Category Archives: News

Chris Page, Gresham Professor of Music, on ‘Music, Imagination and Experience in the Middle Ages’

speaker_christopherpageChris Page was appointed the Gresham College Professor of Music in 2014 and is giving a series of lectures this year entitled ‘Music, Imagination and Experience in the Middle Ages’. Wonderfully, each of the lectures is available to watch online here.

According to Gresham College’s website, ‘in 1597 Queen Elizabeth I made the recommendation of who should be the first incumbent of this Professorship at Gresham College. In recent years the Professorship has seen lectures on jazz, experimental music and film music as well as on the more traditional classical canon.’

Marilynn Desmond on ‘Trojan Temporality and the Materiality of Literary History’ (Thu 21 Jan)

The Cambridge Classical Reception Seminar Series (CCRSS) looks forward
to welcoming you to the following event this Thursday:


“Trojan Temporality and the Materiality of Literary History” (Abstract below)


5.15pm, Room G. 21, Faculty of Classics


(Tea is served in the room adjacent to G.21 from 4.45pm)


/After the talk, we will be taking Professor Desmond for a meal at a
local restaurant. If you wish to join us (at guests’ own expense),
please email Maya /( */to
reserve a place./*

The matter of Troy in the medieval Latin West sustains a vision of the
city of Troy as ever present yet always already destroyed: a city that
exists outside of time. In medieval historiography, the Fall of Troy
results in the Trojan diaspora and the settlement of Europe by Trojan
refugees who flee the burning city; the fall of Troy consequently makes
the narrative of European history possible. This vision of Trojan
ancestry as a myth of origins is often invoked to express a vision of
European futurity. This paper will explore how the /translatio /of the
matter of Troy generated its own temporality.

In the absence of the Homeric epics, the matter of Troy was transmitted
to the medieval West by the Latin prose texts attributed to Dares and
Dictys. These texts represent themselves as the /translatio /of ancient
Greek textual traditions and simultaneously as the material transmission
of these traditions from papyrus to parchment. The vernacular itinerary
of the Latin texts of Dares and Dictys create a distinct Trojan
temporality. In the twelfth-century /Roman de Troie/, Benoît de
Sainte-Maure insists that the materiality of translation practices
allows the reader to participate directly in the Trojan War, while two
centuries later, the visual program in a manuscript of Raoul de Presles’
translation of Augustine’s /De Civitate Dei/ encapsulates the
atemporality of Troy as transmitted by Dares.

Marilynn Desmond joins us from Binghamton University, where she is
Distinguished Professor. She is an expert in French and English medieval
literature, and the reception of Classics in those fields. She is the
author of, among other things, /Reading Dido: Gender, Textuality, and
the Medieval Aeneid /and /Ovid’s Art and the Wife of Bath: The Ethics of
Erotic Violence/. In 2014 she was the recipient of the prestigious Rome
Prize from the American Academy in Rome, enabling her to kickstart her
new research project on the reception of the Fall of Troy in medieval

For further information about this event, please contact either of the
CCRSS convenors:

Maya Feile Tomes (

Ben Folit-Weinberg (

This Wednesday: Aditi Nafde, ‘Print to Manuscript’

This Wednesday (20 Jan), Dr Aditi Nafde from the University of Newcastle will be giving a talk at the Medieval Graduate Research Seminar on  ‘From Print to Manuscript’.

After the advent of print in England, the earliest forms of printed books were largely imitations of manuscripts. However, as the century drew to a close, new print practices began to have a marked effect on the ongoing production of manuscripts. This paper will examine the effect of new print practices on the production of manuscripts after 1473. Looking closely at two examples, Oxford, St John’s College 266 and Bodleian Library Hatton 51, both manuscripts copied from print exemplars, the paper will examine how book producers and readers responded to each of the two formats, whether the new medium of print began to alter readers’ demands, and how far post-print manuscript production was changed to fit a shifting market.

The paper will begin promptly at 5.15pm in the English Faculty Board Room, followed by drinks and questions. Biscuits will be available in the Board Room from 4.45pm., so please bring along a mug of tea and catch up with fellow medievalists. After the paper all are welcome to join the speaker for dinner at Sala Thong (Thai restaurant). For any enquiries beforehand, please contact Alex da Costa (ad666).



Clark Lectures: Professor Mary Carruthers on The Art of Invention

Professor Mary Carruthers, the Remarque Professor Emeritus of Literature at New York University will be delivering this term’s Trinity College Clark Lectures on The Art of Invention. All lectures are at 5pm in the Mill Lane Lecture Theatre:

Tuesday 26 January: Disquiet, Dislocation, Performance: Augustine’s conversion

Tuesday 2 February: Imagination and Reasoning: Langland and others

Tuesday 9 February: Vividness, Evidence, Proof: the role of visions

Tuesday 16 February: Disposed to Play: the Gawain poet

(CFP) Discipline and Excess: A Graduate And Early Career Conference, Cambridge

A Graduate and Early Career Conference
Faculty of English, University of Cambridge
Friday, April 15, 2016

We invite paper proposals for Discipline and Excess, a conference which seeks to consider questions relating to boundaries and their transgression until 1750. The theme invites diverse interpretations of “discipline”—moral, religious, cultural, aesthetic, generic, geographic—in papers which explore the realms of penance and perfection, challenge the orderliness implicit in systems of knowledge, or examine the nature of punishment and retribution.

