Predicting the past with deep neural networks

We are pleased to announce the Hilary Term Lecture of the Centre for Manuscript and Text Cultures (CMTC). The lecture will take place on WED 1 March, 5-6.30 (UK time) in the Memorial Room at The Queen’s College in the University of Oxford. 

Our speaker will be Yannis Assael, Intelligence Research Scientist at Google DeepMind

Title: Predicting the past with deep neural networks

Abstract: Ancient history relies on disciplines such as epigraphy for evidence of the thought, language, society and history of past civilizations. However, over the centuries, many inscriptions have been damaged to the point of illegibility, transported far from their original location and their date of writing is steeped in uncertainty. To address these challenges we present Ithaca, a deep neural network for the textual restoration, geographical attribution and chronological attribution of ancient Greek inscriptions. The goal of this presentation is to demonstrate how recent advances in the field of Deep Learning can assist and expand a historian’s workflow, and highlight the importance of joint interdisciplinary research.

We look forward to welcoming you.

The Oxford Seminars in Cartography (TOSCA)

We’d like to draw your attention to the first of the TOSCA seminars, details below!

‘Please use the postcode’: navigating the past, present, and future conservation needs of the Hereford Mappa Mundi

 -who: Andrew Honey, Bodleian Library, University of Oxford and Conservation Inspector to the Mappa Mundi Trust

-when: Thursday 2 February 2023, 4.30–6pm (GMT)

-where: Sir Victor Blank Lecture Theatre, Weston Library and online via Zoom

-This talk will examine the conservation needs of the Hereford Mappa Mundi, chart the effects of some of the historic repairs and cleaning campaigns carried out in the past, explain the ingenious methods used to mount the map, and outline future conservation needs, as well as presenting some discoveries from recent conservation inspections.

Book here to attend, in person or online

Medieval Matters: Week 1

Welcome back to Oxford, and to Hilary term! I hope that you all had a peaceful and enjoyable vac, and are returning to Oxford well rested and ready for an exciting and busy term. Since many of you have newly returned to Oxford, here is some wisdom for Alcuin about returning:

ex pietatis vestre apicibus audita prosperitate itineris vestri atque reversionis in patriam … toto cordis affectu animoque letissimo gratis egi
[Hearing from your letter of your successful journey and your return to our country … I gave heartfelt and joyful thanks, Ep. 190]

To welcome you all back, we have a new medieval booklet for Hilary 2023: please find a pdf copy attached to this week’s email, and a high-quality version on our website here. We also have a special blog post by Laure Miolo, who has the honour of giving the first medievalist paper of the term, at the Seminar in Manuscript Studies and Palaeography, today at 2.15-3.45pm! To read more about Laure’s paper, see the blog post.

Please note also that this week’s Medieval Church and Culture Seminar, on Tuesday 5pm, Harris Manchester College, is a special medievalist social! Please do come along to enjoy tea, coffee, biscuits, and a chance to catch up / advertise your seminars and events! All very welcome.

Please see below for full details of the week’s events:

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Workshop: Staging a Medieval Mystery Play: On Friday 3 February 2023 (Week 3), 5–6.30pm, at St Edmund Hall, Old Dining Hall (postponed from 20 January). Join this workshop for tips and guidance on how to adapt medieval mystery plays for modern performance or if you are just interested in taking part in some form and shape. The workshop will be led by David Wiles, Emeritus Professor of Drama at the University of Exeter and a veteran director of the Oxford Medieval Mystery Cycle. Let us know if you’re interested in joining by emailing Michael Angerer, the graduate convenor. Meanwhile, we’re still looking for groups to join the Medieval Mystery Cycle: have a look at the original blog post with the sign-up link!
  • Save the Date! The Oxford Medieval Graduate Conference 2023 will take place on 20th-21st April at Ertegun House and online. For more details, visit oxgradconf.wixsite.com/omgc or follow @OxMedGradConf on twitter.
  • The Oxford Interfaith Forum runs its signature Thematic International Interfaith Groups, and our several groups, such as Manuscripts in Interfaith Context, Sacred Literature in Interfaith Contexts, Mysticism in Interfaith Contexts, Eastern Christianity in Interfaith Contexts, etc. Events organised by these groups might be of interest to the Medieval Studies Network, e.g. the Psalms in Interfaith Context Series. The full details of our past and upcoming events are available on our website, or follow us on Twitter at @FaithsOxford.
  • The OMS Small Grants Hilary Term Applications are now open! The TORCH Oxford Medieval Studies Programme invites applications for small grants to support conferences, workshops, and other forms of collaborative research activity organised by researchers at postgraduate (whether MSt or DPhil) or early-career level from across the Humanities Division at the University of Oxford. For full details, please see our blog post.

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 16th January:

  • The Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group led by Matthew Holford and Andrew Dunning is meeting as usual via Teams from 1-2pm. We’ll start this term continuing the natural history theme with another text on elephants, this time from the encyclopaedia of Thomas of Cantimpre (1201-?1272), De naturis rerum. We’ll read it from a 14th-century copy now in Bruges Public Library, https://sharedcanvas.be/IIIF/viewer/mirador/B_OB_MS412, with the text starting on fol. 61v. Sign up for the mailing list to receive updates and the Teams invite, or contact matthew.holford@bodleian.ox.ac.uk or andrew.dunning@bodleian.ox.ac.uk for more information. 
  • The Seminar in Manuscript Studies and Palaeography will take place at 2.15-3.45pm, in the Weston Library, Horton Room. This week’s speaker will be Laure Miolo (University of Oxford), “Astronomy and astrology in fourteenth-century Oxford: MS. Digby 176  in context“. For further information contact matthew.holford@bodleian.ox.ac.uk or andrew.dunning@bodleian.ox.ac.uk
  • The Medieval History Seminar takes place at 5pm in the Wharton Room, All Souls College and on Teams (Teams link here). This week’s speaker will be Lorenzo Caravaggi (University of East Anglia), ‘Magic Saracen treasures, credulous merchants, and other stories: itinerant notaries and their “judicial novellas” in fourteenth-century Italy.’. 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 January:

  • The Europe in the Later Middle Ages Seminar will take place at 2–3.30pm in the New Seminar Room, St John’s College. Tea and coffee available from 1.45pm. This week’s speaker will be Christopher Fletcher, CNRS, Lille, ‘The politics and anti-politics of labour in late medieval England‘.
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at 5-6pm in the Charlese Wellbeloved Room, Harris Manchester College. This week’s meeting is a special medievalist social! Come along for tea, coffee, biscuits and a chance to share ongoing research, catch up informally, and give suggestions for themes and speakers in coming terms. All are welcome.

Wednesday 18th January:

  • The Medieval German Graduate Seminar will meet at 11:15am in the island room of Oriel College for a short organisational meeting on this term’s text, Heinrich von Neustadt’s Apollonius von Tyrland. If you are interested, contact Henrike Lähnemann, to be added to the teams chat.
  • The Medieval Italian Seminar will take place at 2pm at Rees Davies Room, History Faculty. This week’s speaker will be Chris Wickham (Oxford, All Souls/ History Faculty): ‘Governing twelfth-century city communes’.
  • GLARE (Greek and Latin Reading Group) takes place at 4-5pm at Jesus College. Please meet at Jesus College Lodge. This week’s text will be Cicero, Letters to Atticus. All welcome to attend any and all sessions. For more details and specific readings each week, or to be added to the mailing list, email john.colley@jesus.ox.ac.uk or jenyth.evans@seh.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval Latin Document Reading Group meets on Teams at 4-5pm. We are currently focusing on medieval documents from New College’s archive as part of the cataloguing work being carried out there, so there will be a variety of hands, dates and types. A document is sent out in advance but homework is not expected. Contact Michael Stansfield (michael.stansfield@new.ox.ac.uk) for further details and the Teams link.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar takes place at 5pm at the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St Giles and online via Teams. This week’s speaker will be Joshua Hitt (St Hilda’s College), ‘The Poetics of Age in Twelfth-Century Byzantine Literature’. Teams: Click here to join the meeting.
  • The Medieval English Research Seminar takes place at 5.15pm in Lecture Theatre 2, English Faculty. This week’s paper will be followed by a special drinks reception to celebrate recent book publications. This week’s speaker will be Luisa Ostacchini (University of Oxford), ‘After Dido: Carthage in Old English Literature’. All welcome.
  • CfP: The Medieval Church: From Margins to Centre (26-27 June 2023): This conference aims to consider the relationship between the Church and the marginalised in medieval society – minority genders and sexualities, racial minorities, disabled people, non-Christians, and the poor. The conference is prompted by current trends in medieval race studies, trans studies and disability studies, and aims to provide a particular platform for postgraduate and early career researchers who work in these areas. To support this aim, we plan to offer a bursary of £30 per person for up to 10 postgraduates and ECRs. Please send abstracts of up to 250 words to Tim Wingard (tim.wingard@york.ac.uk) by no later than 5pm on Sunday 5 February 2023. For more information, see the website here.

