2011 Congress

January 1, 2014 in Abstracts of Conference Papers, Bembino, Conference Announcement, ICMS, International Congress on Medieval Studies

46th International Congress on Medieval Studies

12–15 May 2011

[First published on our first website on *20 January 2011, with updates]

At this Congress, the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence held two sessions, respectively sponsored and co-sponsored, in the fifth year of co-sponsorship with the Societas Magica.  As customary, Trustees and Associates of the Research Group participated in the Congress in various capacities.

Here we list the Programs of the sessions, along with Abstracts of Papers, and we publish the first of our Posters ever for such sessions.

The inspiration for the poster came from the generous offer by our session participant David W. Sorenson to give images of manuscripts free of charge for reproduction for such purposes.  Thus the poster includes donated images and design, with images courtesy of David Sorenson and with layout in our copyright digital font Bembino, described and downloadable for FREE here:  Bembino.

[Update: This ‘first edition’ inaugurated a tradition of illustrated Posters for our Congress Sessions in following years, as recorded in our Congress Activities, as well as for our other Events elsewhere, including Colloquia & Symposia. Since 2014, they are exhibited in our Gallery of Posters on Display.]

Sponsored and Co-Sponsored Sessions

1. Sponsored by the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence

Poster for "Medieval Writing Media" Congress Session (13 May 2011)

“Medieval Writing Media:  Papyrus, Parchment, Paper, and Beyond”

Organizer:  Eleanor A. Congdon (Department of History, Youngstown State University, Girard, Ohio)


  • Carol Neuman de Vegvar (Department of Fine Arts, Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio)
    “Antiquated Technology:  The Blythburgh Tablet from Altar to Classroom”
  • Sean M. Winslow (Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto, Ontario)
    “Traditional Parchment Production in Contemporary Ethiopia:  An Ethnoarchaeological Perspective on Medieval Manuscript Studies”
  • David W. Sorenson (Independent Scholar, Quincy, Massachusetts)
    “Paper in Transition:  The When, Where, and (Perhaps) Why of Paper in the Near East in the Late Middle Ages”
    Abstract of Paper:  Sorenson (2011 Congress)
  • Eleanor A. Congdon (Youngstown State University)
    “Italian-Made Paper in International Commerce with Aragon–Catalonia, c. 1400 A.D.”
Blythburgh Whalebone Writing Tablet, Exterior, Interlace Included.  © Trustees of the British Museum.

Blythburgh Whalebone Writing Tablet, Exterior, Interlace Included. © Trustees of the British Museum.

This was the first in our annual series of sessions on “Medieval Writing Materials”.

Further explorations of this subject formed part of our

with records of the Abstracts of Papers and Responses.  The series resumes for the 2016 Congress.

2. Co-Sponsored by the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence
and the Societas Magica

Societas Magica logo“Books and Secrets:  Epigraphs and Symbols / Ciphers and Signs”

Organizer: Sarah Celentano Parker (University of Texas – Austin)


  • Joni Hand (Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, Florida)
    “Cryptic Portraits in the Sobieski Hours:  A Mother’s Love and a Daughter’s Devotions”
  • Sarah R. Kyle (University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond)
    “The ‘Family Tree’:  Emblems and Dynastic Desire in the Carrera Herbal
  • Justin T. Noetzel (Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, Missouri),
    ” ‘Old Stories in Bede’s Boke’:  The Venerable Bede, Bodleian MS Hatton 56, and Middle English Prophecy”
  • Natalie Hall (University of Arkansas, Fayetteville)
    “What’s in a Script?  The Expressive Power of Monumental Script in the Catacombs of Rome”


Four colleagues gather for dinner at the 2011 International Congress on Medieval Studies

Photography by Mildred Budny

The full 2011 Congress program is archived as 46th International Congress on Medieval Studies.

The Societas Magica sessions are listed as  Sessions Sponsored by the Societas Magica at the Forty-sixth International Congress on Medieval Studies May 12-15, 2011.