Monthly Archives: February 2013

I’ve been doing a spot of guest blogging lately, for the hugely useful website The Professor Is In Anyone interested in academic life in Scandinavia might well enjoy the read.

Reflecting on a PhD in Sweden: Part 1: Sweden

Reflecting on the hiring process in Norway: Part 2: Norway

An interesting reaction to the posts by Jill Walker Rettberg (jill/txt), which helps to situate them in the broader Scandinavian context, can be found here: Norway’s academic hiring processes are already remarkably open.

Happy reading!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo this is ‘personal publishing’, as John Lennon didn’t sing. It has, I have learnt, a ‘frontstage’ and a ‘backstage’. Right now, I am backstage, typing this, preparing it for frontstage viewing. I have even found a canny picture to accompany it, suitably stage-y, and with a mask to boot (ooh, exciting).  In fact, I’ve been reading a lot about personal publishing and pictures this week, and I’m not sure I believe it all. But then, this is only the end of week 2 of a long journey – there is much more to read.

According to Eisenlauer (2011), himself adopting linguistic terms from Halliday (1985), social media images – avatars – can ‘demand’ or ‘offer’: the pictorial equivalents of Halliday’s ‘Give me a drink!’ and ‘Would you like a drink?’. According to this analysis, on facebook I demand that drink (for I am looking directly at the viewer), yet here, I am offering you the drink.


In some senses I can relate to that. After all, my facebook page is non-acadmic, it is personal in the sense of ‘free time’ – if you want it, you take me as I am. Whereas this webpage, this blog, is indeed an offering of my research, a sneak preview, a live commentary, for you, dear reader (for you are lonely in your singularity) to do with as you see fit. These are the humble musings at the start of a journey; the facebook page is me me me – my family, my (other) life.

That gloss is certainly possible. It is not, however, the reality. The facebook image was supposed to be a photo of the Eiffel Tower. My companion was taking a long time perfecting the shot. I playfully stuck my head in front of the lens to hurry him on just as the shutter closed. By accident, a rather jaunty picture of my last days of living in Paris holds a dear place in my heart, and so I chose it for my facebook profile. Unlike many users of that site, I have never changed it. (Nor have I ever pressed the ‘like’ button. Just because I can doesn’t mean I will – there is an instance of an ‘offer’ that I, unexpectedly from the offerer’s point of view, choose to refuse.)

The avatar on this site has a far less interesting story. Two weeks ago, I needed a picture. I failed to find a decent, recent photo, so decided to take my own. I have eyesight problems (the pink glasses may be funky but I don’t wear them through choice), so had to switch off the flash. But the flashless pictures were all too dark. Ach well, I decided to hold the camera over my head, eyes cast down to avoid the necessary flash, that’ll do. This blog’s first reader looked at me incredulously when he saw the photo (for he was looking at the computer over my shoulder) – ‘why on earth did you choose a photo where you’re not looking at the camera?’ he asked. When I queried why that should be necessary, he hesitated, before replying, with a hint of Celtic wit, ‘you’re supposed to have a picture of you in your office, studiously surrounded by books – manuscripts, I corrected him – indeed, with one open in front of you, perhaps touching it…’

And what would such a photo have said? Oh yes, an academic in her milieu. Perhaps I would be looking at the books (ahem, manuscripts), and you would be disturbing me. Perhaps I would be writing, making notes in my pink notepad. Then I would have a true image that was an ‘offer’. We would also have a fully-fledged manuscript authorship image, wouldn’t we? Machaut in his study, busily writing. G 74 Manuscript F-G, the most author-focused of the core manuscripts, presents just such an image at the head of its music section. In contrast, manuscript E for the Louange des dames presents a group of singers, with a manuscript on a barrel, clearly having fun (and, this reader wonders, perhaps drinking the barrel’s contents somewhere ‘backstage’). E 16r What is noticeable about the core Machaut manuscripts is that the traditional dedication to the patron, where the author offers the book to a noble personage, is missing. Instead, in the famous frontispieces to manuscript A, it is the mythical creatures of love and nature who offer their children to Machaut, to the author. Our author is not looking at the viewer, but at his visitors, yet he is not offering anything. Should we use one of these frontispieces as our ‘Machaut avatar’, the ‘offer’ would be misleading, just as it is with my own photo. Of course, these images were painted long before the printing press, never mind the Internet. But my point is that authority does not have to look us in the eye.

a frontispiece

M avatar?

Again, according to Eisenlauer (2011), personal publication does not carry the authority of traditional publication. Apparently, even a blog is a ‘collaborative text-creation process, at least to some degree’ (p. 134). Well, the only other person here with me is the dog, and he’s not been too helpful. Oh, wait a minute, you mean online collaboration. But we are still backstage; as I write this, it is entirely my voice that is speaking. However, should my reader care to comment (and should I choose to accept it), there will indeed be another voice, one that is clearly distinguished from mine. Of course, I can choose to edit my text at a later date, but only I have the permission to do that.

I am being deliberately obtuse here (just for a change). Of course, i can claim no credit for the design of the site, which was made using a WordPress template, devised by some clever person on the interweb. But there is the point – that person is anonymous. Silent. It was me who chose the pink background (it matches the glasses), the images, the text, the links. I am the author of this ‘text’. The designer of the background template (which I have adjusted) therefore holds less power of authority over the content of this site than does the typesetter in a printing press, and far less authority than the scribe(s) of a medieval manuscript. For while the pink background, the snippet of artwork, the photo, and all the page elements do indeed work together to create the whole, it was I who put them there. No medieval author can claim that – I say that as a Machaut specialist, for he, if any, is a candidate – indeed, few modern-day print authors can claim full control over the typography and layout of their books, unless they self-publish. Publish personally. Personal publishing on the internet.

Of course, personal publishing can be collaborative, as Hoem (2004) has discussed, and as is demonstrated in the medieval blogosphere – if I may call it such – by In The Medieval Middle ( I am even part of a fledging collaborative site myself over at the Medieval Song Network ( But it ain’t necessarily so, and, as my multimodal literacy increases, that is something which I shall bear in mind.


Bibliothèque nationale de France, fr. 1584 (Machaut ms A)

Bibliothèque nationale de France, fr. 9221 (Machaut ms E)

Bibliothèque nationale de France, fr. 22545-6 (Machaut ms F-G)

Volker J. Eisenlauer, 2011. ‘Multimodality and Social Actions in “Personal Publishing” Text: From the German “Poetry Album” to Web 2.0 “Social Network Sites”’ in Multimodal Studies: Exploring Issues and Domains eds Kay L. O’Hallaran and Bradley A. Smith (NY: Routledge), pp. 131–52

M. A. K. Halliday, 1985. An Introduction to Functional Grammar (London: Edward Arnold)

Jon Hoem, 2004. “Personal Publishing and Media Literacy”, , accessed 15 Feb 2013.

The first of the month; the first day of a new job. Personally and professionally I stand at a threshold: my first postdoctoral post, and a new location, away from ‘home’. Professionally, I hope that the project will provide a new item in the toolkit for studying medieval ‘texts’ (I use the term in its broadest sense), starting with those of Machaut as the case study. Personally, the family is going to have to do without Maman quite regularly, and vice versa. Maman, though, is going to be very busy indeed the weeks she is in Kristiansand.

As a first task on the new project, I have created this website. It has been a learning curve to say the least. In a few hours I have gone from wondering how on earth blogs work to having my own, together with a fancy menu bar, a couple of nice pictures, and even a twitter account. It was not without its hiccoughs – on more than one occasion I hovered over the command ‘delete blog’, with only WordPress’s (genius) last-gasp appeal to ‘find another solution’ saving me from wiping it out and starting again. This was not because I was ready to throw in the towel; it was because I just wanted to do the virtual equivalent of scrunch the paper into a ball and start on a clean sheet. An action I have seen my four year-old make in frustration on numerous occasions. (My two year-old still prefers to throw everything onto the floor when the laws of physics intervene in his plans.)

But this is not written on paper, nor on parchment. It is on the Internet, which, for better or worse, has its own ways of doing things. More precisely, it makes us do things in different ways. It is the exploration of these different ways in relation to Machaut studies that I hope to explore in this blog, and through the project. What does it mean for the reader’s reception of a manuscript text to see it on a screen as opposed to on parchment? How do its new bedfellows on the portal, or database, influence our reading of them all? The manipulation of the text, through annotation tools, through collaboration, creates new texts – glosses -; how do these in their turn affect the reader’s view of the manuscript? How do all of these multimodal elements combine? These are just a few questions with which I’ll be grappling over the next two years.

I therefore invite you, colleagues, friends, surfers, all, to join me on this journey. This blog will convey  thoughts as they are thought, papers as they are written, reflections as they are glimpsed.


My postdoctoral project is entitled ‘Multimodal Machaut: Manuscript, Print, and Digital Receptions of the Oeuvre’. It is hosted at and funded by Multikul, the Centre for Multimodality and Cultural Change at the University of Agder, Norway. It began on 1st February 2013 and will run for two years.

