2017-18 Welcome Events

EMREM is recruiting new committee members; come and see us at one of the events below!

  • 28th September, Arts & Law Postgrads Welcome Fair and Social in Marquee Three in Chancellor’s Court (right by the Old Joe clock tower).


  • Come along to the year’s first CeSMA/CREMS talk and EMREM welcome, Oct 4th, 4pm, Arts Lecture Room 3. Megan Cavell talks medieval spider phobias!




EMREM 2017, Powerful Objects

Registration for the Annual Symposium is now open! Please register via Eventbrite:


Annual Symposium 2017

18-19 May 

University of Birmingham, European Research Institute, G51

Powerful Objects

Day One, 18th May

8.45 – 9.30.       Registration

9.30 – 11.00      Session 1, The Material Culture of Death. Chair: Claire Harrill

Charles Green (University of Birmingham) – The Godly Deathbed in the Early Seventeenth Century: Performance, Print and the Polemics of Dying.
Hannah Millard (University of Birmingham) – The Wyrm, Death and the Sutton Hoo Helmet
Janine Bryant (University of Birmingham) – ‘In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes’: How the corpse became an income-generator in the Late Middle Ages

11.00 – 11.30    Coffee

11.30 – 12.30    Session 2, Objects in Texts (Tales and Grails). Chair: Ruth Caddick

Dr Ben Parsons (University of Leicester) – Foolish Things: Objects and Ontology in Chaucer’s Miller’s Tale
Matt Collins (University of Birmingham) –Tales, whales and grails: Seeking the Holy Grail in Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur

12.30 – 14.00    Lunch

14.00 – 15.30    Session 3, Texts as Objects. Chair: Ben Parsons (Leicester)

Claire Harrill (University of Birmingham) – A Powerful Book: St Margaret’s Gospel-Book Reconsidered
Cécile Decaix (Université Paul Valéry, Montpellier III) – The Eneydos (1490) as a powerful object to object: William Caxton, Dido and the Querelle des Femmes
Meryl Faiers (University of Birmingham) – Parts and Plots: Powerful Objects of the Late Elizabethan Playhouse

15.30 – 16.00    Coffee

16.00 – 17.30    Session 4, Domestic Objects.Chair: Tayler Meredith

Sophie Cope (University of Birmingham) – Powerful Times: Astrology and Dated Material Culture in Early Modern England
Lindsey Cox (University of Kent) – Small Objects in Early Modern Britain
Agnieszka Dziki (University of Warsaw) – How Cabinet Sculptures Shaped Their Circle: Active Objects in Early Modern Collectors’ Possession

17.30 – 18.30    Wine Reception

19.00 – 22.00    Conference Dinner, Bacchus Bar

Day Two, 19th May

9.00 – 10.30      Images of Research Exhibition

10.30 – 12.00    Session 5, Church Architecture. Chair: Charles Green

Christopher Heginbotham (University of York) – Text as Object-Object as Text: Reading the bronze panels on the west façade doors of San Zeno Maggiore, Verona
Susan Orlik (University of Birmingham) – Pulpits, Pews, Potency and Power: The Material Culture of the English Parish Church, 1560-1640
Ian Styler (University of Birmingham) – Communicating by Other Means: Material Culture as a Mechanism for Shrine Promotion

12.00 – 13.00    Lunch

13.00 – 14.30    Session 6, Religious Objects. Chair: Ian Styler

Alexandra Marchbank (University of Nottingham) – ‘Ambre bedes that was he moders’: Prayer Beads and Gender in Lincolnshire Wills, 1507-1534
Georgie Fitzgibbon (University of Birmingham) – Relics as Powerful Objects: Bernard of Clairvaux and the Body of St Malachy
Jonah Coman (University of St Andrews) – No Strings Attached: Emotional Interaction with Animated Sculptures of Crucified Christ

14.30 – 15.00    Coffee

15.00 – 17.00    Session 7, Objects of Status and Power. Chair: Georgie Fitzgibbon

Joseph Parsonage (University of Birmingham) – Coins and Co-Emperors: Imagery and Legitimacy of Gentle Usurpation in Middle Byzantium
Katherine Lemieux (University of Birmingham) – La Surcote Ouverte; Fashion Statement or Status Symbol?
Danielle Gravon (University of Manchester) – The Persistence of Atlas
Benjamin Redding (University of Warwick) – Charles I, The Sovereign of the Seas, and the International Importance of Warship Design

17.00 – 17.30    Images of Research Prize Giving and Closing Remarks


Monday 20th February

Monday 20th February 4pm

Westmere Seminar Room

Elevator Pitches 

Can you sum up your research in 3 minutes? Would you like to hear about other people’s dissertations? Make connections for collaboration or panel proposals for the EMREM conference?

Come along and share your research in an informal environment. As always, all are welcome and refreshments will be provided.

We look forward to seeing you there!


Monday 9th January 4pm

Monday 9th January 4pm

Westmere Seminar Room

Troubleshooting Teaching

Are you worried about starting to teach undergraduates? Are you currently teaching and would like some advice on helping quiet groups to talk in seminars, or engaging modern history students with the Medieval/Early Modern period? Do you have words of wisdom or horror stories to share?

Come along and share your stories and advice in an informal environment. As always, all are welcome and refreshments will be provided.

We look forward to seeing you there!


Semester Two Programme

We’re looking forward to welcoming new and returning postgrads this semester! As a cross-disciplinary group, we represent medieval and early modern students from history, archaeology, literature, English, linguistics, music and more. If your research has taken you elsewhere but you’re interested in the period c.400-1700, feel free to come along.

You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter.


Monday 9th January 4pm

Westmere Seminar Room


Monday 23rd January 4pm

Westmere Seminar Room

Research Presentation Session

Monday 6th February

*Time to be confirmed*

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Monday 20th February 4pm

Westmere Seminar Room

Research Presentation Session

Monday 6th March 4pm

 Westmere Seminar Room

Research Presentation Session

Monday 20th March 4pm

Westmere Seminar Room

Joint Fora Quiz


If you would like to present this semester, email us at emremforum@googlemail.com


A date for your diary

EMREM Annual Symposium, Powerful Objects 18th/19th May

Deadline for abstracts 1st March



Monday 5th December

Monday 5th December, 4pm, Westmere Seminar Room

*Please note the change of venue*

Cécile Decaix (University of Montpellier III- Paul Valéry)

From the margin to the centre: the representation of Dido in Caxton’s Eneydos (1490)


In 1490, William Caxton, an English printer, translator and merchant, published Eneydos, a translation into English of a 1483 anonymous French text entitled Le Livre des Eneydes, compillé par Virgille, lequel a esté translaté de latin en françois. Although the title of the book implies that it is a direct translation of Virgil’s Aeneid, Le Livre des Eneides and the Eneydos can be described as a patchwork of various extracts from works by Virgil or Boccaccio, or passages drawn from a French chronicle called L’Histoire ancienne jusqu’à César (c. 1210). The representation of the character of Dido best symbolizes the heterogeneous nature of the text.


Dido is a marginal character in the Aeneid; she only represents an episode in Aeneas’s epic journey. But in the Eneydos, she becomes a central character. Two contradictory versions of her life are juxtaposed in the Eneydos: first, the reader is given to read a translation of the account of Dido’s life as in Boccacio’s De Casibus virorum illustrium, in which Aeneas plays no part in the death of the Queen of Carthage. The version is directly followed by a translation of the Virgilian account of Dido’s story drawn from the Aeneid, according to which Dido kills herself out of folly and despair. Dido’s portrayal in the Eneydos is also marked by contradictions: she is both depicted as a libidinous figure and as a heroic ruler, who possesses both masculine and feminine attributes. This complex characterization and the tensions which emerge from it as well as the juxtaposition of the two versions influence and transform the early modern reader’s perception of the character. In the context of the European Querelle des Femmes and at the dawn of the book edition, we shall explore the heterogeneous representation of Dido and how she also becomes a central figure in Caxton’s perception of edition.


This presentation will be followed by the EMREM Christmas festivities!

EMREM Symposium 2017


The EMREM Postgraduate Forum

Annual Symposium and
Images of Research Exhibition

Thursday 18th and Friday 19th May 2017


Papers and images of research are invited for the 2017 EMREM two-day interdisciplinary symposium, to be held at the University of Birmingham. The theme for this year’s event is ‘Powerful Objects’. 

Postgraduates from all fields of EMREM (History, Archaeology, Literature, Linguistics, Music, Art History) are welcome to share their research by giving papers and/or entering the exhibition, while also building networks at this friendly and well-established symposium.  You may submit both a paper and an image.

Possible topics for papers and images might include, but are not limited to:

Materiality and Embodiment                 The Sacred and the Numinous

Text as Object                                              Relics and Reliquaries

Life Courses and Biographies                 Digital Humanities

Object-Oriented Ontologies                   Royal Regalia

Human and Non-Human Objects         Mechanical and Musical Instruments

Painting and Sculpture                             Weaponry and Armour

Tombs and Monuments                           Coins and Coinage

Papers should be 20 minutes in length. Please send proposals of approximately 300 words, OR 1000 words if applying as a panel, to emremforum@googlemail.com by 1st March 2017.

For the exhibition send a high resolution image along with a 200 word summary of what it shows and how it links to your research (if accepted, we will organise the printing). These will be exhibited during the conference, and prizes awarded.

emremforum.wordpress.com   facebook.com/emremforum    @EMREM_Forum