Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Gendered Spaces

Kalamazoo 2016 #Kzoo2016

Gendered Spaces
Hortulus-sponsored session

Session organizer and presider: Melissa Ridley Elmes, co-editor of Hortulus

The concept of gendered spaces—areas in which particular genders and types of gender expression are considered welcome or appropriate while other gender types are unwelcome or inappropriate—is a key element in the study of human geography. Gendering spaces is one way in which social systems maintain the organization of gender, and can preserve and dictate the accepted norms of gendered behavior, as well as relationships and hierarchies between men and women. Studying gendered spaces—environments, landscapes, and other places that have been designated specifically for “men” or for “women,” as well as the “public-private” divide often defined with men in public and women in private spaces, for example—can provide us with important knowledge of the ways in which the spaces we inhabit reinforce our cultural positions from a gendered perspective; for instance, how such spaces serve to segregate or to unify, to reinforce or subvert traditional forms of masculinity and femininity. This understanding, in turn, can shed light on existing power structures and the conflicts and issues that arise between men and women in a given culture.

This session seeks to examine the subject of gendered spaces from a medieval vantage point, considering ways in which medieval society powerfully shaped and sought to control ideas of masculinity and femininity through the public and private spaces that were designated for men and women and how those spaces were used. We hope to attract an interdisciplinary panel of papers including studies from historians, art historians, and literary scholars that will extend our thinking about gender in the medieval period. The session shares a theme with our Fall, 2016 issue of Hortulus: The Online Graduate Journal of Medieval Studies, and we hope to be able to publish in that issue some of the papers delivered in this session. As our journal mission is to support the professionalization efforts of graduate students, the session is organized, presided over, and comprises papers given by current graduate students.

Abstracts, brief bio, and participant information form to Melissa Ridley Elmes ( by September 15, 2015.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Manuscript Context for Early Anglo-Saxon, Caroline, and Germanic Verse

Kalamazoo 2016 #Kzoo2016

Manuscript Context for Early Anglo-Saxon, Caroline, and Germanic Verse
While there are exemplary surveys of the early insular manuscript
tradition by J.J.G. Alexander, Michelle Brown and Richard Gameson, for
example, such works focus heavily on the illumination and codicology of
sacred books and not on how vernacular production got started. This is
even more evident in the paucity of secondary literature on how
vernacular poetic texts first came to be inscribed (with the exception,
perhaps, of work on Cædmon's Hymn), how they were distinguished from
prose, and what continental exemplars they may well have used.

Therefore, this session seeks papers considering the manuscript context
and all associated matters of paleography and codicology for the
earliest poetic texts recorded (pre-950) in Old English, Anglo-Latin,
Caroline Latin, Old Saxon, and Old High German.

How much influence does the layout of Caroline and Anglo-Latin poems
have in determining the inscription of vernacular poems? Are vernacular
poems initially derivative in their layout, or low-status, compared to
their Latin cousins?

As we know that manuscripts of early Germanic verse texts, in particular
the Old Saxon Heliand, were available in England from the late
ninth-century forward and that Anglo-Saxon scribes and scholars on the
continent were likely to have seen such works in Caroline centres of
learning, were they formative for later English books such as the Junius
and Exeter codices of Old English poetry?

What factors and exemplars determine the manuscript layout of verse
texts in such instances as marginal and flyleaf recordings of poems that
clearly appear secondary to the prose texts they complement?

Papers are particularly welcome to investigate strategies of layout for
unusual poems such as acrostics and incomplete poems, and the evolution
of the use of punctuation to mark poems and aid in recitation. The
session also solicits consideration of how modern printing affects - or
rather, shapes - the reception of these early medieval verses.

Last, the session in particular solicits reappraisals of Katherine
O’Brien O’Keeffe’s landmark book, Visible Song: Transformational
Literacy in Old English Verse, now past its 25th anniversary.

Please contact by September 15th:

Bruce Gilchrist
Saint Lawrence College

790, rue Nérée-Tremblay
Québec, QC // Canada // G1V 4K2

Revisiting the Viking era: Four particularly interesting excavated sites around Iceland

Neil McMahon Revisits the Viking era

Mapping the Medieval Countryside

Mapping the Medieval Countryside is a digital edition of the medieval English inquisitions post mortem (IPMs), currently covering the period 1418-1447.

IPMs recorded the lands held at their deaths by tenants of the crown, and are the single most important source for the study of landed society in medieval England. Describing the lands held by thousands of families, from nobles to peasants, they are a key source for the history of almost every parish in England and many in Wales.
Please explore at:

Monday, July 27, 2015

42nd Saint Louis Conference on Manuscript Studies, 16-17 October 2015

42nd Saint Louis Conference on Manuscript Studies, 16-17 October 2015
Vatican Film Library, Saint Louis University
St. Louis, Missouri

Organized annually since 1974 by the Knights of Columbus Vatican Film Library and its journal “Manuscripta,” this two-day conference features papers on a wide variety of topics in medieval and Renaissance manuscript studies — paleography, codicology, illumination, book production, texts and transmission, library history, and more.

Guest Speaker:
Stella Panayotova (Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge) — “Manuscript Illumination: Art and Science”

Conference Sessions:
Representations of Representation
Spanish Manuscripts
Goings on at SIMS: New Projects, New Research
Intriguing Calendars
A Good Read: The Production of Vernacular Texts in Thirteenth- and Fourteenth-Century Italy and their Public
Work in Progress -- Digital Humanities Projects in the Vatican Film Library and the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana
Old Book, New Book: Refurbished Manuscripts in the Middle Ages

Conference Program and Registration Information
For further information, visit the conference webpage or contact or 314-977-3090.

The Vatican Film Library is a research library for medieval and Renaissance manuscript studies that holds on microfilm about 40,000 manuscripts, principally from the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana. In addition to its annual conference, the library also publishes twice yearly Manuscripta: A Journal for Manuscript Research, the monograph series Manuscripta Publications in Manuscript Research, and offers fellowships for research in its collections. It is part of Special Collections in the Saint Louis University Libraries. Keep in touch with us through our blog, Special Collections Currents, or Twitter.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Skeleton from medieval battlefield goes on display at York museum

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Rare medieval St George ring found in Norfolk

A 600-year-old gold ring engraved with St George and the Dragon sheds new light on the saint's medieval followers in Norwich, an expert has told the BBC.