Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Can you read me now?

From a 16 th-century Italian manual on writing, by Palatino.
Full book (and Italian resolution of the rebus) available on Vivarium.

  • “Robin Hood and the Canon”, MLA Boston, January 3-6, 2013
  • Transmission, Translation and Dissemination in the European Middle Ages, UCC, 28 – 29 Sept 2012
  • Brief addendum to Manuscripts on My Mind from Susan L'Engle
  • Reminder for the Medieval Academy Meeting in March 2012

From Alexander Kaufman:

“Robin Hood and the Canon”, MLA Boston, January 3-6, 2013

What is the place and status of the Robin Hood texts and tradition in the canon? The Robin Hood literary texts are decidedly varied in terms of genre and form (historical writings, ballads, broadsides, dramas, novellas, and novels, for example), and the tradition stretches from the medieval period to the present. While such canonical writers as William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, John Keats, and Sir Walter Scott, among others, have written about the outlaw, Robin Hood’s presence within the canon is, for many, questionable. While Arthur and the Matter of Britain are fixtures within the canon (and like Robin Hood  associated with aspects of popular culture), Robin Hood and the Matter of the Greenwood are in many ways still outside of literary and cultural officialdom – why? 

This panel seeks papers that examine the reasons behind the status of the Robin Hood tradition in the canon. Papers that address the interdisciplinary nature of the tradition as it relates to canonicity are encouraged. 

Please send 300-word abstracts to Alexander L. Kaufman ( by March 15, 2012.


Received through the YMAGINA listserv:

CFP: Transmission, Translation and Dissemination in the European
Middle Ages, UCC, 28 – 29 Sept 2012
Closing date for proposals: 31st March 2012
Transmission, Translation and Dissemination in the European Middle
Ages, 1000–1500 AD,
University College Cork,
28th – 29th September 2012.
FMRSI in association with Dr Elizabeth Boyle, University of Cambridge,
are delighted to announce a forthcoming conference.
Transmission, Translation and Dissemination in the European Middle
Ages, 1000–1500 AD, is an interdisciplinary, international, two-day
conference to be held at University College Cork on 28–29 September
This conference will explore the issues of textual transmission and
the movement of ideas across medieval Europe. Indeed, going beyond
consideration of literary texts alone, the scope of discussions will
include the transmission of images, music, scientific learning, and
related areas.
Keynote addresses will be given by Dr Caoimhín Breatnach, School of
Irish, Celtic Studies, Irish Folklore and Linguistics, University
College Dublin and Dr Anthony Lappin, School of Languages, Linguistics
and Cultures, University of Manchester.
Proposals (max. 250 words) are welcome from researchers in all areas
of medieval studies. Papers should last c. 30 minutes (plus time for
questions and discussion). We also welcome proposals from postgraduate
students for shorter papers (c. 20 minutes plus questions). A small
number of postgraduate bursaries may be available.
Proposals for papers should be emailed to:
later than 31 March 2012.
Registration details: to follow.
This conference is being organised by the Forum for Medieval and
Renaissance Studies in Ireland in association with University College
Cork and the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic, University of
Cambridge. The conference is generously supported by the Leverhulme
Trust, the School of History, and the School of English, University
College Cork.
Organizing committee:
Dr Elizabeth Boyle (University of Cambridge)
Dr Ann Buckley (Trinity College Dublin)
Dr Carrie Griffin (Queen Mary, University of London / University College Cork)
Ms Emer Purcell M.Phil. (University College Cork)
Forum for Medieval and Renaissance Studies in Ireland (FMRSI)

Brief addendum to Manuscripts on My Mind from Susan L'Engle (see previous posting):

27 January 2012

Dear Colleagues and Manuscript Lovers,

I send you a brief addendum to Manuscripts on My Mind, no. 5; with some information unfortunately overlooked when putting together the issue.

Hélène Millet and Claudia Rabel have recently published a monograph on the Madonna of Mercy, focusing on a painting at the Croatier Museum in Puy-en-Velay: La Vierge au manteau du Puy-en-Velay (Lyon, 2011). This popular iconographic motif can also be found on the pages of manuscripts, particularly during the fifteenth century. Here is a link to the publisher:  [and I attach a pdf with the table of contents. -- sorry! not attached here. Nuntia ed.]

Beth Morrison sends an update on present and forthcoming exhibitions at the Getty that draw on manuscripts from the permanent collection:

Gothic Manuscript Illumination

December 13, 2011 - May 13, 2012

The word "Gothic" evokes visions of soaring spires, graceful flying buttresses, and sparkling stained glass. The term is also applied to the style of manuscript illumination that reigned in Europe from around 1200 to 1350. This exhibition drawn from the Getty's collections celebrates Gothic illumination, which is characterized by whimsical marginal decorations, vivid narratives, and a naturalistic style of painting. The period also saw an explosion in the variety of illustrated books being produced, ranging from scholastic university treatises to entertaining romances. See the exhibition twice; on February 27, the pages of the manuscripts will be turned to reveal further treasures.

Heaven, Hell, and Dying Well: Images of Death in the Middle Ages May 29 - August 12, 2012

Throughout the Middle Ages, death and the afterlife were stirring subjects in the illumination of books that challenged and inspired the creativity of artists. Delightful and disturbing visions of heaven and hell fueled the viewer's imagination. Books adorned with depictions of saved souls in Paradise, the rewards of the blessed, and God's mercy instilled hope, while morbid and sometimes horrific illustrations of funerals, demons, and the punishment of the wicked prompted pious Christians to repent of their sins. At the core of visual devotion stood the image of the crucified Christ and his Passion promising resurrection and eternal life. This exhibition drawn from the Getty's permanent collection will reveal the central role of the art of dying well in the Middle Ages.

The Art of Devotion in the Middle Ages

August 28, 2012 - January 27, 2013

Manuscripts and their illuminations played a central role in fostering and expressing the devotion of the Christian faithful during the Middle Ages. As the word of God, Biblical phrases were introduced by elaborate initial letters, narrative stories about Christ or the saints were pictured in detailed miniatures, and borders brimming with fantastic figures and scenes focused attention on important pages and texts. This exhibition drawn from the permanent collection will look at manuscripts that not only helped medieval Christians celebrate their beliefs, but also, with their precious materials and elaborate decoration, served as material testaments to the piety of the owners.

A more detailed description of the major exhibition Florence at the Dawn of the Renaissance: Painting and Illumination, 1300–1350, running November 13, 2012 through February 10, 2013, will be given in the next issue of the newsletter.

Yours in manuscript studies,

Susan L’Engle


Reminder for the Medieval Academy Meeting in March 2012:

Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America 

March 22-24, 2012

Saint Louis, MO  

The 2012 Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America will be held on March 22-24 on the campus of Saint Louis University, nestled in the heart of midtown Saint Louis, Missouri. It will be hosted by the Saint Louis University Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Founded in 1818, Saint Louis University is the oldest university west of the Mississippi and the second oldest Jesuit university in America. As one might expect from a city named for a medieval king, there is much to recommend it to medievalists. The university has extensive manuscript and rare book holdings and is also the home of the Knights of Columbus Vatican Film Library, a microfilm copy of thousands of manuscripts in the Vatican Library in Rome.

All sessions, lectures, meetings, and receptions will be held in Busch Memorial Center and DuBourg Hall on the Saint Louis University campus. For information on the book exhibit, please email


Registration is now open here. Register before February 27th for the best pricing. Online registration closes March 18th.


This year's meeting will feature fifty sessions from a wide range of disciplines and approaches. A complete program is available here. To advertise in the print program, please email


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