, please contact the organiser at james.cogbill@worc.ox.ac.uk. Please note that there is no need to register if you have previously subscribed to the seminar mailing list.
  • The Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group meets at 1-2pm on Teams. Sign up here for the mailing list to receive details of each week’s sessions: https://web.maillist.ox.ac.uk/ox/info/medieval-latin-ms-reading. Contact Matthew Holford, Andrew Dunning Tuiija Ainonen for further details.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm at The Wharton Room, All Souls College and online on Teams. This week’s speaker is Giles Gasper (Durham), ‘Comets, Elements, and Pastoral Care: Framing Medieval Science in Collaborative Working’. The Teams session can be accessed by logging in to Teams with your .ox.ac.uk account and joining the group “Medieval History Research Seminar” (team code rmppucs). If you have any difficulties please email: medhistsem@history.ox.ac.uk.

Tuesday 24th May:

  • The Medieval Book Club meets at 3.30-4.30pm at the Old Law Library in Magdalen College. We will be reading on Women Writers: Medical and Scientific.
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at 5pm in Warrington Room, Harris Manchester College. This week’s speakers are Catriona Dowden (Oriel), ‘The Mappa Mundi and Medieval Visions of Pilgrimage‘, Kelli Anderson (Somerville), ‘The Gate to Heaven: the use of spiralling strigillations as a framing technique in early medieval art & architecture‘, and Gabrielle Samra (St John’s), ‘Anthropophagous Predation: An Examination of the Middle English Richard Coer de Lyon in the Framework of Medieval Anti-Jewish Blood Libels‘. Please note that the line-up has slightly changed due to speaker illness last week.

Wednesday 25th May:

  • The Medieval German Seminar meets at 11.15-12.45 in St Edmund Hall, Old Library. We are going to discuss Seuse’s ‘Büchlein der ewigen Weisheit’, this week Anna Wilmore will introduce Suso as mystical troubadour. For more information, please email henrike.laehnemann@seh.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5pm at Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St. Giles. This week’s speaker is Priscilla Ralli (French school of Archaeology, Athens) – ‘Architecture and Sculpture in the Early Byzantine Peloponnese: Defining a Regional Context’.
  • The Medieval English Research Seminar meets at 5.15pm in Lecture Theatre 2, Faculty of English. This week’s speaker will be Helen Barr, Cosima Gillhammer, Vincent Gillespie, Elizabeth Solopova and Annie Sutherland, ‘On the work of the late Anne Hudson (1938-2021)’ (chaired by Kantik Ghosh). For further information, contact daniel.wakelin@ell.ox.ac.uk.

Thursday 26th May:

  • The Middle High German Reading Group meets at 10am at Somerville College Productivity Room (Margery Fry). This term’s topic is ‘Maeren’. If you have any questions or want to participate, please send an e-mail to melina.schmidt@lincoln.ox.ac.uk.
  • Marriages, Unmarriages, and Subjectivities: A Roundtable Discussion with Professors Sara McDougall and Hannah Skoda. The Oxford Medieval Society invites all interested parties to attend the event on Thursday 26th May at 1-2.30, in the New Seminar Room in St. John’s College. Participants will be able to ask questions and engage in discussion with Professor McDougall and Professor Skoda on a shared area of their research, Marriages, Unmarriages, and Subjectivities.
  • The Greek and Latin Reading Group meets at 4pm in Harold Wilson Room, Jesus College – meet at Jesus lodge. This week’s text is Ovid, Heroides 10.1-59. Contact John Colley or Jenyth Evans to be added to the mailing list.
  • The After Rome and Further East Seminar takes place at Trinity College (Levine Room 5) at 5pm. This week’s speaker is Lucy Parker (Oxford) ‘Holy Men and the End of Antiquity’. Follow the link to the Zoom meeting.
  • The Old English Reading Group takes place at 5.30pm. For more information and to receive the text in advance email eugenia.vorobeva@jesus.ox.ac.uk.

