Centre for Medieval & Early Modern Studies


The Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MEMS) was founded in 1996 as an interdisciplinary Centre within the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Kent. It has four main purposes: to administer postgraduate teaching for the long-standing MA by Coursework and Dissertation, to promote research through our MA, MPhil and PhD by research, to encourage publications in the Medieval and Early Modern periods, and to develop links with the Canterbury Cathedral Archives and Library. more details


Early English Drama & Performance Network

This recently-launched network seeks to bring together the many researchers, students and practitioners working with medieval and early modern drama and performance, from plays and pageants, music and poetry, disguisings and royal processions to questions of methodology, theory and pedagogy. In doing so, it seeks to encourage and facilitate cross-disciplinary, cross-period dialogue in the field and to act as a central hub for the community on the internet. Visit the Network's blog to find out more.


Marlowe Symposium 18th March 2014

On March 18, the School of English and MEMS will host scholars at a symposium about Christopher Marlowe’s plays. Canterbury-born Marlowe was a leading playwright of the sixteenth century and this year sees celebrations to mark the 450 anniversary of his birth. Marlowe 450 season includes performances at Canterbury Cathedral and The Marlowe Theatre. In the symposium scholars will examine Marlowe’s plays as performance texts, considering their staging in the early modern playhouse but also the interpretations of modern actors and directors. In its examination of the playwright’s dramaturgy, the symposium offers a discursive space to anticipate The Marlowe Theatre’s forthcoming performances.  Speakers and papers include:

Pascale Aebischer (Exeter),Stanislavsky in the Closet: the Sub-text of the Off-Stage in Edward Hill-Gibbins’s Edward II (NT 2013)’
Andy Kesson (Roehampton), ‘Marlowe as Early Commercial Theatre’
Georgina Lucas (Shakespeare Institute), ‘“They that shall be actors in this massacre”: Staging Massacre in The Massacre at Paris
Laurie Maguire (Oxford), 'Dr Faustus: Staging the Early Modern Mind’
Stephen Purcell (Warwick), ‘Improvisation in Doctor Faustus: A Practical Experiment in Clowning’

To reserve a place at this free event please email, s.dustagheer-463@kent.ac.uk. Sponsored by the School of English, MEMS and KIASH

Funding Opportunities

For further details on funding available for 2014 entry please click here.

2014 Renaissance Lecture (18th March, 5.50pm)

We are pleased to announce that this year's Renaissance Lecture will be given by Professor Patricia Rubin of the Institute for Fine Art, New York University and will be entitled, '(Be)hindsight: Michelangelo, modernity and the spectre of the ideal male nude'. All are welcome at the lecture, which will take place in the Grimond Building (Lecture Theatre 3), The University of Kent, and will be followed by a reception.


DocExplore: discovering historical documents in the digital age

DocExpore is a European project, involving historians, IT specialists, archivists and librarians, from Canterbury and Rouen, which has explored improving access to, and supporting analysis of historic documents through the use of technology. Developed as part of a cross-channel EU INTERREG IVa project, the DocExplore software enables digitised versions of historical documents to be explored via a touch-screen, simulating, as far as possible, the experience of accessing the physical object itself.

Dr Elizabeth Lapina's Crusader Imagery Website

The goal of my site is to share my research on the subject of "Crusader Imagery in Monumental Art in the West," funded by The Leverhulme Trust, with a wider audience.  The site includes my photographs of sculptures and mural paintings featuring crusader themes, descriptions of the monuments and some pointers on access. Many of those monuments, primarily found in England and France, are little known and photographs of them are difficult to obtain. This is the first attempt to bring these monuments together in one place. I hope that my site will be a useful source both to the scholarly community and to the members of the public interested in the crusades and in medieval heritage sites. I also hope to receive feedback that will be helpful both for my research and for further development and expansion of the site.

MEMS News: Launching the Centre's Newsletter

This spring we are launching MEMS News, a termly newsletter describing the Centre's recent, current, and imminent activities. Inside you will find information about conferences, workshops, research projects, special events, and other initiatives. MEMS News circulates in hard copy and also electronically. If you would like a hard copy, please contact Claire Taylor (c.l.taylor@kent.ac.uk). Download a full-resolution copy here (35MB) or a lower-resolution one here (7MB). We hope you enjoy it; do let us know what you think!

'Picture this...'

'Picture this...' is a collaborative venture between MEMS and Canterbury Cathedral Library. Each month an image will be taken from the wealth of manuscripts, printed books and objects from within the cathedral library and will be accompanied by a short article, written by MEMS students. This monthly feature that will be appear on the Canterbury Cathedral website.
Editor: Jayne Wackett (jaw62@kent.ac.uk) in collaboration with Karen Brayshaw, cathedral librarian. Click here for direct link or click here for the latest events posters.

MEMS Friends

The Centre for Medieval & Early Modern Studies at the University of Kent is a friendly place and it would like to have even more friends. Why not join us? Things Friends can do include Attend postgraduate seminars and conference at the Centre on a wide variety of topics, often with visiting speakers. Learn about external conferences, seminars and exhibitions. go on excursions and others visits and social events.

Membership is open to anyone with an interest in the period as well as all current members of the University of Kent.

for more details click here

Upcoming & Recent Events

Centre for Medieval & Early Modern Studies, Rutherford College, University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NX

Telephone +44 1227 823140. Fax +44 1227 827060. contact us

Last Updated: 08/04/2014