The following is a summary of the project proposal. I welcome feedback and comments.


Multimodal Machaut: Manuscript, Print, and Digital Receptions of the Oeuvre


Multimodality in texts is not restricted to those produced in recent decades or centuries; as a phenomenon, multimodality has been known since long before texts came to be written. Indeed, it has been known since stories were told with song, which is arguably ever since stories have been told.

One site of multimodal play is that presented by manuscripts, particularly those which combine two (or more) of the elements of text, music and image, and the illustrated manuscripts of the French poet-composer Guillaume de Machaut offer a particularly rich repertory. Even in manuscripts which contain only text or only music, the overall presentation of the page and book is often at least as important as – if not more important than – the texts it contains.

During the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, manuscripts were a site of play of visual and aural elements. On the one hand, texts and music were often received orally by an audience to whom they were read or sung aloud. On the other hand, technical developments, in musical notation and in scribal procedures, meant that more and more manuscripts were being designed to be received visually. Two well-known examples are the Livre de Fauvel (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale fr. 146) and the Chantilly codex (Chantilly, Musée Condé 564).

In the last twenty years, huge advances have been made in the field of manuscript digitisation. Today, many medieval manuscripts, including a large number containing works by Machaut, are no longer confined to libraries, but are instead viewable online, via various different platforms. Manuscripts previously separate in time and distance can be brought together on the computer screen, often ‘digitally bound’ together through a web portal. In addition, teams of scholars are now coming together to share comments and ideas around the very manuscript image in discussion which, apart from exceptional instances with exhibitions or private collections, has not previously been possible owing to library regulations. This new aspect of multimodality, comparable to the scholarly commentaries witnessed in medieval annotated versions of texts (for example the Bible, L’Ovide moralisé, sermons), or to the onset of printing, offers an intriguing and previously uninvestigated dimension to the ongoing reception of manuscripts.

The proposed research will centre on manuscripts containing the works of Guillaume de Machaut which are available in digital format. The work builds on the author’s PhD thesis (Maxwell 2009) which studied the visual presentation of the six manuscripts that transmit a corpus which pertains to be Machaut’s ‘complete works’. The present project, however, whilst of course taking into account these vital sources, is more concerned with anthology manuscripts containing the work of more than one author, this culmination of sources being itself a pertinent aspect of multimodality.


Guillaume de Machaut was a figure popular in his lifetime and remained extremely influential for a generation or two afterwards, yet slipped into obscurity with the advent of printing. His works were virtually neglected until the nineteenth century, when the scholars now known as the early philologists began to work on extant manuscripts, editing the texts, and in some cases mutilating them (Earp 1995, 73-77). Machaut’s nineteenth-century editors saw him as a mediocre figure, little worthy of study.

Recent approaches to Machaut have resituated him as a highly influential poet-composer, writing for the highest offices in the land, author of a vast corpus of narrative and lyric poetry, and composer of the earliest attributable complete setting of the ordinary of the mass to have survived. While he has no great innovations to his name, he is credited with concretising many genres which were hitherto in a state of flux, namely the so-called formes fixes and particularly the lay. Several important studies of his work have been published in recent years. That for which Machaut is arguably most revered today, the multimodal Voir Dit, has been the subject of book-length studies by Jacqueline Cerquiglini-Toulet (1985) and Deborah McGrady (2006). The most recent contribution to Machaut studies is a monograph by Elizabeth Eva Leach (2011), which situates Machaut’s works in the context of his biography. Still lacking is a study which situates the poet-composer and his works in the context of the surviving manuscripts, particularly those which fall outside of the central ‘complete-works’ corpus.

Although it has long been agreed that the works of Machaut as presented in manuscript represent a culmination of all of the elements of the page, this is the first work to link to them the term ‘multimodal’. Likewise, the application of multimodal theories to texts preserved in manuscript is a rarity; indeed, although some influential research has come close to exploring this concept (for example Nichols ed 1990), the author’s preliminary research suggests that the present work will be the first instance of the terms occurring together.

Methods and approaches

The author’s PhD thesis (Maxwell 2009) put forward a new interdisciplinary methodology for interpreting medieval manuscripts. This methodology, which draws on works such as B. Cerquiglini (1989), Huot (1987), and Leech-Wilkinson (2002) and relies heavily on primary sources, is founded on the premise that each of the manuscripts is a complete and unique artefact, irrespective of who created it and for what purpose. Building on this, the thesis argues that each manuscript can be considered a performance. When one of Machaut’s compositions (poetical, musical, or both) is preserved in more than one source, each such manuscript is considered as a performance in its own right. This performative approach allows for and indeed welcomes variations in interpretation and presentation, including those that appear to entail manipulations of the work itself, by performers as diverse as copyists (involved in internal, possibly mnemonic performance), oral interpreters (singing or reading out loud, either from memory or from a copy), editors (whatever their purpose and medium, be it a paper edition based on all sources or a digital edition of just one: and who may arguably be considered as being the copyists of today), and readers (scholarly and leisurely, from any era).

