Meetings 2022

Online seminar: 12 Dec 2022 [video] Members night

Online seminar: 14 Nov 2022 [video]

  • ASA MITTMAN on Beast, Birds, and Bonnacons: The Medieval Bestiary.

  • Bestiaries are among the most entertaining of medieval texts. These manuscripts, crammed full of the familiar and the bizarre, seem to be little more than fun dictionaries of wild animals, but a closer read finds them to be jam-packed with the ideologies of their creators and consumers. The prejudices they encode are not the focus of the texts or images, but are slipped in around the edges, conjoined to seemingly harmless tales of hedgehogs and hyenas, satyrs and sirens. Presentations of bestiaries to modern audiences that do not draw attention to the biases embedded in these manuscripts run the risk of perpetuating them. This talk considered the delights and the dangers of bestiary manuscripts.

  • Asa Simon Mittman is Professor of Art and Art History at California State University, Chico, where he teaches Ancient and Medieval Art, as well as thematic courses on monsters and film.

Online seminar: 10 Oct 2022 [video]

  • BOB SCOTT on The wonders of Stonehenge

  • Here's a link to the British Museum's special exhibition on The world of Stonehenge. (John Wilkes was lucky enough to visit it in Feb 2022. Here are his photos.)

Online seminar: 9 May 2022 [video]

  • BENJAMIN ALBRITTON, the Rare Books Curator for Stanford University's Special Collections, will lead us on A virtual tour of recently acquired medieval material at Stanford

  • Here is a link to the Special Collections website, if you wish to explore it:

Online seminar: 11 April 2022 [this meeting was not recorded]

  • Kristen Herdman (Yale University) on Nuns & Needlework: Embroidery and Medieval Cloistered Women

  • During the high and late Middle Ages both men and women worked in textile production. From large commercial enterprises to small domestic projects, weaving, needle point, and other fiber arts flourished. Beyond the lay sphere, textile production in monastic settings also thrived. In particular, embroidery provided a medium for nuns to create objects of both monetary and spiritual value. This talk will discuss the types of embroideries produced by cloistered medieval women, touching on both technique, narrative strategies, and theology as we explore their compelling needlework creations.

Online seminar: 14 March 2022 [video]

  • LAURA HOLLENGREEN (University of Arizona, School of Architecture) on Design at the Border: Liminality in Medieval and Postmodern Contexts

  • Laura discussed her research into the medieval precedents of the liminal experiences found now in virtual reality design.

Online seminar: 7 February 2022 [video]

Online seminar: 10 January 2022 [video]

  • ELAINE TREHARNE (Stanford University) on her new book, Perceptions of Medieval Manuscripts: The Phenomenal Book

  • From the book's abstract: "Perceptions of Medieval Manuscripts takes as its starting point an understanding that a medieval book is a whole object at every point of its long history. As such, medieval books can be studied most profitably in a holistic manner as objects-in-the-world. This means readers might profitably account for all aspects of the manuscript in their observations, from the main texts that dominate the codex to the marginal notes, glosses, names, and interventions made through time. This holistic approach allows us to tell the story of the book's life from the moment of its production to its use, collection, breaking-up, and digitization--all aspects of what can be termed 'dynamic architextuality'."