About OMGC

The Oxford Medieval Graduate Conference takes place each year in Oxford in the spring. It is organised for graduates and by graduates, with Medium Ævum. The Society sponsors the event, provides a plenary lecturer and provides a permanent online record of each conference on its website. Each year a single word is taken as the theme of the conference, with the intention of encouraging contributions from a broad range of disciplines, taking varying perspectives on the theme.

Gaston enthroned, in Gaston Phébus, Livre de Chasse, 1390. Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale, 616, fol. 13r.

Glasgow Univ. Library, MS Hepburn Q23

Adam and Eve in Paradise, Tree of St. Jesse, St. Michael's Church, Hildesheim

Beginning of St Mark’s Gospel, MS Latin liturg. f5 

Gaston instructing huntsmen to blow the horn, in Gaston Phébus, Livre de Chasse, 1390. Paris, Bibliotheque
Nationale, 616, fol. 54v.

Colour, the Eleventh Oxford Medieval Graduate Conference, was held on 17-18th April, 2015, at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford.

The programme is given below:

Friday 17th April
9-9:15am Registration
9:15-9:30am Welcome


9:30-11am Colours of Devotion – Chair: Professor Henrike Lähnemann
• Alexandra Kaczenski (UCLA), ‘”And they clothed him with purple” MS Harley 1892: Illumination and Personal Devotion in the Era of Print’
• Alexandra Lee (UCL), ‘”Si vestino di panno lino bianco”: The importance of the colour white to the Bianchi of 1399’
• Sophie Kelly (University of Kent), ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Colour, Meaning and Narrative in the St John’s Psalter’


11:30am-1pm Colour in the Codex – Chair: Kate Ailsa Sargan
• David Bowe (St Hilda’s College, Oxford), ‘The red and the black: ink and poetics in medieval Italian poetry’
• Emma Hardiman (University of York), ‘The Lindisfarne Gospels and Modern Graphic Design: An ideological dichotomy or revealing comparison into objective aesthetics’
• Julia Mattison (Jesus College, Oxford), ‘The Colour Recipes of MS Harley 2253’

2-3:30pm Materiality – Chair: Charlotte Cooper
• Elizabeth Mattison (John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art), ‘Remembering Blue: Recollections of Woad in Late Medieval Amiens’
• Mel Berrill (Cambridge University), ‘Dressing up with Alexander - disguise, perspective, and visual propaganda in two manuscripts of the Anglo-Norman Roman de toute chevalerie’
• Nadia Marx (Harvard University), ‘The Blushing Statue: Colour, Lifelikeness and Enlivenment in Thirteenth-Century Sculpture’


4-5:30pm Colour and Identity in Literature – Chair: Dr Helen Swift
• Katie Robison (University of Minnesota), ‘“Blak, bloo, grenyssh, swartish red”: The Color of Speech in Chaucer’s House of Fame’
• Wenyi Qian (UCL), ‘Signs of Red: Sensorium and Biopolitics in Gaston Phébus’ Livre de Chasse’
• Matt Gillis (Pembroke College, Oxford), ‘Blackness as Spiritual Privation: Reinterpreting Saracen Alterity as a Proto-Christian Community’
5:30-6:30pm Keynote Address by Professor Paul Binski (Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge): ‘Colour, surface and charisma in medieval aesthetics’

Saturday 18th April
9:30-11:30am Black and Gold – Chair: Dr Julia Walworth
• Jennifer Rushworth (St John’s College, Oxford), ‘Burial and the Black Death, Or, Petrarch and ‘the Dark Ages’
• Alexandra Bauer (University of Toronto), ‘Golden Idols and Golden Saints: Ælfric's use of gold as a metaphor for conversion in the Life of Saint Eugenia’
• Claire Harrill (University of Birmingham), ‘A Study in Gold: St Margaret's Gospel-Book Reconsidered’
• Sophia Rochmes (University of California-Santa Barbara), ‘D'or, d'argent, de blanc et de noir: Material references in Flemish grisaille manuscripts’


12-1:30pm Colour Theory – Chair: Dr Emily Guerry
• Anselm Oelze (Humboldt University of Berlin), ‘Colours and Philosophers: Roger Bacon on the Psychology of Seeing and the Judgments of Sense’
• Arthur Hénaff (EPHE, Paris), ‘Colours, cosmology and the making of scientific manuscripts: the Tübinger Hausbuch (Württemberg, XVth century)’
• Sheri Chriqui (Royal Holloway) – ‘Nicholas Upton's Deviant Heraldic Tinctures’

Keynote Speech, given by Prof. Paul Binski

Lindisfarne Gospels