Visiting Professor (15-30 June) – Professor Sarah McNamer (Georgetown University)

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Dr Sarah McNamer is Associate Professor of English and Medieval Studies. Her primary interest is in the relation between literature and the history of emotion. Her book, Affective Meditation and the Invention of Medieval Compassion, published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2010, received the “Book of the Year” award from the Conference on Christianity and Literature. Current projects include a book in progress, The Poetics of Emotion in Middle English Literature, and a critical edition and translation of the short Italian version of the pseudo-Bonaventuran Meditations on the Life of Christ from the unique manuscript likely to reflect the original version of this influential work. The latter will be published in the William and Katherine Devers Series on Dante and Medieval Italian Literature, University of Notre Dame Press, in the fall of 2017.

Dr. McNamer will be visiting the Centre for Medieval Studies from 15 to 30 June. The subject of her research during this time, “Did the Pearl-Poet Write at the Court of Edward III?,” is part of her current book project, Feeling by the Book: The Work of the Pearl-Poet in the History of Emotion. This book presents a new hypothesis for the place of the Pearl-Poet in history, locating him at the court of Edward III and building a case that he is likely to have served as chaplain and poet-mentor to royalty, specifically to Prince Lionel, Duke of Clarence. Within this provisional context, the book explores how each of the poet’s four works, Pearl, Patience, Cleanness, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, function as affective scripts, eliciting and shaping emotion in ways that served particular personal and political aims for the royal family in the late 1350s and early 1360s. This earlier dating for the poems, which builds on the work of Cooke, Fein, and Ingledew, raises broad questions about early English literary history. If the Pearl-Poet wrote ca. 1360, at the centre of the English court, how might this alter and enrich current understandings of the history of English literature?

Dr. McNamer looks forward to conversations about this subject at the Centre for Medieval Studies; she will be in residence from June 15-30. Graduate students and faculty should feel free to contact her at mcnamer@georgetown.edu.

She will also deliver a paper related to this project, “God’s Hot Haste: The Power of Divine Disgust in Cleanness,” at the “Powerful Emotions/Emotions and Power” conference co-sponsored by the University of York and the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, 28-29 June.

 

Powerful Emotions/ Emotions and Power c.400-1850 (28-29 June 2017)

Powerful Emotions/ Emotions and Power c.400-1850

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Dates: 28‒29 June 2017
Venue: Humanities Research Centre, Berrick Saul Building, University of York

This interdisciplinary conference is jointly organised by the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions and the Centres for Medieval Studies, Renaissance and Early Modern Studies and Eighteenth Century Studies at the University of York.

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Registration is now open.

CMS Annual Progression Workshop 2-4pm, Tuesday 23 May (K/111)

The CMS Annual Progression Workshop will take place on 23 May 2017 and will feature three first-year PhD students talking about their research projects:

  • Lauren Stokeld, “The Language of Built Structures in Medieval English from the Earliest Texts up to 1250”
  • Luke Giraudet, “An Anonymous 15th Century Parisian Journal: Civic Community and the Individual at the Time of French Civil War and English Occupation”
  • Tim Wingard, “Queering the Medieval Animal and Animalising the Medieval Queer: Animals and Transgressive Sexuality in Late Medieval England”

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All staff and MA and PhD students are warmly invited to come along and to support – there will be cake!

When: 23 May 2017, 2-4pm
Where: K/111

THE BRITISH LIBRARY @ The Centre for Medieval Studies (Monday 12 June 2017)

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Join us for two exciting events with Dr Kathleen Doyle (Lead Curator for Illuminated Manuscripts at the British Library) and Dr Scot McKendrick (Head of Western Heritage Collections at the British Library)

 

Seminar on Public Engagement 11.30-12.30 | Huntingdon Room, King’s Manor

Drawing on examples from their recent publications, co-curated exhibitions and outreach work at the British Library, Kathleen Doyle and Scot McKendrick will discuss how to present specialist knowledge to a general audience. This will be a unique opportunity to learn more about wider issues of impact and public engagement.

The seminar is free and open to all, and will be followed by an informal lunch with the speakers open to CMS staff and students.

