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Emory’s Chronicle Roll: Late Medieval History Writing and Sixteenth-Century Nobility

A video of my presentation, “Emory’s Fifteenth-Century English Chronicle Roll: Late Medieval History Writing and Sixteenth-Century Nobility,” is available at this link or in the embedded video below. I gave this paper on March 1, 2019 as part of the Materiality of Devotion exhibit and symposium organized by Sarah Bogue, Emma de Jong, and Kelin Michael at Emory University’s Pitts Theology Library.

At over 22 feet long, Emory’s fifteenth-century chronicle roll manuscript unites biblical, mythical, and royal history. The genealogical diagram and accompanying text begins with the seven days of creation, describes biblical and mythical rulers, and documents the kings (and some queens) of England, extending to Queen Elizabeth I with a sixteenth-century addition. Scholars have only begun to study the Emory roll, but it participates in a tradition of history writing—works known as universal chronicles—popular in the pre-modern world. I have recently discovered that the Emory roll is part of a family of English chronicles, which includes a manuscript owned by the University of Canterbury in New Zealand (digital and physical facsimiles of this roll are on display in the exhibit). After locating the Emory roll within the tradition of universal chronicles and the “Noah family” of manuscripts, the presentation will focus on the work of a later scribe who added a membrane to the Emory roll to update the chronicle to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. The sixteenth-century scribe documents the marriages of several members of English noble families; this content will frame a discussion of the potential noble patrons and uses for medieval chronicle roll manuscripts.

Emory’s Fifteenth-Century English Chronicle Roll: Late Medieval History Writing and Sixteenth-Century Nobility from Candler School of Theology on Vimeo.

March 1 Symposium (The Materiality of Devotion: From Manuscript to Print)

Premodernists in the Atlanta area, please take note of this symposium on March 1 at Emory’s Pitts Theology Library. Come see some of Emory’s medieval manuscripts and early printed books, and, if you’re so inclined, hear me talk about “Emory’s Fifteenth-Century English Chronicle Roll: Late Medieval History Writing and Sixteenth-Century Nobility.” The program, including abstracts, for the symposium is available here. The full announcement below includes more details and the link to register.

In conjunction with our Materiality of Devotion: From Manuscript to Print  exhibition, Pitts Theology Library is pleased to invite you to a one day symposium based around the objects and themes of that exhibition. The event will include seven speakers from Emory and the greater Atlanta community, representing the fields of conservation, art history, medieval and early modern history, and the history of all three Abrahamic religions.

The symposium will begin with a keynote address by Dr. Lynley Herbert, Associate Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts at the Walters Art Museum. Dr. Herbert’s talk on Fragmentary Manuscripts will examine all that goes into making a book, particularly the complexities inherent in dealing with dismantled books. How do art historians go about solving the puzzle of single leaves? Come to the talk to find out!

Thanks to generous funding from the Mellon Humanities PhD Intervention Program and the Laney Graduate School New Thinkers/New Leaders Program, there will be no cost to attend this event! You are more than welcome to attend individual sessions or the full day, but please help us plan for your needs by filling out the formbelow, with particular attention to the two meals and any dietary restrictions you might have. The deadline for registering to participate in these two meals is February 21. 

Register at this linkhttps://form.jotform.com/90216037909154

Atlanta Journal-Constitution op-ed, November 15, 2017

Read my op-ed about how the proposed tax bill would limit access to graduate education, especially for those students who are not independently wealthy.

Opinion: Only wealthy can afford grad school under House tax plan up for vote today

Jenny C. Bledsoe is a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in English at Emory University, specializing in medieval literature. She was featured in a New York Times story last week that examined how the GOP House tax plan would impact a range of American students.

Kalamazoo 2018: Session announcement

With Ashley J. Laverock (Savannah College of Art and Design), I have organized a special session on interdisciplinary approaches to the hagiographies of St Margaret of Antioch for the 2018 International Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo.

