Crafting Knowledge in the Early Medieval Book: Practices of Collecting and Concealing: An International Colloquium (funded by an AHRC Leadership Fellowship)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference


As part of my AHRC leadership fellowship (Crafting Knowledge in the Early Medieval West: Glosses, Learning, and Culture, circa 800-1050), I organised and hosted with Dr Ciaran Arthur a major international colloquium entitled "Crafting Knowledge in the Early Medieval Book: Practices of Collecting and Concealing" (Queen’s University, Belfast). 

Originally planned for June 2020, the colloquium was reworked into an online event due to the pandemic. It was organised with Dr Ciaran Arthur, a postdoctoral fellow at NUI, Galway. The colloquium brought together American, Continental, Irish and UK academics working on early medieval epistemology, encyclopaedism, glossing, and obscurity in different historical contexts (medieval Ireland, Anglo-Saxon England, and Carolingian Europe). The aim of the colloquium was to have a transformative impact on the study of glosses by bringing it in line with mainstream intellectual history and current research on cryptography and the creation of knowledge.

The colloquium comprised distinguished scholars in the field of early medieval intellectual history from America, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Members of prestigious centres (the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, Cambridge; Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Paris; the Huygens Institute, ING, Amsterdam) were invited to participate.   

Plans are firmly in place to edit the proceedings of the colloquium. A book proposal has been sent and accepted by Brepols, a leading publisher in the field of early medieval textual culture. The book was originally part of the design of the colloquium, which has been in preparation since 2019. Before the colloquium, speakers were asked to submit draft essays and experts in the field of early medieval intellectual culture from America, Austria, Canada, Finland, Germany, and the Netherlands were invited to review the draft essays. The volume will be of value to all interested in a range of disciplines, especially classicists, late antique and early medieval historians, and anyone working on or interested in the dynamics of crafting knowledge. 

The colloquium built on previous collaborations, fellowships, and projects, including collaboration on an international scholarly project at the Huygens Institute (2004-2009); co-organisation of an international conference in Den Haag and at the Scaliger Institute, Leiden (2008); Scaliger Fellowship, Leiden (2005), and membership of the Network for the Study of Glossing since its foundation in 2015 and participation in its events. A further opportunity to harness the potential of these links was afforded by a Leverhulme International Academic Fellowship in 2017 that provided residential fellowships at the Huygens Institute, Amsterdam and CNRS, Paris.

Period12 Jul 202113 Jul 2021
Event typeConference
LocationBelfast, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionInternational