Monday 16 January 2012

Cultures in Contact: Conference for Teachers interested in the Medieval World

Dr Elizabeth Boyle writes:

On Saturday 14th January, just before the return of our students and the beginning of the new term, the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic welcomed sixty school teachers, from all over the country, for a one-day conference on the theme of 'Cultures in Contact'. The conference sought to present to teachers working in a variety of disciplines (History, English Literature, Classics and Religious Studies were all well-represented), and at a variety of schools, some of the cutting-edge research being undertaken in the Department, with the general aim of drawing attention to the richness and diversity of medieval studies (now often sadly neglected in the GCSE and A Level curricula). The conference - which was fully booked well in advance (and, indeed, was over-subscribed) - featured the following papers:

Dr Andrew Bell - 'Thinking about early medieval Europe'

Dr Richard Dance - 'Roots, blends and buttocks: finding the Vikings in the English language'

Professor Simon Keynes & Dr Rory Naismith - 'Money talks: wealth and power in Anglo-Saxon England and Scandinavia

Dr Paul Russell - 'Reading Ovid in medieval Wales'

Dr Elizabeth Boyle - 'From Shakespeare to Tennyson: Celtic influences in English literature'

The day concluded with a Q&A session, which covered a wide variety of topics, ranging from aspects of the University's admissions process to themes which had emerged from the papers earlier that day. Having received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the teachers who participated - and having been delighted at their enthusiasm for, and interest in, all things medieval - we certainly hope to repeat the event in future years.

The Department would like to say an enormous 'thank you' to Dr Denis Casey for co-ordinating the event so efficiently, and to our departmental secretary, Mrs Jayne Riley, for her invaluable support.

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