Summer school: Crossing the Languages of Medieval Europe (Roma, junio 2013)

20/12/12 .-

Crossing the Languages of Medieval Europe:
Historical, Linguistic and Literary Approaches

3-8 June 2013
The Belgian Academy, Rome

Medieval Europe was marked by far-ranging linguistic diversity. Religion, ethnicity, conquest, gender, profession, socio-economic position, and literary form, among many factors, all shaped and were shaped by language choices and intercultural exchanges. From Iceland to the Eastern Mediterranean, these factors combined in varying ways across the sacred and secular languages of a Europe already engaged beyond its permeable and never clearly defined borders.

This summer school seeks to open-up and conceptualize this linguistic diversity in order to challenge the established paradigms within which the disciplines of history, linguistics and literature study and teach the medieval past. Students, tutors and lecturers will be drawn from different disciplinary, chronological and geographical specialisms. The aim of the summer school is to go beyond the personal specialisms in order to bring different expertises into a productive and creative dialogue. Because of the interdisciplinary collaboration new questions of wider significance will be asked and explored. These new questions will, in turn, enrich each student’s own specialist research and help him to establish an international network as an early career researcher.

Possible themes include international languages, relationships of secular and sacred languages, readership and reading, linguistic borders, writing of vernacular languages, what constitutes a vernacular language, language and literary canonization, communication (scholarly, diplomatic, ecclesiastical, merchant and court, for examples), intellectual and literary consequences of multilingualism, impact of modern nationalisms, the EU and globalization on study of medieval languages.


The summer school will be organized around lectures, discussion groups and time for informal talk. In the mornings, lectures, all of which will be followed by a seminar of the whole group, will address large themes. In the afternoon, smaller seminar groups, each led by a tutor, will work together over the course of the summer school on a series of case studies. There will be substantial reading in advance. Lunches and two dinners will be in common. There will be an excursion on Wednesday which is offered for free by the organizers.

Tutors are Jeroen Deploige (Ghent), Christian Høgel (Southern Denmark), Lars Boje Mortensen (Southern Denmark), Elizabeth Tyler (York), and Wim Verbaal (Ghent).

The morning lectures will be delivered by Panagiotis Agapitos (University of Cyprus), Robert Bartlett (University of St Andrews), Karla Mallette (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) and David Wallace (University of Pennsylvania).



Applications should be sent before the 1st February 2013 to

The summer school is open to PhD students of medieval European history, linguistics and literature. In addition to working in their research with texts in at least two medieval languages, students will be expected to read English and either French and/or German. Lectures and seminars will be held in English. Applications should include an abstract of the current research (no more than one side of A4, single spaced) and a statement addressing the contributions one can make to the summer school and what one hopes to gain from participating (no more than one side of A4, single spaced). One referee who will be willing to write in support of the application has to be named. Referees of short-listed applicants will be contacted directly by the organizers of the summer school.


Five bursaries (500€) and free shared accommodation in the Belgian Academy are available. Please address your application to before the 1st of February 2013. Which information do they have to provide (e.g. travel costs)? What will the criteria be (not for publication here, but one needs to know – probably most will write a double application: one for attending the summer school, one for a bursary).

Accomodation and transport

Participants need to provide for their own lodging and transport. There is a limited number of free shared rooms available in the Belgian Academy which will be assigned on a first-come first-serve basis.

Useful information can be found on the following websites:
Belgian Academy:
Youth Hostels:


Lunches and two dinners will be provided by the organizers . The participants will take care of the other meals.

This project is organized by the Centre for Medieval Literarure and the H. Pirenne Institute for Medieval Studies

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