Book a free ticket via Eventbrite.

Festival of Ideas Event 18.30-19.20 | Ron Cooke Hub, Heslington East

For two millennia the Bible has inspired the creation of art. Within this legacy of remarkable art and beauty, illuminated manuscripts of the Bible offer some of the best evidence for our understanding of early Christian painting and artistic interpretations of the Bible.

Join Scot McKendrick and Kathleen Doyle, authors of The Art of the Bible: Illuminated Manuscripts from the Medieval World, as they discuss their book with a panel of experts from the University of York’s Centre for Medieval Studies and explore a selection of manuscripts from the treasures of the British Library.

Their book seeks to immerse readers in the world of illuminated manuscripts of the Bible, transporting them across one thousand years, passing through many of the major centres of the Christian world. Starting in Constantinople in the East, the journey takes you throughout Europe and beyond, including manuscripts from Lindisfarne, Mozarabic Spain, Crusader Jerusalem, northern Iraq, Paris, London, Bologna, Naples, Bulgaria, the Low Countries, Rome and Persia. The journey ends in Gondar, the capital of imperial Ethiopia.

Come along and immerse yourself in the richly illuminated manuscripts from the British Library at an accompanying 3Sixty exhibition and pose your own questions to the authors and panel.

Book a free ticket via the Festival of Ideas.

About the speakers

Dr Scot McKendrick is Head of Western Heritage Collections at the British Library where he has charge of manuscripts, archives, rare books, music and maps. He joined the Library in 1986 after reading Greats at Oxford and completing his postgraduate research at the Courtauld Institute of Art. During his long career at the Library he previously served as Head of Medieval and Earlier Manuscripts (2003-5), of Western Manuscripts (2006-10) and of History and Classics (2010-14). His publications include Illuminating the Renaissance: the Triumph of Flemish Manuscript Painting in Europe (2003), for which Thomas Kren and he won the Eric Mitchell and Eugène Baie prizes. Most recently he co-edited Codex Sinaiticus: New Perspectives on the Ancient Biblical Manuscript (2015).

Dr Kathleen Doyle is the Lead Curator, Illuminated Manuscripts in the Western Heritage Department of the British Library. Previously she was a Project Officer for the online Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts at the British Library, from 2004-2007. Kathleen received her PhD in Medieval Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, where her thesis focused on 12th century Cistercian manuscripts and the use of images in monastic art.

Scot and Kathleen collaborated on the AHRC-funded Royal Manuscripts project led by Scot, and the follow-on project led by Kathleen, editing and contributing articles to 1000 Years of Royal Books and Manuscripts (2013), and with Professor John Lowden, Royal Manuscripts: the Genius of Illumination (2011), which was short-listed for the William M.B. Berger Prize for British Art History (2012). On biblical manuscripts, together they have published Bible Manuscripts: 1400 Years of Scribes and Scripture (2007), and contributed to Sacred: Books of the Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam (2007).

 

Fragments of the Medieval World (April-July 2017)

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Samuel Storey Family Exhibition Gallery at the Borthwick Institute for Archives, April-July 2017

Many traces of the medieval world survive by chance as individual fragments separated from now-lost larger works. Spanning nearly 1000 years, this new exhibition tells their story – one of destruction, survival, and rediscovery to be appreciated and used anew in the 21st century.

This exhibition features fragments of medieval manuscripts generously donated to the Centre for Medieval Studies by Professor Toshiyuki Takamiya in 2014.

 

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England in Europe: English Royal Women and Literary Patronage, c.1000–c.1150

Elizabeth M. Tyler, England in Europe: English Royal Women and Literary Patronage, c.1000–c.1150, Toronto University Press (Toronto Anglo-Saxon Series), 2017.

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In England in Europe, Elizabeth Tyler focuses on two histories: the Encomium Emmae Reginae, written for Emma the wife of the Æthelred II and Cnut, and The Life of King Edward, written for Edith the wife of Edward the Confessor.

