Poor Manuscripts...Rich Manuscripts: Early Middle English Manuscript Production (Leeds, 11-14 July 2011)

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Early Middle English Society
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Many of the earliest Middle English texts from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries are found in relatively "shabby" manuscripts. We would like to take up the complex manuscript milieu that could often produce both "poor," or shabby, manuscripts, and "rich," or deluxe, manuscripts. We are broadly interested in papers that may consider regional differences; patronage; multilingual contents; diverse audiences; codicological concerns; etc. Methods of engagement with the topic might include, but are not limited to, comparing different "looking" early Middle English manuscripts that contain the same (i.e. redactions, variants, copies of) texts; investigating how early Middle English manuscripts use even older manuscripts circulating in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries; considering how early Middle English editors, scribes, writers, etc., engage, regard, nostalgize the archive of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts; exploring how early Middle English manuscripts are received in the early Modern period by collectors; considering whether or not the relationships between texts in early Middle English manuscripts change in later manuscripts, and how manuscript contexts change around early Middle English texts throughout the medieval period.

Please send proposals by September 25, 2010 to Dorothy Kim (dokim@vassar.edu).