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2019 Manuscript Workshop

14th Annual Marco Manuscript Workshop

“Bits and Pieces”

February 1-2, 2019


The fourteenth annual Marco Manuscript Workshop took place Friday and Saturday, February 1-2, 2019, at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The workshop was organized by Professors Maura K. Lafferty (Classics) and Roy M. Liuzza (English), and is hosted by the Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, with support from the Department of English and the Office of Research.

The 2019 workshop explored the theme “Bits and Pieces.” Some manuscripts have survived the centuries bright, pristine, majestic, and complete; most have suffered at least some minor damage or loss; some manuscripts, however, seem no more than ragged scraps. They lack beginnings, or endings, or middles; they tantalize with their incompleteness. These fragments still have much to tell us, though they might make us work to learn it. The reader of manuscript fragments faces a broad array of problems – how to extrapolate missing text, how to fill the gaps in a page or a text, how to read a faded and worn leaf, how to combine separated fragments into a whole, how to represent the fragment in a modern edition in a way that renders it legible while still acknowledging its brokenness. Some fragments are already repaired, either bound into florilegia, rewritten by a well-meaning early reader, or patched and glued and restored in ways that sometimes obscure as much as they preserve; in such cases the modern reader may have to deconstruct an earlier reader’s traces before reconstructing the original text.

Yale Law Library, MS RL 46 L309s-3: Bible fragments (Italy, c. 1100) used as binding for Guy de La Pape (c. 1402-c. 1487), Celeberrimi viri domini Guidonis Pape Singularia (Lyons: Jacob Giunta), 1540.


2019 Workshop Schedule:

Friday, February 1

8:30 am   Registration

9:00         Opening remarks & welcome by Jay Rubenstein (Riggsby Director of Marco) and Roy Liuzza (English)

Session One

9:15        Lisa Fagin Davis (Medieval Academy of America) – “Otto Ege and Digital Fragmentology: Pedagogical Challenges and Scholarly Rewards”

10:30      Coffee break

10:45      William Duba (Institut des Etudes Médiévales, Université de Fribourg) – “Fragmentarium: A Laboratory for Medieval Manuscript Fragments”

12:30      Lunch – Location TBA

Session Two

2:00     Jill Hamilton Clements (U of Alabama at Birmingham) – “Fragments of Memory: Piecing Together the Northumbrian Name-Stones”

3:15     Coffee break

3:30     Karen Desmond (Brandeis U) – “Torso: Contextualising the Fragmentary Remains of Fourteenth-century English Polyphony”

Saturday, February 2

Session One

9:30 am   Chelsea Silva (U of California Riverside) – “Experience and Reason: The Narrative Remedy Collection of Donatus Antonius in BL MS Harley 4349”

10:45       Coffee break

11:00       Scott Bevill (U of South Florida) – “What to do with Early Modern Transcriptions and Repairs in Old English Manuscripts?”

12:30 pm  Lunch – International House Community Room

Session Two

2:00       Synnøve Myking (Institut de recherche et d’histoire des textes, Paris) – “A Fragmentary History: Bit-sized Keys to Medieval Book Culture in Scandinavia”

3:15       Coffee break

3:30       Thomas Johnson (Princeton U) – “Bits and pieces of law? Legal ephemera in late-medieval England”