18 December 2015: Symposium on Old English, Middle English and the History of the English Language in the Low Countries

On Friday, 18 December, the 'Symposium on Old English, Middle English and the History of the English Language in the Low Countries' will be held for the thirty-seventh time.

This is an annual gathering for anyone with an interest in the medieval language, literature and culture of England (Old English and Middle English), as well as in the history of the English language. The symposium is generously sponsored by both LUCAS and LUCL.

A Platform for Scholars of Old English, Middle English and English Historical Linguistics

Begun in 1980, this philological get-together convened in Utrecht for a long time, but since 2007 Leiden has been its host. The symposium offers a wonderful occasion for professional Dutch and Belgian academics, teachers at polytechnics, PhD-students and advanced MA-students to listen to their colleagues’ work-in-progress. The mix of papers read by established and beginning scholars, including students, give the event its especially attractive ambiance. More recently, speakers and attendants from Germany have discovered the symposium, making it a truly international meeting place.

Keynote address

Professor Elizabeth Archibald

Professor Elizabeth Archibald

The cherry on the cake is the closing keynote address, delivered by an invited guest from a foreign university. Over the years outstanding scholars have graced the symposium with their presence, such as Karl Reichl (Universität Bonn), Margaret Laing (University of Edinburgh), Clare Lees (King’s College London), Ad Putter (University of Bristol), Gale Owen-Crocker (University of Manchester), Simon Horrobin (University of Oxford) and Susan Irvine (University College London).

This year’s invited speaker is Professor Elizabeth Archibald  of Durham University. Professor Archibald is a prolific scholar, whose research focuses on medieval literature, especially the Arthurian legend, medieval romance, the classical tradition in the Middle Ages, and the interface between literature and social history. In her keynote address at the upcoming symposium she will present some of the results of her interdisciplinary study of baths and bathing in mediëval literature and society.

Old English, Middle English and History of the English Language at Leiden University

With two BA-courses on Old English, two on Middle English, one devoted to the History of the English Language and another devoted to Medieval English literature, as well as several MA-courses on these subjects, Leiden University is one of the few universities in the Low Countries where the study of Old English, Middle English and History of the English Language is extensively taught at both BA and MA level.
Professor Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade (LUCL) focusses on historical sociolinguistics, while the field of Professor Rolf Bremmer  (LUCAS) is English Philology, with particular attention for the medieval period. The team of lecturers further consists of Nienke Venderbosch (LUCAS), who was rewarded a Yale PhD for her thesis on the interpretation of Grendel (the monster in Beowulf) in scholarly criticism since 1815; Luisella Caon (LUCL), who wrote her Leiden dissertation on scribal variation in the Hengwrt and Ellesmere Manuscripts of the Canterbury Tales; Lyda Fens-de Zeeuw (LUCL), whose PhD thesis dealt with the eighteenth-century grammarian Lindley Murray (1745-1826); and Thijs Porck (LUCAS), who hopes to defend his doctoral dissertation on old age in Anglo-Saxon England in the spring of 2016.

Venue: Lipsius Building, Cleveringaplaats 1, room 227, from 10:30 - 17:00.
Attendance is free, but do let us know whether you will attend by sending an e-mail to r.h.bremmer@hum.leidenuniv.nl or m.h.porck@hum.leidenuniv.nl


Last Modified: 17-11-2015