Medieval Matters: Week 1

On behalf of everyone here at OMS, I’d like to wish you a huge welcome (or welcome back) to Oxford Medieval Studies! Whether you are returning from your vac, or joining us for the first time, we are thrilled to have you here. This newsletter, and the medieval booklet (attached as a reduced-sized pdf to this week’s email, or viewable in full glory online here) will serve as your guide to all things medieval happening in and around Oxford.

In 2023/24, I will be taking the opportunity to feature extracts of letters from the Epistolae project, headed by Professor Joan Ferrante and based at Columbia University. Epistolae catalogues letters to and from medieval women. This open-access work was pioneering in digital humanities, feminist scholarship and open-access dissemination. In 2022, Epistolae was preserved as a static project and is now published by Columbia University Libraries. Featuring quotations from these letters is intended not only to link Oxford’s medievalists to an exciting resource outside of Oxford, but also to provide an inspirational and aspirational model for exciting interdisciplinary, boundary-pushing, open-access and digital humanities work. The values of the project align strongly with what OMS is trying to achieve as an international and interdisciplinary community invested in digital outreach, and I hope you enjoy reading the weekly quotations as much as I have enjoyed selecting them.  To learn more about the Epistolae project, see this youtube video.

On the same note, but turning closer to home: in 2023/24 each email will be accompanied by an image from the extremely newly digitised St John’s College MS 61, which is now available thanks to hard work by Sophie Bacchus-Waterman (Special Collections Photographer) and the Bodleian Digital Library Systems and Service.

Over the past ten years, OMS has become one of the largest communities of medievalists worldwide. There is a phenomenal breadth and diversity of research taking place at Oxford, and a wide range of exciting creative practice and public engagement activities. This year at OMS, we are hoping to feature one blog post each week to highlight the range of work going on, and to draw attention to the range of work that goes on here. We have a range of exciting blog posts coming up for you in future weeks, but this week we are starting with a blog post on blogging itself! Have a look for lots of helpful tips on using blogging to share your medieval research with a broader audience.

Please see below for the week’s announcements, events, and opportunities:


  • Meet the Medievalists: Join us on Tuesday 10th October at 5pm at Wellbeloved Room, Harris Manchester College for a social start to the year! This will include an announcement for the
  • OMS Small Grants scheme MT23 which is 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, see our blog post or meet us at Meet the Medievalists to see what small grant recipients did last year!
  • New Journal: We are pleased to announce the publication of a new journal, Manuscript and Text Cultures, from the Centre for Manuscript and Text Cultures, Oxford. The Centre is an academic hub for interdisciplinary activities related to the study of pre-modern manuscript and epigraphic traditions from around the world. Issues 1 & 2 of the journal are now available. Issue 2, Navigating the Text: Textual Articulation and Division in Pre-Modern Cultures can be read online at
  • New Book Publication: Jane Bliss is pleased to announce the publication of Douglas Gray’s last book From Fingal’s Cave to Camelot. Jane writes: ‘After Gray’s death, I was given access to his files and, since I knew what he was working on, produced two books. The first, Make We Merry More and Less, is available from Open Book Publishers in the normal way. This one was published by me privately.’ For the pdf, please contact ( Print copies are also available: Jane will send a copy on receipt of 17 pounds plus postage (to cover the printing costs).


Monday 9th October:

  • The Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group meets at 1-2pm on Teams. A friendly venue to practice your Latin and palaeography on a range of texts and scripts over the year. Sign up to the mailing list to receive weekly updates and Teams invites.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm in the Wharton Room, All Souls College. This week’s speaker will be Andrew Jotischky (RHUL) ‘Graze, Forage, Cook: authenticity and authority in medieval monastic reform‘. The seminar will also be available via Teams: the Teams session can be accessed by logging in to Teams with your account and joining the group “Medieval History Research Seminar” (team code rmppucs). Alternatively, it can be accessed via this link. If you have any difficulties please email:

Tuesday 10th October:

  • The Medieval English Research Seminar will meet at 12.15 in Lecture Theatre 2. This week’s speaker will be David Wallace (University of Pennsylvania), National Epics []: The Elusive Case of England. There will be a sandwich lunch provided afterwards. All welcome!
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at 5pm at Wellbeloved Room, Harris Manchester College. This week is ‘Meet the Medievalists’ – a special social event, with introduction to Oxford Medieval Studies (OMS). Come for a cuppa and hear what’s in store with OMS this term. All are welcome!
  • The Medieval French Research Seminar will meet at the Maison Francaise d’Oxford on Norham Road. Drinks will be available from 5pm; presentations start at 5.15pm. This week’s speaker will be Laura Endress (Zurich) ‘Missing links or contaminated witnesses? Exploring the manuscript tradition of the Suite-Vulgate du Merlin‘. All are welcome! For more information or to be added to the seminar maillist, please contact

Wednesday 11th October:

  • All Souls Library Open Day for Oxford Students will be held at 10-12 and 1-5pm at All Souls, Catte Street Entrance. Come and see the Library and apply to be a Reader. No food and drink, but for today only, photography is allowed! No booking needed, but you will need to bring your University Card to get in through the entrance.
  • The Medieval German Seminar meets at 11.15am, at Somerville College. In Michaelmas Term, we are going to discuss the forthcoming study edition by Christine Putzo of Konrad Fleck’s ‘Flore und Blancheflur’. We will meet in Almut Suerbaum’s office in Somerville College. Further information and reading recommendations via the teams channel; if you want to be added to that: please email Henrike Lähnemann. This week we will have a shorter organisational meeting.
  • The Medieval Latin Document Reading Group meets at 4-5pm on Teams. A document is sent out in advance but homework is not expected. Please contact Michael Stansfield ( for further details and the Teams link.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5pm at The Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies 66 St Giles and online via Microsoft Teams by clicking here. This week’s speaker will be Stratis Papaioannou (National Hellenic Research Foundation, Athens), ‘Portraits of the Reader during the Middle Byzantine Period’.

Thursday 12th October:

  • The Medieval Hebrew Reading Group meets at 10-11am in Catherine Lewis Lecture Theatre, Clarendon Institute, and online via Zoom. In order to attend via Zoom, please register here. This reading group is an opportunity to practice reading directly from images of medieval Hebrew manuscripts in an informal setting. All skill levels are welcome! There will be coffee, tea and cake afterwards in the Common Room of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies for those attending in person. For further information, please email
  • The Germanic Reading Group meets at 4pm, online via Zoom. Please contact Howard Jones to request the handouts and to be added to the list. This week’s reading will be OHG Otfrid extracts (Howard Jones leading).
  • The Celtic Seminar meets at 5pm, online via Zoom. Please contact for the link. This week’s speaker will be Martin Crampin (CAWCS), ‘Emblems of the Past: saints, stained glass and early medieval antiquitie’.
  • The Oxford Bibliographical Society meets for a lecture at 5.15pm in the Weston Library lecture theatre. This week’s speaker will be  William P. Stoneman (formerly Curator of Early Books and Manuscripts at Harvard University’s Houghton Library), ‘A Golden Collector of the Golden Age’: Charles Walker Clark (1871-1933) and his library of incunables’. The talk is hosted jointly with the Bodleian’s Centre for the Study of the Book. We will also be streaming the talk on Zoom; if you would like to get the link, do please get in touch with
  • The Old Occitan Literature Workshop meets at 5-6pm at St Hugh’s College, 74 Woodstock Road, Office A4. The topic of this week’s meeting will be ‘Is this… Fin’amor?’ (Jaufre Rudel (1125-48): Vida, “Lanquand li jorn son loc en mai”; Bernart de Ventadorn (1147-70): Vida, “Can vei la lauzeta mover”). To sign up, or for any other queries, email Kate Travers:

Friday 13th October:

  • The Medieval Coffee Morning meets as usual 10:30am in the Visiting Scholars Centre of the Weston Library (instructions how to find it) with presentation of items from the special collections, coffee and the chance to see the view from the 5th floor terrace.
  • The Anglo-Norman Reading Group meets at 5-6.30pm, in the Julia Mann Room, St Hilda’s College, and Zoom. Please let us know if you would like to attend, either in person or on Zoom; reminders including the Zoom link will be sent to those who have expressed interest. To register interest, or for more information, please contact Jane Bliss and/or Stephanie


  • Codicology Workshops: 25 October, 15 November and 29 November, 1:30-3pm, Horton Seminar Room, Weston Library. This series of workshops using the Bodleian Special Collections is aimed at Oxford University postgraduate students who wish to learn more about the history of the book, with a particular focus on its construction and materiality. Sessions will cover various aspects of medieval and early modern codicology, from ink to binding, from page to provenance. The originality of this series lies in the fact that the sessions are taught by Bodleian curators, researchers and conservators, bringing together their expertise and different approaches to the book. Sessions focus on inks and pigments, writing surfaces, bindings, decoration and provenance, and are offered in Medieval Studies, History and English. For more information and to register:
  • Teaching with manuscripts. Monday 4 Dec. (week 9), Horton Room, Weston Library, 2-3.30pm. This workshop is for anyone involved in small-group teaching who is considering incorporating medieval manuscript material in their classes. We will cover the practicalities of arranging classes and selecting material and explore what works and doesn’t work in the classroom. Contact or to register.
  • Call for Social Media Contributions: Are you passionate about medieval studies and public engagement? Would you like to share your research with a wider audience? Oxford Medieval Studies is looking for volunteers at any and all career stages to share fun medieval facts and stories or the most interesting parts of their research in one-minute video clips that will be posted across all our social media channels. Get in touch with for more details.

It is always such a joy to welcome everyone back to Oxford, but also see new faces. Whether you have been here many years or just a few days, here is some wisdom from the Epistolae project as we start the term (and year):

quamdiu vigilatis, aut lectione aut […] aliqua utili cogitatione sive intentione sit occupatum
[as long as you are awake, keep your heart busy always and everywhere with reading or […] some useful reflection or intention]
A letter (1094) from Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury to Matilda of Wilton

I wish you all a productive and reflective term, and look forward to appearing in your inboxes every week with the latest Medievalist happenings. May you have a week filled with reading and / or useful reflection, and may your heart be ‘busy always’ during this academic year!

[A busy Medievalist always keeps their copy of the Medieval Booklet close to hand]
St John’s College MS. 61, f. 40 r. 
By permission of the President and Fellows of St John’s College, Oxford
Viewable in full at Digital Bodleian

OBS: ‘A Golden Collector of the Golden Age’: Charles Walker Clark (1871-1933) and his library of incunables

When: Thursday 12 October at 5:15 p.m.
Where: Weston Library Lecture Theatre

Our programme of talks for 2023-2024 begins on Thursday, October 12th when William P. Stoneman, formerly Curator of Early Books and Manuscripts at Harvard University’s Houghton Library, will look at incunables from the library of Charles Walker Clarke (1871-1933).

Clark has been described as “a golden collector of the golden age” but because books from his collection contain no bookplate and there was never a public sale, the extent of his collection has been lost from the narrative of institutional collection building. Bill Stoneman has documented 226 fifteenth-century books from Clark’s collection, many of them not previously identified as Clark’s, and this talk will explore this important part of a truly remarkable American library. Bill will also look at the role of Clark’s wife, Celia Tobin Clark (1874-1965), in building up a collection that has had an international impact. 

The talk, which we are hosting jointly with the Bodleian’s Centre for the Study of the Book, will take place at 5.15pm in the Weston’s Lecture Theatre and we look forward to seeing you there. We will also be streaming the talk on Zoom; if you would like me to send you the link, do please get in touch (

Upcoming meetings:

Thursday 23 November at 5.15 pm (Merton College T. S. Eliot Theatre Hosted jointly with Merton History of the Book Group)
The Bodleian Library and the second-hand book trade in the early seventeenth century
Tamara Atkin (Queen Mary University of London)

Thursday 18 January, 2 pm–4 pm (Jesus College Fellows Library)
Bindings from the Fellows’ Library, Jesus College (a hands-on workshop with limited space; please contact the Secretary to book a place)
Nicholas Pickwoad

Thursday 1 February at 5.15 pm (Trinity College, Garden Room)
Politics, paper, print: reflections on the book history of the Mao era
Matt Wills (Peter Harrington Rare Books)

Thursday 7 March at 5.15 pm (Lincoln College Oakeshott Room)
Greek manuscripts from the collection of Lincoln College
Georgi Parpulov

Thursday 16 May at 5.15 pm (Christ Church, Upper Library)
Title to be confirmed
Lise Jaillant (Loughborough University)

Thursday 6 June at 5.15 pm
(Balliol College, Old Common Room ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Meeting to begin at 4.30 p.m. Lecture to follow at 5.15 after a brief interval for tea)

The art of antiquarian forgery in Georgian Britain
Peter Lindfield (Cardiff University)

Medieval Matters: Welcome Back!

It is now 0th week, which means that the new academic year has officially begun! We have so much in store for you this year at OMS, but whilst we wait for full term to begin, this week will bring a look back over everything that happened in 2022/23. Our impact report for 2022/23 is now published! I hope this will whet your appetites for things to come, and start the year off right by celebrating the amazing strength of our interdisciplinary community!