This method, however, can be enhanced. Gunther Kress has written several items on multimodality (see for example: Kress 2003 and 2004; Kress and van Leeuwen 1996 and 2002; Jewitt and Kress 2003), although, while he treats many aspects which ring true for medieval manuscripts, he does not explicitly venture into that specific area. Jacques Derrida’s notion of ‘grammatology’ (Derrida 1967) has been successfully applied to visual culture (Ulmer 1985). Grammatology, which considers the relation between spoken and written language, is also relevant to work on multimodal medieval manuscripts, as has been explored in preliminary work by the author (for example Maxwell 2010, Maxwell and Simpson 2011).

The present project will build on the performative method, successfully employed in the thesis for the manuscripts purporting to contain Machaut’s ‘complete works’, by enhancing it with aspects of the thinking of multimodality and grammatology. This new method will then be applied to manuscripts from the wider Machaut corpus. The performative method has been tested not only by the author but also by colleagues working on other aspects of literature and history of the Middle Ages (Maxwell, Simpson and Davies eds, 2012). Multimodality has been successfully applied to modern visual cultures (for example Duncum 2004). However, the proposed project will be the first to link the two.

The project hypotheses posit that the binding together of multiple works in a single volume, whether by accident or by design, influences the reader’s reception of all of the works. In addition, that which the author terms ‘digital binding’, that is, the grouping of multiple manuscripts, or links to these manuscripts, on websites or portals, also influences the reader, though to a different extent and in a different way. These aspects of reception pertaining to the increased modes of reception will be investigated.

Project aims

Machaut stands out as an important figure today because of the unusually large number of manuscripts containing works exclusively by him. The majority of late-medieval French authors, including Alain Chartier and Oton de Granson, are known only through anthology manuscripts containing the works of several authors, and indeed some of Machaut’s works also circulated in this way. Some of these manuscripts are preserved in their entirety, planned and designed to bind their contents together, with all works copied contemporaneously with each other. Other manuscripts contain principally a single work, other texts being appended at a later date. Finally, some manuscript anthologies appear to be collections of individual works of diverse prominence, bound together for reasons which are usually unknown. In all three cases, the combined contents take on new meanings when considered in context with their fellows (Huot 1987). Sometimes these new meanings can be considered intended, sometimes not; in any case, they influence the textual reception of each item within the whole.

The project sets out to answer two major questions:

1. How do multimodal techniques enhance our understanding of the Machaut anthology manuscripts?

2. How do different modes of reception, in particular digital reception, influence the reader’s perception of these texts?

These questions will be broken down further into specific areas of study:

i. What are/were the reasons and purposes for the multimodal formatting of the manuscripts in the ways in which they survive today?

ii. What patterns of textual and/or reader influence are revealed by the manuscripts?

iii. What is the effect of the multimodality of the page on the reader’s reception of the manuscripts?

iv. In what ways have the patronage and readership of the manuscripts changed over time?

v. What are and have been the purposes of editing (in whatever form) manuscript texts?

vi. What does it mean to be a multimodal reader in the digital age?



Cerquiglini, Bernard. 1989. Eloge de la variante. Paris: Le Seuil.

Cerquiglini-Toulet, Jacqueline. 1985. ‘Un engin si soutil’: Guillaume de Machaut et l’écriture au XIVe siècle. Geneva: Skatline.

Derrida, Jacques. 1967. De la grammatologie. Paris: Minuit.

Duncum, Paul. 2004. ‘Visual Culture isn’t Just Visual: Multiliteracy, Multimodality and Meaning’. Studies in Art Education 45:3, 252-64.

Earp, Lawrence. 1995. Guillaume de Machaut: A Guide to Research. New York and London: Garland.

Huot, Sylvia. 1987. From Song to Book. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Jewitt, C. and G. Kress, eds. 2003. Multimodal Literacies. New York: Peter Lang

Kress, Gunther. 2003. Literacy in the new media age. London: Routledge.

Kress, Gunther. 2004. ‘Reading Images: Multimodality, Representation and New Media’. Conference presentation: Expert Forum for Knowledge Presentation: Preparing the Future for Knowledge Presentation. .

Kress, Gunther, and T. van Leeuwen. 1996. Reading Images: the grammar of graphic design. London: Routledge

Kress, Gunther, and T. Van Leeuwen. 2002. Multimodal Discourse: the modes and media of contemporary communication. London: Edward Arnold

Leach, Elizabeth Eva. 2010. Musicology, medieval to modern. Research website.

Leach, Elizabeth Eva. 2011. Guillaume de Machaut: Secretary, Poet, Musician. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Leech-Wilkinson, Daniel. 2002. The Modern Invention of Medieval Music. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Maxwell, Kate. 2009. ‘Guillaume de Machaut and the mise en page of medieval French sung verse’. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Maxwell, Kate. 2010. ‘ “Grammatology” as a means of understanding early music notation: a look at the Chanson de Roland and the Voir Dit’. Conference presentation: RMA Medieval and Renaissance Music Conference.

Maxwell, Kate and James Simpson. 2011. ‘Page, Performance and Play: Presence and Absence in Medieval Lyric Transmission and Reinterpretation’. Conference presentation: Medieval Song Network Workshop II.

Maxwell, Kate, James Simpson and Peter Davies, eds. 2012 (forthcoming). Performance and the Page. Turnhout: Brepols (under negotiation).

McGrady, Deborah. 2006. Controlling Reasers: Guillaume de Machaut and his Late-Medieval Audience. Toronto: Toronto University Press.

Nichols, Stephen G., ed. 1990. The New Philology. Special Edition of Speculum (65:1).

Queen’s University Belfast. 2007. Geographies of Orthodoxy. Project website (principal investigator: John Thompson).

Stanford University, 2011. Machaut Resources. Digital Library maintained by Benjamin Albritton.

Ulmer, Gregory. 1985. Applied Grammatology. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

This list is not exhaustive, nor is it in any particular order. If you think I should be following your blog, please contact me using the form at the bottom of the page. I’m sorry they don’t have fancy links; I haven’t yet worked out how to put them in without them sitting on the right side of my page. (That’s what you get for trying to build a website in two days.) I’m sure that, with the joys of web 2.0, someone will soon sort me out.

Medieval Song Network:


Burnable Books:

Bethany Nowviskie:

Elizabeth Eva Leach:

J.P.E. Harper-Scott:

Modern Medieval:

In the Medieval Middle:

In the Hall of Mirrors:

Jill Walker Rettberg:

There must be more… Go on, tell me!

For now, this is a complete list. I will continue to add links as I scan them.

PhD Dissertation

‘Guillaume de Machaut and the mise en page of medieval French sung verse’, University of Glasgow, 2009 (also available online at If you would like a copy with the images included, please contact me.


Edited Journal Volumes

Conceptualizing the North (Nordlit 46 (2020)) A special issue of the open access journal Nordlit, co-edited with Hanne Hammer Stien and Lilli Mittner

Performance and the Page (Pecia: Le livre et l’écrit 16 (2013)) A volume of articles co-edited with James R. Simpson and Peter V. Davies.


Items forthcoming/in press

‘A Multimodal Reading of fr. 1586’, in Domenic Leo, ed., An Illuminated Manuscript of the Collected Works of Guillaume de Machaut (BN MS fr. 1586): A Vocabulary for Exegesis (Turnhout: Brepols). In press.

Research Articles

‘Conceptualizing the North’, co-authors Lilli Mittner and Hanne Hammer Stien. Nordlit 46 (2020), pp. 1–11.

‘Music in the Dark: Soundscapes in Christiane Ritther’s A Woman in the Polar Night, Nordlit 46 (2020), pp. 17–30.

‘The Medieval (Music) Book: A Multimodal Cognitive Artefact’, in A History of Distributed Cognition, Volume 2: Medieval and Early Modern, ed. Miranda Anderson (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2018), pp. 190-204.

‘Multimodality and Memory in the Mise en page of Guillaume de Machaut’s Mass’, in Katherine W. Jager, ed., Vernacular Aesthetics: Politics, Performativity, and Reception in the Later Middle Ages (London: Palgrave), pp. 177–198.

‘Multimodality and Gender in Beck’s Song Reader, co-author Lilli Mittner, in Elise Seip Tønnessen and Frida Forsgren, eds, Multimodality and Aesthetics (London: Routledge, 2018), pp. 304–317.

