ISAS Conference, 2011

University of Wisconsin, Madison, U.S.A.

The fifteenth biennial meeting of the Society took place from July 31 to August 5 at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA on the theme “Anglo-Saxon England and the Visual Imagination.” Featured were three keynote lectures, thirty-nine regular papers, and two project reports. Approximately 120 persons registered for the conference.

Keynote lectures were given by Michelle P. Brown (on art history), Anna Gannon (on numismatics), and Leslie Webster (on archaeology). Papers were given by Mary Blanchard, Herbert Broderick, Paul Cavill, Peter Darby, Craig Davis, Nicole Guenther Discenza, Helen Foxhall Forbes, Martin Foys, Jay Gates, Thomas Hall, Carole Hough, Matthew Hussey, Christopher A. Jones, Alice Jorgensen, Eileen Joy, Catherine Karkov, Johanna Kramer, Leslie Lockett, Rosalind Love, Kathryn Lowe, Colin Mackenzie, Nicole Marafioti, Nathan Mertes, Allesandra Molinari, Rory Naismith, Brian O’Camb, Karin Olsen, Mo Pareles, Carol Braun Pasternack, Andrew Rabin, Daniel C. Remein, Mercedes Salvador Bello, Margaret Scott, Annina Seiler, Philip Shaw, Peter Stokes, and Robert Upchurch. Project reports were given on “The Lexis of Cloth and Clothing Project” (by Gale Owen-Crocker and Mark Zumbuhl) and on “The Revision of Laistner-King, A Handlist of Bede Manuscripts” (by George Hardin Brown and Joshua A. Westgard). Special lunch-time programs were offered by Dick Ringler and Norman Gilliland on “Beowulf as Radio Drama” and by Carol Neuman de Vegvar on “Thought-Processes Underlying Anglo-Saxon Art and Architecture.”

The conference was preceded by a two-day workshop on “Making — and Theorizing — the Early Medieval Book,” co-directed by Michelle P. Brown and Jonathan Wilcox with the assistance of Cheryl Jacobsen, a professional scribe. Fifteen graduate students and one recent PhD took part in this hands-on introduction to the world of medieval manuscript makers. Participants came from England, Scotland, Spain, Hungary, Canada, and seven different universities in the USA, and their work was later presented at the conference.

The conference began with a reception on the rooftop terrace of the Pyle Conference Center. Two full days of sessions were followed by a choice of excursions to the area of Spring Green, an hour’s drive to the west. Two more full days of sessions concluded with a General Membership Meeting presided over by John Niles. Here the winners of the biennial ISAS publication prizes were announced. The conference concluded with a reception and banquet in the University Club.

While most participants then made their way home, a group of delegates took part in a two-day post-conference excursion to the cities of Chicago and Milwaukee. Highlights of this trip included visits to the Chicago Art Institute and the Milwaukee Art Museum and a riverboat architectural tour of downtown Chicago.

The Advisory Board and the officers of ISAS met during the week to consider the Society’s business in sessions presided over by Executive Director Stacy Klein. Mary Clayton was welcomed as incoming President, succeeding John Niles at the end of the calendar year. Carole Hough was welcomed as incoming First Vice-President. Susan Irvine was elected Second Vice- President, succeeding Mary Swan. Martin Foys was elected the new Executive Director, succeeding Stacy Klein. Julia Crick was thanked for having served as interim Second Vice- President. Honorary memberships were awarded to George Clark, Patrick Conner, Mechthild Gretsch, Hugh Magennis, Audrey Meaney, Geoffrey Russom, Hans Sauer, and Paul Szarmach. Glasgow was chosen as the venue for the 2015 conference.

Throughout the week, a special exhibit on “Reflections of Anglo-Saxon England” was available for viewing in the Department of Special Collections in Memorial Library, where a reception for delegates was held.