York Medieval Lecture, Tuesday 7 March 2017
Professor Kathryn Kerby-Fulton (Notre Dame): ‘Literary Networks of the Vicars Choral and the Clerical Proletariat in Late Medieval York’
When Margery Kempe visited York Minster in 1417 she was befriended by two choral vicarii, John Kendale “and another preste whech song be the bischopys grave.” The grave was Richard Scrope’s, executed under Henry IV, and his semi-suppressed cult still no doubt a matter of some delicacy. Kendale and his unnamed fellow here were likely not only counseling Kempe, but telling her about the Minster’s history and saint’s cults – part of the job of cathedral vicarii. Kendale was also an owner of Piers Plowman, and if we link such information about the literary interests of the vicarii with some of the contemporary Latin writings produced at York Minster, we get a rare view of literary circles of the clerks lower down the ladder in the Minster’s local pride in its history (both legendary and more recent), its saints, and its zeal to protect its power and privileges. Other survivals relate directly to the Scrope execution, such as poems of traumatic mourning in heavily liturgical Latin (his death was personally witnessed by many of his cathedral familia in 1405, as its chronicles show), and fragmentary in-house chronicles – some of it even versified, as if for memorization. Despite the censorship efforts of Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Arundel, a range of literature sprang up from within the the Minster, giving us a rare chance to look at the multilingual literary production within a normally invisible group. Comparisons will be made to surviving poetry from manuscripts connected to Norwich Cathedral Priory or London’s St. Paul’s, containing poems about the woes of chorister life or clerical isolation.
Professor Kerby-Fulton is the Notre Dame Professor of English. She works in Middle English literature and medieval Latin intellectual history, including religious and political censorship, apocalypticism, visionary writing and women’s mysticism. She has also worked on medieval manuscript studies in England and Anglo-Ireland, history of the book and medieval literary theory, especially in relation to marginalia, text-image relations, and reading practices before print.
To book tickets for this event, please use the University of York Eventbite website
York Medieval Lecture, 25 April 2017
Dr Emma Hornby (University of Bristol): ‘Medieval Psalters as Witnesses to Liturgical s
Song: the Iberian Case’
Christians in medieval Iberia had their own liturgical practices, independent of the Roman liturgy, until the late 11th century. Although about 40 surviving manuscripts and fragments bear witness to the Old Hispanic liturgy, it has remained a niche interest for scholars, in part because of its ‘peripheral’ status. A further, major, challenge is notational: thousands of Old Hispanic chants have been preserved, but in a notation that does not show pitch or intervals. We cannot transcribe or perform this material nowadays; it remains silent.
This lecture presents some of my recent research, in collaboration with Kati Ihnat (Nijmegen University), on this material. We have been exploring the use of psalmody in medieval Iberia. North of the Pyrenees, Benedictine monks sang the entire psalter every week; secular cathedral communities sang the psalter every three weeks. Scholars have argued fiercely about whether the Iberian evidence points towards a three week cycle, or even no psalm cycle at all. In attempting to understand and judge these arguments, we made a close analysis of two Iberian psalters, one from the 11th century and the other from the 12th. (BNE 10001, and LBL add. 30851; images of both manuscripts are now freely available online). As we delved into the contents more and more deeply, we found ourselves completely over-turning previous scholarly ideas about the shape and priorities of the liturgical day on the Iberian peninsula in the early middle ages. We have also been able to interrogate the unpitched neumes in which the psalm antiphons are preserved, resulting in the first attempted understanding since medieval times of the musical logic of the repertoire. Here, I introduce these beautiful and striking manuscripts, their cultural context, and their significance for medievalists, for musicologists, and for those who enjoy a good detective story.
