The University of Edinburgh Humanities and Social Science

Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Centre of Medieval and Rennaissance Studies

Edinburgh Seminar in Medieval and Renaissance Studies


Previous Series


The current programme is available on the Events and Activities page and for more information about the Edinburgh Seminar in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, please contact the CMRS activities co-ordinator Bill Aird (

Semester 1 2013/2014

19th September 2013

Meadows Lecture Theatre

Naomi Standen, University of Birmingham

'The Problem with Borderlands: Shared Practices in Premodern Eastern Eurasia'

Hosted by the Chinese History Seminar

24th September 2013 Angus Stewart, University of St Andrews The Mongols, the Armenians and the Magi:  Representations of the Mongols in the Near East c.1260’.
1st October 2013 Lucy Sackville, University of York 'The Self-Conscious Inquisitor: High Medieval Inquisition Handbooks and the Making of the Inquisitorial Mind'
8th October 2013 Stephen Church, University of East Anglia ‘Succession and interregnum in the English polity: the case of 1141’
15th October 2013 Malcolm Cooper, University of Edinburgh ‘The Work of a Thousand Ants: Gerard Baldwin Brown and The Arts in Early England'.
22nd October 2013 Greg Walker,
University of Edinburgh
‘Performing Sir David Lyndsay’s Satire of the Three Estates in 1552 and 2013’.
29th October 2013 Ine Jacobs,
University of Edinburgh

'Christians do not differ from other people': the down-to-earth religious stand of late antique Sagalassos (Pisidia) from the 4th to the 7th century'

5th November 2013 Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough,  University of Durham 'Where the Wild Things Are: The Arctic North in the Old Norse Sagas'
12th November 2013 Felicity Green, University of Edinburgh  'Household Management and Self-Management in Early Modern Thought
19th November 2013 Bridget Heal,  University of St Andrews ‘Spectacle and Worship: the Dresden court during the seventeenth century’.
26th November 2013 Marilyn Dunn,  University of Glasgow Bringing God to Mind: a Cognitive Approach to Belief and Religion in the Era of Gregory of Tours'


2012/2013, Semester 1

25 September 2012

Prof. Carol Neuman de Vegvar
Ohio Wesleyan University

Wayfaring Strangers: The Roles of Expats and Itinerant Objects in  Insular Drinking Horns

2 October 2012

Dr Tamar Herzig
Tel Aviv University

Dante, Ficino, and the Problem of Female Stigmatization

9 October 2012

Dr Tom Brown
University of Edinburgh

Non Roma sed Ravenna aeterna? The "long late antiquity" and urban continuity in Ravenna

16 October 2012

Dr Talat Ahmed
University of Edinburgh

Some reflections on the "Asiatic Mode of Production in India"

23 October 2012

Dr Sarah Carpenter
University of Edinburgh

The Politics of Unreason: Ane Satyre of the Thrie Estaitis and the political practices of folly

30 October 2012

Prof. Chris Fletcher
Laboratoire de Médiévistique Occidentale, Paris I

PALM: A project for the semi-automatic lemmatisation of later medieval political texts (Middle English, French and Latin)

6 November 2012

Dr Sara Parvis
University of Edinburgh

Vandal Arianism - minority identity or a new Catholicism?

13 November 2012

Dr Angus Vine
University of Edinburgh

Search and retrieval in seventeenth-century miscellanies

20 November 2012

Prof. Sam Cohn
University of Glasgow

Popular Protest in Late Medieval English Towns

27 November 2012

Prof. Peter Coss
Cardiff University

Gentry Entertainment

2011/2012, Semester 2

17 January 2012

Dr Isabella Lazzarini
University of Durham / University of Molise

The Words of Emotion: Political Language and Discursive Resources in Lorenzo de Medici’s Lettere (1468-1492)

24 January 2012

Dr Scott Ashley
Newcastle University

What did Louis the Pious See in the Night Sky? The Carolingians and Halley's Comet, 837

31 January 2012

Dr Stephen Penn University of Stirling

"Matrimonium quid proprie sit": John Wyclif on the Sacrament of Marriage

7 February 2012

Prof. Judith Green University of Edinburgh

The Normans, Northern England, and Scotland
14 February 2012

Prof. Michael Angold
University of Edinburgh

Historical Turning Points: 1204 and 1453 compared
21 February 2012

Dr Jane Gilbert
University College London

Outside France? Hainault Connections
28 February 2012

Dr Anna Groundwater and Dr James Loxley
University of Edinburgh

Parvenus, patrons, and inebriated parsons: on the road with Ben Jonson, 1618
6 March 2012

Prof. Richard Gameson
Durham University

The Earliest English Royal Books
13 March 2012

Dr Debra Strickland University of Glasgow

"Ethiopians" and the Problem of "Race" in Late Medieval Art and Thought
3 April 2012

Prof. Alison Findlay
Lancaster University

"Youth's a stuff will not endure": Boy actors and women's parts

2011/2012, Semester 1

20 September 2011

Brenda Bolton
University of London

"Obeying the Call of Faith": Behind the Scenes at the Fourth Lateran Council

27 September 2011

Dr Michael Staunton
University College Dublin

Interpreting the Recent Past in Angevin England

4 October 2011

Prof. Ian Maclean
All Souls, University of Oxford

Scholarship, commerce, religion: the Frankfurt Book Fair in its heyday (1570-1615)

18 October 2011

Dr Damien Kempf
University of Liverpool

"A king, a portrait and a book": Frederick Barbarossa and the Third Crusade
25 October 2011

Dr Tim Greenwood
University of St Andrews

Sixth-century Armenian Silver: The Narses Cross
1 November 2011

Dr Laura Moretti
University of St Andrews

"The Churches with singing walls." The Ospedali Grandi in Venice in the Renaissance
8 November 2011

Dr Simon MacLean
University of St Andrews

Palaces, kingdoms and itinerant kingship in post-Carolingian Europe
15 November 2011

Prof. Jose Maria Perez Fernandez
University of Granada

Translation and the Early Modern Idea of Europe
22 November 2011

Dr John Richards
University of Glasgow

"Fat-Faced Frankie": the early portraits of Petrarch
29 November 2011

Prof. Sarah Hutton
University of Aberystwyth

The Platonism of Ralph Cudworth: Renaissance or Modern?


2010/2011, Semester 2

11 January 2011

Dr Roger Collins
University of Edinburgh

The Eunuch, the Forger and the Lost Histories of Early Medieval Spain

18 January 2011 Dr Miranda Anderson
University of Edinburgh

"Look what thy memory cannot contain": Extending the Renaissance Mind’

25 January 2011 Dr Luke Sunderland
Durham University
"Se cenefie la guerre a maintenir": Feud in the Chansons de geste

1 February 2011 Dr Stuart Airlie
University of Glasgow
Good-bye, sweet prince; show-trials and the unmaking of princes in the Carolingian era

8 February 2011 Dr Ian Astley
University of Edinburgh
The idea of "Middle Ages" - A view from the other end of the Eurasian land-mass

22 February 2011 Dr Nicola Clarke
University of Oxford
Make your fortune, lose your head: military careers on the eastern borders of Islam in the early eighth century

1 March 2011 Dr Donal Cooper
University of Warwick
Giotto's Stigmatization of St Francis in the Louvre and its Pisan Context
Lila Wallace - Reader's Digest Endowment Fund Villa I Tatti' Lecture

8 March 2011 Dr Helen Birkett
IASH Fellow, University of Edinburgh

Telling Tales: Cistercians, Narratives and Networks in Britain c.1200
15 March 2011 Dr Enrico Cirelli
Università di Bologna
From Villa to Palace: the Imperial residence of Ravenna between Myth and Archaeology

22 March 2011 Dr Amira Bennison
University of Cambridge
Tribal Identities and the Formation of the Almohad Élite in 12th Century Morocco: the salutary tale of Ibn 'Atiyya

11 May 2011 Dr Eyal Poleg
Centre for the History of the Book, University of Edinburgh

Living or Weaving - the Bible in Liturgy and Preaching in Late Medieval England


2010/2011, Semester 1

21 September 2010

Prof. Michelle Brown
University of London

The Lost Kingdom: Mercian Mss, the Staffordshire Hoard and other recent discoveries

28 September 2010 Dr James Fraser
University of Edinburgh

Beyond Matriliny: unity, plurality and the Picts
5 October 2010

Dr Len Scales
Durham University

The once-and-future Kaiser: expecting the emperor in late medieval Germany
12 October 2010 Prof. Beth Robertson
University of Glasgow
Formel/Formal Subjectivity: Consent to Marriage, Parliamentary Identity, and Intersubjectivity in Geoffrey Chaucer’s "The Parliament of Fowles"

19 October 2010 Stephen Holmes
University of Edinburgh

The Aberdeen Liturgists: Worship and Reform in Renaissance Scotland
26 October 2010 Dr Gianlucca Raccagni
University of Edinburgh
University teacher, great trickster, but also political commentator: revaluating the views of the rhetorician Boncompagno da Signa on the conflicts between the Holy Roman Emperor and the Italian Republics (1198-1245)

2 November 2010 Dr Andrew Gordon
University of Aberdeen

The comic afterlife on the early modern stage
9 November 2010 Prof. Alison Brown
Royal Holloway, University of London

The impact of Lucretius in Renaissance Florence: some further thoughts

16 November 2010 Dr Helena Carr
University of St Andrews
From Raetia Prima to Churraetia: The development of an early medieval Alpine Pass-State

23 November 2010 Dr Maria Cristina Carile
Università di Bologna

Imperial Weddings and Dome Mosaics: Thessaloniki in the First Half of the Fifth Century
30 November 2010 Dr Ross Balzaretti
University of Nottingham and University of St Andrews