The conference is aimed at early career scholars and graduate students from a range of academic fields. Discipline and Excess is organized by the M.Phil programs in Medieval, Renaissance, and 18th-Century Literature at the Faculty of English. Our external respondent will be Dr. Helen Barr, Associate Professor at the University of Oxford.

Papers should be a maximum of 20 minutes. Please email 250-word abstracts (text only, no attachments) by 1st February 2016 to

Possible topics may include:

Crime and Punishment
Bounds of the Mind
Feast and Fast
Disciplining the Body
Exceeding the Page
Sin, Play, Transgression
Rhetorical Limits
Disciplinary Boundaries

CFP: Medieval Art & Architecture in East Anglia (31 Jan)

UEA Camb medieval symposium call for papersA one day event hosted by the Universities of East Anglia and Cambridge
Saturday 7th May 2016 Norwich

Offers of papers are welcomed from new and established students and scholars on topics concerned with aspects of the production, reception, nature and after-lives of medieval art (visual and textual) and architecture in East Anglia.

It is anticipated that papers will be either 15 or 30 minutes in duration, including 5 minutes for questions. Please indicate which length of paper you are offering.

Please submit an abstract of approx. 300 words as a Word file to: or
no later than 31 January 2016

UEA Camb medieval symposium call for papers

Middle English Graduate Seminars (Lent Term)

This Lent we will meet as usual in the Board Room at the English Faculty, 9 West Road, on alternate Wednesdays for the Middle English Graduate Seminar. Papers begin promptly at 5.15, followed by drinks and questions. Biscuits will be available in the Board Room from 4.45p.m., so please bring along a mug of tea and catch up with fellow medievalists. After the paper all are welcome to join the speaker for dinner in a nearby restaurant. For any enquiries beforehand, please contact Alex da Costa (ad666).

20 Jan, Aditi Nafde (University of Newcastle): ‘From Print to Manuscript’

3 Feb, Mishtooni Bose (Oxford University): ‘Piers Plowman and God’s Thought Experiment’

17 Feb, Laura Saetveit Miles (University of Bergen): ‘Mary as Hermeneutic Key’

2 Mar, Sebastian Sobecki (University of Groningen): ‘The Southwark Connection: Gower, Chaucer, and the Writing of The Canterbury Tales‘.

Tonight! Lucy Allen on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Four Thought’ 13 Jan 8.45pm

12063305_10101459425915930_7685741296283381214_nLucy Allen will be speaking tonight on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Four Thought’ programme on Wednesday 13th January at 8.45pm. The programme features diverse speakers on a huge variety of topical social and cultural issues.  She will be speaking about her research – which focuses on the treatment of women in fiction and the epistemic violence of medieval romance – but also about her personal responses to modern perceptions of ‘the medieval’ and of women’s voices. Well worth listening out for!

You’ll be able to download the episode from the BBC after it airs here:


Workshop: ‘New Perspectives on Medieval Studies’ (Paris)

Paris WorkshopVenue: Paris Campus Condorcet
Thanks to the support of the Society for the Study of
Medieval Languages and Literature- Medium Aevum, we are able to help with the funding of the travel expenses for two UK postgraduate students (the papers will be given in French). If you would like to apply to these travel grants worth £125 each, please email with a CV including the name of two referees, highlighting the selected workshop and providing a short justification for support. The workshops are free, but registration is needed with For more practical information and reports on previous workshops, see .

The remaining workshops are as follows:

From Manuscript to Print
15 Jan. 2016, 4pm – 6:30pm
Venue: formation room, Sorbonne interuniversity library, 75005, Paris
Run by Maud Pérez-Simon, with Florence Bouchet, Irène Fabry-Tehranchi and Jane Taylor.

Legal Right and Literature
4 Mar. 2016, 4pm – 6:30pm
Venue: formation room, Sorbonne interuniversity library, 75005, Paris
Run by Christopher Lucken with Claude Gauvard, Bernard Ribemont and another contributor to be confirmed.

Environmental History
8 April, 2016, 4pm – 6:30pm
Venue: formation room, Sorbonne interuniversity library, 75005, Paris
Run by Fanny Madeline avec Corinne Beck, Daniel Curtis and Pierre-Olivier Dittmar

The Liturgical Song
Venue: Rm C102, American University of Paris, 6 rue du Colonel Combes, 75007, Paris
27 May 2016, 4pm – 6:30pm
Run by Kristin Hoefener, with Andreas Haug and Daniel Saulnier

Cambridge Group for Irish Studies (1 Dec)

Time: Tuesday, 1st December
Venue: The Parlour, Magdalene College, 8.45 pm

Raghnall Ó Floinn, ‘The Use of Relics and Statues in Late Medieval and Early Modern Ireland’

All welcome, wine will be served.

Raghnall Ó Floinn was appointed Director of the National Museum of Ireland in 2013. He has lectured widely and is the author of numerous papers and has co-edited a number of books, including Ireland and Scandinavia in the Early Viking Age (1998) and Treasures of the National Museum of Ireland ­Irish Antiquities (2002).