Institute for Medieval Research

Activities archive

The activities archive gives you a taste of the wide and varied programme within the IMR. This includes papers which have been given at national and international conferences. In addition some conference proceedings have been made available as open educational resources.

IMR staff guest lectures

  • Judith Jesch: ‘Runes and words: runology in a lexicographical context’
    Invited plenary lecture, Seventh International Symposium on Runes and Runic Inscriptions, Runes in Context’, Oslo, Norway. 9-13 Aug, 2010. Invited plenary lecture, Seventh International Symposium on Runes and Runic Inscriptions, ’, Oslo, Norway. 9-13 Aug, 2010.
  • Judith Jesch: ‘Looking for Vikings in the Nottinghamshire landscape’
    Invited lecture, Annual Conference of the Society for Landscape Studies, ‘Landscape History of Sherwood Forest and Nottinghamshire’, Nottingham. 11 September 2010.
  • Judith Jesch: ‘Looking for Vikings in the Nottinghamshire landscape’
    Invited lecture, Sherwood Archaeology Society, Mansfield. 20 October 2010.
  • Judith Jesch: ‘Viking weapons and skaldic verse’ Invited keynote lecture, Interdisciplinary PhD Course in Viking Studies, Aarhus, Denmark. 3-4 November 2010
  • Judith Jesch: ‘Crossing the ocean: the Norse gods in the Viking diaspora’ Invited lecture, ‘Gods and Goddesses on the Edge: Myth and Liminality in the North’, Reykjavík, Iceland. 12-13 November
  • Ross Balzaretti: 'Liguria in the Early Middle Ages'Invited seminar at the University of Edinburgh. 30 November.
  • Ross Balzaretti: 'Liguria in the Early Middle Ages'
    Invited seminar at the University of St Andrews. 13 December.


  • Judith Jesch: ‘Viking weapons and skaldic verse’

    Invited lecture, Viking Society Student Conference, Cambridge. 12 February 2011. Invited lecture, , Cambridge. 12 February 2011.
  • Catherine Attwood

    Invited paper, Être poète au temps de Charles d'Orléans, University of Avignon. 25-27 March 2011.
  • Judith Jesch: ‘Rognvald, Earl of Orkney – a Norwegian poet?’ Invited keynote lecture, Inaugural St Magnus Conference, Kirkwall. 14-15 April 2011.


IMR lectures and seminars

2011-2012 programme
  • Chris Kind (Archaeology): 'Constructing Space and Society in Late Medieval Town Houses'
    (19 October 2011) 
  • Christopher Dyer (Local History): 'The Origins of the English Village Revisited (700-1200)
    (12 November 2011)
  • Dr Nicola Royan (Centre for Regional Literatures and Cultures): 'The Scottish Identity of Gavin Douglas'
    (15 Nov 2011)


2009-2010 programme
  • Sarah Skinner (Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery) : 'Nottingham Alabasters in the Nottingham Castle Collection'
    (14 July 2010)
  • Professor Thorlac Turville-Petre (English): 'Sir Thomas Chaworth and his Books'
    (Performing Arts Workshop: 16 June 2010)  
  • Dr Rob Lutton (History): 'God, Sex and Fashion: The Reading Habits of the Fifteenth-Century English Gentlewoman'
    (26 May 2010)
  • Dr Kathryn Lowe (English): 'Travels with Auntie: Me, Melvyn and the Media'
    (18 March 2010)  
  • Ian Wood (University of Leeds) 'The Risorgimento, German Unification and the Making of the Early Middle Ages' 
    (IMR Annual Public Lecture 17 March 2010)
  • Michael Wood: 'Saxons, Celts and Vikings: The Reign of Athelstan (925-39) and the Creation of England'
    (Inaugural lecture: 1 March 2010)
  • Thomas Pickles (York): 'Topography, Exegesis and Vocation'
    (14 January 2010)
  • Postgraduate Round Table: Identities
    • Gareth Davies (Archaeology)
    • Dayanna Knight (Archaeology)
    • Rachel Midlemass (History)
    • Rebecca Reynolds (Archaeology)
      (3 December 2009)