When I first joined OMS as a new postdoc in 2021, I was immediately struck by the tremendous scope of Oxford’s medieval community. Two years have passed, and I am still continually delighted and surprised by the great range of offerings we have, and the great diversity of work going on at Oxford. In 2022/23, there were an astounding 39 different medieval seminars, societies and reading groups, ranging from the Celtic Seminar to the Invisible East Seminar to Queer and Trans Medievalisms. There were eleven different language-specific groups (from Anglo-Norman to Old Norse); work ranging from the post-classical (Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar) to the immediate present day (Medieval Misuse Reading Group); and an incredible disciplinary range including archaeology, heraldry, history, literatures and languages, manuscript studies, music, numismatics, theology, and visual culture. Every year, there are new contributions, and one of the greatest joys of this work has been seeing new reading groups and societies blossom into long-standing mainstays of the weekly newsletter. 

But don’t just take my word for it: here are some statistics that highlight the astounding size and reach of our work. Over 850 people receive the Medieval Matters newsletter every week, and last year we had over 1,300 different visitors to the blog. Our reach extends far beyond Oxford itself: last year we had significant numbers of blog hits from the USA, Australia, Spain, Poland, Germany, China, France and Singapore. We have accounts on Twitter (currently at a strong 5823 followers), Facebook (914 followers), Instagram (654 followers), Mastodon (503 followers), YouTube (266 subscribers), TikTok (160 followers), and Threads (106 followers). Actual engagement is more difficult to judge and varies quite widely across platforms and their respective ever-changing algorithms but our most popular TikTok, which was Alison Ray talking about transferable skills in an archivist career, has 127 likes and 2001 views as of today, and our most viewed YouTube video appears to be James McGrath’s Bodleian Coffee Morning on Mandaean manuscripts, with 618 views. 

All of this is to say: medieval studies is flourishing at Oxford. As Communications Officer, my primary job is to bring together this enormous, vibrant community to foster interdisciplinary communication and to spotlight the very many happenings across the university (and beyond!). I am also extremely lucky to be able to work alongside both Oxford’s most long-serving academics and its very youngest, newest researchers. My role is twinned with work for the Humanities Division mentoring the Interdisciplinary Medieval Studies MSt students, and it has been a consistent joy to see so many bright young medievalists bringing new and exciting interdisciplinary approaches to our community. 

I hope you enjoy the impact report, which sums up the wealth of offerings and scholarship that happened at Oxford last year. It has been an honour to be at the helm of this, and I look forward to continuing to be your guide for 2023/24.


  • Medieval Booklet Michaelmas Term 2023. The first draft of the booklet is now available for viewing! To get a sneak peek at everything happening this term, please click here. If you have forgotten to send in your submission, please send it in before next Friday, when the final pdf version will be uploaded ready for distribution with Medieval Matters Week 1.
  • Medieval Blog Submissions. This year we are hoping to feature a greater range of blog posts to highlight Oxford’s vibrant medievalist community. We would like to have one blog post per week, and are currently looking for volunteers for MT. If you have a project / book release / manuscript that you would like to highlight, please do contact me. The OMS blog is seen by medievalists in and outside of Oxford and is a great place to showcase the achievements of our medieval community.
  • New Graduate Students / Staff Members. If you are the convenor of a medieval-focussed MSt/MPhil, have new DPhil students, know of new medieval staff members or are hosting visiting scholars, please send me a list of all of their email addresses so that I can sign them up for the mailing list. Alternatively, please distribute the following self-service link to allow them to sign up:


Tuesday 10th October:

  • Oxford Medieval Studies Social and Steering Group: We warmly invite you to join us for medievalist revelry to welcome in the new academic year, kindly hosted by the Medieval Church and Culture seminar. Further details to follow!


  • CFP: The Medieval Translator. Translation, Memory, and Politics in the Medieval World – To be hosted by the Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal, 17-21 June 2024. We invite submissions that address these themes and related topics in the context of the medieval world. Papers may be given in English, French or Portuguese, and should be twenty minutes long. Please send a 500-word abstract, an essential bibliography and a brief curriculum vitae by 15 October 2023 to: . For full details, please see the blog post here.
  • Assistant/Associate Professor of Medieval Literature & Language (University of Tennessee, Knoxville): The English Department at the University of Tennessee invites applications for a tenure-track assistant or associate professor in medieval literature and language, capable of teaching courses in both the Old English and Middle English periods, with a research specialization in either field. We particularly welcome candidates with interest in one or more of the following areas: digital humanities, medical humanities, and the global Middle Ages. (Deadline: November 1, 2023)
  • Assistant Professor of Classics in Medieval Latin & Digital Manuscript Studies (University of Tennessee, Knoxville): The Department of Classics has been authorized to make an appointment in Latin language and literature at the rank of tenure-track Assistant Professor. The expertise sought is Medieval Latin with a special interest in digital manuscript studies. This faculty member will teach undergraduate students in our department as well as train graduate students in UT’s Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. The successful candidate will have strong promise of scholarly achievement, demonstrated excellence in teaching Latin, as well as the ability to teach Medieval and Classical Latin, paleography, and digital manuscript studies, and to contribute to our departmental curriculum of large and small courses in classical civilization, literature, or mythology. (Deadline: October 31, 2023)
  • Assistant Professor in Early Modern French Studies (University of Tennessee, Knoxville): The Department of World Languages and Cultures at the University of Tennessee flagship campus in Knoxville is seeking applications for a full-time, 9-month tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant Professor in early modern French studies, with a focus on the 18th century, to begin August 1, 2024. To broaden our programs, innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to the field, such as Transatlantic studies, diaspora studies, medical humanities, and/or environmental humanities, are especially welcome. Expertise in theater is also desirable. (Deadline: November 1, 2023)
  • Assistant Professor in the History of Gender and/or Sexuality (University of Tennessee, Knoxville): The History Department at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville invites applications for a tenure-track assistant professor appointment in history with a focus on gender and/or sexuality from any world region or chronological period. Scholars whose research and teaching will complement the department’s current areas of strength are urged to apply. The position has a 2/2 teaching load. The successful candidate will teach introductory-level survey courses as well as upper division and graduate courses in the candidate’s area of expertise. (Deadline: October 1, 2023)
  • Assistant Professor in the History of Early Modern or Modern East Asia (University of Tennessee, Knoxville): The Department of History at the University of Tennessee invites applications for a tenure-track assistant professorship in the History of Early Modern or Modern East Asia (since 1500) outside of China. The research specialty is open and may treat any country or region within that scope. Applicants working in borderlands, cross-cultural contact, environment, migration, or science and medicine are encouraged to apply. The successful candidate will teach an undergraduate world history survey (1500 CE-present) and offer upper division and graduate courses in the area of specialty to complement our current strengths. (Deadline: October 15, 2023)
  • Associate Professor or Professor of Old Norse (St John’s College / English Faculty, Oxford): St John’s College and the Faculty of English invite applications from suitably qualified candidates for a Tutorial Fellowship and Associate Professorship in Old Norse, to be appointed with effect from 1 September 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter. The successful candidate will be both an Official Fellow and Tutor in English at St John’s, and a member of the Faculty of English. For full details, please click here.
  • Official (Tutorial) Fellowship in English at The Queen’s College and Associate Professorship or Professorship of Literature in English: The Queen’s College and the Faculty of English are seeking to recruit an Official (Tutorial) Fellow in English and Associate Professor or Professor of Literature in English to start on 1st September 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter. Applications are invited from well-qualified candidates with research expertise in the field of literature in English in the period from 1450-1550. This may include specialisms in areas such as medieval and early Tudor drama, early Scottish literature, women’s writing, or Henrician court literature. We also encourage applicants with comparative and global interests. The Faculty and College are strongly committed to encouraging diverse and inclusive approaches to literary study. For full details, please click here.

