Medieval Slavic Manuscripts and Culture

Category: Lectures

16th Annual Kenneth E. Naylor Memorial Lecture in South Slavic Linguistics


The sixteenth annual lecture in South Slavic Linguistics presented at The Ohio State University to commemorate Professor Kenneth E. Naylor (1935-1992) was given by Professor Olga Mladenova (University of Calgary) on “The Rise of Modern Bulgarian Literacy in the Seventeenth Century: New Facts and Interpretations,” Friday, March 22, 2013, in the Campus Reading Room on the 11th floor of Thompson Library.

photograph of Brian Joseph standing next to Olga Mladenova in front of the screen with the first powerpoint slide with the title of Dr. Mladenova's talk

Brian D. Joseph, Kenneth E. Naylor Professor of South Slavic Linguistics, and Olga Mladenova, 16th Annual Kenneth E. Naylor Memorial Lecturer on the 11th Floor, Thompson Library at The Ohio State University

Professor Brian D. Joseph (OSU Linguistics), who has held the “Kenneth E. Naylor Professorship of South Slavic Linguistics” since his investiture in 1997, opened the event with a brief account of Dr. Naylor and his contributions to OSU, to scholarship, and to the scholarly community, as well as a history of the professorship and the lecture series, and other initiatives funded by the professorship.

The lecture was well attended and Professor Mladenova’s account of her work with Bulgarian damanskini elicted a number of thought-provoking comments from the audience. Colleagues of Dr. Naylor present included professors emeriti David F. Robinson (OSU Slavic) and Carole Rogel (OSU History).

A reception of exceptional food from Milo’s Catering was organized by Karen Nielsen of the OSU Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures. Ms. Nielsen also arranged a display of scrapbooks and a photo-montage documenting the past lectures. Shannon Niemeyer, events coordinator for the OSU Libraries, orchestrated a hospitable arrangement and atmosphere for what was judged a “superb” venue.

A wooden grid display case, provided thanks to the efforts of OSU Libraries’ Cheryl Mason-Middleton and Mark Moziejko, effectively exhibited publications of Drs. Joseph, Naylor, and Mladenova, as well as the first five Naylor Memorial lectures. Lauren Ressue, RCMSS GA, assisted. Immense gratitude to Michelle Drobik of the University Archives at OSU for photo images of Professor Naylor from 1975, 1976, and 1981.

Photo of Dr. Joseph standing next to open wooden shelves on wheels with books and publications propped up on book ends.

Professor Brian D. Joseph with the 16th Annual Kenneth E. Naylor Memorial Lecture publication display

Items on display (see photo) include photographs of Professor Naylor (1981 and 1975), Olga Mladenova’s Definiteness in Bulgarian: Modelling the Processes of Language Change (Trends in Linguistics: Studies and Monographs 182), Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2007; Brian D. Joseph’s The Synchrony and Diachrony of the Balkan Infinitive: A study in areal, general, and historical linguistics (Cambridge Studies in Linguistics Supplemental Volume, 2009 reprint); Mladenova’s Russian Second-Language Textbooks and Identity in the Universe of Discourse: A Contribution to Macropragmatics (Slavistische Beiträge 432), München: Sagner, 2004; and a color printout of the cover of her Grapes and Wine In the Balkans: An Ethno-Linguistic Study (Balkanologische Veröffentlichungen 32), Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 1998, flanked by the first and second Naylor Memorial Lectures, Linguistic Emblems and Emblematic Languages: On Language as Flag in the Balkans by Victor A. Friedman (1998), and Ronelle Alexander’s In Honor of Diversity: the Linguistic Resources of the Balkans (1999), respectively.

Volumes 1-6 of Balkanistica: A Journal of Southeast European Studies (1974-1980), and Folia Slavica 1.1 (1977) edited by Kenneth E. Naylor, were framed by published versions of the third, fourth, and fifth Naylor Memorial Lectures: What Is a Standard Language Good For, and Who Gets to Have One? by Wayles Browne (2000), The Balkan Linguistic League, “Orientalism,” and Linguistic Typology by Howard I. Aronson (2007), and Minority Language Rights in Primary Education: A Century of Change in the Balkans by Christina E. Kramer (2010).


Lecture: Erik Kwakkel on Parchment Offcuts

History of the Book Lecture

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 – 1:00pm
Thompson Library 150

Erik Kwakkel is Associate Professor in medieval paleography at Leiden University, The Netherlands. He held appointments at the Universities of Amsterdam, Vancouver (UBC) and Victoria (UVic) before coming to Leiden as principal investigator of the research project ‘Turning Over a New Leaf: Manuscript Innovation in the Twelfth-Century Renaissance’. Among his publications are articles and book chapters on a variety of manuscript-related topics, as well as monographs and edited volumes on Carthusian book production (2002), medieval Bible culture (2007), change and development in the medieval book (2012), and medieval authorship (2012). Erik Kwakkel will be the holder of the 2014 E.A. Lowe Lectureship in Paleography at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. In 2012 he was appointed to The Young Academy of The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).


“From Scrap to Book: The Use of Parchment Offcuts in Manuscript Culture”
Technological changes in the later Middle Ages provided scribes and patrons with increased opportunities to reduce the cost of the manuscript they made or acquired. This lecture draws attention to a cheap kind of writing support, not discussed as such in present scholarship of the medieval book. It shows how small strips of discarded parchment from the edge of the skin became used as writing material, not only for short notes and letters, but also for full manuscripts. To make this case, the lecture will discuss references to such scraps in primary sources and introduce the tell-tale deficiencies on the medieval page that reveal that off-cuts were used. Ultimately it is shown that the tendency for books to become cheaper near the later Middle Ages predates the age of print.

Kwakkel’s visit is co-sponsored by History of the Book, the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, the Center for Epigraphical and Palaeographical Studies, and the Rare Books and Manuscripts Library.

Source: Website of the Working Group Literary Studies @ OSU, Institute of Humanities

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