Monday, July 18, 2011

Outside the Ruling: Signs of Use in Medieval Manuscripts (Leeds 2012 session)

Call for Papers: “Outside the Ruling: Signs of Use in Medieval Manuscripts” 
International Medieval Congress, Leeds, 9-12 July 2012.
Organizers: Kathryn Rudy, University of St Andrews, and Kathryn Gerry, University of Kansas
Sponsor: St Andrews Institute of Mediaeval Studies
The careful planning and structuring of medieval books offer implied guidelines for how they should be used, but as is made clear by many of the manuscripts themselves, readers were free to follow or ignore such guidelines. This session will include papers on the physical manifestations of use in medieval manuscripts, with an emphasis on the ways medieval readers/viewers interacted with their books. Interaction could include touching, rubbing, kissing, or adding/removing materials from medieval manuscripts, at any stage in the course of their lives; evidence of such interaction might be manifest in the materials of a given manuscript (including leaves, bindings, pigments, inks, gold, etc), or might be reflected in a later copy, description or depiction. Papers might also explore ways in which producers of books (or portions of books) sought to direct, control, hinder, or otherwise mediate the responses of readers/viewers. We seek papers from researchers in art history, history, literature, codicology, conservation, history of religions, and other fields concerned with the history of the medieval book. It is our intention to publish a collection of essays on this subject, and papers accepted in this session will be considered for inclusion in this project.
Papers should be 20 minutes in length, to be delivered in English. Please send an abstract of not more than 250 words and a current CV to both of the organizers: Kathryn Gerry ( and Kathryn Rudy (; proposals must be received by Friday, 9 September, 2011.
The nineteenth International Medieval Congress will take place at Leeds, UK, 9-12 July, 2012; for more information on the IMC, please visit