This year’s Quadrivium conference (a medieval skills conference) took place at De Montfort university in the gorgeous historic Leicester. The theme this year was digital medievalism, and we had a mixture of papers, panels and discussions. Here are the highlights!
What is an academic book?
Bex Lyons from the Academic Book of the Future project came to talk to us about the changing nature of academic publication in an increasingly digitised world. Some of the questions we asked were, what makes an academic book different from any other book? Is it who reads them? What we want from them? And what role does technology have to play in making them more accessible?
Academia in a digital future
We all got very worried about what would happen if the internet disappeared and all the ebooks vanished, but managed to hold off the fear for long enough to think about the way that new digital technologies might allow us to provide even better research resources for future students and academics.
How can technology help?
We discussed all of the ways that technology might help us as medievalists, from allowing us to create interactive online editions of manuscripts, or databases of information, or even the combination of medievalism and forensic science seen in the Imprint Project , the project that examines hand and finger prints on medieval seals.
This was accompanied by a printing and calligraphy workshop in which we typeset and sonnet and tried out hand at some medieval copying – all the way from the beginning of the medieval period into the future!
Conference report by Claire Harrill.