London Old and Middle English Research Seminar

The seminar aims to include contributions from both leading medievalists and from new members of the London medievalist community, to encourage participation from graduate students, and to range as widely as possible within the fields of Old English and Middle English studies. The selection of topics offers a balance of detailed analysis and more general theoretical / methodological or historical discussion. The seminar fosters a friendly spirit of collaboration among London medievalists and is an essential and vital forum where London medievalists can meet, exchange ideas, and keep abreast of current trends in medieval studies.


Dr Alastair Bennett (Royal Holloway, University of London) & Dr Catherine Nall (Royal Holloway, University of London)

LOMERS Schedule, 2019-2020

All seminars begin at 5.30pm and will be held in Room 1-03 in Royal Holloway's Bedford Square building in Bloomsbury, central London.

A map of the venue can be found here.

September 24th 2019: Kellie Robertson (University of Maryland)

'Weather Prodigies: Climate Change and Medieval Narrative'

Long before the advent of global warming accelerated by industrialization, humans imagined their own actions to be causally related to weather events. Looking at medieval technologies for weather prognostication alongside poetry and chronicle accounts, this talk explores what anthropogenic climate change looked like before the Anthropocene, particularly for medieval writers grappling with describing the aftermath of destructive storms. It argues that what Amitav Ghosh has recently called “the environmental uncanny” emerges from an odd but enduring subject position: one in which writers simultaneously imagine themselves as directly responsible for storms and other weather events, even as they experience themselves as being the helpless object of them.

November 27th 2019: David Callander (Cardiff University)

‘Bringing Medieval English and Welsh Literature Together’

Ever more scholars are seeking to compare medieval English literature with texts from Britain and elsewhere in other languages, including Welsh. This talk seeks to highlight some of the more productive avenues which could be pursued in bringing medieval English and Welsh literature together. I look at a number of possibilities, including the study of early modern Welsh translations of medieval English literature, such as ‘Troelus a Chresyd’ and the Welsh Mandeville’s Travels. I then discuss in particular detail the opportunity for comparative study provided by border-crossing saints like Winefride/Gwenfrewy, examining the often contrasting adaptations of her medieval Latin lives in Middle English and Middle Welsh.

January 29th 2020: Katie Walter (University of Sussex)

‘The Labourer's Feet and Medieval Literature’

March 4th 2020: Marco Nievergelt (University of Warwick)

‘Medieval Allegory as Epistemology: Langland and Deguileville on Language, Cognition, and Experience’