Eilean Donan Castle, Dornie, United Kingdom
Centres and institutes_

The Medieval and Early Modern Centre

Uncovering aspects of the medieval and early modern period
We explore the historical, literary, linguistic, musical and artistic history of the medieval and early modern world.

About us

The Medieval and Early Modern Centre (MEMC) is a cross-disciplinary research centre that fosters collaboration, training, and research across disciplines. We host a regular seminar series, student reading groups, workshops, and special events. Our affiliates belong to a wide range of departments and faculties across the university.

We also support postgraduate students and early career researchers in a community that encourages intellectual range and exploration. 

Our research

These are our current medieval and early modern research projects:

  • Global Middle Ages in SydneyA regular seminar series that explores the medieval from a non-Eurocentric perspective, led by Hélène Sirantoine
  • Pico della Mirandola’s Virtual Library Project: A digital humanities project to recreate the now-lost library of Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463-94), led by Francesco Borghesi
  • Skaldic Project:  An international project to edit the corpus of medieval Norse-Icelandic skaldic poetry, convened by Margaret Clunies-Ross.
  • Shakespeare Reloaded: The website of the Better Strangers project, developing fresh approaches to the teaching and learning of Shakespeare and Literary Studies at school and university, led by Liam Semler.
  • Sydney Spanish Liturgical Music Manuscript Project: A number of manuscripts of Spanish liturgical chant are currently being studied by an international group of scholars led by Jane Morlet Hardie. 
  • ARC Centre for the History of Emotions: Using historical knowledge from Europe, 1100-1800, to understand the long history of emotional behaviours. The funded activities of the Centre have ended, but a lively group of scholars continue as “Sydney Emotions Scholars,” led by Alan Maddox.
  • Rare Books & Special Collections: Ongoing collaborations to investigate, valorise, and publicise the exceptional holdings of the University of Sydney’s libraries and museums.

Our people

Our centre is made up of academics and researchers from the University of Sydney. We welcome the opportunity to connect with other researchers in various and similar disciplines. 

Our events

The centre holds lectures, workshops and reading groups throughout the year to showcase our academics and their work. To register for an event or find out more, email slam.events@sydney.edu.au.

Visit the School of Art, Communication and English event calendar for our upcoming events and seminars.


  • 30 November 2018: Nicola Parsons on Jane Barker’s Patchwork Screen Novels and Domestic Material Cultures 
  • 26 October 2018: Kate Flaherty (ANU) Shakespeare and the Suffragettes 
  • 27 September 2018: Colloquium Celebrating the Work of Bev Sherry and Ursula Potter 
  • 31 August 2018: Renaissance Literature and Visual Arts
  • 22 June 2018: Early Modern Literature and Culture group presents Early Modern Music 
  • 25 May 2018: Literary Studies in the 21st Century 
  • 6 April 2018: Editing Early Modern Texts 
  • 25 February 2018: Food and Drink in Early Modern Greece – Alfred Vincent 
  • 15 February 2018: Acord Medieval Ensemble Concert, Medieval and Early Modern Centre

To find out more about these past events, please contact us.


Read past editions of the Medieval and Early Modern Centre Newsletter. Subscribe here to receive the newsletter. 

Our theme for 2020

Why a Theme? 

MEMC would like to bring our diverse community into conversation more regularly around major issues in our field. An annual theme allows us not only to find specific thematic and analytical resonances between our research projects, but also to bring our community up to speed with new developments in medieval and early modern studies. We aim to align our theme with active research in the MEMC community and with specialties of the year’s visitors and speakers.  

Language – Mobility – Communication 

The 2020 theme invites us to reconsider the premodern world as a space of encounters: linguistic, cultural, textual, economic, material, etc. Encounters were both local and global, personal and corporate. Recent scholarship – stimulated by global history – has begun to revise our view of premodern chains of transmission, whether of the classical heritage, of disease, or of material culture. How do we fruitfully rethink the complex system of exchange that characterises the world before 1800? 

We offer a short bibliography (pdf, 922KB) from a range of disciplines that we invite the MEMC community to dip into over the course of 2020, as we build toward an end-of-year symposium that will allow us to take up this discussion as a Centre. 

Centre Director

Associate Professor Daniel Anlezark