‘The Construction of New Scientific Norms for Solving Grand Challenges: The Norwegian Idélab Programme’, co-author Paul Benneworth. Palgrave Communications 4, article 52. Special collection: Scientific Advice for Governments. 2018. doi:10.1057/s41599-018-0105-9

‘The Construction of New Scientific Norms for Solving Grand Challenges: The Norwegian Idélab Programme’ (working paper), co-author Paul Benneworth, Centre for Higher Education and Policy Studies, University of Twente, Working Paper Series, 2017:

‘Sandpits Can Help Researchers Escape Disciplinary Bubbles’, Research Europe, 26 October 2017, p. 8 (invited contribution, co-authored with Paul Benneworth): 

‘Beck’s Song Reader: An Unbound Music Book’ in Mémoires du livre / Studies in Book Culture 8:1 (2016),

‘Mixing It Up: The Place of the Arts in Multidisciplinary Contexts’, Podium. FoU-magasin fra Universitetet i Tromsø, Det kunstfaglige fakultet 11 (2017), pp. 16–18

When Here is Now and Now is Then: Bridging the Gap in Time with “Sumer is icumen in” in Building Bridges for Multimodal Research: International Perspectives on Theories and Practices of Multimodal Analysis, ed. Janina Wildfeuer (Bern: Peter Lang, 2015), 259–268

‘An Analysis of ‘Mode’ in Guillaume de Machaut’s Lay mortel (‘Un mortel lay’, Lay 12)’, in LYDSPOR. Når musikk møter tekst og bilder [SOUNDTRACKS: When Music Meets Text and Images], ed. Bjarne Markussen (Kristiansand: Portal forlag, 2015), 273–293

‘Page, Performance and Play in Medieval Transmission and Reinterpretation: Presence and Absence in the Oxford Roland and Guillaume de Machaut’s Voir dit, co-authored with James R. Simpson. In Jacob Dekert and Peder Kaj Pedersen (eds). Proceedings of the 16th Nordic Musicological Congress, Stockholm, 2012 (Stockholm: Institutionen för musik- och teatervetenskap, Stockholms Universitet, 2014), 144–153

‘Performance and the Page’, co-authored with James R. Simpson and Peter V. Davies, in Pecia: Le livre et l’écrit 16 (2013), special issue Performance and the Page, ed. Kate Maxwell, James R. Simpson and Peter V. Davies, 7–15 (DOI:

‘Multimodality and medieval music’, Tag Journal, December 2013 ( Now no longer available; click title for jpeg

‘The Order of Lays in the “Odd” Machaut Manuscript E in Manuscripts and Printed Books in Europe 1350-1550: Packaging, Presentation and Consumption, ed. Emma Cayley and Sarah Powell (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2013), pp. 32-47

‘ “Quant j’eus tout recordé par ordre” Memory and Performance on Display in the Manuscripts of Guillaume de Machaut’s Voir Dit and Remede de Fortune’ in Memory and Commemoration in Medieval Culture ed. Elma Brenner, Meredith Cohen, and Mary Franklin-Brown (Farnham: Ashgate, 2013), pp. 181-193

‘Performing Notation, Notation Performing’ annotated graphic composition in Notations 21, ed. Theresa Tisano (New York: Mark Batty, 2009)

‘Guillaume de Machaut’ in The Literary Encyclopedia (2007)

‘Les Politiques linguistiques au Royaume-Uni’ / ‘The Linguistic Policies of the United Kingdom’ in Nouvelle Europe, May 2007:

‘The Difficulty of Meaning, the Dilemma of Labelling: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377), a Romantic Poet-Composer?’ Essays in French Studies 2, September 2006 (ISSN 1749-3307):

Authoring the Author: Innovation and Enigma in B. N. fr. 146 the Livre de FauvelESharp Journal ‘Trailblazing’, Spring 2004 (ISSN 1742-4542):

‘Review of the GSAH “Trailblazing” Conference – October 2003’ ESharp Journal ‘Trailblazing’, Spring 2004 (ISSN 1742-4542):


Book Reviews

Review of D. McGrady and J. Bain, eds, A Companion to Guillaume de Machaut   for The Medieval Review (September 2013)

Review of E.E. Leach, Guillaume de Machaut: Secretary, Poet, Musician in Fontes Artis Musicae 60:1 (2013), pp. 28-29

Review of R. J. Knecht, The Valois in The Sixteenth Century Journal 39.3 (2008)


Invited Presentations

‘Music on the Margins: Music and Erotic Imagery from the Middle Ages to the Internet’. Guest lecture. The American University of Paris, 17 September 2019

‘Guillaume de Machaut and the Multimodal Performance of the Page’. Université de Paris IV-Sorbonne, Institut de recherche en musicologie, seminar series for the joint project with Columbia University FAB-Musiconis: L’iconographie musicale et l’art occidental – portraits de musiciens, 9 January 2019

