Medieval Group events 2018-19: a year in review

The Medieval Group hosted numerous events in 2018-19, including a workshop, lectures, and a field-trip, and invited speakers from diverse disciplines and research perspectives.

The Medieval Group is the oldest medieval studies-related association at the University, and is run by a committee of volunteers from among the staff, PhD, and MA students in the Institute for Medieval Studies (IMS). The Group runs various events, from a seminar series to trips to sites of medieval interest, and invites speakers from a wide range of interdisciplinary topics. 

Lectures and workshops are held in the Le Patrouel Room (4.06) on the fourth floor of the Parkinson Building. Meetings start at 17:00 with tea and biscuits, with the speaker beginning promptly at 17:30. For further information, contact Melanie Brunner (

Events 2018-19

6 October 2018, 14:00-17:00. 25th Annual Medieval Group Research Afternoon. 

This annual event included papers focusing on research from scholars new to the IMS at the time, or visiting the IMS for a short period, including Muriel Araujo Lima (Visiting PGR Researcher in the School of Fine Art, History of Art, and Cultural Studies), Hana Komárková (IMS Visiting Fellow), Fraser McNair (IMS Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow), James Doherty (IMS Teaching Fellow in Medieval History), and Sunny Harrison (IMS Teaching Fellow). Discussion of past research afternoons and cake commemorated the 25th anniversary. The event concluded with a discussion of next year's programme, and the establishment of the 2018-19 Steering Committee. 


A Medieval pictoral

28 January 2019, workshop. Encountering Pictorials: A Workshop on Sixteenth-Century MesoAmerican Manuscripts. 

This workshop, given by Dr Claudia Rogers (Unviersity of Sheffield), introduced participants to Mesoamerican pictorials, or manuscripts authored by indigenous painter-scribes (tlacuiloque) in sixteenth-century Central America. Attendees participated in an exercise focusing on creating pictorials. Rogers is also a recent University of Leeds alumna. 


Sheffield Castle

4 March 2019, lecture. Sheffield Castle - Archives, Excavations, and Augmented Reality, 1927-2018. 

This lecture, presented by Dr John Moreland (University of Sheffield), discussed the results of University of Sheffield research on the unpublished archives of excavations carried out on the site of Sheffield Castle between 1927-30, and between 1958-1960, as well as the results of the Autumn 2018 excavations at the site.

25 March 2019, lecture. Aquinas on the Soul after Death. 

This lecture, delivered by Dr Simon Hewitt (University of Leeds), discussed Aquinas' philosophical anthropology and the issues around the post-Morten soul. No philosophical background was required, and the talk concluded by gesturing towards solutions. 

29 April 2019, event. A Day in the Life of...Librarians.

A panel of speakers contributed to a session exploring what a typical day looks like for someone working in a university or public library; all speakers had a medieval background. Discussion and questions followed. The speakers were Rhian Isaac (Leeds City Council), Rhiannon Lawrence-Francis (Leeds University Library), and Dr Eleanor Warren (Leeds University Library). 


Students and staff from the IMS on trip to Knaresborough

11 May 2019, field-trip. Knaresborough. 

This excursion, led by Robert Woosnam-Savage (Royal Armouries), included a tour of the remains of the Norman and medieval castle, the fifteenth-century chapel of Our Lady of the Crag, and the hermit's cave associated with Sir Robert of Knaresborough (c.1160-1218). 


University of Leeds students enjoyed this year's events. As Jacob Deacon (IMS  postgraduate researcher, PhD) said about the Knaresborough trip, 'I found the event an excellent way to come together with people in the Institute who I don't often interact with...It was fantastic being able to see a world-famous Bob Savage tour!'

Madeline Hernstrom-Hill (IMS postgraduate researcher, MA) stated that she 'really enjoyed a lot of Medieval Group events this year - I especially liked the talk on Thomas Aquinas. Medieval philosophy is something I rarely directly encounter in my own research, and it's often very intimidating, so it was a real pleasure to have an expert untangle the topic'. Hernstrom-Hill also praised the Knaresborough trip, calling it 'a delight' and focused on 'a beautiful site'. 

Victoria Yuskaitis (IMS PGR Researcher, PhD), appreciated the 'opportunity for students to become involved with inviting guest speakers and organising events'. A member of this year's Medieval Group Steering Committee, Yuskaitis called organising the Sheffield Castle talk 'interesting, and helpful in terms of learning how to coordinate and chair a talk like this - and of course, the subject material was fantastic as well!'

The 26th Medieval Group Research Afternoon will be held sometime in October 2019. Student representatives to run the Steering Committee will be chosen at this meeting. To receive email notifications of Medieval Group events, contact Melanie Brunner (