Call for Papers Uncategorized

CFP: Medieval and Early Modern Spaces and Places: Experiencing the Court,Trinity Laban Conservatoire, London, April 3 – 04, 2019

mem20poster_experiencing20the20courtDeadline: Nov 15, 2018

Medieval and Early Modern Spaces and Places: Experiencing the Court, 2019

The early modern court adopted and developed exemplary cultural practices where objects and spaces became central to propagating power as well as places for exchange with other powers. This combination of images, objects, and sounds confronted the senses, making a powerful and distinctive impression of the resident family and the region they represented: flickering candlelight on glass and gold vessels adorned credenze (sideboards); musical instruments announced royal entries or provided entertainment; brightly coloured tapestries covered the palace walls along with paintings of biblical or mythological stories; cabinets displayed antiquities or rarities; perfume burners permeated the air; while the smells and tastes of rare delicacies at the centre of dining tables made for a multi-sensory spectacle.

This year the Open University’s Spaces & Places conference will address the theme of ‘Experiencing the Court’ by exploring the senses and the lived experiences of courtly life, whether based in a particular residence or defined by the travels of an itinerant ruler. This annual conference is fundamentally interdisciplinary: literary, musical, architectural, artistic and religious spaces will be the subjects of enquiry, not as discrete or separate entities, but ones which overlapped, came into contact with one another, and at times were in conflict.

The conference will examine life at court and will consider the following questions:

–    How can approaching the court in terms of the senses provide new methodologies for understanding each institution?
–    How were medieval and early modern courtly spaces adapted and transformed through the movement of material and immaterial things?
–    Which particular aspects of political, social and economic infrastructures enabled the exchange of objects and ideas?

Papers that address new methodologies, the digital humanities, object-centred enquiries, cross-cultural comparisons, or new theoretical perspectives are particularly welcome.

Please send a 150 word abstract along with a short biography to Leah Clark ( and Helen Coffey ( by 15 November 2018.

The conference will take place at the Open University’s partner institution Trinity Laban Conservatoire on 3 and 4 April 2019.  As Trinity Laban’s King Charles Court was once the site of Greenwich Palace, it is a fitting venue for a conference exploring court life.

For updated information visit our website:

Uncategorized Workshops

Workshop: ‘Playing with Medieval Visions, Sounds, Sensations,’ KCL, October 13 and 17, 2016

playing-with-medieval-dreamsWorkshop: Playing with Medieval Visions, Sounds, Sensations, KCL, October 13 and 17, 2016

Discover the complex and beautiful physical and aural properties of two medieval poems – The House of Fame and Dream of the Rood – in this series of events produced by current King’s PhD researchers.

Two workshops will explore Chaucer’s The House of Fame; a fourteenth century poem composed in Middle English, which follows a dreaming narrator as they encounter Lady Fame’s mystical palace, located somewhere between heaven and earth, where reputations are made and broken. We will find inspiration in its shifting sonic architecture and strange signs.

Two workshops will focus on the Old English Dream of the Rood. Preserved as a complete poem only in the 10th century Vercelli Book, lines of the poem are also found carved onto the 8th century Ruthwell Cross, a huge stone sculpture still standing in Dumfriesshire, Scotland. The mysterious voice of the Rood and the runic writing of the Ruthwell Cross reveal the various ways early Christians imagined their God.

This is an opportunity to make creative work across 2D, 3D and audio and video media, completely open to all creative and technical abilities. Learn how to speak Old and Middle English aloud, and create written, visual, and spoken responses to these medieval poems. You’ll be guided through text translations, collage and drawing techniques, 3D-making, and video and audio recording.

The workshops are open to all, and the organisers are especially interested to have a range of ‘medieval experience’ in the room: from scholars to members of the public who have never thought twice about medieval poetry.

An exhibition will bring together the work created in these workshops. Examples of contemporary creative works that reinvent the middle ages will also be on display, along with a temporary library for you to explore at your leisure. Artists, writers, and translator-poets will be on display, as well as new discoveries from the King’s archive, on show for the first.

A symposium on the range of medieval and creative work that inspired ‘Playing with Medieval dreams’, will be led by King’s researchers. This symposium (open to members of the public and workshop participants) will include readings of new compositions made during the workshops, along with readings in Old and Middle English.

Events are free to attend but booking is required.

14.30-17.00 & 18.00-19.30 Thursday 13 October 2016
Anatomy Museum, King’s Building, Strand Campus

14.30-17.00 & 18.00-19.30 Monday 17 October 2016
River Room, King’s Building, Strand Campus

12.00-21.00 Friday 21 October 2016

17.30-18.30 Friday 21 October 2016
River Room, King’s Building, Strand Campus

Organisers: Charlotte Rudman, Fran Allfrey, Francesca Brooks, Charlotte Knight, Carl Kears, Beth Whalley.