February 25-26, 2021

Workshop: Constructive Absences in Medieval Literature


Centre for Medieval Literature

This online two-day workshop moves from previous Transformations and Translocations workshops and conferences on forms to examine the question of the absence of forms and of absence as form. We invite participants to reflect critically on the methodological problems, implications, and above all, opportunities of absence and related concepts of discontinuity and fragmentation. How can we make the evidentiary gaps inherent in our field productive and meaningful? What insights can we gain from focusing on the lacuna as a structuring form? In other words, how did absence shape the sources we have? By situating absence at the centre of our discussion, this workshop aims to engender fruitful new ways of thinking about the incomplete record at our disposal as medievalists.

The participants work across diverse fields of medieval literature, including French, Arabic, English, Latin, Hebrew, Greek, Slavic, Irish, and Spanish literatures.

Organizers: Divna Manolova, Elizabeth Tyler, Julian Yolles, and Rosa M. Rodríguez Porto

Download the workshop poster here


Thursday, 25 February

11:00-11:30 Opening remarks

Session 1

Reflecting on the past (general discussion)

13:00-14:00 Lunch

Session 2

Introduction and discussion of reading 1:
Nichols, Stephen G., “Introduction: Philology in a Manuscript Culture”, Speculum 65 (1990): 1–10

14:45-15:00 Break

Session 3

Introduction and discussion of reading 2:
Flood, Finbarr Barry, “Signs of Silence: Epigraphic Erasure and the Image of the Word”, in The Image Debate: Figural Representation in Islam and Across the World, edited by Christiane Gruber, 47-71. London 2019

15:45-16:00 Break

Session 4

Introduction and discussion of reading 3:
Barry, Fabio, “Disiecta membra: Ranieri Zeno, the Imitation of Constantinople, the Spolia style, and Justice at San Marco”, in H. Maguire and R. Nelson (eds), San Marco, Byzantium, and the Myths of Venice, 7-62. Dumbarton Oaks 2010

Friday, 26 February


Session 5

Consolidating Day 1 (general discussion leading towards thinking about abstracts)


Session 6

Think about your abstract (off Zoom)

12:30-13:30 Lunch
13:30-15:00 Abstract Presentations
15:00-15:15 Break
15:15-17:00 Abstract Presentations + Final discussion 

List of participants

Annabel Dukes (CML, University of York)
Divna Manolova (CML, University of York)
Elizabeth Tyler (CML, University of York)
George Younge (CML, University of York)
Ingela Nilsson (Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul, Uppsala University)
Jane Gilbert (University College London)
Julia Verkholantsev (University of Pennsylvania)
Julian Yolles (CML, University of Southern Denmark)
Konrad Hirschler (Freie Universität Berlin)
Máire Ni Mhaonaigh (University of Cambridge)
Rosa M. Rodríguez Porto (Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, CML)
Shazia Jagot (University of York, CML)
Uri Shachar (Ben Gurion University of the Negev)
Wim Verbaal (Ghent University)

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