Sunday, 27 November 2011

Thursday 1st of December: Clemintina Piazza

Sunday, 13 November 2011

European Humanities Research Centre - Joint Seminar: Michaelmas Term

The topic of the European Humanities Research Centre Joint Seminar of this term is Gender in Medieval Literature. It will take place next Wednesday, 16th of November, in Room 3 of the Taylor Institution, from 16:00 to 18:00.
Sophie Marnette (Balliol) ‘Gender and Genre: Reported Discourse in Lais and Fabliaux'
Manuele Gragnolati (Somerville) ‘Maternal Language and Corporeality in Dante’
Annette Volfing (Oriel) ‘Half Out, Half In: Gender Ambiguity and Pastoral Care in Seuse’s Exemplar’

We hope to find there many of our followers working on Dante!

Thursday 17th of November: Gemma Pellisa

Friday, 4 November 2011

Next MIMSS session announced for the 24th of November

This terms MIMSS session will take place on 24th of November and will be the first of a short series of seminars devoted to "Literary and intellectual convergences in fifteenth-century Spain".
Literary and intellectual convergences in fifteenth-century Spain, I

Session of MIMSS
Thursday, 24 November 2011
Summer Common Room, Magdalen College

3.30.- Welcome. Coffee and tea

4.00.- Prof. Georgina Olivetto (Universidad de Buenos Aires - SECRIT): "A mule, a mule, my Republic for a mule: Alonso de Cartagena y la traducción latina de la República de Platón"

4.45.- Prof. Jeremy Lawrance (University of Nottingham): "Alfonso de Cartagena, humanism and the court in fifteenth-century Castile"

5.30.- Discussion

6.15.- End of the session
Hope to see many of you there! More information at the MIMSS official website.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Thursday 3rd of November: Jennifer Norris

Tuesday, 25 October 2011


Wow! What a week! Three Calls for Papers in a row! And every new CFP is even more interesting than the preceeding one!

This time is the IVth international congress of SEMYR (Seminario de Estudios Medievales y Renacentistas) which is looking for papers. It will take place from the 5th to the 8th of September in the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain). The topic of this session is El texto infinito: reescritura y tradición en la Edad Media y el Renacimiento and papers have to deal with the rewriting of texts in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Deadline for submissions is on 6th of January, so that there is still plenty of time to start thinking about an interesting topic.

More information available in the first circular and the SEMYR website.

CFP: Escritura y disidencia: textos literarios hispánicos en busca de la libertad

I3MS is happy to announce the Call for Papers for the IXth Congress of the Association ALEPH (Asociación de Jóvenes Investigadores de la Literatura Hispánica). This edition's topic is Escritura y disidencia: textos literarios hispánicos en busca de la libertad and the congress will take place the days 10th-13th April, in Cádiz (Spain). All proposals have to be made before the 30th of November, so that you have still one month to think about your proposal.

More information at the association's official website of the congress and in the first circular.


Although oxonian graduates of the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages have been informed of this call for papers by e-mail, the I3MS is certain that people from other faculties and universities follow our blog. We are happy to see that graduate initiatives are flourishing at the University of Oxford and this is one of them.
Making mistakes is an essential part of any creative and interpretive activity: reading, writing, translating and engaging with texts in their different variations. As Victor Shklovskii's influential book The Energy of Delusion (1981) demonstrated, being wrong in literature is not always wrong. On the contrary, misinterpreting the author's intent and following the deceptive lead of the narrative has been surprisingly productive in many representative cases across various disciplines. Eliminating and analysing mistakes in literary texts, historical narratives and objects of art provides an insight into the phenomenology of creativity, as well as political, ideological and philosophical contexts of the works in question.
The seminar welcomes papers from across a wide range of periods, subjects and regions. Submissions from graduate students are most welcome. Please send your proposals of no more than 250 words (20-minute papers) to or by the 4th of December 2011 (papers to be presented in Hilary term) or the 12th of March 2012 (papers to be presented in Trinity term). If you would like to give a paper in Michaelmas term, please contact us asap. Chaired by Professor Andrei Zorin and organized by Maria M. Pasholok (Magdalen College), Margarita Vaysman (Wadham College).
This series of seminars is supported by the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, University of Oxford.
We hope to see there some medievalists and familiar faces! For the official poster of the seminar, please click here.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Next week, Thursday 20th of October: Amaranta Saguar García

Sunday, 9 October 2011

New term... NEW ROOM!

Welcome back to all the medievalists, hispanists and italianists that follow I3MS!

The long vacation has passed and now it is time to come back and to take up again the I3MS sessions. The format of the seminar has not changed, but we have a few surprises for you, starting with a new venue.

During Michaelmas, the I3MS sessions will take place at the Taylor Institution, room 10b. Time and date remain the same (Thursday of even weeks, 13:00-14:00)

Distance will not be an excuse anymore! Just a minute from the library!

For those who do not know what we are talking about, the I3MS is a lunch-time seminar devoted to medieval Italy and Spain, organised by graduate students for other graduates. Students meet and can have lunch while discussing a topic of Iberian-Italian interest, no discipline excluded. However, the best way to understand what the I3MS is and offers is to experience one of our sessions in first person, so... what are you waiting for? The first session of this term is programmed for Thursday 20th of October.

