Toswell wins best book prize

toswell janeThe Anglo-Saxon Psalter  by  Jane Toswell, English & Writing Studies, was recently awarded Best Book on an Anglo Saxon Topic by  International Society of Anglo-Saxonists

Brush named to Royal Society of Canada

brush  Professor Kathryn Brush was named a 2015 Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the highest honour a scholar can achieve in the arts, humanities and sciences.  Learn more  

Western University music historian makes near 1,000-year-old discovery

 After years of study, many deep in the manuscript room at the  Bibliothèque nationale de France, an award-winning musicologist from Western University discovered the earliest surviving handwritten manuscripts featuring notation above musical text or lyrics – a technique fundamentally still used today.  Read more  

‘Beautiful’ work turns the pages of the past

By Mark Kearney for Western News, October 23, 2014

manuscriptAt first glance, it looks more like something you might rest your feet on rather than read. But at more than 3-inches thick, and a good 20-inches high and 12-inches wide, the  Decretalium libri V. Gregorii Papae cum ordinaria glossa Berhardt  is one of the gems of Western Libraries’ collection. Read more

Grier awarded with Margaret Wage Labarge Prize

grierWestern Music and Medieval scholar, Jim Grier, was recently awarded the  Margaret Wage Labarge Prize for books published in 2012. Greir's book,  Ademari Cabannensis, Opera Liturgica et Poetica: Musica cum Textibus, was selected by a committee within the Canadian Society of Medievalists as the best book published by a Canadian scholar in that year. 

Tolkien translation of Beowulf adds little - beyond cash

By Adela Talbot, Western News, March 27, 2014

beuwolfIt will add little, if anything, in terms of new  Beowulfscholarship. It will,without a doubt, contribute considerably to the Tolkien estate.And at the end of the day, that’s really the point of it all. Nearly a century ago, J.R.R. Tolkien, Anglo-Saxon scholar and author of the famed  The Lord of the Rings trilogy, translated  Beowulf, the oldest surviving Old English epic poem. His translation is set to come out in May, thanks to his son, Christopher Tolkien. But the publication of Tolkien’s  Beowulf is problematic on a number of levels, said Jane Toswell, who teaches Old English language and literature at Western.  Read more

Jake Barnes'  translation of a passage from Beowulf is like nothing you have ever heard before. Jake, a Western Medieval Studies and Music student, chose to breathe some new life into the epic poem by interpreting it through the music of the popular band, The Lumineers. Based on the band's recent award-winning hit "Ho Hey", Jake's recording is a wonderfully creative interpretation of both the medieval text, and the  course assignment from Prof. Toswell's Medieval Studies 1020 course.

CLICK HERE to listen to Jake's Beowulf recording.

In the Media...

New Minor in Medieval Studies


By Craig Glover, London Free Press, March 27, 2013

The private collections room at Western’s Weldon Library was abuzz Tuesday, and even the librarians were in on the noise.
What was the fuss all about?
An extensive 15th-century religious manuscript from the pre-French Revolution city of Lille that belonged to a man by the name of Canon Grandel, who very likely used the book for his private devotions, Western University music history professor Jim Grier said. Read More

At the launch event, Medieval Studies student Amanda Zafar spoke about the new program from a student's perspective. Amanda gave great insight as to why the program is so unique and exciting. A copy of her speech can be found here.