The CMS community gathered on Monday 9 December for our Christmas party and the seventh annual Medieval Bake-Off. Staff, students, and CMS alumni enjoyed festive refreshments and a spectacular selection of baked goods that included Latin epigraphy, gingerbread dragons, and a real whale of a cake!
The arduous task of judging fell to some of the newest faces around the CMS – Prof. Tom McLeish (Physics) and Dr Rachel Delman (History) – and our dear friend Dimitris Charalampopoulos (King’s Manor Catering Manager). After due deliberation, the judges were unanimous in awarding the following prizes:
Best Tasting – Charlotte Williams’ Gyngerbrede (based on a 14th-century recipe)
Best Design – Aaron Sheldon’s Gingerbread Dragon Boat & Jörmundgandr
Best Overall – Amy Cooper’s Inspired by the Lindisfarne Gospels
The Bake-Off was also a chance to display our MA students’ posters, made for their Introduction to Interdisciplinary Methodologies module; party-goers voted for the favourite, based on content and visual presentation, and a Best Poster prize was awarded:
Cris Doyle, Trishan Signh, and Taylor Peterson – Celestial Imagery
Finally, two Garmonsway Dissertation Prizes for the highest-marked MA dissertation in the 2018-19 cohort were awarded:
- Annabel Hancock: Tracing Connections: Using Network Analysis to Study Trade and Movement in the Mediterranean in the Eleventh to Fourteenth Centuries
- Arianna Dalla Costa: Following the Path of the Moon: the Use of Lunar Mansions in the De Signis Astronomicis
We hope that you had a wonderful time, and that you enjoy reliving it through our photos of the event. Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
Dr Lydia Zeldenrust reached an international audience last week helping a New York Times reporter explore the mystery behind a German tote bag.
The bag in question, sold in Hugendubel, one of Germany’s largest bookstore chains, shows a Gothic script, and a red logo – but no one was entirely sure what the text said, if anything. Dr Zeldenrust helped identify isolated Middle Dutch or Low German words in the design, but there was no overarching meaning.
You can read the full article here.
The British Institute of Persian Studies has made Dr Richard McClary’s lecture: The rediscovery of mina’i wares and the fiction of completion: 13th century polychrome Iranian ceramics and their reception in the 20th century available to listen to for free on their website.
Richard McClary is one of the most recent additions to our CMS family, having started at the University in 2018. Based in the Department of History of Art, he works on Medieval Islamic architecture and Iranian ceramics.
Lydia’s book, The Mélusine Romance in Medieval Europe: Translation, Circulation, and Material Contexts will be released by Boydell & Brewer in January 2020 as part of their Studies in Medieval Romance series.
Here at the CMS, we would like to congratulate Dr Zeldenrust on what looks to be a fantastic contribution to scholarship on the international elements of medieval romance and translation. We look forward to it appearing in the University library in the Spring Term.
You can see more details of the contents (and how to pre-order!) over on the Boydell & Brewer website.
Earlier this summer, the CMS theatre group The Lords of Misrule, put on a performance of Hrotsvit of Gandersheim’s ‘Callimachus’ at the Leeds International Medieval Congress.
Directed by Nicola Peard, the free performance took place on Wednesday 3 July in Beech Grove Plaza, and was blessed by good weather and an interested crowd.
Photo credit: Leeds IMC
Written by the 10th-century cannoness Hrotsvit of Gandersheim, Callimachus tells the story of a lustful pagan’s conversion and redemption.
Hrotsvit’s works are something of a favourite for Lords, having formed the focus of multiple past productions; but the group also perform works adapted from or inspired by Old Norse and Old English literature, as well as some completely original productions (for example, their latest production: Upstaged! based on the event of the York Mystery Plays).
Photo credit: Leeds IMC
You can find out about The Lords of Misrule from their Facebook page, or their Twitter.
The International Medieval Congress this year also saw a performance by another CMS PhD student, Alana Bennett: ‘Romanz-reding on the Bok’: An Evening of Performative Reading.
This event, which took place on Tuesday 2 July, saw Alana undertake a performative reading of Sir Eglamour of Artois, a Middle English romance found in three so-called ‘household manuscripts’. Alana’s PhD research focusses on reading practices, and this performance invited attendees to experience a medieval text a little bit differently: in a way that explored the interplay of text, space, sensory experience, and material culture.
Those are four words I never thought I’d see together, but it’s true! The King’s Manor has a resident apricot tree that fruits every few years or so, and this year we got lucky enough to have a bumper crop!
And when life gives you apricots… well, make apricot jam.
This fabulous specimen was made by one of our* PhD students, Catherine-Rose Hailstone.
*Actually a History PhD student, but Catherine, like many of the medieval single-discipline PhD students, works in our PhD workroom at King’s Manor and is a vital member of the King’s Manor CMS community.
The Centre would like to congratulate Gary Brannan on his recent promotion to Keeper of Archives and Special Collections at the Borthwick Institute for Archives here at the University.
Our students primarily encounter Gary as one of our tutors in Palaeography (which we hope he still has time to be!), but his primary role (since 2014) has been as the Access Archivist at the Borthwick. Just recently, Gary had been acting Keeper of the Archives before the official appointment this month.
And if you needed more proof that York is a dangerously difficult city to get away from for medievalists, Gary also completed his undergraduate degree in History here at York before heading for his career in Archives!
Gary’s new responsibilities will include leadership of the Borthwick Institute, the Rare Books Collection, University Art Collection, and the York Minster library service based at the Old Palace (behind the Minster).
If you would like to know more about Gary’s work, or the Borthwick Institute itself, you can view his staff profile and the Institute’s homepage. You can also find Gary on Twitter @gbrannanarchive.
Two PhD students based at the Centre, Emmie Rose Price-Goodfellow (CMS) and Kirstin Barnard (History), have come together to organise two sessions at ICMS Kalamazoo 2020.
To see the submission guidelines, please visit the official Call for Papers page on the Western Michigan University website.
Date: 7th–10th May 2020.
Organiser: Prof. Sarah Rees Jones
Chairs: Emmie Rose Price-Goodfellow & Kirstin Barnard
Title: Constructing Communities Through Story-Telling I & II
Work has been done on the creation of community identity through history writing in the Middle Ages, but other kinds of texts that tell stories – including exemplary or didactic tales, miracle stories, and court depositions – have rarely been examined for what they can tell us about the construction and shaping of communities. They are often seen as narratives about existing communities, whilst their instrumentality in creating groups, both formal and informal, has rarely been explored.
Use of the term ‘community’ itself within medieval scholarship and beyond has proliferated since the end of the twentieth century and yet the term has often been used ambiguously and uncritically. Previously connected to debates over whether medieval notions of individualism and self-consciousness existed, community is not, then, without controversy. One way to address issues of ambiguity in this topic is to consider how different communities were conceived of, and constructed by, contemporaries though the use of stories. The exploration of community creation is a developing area of study within medieval scholarship, but one by no means exhausted.
We would welcome proposals for papers on any part of the medieval world and from any discipline, so long as they explore how medieval communities or groups were, or could be, constructed through stories.
The Centre would like to congratulate Dr Zara Burford and Dr Eric Wolever for receiving their PhD in Medieval Studies certificates on Saturday 20 July, alongside MA in Medieval Studies graduates Laura Houghton and Alice Yevko.
The ceremony also saw the graduation of medieval PhD candidates Dr Timothy Rowbotham and Dr Katherine Rich from the Department of English.
You can watch the graduation ceremony here, with Medieval Studies around 1:50.
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.