• Events at the IMC

Strange Adventures and Otherworldly Journeys

Leeds University Union: Room 6 – Roundhay

Sunday 19.30-21.00

About the event:

Told by Matthew Bellwood

Master storyteller Matthew Bellwood brings to life Norse sagas, Celtic legends, and European folk stories in this collection of long-remembered tales from the Middle Ages. Enter into realms where gods battle frost giants, kings hide unexpected secrets, little girls fight wicked witches, and husbands reach out from other worlds to reclaim lost brides.

Matthew Bellwood is a Leeds-based writer and storyteller. His background is in devised theatre, and he has performed at drama festivals in Canada, Germany, and New Zealand, as well as throughout the UK. He currently runs Moveable Feast Productions, a touring Theatre in Education company, for which he has written and produced a wide range of shows and workshops for young people. He also works regularly with A Quiet Word, who create site-specific theatre work in unusual places.

A Journey Into Jewish Visual Representations of the Holy Land

Parkinson Building: Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery

Monday 13.00-14.00

About the event:

Gallery talk by Marci Freedman

Travel has been a ubiquitous feature within the Jewish world. Whether as merchants, scholars, pilgrims, or refugees, there have always been Jews on the move. The medieval world particularly saw a rise in pilgrimage, making it one of the most studied medieval institutions. Jewish travel has been accompanied by a small, but rich body of Jewish travel writing; nevertheless, these texts remain largely understudied. Amongst these is the Casale Pilgrim, an illustrated pilgrimage through the Holy Land, dated 1597-8. Leeds University Library Special Collections possesses the only known copy (Leeds University Library, Roth MS. 220).

Part of the manuscript collection of the notable Jewish historian Cecil Roth, this talk will shed light on the Casale Pilgrim and its unique status within the tradition of Jewish travel literature. In offering a frame of reference for this unique manuscript, we will be able to place the Casale pilgrim within the fields of travel literature, ‘mental pilgrimage’, and illustrated Jewish manuscripts more widely.

Highlights from Special Collections

Parkinson Building: Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery

Tuesday – Thursday 12.00-14.00

About the event:

Join us for a drop-in session to see medieval treasures from Special Collections at the University of Leeds. Special Collections staff will be in the Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery with a selection of highlights from the collections for delegates to examine close-up.

The collections at Leeds contain beautiful illuminated 15th-century French and Flemish books of hours, psalters, and prayer books, as well as German chained manuscripts from the 1450s. Some of these will be on show alongside examples from our fine collection of incunabula. The Library of Ripon Cathedral is held on long-term deposit in Special Collections at the University of Leeds and includes a Latin Bible from the 13th century. A highlight of the Yorkshire Archaeological and Historical Society Collection is the enormous series of surviving court rolls of the manor of Wakefield (1274-1925). Also for the first time at the IMC, we will be revealing examples from our extensive coin collection.

Astrolabe Workshop

Maurice Keyworth Building: Room 1.31

Monday 19.00-20.30

About the event:

Presented by Central Connecticut State University astronomy professor Kristine Larsen

Most medieval scholars have heard of the astrolabe, part work of art and part personal computer. For centuries the instrument was used across both the Christian and Islamic worlds in order to calculate times of prayer, measure the height of the sun and stars above the horizon for navigation, and aid in surveying. It is a two-dimensional model of the three-dimensional heavens that you can hold in your hands.

This hands-on workshop is an introduction to the history and science of the astrolabe, including step-by-step instructions on how to do some of the most elementary computations with the instrument (including calculating the times of sunrise, sunset, and morning and evening twilight; estimating the height of the sun at local noon; and finding one’s latitude).

The first 50 attendees will receive a free cardboard astrolabe set for the latitude of Leeds as well as an instruction sheet (both theirs to keep).

Music from the Ritson Manuscript

School of Music: Clothworkers Concert Hall

Monday 20.30-21.30

About the event:

Performed by The Clothworkers Consort of Leeds

This manuscript contains a diverse collection of carols, masses, Latin liturgical and devotional texts, sacred chant, and secular and religious songs in English, representing a compendium of vocal music from the mid-15th to early 16th centuries.

This programme will explore the diversity of the collection including two large-scale works by Thomas Pack (‘Lumen ad revelacionem gencium’ and an English Te Deum), a setting of the prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary against the plague, ‘Stella celi extirpavit’, the Marian antiphon ‘Salve regina’, and a range of carols and songs for small ensemble.

Tickets: £12.50

Detour to Paradise

Stage@Leeds: Stage 2

Tuesday 20.30-21.30

About the event:

Performed by Silvan Wagner

Oswald von Wolkenstein (1376/77-1445), the travelling knight and courtly singer, paid several visits to Constance, the city of the famous Council.  In his poetry, he praised the city as ‘wünnikliches paradis’. Indeed, one area of the city, the site of a former monastery for Poor Clares, was called Paradies (literally ‘paradise’). Silvan Wagner will bring the cosmopolitan knight to life in a programme that features the Council of Constance, its city, and its world in songs full of realistic detail, sparkling with wit, irony, and humor.

The International Medieval Congress and the Oswald von Wolkenstein-Gesellschaft are proud to sponsor this unique musical event, creating new aesthetic means of bringing medieval poetry to life.

Tickets: £12.00

Dead Sisters Do Tell Tales

Clothworkers Building South: Room G.11B

Wednesday 19.00-20.00

About the event:

Written and produced by Marly Terwisscha Van Scheltinga, Lieke Smits, and Godelinde Gertrude Perk

Retelling biographies from two collections from Modern Devout Sisters’ Houses, this theatrical reading in English reconstructs a medieval reading experience, including the modern audience in the community of holy women.

We would like to welcome you to Master Geert’s House: join the Sisters as they wish to hear ‘edifying points of our elder Sisters’. At the same time, each Sister strives to tell the story of her own life, trying to fit into the community by adapting and adopting Modern Devout narrative conventions. Whose story will be heard and whose forgotten?

Remember Death

Beech Grove Plaza

Wednesday 19.00-20.30

About the event:

Directed by Cora Dietl, with live music from the Leeds Waits

‘Always be awake, and pray, / That I will not find you asleep in sin’, says Death, warning a young man, whom he had just struck down in the midst of a sinful dance. The youth begs for pardon, and Death allows him some extra time to repent before he finally has to die. ‘Memento mori’ is the central message of the play that the Reformed School teacher Johannes Kolross performed with his pupils in Bâle. The youth is quickly converted to a holy life, but will he succeed? The ‘Friends of World’ and Devil try to lead him into temptation, but he firmly holds onto his new way.

This production will be performed in German.

Making Leeds Medieval

University Square

Thursday 10.30-18.00

About the event:

As the IMC 2018 draws to a close, join us in and around University Square for a birds of prey display, live music, and combat displays, as well as a market featuring local produce and historical craft demonstrations. The Medieval Craft Fair will once again be extended to include a second day of trading during Making Leeds Medieval. Come and browse a range of hand-crafted items including hand-bound books, historically-inspired woodwork, haberdashery, historic beads, and jewellery.

The Historical and Archaeological Societies Fair will be scheduled to coincide with Making Leeds Medieval, providing a unique opportunity to find out more about some of the many independent groups within the UK actively involved in preserving local and national history.

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