‘The Posthuman Pragmatics of the Book: A Multimodal Reading of a Digitised Manuscript’. Invited participant in session ‘In the Eye of the Beholder’, Poznan Linguistic Meeting, 13-15 September 2018

‘#MeToo / #ShePersisted: Understanding Society and Culture through Gender and Pop Music’. ENRESSH Training School, Croatian Ministry of Education, Zagreb, 14 February 2018

‘Bach’s Mass in B Minor’, invited public lecture-recital with Akamus Orkester as part of the Ishavskatedralen 50 års jubileum, Tromsø, 20 November 2015

‘Beyond Sound, Image, and Text: The More Hidden Modes of the Manuscript’. Invited participant for the roundtable ‘Medieval Multimodalities’, organised by Dorothy Kim and Katherine W. Jager, New Chaucer Society Biannual Congress, Queen Mary University of London, 10–15 July 2016

‘The Medieval Manuscript: A Multimodal Performance’, Bremen Masterclasses in Multimodality, Universität Bremen, 22 April 2015

‘Performance and the Page’, The Multimodality of Opera: The Constitution, Development and Performance of Early Modern Opera, Tarquinia, 4-8 May 2014

‘The Curious Case of “Malgre Fortune”: A Case Study in Multimodality’, Machaut in the Book, University of Virginia, 11-12 April 2013

‘Popular Culture in History: A Look at the Middle Ages’ International Institute for Popular Culture, University of Turku, 9 February 2010:


Other Presentations

‘Starting Young: Multimodal Gender Presentation in Children’s Pop Music’, Fourth Bremen Conference on Multimodality, 25–27 September 2019

‘The Bitextuality of Medieval Manuscripts’, Leeds International Medieval Congress, 1-4 July 2019

‘Music in the Dark: Soundscapes in Christiane Ritter’s A Woman in the Polar Night, Island Dynamics – Darkness, Longyearbyen, 11-17 January 2019

Understanding Flow: Difference and Repetition in Norwegian Hip Hop’, Nordic Sounds: Making and Unmaking Myths, Örebro University, 19-20 September 2018

‘Multimodal evangelism, or, is everything really multimodal? Reflections on multimodality and gender’, 9th International Conference on Multimodality – Moving the Theory Forward (9ICOM), University of Southern Denmark, 15-17 August 2018

‘Lett å være rebell i kjellerleiligheten din: The sexist in the basement of Norwegian hip hop’, Musikforskning i dag, Uppsala Universitet, 13-15 June 2018

‘Notation and Gender in Beck’s Song Reader, Notation Cultures, Utrecht University, 20–22 April 2018 (co-authored with Lilli Mittner)

‘Lett å være rebell i kjellerleiligheten din: The sexist in the basement of Norwegian hip hop’, Music and Gender in Balance, University of Tromsø, 5–6 April 2018

‘Rytmisk musikk i et kjønnsperspektiv’ (Gender perspectives in popular music)Lørdagsuniversitet, Universitet i Tromsø 50-år, Kulturhuset Tromsø, 24 February 2018. Popular science presentation as part of the University of Tromsø’s 50th jubilee celebrations. 

‘The Rebel in the Basement: Agency and Action in Norwegian Hip Hop’CaMEO Conference, University of Leicester, 6-8 September 2017

‘Transmediating Verdi Transmediating Shakespeare: Performing Theory in Macbeth, co-author Carlo Allemano, Transmediations!, Växjö, 13–15 October 2016

‘Beyond Sound, Image, and Text: the (More) Hidden Modes of the Manuscript’, New Chaucer Society, London, 10–15 July 2016

‘Music as Spiritual Nourishment (or not) at the Periphery of Page and Sound’, International Medieval Congress, Leeds, 4–7 July 2016

‘Music Notation as a Multimodal Artefact’, International Musicological Society, Stavanger, 1-6 July 2016

‘Music Notation as a ‘Gatekeeper’ to Participation’, DiscourseNet Congress, University of Bremen, 24-26 September 2015

Multimodality and the Benefits and Limits of Cross-Disciplinary ‘Evangelism’, Second Bremen Conference on Multimodality, 21-22 September 2015

‘Research in the Middle: Multimodally Broadcasting and Analysing Climate-Change Research in a Norwegian Context’, International Pragmatics Research Association Conference, University of Antwerp, 26-31 July 2015. Co-authored with Paul Benneworth and Anders Gravir Imenes

‘Research in the Middle: Multimodally Broadcasting and Analysing Climate-Change Research in a Norwegian Context’, Multimodality and Cultural Change, University of Agder, 10-12 June 2015. Co-authored with Paul Benneworth and Anders Gravir Imenes