Friday 20th January:

  • The Anglo-Norman Reading Group meets at 5-6.30pm at St Hilda’s College, in the Julia Mann Room. The text will be extracts from the Chronicle of Langtoft; pdf will be provided. For access to the text and further information, please email: stephanie.hathaway@gmail.com or jane.bliss@lmh.oxon.org.
  • The Old Norse Reading Group meets at 5pm at The Royal Oak. Please email Ashley Castelino (ashley.castelino@lincoln.ox.ac.uk) to be added to the mailing list.

OPPORTUNITIES:

  • CFP: Old Norse Poetry in Performance: Inheritance and Innovation. Following its covid-induced hiatus, the third iteration of the triennial Old Norse Poetry in Performance conference will take place at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, on the 21st and 22nd of June 2023. This conference will maintain the format of its previous iterations, showcasing academic research, practical performances, and the possibilities offered by combining the two. The organisers invite proposals for 20-minute papers and/or performances. Proposals should be no more than 300 words and should be sent to oldnorsepoetryinperformance@gmail.com, accompanied by a brief biographical note, by midnight on 17th February 2023. For full details, see the blog post.
  • Workshop on manuscript description and cataloguing: This workshop, to be held over 3-4 weeks in the second half of term, is intended for postgraduate students working on Western medieval manuscript/s in the Bodleian Library who would like, as a by-product of their research, to produce formal catalogue description/s for publication on Medieval Manuscripts in Oxford Libraries. Please express interest using this form.
  • Teaching with manuscripts: Thinking of incorporating medieval manuscript material in your teaching but not sure where to start? Sign up for a workshop with Andrew Dunning and Matthew Holford, curators at the Bodleian Library, where we will try to answer your questions and lead a discussion on what does and doesn’t work when teaching with manuscripts. Please sign up using this form. We will hold one or more workshops (depending on interest) early in term.
  • The Latin Works of Piccolomini (Pius II): A Colloquium: Registration is now open for this colloquium, taking place on Thurs. 23–Fri. 24 March 2023 at the Faculty of Classics, Oxford in collaboration with the Abteilung für Griechische und Lateinische Philologie at Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Bonn. More information and the link to register here.
  • CFP: Bristol CMS Postgraduate Conference, IDENTITIES, COMMUNITIES AND ‘IMAGINED COMMUNITIES’, 14-15 April 2023. We welcome abstracts from postgraduates and early-career researchers, exploring all the aspects and approaches to concepts of identity and communities, in all relevant disciplines pertaining to the medieval period, broadly construed c.500-c.1500. Abstracts are 300 words for 20-minute papers. This year’s conference will be a hybrid event online and on the campus of the University of Bristol. Abstracts and enquiries: cms-conferenceenquiries@bristol.ac.uk DEADLINE: 10 February 2023. For full details, see the blog post here.

Finally, some more wisdom from Alcuin:

novi rerum eventus novos iterum caritatis penna exarare meam devotionem apices exhortantur
[New events urge me to write anew in devotion with the pen of love, Ep. 156]

I’m delighted to be writing anew to you all with the week’s round-up of events, announcements and opportunities, and look forward to seeing you all throughout the term. Wishing you all a productive and enjoyable Hilary!

[Medievalists emerging from the Christmas Vac to peek at the first Medieval Matters of term]
Ashmole Bestiary, Bodleian Library MS. Ashmole 1511, f. 69 r.
Viewable in full at Digital Bodleian

Medieval Matters: Week 8

Here we are at the end of term! Last Friday was Oxmas, traditionally celebrated one month before Christmas Day to allow us to spread some festive cheer before term ends. I’m sure this week will be filled with festive celebrations. If you are about to embark upon Christmas shopping, you might be struggling to find the perfect gift. Fear not: Alcuin also struggled with this dilemma…

Diu deliberans, quid mentis meae devotio ad splendorem imperialis potentiae vestrae atque augmentum opolentissimi thesauri vestri muneris condignum reperire potuisset – ne ingeniolum animi mei, aliis diversa divitiarum dona offerentibus, otio torpuisset inani, et vacuis manibus parvitatis meae missus ante faciem beatudinis vestrae venisset.
[I have long deliberated over what I might consider a worthy gift for the brilliance of your imperial power and for the increase of your most opulent treasury, lest my mind might have grown slothful through the holiday and through idleness, and my messenger appear before you with empty hands whilst others were offering various gifts of riches, Ep. 205]

I have been wondering long and hard what “gifts” to offer you at the end of term, and hope that this seasonal and lengthier than usual quotation might suffice! I didn’t want to come to your inbox empty-handed since others are offering various gifts of great riches this week, from a special lecture by Professor Gordon Noble on Tuesday, to the final chance to see the exhibition of Violent Victorian Medievalism in person in the Taylorian on Friday. See below for a round-up of all of the diversa divitiarum dona on offer this week.

And a reminder: We are still looking for takers for plays for the Medieval Mystery Cycle on 22 April 2023. Full information here on how to propose a play – and do get in contact with Michael Angerer or Henrike Lähnemann if you have any questions. There will be a workshop for anybody considering taking part in early Hilary Term!

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Remember to sign up for the Medieval Mystery Cycle! As play proposals are starting to trickle in, don’t miss your chance to join this unique bit of medieval fun. We will be offering a workshop on cutting play scripts at St Edmund Hall on Friday 20 January 2023, open to all potential directors. You can find more information, as well as the sign-up link, on our blog post.

EVENTS THIS WEEK

Monday 28th November:

  • The Byzantine Graduate Seminar takes place at 12.30-2pm online via Zoom. This week’s speaker will be İrem Kısacık (İstanbul Medeniyet University), Emotions in Late Antiquity. To register, please contact the organiser at james.cogbill@worc.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group led by Matthew Holford, Andrew Dunning, and Tuija Ainonen is meeting as usual via Teams from 1-2pm.
  • The Medieval Archaeology Seminar takes place at 3pm in the Institute of Archaeology, Lecture Room. This week’s speaker will be Jane Kershaw, ‘A Viking winter camp in Northumberland? Ongoing work in the Coquet valley‘.
  • The Queer and Trans Medievalisms Reading Group meets at 3pm at Univ College, 12 Merton St Room 2. This week’s theme is The trial of Joan of Arc. All extremely welcome! To join the mailing list and get texts in advance, or if you have any questions, email rowan.wilson@univ.ox.ac.uk.  
  • The Medieval History Seminar takes place at 5pm in the Wharton Room, All Souls College and on Teams (Teams link here). This week’s speaker will be Robert Wiśniewski (Warsaw): ‘‘Avoid undue leaps’. Clerical career paths in Late Antiquity’. 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 Old English Reading Group takes place at 5.30-7.30pm. Please email grace.oduffy@sjc.ox.ac.uk for more information and to be added to the mailing list.

