Events & Excursions

Making Leeds Medieval

Immerse yourself in the Middle Ages

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Late Roman combat display amid the crowds at IMC 2018
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Excursions

Explore medieval sites around the region

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Fountains Abbey, North Yorkshire
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Concerts and Performances

Experience medieval-themed music, drama and storytelling

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Senior girls choir of Leeds Cathedral holding music
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Workshops

Discover new craft or research techniques

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A female delegate sews the spine of her handmade book.
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Every year the IMC runs a varied programme of events, from musical concerts to dramatic performances via craft workshops, film screenings and, of course, Making Leeds Medieval.

More information on the events involved in Making Leeds Medieval, Concerts and Performances,  Fairs and Exhibitions, Workshops, Excursions, Receptions, and Special Collection Drop-Ins can be found in this section. In addition to these events, there are also a number of Special Events and Film Screenings available, which are listed below.

The description of each event will explain whether you need to buy a ticket. Tickets can be purchased through the University of Leeds Online Store after registration has opened. Tickets for any events that have not sold out will be available from the Refectory Help Desk during congress week. For free events, you do not have to book in advance unless otherwise stated on these pages.

Special Events

Traditional Music Session

Hosted by Alan V. Murray

Sunday 05 July, 20.00-22.00
This event is free of charge.

Several musicians will be playing and singing folk music from (broadly speaking) the Scottish / Irish / English / American traditions on fiddle, pipes, whistle, guitar, and other instruments (playing tunes mostly in D, G, and A concert pitch). Anyone who wants to bring their instrument (including voice) is welcome to come along and join in (sorry, no crumhorns)!

This event is not a concert, but an informal opportunity to meet and play music with other delegates. We invite you to get a drink and play, sing, or just listen!

Gold, Garnet, and Lead: A Response to the West Yorkshire Hoard

An Exhibition of Artwork by Lorna Johnson
Monday 06 July, 11.00-15.00
Exhibition Tours 11.00 and 14.00 Daily (Each tour will last approximately
15 minutes)
Admission to this exhibition is free of charge.

This exhibition looks to discuss the curated group of objects brought together and then bound together through time and space: a hoard. The focus of this exhibition is the West Yorkshire Hoard, which was buried and found in Yorkshire. Through a series of new artwork, made in response to this hoard, the exhibition and tour aims to spark discussion about the material binds that brought these objects together. By considering their physical and material makeup as the catalyst for their eventual hoard-bound state, this next stage in these objects’ use-life can be contemplated.
Lorna Johnson is a visual artist and practice-led PhD student at the University of Leeds, based at the School of Fine Art, Art History & Cultural Studies. Working predominantly to make artist-made objects and sculptural installations / assemblages, Johnson’s work is inclusive and experimental. Her instinct is to cherry-pick, and she sees this as part of her role as an artist. She is drawn to objects and materials where the monetary value is questionable; visually this is explored through the combinations of materials and quantities of items that she chooses to use and make, and the associations people may have with both material and object. This is currently taking a central role in the work she is conducting as part of her practice-led thesis research: Yorkshire Hoards – Understanding the objective / subjective value of the objects we continue to earmark, lay, maintain, stow, put away through the artist’s edit. Johnson exhibits both nationally and internationally.

For further information, visit www.lornamilnerjohnson.com.

Medievalists’ Picnic

Hosted by Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Monday 06 July, 13.00-14.00
This event is free of charge.

Many people come to the IMC with friends and colleagues, or already know lots of people at the Congress. But many Congress delegates come to Leeds without ready-made groups of friends to hang out with. So, if you’d like to meet some new people this lunchtime, bring some food to the Medievalists’ Picnic, hosted by the director of the Institute for Medieval Studies, Alaric Hall. We’ll all eat together, have a chat, and get to know one another. The event will be informal and fun; everyone is welcome, but especially first-time visitors to the Congress.

Medieval Society Pub Quiz

Medieval Society Pub Quiz
Hosted by LUU Medieval Society
Monday 06 July, 19.15-21.00
This event is free of charge.

Come wind down after your first day of sessions with the annual Medieval Society pub quiz! The LUU Medieval Society will re-imagine the traditional British pub quiz by asking IMC delegates to form teams and answer questions posed by the Medieval Society quizmaster on all things medieval. Pool your knowledge with your colleagues to compete for everlasting glory and a small prize – you may even get a crown! The quiz will begin after 19.30 but please arrive early to nab a table and get organised.
The LUU Medieval Society was formed in 2013 in order to promote a thriving community of medievalists in the University and city of Leeds. To learn more about LUU Medieval Society, visit www.luu.org.uk/medieval.

Open Mic Night

Open Mic Night
Hosted by Robin Fishwick
Tuesday 07 July, 20.00-22.00
This event is free of charge.

Not with an actual microphone (that would be silly!) the IMC Open Mic Night offers a variety of fare from poetry readings to music, song, even dance sometimes. We have had music from the troubadours, Viking sagas, medieval poetry, and a variety of musical instruments. Medieval contributions are particularly welcome but it is an opportunity to share anything you always wanted to perform with the international audience the IMC provides. Whether you come to perform or listen you will find the ambience of the Emmanuel Centre Claire Chapel and emcee Robin Fishwick’s famous spiced fruit punch unforgettable.
Robin Fishwick is the Quaker Chaplain at the Universities Chaplaincy and a supporter of various music nights in Leeds. He is a bit of a singer/songwriter himself and plays a variety of instruments – some of them quite weird!

Storytelling Circle

Storytelling Circle
Hosted by James Baillie
Wednesday 08 July, 21.00-22.30
This event is free of charge.

Come and join other IMC attendees for a late night storytelling circle! The art of oral storytelling in various forms was integral to the background of many works we now think of primarily as literary texts, and this is an opportunity to experience something of that as well as an alternative to the IMC Dance for those who want some quieter entertainment. Come to listen to and share riddles, poems, and spoken stories, be they medieval, folkloric, or otherwise.

All are welcome to come and participate – no experience expected or needed – or just come and go as you please and relax and listen as the night draws in around us.

This event is sponsored by LUU Medieval Society. The LUU Medieval Society was formed in 2013 in order to promote a thriving community of medievalists in the University and city of Leeds. To learn more about LUU Medieval Society, visit www.luu.org.uk/medieval.

IMC Dance

IMC Dance

Wednesday 08 July, 21.30-02.00

This event is free of charge

A local DJ will provide the entertainment.

IMC Ceilidh

IMC Ceilidh
Thursday 09 July, 20.30-22.30
This event is free of charge.

Pronunciation: ‘kay-lee’
Forms: Also ceilidhe.
Etymology: < Irish céilidhe, Scottish Gaelic cēilidh, < Old Irish céile companion
In Scotland and Ireland:
a. An evening visit, a friendly social call
b. A session of traditional music, storytelling, or dancing
To bring IMC 2020 to a festive close, the Assumption Ceilidh Band will be performing in the Refectory. No prior experience is required as all dances will be taught beforehand, so please come to kick up your heels.

The Assumption Ceilidh Band primarily plays for local charities and schools, but they also perform for special occasions such as weddings and birthdays. They play a mixture of traditional instrumental Irish music, folk songs, old tyme waltzes, and Irish set dances such as the ‘Bridge of Athlone’ and the ‘Walls of Limerick’. The band ranges from seven to nine people (including a caller). Members of the band (who are very good friends and thoroughly enjoy each other’s company) are a mixture of younger as well as more mature members.

Film Screenings

IMC Film Screening: Gräns (2018)

IMC Film Screening: Gräns (2018)

Introduced by Rose Sawyer
Monday 06 July,19.00-22.00
This event is free of charge.

Gräns (English translation Border) is a Swedish fantasy film based upon a short story of the same name by John Ajvide Lindqvist (author of Let the Right One In). Directed by Ali Abassi, an Iranian-Danish film director and screenplay writer, Gräns won the Un Certain Regard award at the Cannes Film Festival and was selected as the Swedish entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2018 Academy Awards.
The film tells the story of Tina, a ferry terminal border guard with a unique sense of smell, who develops a fascination for a strange traveller she encounters through her work. Although the setting is modern, the narrative combines psychological realism with folkloric elements. Alissa Simon of Variety described the film as ‘an exciting, intelligent mix of romance, Nordic noir, social realism, and supernatural horror that defies and subverts genre conventions’.

Rose Sawyer completed her PhD in the Institute for Medieval Studies at University of Leeds. Her research considers the way underlying social tensions can be expressed through elements of the medieval imaginative landscape, focusing particularly on the experience of childhood.

Viewers should note that this is film is rated 15 for strong sexual content, graphic nudity, profanity, and references to child abuse.

Performance as Pedagogy: Filming the Old English Elegies

Performance as Pedagogy: Filming the Old English Elegies
Special screening with director Jo. George
Tuesday 07 July, 19.00-20.30
This event is free of charge.

The term ‘Old English Elegies’ refers to a group of short poems, most of which are preserved in the 11th-century manuscript known as the Exeter Book. Although none of these poems are elegies in the strictest sense, they share a tone of personal lament. Jo. George has started a project of which the ultimate aim is to adapt all of the Old English elegies to film. These films will be made available as an educational package that should prove invaluable to teachers of Old English as well as scholars working on the burgeoning topic of Old English poetry and performativity. The elegies are filmed using her own modern English translations to make them available to a wider audience, but the package will also include a programme that enables the user to listen to the poems in the original language as well. Many of the actors, musicians, and technicians involved in the making of these films have been drawn from the JOOT Theatre Company, which was founded by Jo. George in 1992. To date, The Husband’s Message, The Ruin, The Wanderer, and Wulf and Eadwacer have been completed; these are the films that will be screened at this event.

The JOOT Theatre Company is based at University of Dundee. The Company initially devoted itself to the production of medieval mystery and morality plays, but in more recent times has extended its remit to include, for example, its own stage adaptation of Derek Jarman’s unfilmed screenplay of Bob-Up-A-Down (which has a medieval setting). Currently, JOOT has embarked upon a project to adapt a series of Older Scots poems for the stage, the first being Robert Henryson’s Testament of Cresseid. Through these adaptations, audiences are given the unique opportunity of seeing medieval Scottish poetry brought to life on the stage as well as experiencing the remarkable performative quality of this early verse. JOOT has, in addition, recently branched out into film and is involved in a major project to adapt the Old English elegies for the screen.

Jo. George is a Senior Lecturer in English & Theatre Studies at the University of Dundee, where she also runs the JOOT Theatre Company. She has published widely on such topics as Old English poetry, early drama, the Pre-Raphaelites, and the films of Derek Jarman.

Medieval Society Movie Night

Medieval Society Movie Night
Hosted by LUU Medieval Society
Tuesday 07 July, 20.00-22.30
This event is free of charge.

Come wind down after your second day of sessions with the Medieval Society movie night! We will be showing the medieval classic: A Knight’s Tale (PG-13). The film follows the adventures of a peasant named William Thatcher who poses as a knight competing in tournaments, in which he wins accolades and the attention of Jocelyn, a noblewoman. William encounters historical figures such as Geoffrey Chaucer and Edward the Black Prince.

The LUU Medieval Society was formed in 2013 in order to promote a thriving community of medievalists in the University and city of Leeds. To learn more about LUU Medieval Society, visit www.luu.org.uk/medieval.