Nuns’ Literacies in Medieval Europe: The Antwerp Conference

Nuns' Literacies in Medieval Europe: The Antwerp Conference.

Nuns’ Literacies in Medieval Europe III

An international and interdisciplinary conference

Universiteit Antwerpen–Antwerp, Belgium
4-7 June 2013

A conference on ‘Nuns’ Literacies in Medieval Europe’ will take place at the Ruusbroec Institute of the Universiteit Antwerpen from 4–7 June 2013. It is designed to bring together specialists working on diverse geographical areas to create a dialogue about the Latin and vernacular texts nuns read, wrote, and exchanged, primarily from the eighth to the mid-sixteenth centuries. International experts will address these issues in Antwerp. The resulting papers from this conference will form the chapters of a published volume. This conference is the third in a series of three: the first conference was held in Hull from 20–23 June 2011 and the second in Kansas City from 5-8 June 2012.


Dr Virginia Blanton, University of Missouri-Kansas City – Dr Veronica O’Mara, University of Hull – Dr Patricia Stoop, Universiteit Antwerpen


Tuesday, 4 June 2013

9.30-10.30 am: Registration (including coffee/tea)

10.30-10.45 am: Official welcome by Luc Duerloo, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Arts, and introduction to the conference by the Chair, Patricia Stoop

10.45-12.30 pm: Session 1 (Chair: Veerle Fraeters, Universiteit Antwerpen, B)

  • Almut Breitenbach (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen; D) & Stefan Matter (Universität Freiburg; D / University of Oxford; UK) – ‘Image, Text and the Sisters’ Mind: Franciscan Tertiaries Rewriting Stephan Fridolin’s “Schatzbehalter”‘
  • Blanca Garí (Universitat of Barcelona; SP) – ‘What did the Catalan Nuns Read? Women’s Literacy in the Monasteries of Catalonia, Valencia and Mallorca’
  • Veronica O’Mara (University of Hull; UK) – ‘Investigating the Texts in Nuns’ Manuscripts in Late Medieval England’.

12.30-2 pm: Lunch

2.00-3.15 pm: Session 2 (Chair: Claes Gejrot, Stockholms universitet; SV)

  • Eva Sandgren (Uppsala universitet; SV) – ‘Birgittine Diffusion of Design: The Circulation of Ideas of Form in Some Birgittine Convents’
  • Anne Mette Hansen (Københavns universitet; DK) – ‘Nuns’ Prayers in the Birgittine Abbey of Maribo’

3.15-3.45 pm: Coffee/tea

3.45-5.00 pm: Session 3 (Chair: Anneke Mulder-Bakker, Universiteit Groningen; NL)

  • Patricia Stoop (Universiteit Antwerpen; B) – The Teaching of the Young: The Middle Dutch Sermon Collections from the Cartusian Convent of Sint-Anna-ter-Woestijne near Bruges’
  • Sabrina Corbellini (Universiteit Groningen; NL) – ‘Literacy, Books, and Reading in Communities of Tertiaries: The Informieringheboeck by Jan de Wael (1520)’

5.00-7.00 pm: Introduction to the Ruusbroecgenootschap, followed by the opening reception

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

9.00-10.15 am: Session 4 (Chair: Virginia Blanton, University of Missouri-Kansas City; USA)

  • Julie Smith (University of Sydney; AUS) – ‘Faciat eas litteras edoceri: Literacy and Learning in the Clarissan formae vitae’.
  • Przemyslaw Wiszewski (Uniwersytet Wroclawski; PL) – ‘Power and Piety: Pragmatic Writing in Medieval Nunneries in the Piast Realms (Silesia and Poland), from the Thirteenth to the Fourteenth Centuries’.

10.15-10.45 am: Coffee/Tea

10.45am-12.00 pm (Chair: Emilie Amt, Hood College; USA)

  • Alison More (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen; NL) – ‘Identity, Preaching and Literacy: The Emergence of a Textual Identity in Houses of Franciscan Tertiary Women’.
  • Julie Somers (Universiteit Leiden; NL) – ‘The Butcher, the Baker, and the Manuscript Maker: Nuns’ Role in Twelfth-Century Textual Production’.

12.15-8.00 pm: Excursion to Bruges

Thursday, 6 June 2013

9.00-10.45 am: Session 6 (Chair: Lisa Weston, California State University Fresno; USA)

  • Hedvig (Víktoria) Deàk (Szerzetesi Hittudonányi Fõiskola; H) – ‘The Legacy of Saint Margaret: a Case-study of a Dominican Monastery in Hungary’.
  • Virginia Blanton (University of Missouri-Kansas City) – ‘Leoba and the Iconography of Learning in the Lives of Anglo-Saxon Women Religious II’.
  • Kris Van Put (Universiteit Antwerpen, B) – ‘The Authority of Love: Beatrice of Nazareth’s Autobiographical Writing Revisited’.

10.45-11.15 am: Coffee/Tea

11.15 am-12.30 pm: Session 7 (Chair: Ann Hutchison, University of Toronto; CA)

  • Catherine Innes-Parker (University of Prince Edward Island; CA) – ‘Translation and Reform: Le livre de l’Arbre de la Croix Jhesucrist and the Nuns of Monmartre’
  • Cate Gunn (University of Essex; UK) – ‘Anonymous then, Invisible now: the Readers of “Sermon à Dames Religioses”‘

12.30-1.15 pm: Lunch

1.15-2.30 pm: Session 8 (Chair: Veronica O’Mara, University of Hull; UK)

Round table session (including discussion on future plans on the international network on nuns’ literacies)

2.30-5.00 pm: Excursion to Museum Plantin-Moretus

7.30-10.00 pm: Conference Dinner

Friday, 7 June 2013

9.15-11 am: Session 9 (Chair: Karen Blough, SUNY Plattsburgh; USA)

  • Melissa Moreton (University of Iowa; USA) – ‘Exchange and Alliance: The Sharing and Gifting of Books in Women’s Houses in Late Medieval Italy’
  • Mary Erler (Fordham University; USA) – ‘Transmission of Birgittine Images from Flanders to England’
  • Anne Jenny-Clark (Université de Lille, 3; F) – ‘The Noble Women’s Chapter of Sainte-Waudru’s Collegiate in Mons (Hainaut): The Transmission of Books between Cannonesses’.

11.00-11.30 am: Coffee/Tea

11.30am-12.45pm: Session 10 (Chair: Ralf Lützelschwab, Gerda-Henkel-Stiftung Berlin; D)

  • Helene Scheck (University at Albany; USA) – ‘Aristotle at Gandersheim’.
  • Brian Richardson (University of Leeds; UK) – ‘Manuscript Production in a Milanese Convent in the Early Sixteenth Century’

12.45-1.30 pm: Lunch

1.30 pm: Optional guided tour of Antwerp Cathedral and other landmarks in Antwerp, and departure.




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