Tuesday 29th November:

  • The Medieval English Research Seminar takes place at 12.15pm in Lecture Theatre 2, English Faculty. This week’s speaker will be Rhiannon Purdie (St Andrews),  ‘Synchronic histories of Older Scots Literature: the rewards and challenges of reconstruction’. The paper will be followed by lunch with the speaker. All welcome.
  • GLARE (Greek and Latin Reading Group) takes place at 4-5pm at Harold Wilson Room, Jesus College. Please meet at Jesus College Lodge. This week’s text will be Pseudo-Seneca, Octavia. All welcome to attend any and all sessions. For more details and specific readings each week, or to be added to the mailing list, email john.colley@jesus.ox.ac.uk or jenyth.evans@seh.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar takes place at 5pm at Charles Wellbeloved Room, Harris Manchester College. The theme for this term is ‘Women’. This week’s speaker will be Delfi Nieto-Isabel (Queen Mary University of London): Connecting the Dots:  heresy, inquisitors and invisible women. Everyone is welcome at this informal and friendly graduate seminar.
  • The Codicology and History of the Book Seminar is hosting a Welcome Evening for Oxford DPhil Students at 6-8pm, in the Blackwell Hall, Weston Library. For further details, email bookcentre@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Early Medieval Britain and Ireland Network will host a lecture by Dr Gordon Noble, Professor of Archaeology at the University of Aberdeen. His talk, entitled ‘Discovering the Northern Picts,’ will discuss some of the significant discoveries of the award-winning Northern Picts excavations and what these findings mean for Pictish society ca 300-900 AD. The talk will take place at 7:00 PM at Worcester College in the Linbury Room. All are very welcome to attend. Any queries, please contact Meredith Cutrer at meredith.cutrer@worc.ox.ac.uk.

Wednesday 30th November:

  • The Medieval German Graduate Seminar this week does not meet on Wednesday but rather on Friday, 3pm (see below) for a paper by Dr Pia Selmayr. If you want to be added to the medieval German mailing list, please contact Henrike Lähnemann.
  • The Medieval Latin Document Reading Group meets on Teams at 4-5pm. We are currently focusing on medieval documents from New College’s archive as part of the cataloguing work being carried out there, so there will be a variety of hands, dates and types. A document is sent out in advance but homework is not expected. Contact Michael Stansfield (michael.stansfield@new.ox.ac.uk) for further details and the Teams link.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar takes place at 5pm at the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St Giles. This week’s speaker will be Michael Jeffreys (Oxford), Imperial ceremonies away from the Great Palace, 1148-1159: the evidence of Manganeios Prodromos.

Thursday 1st December:

  • The Old French Reading Group takes place at 4pm at St Hilda’s College (meet by the lodge) in association with Oxford Medieval Studies, sponsored by The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH). We welcome readers of Old French of all abilities. For further information, please email alice.hawkins@st-hildas.ox.ac.uk or irina.boeru@st-hildas.ox.ac.uk
  • The Digital Humanities and Sensory Heritage (DHSH) – Seminar Series will meet at 4.30pm in the Linbury Room, Worcester College. The speaker will be Jean-Philippe Échard (Paris), Materiality-driven Digital Approaches to Music Museum Artefacts: from Spectro-imaging and CT Scans, to Photogrammetry. All welcome! For more information, click here.
  • The Seminar in Medieval and Renaissance Music will take place on Zoom at 5pm. This week’s speaker will be David Burn (University of Leuven): Sixteenth-Century Symbola. If you are planning to attend a seminar this term, please register using this form. For each seminar, those who have registered will receive an email with the Zoom invitation and any further materials a couple of days before the seminar. If you have questions, please just send me an email (matthew.thomson@ucd.ie).
  • The Oxford Medieval Visual Culture Seminar will take place at 5pm in St Catherine’s College, Arumugam Building. This week’s speaker will be Julian Luxford University of St Andrews, The iconography of the Mass of St Gregory in England.
  • The Celtic Seminar will take place at 5pm, online via Zoom. This week’s speaker will be Dewi Alter, ‘Darllen y tir yn iawn: Mannau’r cof yn Drych y Prif Oesoedd‘. Please contact a.elias@wales.ac.uk for the link.

Friday 2nd December:

  • The Medievalist Coffee Morning takes place at 10:30-11.30am in the Visiting Scholars Centre in the Weston Library (access via the Readers Entrance on Museum Road: straight ahead and up two floors!). This is a perfect opportunity to see treasures of the Bodleian, go up to the roof terrace, pick the brains of other medievalists and, of course, drink coffee.

Finally, some wisdom from Alcuin on the joy of gifts:

Licet nullius nunc mens mea desideret munuscula propter animi mei requiem, tua tamen mihi sunt semper dulcia.
[Although my mind now desires nothing because of the peace of my spirit, your gifts are always sweet to me, Ep. 189.]

In other words, no matter how peaceful your spirit, it’s always nice to get a present! I hope that your last week is filled with sweet gifts! I will be back in your inboxes briefly next week with a Christmas email to finish off the term.

[A Medievalist finds the perfect sweet gift for a friend]
Ashmole Bestiary, Bodleian Library MS. Ashmole 1511, f. 60 v.
Viewable in full at Digital Bodleian

Medieval Matters: Week 7

It’s only November, but the Oxford Christmas lights are up, and the Christmas market has come to Broad Street! It strikes me as a little early for Christmas celebrations just yet, particularly as we still have two whole weeks of term. Here is some advice from Alcuin on not getting ahead of ourselves:

Omnia vestra honeste cum ordine fiant. Tempus statuatur lectioni.
[Do all of your tasks decently and in order. Fix a time for reading, Ep. 72]

Of course, as well as fixing reading time, you should also fix time to attend some of our wonderful range of events. To help you keep your diary decently and in order, please see below for a list of the week’s happenings:

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 21st November:

  • The Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group led by Matthew Holford, Andrew Dunning, and Tuija Ainonen is meeting as usual via Teams on Mondays from 1-2pm, continuing with the Ashmole bestiary (MS. Ashmole 1511), picking up after the Elephant on f. 16r, line 6.
  • The Byzantine Graduate Seminar takes place at 12.30-2pm online via Zoom. This week’s speaker will be Bahattin Bayram (İstanbul Medeniyet University), Barbarians of Eusebius. To register, please contact the organiser at james.cogbill@worc.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval History Seminar takes place at 5pm in the Wharton Room, All Souls College and on Teams (Teams link here). This week’s speaker will be Barbara Bombi (Kent), ‘Lost in translation: diplomacy and the use of languages at the papal curia in Avignon’. 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 Old Norse Reading Group meets at 5.30-7.30pm. Please email Ashley Castelino (ashley.castelino@lincoln.ox.ac.uk) to be added to the mailing list.

Tuesday 22nd November:

  • Workshop: Visual search for exploring and dating collections: lessons from Spanish chapbooks will take place at 09:30-11:30am online and in Cambridge. This workshop will explore the challenges and opportunities that using digital tools can bring to the study of large collections of images and their associated metadata. Registration required: https://www.cdh.cam.ac.uk/events/35527/
  • The Medieval English Research Seminar takes place at 12.15pm in Lecture Theatre 2, English Faculty. This week’s speaker will be Eleanor Myerson (Cambridge), ‘Syrian Silks: The Fabrics of English Identity‘. The paper will be followed by lunch with the speaker. All welcome.
  • GLARE (Greek and Latin Reading Group) takes place at 4-5pm at Harold Wilson Room, Jesus College. Please meet at Jesus College Lodge. This week’s text will be Sophocles, Iphigenia at Taurus. All welcome to attend any and all sessions. For more details and specific readings each week, or to be added to the mailing list, email john.colley@jesus.ox.ac.uk or jenyth.evans@seh.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval French Research Seminar takes place at 5pm at the Maison française d’Oxford (www.mfo.ac.uk). Presentations begin at 5.15pm. This week’s speaker will be Dr Melek Karatas (John Rylands Library, Manchester): ‘Makers of Manuscripts as Readers of Manuscripts: The Montbaston Illuminators and the Roman de la Rose’. For more information and to be added on the seminar’s mailing list, contact sophie.marnette@balliol.ox.ac.uk 
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar takes place at 5pm at Charles Wellbeloved Room, Harris Manchester College. The theme for this term is ‘Women’. This week’s speaker will be Elena Rossi (Magdalen): Our Mother the University: maternal roles and the medieval university. Everyone is welcome at this informal and friendly graduate seminar.
  • A network social for Early Medieval Britain and Ireland network will take place at 6:00 PM at the King’s Arms. Anyone with an interest in early medieval Britain and Ireland is most welcome. 

