Northern Lights: Late Medieval Devotion to Saints from the North of England

28-30 March, 2019, University of Lausanne,

Amphimax Building, Rooms 414 & 415


Provisional Programme


Thursday 28 March 2019

2.00-2.30   Registration

2.30-2.45   Welcome and opening remarks

2.45-3.45   Keynote 1                                                                Chair: Christiania Whitehead

Julian Luxford (University of St Andrews), ‘Northernness as a hermeneutic: images, relics and devotional interests’

3.45-.4.15   Tea

4.15-5.45    Parallel Session 1

Session A:  Material Culture, Space and Sanctity                 Chair: Catherine Sanok

Euan Robson (University College, London), ‘Reusing The Cathedral: Space, Ritual and Community in Late Medieval Durham’

Lucy Wrapson (University of Cambridge), ‘Holy Apostles and Sainted Bishops: Reuniting a Hexham rood loft’

Jane Sinnett-Smith (University of Warwick), ‘Etheldreda in the North: tracing northern spiritual, spatial, and material networks in the Liber Eliensis and the Vie de seinte Audree’

Session B:  (St) Richard Rolle of Hampole                               Chair: James Clark

Katherine Zieman (Trinity College, Dublin), ‘Of Canonization and Canons: The Office of Richard Rolle of Hampole and His Claims to Literary Sanctity’

Timothy Glover (University of Oxford), ‘Eccentricity, Sanctity, and Richard Rolle in the Context of Northern Saints’

Jonathan Hughes (University of Exeter), ‘Hampole and St Albans: A Tale of Two Cults’

6.00-7.30    Drinks reception and buffet meal

7.30-8.45    Interactive drama workshop on the late medieval Play of St John of Beverley, led by Professor Elisabeth Dutton (University of Fribourg)


Friday  29 March 2019

9.30-11.00   Parallel Session 2

Session A:   St Robert of Knaresborough in Context                              Chair: A.S.G. Edwards

Joshua Easterling (Murray State University), ‘Robert of Knaresborough, Religious Novelty, and the Twelfth-Century Poverty Movement’

Hazel Blair (University of Lausanne), ‘The Forgotten Latin Verse Life of Robert of Knaresborough’

John Jenkins (University of York), ‘Holy Geysers? Oily saints, devotional networks, and ecclesiastical politics in late medieval Yorkshire’

Session B:   Aelred of Rievaulx: Saint and Northern Hagiographer       Chair: Julia Boffey

Hetta Howes (City University, London), ‘Fluid Afterlives: A hunt for the Nun of Watton in late-medieval translations of De Institutione Inclusarum’

Ayoush Lazikani (University of Oxford), ‘Aelred of Rievaulx and the Aural Turn’

Denis Renevey (University of Lausanne), ‘Aelred of Rievaulx and the Saints of Durham and Hexham’

11.00-11.30   Coffee

11.30-12.30   Keynote 2                                                                           Chair: Denis Renevey

Cynthia Turner Camp (University of Georgia) ‘Praying to Northern Saints’

12.30-2.00   Lunch

2.00-3.30    Parallel Session 3

Session A:  Northern Female Saints                                                              Chair: Juliette Vuille

Ruth Salter (University of Reading), ‘The Development of the Cult of St Aebbe of Coldingham’

Dan Talbot (University of East Anglia), ‘Remembering St Hilda, the Revival and the Re-Foundation of Whitby Abbey’

Christiane Kroebel (Whitby Museum), ‘St Hilda in the Later Middle Ages: by Whom and Where was she Remembered?’

Session B:  Reading and Translating Saints’ Lives in Northern England    Chair: Rory Critten

Naoe Kukita Yoshikawa (Shizuoka University), ‘Cecily Neville’s Devotional Library and Northern Readers of Saints’ Lives’

Anne Mouron (University of Oxford), ‘The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: the French Life of St Godric of Finchale, or Adventures for Thirteenth-Century Nuns’

Margaret Coombe (University of Oxford), ‘The late medieval and early modern reception of the works of Reginald of Durham’

3.30-4.00  Tea

4.00-5.00   Keynote 3                                                                                              Chair: Hazel Blair

James Clark (University of Exeter), ‘The Reception of St Oswine in Late Medieval England’

5.15-6.00   John Jenkins (University of York), Demonstration of 3-dimensional models of the shrines at Durham Cathedral, Hexham Abbey, and Canterbury Cathedral

8.00    Conference dinner at Café du Theatre, Lausanne


Saturday 30 March  2019

9.00-10.30   Parallel Session 4

Session A:  Cumbrian Hagiography                                                          Chair: Julian Luxford

Ricarda Wagner (University of Bern), ‘Holy Matter, Human Ties. Community-building in the Vitae Kentigerni by Jocelin of Furness and John of Tynemouth’

Christiania Whitehead (University of Lausanne), ‘The Production of Northern Saints’ Lives at Holm Cultram Abbey in Cumbria’

David E. Thornton (Bilkent University), Northern Saints’ Names as Monastic Surnames in Late Medieval and Early Tudor England

Session B: The Legendary Afterlives of Sts Oswald and Cuthbert        Chair: Cynthia Camp

Sandra Elliott (Northumbria University), ‘Conspicuous by His Absence: The Omission of Saint Oswald King of Northumbria in Middle English Versions of Legenda Aurea’

Sotoko Tokunaga (Keio University), ‘The Legend of St Cuthbert in Caxton’s Golden Legend

Claudia Di Sciacca (University of Udine) ‘Northern Lights on Southern Shores: Rewriting St Oswald’s Life in Eighteenth-Century Friuli’

10.30- 11.00  Coffee

11.00-12.00   Keynote 4:                                                                     Chair: Christiania Whitehead

Catherine Sanok (University of Michigan), ‘Hermit Saints and Human Temporalities’

12.00-1.15   Lunch

1.30 onwards: Optional coach excursion to the Abbey of St Maurice, Valais (3-5pm), followed by winetasting at Grandvaux (6-7.30pm), and a traditional fondue evening in Lausanne (from 8pm). For further details about the excursion, see here.