Liguria in the Early Middle Ages


2009/2010, Semester 2

19 January 2010

Crystal Lubinsky
University of Edinburgh

Male Nuns, Female Monks and Transvestite Saints: Switching Sexualities in Early Medieval Christianity

26 January 2010 Prof. Michael Lynch
University of Edinburgh

Scotland’s first Protestant coronation: revolutionaries and the culture of nostalgia
2 February 2010 Prof. Julie Sanders
University of Nottingham

Making Space in the drama of Ben Jonson
9 February 2010 Dr Jane Hawkes
University of York
Design and Definition. Revisualising "Rome" in Anglo-Saxon Sculpture

16 February 2010 Dr Bronach Kane
Queen Mary, University of London

Memory, Gender and Social Practice in Late Medieval England
23 February 2010 Dr Pádraic Moran
National University of Ireland, Galway

Teaching advanced Latin in the ninth century: The St Gall Priscian glosses
2 March 2010 Dr Alan Macniven
University of Edinburgh

Churches, Cows and the Causes of the Viking Age
9 March 2010 Prof. Paul Stephenson
Durham University

Byzantine military martyrdom, c. 600-c.970
joint seminar with Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies Research Seminar

16 March 2010 Dr Debra Higgs Strickland
University of Glasgow

The Problem of the Prophet in Late Medieval Christian Art
23 March 2010 Dr Sophie Lunn-Rockliffe
King’s College London

Beasts, dragons and monsters: the late antique diabolical imagination


2009/2010, Semester 1

22 September 2009

Dr Tony Hunt
University of Oxford

Gautier de Coinci - admiring reflections

29 September 2009 Prof. Chris Black
University of Glasgow

Writing a history of the Italian Inquisition
6 October 2009 Dr Rob Maslen
University of Glasgow

The Early English Novel in Antwerp: the Impact of Jan van Doesborch
13 October 2009 Dr Rob Collins
Newcastle University

The impact of the Roman frontier on the emergence of the kingdom of Northumbria
20 October 2009 Dr Richard Flower
University of Cambridge

Nobody Does It Better: Epiphanius of Salamis and the Birth of Heresiological Authority
27 October 2009 Dr Bill Aird
Cardiff University
St Anselm of Canterbury and the Norman court: How feeble was the "old sheep"?

3 November 2009 Prof. Thomas Noble
University of Notre Dame, Indiana

Charlemania: Writing Charlemagne, 800-2009
10 November 2009 Prof. Sylvia Huot
University of Cambridge
Vain Images and Visual Monuments: Ecphrasis, Memory, and History in the Prose Lancelot and the Roman de Perceforest

17 November 2009 Prof. Peter Heather
King’s College London

Predatory Migration and the First Millennium
24 November 2009 Katherine Wilson
University of St Andrews

Material Ambition: The tapissiers of Philip the Bold and John the Fearless c.1363-1419
1 December 2009 Prof. Gerald Hawting
SOAS, University of London

The Resurgence of Sacrifice: Islamic Ritual and Animal Slaughter
joint seminar with Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies Research Seminar


2008/2009, Semester 1

30 September 2008

Dr Bryan Ward-Perkins
Trinity College, University of Oxford

The Disappearance, and Reappearance, of Public Statues, 300-1300 AD

7 October 2008 Dr John Maddicott
Exeter College, University of Oxford

Political Theatre and Popular Politics: The General Oath of Fealty to King John and Prince Henry, 1209
14 October 2008 Dr Emila Jamroziak
University of Leeds
How to be a successful Cistercian monastery - some lessons from Northern Europe (12-14th cents.)
joint seminar with Scottish History Research Seminar

21 October 2008 Dr John McGavin
University of Southampton

Spectatorship and Community in Late Medieval Theatre
28 October 2008 Dr Andrew Marsham
University of Edinburgh

The invention of the oath of allegiance in Islam
4 November 2008 Dr Sam Turner
Newcastle University

Making Christian landscapes: the Atlantic 'microkingdoms' of the early middle ages
11 November 2008 Prof. John Hudson
University of St Andrews

Legal knowledge and legal reasoning in twelfth-century England: from the Leges to Glanvill
18 November 2008 Dr Sarah Cockram
University of Edinburgh

Courtly Creatures: Animals and Image Construction at the Court of Isabella d’Este
joint seminar with Modern History Seminar

25 November 2008 Dr Matthew Hammond
University of Edinburgh

Scotland in the 12th and 13th centuries: Anglicization or Scotticization?
2 December 2008 Dr Louise Haywood
Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge

Nostalgia, Translatio and the Ornament of the World: The Literary Historical Reception of Islamo-Christian Medieval Iberia/Al-Andalus
9 December 2008 Prof. Sam Cohn
University of Glasgow

The evolution of plague and thought from the Black Death to the seventeenth century



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