Wednesday 23rd November:

  • The Medieval German Graduate Seminar meets for a paper by Ruth von Bernuth and Henrike Lähnemann on the Yiddish and German versions of ‘Sigenot’ as part of the ‘Dietrichsepik’ seminar at 11:15am in Somerville College – ask at the Lodge for directions. If you want to be added to the medieval German mailing list, please contact Henrike Lähnemann.
  • The Medieval Latin Document Reading Group meets on Teams at 4-5pm. We are currently focusing on medieval documents from New College’s archive as part of the cataloguing work being carried out there, so there will be a variety of hands, dates and types. A document is sent out in advance but homework is not expected. Contact Michael Stansfield (michael.stansfield@new.ox.ac.uk) for further details and the Teams link.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar takes place at 5pm at the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St Giles. This week’s speaker will be Liz James (Univ. of Sussex), Connecting Mosaics.
  • The Centre for Manuscript and Text Cultures meets at 5.15pm in Memorial Room, The Queen’s College and on Zoom for the Michaelmas Term CMTC Lecture. The lecture will be Nikolay Tarasenko (Kyiv/Pembroke College, Oxford): ‘What Can the “Greenfield Papyrus” (pLondon BM EA 10554) Tell Us about Its Owner?’. Please register here (whether you are planning to attend in person or online).

Thursday 24th November:

  • The Celtic Seminar will take place at 5.15pm via Zoom and The History of the Book Room, English Faculty. This week’s speaker will be Myriah Williams (Berkeley): ‘Beginnings and endings: ‘Moli Duw yn Nechrau a Diwedd and Cyntefin Ceinaf Amser’‘. Please contact david.willis@jesus.ox.ac.uk if you need a link.

Friday 25th November:

  • The Medievalist Coffee Morning takes place at 10:30-11.30am 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 5-6.30pm at St Hilda’s College, in the Julia Mann Room. The text will be extracts from the Chronicle of Langtoft; pdf will be provided. For access to the text and further information, please email: stephanie.hathaway@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk or jane.bliss@lmh.oxon.org.

OPPORTUNITIES:

  • Oxford Research in English: Call for submissions: ORE invites papers on the theme of ‘conversations’, across all periods, genres, and literary disciplines. We invite full papers of 5,000-8,000 words, due on the 6th of January 2023 to ore@ell.ox.ac.uk. All questions and queries should also be submitted to this email address. The editors also invite expressions of interest for book reviews and feature articles. For full details, please see here.

Finally, for anyone eagerly looking forward to the Christmas season, when things are not so busy: some advice from Alcuin on enjoying the present and not hoping too much for the future (even when you are very busy with admissions or MSt essay writing):

Tempus huius vitae velociter currit… ideo pretiosa nobis debent esse tempora
[This life passes quickly… so we should hold our time as precious, Ep. 78]

In other words, enjoy the last couple of weeks of term. May you have a week filled with precious times!

[A Medievalist tries to focus on their work and not on the Broad Street Christmas market…]
Ashmole Bestiary, Bodleian Library MS. Ashmole 1511, f. 95 v.
Viewable in full at Digital Bodleian

Medieval Matters: Week 6

Welcome to Week 6. We’re now well and truly into the second half of term, and even though it has been unseasonably warm, winter is clearly coming: the sun is going down horribly early! If emerging from the library or a seminar to find that it’s already gone dark is getting you down, here is some advice from Alcuin:

maneat vero in vobis lumen scientiae
[let the light of learning dwell amongst you, Ep. 88]

Luckily we have plenty of bright lights of learning to keep us going through these dark winter months! See below for many events and seminars that might brighten up your week:

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Save the Date: Invisible East Lecture on 21st November. Injustice, Corruption, and Partisanship in the Eastern Seljuq Lands of the Early Twelfth Century – Lecture by Deborah Tor (University of Notre Dame). 21 November 2022, 3PM, Spalding Room, FAMES.
  • Norman Sicily and Ifrīqiya – Documents, Scripts and Islamic Law: Thursday 1st December 2022 14:00 – 18:30, at The Buttery, Wolfson College, University of Oxford. To reserve a place, please email susannah.cogan@orinst.ox.ac.uk before 26th November. Places are limited and entrance will be strictly limited to those holding confirmation of a reserved place. For full details, see here.
  • Online Seminar Group: Medieval Wales and the Marches: The Mortimer History Society is working in partnership with Professor Helen Fulton (Bristol), Dr Emma Cavell (Swansea), and Dr Sara Elin Roberts (Chester) to create an Online Seminar Group: Medieval Wales and the Marches, to provide a forum for academics and independent scholars to share research papers. The online seminar group, which will be multi-disciplinary, welcomes membership and papers on aspects of the social, economic, cultural, legal, and political history of medieval Wales and the Marches. A mailing list of members is being assembled this term, along with a call for papers, with a view to seminars starting in spring term 2023. Please email Philip Hume at philip.r.hume@gmail.com if you would like to be added to the mailing list (indicating if you would be interested in giving a paper).

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 14th November:

  • The Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group led by Matthew Holford, Andrew Dunning, and Tuija Ainonen is back! Matthew writes: We reconvene until the end of term, meeting as usual via Teams on Mondays from 1-2pm. Tuija will lead the first session – in keeping with Luisa’s emails we’ll read some passages from the early 13th century Ashmole bestiary (MS. Ashmole 1511), starting with Elephant (f. 15v).
  • The Byzantine Graduate Seminar takes place at 12.30-2pm online via Zoom. This week’s speaker will be Elvira Miceli (University of Oxford)The Byzantine Heritage of the Liber ad honorem Augusti. To register, please contact the organiser at james.cogbill@worc.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval Archaeology Seminar takes place at 3pm in the Institute of Archaeology, Lecture Room. This week’s speaker will be Helena Hamerow, ‘Women of the Conversion Period’. A biomolecular investigation of mobility‘.
  • The Queer and Trans Medievalisms Reading Group meets at 3pm at Univ College, 12 Merton St Room 2. This week’s theme is Transmasc sainthood: Euphrosyne/Smaragdus. All extremely welcome! To join the mailing list and get texts in advance, or if you have any questions, email rowan.wilson@univ.ox.ac.uk.   
  • The Medieval History Seminar takes place at 5pm in the Wharton Room, All Souls College and on Teams (Teams link here). This week’s speaker will be Jane Kershaw (Institute of Archaeology), ’A new look at silver in the Golden Age of Islam’. 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 Old English Reading Group takes place at 5.30-7.30pm. Please email grace.oduffy@sjc.ox.ac.uk for more information and to be added to the mailing list.

