Journey to Women and the Canon

Julia reflecting on the journey to our conference back in January and looking forward to the ongoing work of our new TORCH & Balliol Interdisciplinary Institute Research Newtork

Gender & Authority

‘Women and the Canon’ was a two-day interdisciplinary conference held in January 2016 at Oxford. The conference was attended by over a hundred people, coming from a wide range of countries and backgrounds, and it gave birth to Gender & Authority, a research network sponsored by TORCH and the Balliol Interdisciplinary Fund. In this blog post Julia Hartley goes over the journey that led to the creation of this exciting new research platform.


The idea of ‘Women and the Canon’ came first as an intuition, and I did not realize back then the project’s importance, the collaborators it would attract, nor the interest and enthusiasm it would elicit.

My interest in the intersection of gender and artistic and intellectual authority began with a canonical male author, Marcel Proust. In spring 2014 I was re-reading the chapter of In Search of Lost Time entitled ‘Autour de Mme Swann’ when I noticed…

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Multispectral imaging and manuscripts | Eric Weiskott

Interesting things going on in the use of technology in Manuscript Studies, as Erik Weiskott tells us:

“Debates in the field of manuscript studies often take the form of disputes over material details that are at least theoretically quantifiable: the curve of an ascender, the shape of a damaged leaf, the color of a paraph mark. Until recently, such debates were adjudicated entirely on the basis of comparison by human eyes. Paleographical and codicological research along these lines has been transformative: it remains the edifice on which rest all other forms of knowledge about medieval texts. Yet human eyes have scientifically well-understood limitations, especially as regards the perception of color. Recently, it has become possible to supplement the human eye with a digital one.”

Source: Multispectral imaging and manuscripts | Eric Weiskott