Finally, some wisdom from the Epistolae project on my hopes for the year as the Communications Officer:

Epistolam non ficta, sed fideli caritate et firma tibi a me missam suscipere, legere, audire atque exaudire dignare.
[Deign to receive, read, listen to and take notice of this letter which I am sending to you not with feigned but with faithful and strong charity]
A letter (1102-03) from Matilda of Scotland, queen of the English to Anselm of Canterbury

I interpret this to mean: may all of your emails be received, read, listened to, and answered with charity! Wishing you a week of charitable email replies, and I look forward to sending you our first full Medieval Matters of the year next week.

[A Medievalist looks at once back on the successes of the year just passed, and forward to the exciting year to come!]
St John’s College MS. 61, f. 47 v. 
By permission of the President and Fellows of St John’s College, Oxford
Viewable in full at Digital Bodleian

Conference ‘Articulation of Silence from a Gendered Perspective’

The Centre for Manuscript and Text Cultures ( will host the international conference ‘Articulation of Silence from a Gendered Perspective’ on the 26th, 27th, and 28th of September.

The main objective of this conference is to investigate the articulation of silence in text and manuscript cultures in different premodern traditions ( (Greece, Medieval Europe, China, Japan, Korea, India, ancient Egypt and the Middle East), from a (global?) gendered perspective. We define here ‘silence’ as an expression of the act of the non-articulation in texts and manuscripts of different genres and written on different kinds of material carriers, and invite papers that ‘unmute the muted’ or ‘hear the unheard’. By adopting a gendered perspective in the study of silence, we encourage scholars to be attentive to the silence of both individuals and groups that belong to the non-dominant social, political, and intellectual class in their respective cultures. The conference aims to bring together a diverse group of speakers, including both junior researchers and experienced scholars, coming from different disciplinary backgrounds, with the goal of fostering a lively interdisciplinary debate on the topic.

The conference will take place in the Lucina Ho Room of the China Centre from 9.30am to 5pm on the 26th, from 10am to 7pm on the 27th, and from 9am to 1pm on the 28th.

Conference ‘Articulation of Silence from a Gendered Perspective’
University Oxford, China Centre, Dickson Poon Building, Canterbury Rd, Oxford OX2 6LU September 26
th–28th 2023

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Silencing of the voices of ‘the others’ as expressed in the texts
  • Female strategies to control the male narrative and male voices, and vice-versa
  • Strategies of the texts in prioritising the male over the female voices
  • Cases of disregard or disrespect of female and other voices, turning them into silence
  • The materiality of voicing gendered silence
  • The material contexts of gendered silence
  • Reception strategies of dealing with queer voices in manuscriptsThe conference aims to bring together a diverse group of speakers, including both junior researchers and experienced scholars, coming from different disciplinary backgrounds, with the goal of fostering a lively interdisciplinary debate on the topic.Our aim is that the papers presented at the conference will be published in the 2025 spring volume of the journal Manuscript and Text Cultures.Organizers: Dirk Meyer (University of Oxford), Lisa Indraccolo (Tallinn University), Stefka G. Eriksen (University of Oslo)


9:30 –10:00 OPENING SPEECHES AND INTRODUCTION (Meyer/Eriksen/Indraccolo)

10:00 –10:15: COFFEE BREAK

10:15–12:00 FIRST SESSION: SILENCE AND THE BODY Chair: Dirk Meyer (University of Oxford)

Stefka G. Eriksen (University of Oslo)

“Women Controlling the Narrative in Old Norse Culture: Silencing the Male Voice and Obstructing the Male Gaze”

Andreas Serafim (Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun)
“Making silence speak: Body behaviour and kinaidia in ancient literature”

12:00 –14:00 LUNCH BREAK

14:00–15:45 SECOND SESSION: SILENCE AND MATERIAL CULTURE Chair: Stefka G. Eriksen (University of Oslo)

Elizabeth Frood (University of Oxford)
“She is spoken for: self-presentation and presenting female selves in ancient Egyptian temple statues”

Vincent Debiais (EHESS Paris)
“Gendered Silence & Gendered Images in the Latin West”

15:45–16:15: COFFEE BREAK 16:15: 17:00 ROUND-UP DAY 1

10:00–11:45 THIRD SESSION: SILENCE AND THE AUTHORIAL SELF Chair: Dirk Meyer (University of Oxford)

Elsa Kueppers (Ruhr University Bochum)
“Beyond the Inner Room: Records of (Imagined) Journeys by Chosŏn Korean Women”

Julia Rüthemann (EHESS, Paris)
“Female silence and authorship in late medieval courtly first-person narratives”

11:45–14:00 LUNCH BREAK

14:00–15:45 FOURTH SESSION: SILENCE, LITERARY CULTURE AND THE CANON Chair: Lisa Indraccolo (Tallinn University)

Dirk Meyer (University of Oxford)
“You are (not) muted: gendered power structures of silence in the Shī manuscripts of Ānhuī University”

Jennifer Guest (University of Oxford)
“Silence in the Pillow Book: the power of missing texts in the early medieval Japanese court”

15:45–16:15: COFFEE BREAK

16:15 –17:45 FIFTH SESSION: SILENCE AND TRANSGRESSION Chair: Stefka G. Eriksen (University of Oslo)