Multi-faceted Margarets: Textual and Visual Hagiographies of Saint Margaret of Antioch
“The Earliest Cult of Saint Margaret of Antioch in Hungary”
Dorottya Uhrin, Eötvös Loránd University

“Multiple Marinas, Confusing Iconographies: Saint Marina the Monk and Saint Marina of Antioch in Thirteenth- to Sixteenth-Century Italy and Spain”
Andrea-Bianka Znorovszky, Trivent Publishing

“Critical Fiction: Reading Seinte Marherete through Robyn Cadwallader’s The Anchoress
Karen A. Winstead, Ohio State University

Kalamazoo 2017: Session announcement

Our roundtable was recently approved by the programming committee of the 2017 International Congress on Medieval Studies. The roundtable, “Saintly Bodies,” will feature six short papers from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Read our proposal, check out our exciting line-up of speakers, and mark your calendars for Kalamazoo!

Saintly Bodies: Materiality, Manuscripts, Movement
Organizers: Jenny C. Bledsoe (Emory University) and Lynneth Miller (Baylor University)

As works such as Caroline Walker Bynum’s Christian Materiality have demonstrated, the relationship between materiality and spiritual practice is often one fraught with complications and seeming contradictions. The tension between decaying material objects such as bodies, manuscripts, or relics highlights the discrepancy between the spiritual ideas these objects represent and the reality of the corruptibility inherent to all material objects.  When the material body in question is one gendered female, the relationship becomes even more complex.

This panel, “Saintly Bodies: Materiality, Manuscripts, Movement,” seeks to further explore the relationship between female bodies, material objects, and spiritual discourse and practice. How does gender affect the relationship between material objects such as bodies, manuscripts, and relics and the spiritual ideas tied to or communicated through these objects? What can a gendered approach to studies of materiality reveal about medieval literature, history, and religion?

This panel will take a multidisciplinary approach to these questions, drawing on manifold methodologies in order to address these questions as fully as possible. Our presenters represent a variety of professional levels (associate and assistant professors and PhD candidates and students) and address the topic from different disciplines (art history, history, and literature), periods (from Anglo-Saxon hagiography to the present-day reception of a medieval Liègeois holy woman), and regions (England, Italy, the low countries). We have chosen a six-person roundtable format for our panel in order to facilitate cross-disciplinary exchange and productive audience-engaging discussion following six seven-minute papers.

“Translated Bodies and Traveling Souls: Movement in Anglo-Saxon Hagiography”
Rebecca Straple, Western Michigan University

“Sacrilegious ‘Relics’: Female Bodies in the Tale of the Cursed Dancing Carolers”
Lynneth Miller, Baylor University

“Reworking Relics: Painting the Teodolinda Chapel in Monza”
Laura Maria Somenzi, Emory University

“The Lives and Afterlives of Holy Women: Medieval Spirituality and Seventeenth-Century Printing in the Low Countries”
Barbara Zimbalist, University of Texas, El Paso

“Ida of Nivelles in Manuscript, Print, and the Translated Collection”
Sara Ritchey, University of Louisiana, Lafayette

“Finding Women Saints in the Body of the Text”
Courtney Rydel, Washington College

Kalamazoo 2016: Early Middle English Society session announcement

For the Early Middle English Society, I have organized a session on vernacular devotional manuscripts with Carla María Thomas (New York University) for the 2016 International Congress on Medieval Studies. Carla will preside over the session, which will feature the following papers.

“Hit iseie aboc iwrite”: Twelfth- and Thirteenth-Century Vernacular Devotional Manuscripts
“Constructing Form in the Twelfth Century: The Worcester Fragments and Homiletic Verse”
Leslie Carpenter, Fordham University

“A Hidden Link: Lambeth Palace Library MS 522 and Le Chasteu d’amur
Emily Ulrich, Yale University

“The Virgin, the Vernacular, and MS Royal 17 A. xxvii”
Jenny C. Bledsoe, Emory University