Dr Lydia Zeldenrust Awarded a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship

The Centre would like to congratulate Dr Lydia Zeldenrust, Associate Lecturer at the Department of English and Related Literature, University of York, and key member of the CMS, who has been awarded a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship this summer, for the project ‘Continental Connections: European Bestselling Romances in England (c. 1400-1600).’

Having been awarded such a Fellowship is a significant achievement given the fiercely competitive nature of the application process, and it is a testament to Dr Zeldenrust’s proven record of research that she has been awarded this opportunity to develop her career and research. The project will run from October 2019-October 2022, during which Lydia will remain at the Department of English and Related Literature and the Centre for Medieval Studies.

The Leverhulme Trust aims to fund outstanding scholarship and is particularly encouraging of research that is original and enables a refreshing departure from established patterns, so it is unsurprising that Lydia’s multilingual, transcultural approach to medieval romance has been recognised as a fitting project for this Fellowship.

You can find out more about Lydia’s work and research on her University of York profile.

HRC Doctoral Fellowships

The HRC held its annual Doctoral Fellowships competition today, with CMS PhD Luke Giraudet being awarded third place.

Each year the HRC offers a number of Doctoral Fellowships to arts and humanities PhD students currently in their third full-time year of study (or equivalent part-time) at the University of York.

Each arts and humanities department (including the Departments of Archaeology, English and Related Literature, History, History of Art, Philosophy, Language and Linguistic Science, Music, Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media, and the Centre for Medieval Studies) may nominate one candidate from their third-year PhDs to compete in the Doctoral Fellowship Finals: a series of short presentations in which the presenters are judged on their capacity to communicate high-quality research clearly and engagingly to a non-specialist audience. While all nine finalists receive a Doctoral Fellowship, the judging panel can award a variety of prizes at an awards ceremony at the end of the Finals.

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Luke Giraudet, CMS PhD, at King’s Manor

It was at this awards ceremony that Luke Giraudet was awarded third place from the 2019 Finalists, for his presentation on Political Communication and Public Opinion in the ‘Journal d’un Bourgeois de Paris, 1405-1449’.

The criteria for being nominated for a Doctoral Fellowship are intellectual achievement and potential, and the Centre would like to congratulate Luke for not only receiving the Fellowship, but for also designing an accessible and engaging presentation on the day.

You can read more about the HRC Doctoral Fellowships on the HRC website, and see the full details of the 2019 HRC Doctoral Fellows and their research in the programme from the day.

New Book from York Medieval Press

York Medieval Press’s latest publication is close to our hearts here at the Centre for Medieval Studies: Craig Taylor’s A Virtuous Knight: Defending Marshal Boucicaut (Jean II Le Meingre, 1366-1421).

Craig was our Director here from 2010-2011 and from 2014-2017, and is currently a Reader in Medieval History at the University – still very much an active member of our CMS community.

A radical re-interpretation of the chivalric biography of Boucicaut, A Virtuous Knight argues that the biography is a much more complex and interesting text than previously suggested, fusing traditional notions of chivalry with the most fashionable new ideas in circulation at the French court at the start of the fifteenth century.

You can read more about the book on Boydell & Brewer’s website.

Summer of Research

We’ve had a fabulous few weeks here at the Centre, celebrating the varied research and research interests of our community.

Annual Riddy Lecture: In the next leyf: the edge of the material text

This term kicked off with the Annual Riddy Lecture, delivered by Professor Daniel Wakelin (Oxford) who spoke to members of the Centre and the general public about York’s role in the history of studying manuscripts, and the limits of studying the ‘material text. Dan argued that we shouldn’t always focus on the material confines of the page, but rather consider other ways of reading the text. Indeed, medieval readers seem to have been alarmed by the prospect of the page break disrupting the reading of a text, with sometimes the words “verte folium” (turn the page) inserted in the margin at suspenseful moments.

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On 3 May we welcomed Dr Volker Hilberg (Schleswig-Holsteinische Landesmuseen) to talk to the Viking Studies Research Group about Hedeby and its relations with the Danelaw in the late 9th and 10th centuries. This meeting, which was generously sponsored by the Humanities Research Centre at the University of York, gave students and staff a chance to hear some of the cutting edge research coming out of Hedeby from the master of the medieval collections at the Schleswig-Holsteinische Landesmuseen himself.

Less than a week later, we had something different again, as on 7 May Professor Frans van Liere (Calvin College, visiting professor at St Johns, York) delivered a seminar on Approaches to the Medieval Bible, and on 21 May we had Professor Laura Ashe come from Oxford to consider Which came first: the romance or the ballad? in a York Medieval Lecture about The Squire of Low Degree.

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Prof. Laura Ashe

23 and 24 May saw once again two drastically different research events unfold (demonstrating the rich and varied range of disciplinary experiences open to our students), as we held our celebrations of Professor Linne Mooney’s career, before having Dr Unn Pedersen (Oslo) give a Viking Students Research Group talk on: Viking Age Vestfold: Urban Vikings and Rural Fashionistas.

The Viking Town 2016

Unn has also written books for children related to her research.

The celebration of Linne’s career deserves a blog post of its own (forthcoming); so it just remains to be said that Unn’s talk was well-received by an audience made of up MA and PhD students and staff from all disciplines across the Centre’s parent departments, and was fabulously followed by the annual Norse in the North conference on Saturday 25 May: a consistent celebration of Norse-related research and researchers in York and across Europe.

Norse in the North

For more details about upcoming events at the Centre, please visit our Events pages.

Unsound History of the Sound of Space

The Renaissance Mathematicus

Those readers, who have been around for a number of years, will know that from time to time the Renaissance Mathematicus has hosted guest posts. One thing that we are very proud of is the very high standard of the authors, who have delivered up, at our invitation, those literary #histSTM highpoints. We only host the best! Todays guest post continues this tradition with a real star of the world of science, science writing and #histSTM, Tom McLeish FRS. Tom was Professor of Physics at Durham University, where he was one of the initiators and chief investigators of the on going Ordered Universe international research project: InterdisciplinaryReadings of Medieval Science: Robert Grosseteste (c.1170–1253).

800px-Grosseteste_bishop !4th Century portrait of Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln Source: Wikimedia Commons

Tom is now Professor of Natural Philosophy in the Department of Physics at the University of York (I think he’s doing a slow…

View original post 1,264 more words

CMS Field Trip: 18/04/19

On Thursday 18 April, a large proportion of the CMS MA cohort, along with some Medieval Literature and Language and Medieval History MAs, and one PhD student, headed out into the Yorkshire countryside to enjoy a day of medieval architecture, brilliant sunshine, and glorious wall paintings.

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We started the day at Rievaulx Abbey, accompanied by Professor Christopher Norton and Dr Stuart Harrison. Turns out, getting there for opening was a great idea, as the site soon got busy with walkers and families enjoying the good weather (and the Easter Holiday). Stuart and Christopher took us around the main church building of the Abbey, paying particular attention to the structure of the building.

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This was a great opportunity to discuss recent events at Notre Dame de Paris, and we heard all about the importance of stone vaults, and the effect of fires on ecclesiastical buildings around the world (not least York Minster).

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After our mini-lecture, the students explored the site for themselves, marveling especially at the grand Refectory.

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Our second stop of the day was at Helmsley Castle, where we heard about the different phases of the site.

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The later medieval range was specifically highlighted by Christopher and Stuart as having structural and interior similarities to our own Huntingdon Room at the King’s Manor.

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The keep of the castle would have had a distinct D-shape – sadly the curved wall has since been destroyed.

We spent some time in Helmsley to satisfy any hunger cravings, as it was by now most definitely lunch time. The weather continued to oblige, and it felt like summer being able to sit outside to eat.

After lunch we headed to Pickering, and met Dr Kate Giles at the church of Sts Peter and Paul. Those who hadn’t visited the church before gasped in awe on entering the church – and even when you have visited before, the wall paintings are enough to leave you humbled once again.

Kate treated us to a talk on the history of the paintings, their various coverings and restoration attempts over the centuries, and really brought the church alive for us.

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The final stop of the day was Stonegrave Minster, village church of Robert Thornton, a fifteenth-century lay scribe responsible for the production of two anthology manuscripts (Lincoln, Cathedral Library MS 91 and British Library MS Additional 31042). Robert’s parents have a memorial monument at Stonegrave Minster, and the Thornton residence at East Newton Hall lies fairly close by the church.

At Stonegrave we had the benefit of hearing from Drs Nicola McDonald and Dav Smith. Nicola is currently researching the life and works of Robert Thornton, while Dav wrote part of his PhD thesis on the church itself.

The students, and us here in the office, had a fabulous day, and would like to extend our thanks to Christopher, Stuart, Kate, Nicola, and Dav for coming along and imparting their expertise on a new generation of medieval scholars!

 

New publication from Professor Tom McLeish

 

The Poetry and Music of Science. Comparing Creativity in Science and Art, by Prof. Tom McLeish (CMS, Physics) was published by published by Oxford University Press last month. You can read all about The Poetry and Music of Science, and Prof. McLeish’s 2016 book Faith and Wisdom in Science on the OUP website.

We would like to congratulate Prof. McLeish on this publication – here’s to many more in the future!

If you want to know more about Prof. McLeish, and especially his involvement with The Ordered Universe project dedicated to the scientific works of Robert Grosseteste (c.1170-1253), visit the website here

Summer conferences at the CMS

We’ve got a fabulous line-up of conferences and other events for this summer. It might seem a bit early to be getting excited for all of this, but we just couldn’t wait to share!

May starts well, with Prof Daniel Wakelin (Oxford) delivering our Annual Riddy Lecture on 2 May (details here), and then keeps getting better and better, with a York Medieval Lecture by Professor Laura Ashe (Oxford) on the “strange medieval romance” of The Squire of Low Degree on 21 May (see here).

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Professor Laura Ashe

The York Medieval Lecture is swiftly followed by one of our highlights of the summer: Scribal Cultures in Late Medieval England: A Conference in honour of Linne R. Mooney, a one-day symposium and exhibition with a fantastic line-up of speakers gathered both to honour Professor Mooney’s contribution to scholarship, and contribute themselves to the field of manuscript studies. This is an opportunity to see some of the biggest names in manuscript studies that (in our humble opinion) should not be missed.

You can see the programme here, and details of how to register if this sounds like your kind of day! There will also be a special display of manuscript fragments donated to the University by Professor Toshiyuki Takamiya.

June also sees us hold our annual postgraduate conference (27 June), at which we encourage current MA and PhD students to present their research, sometimes for the first time, at this friendly one-day conference.

The postgraduate conference is followed by the crowning glory of our summer programme, Belonging in Late Medieval Cities, a two-day conference (28-29 June) on belonging and identity in later medieval urban centres, which is also held in conjunction with two public lectures. You can see the programme and details on how to register here.

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Scribal Cultures in Late Medieval England: A Conference in honour of Linne R. Mooney

On Thursday 23 May, the CMS welcomes a gathering of leading scholars to honour Linne Mooney’s contribution to the study of medieval English manuscripts.

The one-day symposium will take place in our fabulous Huntingdon Room (once the meeting room of the Council of the North), and include keynotes from Professors Derek Pearsall and Simon Horobin, as well as papers from Margaret Connolly, Daryl Green, Helen Killick, Nicola McDonald, Andrew Prescott, Wendy Scase, Sebastian Sobecki, and Deborah Thorpe. 

Both the Head of the Department of English and Related Literature here at York, Prof. Helen Smith, and the Director of the CMS, Prof. Sarah Rees Jones will give talks opening and closing proceedings; and we have been fortunate enough to secure a special display of manuscript fragments donated to the University by Professor Toshiyuki Takamiya that will be available to view on the day.

Registration costs: £22, or £16.50 for full-time registered students. To register, please visit the University of York online store.

The symposium has been generously supported by the Centre for Medieval Studies, the Department of English & Related Literature, and Boydell & Brewer, in recognition of Linne Mooney’s contributions over her career.

Please see the Provisional Programme below.

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Lords of Misrule Musicians at Rúnagaderung

On Friday 22nd March, the Lords of Misrule musicians did something rather unusual in our group’s recent history – we did a gig that wasn’t part of a Lords production or a CMS event! We were invited by the organisers of Rúnagaderung – a weekend-long celebration of music inspired by the history and mythology of early northern Europe, put on as part of the annual Jorvik Viking Festival – to play a selection of medieval pieces as part of the line-up at the Fulford Arms venue.

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We didn’t actually have that much Norse material in our repertoire (aside from ‘Drømde mik en drøm i nat’, a beautiful 14th-century Norse song), so our set-list was mostly a hodgepodge of Latin, French and English pieces from the 14th-16th centuries chosen by our musical director Alana Bennett. The playlist included two songs from the Red Book of Montserrat (‘Cuncti simus concanentes’ and ‘Stella splendens’), ‘Agincourt Carol’, a song about drinking and making merry called ‘Tourdion’, and ‘Pastime with Good Company’, an original composition by King Henry VIII.

The audience didn’t seem to mind the historical anachronism too much though! The Fulford Arms was packed to the rafters for our set, and the crowd went particularly wild for our final piece ‘Montarde Bransle’ (if you’ve ever been to a Lords performance, this is the tune we play during the bows). In all my time as a musician, I’ve done performances in schools, medieval churches, concert halls – but this is the first one I’ve been to where people dressed as Scandinavian raiders have been moshing to a clarinet solo. It was a wonderful new experience, and I hope that it will be the first of many future Lords gigs.

You can find out more about the Lords of Misrule on their Facebook page, and their Twitter.

Post by Tim Wingard, current CMS PhD.

Photographs by Andy Pountney from Powerplay Magazine/Ave Noctum. Included with permission.

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