Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


POSTPONED - NEW DATE TBA - Revoicing Early Medieval Poetry: A Symposium

26 March 2020, 2:00 pm–6:00 pm

revoicing 1

Unfortunately, due to the current travel restrictions, this event had to be postponed - new date tba. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Francesca Brooks


IAS Common Ground
Ground floor, South Wing, UCL
United Kingdom

Unfortunately, due to the current travel restrictions, this event had to be postponed - new date tba. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

This half-day symposium will bring together researchers, writers and practitioners to explore the rich and varied ways in which early medieval poetry continues to be revoiced and reimagined in poetry, performance and visual work. In recent decades, there has been an influx of new work responding to early medieval literature both within university research contexts and beyond in poetic and creative practice. This symposium will reflect on the ways in which the creative and the critical intersect in any engagement with the early medieval past, and hopes to contribute to urgent conversations about the continued use and abuse of the early Middle Ages in contemporary culture, society and politics. Why does the poetry of the early medieval past continue to be such a rich resource for writers and practitioners? What happens when this work is re-animated by new voices intent on reclaiming a past that has been continually co-opted beyond the Middle Ages?

A roundtable inspired by the UCL Press Open Access publication The Contemporary Medieval in Practice (2019), will bring together the authors Clare A. Lees (Director of the Institute of English Studies) and Gillian Overing (Professor of English at Wake Forest University), with Slade Professor Sharon Morris. There will also be presentations on new research from Beth Whalley, Fran Allfrey, Connecticut-poet Kerry Carnahan, and UCL Creative Fellows Rowan Evans and Maisie Newman. he event will be followed by an evening of readings from poets Jo Bell, Degna Stone, Rowan Evans and Nancy Campbell.

The symposium is organised by Fran Brooks (UCL), Beth Whalley (KCL) and Fran Allfrey (KCL), with the help of Millie Horton-Insch and Calum Cockburn as part of 'New Old English: Performance, Poetry, Practice', a UCL Creative Fellowship project with Rowan Evans and Maisie Newman for 2019-20. As part of the Creative Fellowship, Rowan and Maisie will develop WULF, their dark, feminist adaptation of the anonymous Old English poem ‘Wulf and Eadwacer’, in dialogue with staff and students. The symposium will also offer an opportunity to learn more about this project and to visit a site-specific installation in the North Observatory, a decommissioned astronomical building in UCL’s main quad.

Please sign up for the evening of poetry reading separately: 'Revoicing Early Medieval Poetry: An Evening of Readings' here.

This event is supported by the IAS Creative Fellowship, and the Octagon fund at UCL, as well as The Centre for Late Antique and Medieval Studies (CLAMS) and the English Department at KCL.

All welcome. Please note that there may be photography and/or audio recording at some events and that admission is on a first come first served basis. Please follow this FAQ link for more information. All our events are free but you can support the IAS here.