2008-2009 programme
  • Professor Hugh N Kennedy (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London) : 'Continuity and Change through the early Muslim Conquests of the Middle East'
    (Annual Lecture:Thursday 5 March 2009) 
  • Natasha Hodgson (Nottingham Trent University): 'Lions, tigers, and bears: encounters with wild animals and bestial imagery in the context of the crusades'
    (5 February 2009)
  • Monica White (Russian and Slavonic Studies):'The Art and Science of Dragon-Slaying in Byzantium'
    (6 May 2009)
  • Alfred Hiatt (University of Leeds): 'Deep South in the Middle Ages'
    (30 Oct 2008)
  • Patrick Conner (West Virginia University): 'The Abbotsbury Guild Statutes: Writ Legal and Literary?'
    (11 November 2008)
  • Eva Panagiotakopulu (University of Edinburgh):'Farms, fish and cereals, an entomological approach to Norse expansion'
    (27 November 2008) 
  • Round Table: North, South, East & West in the Medieval World
    • Dr Mary Cunningham (Theology)
    • Professor Judith Jesch (English)
    • Dr Christopher Loveluck (Archaeology)
    • Dr Nicola Royan (English)
      (4 December 2008)



Previous conferences run by the IMR and IMR students
  • Disease, Disability and Medicine in Medieval Europe: Disability and the Law
    Fourth Annual Interdisciplinary Workshop, University of Nottingham: 12-13 December 2010
    Further details
  • Constructing and Transmitting Identities in the Medieval World: Textual and Material Perspectives
    IMR Postgraduate Conference, University of Nottingham: 6 November 2010
    Further details
  • Gender and the Pre-Modern City
    University of Nottingham: 11-12 September 2010
    Further details
  • Perceptions of Place: English Place-Name Study and Regional Variety
    University of Nottingham: 23-27 June 2010
    Further details
  • The Art of Collaboration: Interdisciplinary Approaches to History
    University of Nottingham: 8 June 2010
    Further details
  • Germania Remembered
    University of Nottingham: 19-20 November 2009

Postgraduate research conferences

  • Constructing and transmitting identities in the medieval world: textual and material perspectives
    IMR Postgraduate Conference, University of Nottingham: 6 Nov 2010
IMR Postgraduate Conference, University of Nottingham: 6 Nov 2010

The recent interest in ‘identity politics’ is testament to the enduring importance of the construction and expression of identities in the present and the past. Whether consciously or unconsciously, individuals and groups in contemporary and medieval societies were constantly formulating, evolving and accumulating their sense of self. They defined their ‘life-world’ in multiple spheres, from the cultural, political and religious to the economic, material and ethnic.

Recognising the usefulness of an interdisciplinary approach to the question of identity, contributions to this conference came from postgraduate students from a wide range of disciplines, incorporating archaeological, historical, literary or sociological methods. Research was presented through papers and posters, addressing how medieval identities were constructed, manifested and transmitted. Topics included:

  • Material culture and its study in social history and archaeology
  • Architecture
  • Music and theatre
  • Gender, sexuality and the body
  • Politics and trade
  • Interaction between different cultures
  • Art, iconography and heraldry as visual markers of identity  

Transmitting Identities Conference Programme



Report from the conference planning committee

Teva Vidal, 2nd year PhD student in Viking Studies

The conference’s broad and inclusive theme helped us put together a panel of presenters from a wide variety of disciplines in the study of the Middle Ages, and the event was very well attended by students, researchers and independent scholars from all over the UK and beyond. The day’s selection of presentations by student researchers was framed by particularly engaging keynote presentations by Dr Gabriele Neher of the University of Nottingham’s Department of Art History, and Dr Gareth Williams of the British Museum.

The day went off without a hitch in the elegant setting of the Graduate Centre, and all present took full advantage of the many opportunities to network with peers and professionals, all while enjoying the engaging research posters on display.

To conclude the day’s events, a wine reception was held at the University’s archaeological museum which included an opportunity for participants to examine and handle some items from the university’s collection of medieval pottery, under the able guidance of postgraduate students from the Department of Archaeology.

Participants’ feedback praised the variety of presentations and the convivial atmosphere, which provided the perfect setting for discussion and exchange, and thought that the event would result in the formation of long-lasting networks.

The conference was made possible by the generous support of the IMR and was a great demonstration of the breadth and inclusiveness of the IMR’s outlook on research into the medieval world. Altogether, it was a very rewarding and successful event for all involved.





Accessing the Medieval

Accessing the Medieval was a research series of public events, including lectures and workshops, organised by the Institute for Medieval Research and the  Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections exploring the relationship between popular perceptions of the Middle Ages and academic research in the discipline.

Describing the Middle Ages Round Table and Workshops(9 Mar 2011)

  • Describing the Middle Ages: A Lunch-Time Round Table
    From Arthur and the Britons, through the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons, to the changing society of the fifteenth century, the Middle Ages offer literary settings attractive to both writers and readers. This event brings together three writers with a particular interest in the Middle Ages to discuss the appeal of that wide historical period, and the challenges and attractions of its deployment.
  • Describing the Middle Ages: Writing Workshops
    Following on from the round table, there will be an opportunity to discuss in more detail with the writers their techniques for describing and bringing to life the Middle Ages, and how these can be developed. Participants in the Round Table and the Workshops (Chair: Thomas Legendre, School of English)

    Kevin Crossley-Holland
    A poet and prize-winning author for children, Kevin Crossley-Holland’s recent and forthcoming books are The Hidden Roads: A Memoir of Childhood, Bracelet of Bones and his new and selected poems The Mountains of Norfolk.  The Seeing Stone, part of his Arthurian trilogy, won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award, the Smarties Prize Bronze Medal, and the Tir na n-Og Award. The trilogy has won worldwide critical acclaim and has been translated into twenty-five languages.

    Michael Jecks
    Michael Jecks is probably best known for his medieval mystery series based around the Templar Sir Baldwin Furnhill and the Bailiff Simon Puttock. One of this series, The Death Ship of Dartmouth, was shortlisted for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award, a rare distinction for medieval mysteries. Reviewers of this series have commented particularly on the historical accuracy of his novels.

    Ian Mortimer
    Trained as an archivist and academic historian, Ian Mortimer has been a full-time writer since 2001. He has written The Time-Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England, as well as a series of medieval biographies, whose subjects are Roger Mortimer, Edward III, Henry IV and Henry V.

Public lectures and seminars

    • Ian Wood (University of Leeds) 'The Risorgimento, German Unification and the Making of the Early Middle Ages' 
      Ian Wood (University of Leeds) 'The Risorgimento, German Unification and the Making of the Early Middle Ages' 
      (IMR Annual Public Lecture 17 March 2010)
    • Dr Kevin Leahy (British Museum Portable Antiquities) 'The Staffordshire Hoard'
      (19 May 2011)
    • Michael Wood: 'Saxons, Celts and Vikings: The Reign of Athelstan (925-39) and the Creation of England' 
      Michael Wood is well known as a popular historian: he has written and presented numerous programmes for television including In Search of the Dark Ages (1981) and Christina: A Medieval Life (BBC Four 2008). 
      (1 March 2010) 
    • Dr Kathryn Lowe: 'Travels with Auntie: Me, Melvyn and the Media' 
      A graduate of Nottingham and senior lecturer in English Language at the University of Glasgow, Dr Lowe advised Melvyn Bragg on his landmark TV series The Adventures of English (2002) and the radio series The Routes of English (1999-2001).
      (18 March 2010)

Events at the Lakeside Arts Centre Friday 30 April 2010 – Sunday 8 August 2010


  • Saints, Sinners and Story Tellers: Medieval Wollaton Manuscripts at the University of Nottingham
    Weston Gallery, DH Lawrence Pavilion 20 Apr - 8 Aug 2010

Lunchtime talks

    • Keeping safe and sharing access
      The curators reveal more about the development of the exhibition in the context of recent conservation, digitisation and research projects.
      (5 May 2010)
    • Dr Rob Lutton: 'God, Sex and Fashion: The Reading Habits of the Fifteenth-Century English Gentlewoman'
      What the medieval texts tell us about their owners and readers.
      (26 May 2010)
    • Professor Thorlac Turville-Petre: 'Sir Thomas Chaworth and his Books'
      Professor Thorlac Turville-Petre, academic advisor for the exhibition, on the life and legacy of Sir Thomas Chaworth (d.1459), the original owner of the Wollaton Antiphonal.
      (16 Jul 2010)
    • Sarah Skinner: 'Nottingham Alabasters in the Nottingham Castle Collection'
      Sarah Skinner, Keeper of Art at Nottingham Castle Museum, on the background to the alabaster trade in medieval Nottingham and the image of St Zita, on display in the exhibition.
      (14 Jul 2010)


    • Binchois Consort, Director Andrew Kirkman, Concert of Music from the Wollaton Antiphonal, Djanogly Recital Hall
      (8 May 2010)   



Institute for Medieval Research

The University of Nottingham
University Park Campus
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 4845