MEMO is delighted to announce the publication of Reconsidering Gender, Time and Memory in Medieval Culture, edited by Elizabeth Cox, Liz Herbert McAvoy, and Roberta Magnani. The volume has its origins in a conference organised at Swansea University by (then) postgraduate students including Simon John and Tom Underwood, and appears in D. S. Brewer’s Gender in the Middle Ages series.
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: http://www.swansea.ac.uk/riah/researchgroups/memo/symposium-by-the-sea-2015/.
An English department research seminar will be held this coming Wednesday April 17th at 4pm in KH216.
Professor Diane Watt, Surrey University, ‘Fragments of a Forgotten Archive: Migratory Feelings in Early Anglo-Saxon Women’s Letters’.
‘In this paper I read the poetry and letters of early Anglo-Saxon women found in the collection that has come to be known as the Boniface correspondence alongside the more famous Old English elegies. Taken together these poems and letters comprise what I call, drawing on Ann Cvetkovich’s title An Archive of Feelings (Duke University Press, 2003), an archive of migratory feelings. While the Anglo-Saxon elegies are familiar to readers beyond the confines of academic scholarship through modern translations and lyrical re-writing, the women’s letters, which represent the earliest surviving writing unquestionably attributable to named Anglo-Saxon women, are less widely known, even to those studying women’s writing, and in that sense they represent a forgotten archive. This article examines the epistolary explorations of emotions and memories of these early Anglo-Saxon nuns, including, but not only, women missionaries who migrated to Europe in order to convert others to their beliefs; emotions that are particular to their own time, but that nevertheless still resonate today.’
Two of Swansea University’s medievalists will be presenting on their research at the next IMEMS video-linked seminar this April: