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The University of Southampton
Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Culture

Capture the Castle, May Update

Published: 25 May 2017
Strong Hold

Dear everyone,

Our collaboration with Southampton City Art Gallery’s Capture the Castle Exhibition which opens this week comes to a head next month with a series of events.

On Saturday 17 June, we shall be hosting a Life Long Learning Study Day, 10.00 -4.00pm at the Gallery, entitled ‘Strong-hold: Castle walls and female spaces in literature since medieval times’. This will explore what happens when castle spaces are gendered feminine. Talks on the day will be devoted to the Dodie Smith novel which leant its name to the exhibition and which has never been out of print since it was published; perilous female castle spaces in the romance Bevis of Hampton; and dangerous women and effeminised castles in plays by Shakespeare and Howard Barker. The day will include a tour of the exhibition with the curators.

We are delighted to be able to welcome John Goodall, Architectural Editor of Country Life, and author of a magnificent book The English Castle to give our annual Reuter Lecture on the 27 June (5.30 for 6.00 pm, Avenue Campus, Lecture Theatre B). John’s lecture, entitled  ‘Capturing the castle’ will consider the architectural evolution of the castle in England during the Middle Ages and the ways in which its distinctive forms have subsequently been explored in the domestic tradition since the 17th century. It will also explore the continuing fascination of patrons and architects with the aesthetic possibilities of castle design in the English tradition of grand domestic architecture. Click here for further information .

Finally we shall build on the enormously successful and enjoyable interdisciplinary castles study day we held back in January. We have some new papers for this symposium on Thursday 29 June at the City Art Gallery, including one from Professor Matthew Johnson (formerly of this parish) who will be talking on ‘Political Ecology and the Medieval Castle: Bodiam and Beyond’. The day will finish with a roundtable including speakers from both academic events. Again, there will be an opportunity to tour the exhibition. Further details on this one shortly.

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