Meetings 2013

Seminar: Monday, Dec 9, 7-9 pm at St. Bede's Episcopal Church, Menlo Park (6-7 brown-bag)

  • JOHN WILKES: Making glass - Some observations on its history and techniques. [slides]
  • Glass is a fascinating material, which first found widespread adoption in recognizably modern form in Roman times, and was something that was well known in the medieval era. John will talk a little about the history, chemistry, and processes of glassblowing, illustrating it with some recent examples.

Seminar: Thursday, Nov 14, 7-9 pm at St. Bede's Episcopal Church, Menlo Park (6-7 brown-bag)

  • ELAINE TREHARN: Seeing the Light of Day - Salisbury Cathedral's Library and Archive Treasures.
  • Salisbury's Library and Archive contain thousands of documents, seals, manuscripts and printed books, some over 1,000 years old and mostly unknown except to specialists. Having surveyed all the holdings with a Stanford team, Elaine Treharne will reveal exciting findings, including medieval manuscripts, royal letters and seals, Reformation documents and censorship, and even squashed Early Modern mice!

Medieval Matters Public Lecture: Thursday, Oct 24, 7:30-9:30 pm at Geology Corner (Building 320, room 105), Stanford [flyer]

  • R. HOWARD BLOCH, Sterling Professor of French and Chair of the Humanities Program, Yale University: Medieval Books & Buildings in the Making of Modern France - Viollet-le-Duc & Gaston Paris.
  • In the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars and beginning with the July Monarchy of 1830, the makers of modern France turned to the Middle Ages to create a uniquely French identity, in an effort to counter the nationalist claims of its rivals the English and the Germans. This involved restoring cathedrals -- transforming them from religious shrines into national architectural monuments -- as well as locating and editing medieval literary and historical works.
  • The two most prominent figures in this movement were Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc, who had a hand in the remaking of every major religious edifice from the eleventh-hour rescue of the Vézelay Abbey in 1836, to the restoration of Notre-Dame de Paris between 1843 and 1864, and Gaston Paris, the founding father of Medieval Studies in France.

Seminar: Thursday, Sept 6, 7-9 pm at St. Bede's Episcopal Church, Menlo Park (6-7 brown-bag)

  • VIRGINIA JANSEN: The Houses of Parliament and Henry III's Palace at Westminster.
  • Today, on the site of the medieval palace of Westminster, stand the 19th-century Houses of Parliament with the iconic Big Ben clock tower. After a brief survey of the current and historic buildings on the site, Virginia Jansen will focus on the 13th-century palace of King Henry III (1216-1272).

Seminar: Tuesday, Sept 10, 7-9 pm at Foothills Congregational Church, Los Altos (6-7 brown-bag). Co-Sponsored by Foothills Congregational Church Education Board.

  • DAN MILES, musician and independent scholar on Dendrochronology & Salisbury Cathedral.
  • An introduction to the science of dendrochronology (dating buildings from the tree rings of their timbers) with a special focus on his work at Salisbury Cathedral.

Special Collections visit: Thursday, June 6, 2013, 7-9 pm at Stanford Green Library

  • JOHN MUSTAIN (Special Collections Librarian): Medieval Treasures and Other Delights

Medieval Matters Public Lecture: Tuesday, May 7, 7:30-9:30 pm at Annenberg Auditorium, Cummings Art Building, Stanford [audio, flyer]

  • ROBERT BARTLETT, Professor of Medieval History, University of St. Andrews (Scotland) and Writer/Presenter of major BBC documentaries. We fight for liberty alone: Scotland and England in the Middle Ages and the 21st Century.
  • England and Scotland have formed a United Kingdom for more than 300 years. But will the union endure? Scotland will hold a referendum next year to decide whether to become an independent country again.
  • These modern political issues are much entangled with medieval history – both real and legendary. It has been argued that the establishment of a separate Scottish Parliament in 1999 was helped by the enthusiasm for the film Braveheart, in which the medieval Scottish patriot William Wallace is portrayed by Mel Gibson (not known for his love of the English), and the 2014 referendum is timed to coincide with the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, when Robert Bruce ensured the survival of an independent Scotland. This lecture by the renowned medievalist Robert Bartlett looks at relations between Scotland and England in the Middle Ages for the light they shed on current debates.

Pot Luck: Sunday, May 5, 5:00-8:00 pm at McMillan House, Menlo Park

Seminar: Monday, April 8, 7-9 pm at St. Bede's Episcopal Church, Menlo Park (6-7 brown-bag)

  • TIM RAYBORN, musician and independent scholar on The Far Famed Ones - Music and Poetry of the Vikings.
  • Talk and performance featuring Viking music played on period instruments.

Seminar: Monday, March 18, 7-9 pm at St. Bede's Episcopal Church, Menlo Park (6-7 brown-bag)

  • ANN JONES on What is it? Wall painting in medieval English churches and cathedrals; and
  • DICK JONES on The upstanding spires at Norwich and Chartres.

Medieval Matters Public Lecture: Tuesday, February 26, 7-9 pm at CEMEX Auditorium, Knight Management Center, Graduate School of Business, Stanford (between Campus Drive East & Serra Street -- park right under the building) [audio, flyer]

  • JUNE OSBORNE, Dean of Salisbury (England) & JANE SHAW, Dean of Grace Cathedral (San Francisco), with MICHAEL KRASNY, Host of KQED’s “Forum”: The Medieval and Modern Cathedral: A conversation with Two Cathedral Deans.
  • How the role of the cathedral in society has evolved from medieval times to the present, the Deans' reflections on the role of faith in an increasingly secular world, and their own personal experiences as pioneering women leading institutions traditionally led by men.
  • Possible Members-Only Reception beforehand (TBD). Meet the guest speakers and also the professors and graduate students who are our Medieval Matters co-sponsors.

Seminar: Monday, January 28, 7-9 pm at St. Bede's Episcopal Church, Menlo Park (6-7 brown-bag)

  • ALLAN LANGDALE, UC Santa Cruz, on The Trapeza Church in Cyprus: A Forgotten Late Medieval Monument, 13th to 16th Century.