Tyler offers a bold literary and historical analysis of both texts and reveals how the two queens actively engaged in the patronage of history-writing and poetry to exercise their royal authority. Tyler’s innovative combination of attention to intertextuality and regard for social networks emphasizes the role of women at the centre of Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman court literature. In doing so, she argues that both Emma and Edith’s negotiation of conquests and factionalism created powerful models of queenly patronage that were subsequently adopted by individuals such as Queen Margaret of Scotland, Countess Adela of Blois, Queen Edith/Matilda, and Queen Adeliza. England in Europe sheds new lighton the connections between English, French, and Flemish history-writing and poetry and illustrates the key role Anglo-Saxon literary culture played in European literature long after 1066.

Contents:

  • Introduction
  • 1: Vernacular Foundations
  • 2: Fictions of Family: The Encomium Emmae Reginae and Virgil’s Aeneid
  • 3: Talking about History: The Encomium Emmae Reginae and the Court of Harthacnut
  • 4: The Politics of Allusion in Eleventh-Century England: Classical Poets and the Vita Ædwardi
  • 5: Reading Through the Conquest
  • 6: The Women of 1066
  • 7: Edith Becomes Matilda
  • Conclusion: Endings and Beginnings

 

Elizabeth M. Tyler is a professor of medieval literature in the Department of English and Related Literature and the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of York. She is a co-director of the Centre for Medieval Literature at the University of Southern Denmark and the University of York.

 

Researchers bring Old Norse language back to JORVIK Viking Centre

Old Norse has been brought back to life by researchers at the University of York through the voices of new animatronic Viking characters at the world-famous JORVIK Viking Centre.

 

 

The characters, which are voiced by Masters and PhD students at the University’s Centre for Medieval Studies and Department of English and Related Literature, form part of the revamped JORVIK Viking Centre, which opens its doors for the first time in 16 months following substantial damage to the attraction as a result of the 2015 floods.

The animatronic characters within JORVIK help tell the stories of what life was like in the year AD960 and are based on over 30 years of archaeological research by York Archaeological Trust, who discovered the remains of the Viking city during the Coppergate excavations of 1976-81.

Expert in the language, literature and history of the Viking Age, Dr Matthew Townend, translated the Jorvik script into Old Norse and Anglo Saxon, working alongside a team of students who were able to speak Old Norse and Anglo-Saxon for the voices of the animatronic characters.

Dr Townend said: “Old Norse is the ancestor of all the modern Scandinavian languages, and also exerted a profound influence on the English language, especially in the north of England.

“The University of York is one of a small number of institutions in the UK where Old Norse language and literature are studied intensively, and it’s been really exciting for the students and myself to be able to contribute our expertise to the re-fit of the world-famous JORVIK Viking Centre. We hope very much that our linguistic soundscape will help to take visitors back in time to a fascinating and important period.”

PhD student in the Department of English and Related Literature, Nik Gunn, provided language training for staff at the Centre, allowing them access to the basic principles of the Old Norse language to engage visitors with the way in which the Vikings communicated and the meaning of common phrases.

Rich heritage

Nik Gunn said: “Recreating material culture is something that archaeologists and heritage professionals have been doing well for decades, so bringing ‘everyday’ Old Norse, and Old English, back to life was a really interesting challenge.

“Linguistic diversity is such a crucial element of the story of Viking Age England, and hearing the languages that would have been spoken in 10th century York will help to raise awareness of this rich heritage.”

Sarah Maltby, Director of Attractions for JORVIK Viking Centre, said: “University research helps organisations, like York Archaeological Trust, to deliver engaging and authentic interpretations of history to the public.

“JORVIK is well known for its sights and smells, however with this new incarnation we are able to additionally expand on the soundscape and in particular the languages spoken.

“In AD960, Jorvik was an ethnically-diverse city with a population of 15,000; so as well as old Norse, visitors will hear animatronics speak Old English, Ancient Arabic, Old Irish and Middle Welsh.”

York Medieval Lecture: Literary Networks of the Vicars Choral and the Clerical Proletariat in Late Medieval York, Professor Kathryn Kerby-Fulton (7 March 2017)

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

 

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York Medieval Lecture: ‘Medieval Psalters as Witnesses to Liturgical Song: the Iberian Case’ – Dr Emma Hornby (25 April 2017)

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.

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