University of Kent hosts The European Society for Textual Scholarship annual conference

Earlier this month, the University of Kent hosted the annual conference for The European Society for Textual Scholarship.

The European Society for Textual Scholarship provides an international and interdisciplinary forum for the theory and practice of textual scholarship in Europe. It was established in 2001 in close collaboration with the Society for Textual Scholarship (North America).

Members of the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MEMS) were central to the conference’s planning and organization. The Chair of the Organising and Planning Committees was Dr Rory Loughnane (School of English; Co-Director of MEMS) and other key roles were taken by current PhD students in MEMS: Ségolène Gence (Programming and Communication Officer), Jon Pinkerton (Registration Officer and Secretary) and Samantha McCarthy (Social Officer and Canterbury Cathedral Library and Archives Liaison Officer). The Planning Committee included colleagues from across the University of Kent, Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury Cathedral Library and Archives, and Loughborough University.

The conference was the largest ever gathering the ESTS society with more than 110 delegates. Across a packed two-day schedule, the conference featured 32 parallel panel and roundtable sessions, literary walking tours in Canterbury, exhibitions in Canterbury Cathedral Library and Archives and the Templeman Library Special Collections, digital exhibitions, and a reception at Canterbury Cathedral Chapter House.

Dr Loughnane said “It was an honour to host the European Society for Textual Scholarship (ESTS) at the University of Kent. We were delighted to welcome delegates from around the world and to help showcase the exciting research in textual studies taking place at the university, not least in the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies. We look forward to future collaborations with the ESTS and to providing further opportunities for our postgraduate researchers with interests in textual studies.

“The success of the conference was down to the hard work of the members of the organising and planning committees, and the wonderful Conferences team here at the university (led in this instance by Jan Williams), who created such an exciting programme of events. A special note of thanks should be given to the three MEMS PhD students, Ségolène Gence, Jon Pinkerton, and Samantha McCarthy, who did so much to support the planning, organisation, and hour-to-hour running of the conference. It was a real team effort and speaks to the strengths of the research community of MEMS and beyond in the university.”