Conference: The Literature and History of Anglo-Dutch Relations, Medieval to Early Modern

6 January 2022, 1.00 PM - 8 January 2022, 6.00 PM


Contacts between English and Dutch speakers had a profound impact on the literary landscape and book culture of England and the Low Countries. This British Academy funded conference crosses conventional chronological, linguistic, geographical and disciplinary boundaries to explore the cultural history of relations between English and Dutch speakers, from the Norman Conquest through to the Reformation. Bringing together literary scholars and historians, it aims to join up evidence of literary exchange with new insights into the experiences of migration, conflict, political alliances, and trade that made this literary exchange possible. The conference will reinvigorate traditional approaches to literary influence by contextualising it in the historical conditions that brought speakers of Dutch and English into contact with each other and by taking into account the range of languages (Dutch, English, French, and Latin) in which their communications and literary production in manuscript and early print took shape over this period.


Registration is now closed. If you haven't registered and would like to attend the conference, please contact George Meredith: 

This conference will be delivered online.


See the full conference programme.

Thursday 6 January

1.30-1.40 Welcome - Ad Putter (University of Bristol)

1.40 - 3.00 Session 1 - From Court to City: Urban cultures and literary exchange

Chair: Kathleen Kennedy (University of Bristol)

Charlotte Steenbrugge (University of Sheffield): Master Brundyche of Braban in the Croxton Play of the Sacrament

Ad Putter (University of Bristol): Art and Business: the cultural consequences of Anglo-Dutch trade and migration in the long fifteenth century

Shannon McSheffrey (Concordia University): Strangers in Early Tudor London: Dutch Artisans and the Evil May Day Riot of 1517


3.00-3.30 Coffee Break

3.30-5.00 Session 2 - Literature in context: Brabant, Flanders and England

Chair: Sjoerd Levelt (University of Bristol)

Remco Sleiderink (University of Antwerp): From our own correspondent: Brabant chroniclers about the royal dynasty of England (c. 1280-1320)

Steven Rozenski (University of Rochester): From Ruusbroec to Mary of Nemmegen: Dutch Mysticism and Devotion in Late-Medieval England

Janet van der Meulen (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam): Campaigning and Framing in French and Dutch. The English Court and the Continent at the Start of the Hundred Years’ War



Friday 7 January 

1.30-1.35 Welcome - Ad Putter (University of Bristol)

1.35-2.45 Plenary lecture

Elisabeth van Houts, Emmanuel College, Cambridge: The Serf from Sint Truiden, His English Wife and their Bilingual Sons: Non-elite Anglo-Dutch Relations in Their Literary Context, 1000-1200

Chair: Anna Sapir Abulafia (University of Oxford)

2.45-3.15 Coffee Break

3.15-5.15 Session 3 - Monastic networks as conduits for literary exchange

Chair: Elisabeth van Houts (Emmanuel College, Cambridge)

Elizabeth Tyler (University of York): Channel Crossings and Transformation of 11th-century Literary Culture.

Moreed Arbabzadah (Pembroke College, Cambridge): People, Places and Praise: Religious Networks and Anglo-Dutch Literary Exchange in the Middle Ages


Jeroen de Gussem (University of Ghent): Stylometry and the Oeuvre and Itinerary of Goscelin of Saint-Bertin

Steven Vanderputten (University of Ghent): Reading English Poetry at Saint-Peter's abbey in Ghent: The Mortuary Roll of Mathilde of Sainte-Trinité in Context



Saturday 8 January

1.30-1.35 Welcome - Ad Putter (University of Bristol)

1.35-2.45 Plenary lecture

Bart Besamusca (University of Utrecht): 'bokes wrytten or imprynted': Medieval Manuscripts and Early Printed Editions from the Low Countries for Use in England

Chair: Henrike Lähnemann (University of Oxford)

2.45-3.15 Coffee Break

3.15-5.15 Session 4 - Communities and Transformations in Anglo-Dutch Exchange

Chair: Bart van Es (University of Oxford)

Piet Franssen (Hogeschool Inholland, University of Applied Science): Crossing borders: Anglo-Dutch literary relations in the first quarter of the sixteenth century - the case of Jan van Doesborch

Marja Kingma (British Library): The Dutch Church Library Project: crossing borders of all sorts


Sjoerd Levelt (University of Bristol): Medieval Memes in Early Modern Anglo-Dutch Historical Writing

Esther van Raamsdonk (University of Warwick): The Politics of Production: English, Danish and Dutch Bible Editions


5.15-6.00 Closing remarks and social

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