Friday 27th May:

  • The Medievalist Coffee Morning takes place at 10.30pm in the Visiting Scholars Centre in the Weston Library (access via the Readers Entrance on Museum Road: straight ahead and up two floors!)
  • The Anglo-Norman Reading Group meets at 5pm in Taylorian Room 2 and on Zoom. This term, Luca Crisma (EPHE, Paris) will lead reading of the Anglo-Norman Letter of Prester John. For texts, joining instructions, and further information, please email Stephanie Hathaway or Jane Bliss.

OPPORTUNITIES:

  • The Society for Medieval Archaeology Annual Conference is taking place next month in Oxford AND online. From June 24-26, the Society for Medieval Archaeology annual conference will bring together an international group of scholars at Rewley House, Oxford to talk about early medieval migrations, present new DNA data and discuss how such data should be interpreted in terms of the wider cultural implications of migration and mobility. Please visit the following page for more details.
  • PGR/ECR Scholarships to attend the Harlaxton Medieval Symposium: Applications for the Dobson Scholarships are welcome until Tuesday 31st May. These cover conference fees for two PGRs or ECRs working on any aspect of medieval death and dying, and are an excellent opportunity for emerging historians to meet academics and experts and to share their research. Even if you are not eligible for the scholarships, please do pass on the information to anyone you think might be interested: for full information, click here.
  • This year’s conference organised by the Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East (SSCLE) will be held at Royal Holloway, University of London, from 27 June to 1 July 2022. It will feature a large number of exciting papers detailing the latest research being carried out by scholars of crusading and the Latin East, with several plenary presentations by international historians, as well as a trip to medieval sites and plenty of opportunities to meet other scholars. You can attend the conference in person (in Egham, UK) or online. Find out more about this event by visiting sscleconference.com and click here to register.
  • Two Associate Lectureships in Art History pre-1800 at the University of St Andrews for semester one (1 September to 15 January). The deadline is 27 May (next Friday) and the details are here: https://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/CPM132/associate-lecturer-in-art-history-pre-1800-aoac1807rxnb.

Finally, some further wisdom on good weather from Maxims I:

Seoc se biþ þe to seldan ieteð þeah hine mon on sunnan læde,
ne mæg he be þy wedre wesan

[The one who eats too seldom will be sick; although someone should lead him into the sun, he cannot exist on the weather]

I take this to mean: we must enjoy the good weather, but not be too tempted to sit in the parks all day long and forget to do any work! I hope that your week is filled with sun and intellectual nourishment.

[A Medievalist enjoying the sun in uni parks]
Merton College, MS 249, f. 7v.
View image and text in the Taylor Edition by Sebastian Dows-Miller
https://editions.mml.ox.ac.uk/editions/bestiary/#Onager

Medieval Matters: Week 4

The weekend saw the glitz, glam, and questionable music of the Eurovision song contest! Whether you tuned in or not, here is some wisdom on songs, from the Old English Maxims:

Longað þonne þy læs þe him con leoþa worn.
[He who knows many songs is less troubled by longing]

But what, I hear you ask, does Eurovision have to do with Medievalists? Well, this week we have not only musical events like Singing the Reformation: With Living Stones, but also a whole range of languages and cultures! Our schedule for the week includes Greek, Old High German, French and Middle English, and takes us all around the medieval world. The After Rome and Further East seminar takes us to the Caliphate and Byzantium; the Medieval Commentary Network gives us a glimpse into the Carolingian Empire; and the Medieval History Seminar lets us explore migration in the Viking North. And this is only the tip of the iceberg! Have a look at all of our offerings this week:

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 16th May:

  • The Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar will take place on Zoom at 12.30-2pm. This week’s speaker is Alice van den Bosch (Exeter), ‘Creating the Female Martyr in Late Antiquity‘. To register, please contact the organiser at james.cogbill@worc.ox.ac.uk. Please note that there is no need to register if you have previously subscribed to the seminar mailing list.
  • The Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group meets at 1-2pm on Teams. Sign up here for the mailing list to receive details of each week’s sessions: Contact Matthew Holford, Andrew Dunning or Tuija Ainonen for further details.
  • The Oxford Medieval Commentary Network meets at 4pm at Lecture Theatre 2, Christ Church. This week’s speaker is Zachary Guiliano, ‘Biblical Commentary and Royal Patronage in Carolingian Europe’. For further information, email cosima.gillhammer@chch.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm online on Teams. Please note that there is no in-person seminar this week. This week’s speaker is Pragya Vohra (York), ‘Feminising Migration in the Viking North‘. The Teams session can be accessed by logging in to Teams with your .ox.ac.uk account and joining the group “Medieval History Research Seminar” (team code rmppucs). If you have any difficulties please email: medhistsem@history.ox.ac.uk.

Tuesday 17th May:

  • The Oxford Numismatic Society meets at 5pm. This week’s speaker is Dr. Aneurin Ellis-Evans & Dr. Leah Lazar ‘Early silver coinage of Lampsakos’. For further information please contact the secretary: giorgia.capra@new.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at 5pm in Warrington Room, Harris Manchester College. This week’s speakers are Jonah Skolnik (Trinity), ‘Impeachment, Treason, and Good Governance in the Age of Richard II: 1386-1397‘ and Gabrielle Samra (St John’s), ‘Anthropophagous Predation: An Examination of the Middle English Richard Coer de Lyon in the Framework of Medieval Anti-Jewish Blood Libels‘.
  • The Lyell Lectures From Memory to Written Record: English Liturgical Books and Musical Notations, 900-1150, by Professor Susan Rankin (University of Cambridge) takes place at 5pm in Weston Library Lecture Theatre. This is Lecture 5: Assimilation or change? Normans at Winchester. Registration is essential for attending in person, and booking is for the whole series, for the sake of simplicity. Your booking entitles you to attend as many lectures in the series as you are able. Book here.

Wednesday 18th May:

  • The Medieval German Seminar meets at 11.15-12.45 in St Edmund Hall, Old Library. We are going to discuss Seuse’s ‘Büchlein der ewigen Weisheit’. For more information, please email henrike.laehnemann@seh.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval Trade Reading Group meets at 1pm in the Mertze Tate room of the History Faculty and online. Anyone interested in any element of medieval trade and its study are very welcome to join, from any department. To be added to the mailing list and team please email Annabel Hancock at annabel.hancock@history.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5pm at Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St. Giles. This week’s speaker is Matthieu Cassin (CNRS-IRHT), ‘From Princes Islands to Oxford: Greek Manuscripts from the Holy Trinity of Halki‘.
  • The Medieval English Research Seminar meets at 5.15pm in Lecture Theatre 2, Faculty of English. This week’s speaker will be Anne Mouron (Regent’s Park), ‘“In pious hearts, a tree must grafted be”: Mechthild of Hackeborn’s The Boke of Holy Grace and The Desert of Religion’ (chaired by Ayoush Lazikani). For further information, contact daniel.wakelin@ell.ox.ac.uk.

Thursday 19th May:

  • The Middle High German Reading Group meets at 10am at Somerville College Productivity Room (Margery Fry). This term’s topic is ‘Maeren’. If you have any questions or want to participate, please send an e-mail to melina.schmidt@lincoln.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Greek and Latin Reading Group meets at 4pm in Harold Wilson Room, Jesus College – meet at Jesus lodge. This week’s text is Lucian, The Dream (or, the Cock). Contact John Colley or Jenyth Evans to be added to the mailing list.
  • The After Rome and Further East Seminar takes place at Trinity College (Levine Garden Room). This week’s speaker is André Binggeli (CNRS, IRHT), ‘Neomartyrs between the Caliphate and Byzantium: around the publication of “Les nouveaux martyrs à Byzance”’. Zoom meeting link.

Friday 20th May:

  • The Medievalists Coffee Morning makes its triumphant return! Meet at 10.30-11.30am at Visiting Scholars Centre of the Weston Library (access via the Readers Entrance on Museum Road: straight ahead and up two floors!). The coffee mornings feature the opportunity to meet other Medievalists as well as a) coffee, tea, and biscuits, b) access to the roof terrace, c) sneak previews of new acquisitions. Here a link to last-but-one’s week’s presentation by Andrew Honey of a very early curious copying machine. All welcome!
  • The Germanic Reading Group meets at 4pm. This week will focus on Old High German: A few minor monuments (lead by Will Thurlwell) Anybody interested in joining the discussion, please email Howard.Jones@sbs.ox.ac.uk.

Saturday 21st May:

  • Singing the Reformation: With Living Stones takes place in Iffley from 3pm. Come and explore with Henrike Lähnemann some of the music that may have been sung by church-goers in Iffley during the 16th century, and trace developments in the music that was sung in churches, homes and royal chapels while major theological debates and liturgical changes were taking place. Tickets for the afternoon with tea and coffee cost £10 and are available online at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/singing-thereformation-tickets-261162011607 or on the door. The service of Evensong is, as always, free

OPPORTUNITIES:

  • Conference: The conference “Margins at the Centre – Practices of Annotation. Scholarly Networks, Teachers and Audiences in ninth-century East Francia” will take place in hybrid form at the Viennese Institute for Medieval Research on Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 May 2022, starting at 9.00am CEST (Vienna time). Further information, the programme of the conference and the forms for registration (via Zoom or in person) can be found here on the conference website.

Finally, some further wisdom on song from Maxims I:

Ræd sceal mon secgan, rune writan, leoþ gesingan, lofes gearnian.
[One should talk sense, write down secrets, sing songs, and earn praise]

This reads like something of a to-do list for the week ahead. I hope that your week is filled with talked sense, written down secrets, lots of songs, and earned praise!

[A Medievalist unsure what to make of the questionable musical talent of Eurovision]
Merton College, MS 249, f. 2r.
View image and text in the Taylor Edition by Sebastian Dows-Miller
https://editions.mml.ox.ac.uk/editions/bestiary/#Leun

Marriages, Unmarriages, and Subjectivities: A Roundtable Discussion with Sara McDougall and Hannah Skoda

The Oxford Medieval Society is pleased to announce our first event of Trinity Term 2022, a Roundtable Discussion with Professors Sara McDougall and Hannah Skoda

We invite all interested parties to attend the event on Thursday 26th May at 13:00-14.30, in the New Seminar Room in St. John’s College. Participants will be able to ask questions and engage in discussion with Professor McDougall and Professor Skoda on a shared area of their research, Marriages, Unmarriages, and Subjectivities

Professor Sara McDougall is Associate Professor of History at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (City University of New York) and coordinator of the Medieval Studies Certificate Program at the CUNY Graduate Center. Specialising in legal history, her research focuses primarily on women and crime in medieval France and explores topics such as gender, marriage, religion and illegitimacy. Her publications include Royal Bastards: The Birth of Illegitimacy, 800-1230 (Oxford University Press, 2017) and Bigamy and Christian Identity in Late Medieval Champagne (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012). Professor McDougall is in Oxford this term as an Astor Visiting Lecturer.  

Professor Hannah Skoda is Fellow and Tutor in Medieval History at St. John’s College, Oxford, and specialises in the cultural and social history of the later Middle Ages. She has particular interests in education, conflict, ownership, slavery and constructions of deviance in late medieval Europe. Her monograph Medieval Violence: Physical Brutality in Northern France, 1270-1330 (Oxford University Press, 2013) won the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship’s 2014 Best First Book Prize, in which year she was also awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize to explore nostalgia in the fourteenth century. 

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any questions at oxfordmedievalsociety@gmail.com

We look forward to seeing you there!

Medieval Matters: Week 3

It is with very great sadness that I have to pass on the news that Nigel F. Palmer, Emeritus Professor of German Medieval and Linguistic Studies, Emeritus Fellow of St Edmund Hall, FBA, died yesterday, Sunday 8 May 2022. Lesley Smith and Henrike Lähnemann write: Nigel Palmer was one of those scholars defining medieval studies. He was everywhere in Oxford – always in the Library, attending seminars, always asking fundamental questions – but he also reached out across the world to colleagues in Germany and far beyond. He was also one of the kindest and most generous friends and colleagues. He treated everyone with the same respect and good humour, whether they be visiting professor, or first-year student. Oxford without Nigel will never be the same. Details of the funeral for family and close friends at the end of the month and plans for a celebration of his academic and personal life for spring next year will be announced later. Tributes and cards for his widow, Sue Palmer, can be sent to St Edmund Hall via mail or Henrike Lähnemann via email.