We would like to remind you that the I3MS is open to papers by graduate students working on the Iberian or Italian Middle-Ages (or both), independently of their academic background. If you would like to participate actively and be one of our speakers, please send an email with your proposal to and we will arrange a date as soon as possible.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Iberian-Italian Congress: "Il Prisma di Proteo. Riscritture, ricodificazioni, traduzioni fra Italia e Spagna (sec. XVI-XVIII)"

Just before Michaelmas begins, 5th-7th of October, the Università degli Studi di Trento will be hosting the international congress Il Prisma di Proteo. Riscritture, ricodificazioni, traduzioni fra Italia e Spagna (sec. XVI-XVIII). If you are lucky enough to be in Italy at that time, you could attend and tell us afterwards! More information at the official website of the congress.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Review of the XIVth International Congress of the Asociación Hispánica de Literatura Medieval (6-11 September 2011, University of Murcia)

One more time, the I3MS has had one of its members attend the XIVth International Congress of the Asociación Hispánica de Literatura Medieval (AHLM), so that it could offer its followers a first-hand review of the papers that were given there. Similarly to other congresses, the AHLM congress is structured in many simultaneous panels, so that it is impossible to convey a comprehensive review of it with only one correspondent. She has done her best during the four days she stayed there, however, the full programm can be found at the offical website of the AHLM or the congress's site, although there were some major changes related to the absence of certain speakers. In general, all the main topics of Hispanic Medieval Literature were represented, but Cancionero, Libros de Caballerías and Crónicas were the most present, with several papers and plenary sessions.

After the protocolary speeches by the organisers and sponsors of the congress, Dr Paredes Núñez (University of Granada) opened the academic part with the lecture "Estrategias discursivas del relato medieval: las voces del cuento", in which he analysed how secrets and the keeping -or the revealing- of a secret work as narrative resources in Medieval tales. This is a topic Dr Paredes has been studying for a long time by now, and his conclusions can be summarised as follows: secret saves and condemns lives (either the keeping or the revealing of it, and even the making up of a fake secret), secret tests human nature (e.g. integrity) and the stance to secret is essential for characterisation, although it is primarily determined by typology. However, this would not be possible without curiosity, which makes possible the application of secret as a narrative resource and gives its significance to the revealing of the secret.

The first panel was devoted to femenine roles and Elisa Borsari (University of Alcalá) offered a reconstruction of the history of femenine reading in the Middle Ages through iconography. She focused on the figures of St Anne and the Virgin Mary as female readers, as well as certain women saints that are represented with a book (e.g. St Catharine). According to Borsari, all of these can be interpreted as role models for women, because of the readings of these figures being exclusively devotional and edifying, so that there could exist a redirection of the reading habits of women. Moreover, St Anne teaching the Virgin to read could explain why it was recommended that women taught other women, as well as that they taught the first letters to young men. The following paper by Karla Xiomara Luna Mariscal (El Colegio de México) offered an in-depth typology of women roles in chivalry romances that clearly exceeded the most accepted division in four or five types, including some frequently overlooked female characters. However, the typology that Luna presented being so extensive, it will be necessary to wait until the conference proceedings are published to be able to analyse her proposal.

Exemplary literature was the topic of the next panel I attended, with Sarah Finci (University of Geneva) talking about "El tema del servidor fiel: tres textos". She analysed the topic of the loyal servant and its relation to the topic of the two friends as it appears in three different texts: la historia de las tres manzanas, die Jakobsbrüder and Oliveros y Artús. In all of these, both topics entwine and reveal a common background ("Septem sapientibus"), which was later confirmed by Dr Carlos Alvar in the plenary session of the afternoon. In turn, Victoria Prilutsky (University of Alcalá) talked about "Lo ideal y lo real: modelos de conducta en la obra de Sem Tob de Carrión", and highlighted the moral relativity implied in "Los proverbios morales". Obviously, she linked this ambiguous attitude to the polemics around Maimonides, but her main interest relied on the contrast between the typical "espejo de príncipes", static and idealist, and Sem Tob's proposal, dinamic and realist. In fact, Sem Tob's point of view is pragmatic and practical, based on experience and being able to value the needs of every single situation, as there is no universal application of moral values. This is a frequent attitude in Jewish moral writings (above all, talmudic texts), which reflects in the mainly Jewish sources and auctoritas of the "Proverbios Morales". However, Sem Tob does not mention explicitely his sources, but talks generically about "the wise men", maybe because of his audience not being able to recognise the Jewish background of most of his proposals. Finally, Prilutsky tried to insert the Proverbios in the historical context of the court of Pedro I and his conflict with his brother Enrique. She determined that Sem Tob's proposal was the response to the political situation of his time.

The last panel before the plenary session touched many different topics, starting with "El hermetismo en los textos de Alfonso X" by Mª del Rosario Delgado (University of Alcalá). In spite of Hermetism being one of the main concerns of Humanists and the Renaissance, this is only possible after many years of evolution from the interest on magic/alchemic Hermetism to the philosophical Hermetism of the XVth and XVIth centuries, of which the works of Alfonso X are representative. Those of his writings that approach Hermetism, such as the "Lapidario", show a critical stance towards alchemic Hermetism and a growing interest on philosophical Hermetism, which is more evident at the final stages of his production. On the other hand, Enric Dolz Ferrer (Generalitat Valenciana) tried to identify the "epístola de compás" found in a catalogue of the works by Juan Rodríguez de Padrón, included in "Remedio de Perdidos" (frequently ascribed to Diego de Valera). Although Alberto Blecua has considered it to be "Siervo libre de amor", Dolz is not so convinced by this interpretation but is sure that the title "Siervo libre de amor", taken from the prologue -which could not have been written by Juan Rodríguez de Padrón-, must be an invention of the XIXth century. The last speaker, Sara Molpeceres (University of Murcia) adopted a totally different approach to its topic, as her academic background is not Hispanic literature, but Theory of Literature and Theroy of Ideas. She spoke about "La literatura mística medieval como desafío retórico al pensamiento filosófico" and confronted Theology (rational, analitic, logical, objective) with Mysticism (rhetorical, simbolic, synthetic, subjective).