Lisa Indraccolo (Tallinn University)
“Girls Gone Bad – ‘Evil women’ and the gendered use of silence as a control tool in early China”

Kate Crosby (University of Oxford)

“Unheard, unseen and central: the long shadow cast modern Theravada by early struggles with female agency”

17:45-19:00 ROUND-UP DAY 2

9:00–10:45 SIXTH SESSION: SILENCE AND DISOBEDIENCE/DISSENT Chair: Dirk Meyer (University of Oxford)

Thomas Crone (IKGF Erlangen–Nürnberg)
“Silence as a Sign of (Male) Powerlessness? The Case of the Western Han Manuscript Wang Ji 妄稽 (Ms. Baseless)”

10:45–11:15 COFFEE BREAK



Stefka G. Eriksen (University of Oslo)

Women Controlling the Narrative in Old Norse Culture: Silencing the Male Voice and Obstructing the Male Gaze

A popular motive in medieval literature encompasses the meeting between a woman and a man, when, for various reasons, the woman either demands of the man that he does not tell anyone about her (she controls his voice/ demands silence of him), or she does not allow him to see her (she controls his gaze/ makes him non-seeing). This motive gets realized in a number of Old Norse translations too from the middle of the thirteenth century, such as some of the short stories of the Strengleikar-collection (based on lais of Marie de France), or Old Norse translations of romances by Chrétien de Troyes and Partalopi saga (based on Partonopeu de Blois). In this paper, I will investigate how the topic of female control of the male voice and gaze is adapted to the Old Norse cultural context, by comparing the Old Norse translations to their European sources and to other indigenous Old Norse texts containing similar motives. A secondary main question in this investigation will be whether speaking/ non-speaking and seeing/ non-seeing may be seen as parallel affordances or handicaps in medieval culture and whether they were related to gender differently.

Andreas Serafim (Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun)

“Making silence speak: Body behaviour and kinaidia in ancient literature”

This paper puts forward the argument that kinaidia, roughly referring to passive homosexuality and effeminate deportment, is reflected in nonverbal and inarticulate body markers that most succinctly describe self, what one does (akin to the theories of S. de Beauvoir) to be. The purpose of the paper is threefold: first, to explore passages that have been largely underexamined in scholarship (e.g. Archilochus fr. 327 and 328 which are notable in presenting a kinaidos as having the embodied and moral markers of a bad prostitute); second, to exploit textual (Book of Physiognomy, 4th century AD) and non-textual sources (the Kroisos Kouros and the discus- thrower by the sculptor Myron) to present a physiognomic vignette of the hoplite, which stands in sharp contrast to that of a kinaidos, as argued in Aeschines 2.150-151; and third, to substantiate the claims that involuntary and unconscious bodily reactions indicate kinaidic identity. Diogenes Laertius 7.173 and Dio Chrysostom 33.53-54 make, specifically, the case that sneezing reveals kinaidia because of uncontrolled embodied performance, especially regarding sound, gesticulation, and stature. The silent human body has its own ways to speak volumes about the sex and gender of individuals.

Elizabeth Frood (University of Oxford)

“She is spoken for: self-presentation and presenting female selves in ancient Egyptian temple statues”

She is gracious. She is hospitable. She is grieving. And, most usually, she is silent. These are conventional characterisations of elite women in Egypt’s New Kingdom and early Third Intermediate Period (ca. 1539 – 715 BCE) as incorporated into the monumental display of their male relatives or, very rarely, into their own separate memorials. This paper explores the implications of such self-fashioning, particularly through temple statues and the voices that are occasionally ascribed to women on them. Although these representations in image and text were almost certainly designed and composed by men, in itself deepening women’s silence, they may offer ways to reconsider the material, performative presence of some (statue) individuals in temple environments. This is especially the case in the early first millennium BCE when possibilities for independent female self-presentations were expanding.

Vincent Debiais (EHESS Paris)

“Gendered Silence & Gendered Images in the Latin West”

Art from the Western Middle Ages has transformed silence into images. This visual singularity, which transfers something that cannot be heard into something that can be seen, is linked to the fact that silence, in the context of the Christian culture of asceticism and prayer, is both a social practice of speech control and a theoretical principle allowing the revelation and expression of realities that escape verbal language. These figures of silence in medieval art use color, geometry, or ornament, but they are also embodied in human figures who describe the experience of silence or participate in its regulation, especially within the monastery. In this paper focusing on images produced in monastic context in the Latin West between the 9th and 14th centuries, we will try to show that the gender of painted or sculpted figures denotes certain properties or qualities of silence and that they seek to make them resonate with the social environments to which they are intended. We will thus question the possible specificities of the silence of the monk and the nun, and the way in which it was put into image, analyzing the distortions, incongruities and theological or practical discourses produced on the gender of silence during the Middle Ages.

Elsa Kueppers (Ruhr University Bochum)

Beyond the Inner Room: Records of (Imagined) Journeys by Chosŏn Korean Women

This presentation explores the nexus of travel and writing, illustrating how these components constituted a transcending of boundaries—both spatial and societal—for elite women during the later Chosŏn Dynasty (16th-19th c.). Facing increasing societal restrictions rooted in the Confucian state ideology, these women were relegated to a secluded life within the “inner room” (kyujung 閨中), emblematic of the private sphere. However, there is evidence that many of these women yearned to venture beyond these confines, as vividly reflected in their records of imagined and actual journeys. As autonomous continuations of their journeys, the written accounts inscribe the women’s unique lived experiences with heightened significance and submit them into the literary space traditionally reserved for men. This makes them a testimony to a twofold trespassing: first, leaving the confines of the private sphere, and second, breaking silence by articulating these experiences in literature. Examining the self-narratives of Hŏ Nansŏrhŏn, Nam Ŭiyudang, and Kim Kŭmwŏn, the presentation seeks to illuminate how these authors maintained the delicate balance between the societal expectations for female silence and seclusion and the authentic expression of their voices.

Julia Rüthemann (EHESS, Paris)

“Female silence and authorship in late medieval courtly first-person narratives”

In late medieval first-person narratives about love, a text group spread throughout Europe in the late Middle Ages, it is usually a male author-narrator who tells his love experience with a young woman, authorizing him as lover and as author. His beloved appears as silenced love object out of reach with a symbolic value as in the Roman de la Rose (13th century) or – even if she functions as a co-creater of the text (as in the Roman de la Poire, 13th century) ‒ as textual projection ofthe male author. Moreover, at times, the beloved is super-posed with the allegory of love, being a mediating abstract principle that inspires the author to create poetry rather than a human person with her own voice. First, the paper aims to examine the link between female silence, allegory and authorship in love narratives by broadening the perspective on underlying medieval conceptions about language. The paper will then discuss the case of Christine de Pizan (1365-ca. 1430), a female author writing in French. When adopting the first-person stance and writing about love, it becomes obvious that she grapples with the function attributed to the female in courtly first-person narratives. She develops several creative strategies to be in the position of a female author: distancing herself from courting and stressing her role of the widow while telling the love stories of others or speaking from the position of allegory while breaking it open. When it comes to telling a love experience, not everyone is able to say “I” and be an author, or not in the same way ‒ depending on gender.

