Beyond Between Men: A symposium report – and a call to arms

A helpfully detailed conference report from a fascinating sounding conference, which I was sad not to be able to attend.

Rachel E. Moss

“Frynd synd on eorþan, / leofe lifgende leger weardiað”
[There are friends/lovers on earth, / dear ones living who lie in bed (together)]
The Wife’s Lament, a tenth-century Old English poem

conference The definitely-not-homosocial social space of the conference: relaxing over dinner

In Oxford, around 30 scholars from several disciplines, working on periods ranging from the early medieval to the near-contemporary, met to attend Beyond Between Men: Homosociality Across Time on the what turned out to be the hottest day of the year so far – Monday 19 June. The Radcliffe Humanities Building, usually an airy space, gradually took on the feeling of a steam room as the day progressed. Yet delegates – with fans improvised out of the programme, slurping water and wryly tweeting pictures of the Circles of Hell – gamely stayed engaged from 9.30pm to 6pm, through an incredibly packed schedule. A plenary paper, twelve papers…

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