At the end of the day, Dr Carlos Alvar (University of Geneva) reviewed the genetic relations of medieval works all over Europe and proposed a pan-european model of literature of the Middle Ages. His main point was that discontuinity is not a possibility, so that the absence of witnesses of certain well-known texts in Spain, or their being late, implies the existence of a huge number of lost manuscripts.

On Wednesday morning, Elena González-Blanco (UNED) opened the panel with "Berceo, Benvesin y el Juicio Final: dos significativas manifestaciones de una larga tradición mediolatina". Her purpose was to trace the common source of Gonzalo de Berceo and Benvesin, despite the differences between both texts, which she considered to be a Latin text written in goliardic stanzas that appears in the "Hohes Lied" of the XIIIth century. Rafael Alemany Ferrer (University of Alicante) followed with an analysis of the human and divine details present in Isabel de Villena's "Vita Christi", which, contrarily to other lives of Christ, shows the interaction of the supernatural and the domestic reality. This entwinement is possible thanks to the double nature, divine and human, of the Virgin Mary, so that her life is full of situations in which the supernatural interferes with human activities.

The next panel was devoted to "Celestina" and Eva Lara Alberola (Catholic University of Valencia) was in charge of opening it with her paper "Celestina, hechicera, y Maestro Guillermo y Maestre Pasquín, nigromantes; cara a cara. Duelo de titanes mágicos: de la Edad Media al Renacimiento". Unfortunately, I was not able to attend this session, but arrived on time for Santiago López-Ríos Moreno's (Complutense University) "El culto a las reliquias en la Celestina y en el pensamiento de Fray Hernando de Talavera". In this paper, López-Ríos expanded some aspects of his essay "Ver la grandeza de Dios en la Celestina: más allá del tópico de la hipérbole sagrada", appeared in the recently published homage to Joseph Snow, and put special emphasis on the critical attitude of Fray Hernando de Talavera towards relics and how it could contribute to an heteredox reading of "Celestina". Eloísa Palafox (Washington University in St Louis) introduced a very interesting perspective on the philosophical and ideological interpretation of "Celestina", joining the ranks of José Luis Canet and supporting the hypothesis that the world of University plays an essential role for the correct understanding of this work. She proposed that "Celestina" is the result of the conflict between two different university schools and their respective intellectual programmes, so that the old bawd would represent Scholasticism and Rhetoric, because of her methods of argumentation and deceptive language. Scholasticism and Rhetoric being linked to black magic and deceit would in turn represent an open attack to both schools and their methodology. Unfortunately, the first paper having been excessively long, there was no time for the questions and answers turn, but I am sure that both topics would have been highly polemic.

Wednesday's plenary session was devoted to "La iconografía del poder en el códice miniado de los Castigos de Sancho IV", by Marta Haro (University of Valencia). It was a lecture full of technical problems but of which we could extract the main ideas: this manuscript of the "Libro de los Castigos" could have been a "espejo de príncipes" for the future Juan II, copied during his years of political formation and commissioned by his -undecover- tutor Sancho de Rojas to try to keep his influence over the future king from his age of majority onwards. For that reason, the images focus on the figure of the king and the royal attributes and only appear in those contexts where royal majesty is involved. Therefore, exempla in which a king is not involved are not illustrated.

Animals inaugurated the sessions of the following day, and Luca Sacchi (University of Pavia) gave a paper intitled "Antibestiario: discurso enciclopédico y mundo animal en la Edad Media castellana". In this paper Sacchi contrasted bestiaries and animal encyclopedias, the former being interested in the symbolic interpretation of animals while the latter focuses on the biological aspect. Encyclopedias are better represented in Castilian literature than bestiaries, of which only few witnesses are known, so that this can be felt as a characteristic Castilian interest for the natural world. However, some of these encyclopedic writing include some details takes from bestiaries just for the pleasure of telling, that is, because of a literary choice. By contrast, Irene Rodríguez Cachón (University of Valladolid) talked about the "Libro de cetrería" of Luis de Zapata, which is supposed to be a tratise on falconry but reveals itself as a compendium of courtly anecdotes and happenings. This is justified to a certain extent by the metrical form it adopts, falconry being the excuse for a rhetorical artifice and the own interests of its author.

The next paper I attended was "Hacia Juan del Encina: pastores y pastoras en la literatura de los siglos XIV y XV", by Álvaro Alonso Miguel (Complutense University). After having gathered all the examples of Hispanic lyrical poetry previous to Encina'sworks, in which shepherds are mentioned in an amorous context, Alonso suggested that they were not enough evidence to justify Encina's production, as many of the topics touched by the poet were absent of these examples. By contrast, he found in French sources antecedents of most of the characteristics of Encina's shepherds that could explain better his writings. In a parallel panel, Barry Taylor (British Library) spoke about "Estoria y viesso en el manuscrito S de El conde Lucanor: una cuestión de mise en texte" and tried to find the most likely models for the layout of "El conde Lucanor". The structure exemplum-miniature-verse can be found in the "Dialogus miraculorum", too, but further research is needed to confirm this as the inspiration for Don Juan Manuel. The last speaker was Carina Zubillaga (University of Buenos Aires), who talked about "Los alcances de la santidad en el contexto codicológico del Ms. Esc. K-III-4". After an analysis of the structure of the manuscript, she concluded that it had been conceived to provide the reader with a progression of saints' lives and anecdotes that could be felt as an edifying process. Topics and stories would have been put together by afinity and responded to this purpose, so that the reader was progressively introduced to saints' lives and saintly behaviour, until he was able to appreciate it fully.

