IMS Collaboration with the University of Poitiers

Members of the IMS collaborated with the University of Poitiers from 7-10 June 2018 as part of a recent agreement between the IMS and CESCM, which offers teaching and research opportunities.

Thomas Smith, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Leeds and a member of the group who went to the University of Poitiers, summarised the meeting as follows: 

'Between 7 and 10 June 2018, members of the Institute for Medieval Studies (IMS) were invited to France as a next step in the collaboration with the internationally renowned Centre d'Études Supérieures de Civilisation Médiévale (CESCM) of the University of Poitiers, hosted by the Director of the Centre, Professor Martin Aurell. The trip, which was the culmination of a long series of preliminary research and planning meetings held at Leeds, is part of a recent ERASMUS + collaboration between IMS and CESCM to offer students and staff international teaching and research opportunities. 

An intrepid interdisciplinary team from Leeds - Emilia Jamroziak, Catherine Batt, Catherine Karkov, Iona McCleery, Axel Muller, and Thomas Smith - survived a French train strike and battled its way across Paris to travel to the beautifully preserved medieval city of Poitiers, famous for its stunning medieval and early modern architecture and prominent role in medieval history. 

IMS scholars presented their research alongside colleagues from Poitiers at a workshop on 'Memory and the Past in the Middle Ages'. The workshop, which fizzed with ideas, ranged widely over methodological approaches and geographical and temporal scopes, exploring topics from materiality and archives, through meals and miracles, epigraphy, ecclesiastical administration and accountability, swords, gunpowder and artillery, concepts of narrative and selfhood, to monastic memory and scribal crusading. Discussions continued in a more relaxed atmosphere during a field-trip to Fontevraud Abbey, Chinon castle and the nearby cave-chapel of St Radegund, expertly led by Professor Aurell and Dr Harmony Dewez. 

The dialogue opened at Poitiers led to the identification of strong research synergies and opportunities for collaborative research projects that will be developed over the coming years. As a result of the collaboration, exciting opportunities are available to postgraduate students and IMS staff to make research trips (and teaching exchanges for staff) to Poitiers to use the outstanding resources of CESCM and to exchange ideas with our colleagues in Poitiers'.

For further information about these opportunities, please get in touch with Emilia Jamroziak, Director of the IMS: