Transforming Male Devotional Practices: men from the medieval to the early modern

University of Huddersfield - 16th and 17th September 2015

This conference is to be co-hosted with Rebecca Rist from the University of Reading and Liverpool Hope. It aims to explore the social, economic and spatial factors underpinning the changing way ordinary men demonstrated their commitment to God and the church(es) in a period of significant turmoil. Papers that address English male devotional experience from historical, literary, gender studies and material culture perspectives are welcomed.

Medieval Meteorology in Context

This AHRC funded Research Leaders' Fellowship was held by Dr Anne Lawrence, 2013-15, under the AHRC's highlighted research theme of Science in Culture. It is producing the first thorough analysis of meteorology as it developed within the culture of medieval England between the tenth and fourteenth centuries. It will also establish the place of meteorology in the work of major monastic, cathedral and university centres. This is accompanied by analysis of contemporary work in theology and cosmology which supported, rather than threatened, the growth of astrometeorology at both the theoretical and the practical level. Examination of relevant manuscripts has added further new information as to the uses and patrons of medieval meteorology. Its relationship to medieval concepts of magic has been analysed, and the assumption that weather forecasting would be suspected as a form of divination has been challenged. The resulting monograph and other outputs will significantly expand understanding of meteorology and its place in medieval culture.

Voice of the Stars Exhibition (Special Collections, London Rd, Summer 2015; Main Library, Whiteknights, Dec. 2015)

This is an exhibition of traditional almanacs from the University of Reading's collections, featuring almanacs from the sixteenth century to the nineteenth century. A central feature is the almanacs' changing relationship to concepts of science. The exhibition is co-curated by Aoife Lintin (researcher on the UROP Project on almanacs, Dr Anne Lawrence (to whose AHRC Fellowship it relates), and Fiona Melhuish (Special Collections).

'Histories and Genealogies: British Library Egerton 1500.'

Professor Catherine Leglu (MLES) is Principal Investigator on this project, which is funded by the Leverhulme Trust from 2011 to 2013. The project also employs two research assistants, Dr Alexander Ibarz and Dr Federico Botana.

British Library ms. Egerton 1500 is one of the last unedited Occitan texts, and an important yet unexplored example of vernacular translation from Latin in the later Middle Ages. It is a translation of one of the multiple drafts of a universal history (known successively as the Epitome, the Compendium and the Satyrica Historia) by the Franciscan inquisitor and diplomat Paolino da Venezia (Paolino Veneto), bishop of Pozzuoli (d.1344).

Our project aims to edit the Occitan text, and in so doing to establish as coherent a picture as possible of the codicological, artistic, linguistic, and historiographical contexts (Avignon, Naples and Venice) that inform that work. The visual scheme has long been identified as an adaptation of some of the most popular teaching/didactic schemata for biblical and other histories, but it is also evidence of the many techniques that were being developed by the mendicant orders for creating comprehensible tools for passing on knowledge.

To find out more about this project, visit our blog:

Dr Aleksander Pluskowski (Archaeology) is principal investigator in a project on 'The Environmental Impact of Conquest, Colonisation and Religious Conversion in the Medieval Baltic', a multi-disciplinary research programme running from October 2010-2014, funded by the European Research Council. See their website:

The project, led by the Department of Archaeology at the University of Reading, consists of a core team of eight research associates, and collaborators from the Universities of Tartu (Estonia), Toruń and Białystok (Poland), as well as the castle museums at Malbork (Poland) and Cēsis (Latvia). It will be advised by an international steering panel and will involve students from all participating institutions.

The project also have a facebook page:



For further enquiries please contact:

Anna Lawrence

(History Postgraduate Administrator)

or by mail
GCMS, Department of History, School of Humanities, University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading RG6 6AA.

For current students requiring specific information regarding their course refer to Blackboard

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