I will avoid talking about the presentation of a book that followed and I will start directly with the first panel of Friday, my last day at the congress. It started with the paper "Rimado de Palacio, cc. E 694-705: un problema textual", by Hugo Bizarri (University of Fribourg), who asked himself if the stanzas 694-705 of manuscript E of "Rimado de Palacio" belonged to the composition by López de Ayala. In his opinion, they result from revision and rewriting of the original text, which fit well with the authorial attitude of López de Ayala, and his omission in other manuscripts can either be justified because of them belonging to other stages of composition, or due to a lack of pages. However, further research is needed and he hopes to be able to present his results soon. Simone Marcerano (University of Santiago de Compostela) followed with a review of the manuscript tradition of the cantigas by Pero García Burgalés, and concluded that the differences among the three main witnesses can be explained from the point of view of a double tradition, that is, that they belong to two different branches of the stemma, which distinguish themselves because of the order of the stanzas, above all. The last paper was due to Rafael Ramos Nogales (University of Gerona), who presented to us two fragments of the book "Ce nous dit" preserved in an old book binding, glued to the blank pages of the end of the book. Both apparently come from the same copy, which is related to manuscrits M, J and Y; all of which derive from the sub-archetype p. The conservation of theses pieces of "Ce nous dit" in the binding of a Spanish book could be significant of this text having been better known in the Iberian Peninsula as it has been believed until now; circumstance that is confirmed by the use of "Ce nous dit" in many Spanish texts.

My last panel started with the presentation by Lucía Mosquera Novoa (University of La Coruña) of her project for editing the works of Juan de Torres, one of the best represented poets on the "Cancionero de Palacio". He must have been an important poet, according to the biographical review that Mosquera did, quoted by authors such as Torroellas, who only referred to well known poets. Her main argument is that the works of Juan de Torres must have been more widely distributed than it is currently known, and thinks that the section of the manuscript SA7 devoted to him could be in fact part of a "cancionero" of the poet. María Morrás Ruiz-Falcó (Pompeu Fabra University) in turn talked about her project of editing the "Proverbios Morales" of the Marqués de Santillana. She highlighted the problems such an edition conveys and focused a little bit on the double lecture of this work as a moral wirting and as a poetical writing. In her opinion, this could have affected the transmission of the text and, above all, the reception of it. Therefore, witnesses in which the lyrical aspect is emphasised will differ from other witnesses in which the moral purpose of them is favoured. From my perspective, the best paper of the day -and of the whole congress- was Jane Whetnall's (Queen Mary University of London). She analysed the textual story of "El triste que más morir" of the Bachiller de la Torre, and was able to offer a convincing explanation for the different order of the stanzas in the three main groups in which she has divided the texts that transmit this poem. In fact, it can be reduced to a problem in the page order inside the quires, which has been perpetuated by numerous copies.

In general, the level of the papers at the congress was high, although the distribution of the panels could have been better. I missed very much not having been able to attend José Antonio Torregrosa Díaz's paper "Cita subversiva y problemas textuales en La Celestina" on Saturday and I was slightly disappointed by the amount of papers that had been cancelled in the last minute. Some of them seemd quite interesting and I hope even absent speakers are allowed to include the written version of their papers in the congress proceedings, to be published soon. The next congress of the AHLM will take place in 2013, so that we will have enough time to prepare ourselves and submit a good proposal. Let's start thinking working for it!

Saturday, 20 August 2011

More Calls for Papers!

The long vacation is a quite time, but Medievalists never rest for too long and the I3MS has been informed about some interesting CFP we would like to share with you:

Call for Papers for the 47th International Congress on Medieval Studies (May 10-13, 2012)
The 47th International Congress on Medieval Studies, which marks the 50th anniversary of Western Michigan University's first Conference on Medieval Studies that grew into the International Congress on Medieval Studies, takes place May 10-13, 2012. The deadline for session proposals was June 1, 2011.
More information at the congress webpage:

1st Circular of the IV Congreso Internacional De La SEMYR (September 5-8, 2012)
This edition's title is "El texto infinito: reescritura y tradición en la Edad Media y el Renacimiento" and it is open to 20 minutes long papers on any aspect of re-writing and re-interpretation in Hispanic Medieval and Renaissance literature, iconography, music and translation. The Call for Papers ends the 6th January 2012 and it is necessary to be a member of the SEMYR to participate.
More information at the SEMYR website:

Call For Papers: AHGBI Conference, (University of Stirling 2-4 April, 2012)
Members of the Association are invited to submit either a proposal for a panel or an abstract for an individual paper for the Annual Conference to be held at the University of Stirling, 2nd-4th April, 2012. Proposals (150-200 words) are invited from Association members for individual papers of 20-30 minutes on any area of research relating to Spanish, Latin American or Lusophone studies. Proposals should be sent by the 7th October 2011.
More information at the AHGBI website:

Should the I3MS get more information on future CFP and congresses, we will post it here for you. Enjoy your summer holidays and start thinking about next term's sessions!

Friday, 19 August 2011

I3MS in "El filólogo en la red"

I3MS would like to thank Jaime Galbarro García for including us among the recommended links in his blog "El filólogo en la red". We hope this will be the beginning of a productive and enriching relationship and exchange with other on-line projects of interest for Medievalists working on Iberian and Italian topics.

Call for papers: LAST CALL to the WISPS XII Conference!

The I3MS has received an urgent annoucement from the organisers of the XII Conference of the WISPS:

Women in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies (WISPS) is a group of colleagues concerned with feminist studies and with the role of women in British and Irish Luso-Hispanism. The annual conference is one of the main events in the WISPS calendar. This year the conference will be held at the Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, University of London on 10th and 11th November 2011, in addition there will be a WISPS workshop on November 12th.

The conference is open to all those working in university departments in Great Britain and Ireland and/or researching into fields such as feminist theory, history, cultural memory, linguistics, literature, cultural and textual theory, audio and film studies, performance studies, politics, anthropology, geography, queer theory, and theatre studies, within Luso-Hispanic culture. Proposals (200 words) are invited for individual papers of 20 minutes or for panels, consisting of three papers of 20 minutes on any area of research relating to Spanish, Latin American or Lusophone studies. Proposals should be sent by the 1st September 2011, including name of speaker, title of paper and full contact details to the conference organizers. Proposals are welcome from members and non-members and from male and female academics and Postgraduate students whose research falls within Spanish, Portuguese and Latin-American Studies (including Portuguese-speaking Africa, Macau, Goa and Timor). Some of the themes we will address in this year’s conference are: Performance, interpretation and translation. We would particularly welcome proposals for papers and panels that engage the conference’s keynote topics and events: Poetry and performance, Teaching and learning, Theatre and translation. Papers on topics not covered by these themes are also welcome

More information at the WISPS home-page and the conference website.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Review of the colloquium "Digital Methods for Medieval Hispanic Studies" (8-9 July 2011, Magdalen College)

Last 8th and 9th of July Magdalen College has been the venue for the first international colloquium of the Medieval Hispanic Text and Manuscript Seminar (MHTMS) "Digital Methods for Medieval Hispanic Studies" (visit its website here). During two days, reputed scholars in the fields of Digital Humanities and Hispanism have presented their on-line projects and shared their "know-how" with all the attendants, as well as discussed the current and future applications of technology to Medieval Hispanic Studies.

In representation of the project Philobiblon, Harvey Sharrer (University of California) presented the new interface of this well-known bio-bibliographical database of texts written in the various Romance vernaculars of the the Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Ages and the early Renaissance. Based on four different bibliographies (BETA, BIPA, BITAGAP y BITECA), Philobiblon provides a search engine that allows multiple kinds of search (by bio-bibliographical data, by geographical information, by secondary references, etc.) and comprehensive information about each record, which is kept as up-to-date and as free of errors as possible. Despite some problems with special characters, the site works quickly and effectively so that, once discovered, it becomes an essential tool for the researcher. On the other hand, Philobiblon benefits from the feedback of its users, therefore it is a project in continuous development and aspires to become the most comprehensive and reliable source of information on Iberian medieval and early Renaissance texts.

A most useful tool for the researcher will be the Corpus Hispánico y Americano en la red: textos antiguos (CHARTA) network, presented by Paul Spence, acting head of the Department of Digital Humanities at King's College (London). Its aim is to provide digital editions of archival documents written in Spanish from its origins to the XIXth century, with the double task of preserving those documents and making them accesible for reserachers all over the world. Therefore, the project contemplates facsimile, paleographic and critical editions of texts, which cover the needs of scholars of the most different fields. In the next months, the first digital editions are expected to appear, but similar experiences have been done in the fields of epigraphy and classic studies before, from which CHARTA has learnt a lot and is a direct heir, so that there is no doubt about the utility of the project.

The afternoon session was opened by Andrés Enrique-Arias (Universitat des Illes Balears) with the on-line project Biblia medieval, originally conceived as a tool for linguistic research but which can be used for other kind of research too, e.g. literary or historical. Because of the uncommon amount of medieval biblical translations in Spanish and the considerable size of the linguistic corpus available in it (about 800.000 words), the Bible is an almost perfect text for the linguistic research, therefore, the search engine that accompanies this project offers, apart from the typical search by vers, chapter and book; the possibility of looking for concrete words and word forms. Two are the main uses of the project: first, comparing the different versions of the biblical texts among multiple versions of the Bible or parts of it; second, counting and locating the appearances of a certain word form. This reflects in its table format, although efforts are being made to improve the presentation of the results and making comparison easier.

A different kind of corpus, the literary The Digital Library of Old Spanish Texts, was  presented by Francisco Gago Jover (College of the Holy Cross). Its main purpose is to provide semi-paleographic transcriptions of not so well known medieval texts, despite having started with the extensive work of king Alfonso X, and to follow up with more accesible texts. As it is conceived as a digital repository, it does not include but the text, leaving to other projects the ellaboration of new tools to work with them (what I, personally, considered the most relevant contribution of this presentation). The transcription can be accessed in "labelled format" (plain text + labels) or formatted and accompanied by concordances. These concordances are static, which means the loading time of the site is shorter than if the search was dynamic.

The presentation of the Corpus del español and the Corpus do português by Michael Ferreira (Georgetown University) was useful to discover the multiple utilities of both projects, their database and search engines being the most complete and comprehensive a researcher could require. Not limited to the usual searches by lemma, chronology or semantic field, these corpuses provide us with varied search possibilities and multiple ways of sorting the results, so that almost all research needs are covered. Moreover, the attendants to the colloquium were able to take a short look at a different concept of digital editing which maintains and reproduces the layout of the original text, including annotations, illustrations, catchwords, etc.; by taking advantage of styling tools.

The last presentation of the day was devoted to the Biblioteca Digital de Diálogo Hispánico (Dialogyca BDDH), whose working was explained by Esther Gómez-Sierra (University of Manchester). Apart from the usual bibliographical information, the project provides the user with scanned images of some of the texts and links to relevant secondary sources or parallel sites, so that its interactivity and the use of internal links are remarkable. Some of this information is for registered users only, but it is still a very useful tool.

The second and last session of the colloquium started with the presentation of The Cantigas de Santa María database and critical edition, a project lead by Stephen Parkinson (University of Oxford) that has experienced recently the dangers of the internet: it has suffered a severe hacking attack which has kept it offline for several weeks. However, this is an experience from which can be learnt too, as security, compatibility and portabiblity of the data involved in any project in the field of Digital Humanities have been a major concern during the colloquium. With regard to the project itself, its comprehensiveness is the most appealing characteristic of it, as it includes not only the usual bibliographical information, but information related to the music and, in a future, it could include the information regarding the miniatures that accompany the text too.

As comprehensive as the latter is the Electronic Corpus of 15th Century Castilian Cancionero Manuscripts, a project that was presented by Fiona Maguire and Dorothy Severin (Liverpool University). Following the spirit of Brian Dutton, who was himself a pioneer in applying new technologies to his own work on Cancionero poetry, this project pretends to supply researchers with the whole range of Cancionero texts, included those left out by Dutton. Apart from this and some digitalised manuscripts, the project applies computing techniques to aspects of the philological work other than textual edition, providing automatically generated stemmata in the form of an unrooted phylogram and/or a bootstrap cladogram, which give us useful information about the relations among witnesses and their reliability thanks to genetic algorithms and other tecniques used in the field of biology. This shows how other disciplines can contribute to Digital Humanities.

The project Biblioteca digital de escritoras medievales hispánicas, represented by Isabel Navas Ocaña (Universidad de Almería/Cambridge University), is not available on-line yet, but will be soon. Its more didactic nature makes this a general interest project that could be of some use for researchers wanting to access the work of not so well known medieval female writers, but its main purpose seems to be to popularise the writings by female authors that have not been widely edited or published. Therefore, it will focus in a selection of primary and secondary texts, with some extra didactic support, instead of providing the researcher with the complete textual sources or dealing with comprehensive critical bibliography.

The Dictionary of Portuguese Paleographic Abbreviations is an individual project by Susana Pedro (Lisbon University) that will be on-line soon too, which pretends to provide the scholar with a very useful on-line tool but, at the same time, wants to honour the life-long work of her mentor. The purpose of this project is to digitalise and automatise the numerous handwritten cards gathered by the latter, so that it can be easily accessed through the internet.

In the last presentation of the colloquium John Coleman (University of Oxford) spoke about the collaboration of the Oxford Virtual Research Environment for the Study of Documents and Manuscripts with the Bamboo Project. Its purpose being quite similar to the CHARTA project presented by Paul Spence, the most interesting contribution of this last talk was to inform us about an existing initiative of creating tools for the Digital Humanities so that researchers can devote most of their time to research, without having to spend too long conceiving and developing the technical side of their projects. This lead us to the question of duplication of efforts and projects as a result of an important lack of communication among projects in the Digital Humanities, and the colloquium concluded with the honest intention of trying to solve the problem.

Apart from making known all the above mentioned projects, the most  important contribution of this colloquium has been to put in common experiences, concerns and desires regarding the application of new technologies to the study of hispanic medieval texts. Moreover, this has been the first step to finish with the lack of communication among current, past and future projects, and we expect this first colloquium of the MHTMS to signal the beginning of an intense dialogue among medievalists interested in digital humanities.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Tomorrow: Last I3MS session of the course year with Emily Price (MSt in Italian)

Co-founder of I3MS speaking at the colloquium of the MHRS

Unfortunately, Florence Curtis will not be able to attend tomorrow's session of the I3MS, but there is a very good reason for her absence: she will be giving a paper at the 22nd Colloquium of the Medieval Hispanic Research Seminar at Queen Mary, University of London. Her talk is intitled "The Christian Aesthetics of Vision in the Libro de Alexandre" and it will deal with the influence of Christian imagery and interpretation of images over the structure of the Spanish late XIIth century work Libro de Alexandre and how this affects to the meaning as well as to the conception of the work.

I3MS would like to send its best wishes for her presentation and is very proud of having one of its participants taking part in such a prestigious event as the colloquium of the MHRS. More information about the event available at:

Monday, 6 June 2011

Next Thursday 9th of June: Rachel Scott

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Next Thursday 26th of May: Mike Hodder (IMPORTANT! This session takes place in Lecture Room B)

Monday, 23 May 2011

More events in Digital Humanities at the University of Oxford

After announcing the Digital.Humanites@Oxford Summer School, the I3MS is pleased to announce the colloquium Digital Methods for Medieval Hispanic Studies, organised by the Medieval Hispanic Text and Manuscript Seminar (MHTMS), whose website can be found at the section "Partner sites" of this blog.

The colloquium will take place the 8th and 9th of July 2011 and will bring together established and new projects applying digital technology to the transcription, analysis, study, and dissemination of medieval Hispanic texts and manuscripts. For more information, please visit (under construction).

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Next Thursday 12th of May: Jennifer Norris (LAST MINUTE! Session is taking place in the Memorial Room)

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Review of the VIII ALEPH Congress (27-29th April, University of Gerona)

From 27th to 29th of April has taken place in Gerona (Spain) the 8th congress of the Spanish association for young hispanists ALEPH that, with more than seventy speakers from about forty European and American universities, can be considered the most important meeting of predoctoral researchers in Iberian and Latin American literatures at the current time (a copy of the programme can be found here). Despite the underrepresentation of Medieval Studies, the topic of the congress "Fuentes, historia y tradición en la literatura hispánica" (Sources, history and tradition in Hispanic literature) has allowed one of our fellows to infiltrate and to provide us with the following first-hand review of the event.

The University of Gerona is a rather small one, but it has demonstrated that it can take in a huge event such as the VIII ALEPH Congress. Located in the old convent of Sant Domènec, at the very top of the old town, the Faculty of Letters has been during three days the picturesque stage for twenty-four sessions on different areas of research related to Hispanic literature. After a warm welcome by the dean Dr Joan Ferrer, Henry Ettinghausen (University of Southampton, but former Oxonian graduate) opened the congress with an inspiring talk about his own experience working with literary sources and the current possibilities of research in that direction, after which he gave way to the central part of the congress, that is, the papers by DPhil candidates of the most different universities and research centres in Europe and America.

Not having the gift for being everywhere at once, I decided to attend only the sessions related to Renaissance and Golden Age literature, which this first day covered a significant range of genres and historical moments, including the fifteenth century author Juan del Encina, the final establishment of the literay topic of the court being a "mare malorum" in the sixteenth century, the "Cancionero de López Maldonado" of 1586 and a comprehensive review of the seventeenth century picaresque, scientific literature, historical prose, theatre and translation. The methodological approaches were also varied, ranging from genetic criticism in "Un manuscrito inédito de La jornada del Brasil de Juan de Valencia y Guzmán" (Daniel García Vicens, University of Gerona) to source criticism in "El legado de la Arcadia virgiliana en en la obra de Juan del Encina" (Blanca Ballester Morell, University of Barcelona) and "La Corte como mare malorum: tradición y fuentes para un tópico renacentista" (Mª del Rosario Martínez Navarro, University of Sevilla), as well as dealing with the historical truth of literary texts in "La batalla de Fuenterrabía en No hay cosa como callar de Calderón de la Barca" (Karine Delmondes, University of Navarra) and "Estrategias de legitimación tras el elogio: Herrera Maldonado y su Apología en favor de Fernán Méndez Pinto" (Iván Teruel Cáceres, University Autonoma of Barcelona) or the characteristics of picaresque novel in "Rinconete y Cortadillo: novela de pícaros" (Paula Renata de Ataujo, University of Sao Paulo) and "Un pícaro virtuoso: paradigma del pícaro cervantino en La ilustre fregona en contraposición con el Guzmán Alfarache" (Alejandro de Jesús Loeza Zaldívar, University of Navarra). From an ideological perspective the first day of the congress counted with the papers "Saavedra Fajardo y la revolución astronómica del XVII: Tradición vs. Innovación" (Sonia Boadas Cabarrocas, University of Gerona) and, to a certain extent and in a more poetical sense, "El prólogo del Cancionero de López Maldonado" (Ana Mª Maldonado Cuns, University of Santiago de Compostela). The average quality of the papers was very high and showed good research abilities, but I would highlight especially the talks by Sonia Boadas and Daniel García, not only because of being the hosts of the congress, but because of their interesting conclusions and amazingly clear expositions.

The first day finished with a comprehensive visit to the old town that tested how fit the participants were and their balance, as climbing stairs is a constant in Gerona and the streets are rather designed for mountain boots than for heels. Disadvantages of Medieval layouts. Unfortunately, the rain forced us to look for shelter earlier than expected, however, it had been a long day and the following one started early, so going back to accommodation was welcomed by all.

At 09:30 "La ocasión histórica en los poemas gongorinos: a propósito de las décimas sobre la toma de Larache" (Sara Pezzini, University of Pisa) opened the morning sessions on Renaissance and Golden Age literature, a topic familiar to the attendants of the Golden Age Reading Group at Exeter College, followed by "La repercusión en la poesía española de la visita a España del príncipe de Gales, Carlos Estuardo, en 1623" (Zaida Vila Carnero, University of Santiago de Compostela). The remaining papers focused exclusively on theatre, with some predilection for Lope de Vega in three of the four remaining talks, that is, "El viaje del exilio de un morisco de ficción: memoria literaria del desarraigo hispano musulmásn en la novela La desdicha por la honra de Lope de Vega" (Benedetta Belloni, University Cattolica del Sacro Cuore), "La doma de la boba: de fuentes y tradiciones en Shakespeare y Lope de Vega" (Guillermo Gómez, ITEM and Complutense University) and "Il novellino de Masuccio Salernitano en algunas comedias de Lope y Calderón" (Diana Berruezo, University of Barcelona). The latter shared with "De Barclay a Calderón: algunas claves para la determinación de la fuente inmediata de Argenis y Poliarco" (Alicia Vara López, University of Santiago de Compostela) the topic of Calderón de la Barca, but once again the methodological approaches were completely diverse. This time, my favourites were those that traced carefully the sources, including the papers by Guillermo Gómez, Diana Berruezo and Alicia Vara, but I must admit that the historical approach to the other topics was very satisfactory too.

