CMS/PIMS Distinguished Visiting Scholar 2012-2013: Dr. Stella Panayotova

A warm welcome to our 2012-2013 CMS/PIMS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Dr. Stella Panayotova! Dr. Panayotova is Keeper of Manuscripts and Printed Books, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, and also director of the Cambridge Illuminations and Miniare Research Projects. Her interests centre on medieval and early modern manuscript production and illumination, and patronage, as well as on cultural exchanges between Western Europe, Byzantium, and the Islamic world, but also extend to manuscript collecting between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries. She is the author, most recently, of Art, Academia, and the Trade: Sir Sydney Cockerell (1867–1962) (2010) and has edited facsimiles of The Fitzwilliam Book of Hours (2009) and The Macclesfield Psalter (2008), each with extensive commentaries.

PIMS and CMS will organize a couple of events with Dr. Panayotova during her stay in Toronto in the Winter term. For details see here.

Events with Dr. Stella Panayotova

Our 2012-2013 CMS/PIMS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Dr. Stella Panayotova (Keeper of Manuscripts, Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge) will hold a series of events during her term at the University of Toronto. She will give a lecture and three master classes.

The lecture “Illuminated Manuscripts: Science and Art” will be held on Friday, March 8, 4pm in Alumni Hall 100, 121 St. Joseph Street. The lecture is free and open to the public. If you have an accessibility or accommodation need for this event, please contact the Centre for Medieval Studies ( or 416 978 4884

The three master classes (January 25, February 1, March 22) will be dedicated to the making and meaning of Medieval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts. Enrollment is limited and graduate students interested in attending should email to Grace Desa ( as soon as possible.

Click here to download a poster for these events.

2012 J.R. O’Donnell Memorial Lecture in Medieval Latin Studies

The 2012 J.R. O’Donnell Memorial Lecture in Medieval Latin Studies will be presented by Carmela Vircillo Franklin (Columbia University) on Friday, November 30, at 4:10 in the Great Hall of the Centre for Medieval Studies. The topic of Prof. Franklin’s talk is “History and Rhetoric in the 12th-Century Redaction of the Liber Pontificalis”.

The talk is followed by a reception in the Laurence K. Shook Common Room, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 59 Queen’s Park Crescent East.

The event is jointly sponsored by the Centre for Medieval Studies and the Journal of Medieval Latin.

Workshop on Hildemar of Corbie

A workshop on Hildemar of Corbie’s ninth-century commentary on the Rule of Benedict, will take place on November 23rd from 1:00 to 5:00 pm in the Great Hall of the Centre for Medieval Studies (Lillian Massey Building, room 312). The workshop is intended to introduce the ongoing collaborative translation project and to provide an opportunity for scholars working on the project to discuss translation issues. See also the project website at:

Speakers include Julian Hendrix (Carthage College), Albrecht Diem (Syracuse University), Jesse Billett (Faculty of Divinity), and Corinna Prior (History) on topics of Carolingian monasticism, textual composition, and liturgy within the Commentary.

The poster for this event can be found here.

The Chester Cycle in Context, 1555-1575

The Chester Cycle in Context, 1555-1575: Religion, Drama, and the Impact of Change. Edited by Jessica Dell, David Klausner, and Helen Ostovich, Ashgate, 2012.

“The Chester Cycle in Context, 1555-1575 considers the implications of recent archival research which has profoundly changed our view of the continuation of performances of Chester’s civic biblical play cycle into the reign of Elizabeth I. Scholars now view the decline and ultimate abandonment of civic religious drama as the result of a complex network of local pressures, heavily dependent upon individual civic and ecclesiastical authorities, rather than a result of a nation-wide policy of suppression, as had previously been assumed.”

For more information check the publisher’s website.

Land & Book: Literature and Land Tenure in Anglo-Saxon England

Scott Smith, Land & Book: Literature and Land Tenure in Anglo-Saxon England (Toronto Anglo-Saxon Series 13), University of Toronto Press, 2012.

“In this original and innovative study, Scott T. Smith traces the intersections between land tenure and literature in Anglo-Saxon England. Smith aptly demonstrates that as land became property through the operations of writing, it came to assume a complex range of conceptual values that Anglo-Saxons could use to engage a number of vital cultural concerns beyond just the legal and practical – such as political dominion, salvation, sanctity, status, and social and spiritual obligations.
Land and Book places a variety of texts – including charters, dispute records, heroic poetry, homilies, and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle – in a dynamic conversation with the procedures and documents of land tenure, showing how its social practice led to innovation across written genres in both Latin and Old English. Through this, Smith provides an interdisciplinary synthesis of literary, legal, and historical interests.”

For more information see here.

Myth, Legends, and Heroes: Essays on Old Norse and Old English Literature in Honour of John McKinnell

Myth, Legends, and Heroes: Essays on Old Norse and Old English Literature in Honour of John McKinnell. Edited by Daniel Anlezark (Toronto Old Norse-Icelandic Series, 5), University of Toronto Press, 2012.

“In Myths, Legends, and Heroes, editor Daniel Anzelark has brought together scholars of Old Norse-Icelandic and Old English literature to explore the translation and transmission of Norse myth, the use of literature in society and authorial self-reflection, the place of myth in the expression of family relationships, and recurrent motifs in Northern literature.
The essays in Myths, Legends, and Heroes include an examination of the theme of sibling rivalry, an analysis of Christ’s unusual ride into hell as found in both Old Norse and Old English, a discussion of Beowulf’s swimming prowess and an analysis of the poetry in Snorri Sturluson’s Edda. A tribute to Durham University professor John McKinnell’s distinguished contributions to the field, this volume offers new insights in light of linguistic and archaeological evidence and a broad range of study with regard to both chronology and methodology.”

For more information see here.

Stealing Obedience: Narratives of Agency and Identity in Later Anglo-Saxon England

Katherine O’Brien O’Keeffe, Stealing Obedience: Narratives of Agency and Identity in Later Anglo-Saxon England (Toronto Anglo-Saxon Series 11), University of Toronto Press, 2012.

“Narratives of monastic life in Anglo-Saxon England depict individuals as responsible agents in the assumption and performance of religious identities. To modern eyes, however, many of the ‘choices’ they make would actually appear to be compulsory. Stealing Obedience explores how a Christian notion of agent action – where freedom incurs responsibility – was a component of identity in the last hundred years of Anglo-Saxon England, and investigates where agency (in the modern sense) might be sought in these narratives.

Katherine O’Brien O’Keeffe looks at Benedictine monasticism through the writings of Ælfric, Anselm, Osbern of Canterbury, and Goscelin of Saint-Bertin, as well as liturgy, canon and civil law, chronicle, dialogue, and hagiography, to analyse the practice of obedience in the monastic context. Stealing Obedience brings a highly original approach to the study of Anglo-Saxon narratives of obedience in the adoption of religious identity.”

For more information see here.

Old English Literature and the Old Testament

Old English Literature and the Old Testament. Edited by Michael Fox and Manish Sharma (Toronto Anglo-Saxon Series 10), University of Toronto Press, 2012.

“It would be difficult to overestimate the importance of the Bible in the medieval world. For the Anglo-Saxons, literary culture emerged from sustained and intensive biblical study. Further, at least to judge from the Old English texts which survive, the Old Testament was the primary influence, both in terms of content and modes of interpretation. Though the Old Testament was only partially translated into Old English, recent studies have shown how completely interconnected Anglo-Latin and Old English literary traditions are.
Old English Literature and the Old Testament considers the importance of the Old Testament from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, from comparative to intertextual and historical. Though the essays focus on individual works, authors, or trends, including the Interrogationes SigewulfiGenesis A, and Daniel, each ultimately speaks to the vernacular corpus as a whole, suggesting approaches and methodologies for further study.”

For more information see here.