Dirk Meyer (University of Oxford)

“You are (not) muted: gendered power structures of silence in the Shī manuscripts of Ānhuī University”

A most common phrase of the years 2020/2021 was ‘you are muted’ (or: ‘you are on mute’), followed closely by ‘unmute yourself’. The two sentences display an intriguing power structure, one where the muted finds themselves in a subordinate position to the unmuted, but nonetheless, one where the muted does have the power, within limits, to unmute themselves. Many songs of the Shī 詩 (Songs) of the States (guó 國) in China of antiquity present a similar power dynamic. Often this dynamic is gendered. More so in the Ānhuī University Manuscripts (Ān Dà Shī) of the fourth century BC than in the Máo recension of the Western Hàn (202 BC–AD 9), we find an overbearing male narrative voice which is leaving little or no room for the female to articulate a response. But the female experience generally finds a way to re-frame the often- objectifying male gaze, which then affords power to the female to take the initiative. In this article, we analyse the strategies taken in some Shī-songs of the Ān Dà Shī to reframe the male perspective, so the female experience comes to voice even if the female persona of the song remains ‘muted’.

Jennifer Guest (University of Oxford)

“Silence in the Pillow Book: the power of missing texts in the early medieval Japanese court”

The Pillow Book (Makura no sōshi), an eclectic collection of lists and personal anecdotes by the Heian lady-in-waiting Sei Shōnagon (active c. 1000CE), has often been read in terms of its presumed silences. At one level, there is its refusal to give voice to tragedy: its central figure is Shōnagon’s patron, Empress Teishi, who was ultimately sidelined by rivals and died young — but against the backdrop of a literary culture that usually elevated poignant and melancholy themes,Shōnagon wrote nothing directly about Teishi’s sad fate or the decline of her court salon. At other levels, there are the gaps Shōnagon leaves in her depiction of court life, and her use of strategic silence as a storytelling technique, with many anecdotes centred on a missing poem or allusion. This talk explores another intersecting set of silences: the recurring concern with lost or unvoiced texts that runs throughout the Pillow Book, connecting stories about memory, loyalty, and the social uses of literary knowledge. In linking these various layers of silence, I will consider how both the absence and the silent presence of certain texts can be related to the author’s position as a woman, and specifically a lady-in-waiting, suggesting how the experience and performance of texts was gendered in the Heian court, and what creative possibilities this allowed.

Lisa Indraccolo (Tallinn University)

“Girls Gone Bad – ‘Evil women’ and the gendered use of silence as a control tool in early China”

Collection of stories of virtuous types, including women, often with a strong moralizing undertone, are a rather flourishing literary genre in China since ancient times (Kinney 2014). Filial daughters, deferential wives, devoted daughters-in-law, wise and attentive mothers: these are the roles prescribed for women in early China (ca. 6th cent. B.C.–2nd cent. A.D.) that they are required to embrace and in which they are expected to thrive at different stages of their lives, setting an example for future generations (Holmgren 1981; Nylan 2002). However, there is another side to this coin. Intellectually gifted, witty, shrewd and unconventional figures of unapologetically deviant, “problematic” women are also present in the literature (Fracasso 2005). As consequence for breaking social boundaries and conventions, they are typically silenced and presented in a bad light, accused of being promiscuous and corrupting men who have the disgrace of crossing their paths (Hinsch 2012). Often – but not invariably – deprived of a voice of their own, in the received literature they are blamed and condemned without appeal – a case in point being for instance the famous dialogue between Confucius and Lady Nánzi 南子 reported in the Confucian Analects (Lúnyǔ 論語) (Milburn 2010), the content of which remains shrouded in mystery. However, despite being silenced, some of these charismatic figures still play a fundamental role in the intellectual and literary landscape of the period. Also, certain sources are deliberately ambiguous, or at least somewhat less critical, when describing these “evil women,” some of whom are actual historical figures, and even allow the possibility for them to speak up for themselves. Through the analysis of selected cases of “evil women” drawn from pre-imperial and early imperial received sources, the present paper explores the ideological, moralizing and rhetorical use of silence to control women’s behaviour in early China.

Kate Crosby (University of Oxford)

“Unheard, unseen and central: the long shadow cast over modern Theravada by early struggles with female agency”

The attitudes towards women voiced in the early Buddhist canon are inconsistent. Sure, they are capable of enlightenment. Yet after the Buddha reluctantly allows women to become nuns, he then declares that their inclusion will wreak havoc, halving like a disease the lifespan of the religion that he has spent years designing to ensure its longevity. Sure, lust is an unwholesome mental state, a problem in the beholder not the beheld. Yet the monastic-centric texts at the same time convey women as dangerous temptresses ‘even when dying’. This paper provides some examples of how this background continues to set the tone in Theravada practice, and how it has obscured for both practitioners and scholars, the centrality of female agency, both actual and symbolic, in traditional Theravada literary and meditation practices.

Thomas Crone (IKGF Erlangen–Nürnberg)
“Silence as a Sign of (Male) Powerlessness? The Case of the Western Han Manuscript 
Wang Ji

妄稽 (Ms. Baseless)”

Wang Ji is a Western Han (202–9 BCE) narrative poem obtained by Peking University in 2009, along with several other looted bamboo manuscripts. The text depicts the eponymous and explicitly fictional wife Wang Ji (literally, “Baseless” or “Unattested”) and her jealousy of the concubine/secondary wife/female slave (qie 妾) Yu Shi 虞士. Although the poem caters to the notion common at the time that women should only express dissent and criticism if it was for the benefit of their male counterparts, a closer look reveals that the domestic hierarchies and role distribution displayed by the narrative of the Wang Ji poem draw a significantly different picture. As I will argue in my paper, the silence of Wang Ji’s in-laws and husband towards her initially polite and later increasingly violent forms of protest indicates an intellectual helplessness and social powerlessness that rarely surfaces in traditionally transmitted texts from the same period. Compared to many traditional narratives, in which marriages and domestic life are generally characterized by female loyalty and obedience, Wang Ji represents an odd and provocative counter-example, highlighting the potentially adversarial nature of gender relations during the early Han era.

