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:


‘Affective Piety’– upcoming IMEMS Research Seminar

More information on the upcoming IMEMS video-linked research Seminar, via Alison Williams:

The next video-linked research seminar with IMEMS will take place on Tuesday 26 February, 5.00 for 5.1.5 start in the James Callaghan video-conferencing suite. It is being hosted by Aberystwyth and the speaker is:

Nicholas Watson (Harvard University) who will be delivering a paper on ‘Affective Piety’

Nicholas Watson is Professor of English at Harvard University. A former fellow of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies, he is an expert on expressions of piety in late medieval England, and is completing a study of vernacular religious texts written between the mid eleventh century and the fifteenth. Further details can be found at

Hope to see many of you there!