Wednesday, April 16, 2008

There and Back Again

There and Back Again: Re-fashioning Journey and Place in the Middle Ages

An interdisciplinary symposium at Balliol College, Oxford, 7th June 2008
Confirmed speakers include Colin Morris (Southampton), John Blair (Oxford), John Hines (Cardiff), Kathryn Rudy (The Hague)

Images, imagination and the written word shaped medieval perceptions of the world just as much as direct experience and observation. By writing their own accounts, pilgrim authors re-encoded holy writ into a new framework of the holy places. Secular writings, architectural recreations of faraway buildings and artistic representations of journeys in illuminated manuscripts fed ideas about the world 'out there', while bringing the 'out there' very much into the realm of the 'right here'. Likewise, images, sagas, ballads, and travellers' tales changed, and were changed by, real-world experience.

This one-day symposium will bring together scholars in several disciplines to discuss how those throughout the middle ages chose to portray the reality they encountered—and constructed—through travel, whether in their own journeys or in journeys made by others.

Topics discussed will include:

journeys in literature
virtual pilgrimage
images and art
architecture and the Holy Sepulchre in the West

The day will also include a session held in the thirteenth–century shrine of St Frideswide in Christ Church Cathedral, reconstructed in 2002.

Organisers: Kathryne Beebe, Laura Varnam, Bernard Gowers.

Please check out the website,

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