Please see below for the week’s events:

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 9th May:

  • The Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar will take place on Zoom at 12.30-2pm. This week’s speaker is Silvio Roggo (Cambridge), ‘Justin II and the Miaphysites. To register, please contact the organiser at james.cogbill@worc.ox.ac.uk. Please note that there is no need to register if you have previously subscribed to the seminar mailing list.
  • The Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group meets at 1-2pm on Teams. Sign up here for the mailing list to receive details of each week’s sessions: https://web.maillist.ox.ac.uk/ox/info/medieval-latin-ms-reading. Contact Matthew Holford, Andrew Dunning Tuiija Ainonen for further details.
  • The Medieval Commentary Network meets at 4pm at Research Centre, Christ Church (in the thatched barn at the top of Christ Church Meadow, behind the tourist shop). This week’s speaker is Maria Czepiel, ‘From curiosa to criticism: Benito Arias Montano and Encyclopedism in Sixteenth-Century Biblical Commentary‘. Drinks and nibbles will be provided after the lecture.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm at The Wharton Room, All Souls College and online on Teams. This week’s speaker is Julia Crick (KCL), ‘Staffing the Conquest: Mobility, Stasis, and Scribal Work in England, 1066-1100‘. The Teams session can be accessed by logging in to Teams with your .ox.ac.uk account and joining the group “Medieval History Research Seminar” (team code rmppucs). If you have any difficulties please email: medhistsem@history.ox.ac.uk.

Tuesday 10th May:

  • The Oxford Numismatic Society meets at 5pm. This week’s speaker is Dr. Jeremy Piercy – ‘Just a name on a coin: What epigraphy can tell us about labour organisation and social networks in Pre-Conquest England‘. For further information please contact the secretary: giorgia.capra@new.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Lyell Lectures From Memory to Written Record: English Liturgical Books and Musical Notations, 900-1150, by Professor Susan Rankin (University of Cambridge) takes place at 5pm in Weston Library Lecture Theatre. This is Lecture 3: St Augustine’s and Christchurch, 950–1091. Registration is essential for attending in person, and booking is for the whole series, for the sake of simplicity. Your booking entitles you to attend as many lectures in the series as you are able. Book here.
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at 5pm in Warrington Room, Harris Manchester College. This week’s speakers are Harriet Strahl (Oriel), ‘Emotions in the Aftermath of the Wreck of the White Ship‘, and Nia Moseley-Roberts (Jesus), ‘An Immortal Work’: ideas of scribal labour at Witham Charterhouse c. 1200‘.

Wednesday 11th May:

  • The Medieval German Seminar meets at 11.15-12.45 in St Edmund Hall, Old Library. We are going to discuss Seuse’s ‘Büchlein der ewigen Weisheit’, chapter 6 this week. For more information, please email henrike.laehnemann@seh.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5pm at Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St. Giles. This week’s speaker is Anca Dan (CNRS, Paris Sciences & Lettres), ‘Kosmokrator: the origins of the iconographic tradition, between East and West‘.
  • The Medieval English Research Seminar meets at 5.15pm in Lecture Theatre 2, Faculty of English. This week’s speaker will be Carl Phelpstead (University of Cardiff), ‘“If you will listen patiently”: conversion, conversation and cosmopolitanism in Old Icelandic sagas of Apostles’ (chaired by Gareth Evans). For further information, contact daniel.wakelin@ell.ox.ac.uk.
  • The CMTC Festival: Launch of the Journal Manuscript and Text Cultures takes place at 5.15-7pm in Memorial Room, The Queen’s College.