Three Renaissance Grotesques: Holbein, Dürer, Massys

As part of a Workshop on the Grotesque at Magdalen College, there will be a Public Lecture by Professor Alexander Marr (University of Cambridge) 27 September 2023, 5pm to 6pm. Free entry Magdalen College, Grove Auditorium (entry via Longwall Street). All welcome.

The Renaissance grotesque is normally thought of as an ornamental art of the margins: fantastical rather than natural, supplementary instead of central. But what if we were to approach a core subject in the rise of naturalism, the Northern Renaissance portrait, on grotesque terms? This lecture will re-assess three well-known portraits—Hans Holbein the Younger’s Derich Born, Albrecht Dürer’s St Jerome in his Study, and Quinten Massys’s so- called Ugly Duchess—in relation to some key topoi of the grotesque: hybridity, monstrosity, play, and the excesses of fecund imagination. It will suggest that the enterprise of portraiture is (and was) better understood as a facetious game than a mimetic triumph.

Alexander Marr is Professor of Renaissance and Early Modern Art at the University of Cambridge. He specializes in German, Netherlandish, Italian, French and British art ca. 1450- ca. 1800, especially its intellectual and literary aspects in their social contexts. Before coming to Cambridge, he taught at the University of Southern California and the University of St Andrews. From 2014 to 2019 he was Director of the project Genius before Romanticism: Ingenuity in Early Modern Art & Science, funded by an ERC Consolidator Grant (€1.8 million). His awards include a Paul Mellon Centre Senior Fellowship, the Robert H. Smith Residency at the V&A, and a Philip Leverhulme Prize. He was the founding Director of Cambridge’s Centre for Visual Culture and has directed research projects at CRASSH, the DAAD- Cambridge Hub for German Studies, and the USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute. Marr is Fellow and Dean of Discipline at Trinity Hall, and Director of Studies there and at Clare College. He is the President of the Leonardo da Vinci Society: a learned society dedicated to the study of art and science from the Renaissance to the present day.


Full Programme (registration needed for anything but the public lecture)


Sophia Shephard Room, Magdalen College

9:00-9:30: Welcome and housekeeping

9:30-11:00: Italian session, chaired by Martin Clayton (Royal Collections Trust, Windsor)

9:30-9:50: What’s so Grotesque About Amor? An Investigation into the (Dis-)Continuity of Classical Forms – Dr Rebecca Bowen (MML Faculty, Oxford)

9:50-10:10: Tracing the Grotesque in Italian “Popular” Prints – Anya Perse (Lincoln College, Oxford) 

10:10-10:30: Engraving, Sculpture, and the Contested Legacy of Horace: The Antipoetic Art of Renaissance Grotesques – Dr Raymond Carlson (Yale University Art Gallery)

10:30-11:00: Discussion

11:00-11:30: coffee break

11:30-12:30: German session, chaired by Raymond Carlson (Yale University Art Gallery)

11:30-11:50: Monk-Calf & Pope-Donkey: Grotesque Monsters in Reformation Polemics – Prof Henrike Lähnemann (St Edmund Hall and MML Faculty, Oxford)

11:50: 12:10: The Grotesque Mathematics of Dürer’s Victoria – Dr Elizabeth Petcu (Department of History of Art, University of Edinburgh)

12:10-12:30: Discussion 

12:30-13:30: Buffet lunch and coffee

14:30-16:00: Discussion of selected prints and objects with Caroline Palmer

(Print room at the Ashmolean Museum)

Reformation prints and pamphlets from the Early Modern Monsters exhibition with Emma Huber and Henrike Lähnemann (The Taylorian Institution Library, Voltaire Room)

16:30-17:00: coffee and tea available Grove auditorium anteroom, Magdalen College

17:00-18:00: Three Renaissance Grotesques: Holbein, Dürer, Massys, a public lecture by Prof Alexander Marr (Trinity Hall and Faculty of History of Art, Cambridge) Grove Auditorium, Magdalen College

THURSDAY 28TH OF SEPTEMBER Sophia Shephard room, Magdalen college

11:00-11:30: coffee 

11:30-13:00: French session

11:30-11:50: Le grotesque au seuil du livre imprimé: à propos de quelques pages de titres gravées /The Grotesque on the printed book’s threshold: on some engraved title-pages – Prof Estelle Leutrat (Faculté d’histoire de l’art, université de Poitiers)

11:50-12:20: Margins Without Center: Montaigne’s Essays and the Radical Grotesque – Prof Chad Córdova (Department of French and Italian, Emory University)

12:20-12:40: Groignet, the slashing tailor. Rabelais’s historiographical grotesque against Raphaël’s Vatican Stanze – Dr Raphaële Garrod (Magdalen College and MML Faculty, Oxford)

12:40-13:00: Discussion 

13:00-14:00: buffet lunch and coffee

14:00-15:00: English session chaired by Raphaële Garrod (Magdalen College and MML Faculty, Oxford)

14:00-14:20: Inside the grotesque: Building Christ’s figure in early modern preaching – Paul Norris (Brasenose College, Oxford)

14:20-14:40: Memorialising the Grotesque: A Pie and a Baby (on the staging of Titus Andronicus)– Dr Sophie Duncan (Magdalen College, Oxford)

14:40-15: 00: Discussion 

15:00-16:00: Exhibition and discussion of selected volumes Magdalen College Old Library

16:00-17:00: farewell tea, coffee and cakes Sophia Shephard room, Magdalen College

A Special Relationship? Gender on Medieval Mount Athos

Third Workshop for the ERC Starting Grant “Mount Athos in Medieval Eastern Mediterranean Society: Contextualizing the History of a Monastic Republic (ca. 850 – 1550)”

As is well-known, Mount Athos is today an exclusively male monastic preserve governed by the so-called baton (“untrodden”) rule, which prohibits the access of both women and female animals to the peninsula. Nonetheless, throughout history, women were connected with the Holy Mountain in manifold ways, in dynamics of patronage, spiritual advice and familial ties. The aim of this workshop is not only to uncover this largely neglected aspect of Athos’ history during the medieval period but also to explore other forms of gender, such as that of masculinity (including eunuchs).

Please click the link below to join the conference online:

Wednesday, September 27th

2:00-2:30 p.m.
Welcome, Opening Remarks

2:30-4:30 p.m.
Session 1: The Virgin and Mount Athos

Mary Cunningham “Gregory Palamas and the Hesychastic Virgin Mary: Female Sanctity from a Male Monastic Perspective”

Tinatin Chronz “’Rejoice, Opener of the Gates of Paradise!’ Liturgical Veneration of the Keeper of the Gate (Portaitisa) in Iviron on Mount Athos”

Georgi Parpulov “The Virgin’s Garden”

4:30-5:00 p.m.
Coffee/tea break

5:00-6:30 p.m.
Session2: Women and Liturgical Commemoration

Kirill Maksimovič “Liturgical Commemoration of Women at the Serbian Athonite Monastery of Hilandar (13th–15th centuries): a Prosopographic Approach”

Emanuela Mindrila “The Commemoration of Women in the Liturgical tradition of Vatopedi Monastery: Remarks on Ms. Vatopedi 1945”.

6:30 p.m.
Reception and then Dinner for Conference Participants

Thursday, September 28th

9:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m.
Session 3: Female Patronage

Taisiya Leber “The Role of Women in the Patronage of Mount Athos and Athonites from a Transottoman Perspective

Alice Isabella Sullivan “New Forms of Athonite Patronage: The Impact of Royal Women from Moldavia and Wallachia in the Late  Middle Ages”

Lilyana Yordanova “Slavic Female Patronage on Mount Athos and its Socio-Political Context”

11:00-11:30 a.m.
Coffee/tea break

11:30 a.m.-1:00p.m.
Session4: The abaton in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries

Zachary Chitwood “Both Athonite and Antiochene?: The abaton in the writings of Nikon of the Black Mountain”

Rosemary Morris “The Diegesis Merike Revisited”

1:00-2:00 p.m.
Catered Lunch for Conference Participants

2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
Session 5: Gendered Space

Ekaterina Mitsiou “Double Monasteries, abaton and the Gendered Space of Athos”

Leonora Neville “Masculinity, Ethics, and Power on Mount Athos”

3:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Coffee Break

4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
Session 6: Legal and Technical Aspects

Olivier Delouis “Une loi impitoyable between Economics and Morality: The abaton in Bithynia, Mount Athos and Elsewhere, and Its Reception through the Ages”

Anastasios Nikopoulos “The Institution of the Ban on the Monastic Republic of Mount Athos as a Legal Component of its Status”

Alexander Watzinger “How to Digitally Map Sex and Gender in Research Projects-Pitfalls and solutions”

7:30 p.m.
Dinner for Conference Participants

Friday, September 29th

10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Session 7: Women and Outside World

Mihailo Popovic “Serbian Noble women and the Clergy in the Middle Ages: A Comparison between Mara Branković and Jelena Anžujska regarding Athonite Monks and Franciscan Friars”

Vanessa de Obaldía “Women in the Life of SimonopetraMonastery: The Multifaceted Nature of a Special Relationship”

12:00-12:30 p.m.
Concluding Remarks and Discussion

12:30-1:30 p.m.
Catered Lunch for Conference Participants

(Ill: Mount Athos and its saints © Σκήτη Προδρόμου Μονῆς Μεγ. Λαύρας, Γεννάδιος Μοναχός, 1859)

logo athos

SYMPOSIUM ‘The First Generations of the Conquest. Norman Worlds, 9th-12th Century’

This conference will address the notion of “first generations” in relation to the medieval Norman conquests in England, Wales, Ireland, southern Italy, Sicily, and the Crusader states. Focusing on the conquerors’ departure from their places of origin, the papers will explore the rhythms, modalities, reasons and objectives for leaving.

The conference aims at:
1/ Determining how relevant the notion of “first generations of the conquest” is. All these movements were phenomena that took place over several generations and featured different kind of protagonists – soldiers, mercenaries, pilgrims, merchants, clerics and monks.
2/ Considering the horizons of those who departed, while avoiding teleological and unilinear assumptions. These horizons require an analysis of diverse dynamics and “push and pull” factors: political motivations, economic grounds, social mechanisms, acculturation processes, social and political creativity.
3/ Exploring the documentation, approaches, and tools that help to answer these questions. Our documentation was often produced in the regions where the conquerors settled, and it focuses on their new status; it must be compared retroactively with sources from Normandy (and more broadly speaking from northern France) to enlighten the dynamics that led to the mobility of these people.

This conference is part of the Pax Normanna 2022-2026 research programme of the École française de Rome (dir. Pierre Bauduin, University of Caen Normandie, and Annick Peters-Custot, Nantes University).

The Haskins Society will co-sponsor the conference, encouraging young researchers presenting a paper to apply for the Bethell Prize.

Please click the link below to join the conference online:

PROGRAMME (Download the abstracts here)

Friday 22 September, Maison française d’Oxford

13:30     Welcome
14:00     Pierre Bauduin (CRAHAM, Université de Caen Normandie), Annick Peters-Custot (CRHIA, Université de Nantes): “The first generations of the conquest. Departing: presentation”
14:30     Chris Lewis (Institute of Historical Research, University of London): “Becoming a Baron in Early Norman England”
15:00     Mark Hagger (Bangor University): “Chance, Kinship, and Claim: The Normans and Anglo-Normans in Wales after 1066”
15:30    Discussion

Coffee and tea

16:15     Stephen Baxter (St Peter’s College, Oxford): “The men who made Domesday: a revolutionary intelligentsia in early conquered England?”
16:45     Tom McAuliffe (Wolfson College, University of Oxford): “Lost in Translation: textual reinterpretation and the St Augustine’s historical tradition in the generation after the Conquest”
17:15     Discussion 
18:00-19:30 Visit to the archives and manuscripts at Magdalen College (Emily Jennings)

Conference dinner (speakers)

Saturday 23 September, Maison française d’Oxford

9:00     Bastien Michel (CRAHAM, Université de Caen Normandie): “ ‘The Number of Years’. Youth and conquests in the medieval Norman worlds (11th – 12th centuries)”
9:30     Nathan Websdale (Wolfson College, University of Oxford): “The Translatio of St. Nicholas of Myra and the journeys of Norman-Greeks in the eleventh century”
10:00     Discussion 

Coffee and tea

10:45     Marie-Agnès Lucas-Avenel (CRAHAM, Université de Caen Normandie): “The departure of the ‘Normans’ to Southern Italy: from migration to conquest according to Italo-Norman historiography”
11:15     Guilhem Dorandeu (École française de Rome): “Reassessing Norman Emigrations in Southern Italy (11th-12th centuries)”
11:45     Victor Rivera Magos (Università degli Studi di Foggia): “The Norman conquest of Apulia and the «first generation»: for a working hypothesis”
12:15     Discussion
13:00     Concluding remarks

Lunch at MFO (speakers)

Convened by &
MFO Coordinator:

Credits: Tours, Bibliothèque municipale, Ms. 568 f. 249v © BMT