Before I come to the Centre’s involvement in this year’s Medieval Pageant in Canterbury which took place today, I thought I would just mention a couple of other events that have involved Centre and Canterbury Christ Church medievalists over the last week. Firstly, before the King’s School broke up for the summer, I met up with Janet Taylor who runs Classics there to broach the idea of running a sixth form workshop again next academic year for Classics students. Janet was enthusiastic, and I’m also hoping to keep the same link going with Claire Anderson concerning her lower and upper form historians.
Regarding the work of the Centre, firstly I want to congratulate Dr Diane Heath on the submission of the Gender and Medieval Studies volume on Gender: Places, Spaces and Thresholds to the publisher last weekend. Diane and her fellow editors have done a truly splendid job in record time and they deserve much applause and the deep-felt thanks of the various contributors, including two from Canterbury Christ Church: Dr Leonie Hicks has written the Afterword and I have contributed an article, as has Diane. If all goes well, it will be out in the autumn this year.
The first item I thought I would bring to you this week is news of the rescheduled Becket Lecture that will now take place on Tuesday 6 March at 6pm in The Michael Berry Lecture Theatre, Old Sessions House. As you may remember, the lecture will be given by Dr Marie-Pierre Gelin (UCL) and she will be speaking on ‘Thomas Becket and his Predecessors in Canterbury’. Booking not required, and we at the Centre will look forward to seeing you there.
I thought I would begin by mentioning a very productive meeting Dr Diane Heath and I had on Monday with Lyndsay Ridley, the General Manager at The Canterbury Tales, regarding arrangements for our first joint venture as part of the Medieval Canterbury Weekend 2018: www.canterbury.ac.uk/medieval-canterbury
As in 2016, probably the high point this year for the Centre was the History Weekend in early April, which in 2017 featured the Tudors and Stuarts and was a joint venture with the Canterbury Cathedral Archives and Library.
This week saw the awarding of the John and Peggy Hayes Canterbury Award for publications on the history of the city, and this year the recipient is Professor David Birmingham for his book Canterbury before the Normans.
This week I want to catch up with events involving History and the Centre over the last week, but will leave Dr Mark Hutchinson’s paper to the Staff-Postgraduate Research Seminar until next week because three events is enough for one blog. The three events I have focused on are: the Kent history postgraduates’ workshop, the ‘‘Sense of Place’: Imagination and the landscapes of Kent’ symposium (I missed the excursion on the following day) and the talk given by Professor Brent Nelson and his colleague from the University of Saskatchewan, who are in Canterbury with their students to look at the Bargrave collection.
We are now just a fortnight away from the Tudors and Stuarts Weekend and excitement is growing as we look forward to welcoming speakers such as Alison Weir, David Starkey, Janina Ramirez, Glenn Richardson and Anna Keay to Canterbury Christ Church.
This week I have been to two meetings among other things, and, although they may seem very different, they actually have common themes such as the value of bringing archaeology and documentary research together, as well as the importance of studying the lives of people in the past who were not royalty or aristocrats, but who made up the bulk of society.
For the last four days, History and the Centre at Canterbury Christ Church has hosted the Gender and Medieval Studies conference under the overarching theme of ‘Gender, places, spaces, thresholds’. Dr Diane Heath, the organiser, has been brilliant and the appreciative audience has been treated to a veritable feast. Live tweeting is now the name of the game and if you want to get a flavour of what has been happening, please tap into #GMSPlaces