Busy Bees

You may be forgiven for thinking that there has been a pause in the activities of the network since our final conference in January. As all scholars will know, such “lulls” usually mean that there is frenetic activity in the background, and indeed this has also been the case for the network. However, a short update is perhaps in order.

You may already be aware that the network published its online postgraduate guide to translation of medieval documents in February of this year. The booklet summarises the main papers and discussions from the successful PG workshop on translation held at Cardiff University in January of 2017, and the hope is that the network will in the future be able to put on some further workshops on this particular topic, with which all researchers of medieval things are familiar.

This year will also see the publication of Law and Language in the Middle Ages: a collection of papers from the conference of the same name held in Copenhagen in 2015. Law and Language in the Middle Ages investigates the encounter between law and legal practice from the linguistic perspective. The essays explore how legal language expresses and advances power relations, along with the ways in which the language of law legitimates power. The wide geographical and chronological scope showcases how power, legitimacy and language interact, moving the discussion beyond traditional issues of identity or the formation of nation-states and their institutions. What emerges are different strategies reflective of the diverse and pluralistic political, legal, and cultural worlds of the Middle Ages. Contributors to this volume include Bruce O’Brien, Michael H. Gelting, Dirk Heirbaut, Ada Maria Kuskowski, Anders Leegaard Knudsen, André Marques, Werner Schäfke, Anette Kremer & Vincenz Schwab, and the committee’s very own Carole Hough, Matthew McHaffie and Paul Russell.

Various committee members are also continuing the editing of forthcoming volumes. For instance, in May, we will be holding an editorial meeting in Copenhagen to progress work on articles exploring law and ritual, and in June, the committee will travel to Rome to begin the planning for a Voices of Law volume, exploring the full range of issues and findings discussed over the last two years. Additionally, editing will also begin on the volume of essays from the network’s final conference on law and legal agreements.

Finally, the network will be sponsoring four sessions at IMC Leeds this year, with speakers from the UK, Europe and the US. Hope to see you there!

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