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Birkbeck Medieval Seminar

This is an annual one-day seminar in which leading scholars present current research in the history and culture of the Middle Ages. This free event is organised by the Department of English and Humanities, Birkbeck, University of London.

Browse our future events.

21 June 2019: Sex in the Medieval City - further details to be announced soon.

Past events

1 June 2018: 'The Productive Medieval Body'

25 November 2016: 'Medieval textiles: Meaning and Materiality'

28 April 2016: 'Things on the Move'

1 February 2015: 'Paying for Prayer: the Later Medieval Chapel'

7 June 2014: 'Margery Kempe at 80'

27 April 2013: 'Landscape and Belief'

12 March 2012: 'Medieval Shakespeare: the Cultural Politics of Periodisation'

19 June 2010: 'Faith and Inwardness in the Middle Ages'

23 May 2009: Rethinking Medieval Marriage

  • Glenn Burger (Queens College and Graduate Center, City University of New York): 'In the Merchant’s Bedchamber'
  • Emma Lipton (University of Missouri): 'John Gower’s Politics of Marriage'
  • Shannon McSheffrey (Concordia University, Montreal): 'Marriage by Ravishment in Fifteenth-Century England'
  • Pamela Sheingorn (Baruch College and Graduate Center, City University of New York): 'Embodied Meaning in Images of the Married Life of Mary and Joseph'
  • Respondent: Isabel Davis (Birkbeck, University of London)

8 March 2008: The Politics of Speech in Late Medieval England

  • Susie Phillips, 'Northwestern University The Trouble with Gossip in Late Medieval England'
  • Sandy Bardsley, 'Moravian University Scolding Women and Reproaching Men: Speech and Gender in Post-Plague England'
  • Marion Turner, Jesus College Oxford 'Seeking the News: Parliament, Reportage, and Control in Ricardian England'
  • Andy Wood, University of East Anglia 'The politics of speech and silence in Tudor England'
  • Paul Strohm, Columbia University Response

10 March 2007: Doggerel: Disesteemed verse in the Middle Ages

  • A one-day conference at Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, Bloomsbury, London, WC1E 7HX 10am-5pm
  • Clare Lees (Kings College, London) ‘Nonsense Verse?’
  • Nicola McDonald (University of York) ‘Fragments of Desire’
  • Anthony Bale (Birkbeck College, London) ‘Doggerel and Dirty Linen: Lydgate’s Tretise for Lauandres in its Contexts’
  • Julia Boffey (Queen Mary College, London) ‘“Mysse-masche, dryff-draff’: Doggerel and Burlesque in Middle English Verse’
  • Organised by Dr Isabel Davis.

11 March 2006: Gender and Labour in Late Medieval England

  • Caroline Barron, 'Labour and Gender in the Medieval London Workforce: The "Golden Age" Reconsidered'
  • Andrew Butcher, ‘Labour and Gender: Towards a Fifteenth-Century Imaginary Urban Ethnography’
  • Catherine Batt, ‘Work, Gender and the Academic’
  • Jeremy Goldberg, 'Adam, Eve and the Angry Man: Some Thoughts on the Gender division of Labour in Late Medieval England'

12 March 2005: Saracens, Islam and Medieval England

26 February 2005: Fornaldarsogur: Sagas of Ancient Times

  • Carl Phelpstead, 'Is Yngvars saga víðförla a fornaldarsaga?'
  • Richard North, 'The Riddles of Gestumblindi in Heiðreks saga: a tale from Denmark?'
  • Rory McTurk, 'A wimp in spite of himself: the case of Sigurðr Völsungr'
  • David Ashurst, 'Wagner, Morris and the Volsungs'
  • Ralph O'Connor, 'Stjörnu-Odda draumr and Icelandic legendary storytelling'
  • For further details contact Dr Alison Finlay.

28 February 2004: St Edmund: Royalty, Martyrdom, Masculinity

  • An interdisciplinary one-day conference on representations of St Edmund from the early middle Ages to the Early Modern period.