Conference: ‘Transmissions and Translations in the Medieval World’ Conference, University of York (2-3 June 2018)

Conference: ‘Transmissions and Translations in the Medieval World’, Kings Manor at the University of York (2-3 June 2018)

The concepts of transmission and translation are central to the evolution of the pan-European multi-cultural nature of medieval society. Cross-cultural connections in the political arena, mercantile trade routes, the dissemination of Christianity and interactions with Islam and Judaism resulted in the appropriation and assimilation of practices, ideas and arts throughout the medieval world. These transactions were enabled by numerous factors and generated new fusions of style in architecture, art and iconography, literature and lifestyles which together importantly informed attitudes towards the self and others, senses of belonging and ownership, as well as conceptions of regionality. While these areas of enquiry have been much discussed in relation to contemporary society in sociological and anthropological scholarship, there remains much to explore about how they were articulated and achieved during the Middle Ages: what types of objects were transported and for what purpose(s); the impact of language on the transmission of ideas through manuscripts, literature and poetry; iconographic borrowings and theological impetus; processes of production; engagement with their societies of origin and those they infiltrated.

This two-day interdisciplinary conference will examine the significance of transmission and translation, and the associated themes encompassed by these terms in the medieval world. It will bring together early career researchers, emerging scholars and established academics from different disciplinary backgrounds as a forum for contextualising the movement of textual and material objects, as well as the ideas accompanying them.

Conference programme:

Day 1: Saturday 2nd June

10:00 – 10:25, K/G33, Registration and Coffee

10:25, K133, Opening Remarks

Session 1: 10:30-12:00

Chair: Megan Henvey

  1. Amanda Doviak (University of York) Adapting the Ascension: Transmitting Visual Languages on the Leeds Cross
  2. Catherine Karkov (University of Leeds) Transmissions and Translation of the Franks Casket
  3. Heidi Stoner (Durham University) Kings, Wise Men and the Recognition of Christ: Understanding Early Medieval Insular Art

12:00 – 1:30    Lunch


Session 2: 1:30 – 3:00

Chair: Amanda Doviak

  1. Artur Costrino (Federal University of Ouro Preto, Brazil) Cicero at the Carolingian Court: Re-evaluating the Variants of Alcuin’s Disputatio de rhetorica et uirtutibus in accordance with the mutilated manuscripts of De inuentione.
  2. Mike Bintley (Canterbury Christ Church University) Rome Before and After Constantine in Cynewulf’s Juliana and Elene
  3. Rune Hjarnø Rasmussen (University of Uppsala) The Transmission of Odin.


3:00 – 3:30         Coffee Break


Session 3: 3:30-5:00

Chair: TBA

  1. Nino Simonishvili (Independent Scholar) Images of Identity at the Edge of Empires: The Visual Concept of Power in Medieval Georgia in the Second Half of the 10th
  2. Lesley Milner (Institute of Historical Research) The Golden Gate in Jerusalem and its Importance for Medieval Christians.
  3. John Mitchell (University of East Anglia) Abul-Abbas & All That: Visual Dynamics Between the Caliphate and the West in the Age of Charlemange.

5:00 – 5:15         Comfort Break


Keynote Lecture    5:15 – 6:15

From Demons to Axe Men: Adaptation and Invention in Early Irish Sculpture

Professor Roger Stalley

Chair: TBA

to be followed by a drinks reception



Day 2: Sunday 3rd June

Session 1: 10:00-11:30

Chair: Amanda Doviak

  1. Megan Henvey (University of York) Transmitting Religio-Political Conflict Back in Time: Northern Ireland’s Overlooked Early Medieval Sculptural Heritage.
  2. Aideen M. Ireland (Independent Scholar) Cacophony in C – Crank, Custodian, Curator and Collector: The Remarkable Career of Sir William Betham.
  3. Patrizio Gianferro (Independent Scholar) Manuscript Reproduction as Research Apparatus at the end of the Nineteenth Century.

11:30 – 12:00 Coffee Break

Session 2: 12:00-13:30

Chair: Meg Boulton

  1. Jane Hawkes (University of York) Crossing and Re-crossing: Translating and Transmitting: The “Art of the Archipelago”.
  2. Heather Pulliam (University of Edinburgh) Letters of the Heart: Insular, Continental and Byzantine Images of Books and Their Keepers.
  3. Christina E.C. Smith (Durham University) Of Border Britons and Bernicians: The High Crosses of South-East Scotland in Context.

13:30 – 15:00 Lunch

Session 3: 15:00-16:30

Chair: Heidi Stoner

  1. Catherine Léglu (University of Reading) Blind Samson in Anglo-Norman French and visual adaptations of Judges 16.
  2. Cher Casey (University of York) Transmitting Sacred Authority through Stone: The Clematius Inscription and Cologne’s Cult of the Holy Virgins.
  3. Elisa Foster (University of York) Ecce Videns Arabes Se: Reconsidering Islamic Influence at Le Puy Cathedral.

16:30 – 16:45 Closing Remarks


Registration is open until 8 May at:


Published by Roisin Astell

Roisin Astell received a First Class Honours in History of Art at the University of York (2014), under the supervision of Dr Emanuele Lugli. After spending a year learning French in Paris, Roisin then completed an MSt. in Medieval Studies at the University of Oxford (2016), where she was supervised by Professor Gervase Rosser and Professor Martin Kauffmann. In 2017, Roisin was awarded a CHASE AHRC studentship as a doctoral candidate at the University of Kent’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, under the supervision of Dr Emily Guerry.

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