Conference: The Rood in Britain and Ireland c.900-c.1500, University of York, 2-3 September 2016

Keynote Speaker: Dr Julian Luxford, Reader in History of Art, University of St Andrews

The rood – understood as the cross itself, and/or the image of Christ crucified – was central to the visual and devotional culture of medieval Christianity. By the late middle ages, a rood was present in monumental form, either painted or sculpted, at the east end of the nave of every church. Yet roods in numerous other forms could be found in ecclesiastical contexts: as images, in various sizes and media – in manuscript illumination, on textiles, and in stained glass. Images of the rood were also to be found within domestic, civic, and military contexts, from the bedroom to the battlefield.

Following recent scholarship that has focused on early medieval roods (Sancta Crux/Halig Rodseries, 2004-2010), and considered monumental roods on the Continent (Jacqueline Jung’s The Gothic Screen, 2013), this conference will bring together established academics, early career and emerging scholars, to share new research and foster debate on the forms and functions of images of the rood in Britain and Ireland c.900-c.1500.


Friday 2nd September:
11:30 – 12:50 Session 1
Dr Jane Hawkes (York): Approaching the Anglo-Saxon Sculpted Stone Cross: Rood, Crucifix, Icon?

Heidi Stoner (York): Viking Crucifixion: The Development of the Iconography of the Rood in the Insular World

14:00 -15:20 Session 2
Dr Meg Boulton (York): The Place of the Cross: (re)assessing the Iconography and Significance of Two Late Saxon Roods

Dr Kate Thomas (York): Praying Before the Cross in the Late Anglo-Saxon Church

15:50 – 17:10 Session 3
Sara Carreño López (Santiago de Compostela): Stone Crosses in Public Spaces: Irish, British, and Galician Cases

Dr Małgorzata Krasnodębska-D’Aughton (University College Cork): The Cross of Death and Life: Franciscan Ideologies in Late Medieval Ireland

17:30 Keynote Lecture
Dr Julian Luxford (St Andrews): Answering Crosses: The Rood and Relativity in Post-Conquest England

Saturday 3rd September:
10:00 – 11:20 Session 4
Dr Lucy Wrapson (Hamilton Kerr Institute, Cambridge): Heralding the Rood: Material Hierarchies on Late Medieval English Rood Screens

Dr Philippa Turner (York): The Rood in the Late Medieval English Cathedral: The Black Rood of Scotland Reassessed

11:50 – 13:10 Session 5
Dr Zachary Stewart (Columbia): Roods, Screens and Spatial Dynamics in the Late Medieval English Parish Church

Sarah Cassell (University of East Anglia): Framing the Rood: Fifteenth-Century Angel Roofs and the Rood in East Anglia

14:10 – 15:30 Session 6
Daniel Smith (University of Kent): The Rood and the Doom: Interconnections between the Passion and the Last Judgement in Late Medieval Text and Image

Dr Hollie Morgan (University of Lincoln): ‘As I Lay Me Down to Sleep’: In Bed With Jesus in Late Medieval England

15:30 – 16:15 Roundtable Discussion

For registration and more information, see:

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