Monthly Archives: July 2014

MEMS to co-host Church Monuments Society’s annual symposium

The Church Monuments Society is holding its 2014 annual symposium jointly with the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies. Entitled, ‘Monuments of Power’ the event takes place between Friday 5th and Sunday 7th September and will focus on Canterbury Cathedral’s monuments, together with related high status tombs.

The programme begins on Friday afternoon with an optional visit to the Cathedral’s Mason’s Yard and with an evening reception and dinner, followed by the keynote lecture. Lectures will begin on Saturday morning, and after lunch delegates will visit the Cathedral where they will have their own free time to look around or visit the Cathedral library. After Evensong, delegates will have sole access to the Cathedral together with talks on the monuments.

On Saturday evening there is a drinks reception, followed by members’ contributions. On Sunday a varied lecture programme will be delivered, and the Symposium will close with afternoon tea at 4.00pm. The event is also open to those who wish to attend on a daily basis.

List of speakers:

  •  Kent Rawlinson, Henry VIII’s influence at Canterbury Cathedral;
  • Tim Tatton Brown, The late Medieval monuments and shrines in the eastern arm of Canterbury Cathedral;
  • David Green, The Black Prince;
  • Kenneth Fincham & David Shaw, The Boys monument;
  • Jessica Barker, Margaret Holland and her two husbands;
  • Kim Woods, Effigies in alabaster in Canterbury Cathedral;
  • Sally Badham, Copper-alloy tombs in Medieval Europe;
  • Melanie Caiazza, Expeditions and effigies: (re)locating death, burial and family narratives – a closer look at the case of Sir James Hales;
  • Barbara Tomlinson, Commemorating Admiral Sir George Rooke (1650-1708) and his naval contemporaries;
  • Jean Wilson, Lies, damned lies and monuments: two military memorials in Canterbury Cathedral.

Anyone wishing to give a short paper under members’ contributions should contact the organiser, Mark Downing.

The Symposium is to be held at the University of Kent, Canterbury, which is about 20 minutes walk from the city centre.  Accommodation is in single en-suite bedrooms.  The cost for the full Symposium is £250 (£270 for non-members), full board.  Alternatively, delegates may choose to attend on a non-residential basis: Saturday – morning lectures, lunch, coach travel to the cathedral and entry (fee: £60, non-members £70), and/or Sunday – lectures including lunch (fee: £45 non-members £55).

Click here for booking form.

This interdisciplinary, cross-period conference explores the representation, effects and meanings of liminal time and space in medieval and early modern performance culture.  Emphasising the inherently liminal and ephemeral nature of performance, it will consider space and time in conjunction across a range of performance events between the tenth and seventeenth centuries.  Bringing together scholars working on medieval and early modern performance in its broadest sense, the conference will initiate cross-disciplinary, cross-period dialogues that explore the continuities and ruptures between cultural thinking in the two periods, and draw out the ambiguous, transitional and transitory aspects of both concepts.

On the evening of Friday 5th September the Early English Performance Cultures and Contemporary Creative Practice session will explore the ways in which cultural and creative practices might both elide and emphasise spatio-temporal divisions.  During this session, theatre practitioners and writers will present, discuss, and answer questions about their most recent work, all of which has engaged with early English performance culture and narrative.  This event will be followed by a drinks reception and is open to the public.

 BURSARIES: Thanks to the generosity of the Society for Renaissance Studies, we are able to offer two fee-waiving bursaries to postgraduate delegates working in the early modern period.  If you fall into this category please email the organisers, giving your name, institution, a brief summary of your dissertation (c.100 words) and your supervisor’s name. The bursaries will be distributed to the first two postgraduates who apply.

Plenary Speakers: Professor Carol Symes (Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and Professor Andrew Hiscock (Bangor)

For futher information and registration please see:

Conference organisers:

Dr Sarah Dustagheer –

Dr Clare Wright –



MEMS at the Leeds IMC, 7-10 July 2014

A number of staff and students from MEMS will be giving papers at this year’s Leeds International Medieval Congress and the Centre will be hosting a wine reception on Wednesday 9th July from 7-8pm in the Michael Sadler Building, room LG16 to which all delegates at the IMC are warmly invited to attend.

MEMS Papers at the Leeds IMC 2014

Tuesday 8th July

  • 14:15-15:45 (711-c) Jan Vandeburie – Martyrs and Mosaics’ Honororius III’s Architectural Propaganda in the Basilicas of Rome
  • 19:00-20:00   Neuroscience and the Middle Ages: A Round Table Discussion – participants include Clare Wright (Tues 8 July 19:00-20:00 – Elland Road)

Wednesday 9th July

  • 09.00-10.30 (1004-a) Ciaran Arthur – Reconsidering the Meaning of G(e)aldor in Old English: Condemned Pagan Practice or Christian Ritual?
  • 09.00-10.30 (1011-c) Helen Gittos – The Languages of the Liturgy in the Middle Ages
  • 11.15-12.45 (1134-a) Ryan Perry ‘Goostly, the ighe of thi soule is thi reson’: Spiritual Exercises in and out of Cloister in Some Middle English Pastoral Anthologies
  • 12.15-12.45 (1134-c) Sarah James Yf he shoulde a shrift fader be, hym behovid have lerned of some degree”: clerical reform in orthodox pastoralia’

Drawing medievalists from over 50 countries, with over 1,500 individual papers and 500 academic sessions and a wide range of concerts, performances, readings, round tables, excursions, bookfair and associated events, the Leeds International Medieval Congress is Europe’s largest annual gathering in the humanities.


Material Witness Programme celebrates its first year

As its highly successful first year draws to a close, the concluding event for the Material Witness programme 2013/14 will take place at the Art Workers’ Guild on Tuesday 8th July.

The event will celebrate a year of material witnessing, organised by and for members of the CHASE Consortium with the generous support of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The programme has consisted of fifteen events led by more than thirty contributors, through which sixty doctoral and early career participants have explored materials, their meanings, and methods for investigating them. Material Witnesses’ first year of events have been as broad-ranging as:

  • ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Digital Reproduction’  (a workshop to consider Walter Benjamin’s influential essay);
  • ‘Sourcing Stone’ (a visit to the Albion Quarries at Portland);
  • ‘Assessing Architecture at Canterbury Cathedral’  (a workshop led by the Canterbury Archaeological Trust)
  • ‘Creating Visual Arts’  (a drawing masterclass led by the University of Kent’s Schools of Arts and Architecture)
  • ‘Sculpture In Situ’  (a tour of City churches led by Dr Kim Woods a specialist in late medieval Netherlandish and English sculpture)
  • ‘Sound as Artefact’  (a workshop exploring the music collections of The British Library)
  • ‘Text as Object’  (a workshop examining printed books and pamphlets)
  • ‘The Possibilities and Limits of Technical Art History’  (a two-day event at the Cortauld Institute)

Material Witness is a training programme that offers PhD students in the CHASE Consortium opportunities to learn about the tools, technologies and methods that are available for the examination of artefacts, as well as an interdisciplinary, cross-period forum to exchange ideas, questions, approaches and theories relating to material culture. The programme was founded by Alixe Bovey (of the University of Kent) and Susie Nash and Scott Nethersole (of the Cortauld Institute). Alixe Bovey explains, “We devised the programme partly because looking carefully at ‘things’ (buildings, paintings, manuscripts, scultpure, textiles and so on) is one of the most inspiring and important activities in our work as researchers and teachers.” 

For more information about the Material Witness training programme, including event reports and images please visit the Material Witness blog.

Postgraduate Facebook chat event, Monday 7th July, 2-4pm

If you’d like to find out more about postgraduate study at the University of Kent (or perhaps you’re already joining MEMS this Autumn) join our Facebook chat event on Monday 7 July, 2-4pm. You can ask all your questions about subjects, funding, our fantastic locations and more.

If you’d like to meet us in person, The University’s next General Open Day on Saturday, July 12th from 9am-3pm gives you the chance to talk to MEMS teaching staff and students, as well as having a look around the Canterbury Campus. To register and book your place at the Open Day, please click here.