Provisional Programme

Monday 6th June

10:30-11:00     Registration Day 1/Coffee

11:00-11:05     Introduction

11:05-12:30   Session 1: Religion and Education

 A Lesson in Medieval Medicine? Variations in the Late Medieval Textual Commemoration of Saint Margaret of Antioch (Kathy Frances, University of Manchester)

 The Crown, the Church and the Uses of Canon Law: Episcopal Elections in Thirteenth Century England (Katherine Harvey, King’s College, London)

 That myth it here if that hem list”: Intellectual Orthodoxy in John Capgrave’s 1445 ‘Life of Saint Katherine’ (Emily Dalton, Princeton University)

  12:30-13:30     Lunch

1330-14:30 Keynote Speaker: Carolyn Muessig, ‘ Monasticism, Scholasticism and Women’s Religious Education in the Late Middle Ages’

15:00-16:30     Session 2: Politics and Education

Flodoard of Rheims and the politics of history-writing in the tenth century (Edward Roberts University of St. Andrews

Æthelweard’s Ancestors: Writing Family History in late Anglo-Saxon England (Katherine Cross, University College, London)

War! War! War! Sle, sle, sle, the Walshe dogges!” The relationship between the university and the Celtic fringe (Scott Jenkins, Swansea University)

 17:00:              Group Meal TBA (optional)


Tuesday 7th July

10:30 -10:40    Registration Day Two

10:40 – 12:30  Session 3:   Transmission and Representation of Knowledge

 ‘Hinc effundit rudibus eruditionem’: The Flow of Wisdom motif in Twelfth Century Thought (James, Smith, University of Western Australia)

Augustine’s De Doctrina Christiana in the Carolingian Age (J. David Schlosser, Purdue University)

The Bestiary – A Symbol of the Medieval Stagnation of Knowledge? (Diane Heath, University of Kent)

“On Gout, from the 6th to the 16th century: four manuscript traditions deriving from Alexander of Tralles” (Valerie Knight, University of Manchester)

12:30-13:30     Lunch

 13.30-15:00     Manuscript Roundtable/ Library Tour

15:00-15.30     Coffee/Tea

15:30- 16:55    Session4:    Literature and Education

“Speaking Useful Words: the Discourse of Counsel in Orkneyinga Saga” (David Baker, Cambridge University)

Queen Truth’s Royal Chessboard: Teaching Charles VI in Philippe de Mézières’ Songe du vieil pelerine (Kristin Bourassa, University of York)

Religious Didactism of Drama (Dr Johana Porcu-Adama, University of Manchester)

 16:55-17:00     Conclusion

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Location, Travel, Accommodation

John Rylands Library, Deansgate

The venue for the conference is the historic John Rylands Library, located on Deansgate in the heart of Manchester. The main entrance to the building is just off Deansgate, in the modern extension to the Library. From Deansgate, walk along the side of the Historic Building to the main entrance.

The John Rylands Library,
150 Deansgate,
M3 3EH

A map is available from the link below:

By Metro-Shuttle Bus/Train

The easiest way to reach the Library from Piccadilly, Oxford Road and Victoria railway stations is via the free Metro-Shuttle buses.

The number 1 Metro-Shuttle runs from the forecourt of Piccadilly station every few minutes. Alight on John Dalton Street at stop WX, turn left onto Deansgate and you will see the Library in front of you.

The number 2 Metro-Shuttle runs from Victoria station every ten minutes. Alight on Deansgate, opposite the John Rylands Library.

By car

Parking in the centre of Manchester is notoriously difficult. The nearest NCP car parks are on Watson Street, New Quay Street and Blackfriars Street.


1. The cheapest and best option is probably the hotel facilities of the Manchester University Business School – they have en-suite rooms for £60 a night and, at the time of writing, they have rooms available for the 6th and 7th of June at this price. There is some information about their facilities and details here, although they do not have on-line booking facilities.

Other ‘relatively’ affordable options in the city centre (and all within a short walk of John Rylands Library) include –

2. The Holiday Inn on Oxford Road – with rooms at £70 a night –

3. And the Novotel on Dickinson Street with rooms from £70 upwards–

4. Here’s one slightly cheaper option, a short distance (approx.1.5miles) out of the city centre, with rooms at £40


There are numerous hostels in Manchester, however most of these are large dormitories only. One of the best options is the YHA hostel in Castlefield, about 10 minutes walk from the city centre:

We’re really sorry that we can’t offer any financial help with accommodation and we appreciate the effort and commitment it would involve to travel to Manchester. If you have any further questions or queries please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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University of Manchester Medieval Postgraduate Conference: 6th – 7th June 2011

Welcome to the site for the Third University of Manchester Medieval Postgraduate Conference.  The conference will be held on the 6th and 7th of June 2011, with keynote speaker Dr Carolyn Muessig giving a paper Monasticism, Scholasticism and Women’s Religious Education in the Late Middle Ages.

More details about the conference will soon be present on this site, but for now please direct any enquiries to


Modern historiography has often depicted the Middle Ages as a period of ignorance, dogma and superstition– a period in which knowledge stagnated and education was both restricted to a privileged minority and dominated by the institutional and ideological authority of the Church. From the Carolingian Renaissance and the rise of the medieval universities to the
condemnations of heretical teachings and the intellectual and spiritual ferment of the Reformation, the reality about education and knowledge in the medieval world is undoubtedly far more complex and contested than this picture suggests.

This two day conference seeks to explore that reality through a diverse range of disciplines and across the full historical span
of the period. We aim to address the questions – How was education theorised, institutionalised and practiced throughout the middle ages? How was knowledge controlled, transmitted and transformed? and To what uses were they put both by established ecclesiastical and feudal powers and the social and religious formations that opposed them?

With these questions in mind, we invite proposals for twenty minute papers from postgraduates and early career researchers on a variety of topics including but, not limited to:

  • the losses and restoration of Classical knowledge in the early Middle Ages
  • the development of the medieval universities
  • the educational role of the monasteries and the mendicant orders
  • scholasticism, scepticism and humanism
  • heresy, censorship and reformation ideas about education
  • didacticism in medieval literature, drama, art and architecture
  • material culture and education: manuscripts, libraries, printing etc.
  • theories and methods of learning – memory and scriptural exegesis
  • unconventional and popular learning –alchemy, folk, and occult practice

Please e-mail abstracts of 250-300 words to along with your name, affiliation and title of paper. All queries should also be directed to this address.

The deadline for submission is 31st March 2011. Selection of papers will be made by 15th April.

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