Stories and Storytelling in the Medieval World

The Early Medieval Interdisciplinary Conference Series is pleased to present its seventh conference: Stories and Storytelling in the Medieval World, taking place on 11th and 12th April in UCL. (Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre)

Participants will consider how stories were used, told, and received in a range of Medieval contexts, supplemented by discussion of the stories we tell about the Medieval and the use of stories in teaching.

The shaping and sharing of narrative has always been key in the negotiation and recreation of reality for individuals and cultural groups.  Some stories, indeed, seem to possess a life of their own: claiming a peculiar agency and taking on distinct voices which speak across time and space. How, for example, do objects, manuscripts and other artefacts communicate alternative or complementary narratives that transcend textual and linguistic boundaries?

As well as the stories themselves, scholarship is increasingly interested in how stories were told and received, from communal dramatic recreations to records produced for private meditation.

Papers include discussions of retellings of medieval stories in various modern media, the role of stories in shaping different communities, the encoding of stories in different objects and other medieval media, and the role of stories in shaping wider narratives and ideas across the medieval world

Keynotes will be delivered by Professors Clare Lees (Saturday) and Richard North (Sunday).

Refreshments, including a wine reception on Saturday, and sandwich lunches on both days, are included.

Places are £15 (£12 students and concessions).  Please reserve your place on eventbrite or by emailing

Saturday 11th April: 9.00 registration for 9.30 start; close by 18.30.

Sunday 12th April: 10.30-18.30

As part of the conference Stories and Storytelling in the Medieval World, the Early Medieval Interdisciplinary Conference Series is pleased to be hosting Speaking Chaucerian, a linguistic workshop on Middle English pronunciation, to be held on Friday 10 April 2015 from 2.00 – 4.00.

The workshop will be led by Maria Rupprecht, completing her PhD in Historical Linguistics at the Seminar of English Studies, University of Heidelberg.  It will consist of a two-hour pronunciation seminar, equipping friends of medieval literature with essential phonetic skills in Middle English.

This workshop will explore three key areas:

· the International Phonetics Alphabet and relevant phonemes for medieval texts;

· criteria for reconstruction of pronunciation;

· defining the pronunciation of the Ellesmere MS.

It will move on to practical work:

· practising sounds that are unfamiliar within the sound system of present day English;

· reading phonetic  transcriptions of the text;

· transcribing excerpts from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales;

· reading and citing excerpts from editions and, for those familiar with medieval manuscripts, facsimiles.

Everybody is welcome to attend this free event, but places are very limited! Please reserve your place by emailing