Breaking with Byzantium: Franciscan Artistic Patronage and Piety in Central Italy at the dawn of the Trecento
Speaker: Dr Donal Cooper (Department of History of Art, University of Cambridge)
Monday 27 February 2017, 4.30pm, Berrick Saul Building, Bowland Auditorium (BS/005)
The Franciscan Order can be seen as the primary patronage framework within which different concepts of religious imagery played out in Italy in the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. As Hans Belting and more recently Anne Derbes and Amy Neff have shown, the story is complex with the Order’s sensitivity to Byzantine art interacting with its innovative and increasingly empathetic devotional practices, developments most closely associated with the Meditations on the Life of Christ. As Emile Mâle famously commented: “few books have had a greater influence on art…” At the same time the ample historiography on Franciscan art is littered with unsuccessful attempts to relate the paintings and buildings commissioned by the friars with the bitter conflicts over the observation of poverty that gripped the Order in the years to either side of 1300 – when groups of idealistic Franciscans known today as the ‘Spirituals’ resisted the Order’s increasing institutionalization and its patronage of art and architecture. Recent discoveries by manuscript scholars and new finds in the archives – presented here for the first time – on the date and authorship of the Meditations on the Life of Christ invite a reassessment of this core devotional text, its relationship to internal debate within the Order, and its impact on Franciscan artistic patronage. Reviewed in this light, the fresco cycles painted by Giotto and Pietro Lorenzetti at Assisi can be understood as complex responses to the Order’s troubles, which absorbed the same devotional culture that underpinned the Meditations at the same time as they asserted an approved image of Franciscan poverty.
Donal Cooper is Senior Lecturer in Italian Art at the University of Cambridge and has published widely on the art and architecture of late medieval and Renaissance Italy, particularly the artistic patronage of the Franciscan Order. Publications include his co-authored monograph with Dr Janet Robson on the Upper Church of the Basilica of San Francesco at Assisi, The Making of Assisi (Yale University Press, 2013) which won the Art Book Prize in 2014.
This event is organized in association with the Medieval Art and Medievalisms Research School and the Project Exploring Fourteenth-Century Art Across the Eastern and Western Christian World.
Everyone is welcome.
A Workshop on the Sainte Chapelle (Paris) – K/133, 5.15 – 7pm, 28 February 2017
The Sainte-Chapelle is a royal chapel within the medieval Palais de la Cité in Paris. It was commissioned by King Louis IX of France (1214-1270) to house his collection of Passion relics, including the Crown of Thorns. The Sainte-Chapelle is one of the earliest surviving buildings of the Capetian royal palace on the Île de la Cité and is famed for its Gothic architecture and stained glass.
This workshop will feature two papers examining the liturgy and the stained glass of the Sainte-Chapelle in its thirteenth-century context:
- M. Cecilia Gaposchkin (Dartmouth College): ‘Salvation and Judgment in the Liturgy of the Sainte-Chapelle’
- Emily Guerry (University of Kent): ‘A New Son of Man: Sheep, Goats, and the King of Kings in French Gothic Iconography’
Our speakers are two of the most exciting scholars working on the Sainte Chapelle, liturgy, religious devotion and stained glass:
Cecilia Gaposchkin (Dartmouth College) has published on the crusades and on the Capetian monarchy, and is currently working on liturgy and ceremony in thirteenth-century Paris. Her most recent book is on how liturgy and church ritual underwrote holy war and crusading: Invisible Weapons: Liturgy and the Making of Crusade Ideology (Cornell UP, 2017). She is also the author of The Making of Saint Louis (IX) of France: Kingship, Sanctity and Crusade in the Later Middle Ages (Cornell UP, 2008), Blessed Louis, The Most Glorious of Kings: Texts relating to the Cult of Saint Louis of France (Notre Dame: 2012; translations done with Phyllis Katz), and, with Sean Field and Larry Field, The Sanctity of Louis IX: Early Lives of Saint Louis by Geoffrey of Beaulieu and William of Chartres (Cornell UP: 2014).
Emily Guerry (University of Kent) works on the relationship between religious devotion and artistic representation in the Middle Ages and is particularly interested in how the veneration of relics influenced Christian iconography. She is the author of Crowning Paris: King Louis IX, Archbishop Cornut, and the Translation of the Crown of Thorns (Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, 2016) and will publish The wall paintings of the Sainte-Chapelle: Passion, Devotion, and the Gothic Imagination (Harvey Miller, 2018).
Huth Psalter (York/Lincoln, c1270s), London BL MA Add. 38116, folio 13v
The 4th Annual Late Medieval France and Burgundy Workshop (3 December 2016) brings together scholars from different disciplines working on late medieval French and Burgundian culture and history.
Session 1 (10.30-12.00pm)
Kristin Bourassa (University of Southern Denmark), ‘Pierre Salmon’s Dialogues and Political Literature in Late-Medieval France’
Craig Taylor (University of York) & Jane Taylor (University of Durham), ‘Le livre des fais du bon messire Jehan le Maingre, dit Bouciquaut’
Rebecca Dixon (University of Liverpool), ‘The Sound of Silence: Visual Noise in Burgundian Manuscript Illustration’
Session 2 (1.30-3pm)
Katherine Wilson (University of Chester), ‘Inventories as urban and courtly ‘theatre’
Helen Swift (Oxford University), ‘Who am I when I am dead? Rethinking identity and narrative voice in late- medieval French literature’
Hannah Skoda (Oxford University), ‘Nostalgia in fourteenth-century France’
Session 3 (3.30-4.45pm)
Justine Firnhaber-Baker (University of St Andrews), ‘Telling Stories: Sources and Methods for Writing about Rebellion’
Godfried Croenen (University of Liverpool), ‘Narrativisation, entrelacement and the re-writing of Froissart’s Book I’
Registration costs £15. For further information, please contact email@example.com
Please download our workshop poster and programme of events
Dr Matt Townend (Department of English) was recently a guest on Melvyn Bragg’s Radio 4 series The Matter of the North, discussing Invasion: Vikings and Normans.
BRITISH ARCHAEOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION: 2017 ANNUAL CONFERENCE
ADVANCE NOTICE AND CALL FOR PAPERS
Art, Architecture and Archaeology in Late Medieval York (21-25 July 2017)
The 2017 British Archaeological Association Conference will take place in York, and will concentrate on the long late middle ages (circa 1150-1550). The conference will convene in the early afternoon of Friday, 21st July and run until lunchtime on Tuesday, 25th July. There will be visits and walking tours to several sites in York, including the Minster and some of the many medieval parish churches, guildhalls and other secular buildings.
Lectures will take place at the King’s Manor, Exhibition Square, York YO1 7EP.
York Minster, Great East Window, panel 5g (detail). Photo: The York Glaziers Trust
A limited quantity of hotel and shared facility university accommodation will be available to book on a first come first served basis but delegates may wish to book their own accommodation elsewhere. A list of hotels and guest houses within easy reach of the King’s Manor will be provided. The conference welcomes professional and amateur enthusiasts equally, though it is only open to BAA members, so anyone wishing to attend who is not already a member will have to take out an annual subscription.
Call for papers: If you would like to offer a paper (length up to 30 minutes) please send a proposal of no more than 300 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by 27th October 2016.
Bursaries: There will be small number of student scholarships available. Please apply by email to email@example.com by 14th April 2017, enclosing a short CV, reference and email address.
Booking forms will be posted to BAA members in February 2017. For all enquiries please contact the Hon. Conference Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Honorary Conference Convenors: Tim Ayers, Sarah Brown, Sarah Rees Jones and Philip Lankester.
On Monday 20 June 2016, we held our annual CMS Summer Party on the lawn at the King’s Manor. Blessed by a unprecedented splash of sunshine, we gathered for strawberries, prossecco and ice creams provided by Paul and his truck!
During the party, we were delighted to announce that Stephanie Montieth is this year’s winner of the £150 Garmonsway Prize for the best academic performance in the first half of the MA in Medieval Studies, as well as the Viking Poetry Essay prize.
We also had the sad task of saying goodbye to Andy and Dawson, two great friends of the CMS who are leaving as the university makes radical changes to the portering arrangements at the King’s Manor. We are very sorry to see them go.
And many thanks to Heidi Stoner for taking the photographs at the event!