CamMedSem Student Workshop Review

Cat Watts on behalf of CamMedSem

DEC 8, 2020

Session: 26th Nov
Research Poster Session

On 26th November 2020, CamMedSem hosted our first ever poster session, taking advantage of not having to organise poster-boards, find a space, or even source wine and apple juice.

This online poster session gave undergraduates, MPhil and PhD students at the University of Cambridge the chance to take their projects for a spin with a supportive, friendly, and academically rigorous audience. The projects under discussion ranged from Year Abroad Projects to undergraduate dissertations to theses. Medievalists at all stages of their academic careers turned out to support the presenters.

The presentations covered a vast range of topics, with a surprising focus on the Albigensian Crusades from undergraduates Susie Tucker and Salil Navapurkar, whose historiographical research was highly promising. PhD students and ECRs came together to provide a wealth of reading and support for research into the understudied Chanson de la Croisade Albigeoise. An MPhil project into the surprisingly un-gruesome English cadaver memorials rounded out the first panel, as Morgan Ellis Leah demonstrated her argument that English cadaver memorials are distinct from their European counterparts. Leah convincingly linked their lean and hungry look to St Augustine instead of the plague, with participants more than convinced and very happy to be distracted from the plague.

In the second panel, undergraduate Libby Beckett put forward her work researching the expression of sanctity by and through the feminine body. Her work covered a wide range of hagiography and mysticism and provoked lively and very excited discussion. Continuing the theme of the female body, Sarah Brady traced the “maternal ouroboros”, bringing highly original thoughts on the medusine, the specular, and the abjected to the fore. Finally, I presented thoughts on Marvel comics and the merveille in Marie de France’s lais.

Taking part in this poster session was incredibly rich and rewarding. The chance to present to an interested and informed audience was invaluable, and questions and comments throughout were insightful and constructive. We’re all very excited at CamMedSem for our mini-conference next term, and encourage undergraduates and early postgraduate researchers to get involved!

Cat Watts