Medieval Books, Modern English Studies: A Conversation

Clare Lees 1MMUb

Book History, Publishing Studies and Digital Approaches to English Studies 1
Organizer: The Institute of English Studies, University of London

Chair: Professor Clare Lees (Director of the Institute of English Studies, Professor of Medieval Literature)

Dr Laura Cleaver (Institute of English Studies)
Laura Cleaver is Senior Lecturer in Manuscript Studies, Institute of English Studies. She is currently working on an ERC-funded project examining the trade in medieval manuscripts 1900-45. She has previously published on Anglo-Norman History Books, medieval diagrams, and education as a theme in medieval art.
Dr Cynthia Johnston (Institute of English Studies)
Cynthia Johnston is Lecturer in the History of the Book and Communications at the Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study University of London. Her current research is funded by the Paul Mellon Foundation for the Study of British Art on rare book collections held by museums and libraries in Lancashire including Blackburn Museum, Blackburn Public Library, the Harris Museum in Preston and Towneley Hall Museum in Burnley.
Professor Elaine Treharne (Stanford)
Elaine Treharne is Roberta Bowman Denning Professor of Humanities and Professor of English at Stanford University, where she directs Stanford Text Technologies. She has published on medieval literary culture and manuscript production and on the long history of information technologies. She is currently finishing The Phenomenal Book, and researching Immortality. She is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and of the Royal Historical Society. She is an Honorary Lifetime Fellow of the English Association, for which she was the first woman to be both Chair and President.

This roundtable will consider the modern history of medieval books. Panelists will speak for 10 minutes on a book, collection or event that exemplifies how medieval book history challenges assumptions and expectations about art objects and canon formation, medieval and modern disciplines, and books and collections. Subjects addressed will include The Burlington Fine Arts Club Exhibition of Illuminated Manuscript (1908), the celebrification of the Beowulf manuscript in the modern GLAM sector – galleries, museums, archives and museums – and the cult-like status of the modern collector of medieval manuscripts. In these ways, the panel will consider the reach of medieval book history into new and different communities across time, inviting consideration of the question of what medieval books have to do with modern English Studies.

Fri 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm