'in medias res'

Poster: in medias res

This one-day symposium, in medias res, will explore the theme of closure and non-closure in literature from the period, c. 1050-1500. The symposium will broadly consider the “performance” of the text, particularly exploring endings as pivotal sites in medieval conceptions of self, narrative, and reception. It will ask questions such as: 

  • Is a medieval text ever really “performed”?
  • Are all textual revisions equal, and should they be valued as such?
  • Do conventions of ars poetica inhibit or encourage narrative conclusion and individuation of the self? Indeed, is the medieval self “performable”? 

The symposium will also include a performance by the playwriting duo the Queynte Laydies, followed by a discussion on adaptation and performance chaired by Professor Helen Barr. The event is kindly sponsored by TORCH, and Oxford Medieval Studies. All are welcome to register and attend.

Click below to view the programme (PDF):


Hannah Lucas is a D.Phil candidate in English, based at St Anne's College, Oxford. Her research interests include medieval visionary writing, the history of medicine, devotional literature and vernacular theology. She has published on Thomas More, Margery Kempe, and her thesis explores the writing of Julian of Norwich.

Lucy Brookes is currently a second year D.Phil candidate at Worcester College, Oxford. She works on medieval romance, and has particular interests in identity and conventionality.