Symposium by the Sea 2015

The Medieval and Early Modern Garden: Enclosure and Transformation

Thursday, June 4th – Friday, June 5th 2015

This interdisciplinary symposium aims to examine the many functions and meanings of the cultivated walled garden during the medieval and early-modern periods. Everywhere apparent in literature as a place of containment, love and fertility, the walled garden is also prevalent in historical and medical sources and was clearly responded to and enjoyed as a space that was simultaneously physical, spiritual, symbolic, curative and restorative. Moreover, in the Middle Ages the walled garden was often depicted as enclosing the Virgin Mary, forging a long-lasting association with female spirituality, women’s curative medicine and healing – both of the body and of the soul.

Bringing together a range of experts on the medieval and early modern garden from a range of disciplinary and professional perspectives (including history, gender studies, literature, medicine and archaeology) this symposium will explore, both academically and for wider public understanding, the uses and meanings of the walled garden in the Middle Ages and early modern period, many of which have disappeared from our cultural consciousness, but some of which still remain in various forms to the present day.

For more details and registration forms, please see:


MEMO trip to Hereford

Message from Professor Dan Power about this year’s MEMO trip to Hereford:

Each year, there is a MEMO trip to Hereford for a workshop in the cathedral archives and library.  It is an excellent chance to have some “hands-on” experience with the cathedral’s splendid collection of medieval manuscripts and early printed books. The trip includes free entry to the Mappa Mundi exhibition (to see the world-famous Hereford World Map) and to the unique Chained Library. There will be the chance to visit the cathedral itself as well.

 There are 15 places available for the workshop, which will take place on Friday 24 May. Please contact for details or to express interest.

The 7th Annual Symposium by the Sea, 14th June 2013

‘Alcohol in Medieval and Early Modern Culture’

14th June 2013, Swansea University

Swansea University’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Research (MEMO) invites expressions of interest and paper proposals for its 7th Annual Symposium by the Sea, on the theme of Alcohol in Medieval and Early Modern Culture. Papers may address any medieval and/or early modern material related to this theme, from a literary, historical, or linguistic perspective. Topics to be considered might include:

  • Alcohol and food
  • Alcohol’s relationship to violence and criminality
  • Alcohol as ingredient, preservative, or medicine
  • Commercial and/or domestic production of alcohol
  • Containers for storing, serving, and consuming alcohol
  • Distribution and consumption of alcohol
  • Forms of drinking culture and sociability
  • the genderedness of alcohol production and consumption
  • Laws concerning alcohol production and consumption
  • Medical and philosophical theories about alcohol and its effects
  • Recipes for the production of alcoholic drinks
  • Religious communities and alcohol
  • Sobriety and/or drunkenness
  • Taverns, inns, and other sites of alcohol consumption
  • Trade and taxation of alcoholic goods

For further information, to express an interest in attending, or to submit a paper proposal, please contact Dr Adam Mosley (

Proposals should be no more than 500 words in length, and submitted before 31 March 2013.