Friday, October 12, 2018


Marco Manuscript Workshop 2019: “Bits and Pieces”
February 1-2, 2019

Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

The Fourteenth Marco Manuscript Workshop will take place Friday and
Saturday, February 1-2, 2019, at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
The workshop is organized by Professors Maura K. Lafferty (Classics) and
Roy M. Liuzza (English), and is hosted by the Marco Institute for Medieval
and Renaissance Studies.

For this year’s workshop, we invite papers on the theme “Bits and Pieces.”
Some manuscripts have survived the centuries bright, pristine, majestic,
and complete; most have suffered at least some minor damage or loss; some
manuscripts, however, seem no more than ragged scraps. They lack
beginnings, or endings, or middles; they tantalize with their
incompleteness. These fragments still have much to tell us, though they
make us work to learn it. The reader of incomplete manuscripts and
fragments faces a broad array of problems – how to extrapolate
missing text, how to fill the gaps in a page or a text, how to read a faded
and worn leaf, how to combine dispersed fragments into a whole, how to
represent the fragment in a modern edition in a way that renders it legible
while still acknowledging its brokenness. Some fragments are already
repaired, either bound into florilegia, rewritten by a well-meaning early
reader, or patched and glued and restored in ways that sometimes obscure as
much as they preserve; in such cases the modern reader may have to
deconstruct an earlier reader’s traces before reconstructing the original
text. The problems and rewards of studying manuscript fragments, large and
small, are many; we welcome presentations on any aspect of this topic,
broadly imagined.

The workshop is open to scholars and graduate students in any field who are
engaged in textual editing, manuscript studies, or epigraphy. Individual
75-minute sessions will be devoted to each project; participants will be
asked to introduce their text and its context, discuss their approach to
working with their material, and exchange ideas and information with other
participants. As in previous years, the workshop is intended to be more
like a class than a conference; participants are encouraged to share new
discoveries and unfinished work, to discuss both their successes and
frustrations, to offer both practical advice and theoretical insights,
and to work together towards developing better professional skills for
textual and codicological work. We particularly invite the presentation of
works in progress, unusual manuscript problems, practical difficulties, and
new or experimental models for studying or representing manuscript texts.
Presenters will receive a $500 honorarium for their participation.

The deadline for applications is November 2, 2018. Applicants are asked to
submit a current CV and a two-page letter describing their project to Roy
M. Liuzza, preferably via email to, or by mail to
the Department of English, University of Tennessee, 301 McClung Tower,
Knoxville, TN 37996-0430.

The workshop is also open at no cost to scholars and students who do not
wish to present their own work but are interested in sharing a lively
weekend of discussion and ideas about manuscript studies. Further details
will be available later in the year; please contact Roy Liuzza or the Marco
Institute at for more information.

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