Thursday 12th May:

  • The Middle High German Reading Group meets at 10am at Somerville College Productivity Room (Margery Fry). This term’s topic is ‘Maeren’. If you have any questions or want to participate, please send an e-mail to melina.schmidt@lincoln.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Greek and Latin Reading Group meets at 4pm in Harold Wilson Room, Jesus College – meet at Jesus lodge. This week’s text is Suetonius, Life of Tiberius 34-36. Contact John Colley or Jenyth Evans to be added to the mailing list.
  • The After Rome and Further East Seminar takes place at Trinity College (Levine Room 5) at 5pm. This week’s speaker is Étienne de la Vaissière (École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris), ‘Manichaean Roads‘. Follow the link to the Zoom meeting.
  • The Lyell Lectures From Memory to Written Record: English Liturgical Books and Musical Notations, 900-1150, by Professor Susan Rankin (University of Cambridge) takes place at 5pm in Weston Library Lecture Theatre. This is Lecture 4: From Neumes in campo aperto to Neumes on Lines (at Christchurch, Canterbury). Registration is essential for attending in person, and booking is for the whole series, for the sake of simplicity. Your booking entitles you to attend as many lectures in the series as you are able. Book here.
  • The Old English Reading Group takes place at 5.30pm. For more information and to receive the text in advance email eugenia.vorobeva@jesus.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Oxford University Heraldry Society meets online at 6.30pm. This week’s speaker is David Broomfield, ‘The Heraldry of Eton College‘. To receive the link to attend, please email secretary@oxford-heraldry-org.uk.

Friday 13th May:

  • The Medievalist Coffee Morning takes place at 10.30pm in the Visiting Scholars Centre in the Weston Library (access via the Readers Entrance on Museum Road: straight ahead and up two floors!)
  • The Anglo-Norman Reading Group meets at 5pm in Taylorian Room 2 and on Zoom. This term, Luca Crisma (EPHE, Paris) will lead reading of the Anglo-Norman Letter of Prester John. For texts, joining instructions, and further information, please email Stephanie Hathaway or Jane Bliss.

OPPORTUNITIES:

  • Revoicing Medieval Poetry – May-June 2022: Call for participants. Revoicing Medieval Poetry will offer a workshop-conversation space for researchers, artists and practitioners who are engaged in exploring how, why, and to what effects medieval poetry is translated, reused, and resourced in twentieth- and twenty-first-century creative practices. Confirmed speakers include Caroline Bergvall, Vahni Anthony Capildeo, Becca Drake, and Clare A. Lees. We hope you will join us at one or more of our four workshops! Read the full CPF here, and register your interest here.
  • The Oxford Trobadors return to the stage on Sunday 5th June, at the Sheldonian Theatre, at 6 pm. Tickets from www.ticketsoxford.com / 01865 305305. £12, £25, £50. Medievalists may like to know that the Oxford Trobadors are returning to the Stage again after the lockdowns. The concert will include performances of several medieval trobadors and trobairitz, including Arnaut Daniel, Peire Vidal, Bernard de Ventadorn, Jaufre Rudel and Marcabru, as well as some modern Occitan songs. The concert has been arranged as a fusion event with leading Bengali musicians in the UK, who perform in a tradition that derives from a trobador-like song tradition very similar to that of the Occitan trobadors. Students: a sponsor has made some complimentary tickets available for registered students in medieval studies. Email denis.noble@balliol.ox.ac.uk if you wish to apply for a complimentary ticket. Include your college and stage of study in your email.
  • Registration is now open for the Freedom & Work in Western Europe c.1250-1750 conference, organised by the FORMSofLABOUR project (led by Prof Jane Whittle) and hosted in Exeter on 6-8 July 2022. Full programme and registration here. The conference will explore the historical relation between freedom and work across different forms of labour, cultures, legal systems and time periods. Please send any questions to FORMSofLABOUR@exeter.ac.uk.

Finally, some wisdom from the Old English Dicts of Cato, in honour of Nigel, who was a friend to many on the mailing list:

Help ægðer ge cuðum ge uncuþum þær þu mæge.
[Help both friends and strangers, wherever you can]

[Medievalists helping one another with difficult research problems]
Merton College, MS 249, f. 6v.
View image and text in the Taylor Edition by Sebastian Dows-Miller
https://editions.mml.ox.ac.uk/editions/bestiary/#Elefant