Beyond Bannatyne: Celebrating 450 years of the Bannatyne Manuscript

deadline for submissions: 
September 24, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Medieval Makars Society

In 1568, George Bannatyne fled Edinburgh to the countryside during a plague outbreak. To pass the time during his isolation, he complied an anthology of Scots literature that inevitably created an important collection indicative of a rich medieval and Early Modern Scottish poetic heritage. The Bannatyne Manuscript is one of the most prolific and thorough collections of medieval Scottish literature, providing a window into Scottish literary culture and medieval society. Divided into five sections based on content, the manuscript features poetry that explores theology, moral and philosophical themes, satire, gender and love, and allegories. Authors range from famous makars Robert Henryson, William Dunbar, Gavin Douglas, and Sir David Lyndsay, as well as some anonymous works from England and Scotland. If not for the Bannatyne Manuscript, many popular medieval works—such as Henryson’s “Robene and Makyne” and Dunbar’s poem to Queen Margaret—would have been lost.

2018 marks the 450th anniversary of the Bannatyne Manuscript, which has provided so much to both the Scottish literary scene and the medieval canon from the British Isles. This proposed session is designed to celebrate the anniversary of the anthology, exploring the rich compendium of scholarship that has resulted from studying the collection to the opportunities it still offers medieval studies. Scholars are encouraged to analyze the past, present, and future of the manuscript in terms of how it allows Scottish literary culture to situate itself within the greater medieval catalogue. Since the Bannatyne Manuscript has a strong historical spirit due to its perspectives on medieval society, the panel will encourage examinations that embrace intersections of literature and history.

This panel will present at the 53rd International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo (10-13 May 2018) and is contingent on the number of submissions received. Please send proposals to by 24 Sept 2017. Please include the Congress’s required Participant Information Form, available in both Word Doc and PDF format on the following website: