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2020 Manuscript Workshop

15th Annual Marco Manuscript Workshop

“The Ends of Manuscripts”

January 31 and February 1, 2020



Apocalyptic lamb and text from: British Library, Add MS 19896, f. 3r and f. 32v

Apocalyptic lamb and explicit to the Book of Revelation (British Library, Add MS 19896, f. 3r and f. 32v)

The fifteenth annual Marco Manuscript Workshop will take place Friday, January 31, and Saturday, February 1, 2020, at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

For this year’s workshop, as a tribute to the 2020 McClung Museum exhibition Visions of the End (opening January 31), we will explore the theme “The Ends of Manuscripts.” We take this theme in the broadest possible sense, including consideration of the “ends” of manuscripts – whether their physical boundaries (colophons and explicits, incomplete texts, extrapolated texts, lost or added leaves, booklets and bindings), their purposes (texts written for particular patrons or communities, texts written for devotional or polemical ends, texts written as responses to other texts, texts prepared for or directed at someone or something), their fates (where texts have ended up, in libraries or private collections, in bindings or trash bins, framed on walls or preserved in digital repositories), or their early coexistence with and gradual replacement by printed books. Like detectives at a crime scene, we often must work backward from the “ends” of a manuscript to its life and origins; in these origins there may even lie some intimations of the manuscript’s future demise.

As in previous years, the workshop is intended to be more like a class than a conference; participants are encouraged to share new discoveries and unfinished work, to discuss both their successes and frustrations, to offer both practical advice and theoretical insights, and to work together towards developing better professional skills for textual and codicological work.

The workshop is organized by Professors Maura K. Lafferty (Classics) and Roy M. Liuzza (English), and is hosted by the Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.


.2020 Workshop Schedule:

Sessions will be held in the Great Room of the UT International House.


Friday, January 31

8:30 am   Registration & continental breakfast

9:00   Opening remarks & welcome by Gregor Kalas (Interim Riggsby Director of Marco) and Roy Liuzza (English)

Session One (Chair: Maura Lafferty, UTK Classics)

9:15   Anthony Lappin (U of Uppsala) – “Explicits, Colophons and Knowing When to Stop”

10:30   Coffee break

10:45   Sara Torres (Visiting Scholar, University of Virginia) – “Contemporaneity and Inscription at the Ends of Late Medieval English Pedigree Rolls”

12:30   Lunch – Black Cultural Center, room 102/103/104

Session Two (Chair: Robert Bast, UTK History)

2:00   William Campbell (U of Pittsburgh at Greensburg) – “At the End of an Era, and Beyond: Destruction and Preservation of Medieval Texts at St Davids in the Sixteenth to Nineteenth Centuries”

3:15   Coffee break

3:30   Visit to Visions of the End exhibition, McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture, 1327 Circle Park Dr.

(Dinner at Copper Cellar, 1807 Cumberland Ave., by RSVP only)


Saturday, February 1

8:30 am   Registration & continental breakfast

Session One (Chair: Tina Shepardson, UTK Religious Studies)

9:00 am   Joshua Mugler (Hill Museum & Manuscript Library) – “The Beginnings of a New Church in the Ends of Its Manuscripts: The Earliest Syriac Catholics of Mosul.”

10:15   Coffee break

10:45   Bradley Phillis (Gardner-Webb U) – “Reframing the End: Revision and the Crusades in a Twelfth-Century Flemish Book”

12:00 pm   Lunch – International House Community Room

Session Two (Chair: Kathryn A. Lowe, University of Glasgow)

1:30   Teresa Hooper (Johnson University) – “Oxford, Corpus Christi College MS 197: The Evolving Legacy of Bury-St Edmunds Abbey in the Back of a Bilingual Rule of St. Benedict

2:45   Coffee break

3:00   Brian O’Camb (Indiana U Northwest) – “Marginal Voices: Proverb Clusters and Collections in Pre-Conquest England”