Written, Painted, and Inscribed by Hand: Past, Present, and Future of Manuscript Studies in Toronto

When and Where

Friday, April 09, 2021 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Online via Zoom


For the past three years, the Jackman Humanities Institute Working Group "Bridging Disciplines in Manuscript Studies" has convened as a place for students and faculty throughout the University of Toronto to share expertise, resources, and pedagogies that centre on the manuscript. In order to celebrate the culmination of this cross-disciplinary effort, our group invites you to participate in a spring colloquium Written, Painted, and Inscribed by Hand: Past, Present, and Future of Manuscript Studies in Toronto and build lasting, fruitful connections.

For many, manuscript studies has its origins in the study of Latin manuscripts produced during the so-called Middle Ages. More recently, however, the term and its practice have come to embrace the study of handwritten text-objects from numerous historical periods, diverse linguistic traditions, and varied geographic regions. Broadly speaking, manuscript studies encompasses a variety of subdisciplines including paleography {the study of handwriting), codicology {the study of the construction of physical books), visual analysis, diplomatics, textual editing, and more. The handwritten objects that these disciplines focus on can include parchment codices, papyrus rolls, palm leaves, potsherds, fragments, loose leaves, or assemblages. Through all these approaches, manuscript studies seeks to understand the historical production and societal role of objects inscribed by hand.

We are committed to promoting manuscript studies in its broadest possible sense, for we believe that creating a truly interdisciplinary space for scholars of hand-inscribed objects will only serve to enrich our collective efforts. In this spirit, we are looking for papers that push the boundaries of the traditional limits of manuscript studies, as well as those that fit firmly within them. Your main research focus need not be manuscript studies, but the aim of this colloquium is to generate discussion across disciplinary lines and foster networks of manuscript scholars in the larger Toronto community.

For further information, please contact msad.colloquium@gmail.com.

Colloquium Schedule

9:45 a.m. -- Welcome -- Gregory Fewster, Department of Classics

10:00 -- 11:30 a.m. -- Session One

Moderator: Florian Mueller, Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures

  • Adam Levine, Art Gallery of Ontario Collection
  • Justin Arnwine, Centre for Medieval Studies "Wreck on the Nile: A Reconstruction of the Earliest Homiliary of Jacob of Serugh"
  • Holly Forsythe, Faculty of Information "A Respectable Occupation: Women Illuminators in the Victorian Period"

12:30 -- 2:00 p.m. -- Session Two

Moderator: Sarah Wilk, Humanities, York University

  • Michael Chagnon, Aga Khan Museum Collection
  • J.R. Mattison, Department of English "Big Data and Networks: Visualizing England's Manuscripts at Scale"
  • Sébastien Drouin, Department of French "The Huguenot Diaspora in the Netherlands. Some Thoughts on Confessional and Personal Networks (17th -- 18th centuries"

3:00 -- 4:15 p.m. -- Session Three

Moderator: Nora Thorburn, Centre for Medieval Studies

  • Alexandra Johnston, Centre for Medieval Studies and David Klausner, Department of English: Manuscripts used by the Records of Early English Drama (REED)
  • Jonathan Lofft, Divinity, Trinity College "Writing Heraldic History in Canada and the Unknown Legacy of Manuscripts created by Edward Marion Chadwick (1840-1921)

4:15 -- 4:45 p.m. Wrap up and Website Launch

Adam Cohen, Department of Art History


Jackman Humanities Institute