So 2019 has arrived, which means firstly I want to wish all readers of the blog a Happy New Year! The new year looks very exciting because we have the Tudors and Stuarts History Weekend 2019 coming up on 13th and 14th April. For those interested, please refer to the webpages at https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/tudors-stuarts and I’ll be featuring some of the Weekend events in the blog next week – when I’m not marking essays!!
First of all – advance notice that on 3 January 2019 the essay collection edited by Drs Diane Heath, Victoria Blud and Einat Klafter on Gender in Medieval Places, Spaces and Thresholds will be available ‘in all good bookshops’, or you can pre-order now at: https://www.sas.ac.uk/publication/gender-medieval-places-spaces-and-thresholds . Published by the Institute for Historical Research, it will also be available to download at: http://humanities-digital-library.org/index.php/hdl . To celebrate this excellent event, the book will be launched at the Gender and History conference at Durham in January, with a follow up launch at Canterbury Christ Church because of the involvement of CCCU historians and that the book comes out of the Gender and History conference held here in 2017.
Before I come to the Medieval Education Day report, I thought I would just mention one or two other events staff from the Centre have been doing this week. Firstly, Professor Louise Wilkinson went to give a lecture on Eleanor de Montfort and the Second Barons’ War to a group at Folkestone. Then I walked over to the International Study Centre at Canterbury Cathedral to give members of the Cathedral Guides a talk on civic institutions and civic ceremonies at the Kentish Cinque Ports in the Middle Age, and, finally, Dr Diane Heath gave a paper at a conference on magic at Oxford in which she focused on the phoenix.
This week has been a case of looking forward to the new academic year and the School of Humanities’ first intake of Medieval & Early Modern Studies Taught Masters students, some of who have opted to study late medieval and Tudor Canterbury as one of their option modules. This is very exciting and hopefully we will have a very enjoyable time.
Some encouraging news, it seems likely that we will receive the necessary funding to be able to produce the 2nd phase of the ‘Medieval Faversham’ exhibition. Consequently, Dr Diane Heath is checking what we would like to add to the items we didn’t produce last time when the funds ran out. These will include about three more exhibition boards, such as Faversham Abbey’s ‘Book of the Dead’. We also hope to have several more pop-up banners that have the added advantage of being flexible regarding where they are displayed, two life-size figures of King Stephen and Queen Matilda, and items for the ‘Young Medievalists’ corner. All being well, the exhibition will open early July, but as soon as I know more I’ll let you know.
Things continue to be busy and it is now just over a week to the Kent History Federation 1-day conference hosted by the Centre at Canterbury Christ Church on ‘Tudor and Stuart Canterbury’. This conference on Saturday 12 May will feature speakers on the early modern city from both the University of Kent (specifically from MEMS) and CCCU, and this bringing together of academics from Canterbury’s two universities is a great example of cross-institutional co-operation. Moreover, as well as a series of lectures in the morning, there is a range of tours in the city that feature this exciting period in Canterbury’s history. If this sounds interesting, please check out the Centre’s ‘Future Events’ page at: http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/arts-and-humanities/events/arts-and-humanities/ckhh/tudor-and-stuart-canterbury-conference.aspx
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.
Before I get down to the news this week, and even though I don’t yet have the final figures, I thought I would update you on what I think the Medieval Canterbury Weekend 2018 has raised for the Ian Coulson Memorial Postgraduate Award fund. As I reported in February, we at the Centre had intended to use the Michael Wood lecture in October 2018 to raise £2,000 for Canterbury Archaeological Trust after the disastrous break-ins to the Trust’s artefact stores. This lecture will now come under CCCU’s Open Lecture series, so instead we have decided to give £2,000 from the proceeds of the Weekend to the Trust, with the remainder of the surplus after costs going to the Ian Coulson Award fund. In round figures, I think this means about £8,000 to the Award fund, which I think is excellent and is due to you, our audiences, being prepared to come to Canterbury to listen to history talks and to be guided around many of the city’s wonderful medieval buildings. Furthermore, I said I would let you know when Matthew Crockatt had set up the ‘legacy’ site for the History Weekends, including the twitter feeds, well he has done a great job and everything is available: http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/arts-and-humanities/research-kent-history-and-archaeology/history-weekends/history-weekends.aspx so please do check this out.
After another very successful History Weekend, I would first like to thank all the great speakers (see below), but equally the brilliant audiences we had at all 27 events from ‘Saturn’s Fury’ puppet show in Waterstones on Friday morning to Dr Michael Jones’ talk on the Black Prince and Professor Carenza Lewis’ lecture on new discoveries about the impact of the Black Death that were the last parallel events on Sunday afternoon. Without YOU the audience the Weekend would be meaningless, and your enthusiasm, engagement and searching questions covering the wide range of topics on offer was wonderful from the organisers’ perspective – THANK YOU!
This will be a very brief piece as the days get busier and busier before Friday and we start with our first event at Waterstones – if you are in the Canterbury book shop in Rose Lane at about 11am do feel free to come along to the children’s section to meet Saturn the green dragon, he will be looking for helpers, both young and old.