AccueilPerforming Medieval Text

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Publié le mardi 23 avril 2013 par Luigia Parlati


Le colloque Performing Medieval Text a pour but de faire rencontrer enseignants-chercheurs et étudiants de troisième cycle autour du thème de « l'interprétation » (performance) des textes, de la musique et de l'art au Moyen Âge. Les conférences plénières seront présentées par Dr Florence Bourgne (Paris-Sorbonne) et Prof. Franz Körndle (Augsburg); un concert sera donné par Ensemble Leones (dir. Marc Lewon).



Medieval texts show a strong concern for performance. In the Roman de la Rose, the narrator famously relates the carole dance, being drawn into the event he has been performing through his own narration: the performer performs performance, and becomes the performed. As a result, much recent scholarly attention has been directed towards issues of performance, resulting in publications on the construction of identity and gender, the performative aspects of literature, manuscripts, and the visual arts, as well as on the performance of a wide range of medieval musical repertoires.

Despite their shared interest in performance, post-modern approaches to any kind of medieval text are significantly different from those of the Middle Ages. While today’s scholarship places explicit emphasis on the realm of the performative, for medieval audiences performance was a given. One may, in fact, consider the notion of “performing texts” in the Middle Ages a tautology.

Current research by graduate students is brought together with established scholarship, and disciplinary and national borders are transgressed. Post-holders will respond to 20-minute papers given by graduate students/early career researchers, and there will be two international keynote papers: one on performance in late medieval English manuscripts, and one on the prophet Job as a musician. A conference lunch, reception, and concert will provide ample opportunity for interaction and academic exchange between participants. All of the conference papers, responses, and keynotes will be published in order to maximise the conference’s wider impact across the humanities.

On 10 and 11 May, an interdisciplinary conference titled Performing Medieval Text will take place at Merton College, Oxford. The conference brings together academics from different disciplines, countries, and career stages, and seeks to address the notion of the performative in various medieval repertoires (text, music, art). The conference includes two keynotes by Dr Florence Bourgne (Paris-Sorbonne) and Prof. Franz Körndle (Augsburg), as well as a concert by Ensemble Leones (dir. Marc Lewon).

The conference aims to provide a framework in which young researchers can address the manifold issues surrounding performance and the performative in the Middle Ages in particular. In order to generate fruitful ideas for future directions of research and to revalue some of the output which has already been published in this field, Performing Medieval Text brings together graduate students and established academics. 


(Provisional Conference Schedule)

Friday, 10 May     

  • 10:00–11:00 Registration with Tea&Coffee 
  • 11:00–11:15 Welcome Address 


Panel Session 1: Performing Song in Context 

Dr Almut Suerbaum

  • Annemari Ferreira, Tið, Tiðindi: The Phenomenology of Skaldic Poetry in Egils Saga
  • Jennifer Rushworth, The Psalms and Dante’s Purgatory
  • Moritz Kelber, Advenisti desiderabilis: Emperor Charles V as the Saviour of True Faith

13:00–14:00 Lunch [University Club] 


Panel Session 2: Performance: Concept, Context, Genre 

Dr Sophie Marnette and Dr Helen Swift

  • Uri Smilanski, The Multi-Dimensional Text: A Thought Experiment Around Machaut's De Bonté, de Valour (V10)
  • Matthew Cheung Salisbury, Performance, Performativity, and the Medieval Liturgical Act
  • Steffen Hope, The King’s Liturgical Image

16:30–16:50 Tea&Coffee break 

17:00–18:00 Manuscripts at Merton with Dr Julia Walworth 

18:15–19:30 Keynote Address by Prof. Franz Körndle

20:00–21:15 Concert: Ensemble Leones [Merton College Chapel] 

21:30–22:30 Reception [Merton College MCR]                       

Saturday, 11May    


Panel Session 3: Manuscripts as Performance 

Dr Jessica Berenbeim

  • Sophie Burton, Archiving Chant: Triplet Masses in Benevento, Biblioteca Capitolare MS 40
  • Rachel Sullivan, Performing Manuscripts: Rhyme Braces in Medieval Play MSS
  • Jack Hartnell, Embodied Bodies: Performing Medieval Surgery and Performing Medieval Art History

10:30–10:45 Tea&Coffee break 

10:50–12:00 Keynote Address by Dr Florence Bourgne 

12:00–12:15 Tea&Coffee break 


Panel Session 4 and Concluding Remarks: Performance Transformed 

Prof. Elizabeth Eva Leach

  • David Bowe, Who Performs the Siren Song? Performative Reading and Writing in Purgatorio XIX
  • Francisca Gale, Adaptation and the Problem of Performance: Wolfram's Solution in Parzival?

Registration informations

Registration includes attendance to all papers, keynotes, and the manuscript session; refreshments on both days, lunch on Friday, reception on Friday evening, and a ticket for the conference concert. The full conference programme can be found here
Accommodation charges are not included in the registration fee, but you can indicate whether you require accommodation on the registration form: for more information, see our accommodation page. 

To register, please complete our registration form, which can be found here.

Registration closes on Monday, 6 May.

Unless otherwise noted, all programme points will take place at the TS Eliot Lecture Theatre, Merton College.    

You can find more details and registration information on our website:


  • Merton College
    Oxford, Grande-Bretagne


  • vendredi 10 mai 2013
  • samedi 11 mai 2013

Fichiers attachés


  • performance, Moyen Âge, interprétation, chant, art


  • Pauline Souleau
    courriel : performingmedievaltext [at] mod-langs [dot] ox [dot] ac [dot] uk

URLS de référence

Source de l'information

  • Pauline Souleau
    courriel : performingmedievaltext [at] mod-langs [dot] ox [dot] ac [dot] uk

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« Performing Medieval Text », Colloque, Calenda, Publié le mardi 23 avril 2013,

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