Tuesday 15th November:

  • The Medieval English Research Seminar takes place at 12.15pm in Lecture Theatre 2, English Faculty. This week’s speaker will be Megan Cavell (Birmingham), ‘Before Attenborough: Early Medieval Natural History, Animal Diversity and “Edutainment”‘. The paper will be followed by lunch with the speaker. All welcome.
  • The Governability across the medieval globe Discussion Group meets at 12:30 in the History Faculty. Everyone welcome, staff, students and researchers, of all historical periods. We encourage you to bring lunch along. This session we will be discussing ‘Mountains and Uplands’.
  • GLARE (Greek and Latin Reading Group) takes place at 4-5pm at Harold Wilson Room, Jesus College. Please meet at Jesus College Lodge. This week’s text will be Seneca, Thyestes. All welcome to attend any and all sessions. For more details and specific readings each week, or to be added to the mailing list, email john.colley@jesus.ox.ac.uk or jenyth.evans@seh.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar takes place at 5pm at Charles Wellbeloved Room, Harris Manchester College. The theme for this term is ‘Women’. This week’s speaker will be Hannah Skoda (St John’s): ‘Eius filia incepit sugere mammillam dicte eius matris’ (Life of St Nicholas of Tolentino):  breast-feeding mothers in the later Middle Ages. Everyone is welcome at this informal and friendly graduate seminar.

Wednesday 16th November:

  • The Medieval German Graduate Seminar meets for a paper by Julia Lorenz on battles in ‘Dietrichs Flucht’ at 11:15am in Somerville College – ask at the Lodge for directions. If you want to be added to the medieval German mailing list, please contact Henrike Lähnemann.
  • The Medieval Latin Document Reading Group meets on Teams at 4-5pm. We are currently focusing on medieval documents from New College’s archive as part of the cataloguing work being carried out there, so there will be a variety of hands, dates and types. A document is sent out in advance but homework is not expected. Contact Michael Stansfield (michael.stansfield@new.ox.ac.uk) for further details and the Teams link.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar takes place at 5pm at the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St Giles. This week’s speaker will be Marie-Hélène Blanchet (CNRS) & Raúl Estangüi Gómez (Sorbonne), The Byzantine World in the Palaeologan Era: Empire(s) and Emerging Nation-States.

Thursday 17th November:

  • A special lecture on The linguistic relationship between the Gothic Bible and its Greek source by Professor Carla Falluomini (University of Perugia) will take place at 4−5pm as part of the Germanic Reading Group in the Oxford Linguistics Faculty – Common Room and via Zoom. All welcome!
  • The Seminar in Medieval and Renaissance Music will take place on Zoom at 5pm. This week’s speaker will be Konstantin Voigt (University of Freiburg): From Lyre to Staff – Relating Diagrams, Neumes and Diastematic Notation. If you are planning to attend a seminar this term, please register using this form. For each seminar, those who have registered will receive an email with the Zoom invitation and any further materials a couple of days before the seminar. If you have questions, contact Matthew Thomson.
  • The Oxford Medieval Visual Culture Seminar will take place at 5pm in St Catherine’s College, Arumugam Building. This week’s speaker will be Spike Bucklow Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, The Seven Ages; a medieval theory of growing up and aging, as illustrated by artists’ lives.
  • The Celtic Seminar will take place at 5.15pm via Zoom and The History of the Book Room, English Faculty. This week’s speaker will be Sarah Hill (Oxford): ‘Legacies and failures: Rethinking Welsh pop history’. Please contact david.willis@jesus.ox.ac.uk if you need a link.

Friday 18th November:

  • The Medievalist Coffee Morning which features treasures of the Bodleian Library takes place at 10:30-11.30am in the Visiting Scholars Centre in the Weston Library (access via the Readers Entrance on Museum Road: straight ahead and up two floors!).

Saturday 19th November:

  • The Quarterly Meeting of the Slavonic and Eastern European Medieval Studies Group takes place at 11am–4pm in Wolfson College, Seminar room 2. Speakers will be Elena Draghici-Vasilescu (Oxford) “Byzantine objects in mediaeval Rus’: a case study”; Lilian Ann-Charlotte Gutsjö (Gothenburg) “Змнн and львъ with the -ov- suffix in the Codex Suprasliensis“; Angus Russell (Cambridge) “Taxation or bribery? The semantics of bureaucracy in fifteenth-century Moscow” and Ralph Cleminson (Oxford) “Pilgrimage literature in mediaeval Rus’: fact or fiction?”. All four talks are free and open to the public.

OPPORTUNITIES:

  • Funded PhD position: ‘Slavery and the Households of Sixth-Century Gaul’. The position is funded to cover fees according to the UK domestic rate, with an additional annual stipend of £16,062. It will be conducted at the project’s host institution, the University of Leicester. Application deadline: 25 November 2022 Start date: as early as 9 January 2023 and no later than 25 September 2023. For more information, and to apply, please visit the University of Leicester’s application page.
  • The Invisible East Programme is looking for a Programme Finance Co-ordinator to join the team. Deadline for applications: 21 November 2022. More information at this link.

Finally, some more advice on coping with darkness from Alcuin:

religio vestrae conversationis fulgeat quasi claritas lucis in tenebris
[The goodness of your way of life should shine like a bright light in the dark, Ep. 187]

This advice never felt more necessary than in the British winter months! May your week be full of lights of some kind or another, even if the sun is setting before your seminars end for the day.

[A Medievalist peeks out of the library and is unimpressed to see the sun setting at 4.15pm]
Ashmole Bestiary, Bodleian Library MS. Ashmole 1511, f. 83 v.
Viewable in full at Digital Bodleian

Medieval Matters: Week 5

Where did the term go? Somehow we are already at fifth week. This is an infamous week in the Oxford calendar, rumoured to bring stress and tiredness as we begin the second half of term. Here’s some advice on self-care from Alcuin if you are feeling the fifth week blues:

Cui largus eris, si tuae animae tenax; vel quis tibi fidelis erit, si tu tibi ipse infidelis erit?
[To whom will you be generous, if you are miserly to your own soul? Who will be loyal to you if you are disloyal to yourself?, Ep. 23]

Luckily fifth week also brings many gifts and joys: we are generously supplied with many wonderful events this week to keep your spirits up! It’s cold and it’s dark, but there are plenty of inspiring talks and papers to keep your spirits warm. If you’re feeling that winter is coming, this week’s Book at Lunchtime on Wednesday 9th at 12.30 focuses on Professor Carolyne Larrington’s All Men Must Die; if you’re dreaming of somewhere warmer, the Seven Sages of Rome as a Global Narrative Tradition Oxford-Berlin Workshop takes place on 11-12 November 2022; if you want to see new life breathed into Old English, make your way to WOOPIE at 5.15pm in New College, Room LR4 for Prof. José Luis Martínez-Dueñas (Universidad de Granada)’s lecture on ‘Jorge Luis Borges’s Old English Poetics; and if you want a taste of things to come in the summer months, see ‘Old Frisian, a Gem of Old Germanic Studies’ by Dr Anne Popkema at 5.15pm on Wednesday 9th, a taster session for the Old Frisian Summer School that will run later in the year. And that’s only a small sample of the many delights on offer this week! Here is the full roundup:

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group is back! Mondays 1-2pm, starting 14 November (i.e., next week) on Teams. Sign up here for the mailing list to receive details of each week’s sessions. Contact Matthew HolfordAndrew Dunning or Tuija Ainonen for further details.
  • This year the British Archaeological Association Postgraduate Conference will be hosting a fantastic array of papers by Early Career Researchers from across the world on topics ranging from medieval art, architecture, and archaeology. It will take place online on Tuesday 22 and Wednesday 23 November 2022.  Here is a pdf copy of the programme and you can also see it on the Medieval Art Research website. Register for the conference here: https://bit.ly/3FDDsAI.
  • Violent Victorian Medievalism exhibition, Voltaire Room, Taylor Institution Library, 7th and 8th week (21 Nov-2 Dec): This exhibition tells part of the story of how ‘medieval’ often becomes synonymous with ‘violence’ in later responses to the Middle Ages. It brings together some of the Bodleian’s collection of Victorian and Edwardian English-language adaptations of the Nibelungenlied and related material. These publications are accompanied by eye-catching images, often focusing on some of the more violent aspects of the narrative. The digital exhibition is now live, as is registration for the closing reception on 2nd December, 17:00-18:15 (Friday of 8th week). Registration closes 24 Nov or when places are filled. 
  • The Seven Sages of Rome as a Global Narrative Tradition: Workshop and Talks. The workshop will start with a session in the Weston Library on Friday morning where the group will meet other Oxford medievalists at the Coffee Morning, followed by a view of special collections in the library. While this is for speakers only, their is limited capacity to attend the following talks at the Ioannou Centre. If interested, please contact the workshop co-ordinator Josh Hitt. For full details, please see our blog.

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 7th November:

  • The Byzantine Graduate Seminar takes place at 12.30-2pm online via Zoom. This week’s speaker will be Niels De Ridder (KU Leuven / Universität zu Köln), Representations of Jews in Middle-Byzantine hagiographical apocalypses. To register, please contact the organiser at james.cogbill@worc.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval History Seminar takes place at 5pm in the Wharton Room, All Souls College and on Teams (Teams link here). This week’s speaker will be Lucia Akard (Oxford SU), ‘Rape and Survival in Late Medieval France and Burgundy‘. 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 Old Norse Reading Group meets at 5.30-7.30pm. Please email Ashley Castelino (ashley.castelino@lincoln.ox.ac.uk) to be added to the mailing list.

Tuesday 8th November:

  • The Medieval English Research Seminar takes place at 12.15pm in Lecture Theatre 2, English Faculty. This week’s speaker will be Brittany Schorn (Oxford), ‘Reading the Codex Regius of the Poetic Edda‘. The paper will be followed by lunch with the speaker. All welcome.
  • The Centre for Manuscript and Text Cultures meets at 3.30pm at Memorial Room, The Queen’s College and on Zoom for a Work in Progress Colloquium. The speakers will be Benedetta Bessi (Venice/Stanford): ‘Towards a Digital Edition of the Liber insularum by Cristoforo Buondelmonti’ and Joseph Mason (New College, Oxford): ‘Oral and Written Transmission in Old French Song: a reassessment’. Please register here (whether you are planning to attend in person or online)
  • GLARE (Greek and Latin Reading Group) takes place at 4-5pm at Harold Wilson Room, Jesus College. Please meet at Jesus College Lodge. This week’s text will be Sophocles, Antigone. All welcome to attend any and all sessions. For more details and specific readings each week, or to be added to the mailing list, email john.colley@jesus.ox.ac.uk or jenyth.evans@seh.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval French Research Seminar takes place at 5pm at the Maison française d’Oxford (www.mfo.ac.uk). Presentations begin at 5.15pm. This week’s speaker will be Dr David Murray (Universiteit Utrecht): ‘The Crusades and Flemish Literary History: Home and Away?’. For more information and to be added on the seminar’s mailing list, contact sophie.marnette@balliol.ox.ac.uk 
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar takes place at 5pm at Charles Wellbeloved Room, Harris Manchester College. The theme for this term is ‘Women’. This week’s speaker will be Alice Spiers (St Anne’s): Situating the Visionary:  the politics of Mechthild of Magdeburg and Henry Suso. Everyone is welcome at this informal and friendly graduate seminar.

Wednesday 9th November:

  • The Medieval German Graduate Seminar meets for a paper by Marlene Schilling on Personification in the Dietrichsepik at 11:15am in Somerville College – ask at the Lodge for directions. If you want to be added to the medieval German mailing list, please contact Henrike Lähnemann.
  • Book at Lunchtime with Professor Carolyne Larrington meets at 12.30pm (Lunch), 1-2pm (Discussion) in Radcliffe Humanities Seminar Room. For full details, see our blog.
  • The Medieval Latin Document Reading Group meets on Teams at 4-5pm. We are currently focusing on medieval documents from New College’s archive as part of the cataloguing work being carried out there, so there will be a variety of hands, dates and types. A document is sent out in advance but homework is not expected. Contact Michael Stansfield (michael.stansfield@new.ox.ac.uk) for further details and the Teams link.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar takes place at 5pm at the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St Giles. This week’s speaker will be Federica Scognamiglio (Scuola Normale Superiore), Before isometry: metrics and style of Ignatios the Deacon (and Pseudo-Ignatios).
  • Special Lecture: ‘Old Frisian, a Gem of Old Germanic Studies’ by Dr Anne Popkema will take place at 5.15pm in Taylor Room 2. The lecture is also a taster session for the Old Frisian Summer School which will run in July 2023 in St Edmund Hall. For full details, see our blog.

Thursday 10th November:

  • The Celtic Seminar will take place at 5.15pm via Zoom and The History of the Book Room, English Faculty. This week’s speaker will be Charlene Eska (Virginia Tech), ‘Let’s do it in the garden: A tale of temptation and redemption in NLS MS 72.1.26‘. Please contact david.willis@jesus.ox.ac.uk if you need a link.
  • WOOPIE (Oxford Old English Work-in-Progress) takes place at 5.15pm in New College, Room LR4. The speaker will be Prof. José Luis Martínez-Dueñas (Universidad de Granada): ‘Jorge Luis Borges’s Old English Poetics‘. The paper will be followed by drinks reception. All welcome. For further details, contact: rafael.pascual@ell.ox.ac.uk.

Friday 11th November:

  • The Medievalist Coffee Morning takes place at 10:30-11.30am in the Visiting Scholars Centre in the Weston Library and the presentation will feature the launch of the edition of a Douce collection of material relating to St Margarete of Antioch by Lucian Shepherd plus the showing of this and two further books (Douce 155: Marcolphus and Douce S 195: Bidpai) demonstrating Francis Douce’s “cut-and-paste” approach to pre-modern books (access via the Readers Entrance on Museum Road: straight ahead and up two floors!).
  • The Anglo-Norman Reading Group meets at 5-6.30pm at St Hilda’s College, in the Julia Mann Room. The text will be extracts from the Chronicle of Langtoft; pdf will be provided. For access to the text and further information, please email: Stephanie Hathaway or jane.bliss@lmh.oxon.org.

OPPORTUNITIES:

  • The Department of Medieval Studies at Central European University (Vienna) is pleased to announce its call for applications for the 2023/2024 academic year. The deadline is February 1, 2023. Central European University is a graduate-level, English-language university with a multi-disciplinary Medieval Department that offers the following programs: 1-year MA in Late Antique, Medieval and Early Modern Studies; 2-year MA in Comparative History: Late Antique, Medieval and Renaissance Studies; 2-year MA in Cultural Heritage Studies; PhD in Late Antique, Medieval and Early Modern Studies. CEU provides a variety of need- and merit-based scholarships and various other types of financial support available to students at all levels and from any country (tuition waiver, stipend, housing awards, health insurance coverage): https://www.ceu.edu/financialaid. Interested applicants can contact us at medstud@ceu.edu. For further information, visit: https://medievalstudies.ceu.edu/.

Finally, some more advice from Alcuin on self-care to see you through the perils of fifth week:

Cur in alium spem ponis et tu tibi ipsi benefacere non vis?
[Why are you willing to put hope in another but not to do good to yourself?, Ep. 23]

May you be willing to do good to yourself and to others this week!

[A Medievalist is feeling the 5th week blues sneak up on them]
Ashmole Bestiary, Bodleian Library MS. Ashmole 1511, f. 30 r.
Viewable in full at Digital Bodleian

Medieval Matters: Week 4

This week marks the feast of All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day. In more secular celebrations, today is, of course, Halloween. I bring you some festive wisdom for the occasion from Alcuin:

Non te diaboli seducat astutia, non corporalis voluptas evertat
[Do not let the devil’s tricks mislead you, and do not let physical treats destroy you, Ep. 301]

In other words: beware of both tricks and oversweet treats! Don’t worry: we have more treats than tricks this week, and since they are mostly treats of the mind, they even come Alcuin-approved! In particular, check out the blog post by Alison Ray on Medium Ævum Prizes and Grants to discover potential funding and prize-winning opportunities. We also, of course, have the much anticipated OMS / Astor Visiting Lecturer Lecture by Professor Ardis Butterfield, which takes place tonight, Monday 31st at 5.15pm in Lecture Theatre 2, English Faculty. We look forward to seeing many of you there: all are warmly invited to enjoy what is sure to be a fascinating and stimulating lecture and are welcome for drinks afterwards. Professor Butterfield will also be hosting a Manuscripts Masterclass on Tuesday 1st at 2-4pm in the Weston Library Lecture Theatre.
Of course, we have a whole range of other treats this week too – please see below for full details:

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Save the Date: Oxford Medieval Graduate Conference. The Oxford Medieval Graduate Conference will be back on April 20-21, 2023 with the theme of ‘Names and Naming’! The conference will be fully hybrid, in Oxford and online. Keep your eyes peeled for a full Call for Papers in the coming weeks, and make sure you’re following us on Twitter @OxMedGradConf to be the first to see it! For more information, see the blog post here.

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 31st October:

  • The Byzantine Graduate Seminar takes place at 12.30-2pm online via Zoom. This week’s speaker will be Nuna Terri (Université libre de Bruxelles), Saint Thekla’s popularity in Rough Cilicia. To register, please contact the organiser at james.cogbill@worc.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval Archaeology Seminar takes place at 3pm in the Institute of Archaeology, Lecture Room. This week’s speaker will be Gabor Thomas, ‘Not so much a backwater: New archaeological research on the early medieval Middle Thames‘.
  • The Queer and Trans Medievalisms Reading Group meets at 3pm at Univ College, 12 Merton St Room 2. This week’s theme is Transfemme prayer: Kalonymus ben Kalonymus. All extremely welcome! To join the mailing list and get texts in advance, or if you have any questions, email rowan.wilson@univ.ox.ac.uk.   
  • The Medieval History Seminar takes place at 5pm in the Wharton Room, All Souls College and on Teams (Teams link here). This week’s speaker will be 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 
  • The OMS Lecture / Astor Visting Lecture will take place at 5.15pm, Lecture Theatre 2, English Faculty. The speaker will be Professor Ardis Butterfield, ‘Do we mean lyric or song? Modern lyric theory in history’. All are welcome to attend.
  • The Old English Reading Group takes place at 5.30-7.30pm. Please email grace.oduffy@sjc.ox.ac.uk for more information and to be added to the mailing list.

Tuesday 1st November:

  • There will be no Medieval English Research Seminar this week.
  • Prof. Ardis Butterfield, the Astor Visting Lecturer, will hold a Manuscripts Masterclass at 2-4pm, Weston Library Lecture Theatre. The theme will be ‘Medieval lyric and song manuscripts from Bodleian collections’. All welcome: no need to book, just turn up.
  • GLARE (Greek and Latin Reading Group) takes place at 4-5pm at Harold Wilson Room, Jesus College. Please meet at Jesus College Lodge. This week’s text will be Seneca, Thyestes. All welcome to attend any and all sessions. For more details and specific readings each week, or to be added to the mailing list, email john.colley@jesus.ox.ac.uk or jenyth.evans@seh.ox.ac.uk.  
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar takes place at 5pm at Charles Wellbeloved Room, Harris Manchester College. The theme for this term is ‘Women’. This week’s speaker will be Chimene Bateman (LMH): Christine de Pizan and Saint Christine: the power of women’s speech. Everyone is welcome at this informal and friendly graduate seminar.

Wednesday 2nd November:

  • No Medieval German Graduate Seminar this week.
  • The Codicology and the Material Book Seminar takes place at 1.30-3.30pm, in the Weston Library. Today’s seminar is on Structures of the manuscript book. The seminar is open to all current Oxford students. To attend: email bookcentre@bodleian.ox.ac.uk
  • The Medieval Latin Document Reading Group meets on Teams at 4-5pm. We are currently focusing on medieval documents from New College’s archive as part of the cataloguing work being carried out there, so there will be a variety of hands, dates and types. A document is sent out in advance but homework is not expected. Contact Michael Stansfield (michael.stansfield@new.ox.ac.uk) for further details and the Teams link.
  • The Medieval Misuse discussion group will meet at 5-6pm in The Merze Tate room (history faculty). All welcome!
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar takes place at 5pm at the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St Giles. This week’s speaker will be Georgi Parpulov (Lincoln College), Middle-Byzantine Evangelist Portraits.

Thursday 3rd November:

  • The Old French Reading Group will meet at St Hilda’s College, 4pm. Please direct any questions about the group to Alice (alice.hawkins@st-hildas.ox.ac.uk) or Irina (irina.boeru@st-hildas.ox.ac.uk).
  • The Celtic Seminar will take place at 5pm on Zoom. This week’s speaker will be Llewelyn Hopwood (Oxford): ‘Beth oedd ‘Cymraeg da’ (1300–1600)?‘. Please contact a.elias@wales.ac.uk for the link.
  • The Oxford Medieval Visual Culture Seminar will take place at 5pm in St Catherine’s College, Arumugam Building. This week’s speakers will be Laura Cleaver and Danielle Magnusson, University of London, The market for medieval illuminated manuscripts and the making of a canon, c. 1900-1925.

Friday 4th November:

  • The Medievalist Coffee Morning takes place at 10:30-11.30am in the Visiting Scholars Centre in the Weston Library (access via the Readers Entrance on Museum Road: straight ahead and up two floors!).
  • The Germanic Reading Group meets at 4pm on Zoom. This week we will be looking at two Old Saxon texts under Will’s guidance. They are the ‘Essener Heberolle’ and the ‘Allerheiligenhomilie’ in the Müllenhoff edition. To receive the materials and be added to the mailing list, please contact howard.jones@sbs.ox.ac.uk.

OPPORTUNITIES:

  • 2023 Medium Ævum Essay Prize: Race your Word-Wyvern to glory! Postgraduates and those recently graduated with a higher degree are invited to submit an essay on a topic that falls within the range of the interests of Medium Ævum in the medieval period (up to c. 1500). The winner of the Essay Prize will receive a cash prize and funding for books and conference attendance. The winning article will also be considered for publication in Medium Ævum, subject to the usual editorial procedures of the journal. Entries must be submitted by Thursday, 2 December 2022 and further details on entry criteria and how to submit are available on our website: https://aevum.space/EssayPrize
  • Conference Funding and Research Travel Bursaries: Planning an event or research trip? The Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature are now open for physical and online conference funding applications, and are particularly interested in providing sponsorship which facilitates wide conference access and participation for unwaged graduate and early-career medievalists. Conference grant applications are generally open to Society members and should be made at least three months ahead of the planned conference date, please find the Society’s guidelines for applicants on our website: https://aevum.space/conferences/funding.

That’s all for our round-up this week. Finally, some more advice from Alcuin:

non tristitia pusillanimem reddat, non laetitia immoderatum efficitat
[Do not let sadness dispirit you, nor immoderate joy overexcite you, Ep. 301]

In other words: do not be too saddened by tricks, nor overly distracted by treats! That said, I think the OMS treats of this week are the exception: even Alcuin surely could not have objected to becoming overexcited by learning! May you have a joyful week full of Medievalist treats.

[A Medievalist is feeling ready for Halloween]
Ashmole Bestiary, Bodleian Library MS. Ashmole 1511, f. 63 r.
Viewable in full at Digital Bodleian

Medieval Matters: Week 3

Welcome to Week 3. Some timely advice from Alcuin for the stormy weather we had this weekend:

Hodie tempestas inminet, sed cras serenitas arridet
[Today a storm hangs over us, but tomorrow pleasant weather will smile upon us, Ep. 173]

I would like to draw particular attention to an especially pleasant event that will be smiling upon us this time next week, when we will be hosting the long-awaited termly OMS lecture / Astor Visiting Lecture by Prof. Ardis Butterfield. The lecture will take place on Monday 31 October, 5.15pm, in Lecture Theatre 2, English Faculty (St Cross Building). For full details, please see our blog post. This said, we are not fairweather Medievalists, and come rain or shine this week, there will be plenty of events and opportunities to enjoy. Please see below for everything happening this week:

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Sign-ups Now Open for the Medieval Mystery Cycle! Just follow this link to propose a play and to join one of the highlights of the Oxford Medieval Studies calendar, which will be held on Saturday 22 April 2023 at St Edmund Hall. For full details on the kinds of play that you can put on and a wealth of inspiration from past years, see our blog post here.
  • OMS Small Grants Now Open: The TORCH Oxford Medieval Studies Programme invites applications for small grants to support conferences, workshops, and other forms of collaborative research activity organised by researchers at postgraduate (whether MSt or DPhil) or early-career level from across the Humanities Division at the University of Oxford. The activity should take place between the beginning of November 2022 and end of March 2023. The closing date for applications is Friday of Week 4 of Michaelmas Term = 4 November). Grants are normally in the region of £100–250. For full details, see our blog post here.
  • Meet your OMS Team 2022/23! Oxford’s medieval studies community continues to get bigger and better every year. This year we have our largest OMS team to date to help keep you informed about Medieval goings on in and around Oxford. To meet the team, please visit our blog post here.

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 24th October:

  • The Byzantine Graduate Seminar takes place at 12.30-2pm online via Zoom. This week’s speaker will be Joaquin Serrano (University of Edinburgh), The reliquary-cross of Saint Constantine and the military use of holy relics. To register, please contact the organiser at james.cogbill@worc.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval History Seminar takes place at 5pm in the Wharton Room, All Souls College and on Teams (Teams link here). This week’s speaker will be Ildar Garipzanov (Oslo), ‘Early Medieval Minuscule Texts: What, where, and why?‘. 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 Old Norse Reading Group meets at 5.30-7.30pm. Please email Ashley Castelino (ashley.castelino@lincoln.ox.ac.uk) to be added to the mailing list.

Tuesday 25th October:

  • The Medieval English Research Seminar takes place at 12.15pm in Lecture Theatre 2, English Faculty. This week’s speakers will be John Colley (Oxford), ‘Skelton and the Commonweal: Greek History in Quattrocento England’ Lucy Fleming  (Oxford), ‘ “A Racket at the Mill”: The Reeve’s Tale for a Century of Young Readers’. The paper will be followed by lunch with the speaker. All welcome.
  • The Governability across the medieval globe Discussion Group meets at 12:30 in the History Faculty. Everyone welcome, staff, students and researchers, of all historical periods. We encourage you to bring lunch along. This session we will be discussing ‘What is governability and how can we study it?’.
  • GLARE (Greek and Latin Reading Group) takes place at 4-5pm at Harold Wilson Room, Jesus College. Please meet at Jesus College Lodge. This week’s text will be Sophocles, Antigone. All welcome to attend any and all sessions. For more details and specific readings each week, or to be added to the mailing list, email john.colley@jesus.ox.ac.uk or jenyth.evans@seh.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar takes place at 5pm at Charles Wellbeloved Room, Harris Manchester College. The theme for this term is ‘Women’. This week’s speaker will be Philippa Byrne  (Somerville): Making Germans Sicilian in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries. Everyone is welcome at this informal and friendly graduate seminar.

Wednesday 26th October:

  • The Medieval German Graduate Seminar meets for a paper by Luise Morawetz on the ‘Hildebrandslied’ at 11:15am in Somerville College – ask at the Lodge for directions. If you want to be added to the medieval German mailing list, please contact Henrike Lähnemann.
  • The Codicology and the Material Book Seminar takes place at 1.30-3.30pm, in the Weston Library. Today’s seminar is on Paper & Parchment/Inks & Pigment. The seminar is open to all current Oxford students. To attend: email bookcentre@bodleian.ox.ac.uk. Please note that this takes place at 1.30pm, not at 2pm as previously advertised!
  • The Medieval Latin Document Reading Group meets on Teams at 4-5pm. We are currently focusing on medieval documents from New College’s archive as part of the cataloguing work being carried out there, so there will be a variety of hands, dates and types. A document is sent out in advance but homework is not expected. Contact Michael Stansfield (michael.stansfield@new.ox.ac.uk) for further details and the Teams link.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar takes place at 5pm at the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St Giles. This week’s speaker will be Ine Jacobs (Oxford), The Byzantine Dark Ages at Stauropolis/Karia (FKA Aphrodisias).

Thursday 27th October:

  • The Seminar in Medieval and Renaissance Music will take place on Zoom at 5pm. This week’s speaker will be Laurie Stras (University of Southampton): Music, musicians, and community at the Florentine convent of San Matteo in Arcetri (1540-1630). If you are planning to attend a seminar this term, please register using this form. For each seminar, those who have registered will receive an email with the Zoom invitation and any further materials a couple of days before the seminar. If you have questions, please just send me an email (matthew.thomson@ucd.ie).
  •  The Launch of The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Medieval Women’s Writing in the Global Middle Ages takes place at 5pm via Zoom. To celebrate the launch of this exciting volume, there will be a round table on Women’s Writing in the Global Middle Ages, featuring Diane Watt (University of Surrey), Ruth Lefevre (Palgrave), Michelle M. Sauer (University of North Dakota), Liz Herbert McAvoy (Swansea University), Ayoush Lazikani (University of Oxford), Kathryn Maude (American University of Beirut), Will Rogers (University of Louisiana at Monroe), and Alexandra Verini (Ashoka University). A Q&A will follow the roundtable. For full details, and to sign up, see the eventbrite page.
  • The Celtic Seminar will take place at 5.15pm via Zoom and The History of the Book Room, English Faculty. This week’s speaker will be Jon Morris (Caerdydd), ‘The interplay between social structures and language variation in Welsh-speaking communities‘. Please contact david.willis@jesus.ox.ac.uk if you need a link.
  • At 9:20pm, the St Edmund Consort will sing Compline at Candlelight in the Norman Crypt under St-Peter-in-the-East, the library church of St Edmund Hall, Queen’s Lane, featuring a hymn written in 1522 by Elisabeth Cruciger.

Friday 28th October:

  • The Medievalist Coffee Morning takes place at 10:30-11.30am 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 5-6.30pm at St Hilda’s College, in the Julia Mann Room. The text will be extracts from the Chronicle of Langtoft; pdf will be provided. For access to the text and further information, please email: stephanie.hathaway@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk or jane.bliss@lmh.oxon.org.

Finally, here is some parting wisdom from Alcuin to keep in mind as you venture around town this week:

Non sis harundo agitata, non flos aura tempestatis decidens
[Do not be a reed shaken by the wind, a flower blown down by the storm, Ep. 72]

I interpret this to mean: be careful of your umbrella choice when navigating Oxford in the autumn winds!! In less literal understanding: don’t give up if you hit stormy seas in your research. Wishing you a week of sunny skies both literally and metaphorically.

[Medievalist struggles with an umbrella whilst on the way to the library]
Ashmole Bestiary, Bodleian Library MS. Ashmole 1511, f. 19 r.
Viewable in full at Digital Bodleian

Medievalists Coffee Mornings!

When: Fridays, 10.30-11.30 am

Where: Visiting Scholars Centre in the Weston Library
How to get there: via the Readers Entrance on Museum Road, 2nd floor via the staircase/elevator just straight ahead from the readers entrance (stick to the concrete part, do not use the ornamental staircase or you will land in the Conservation Department which is also nice but where no coffee is allowed)

All medievalists working in Oxford are welcome! Join us for coffee, conversations, and many insights into the Bodleian collections, cf. the playlist ‘Coffee Morning’: