Hrotsvit of Gandersheim’s ‘Calimachus’

Earlier this summer, the CMS theatre group The Lords of Misrule, put on a performance of Hrotsvit of Gandersheim’s ‘Calimachus’ 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.

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Photo credit: Leeds IMC

Written by the 10th-century cannoness Hrotsvit of Gandersheim, Calimachus 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).

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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.

King’s Manor Apricot Jam

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!

Apricot Jam

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.

Congratulations Gary!

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.

 

CMS-sponsored sessions at Kalamazoo 2020

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.

Congratulations graduates!

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.

Congratulations all!

You can watch the graduation ceremony here, with Medieval Studies around 1:50.

 

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.

Luke

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…

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