Prebook your place at eventbrite or by emailing Simon Thomson

Saturday 12th April

Registration  10.00-10.30

Session 1    10.30-12.00


Richard North (UCL): Out of one’s senses, or senses out of one: more on the flying modsefa

Jon Wilcox (Iowa): The sensory cost of remediation; or, sniffing in the gutter of the Blickling Homilies

Coffee           12.00-12.30

Session 2     12.30-2.00

Simon Thomson (UCL): “Whistle while you work”: some indications of scribing as hearing in Old English poetic manuscripts

Nick Baker (York): Crying in the Middle Ages: the emotional power of manuscript art

Mary Wellesley (UCL): Multi-sensory association in the N-town ‘Magnificat’

 Lunch             2.00-3.00

Session 3       3.00-4.30

Irina Metzler (Swansea): Changes in the conflation of congenital deafness and mental disability in the medieval world

Mariana López (York): The York Mystery Plays: A case study in the exploration of sound and hearing in medieval vernacular drama

Eric Lacey (Winchester): tbc

Wine reception   4.30-5.30

Sunday 13th April

Session 1         10.00-11.00

Pete Sandberg (UCL): Disembodied cognition and sensory perception in Old Norse poetry

Meg Boulton (Independent): (Re)Viewing “Iuxta Morem Romanorum”:  Considering Perception, Phenomenology and Anglo-Saxon Ecclesiastical Architecture

Coffee                11.00-11.30

Session 2          11.30-1.00

Eoin Bentick (UCL): “Bodyly Syght”, Female Devotion and Books of Hours

Vicky Symons (UCL): Doing Things with Words in Old English Charms and Riddles

Francesca Brooks (KCL): The Partible Text and the Textual Relic: Sensory Engagements with the 13th Century Seinte Margarete

Lunch                  1.00-2.00

Session 3            2.00-3.30

Melissa Herman (York): Loops, twists, and tangles: Visual perception and Anglo-Saxon interlace

Mike Bintley (Canterbury): Expressions of suffering and sensory engagment with the early medieval world

Close and thanks

Prebook your place at eventbrite or by emailing Simon Thomson

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Exciting updates


The conference is due to take place over the weekend of 13th and 14th April.  It’s just a week before Easter Sunday, and immediately after the Institute of English Studies’ major Guthlac conference.  So what better time could there be to spend some days in London, thinking about our sensory engagement with the medieval, and medieval sensory engagements with the world?

The conference will be written up as part of the Networks and Neighboursproject, and selected papers will be included in a book proposal.

To take account of a forum discussion on Material Properties taking place on 28th February at UCL, the deadline for proposals has been moved to Friday March 7th.  Make sure yours gets in on time by sending it in!

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Call for Papers

Abstracts of no more than 300 words are invited for submission by Friday 7th March 2014. Please email abstracts to Simon Thomson at


The Early Medieval Interdisciplinary Conference Series is pleased to invite proposals for papers on ‘Sensory Perception in the Medieval World’. This interdisciplinary event intends to consider how sight and other senses are represented and invited by early medieval productions across Europe, and how sight and other senses are used by different disciplines to construct our ideas of the medieval.

Attention is being increasingly brought to the ways in which we understand and interpret written, printed, and physical materials from the early medieval period. This is enhanced by the growing availability of digital resources which enhance the potential for visual perception while reducing the opportunity to use other senses for interpretation.

At the same time, scholarship is becoming more conscious of ways in which artefacts and documents were perceived and used in the period: of how the design of objects, including books and manuscripts, controlled their reception.

We invite proposals for 20 minute papers on any aspect of sensory perception, and from researchers in any discipline. Papers are particularly welcome from PhD students and early career researchers.  The conference will take place over the weekend of 12th and 13th April at UCL’s Institute of Archaeology.

Topics could include, but are not limited to:

• how objects and documents invite and exploit sensory perception;
• different sensory experiences of the medieval;
• the impact of using resources, such as digital editions, on sensory experience;
• how the senses are represented and explored in early medieval sources;
• experiences of sensory loss, such as blindness and deafness in the early medieval world.

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