Syon Abbey @ Syon House: A Workshop, 7-9 November 2014

Eddie Jones at the University of Exeter is pleased to announce the call of contributors for “Syon Abbey @ Syon House,” a special workshop to be held at Syon Park, 7-9 November 2014.  Please read the full call here

And copied below:

Syon Abbey turns 600 in 2015. We will be beginning our celebrations a little early, with a workshop to be held at Syon House, Syon Park, Isleworth, 7-9 November 2014. This is one of several events being held to mark the sexcentenary of Syon’s foundation. An academic conference will be held in association with the Swedish Birgittastiftelsen in Exeter in July 2015.

The principal focus for this initial workshop will be Syon Abbey from its late-medieval foundation to 1594, when the community’s post-dissolution wanderings ended with their arrival in Lisbon; 1594 was also (coincidentally) the year that their former home in Isleworth passed to its current owners, the Dukes of Northumberland, who built the present Syon House. Contributions on the transition from monastery to stately home will also be most welcome.

A highlight of the weekend will be the opportunity to ‘Walk about Sion, and go round about her : and tell the towers thereof’ in the company of our keynote speaker Harvey Sheldon, who directed the archaeological investigations here during the 2000s, and Topher Martyn, head gardener at Syon Park.

One of the main purposes of the workshop will be to identify themes, questions, sources – and, perhaps, contributors – for a new, multi-authored history of Syon, that I would like to see completed by 2020, the 600th anniversary of the first professions and the beginning of community life proper at the Abbey. Consequently, I am looking not so much for offers of formal research papers, but short reports (15-20 mins) on work in progress (especially from graduate students and other voices new to Syon studies); presentations on untapped or under-explored sources for understanding Syon’s history, or methodologies and disciplinary approaches that have not so far been in the mainstream of work on the Abbey (which has been dominated by historians and literary scholars, most of them medievalists); reviews of relevant historiography (medieval reform, the Dissolution, the Marian restorations, early recusancy, etc). The emphasis throughout will be on roundtable discussion in a seminar-style setting, and numbers may be limited accordingly.

Expressions of interest and offers to contribute to the workshop (a few sentences of outline/rationale for what you want to say, plus a brief biography) should be sent to Eddie Jones by 8 October.

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