A panel of specialists in fin-de-siècle literature (Isabel Clúa, University of Barcelona; Jordi Luengo, University Pablo de Olavide; and Begoña Sáez, University of Alicante) closed the morning session with some reflections on the disdainful attitude of scholars towards decadent and bohemian literature and gave an overview of the open research paths in this field. The afternoon was again devoted to DPhil candidates, but this time no Renaissance or Golden Age topics were handled, so I must admit that I only attended the general meeting of the association afterwards, in which the new representatives were elected, the venue for the next congress was voted and the book "Del verbo al espejo. Reflejos y miradas de la literatura hispánica", containing the proceedings of the previous ALEPH Congress, was presented. Free digital copies of the latter were given to the participants and an on-line version will be available soon here, as well as physical copies have been made available for those who participated and prefer paper to pdf. On the other hand, the election of Cádiz beyond the other candidates (Sevilla, Oviedo) as the venue of the coming congress was almost unanimous due to its coincidence with the bicentenary of the Constitution of 1812, a.k.a. La Pepa, so that ALEPH can join the celebrations that will take place in the city during the whole year. In addition, I can advance that the topic for the next year will be related to subversive writing and freedom, but it is highly advisable to keep track of the congress at its website. Finally, the new board of directors will be published soon there, too.

The last day, only one session was devoted to Renaissance and Golden Age literature in which Amaranta Saguar García (University of Oxford) and Sofía Cantalapiedra Delgado (University of Barcelona) spoke about biblical and classical tradition respectively. Unfortunately, the third speaker (Diego Fabián Arévalo) could not attend the congress, but this circumstance favoured the expositions of Amaranta Saguar and Sofía Cantalapiedra, which were able to talk at lenght about their topics "Influencia de la hipérbole sacroprofana bíblica sobre la interpretación y la estructura de Celestina" and "La tradición clásica en El Eneas de Dios de Agustín Moreto". Both were praised and congratulated by their listeners afterwards, who highlighted above all the convincing evidences they supplied for supporting their respective arguments.

The reputed scholar Jorge García López (University of Gerona) closed the congress with a talk intiled "Pierre Menard, autor del Quijote" in which he approached to Borges' short story from a very inspiring perspective that analysed the history of the criticism about Cervantes and its evolution until its current state. Farewell followed, but I am sure that there will be several familiar faces and names at the next ALPEH congress. See you there!

New term, more I3MS

Trinity begins and the I3MS has at least four standard sessions ahead this term, to which we would like to invite you and in which you can participate too. The I3MS is still looking for speakers for some of the sessions, so if you would like to give a short paper at the seminar, please contact us at

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Digital.Humanites@Oxford Summer School

The Digital Humanities Summer School returns to Oxford and its programme is now available at As you know, the I3MS supports Digital Humanities and we would like to encourage you to attend this five-day course. There are discounts for students and early-bird bookings so, what are you waiting for?

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Call for papers: Trinity Term

I3MS is looking for volunteers for the next term!

Should you be interested in being one of our speakers, please contact us at and tell us a little bit more about you and your research interests, as well as your proposed topic and preferred date. Only 9th June is not available, as Rachel Scott will be giving a short paper on a celestinesque topic that day, in advance of the celestinesque MIMSS session in the afternoon, to which we would like to invite you too. More information coming soon.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Next Thursday 10th of February: David Bowe

Friday, 4 March 2011

Call for papers: Next session of I3MS

I3MS is looking for volunteers to give the next talk on 10th March. Should you be interested in being our next speaker, please contact us at and tell us a little bit more about you and your research interests, as well as your proposed topic.


I3MS wants to congratulate two of its members, who got papers accepted at coming conferences and congresses:
  • David Bowe on (topic t.b.c.) at the next Oxford Medieval Graduate Conference, on 12-13th April (University of Oxford, Lincoln College)
  • Amaranta Saguar García on Influencia de la Biblia en la construcción de la hipérbole sacroprofana en «Celestina» at the VIII ALEPH Congress, on 27-29th April (Universidad de Gerona)
More information at their respective homepages: Oxford Medieval Graduate Conference and VIII ALEPH Congress

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Next Thursday 24th of February: Florence Curtis

Monday, 21 February 2011

Call for papers: Digital Humanites and Hispanism

As you probably know, the I3MS encourages the application of new technologies to Medieval studies, so when we heard about this CFP we absolutely thought of you:
CFP: Digital Humanities and Hispanism - An Electronic Roundtable
(Abstracts 15 Mar 2011; Convention: 5-8 Jan 2012, MLA, Seattle)
full name / name of organization: MLA, Special Session
contact email:

This electronic round-table will showcase different ways digital media and tools inform teaching, scholarship, publication, and collaboration within Hispanism. Each of 8 panelists will offer a five-minute demonstration of their digital project emphasizing how the medium has changed the way they approach their work. During the remaining 30 minutes, the audience will circulate around the panelists’ stations to ask individual questions and get a closer look at the projects. Representation from Peninsularists, Latinamericanists, and specialists in US Latino is anticipated. Must be member of MLA by April 1, 2011.

Please send 250 word abstract including link to digital work, if available by 15 March 2011 to
Kyra A. Kietrys 
  More information at:

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Partner event: MIMSS Session

The Magdalen Iberian Medieval Studies Seminar (MIMSS) has announced its next session, which will deal with a topic of Iberian and Italian interest, so we would like to encourage you to make time on your calendars for this event.
Dr Lucia Binotti
(University of North Carolina)

Reading and readers of Spanish Sentimental Fiction in Italy

Session of MIMSS
Thursday, March 3, 2011, 5.00 pm
Old Practice Room, Magdalen College
(Tea and coffee will be served from 4.30)

For more information, visit MIMSS website (it can be found at the Partner sites section too).

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Next Thursday 10th of February: Jennifer Rushworth

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Seminars and Congresses: Coming soon!

This is just a short notice to remind you about some relevant seminars and congresses that will take place in the following months:
Please, feel free to contribute with other events you may know!

Monday, 24 January 2011

Next Thursday 27th of January: Introductory session

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