Australian Early Medieval Association

Conference - aema16–Eruption

The 2021 International Conference of the Australian Early Medieval Association

Eruption / Disruption / Interruption

Hosted Online from the University of Melbourne, Australia (throughout the world) 1-2 October 2021 


As we continue to process the impact of COVID-19 on global and local societies, the jury is still out on whether the eruption of a global pandemic, and the subsequent disruptions and interruptions to contemporary routines, are a ‘game-changer’ or an inconvenience. The 2021 AEMA conference reflects on this tension in an early medieval context. Eruptions can be understood in many different ways, as they can describe both natural phenomena and human activity, including the sudden appearance of new movements, of groups of people, or of ideas. Were eruptions revolutionary? Or were they merely a disruption or interruption to the longue durée?

There is no conference fee as the event is hosted on line. In order to receive the zoom link to access each of the sessions, please register by following a link corresponding to individual session below. Only current financial members may register to attend AEMA's AGM.

Download the Conference Programme in PDF.


Friday 1st October | Venue – Online (with thanks to the University of Melbourne)

Time: AEST

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


Registration link:

8:30- 8:45am

‘Breakfast’ – bring your mug and toast and get settled


Welcome from AEMA President


Session 1 - chaired by Matthew Firth

  • Bernard Mees: Runes and the Anglo-Saxon invasions
  • Shane McLeod: Vikings and St Cuthbert - interruption or disruption?
  • Manu Braithwaite-Westoby*: Disruption in Hárbarðsljóð


Registration link:


‘Morning Tea’ - bring your mug and get settled


Session 2 – chaired by Geoffrey D. Dunn

  • Katrina Edwards: Reading Cassian through Ambrose - St Benedict’s treatment of humility and the Rule of the Master
  • Lynette Olson: Britannia and Romania in the First Life of St Samson of Dol
  • Stephen Joyce*: Collectio Romana? Martin of Braga and the crossing of the divide


‘Lunch’ - have a zoom break. Stretch and smell the roses. Eat


AEMA Annual General Meeting (members only)
Registration link:


Registration link:


Session 3 – chaired by Darius von Güttner Sporzyński (starting at 2:30)

  • Geoffrey Dunn: The Disruption of the Disruptive Huns
  • Lisa Bailey: Early Medieval Servi - How do we write the history of the voiceless and violated?
  • Daniil Kotov*: Smoothening the Eruption - Constantine in Eusebius and 5th Century Greek Church Historians


Registration link:


‘Afternoon Tea’ - bring your mug and get settled


Keynote I – chaired by Stephen Joyce

  • Constant Mews: Plague, injustice, and last things in early medieval Ireland


Stay around for a drink and a chat

Saturday 2nd October | Venue – Online (with thanks to the University of Melbourne)


Registration link:


‘Morning Tea’ – bring your mug and get settled


Session 4 – chaired by Erica Steiner

  • Bob Dinapoli: Wordum Gewrixlan, The Shock of the New - Christianity and the Superannuated Scop
  • Emma Knowles*: A Mere Inconvenience? - Landscape, Gender and Characterisation in Old English Poetry
  • Carol Williams: The Schola Cantorum of Rome and the Interrupted Transmission of Chant in Anglo Saxon England


‘Lunch’ - have a zoom break. Stretch and smell the roses. Eat


Registration link:


Session 5 – chaired by John D’Alton (starting at 1:00)

  • Erica Steiner*: The Fatherless Child - The scandalous early medieval origins of Merlin Ambrosius
  • Matthew Firth*: Pre-Conquest England in Post-Conquest Histories - The Case Study of Æthelflæd of Mercia
  • Aimee Turner*: The Poet and the Empress - Ovid and Livia in medieval commentaries and glosses


Registration link:


‘Afternoon Tea’ – bring your mug and get settled


Session 6 – chaired by Janet Wade

  • Ryan Strickler*: Jerusalems Old and New - Holy Cities in Seventh-Century Byzantine Thought
  • Penelope Buckley: Disruptions and new normals in the Byzantine Macedonian dynasty
  • Adam Krawiec: The “eruption” of Sclavania? The birth of the idea of “Slavdom” in medieval Western imaginative geography


Registration link:


Keynote II – chaired by Stephen Joyce (starting at 4:45)

  • Darius von Güttner Sporzyński: Violence and Sacred Violence in the Chronica Polonorum by Bishop Vincentius of Cracow


Round Table Discussion/Closing Remarks/Stay around for a drink and a chat


*entries for AEMA Postgrad/ECR Best Paper Award


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