‘The Posthuman (Music) Manuscript’, Approaching Posthumanism and the Posthuman Conference, University of Geneva, 4-6 June 2015

‘Discourses of Authorship in the “Imaginary Museum” of Culture’, DiscourseNet 15, University Library ‘Svetozar Markovic’, Belgrade, 19–21 March 2015

‘Hide and Flesh and Feeling: A Multimodal Approach to Embodiment in the Medieval Manuscript’, MODE Conference: Multimodality – Methodological Explorations, UCL Institute of Education, 15-16 January 2015

‘The Colour of Snowflakes: A Presentation, an Invitation, an Installation’, Arctic Modernities, Tromsø, 16-18 September 2014

‘When Here is Now and There is Then: Bridging the Gap in Time’, Bridging the Gap between Here and There: Combining Multimodal Analysis from International Perspectives, Bremen, 10-13 September 2014

‘An Analysis of “Mode” in Guillaume de Machaut’s Lay mortel (“Un mortel lay”)’, International Medieval Congress, Leeds, 7-10 July 2014

‘Multimodality and Medieval Music in Sound and Manuscript’, Royal Musicological Association Medieval and Renaissance Music Conference, Birmingham, 3-6 July 2014

‘A Multimodal Analysis of Machaut’s Lay mortel (lay 12, “Un mortel lay”)’, Musikforskning i dag, Linnéuniversitet, Växjö, 11-13 June 2014

‘Multimodality and the Medieval Manuscript’, Encompassing the Multimodality of Knowledge: The 5th International 360° Conference, Aarhus, 8-10 May 2014

‘Le sujet digital dans les lais de Guillaume de Machaut’, Le Sujet digital: in-scription, ex-scription, télé-scription, Université de Paris-8, 18-21 November 2013

‘Guillaume de Machaut and the Concept of Multimodality’, Musikforskning i dag, Kungliga Musikhögskolan, Stockholm, 12-14 June 2013

‘Guillaume de Machaut and Multimodality’, Multikul Årsseminar, Metochi, 18-25 May 2013

‘Guillaume de Machaut and the Concept of Multimodality’, Guillaume de Machaut: Music, Image, Text in the Middle Ages, University of Exeter, 29-30 April 2013

‘Memory, memorial, mise en page: an examination of the manuscript presentations of Guillaume de Machaut’s mass’ Dies Medievales, Turku, 26-27 October 2012

‘Page, Performance and Play: Presence and Absence in Medieval Lyric Transmission and Reinterpretation’ XVIth Nordic Musicological Congress, Stockholm, 7-10 August 2012 (co-authored with James Simpson)

‘Page, Performance and Play: Presence and Absence in Medieval Lyric Transmission and Reinterpretation’ Medieval Song Network II, London, 12-14 September 2011 (with James Simpson)

‘Memory, memorial, mise en page: an examination of the manuscript presentations of Guillaume de Machaut’s mass International Medieval Congress, Kalamazoo, 12-15 May 2011

 ‘ “Grammatology” as a means of understanding early music notation: a look at the Chanson de Roland and the Voir Dit International Medieval Congress, Leeds, 11-14 July 2010

‘ “Grammatology” as a means of understanding early music notation: a look at the Chanson de Roland and the Voir Dit Royal Musicological Association, Medieval and Renaissance Music Conference, Royal Holloway, 5-8 July 2010

Uneasy Bedfellows? Medieval Notation, Graphic Notation, and Jacques Derrida’ Svenska Samfundet för Musikforskning, Lund, 8-10 June 2010

Uneasy Bedfellows? Medieval Notation, Graphic Notation, and Jacques Derrida’, Off the Staves, Bangor, 26-27 March 2010

 ‘Understanding the Manuscript Transmissions of Machaut’s Mass’ Royal Musicological Association Medieval and Renaissance Conference, Utrecht, 1-4 July 2009

‘Considering the Order of the Lays in the “odd” Machaut Manuscript E’ Early Book Society, Exeter, 9-12 July 2009

‘Notations 21: A 21st-century manuscript?’ Nothing New? Understanding Newness in Medieval and Contemporary Music, University of Huddersfield, 25-26 April 2009

‘ “Je ne me puis taire … Pren du papier, je veuil escrire”: Composition, Memory and Performance on Display in the Manuscripts of Guillaume de Machaut’s Voir Dit Royal Musicological Association, Medieval and Renaissance Conference, Vienna, 8-11 August 2007

‘Vital Transcriptions: performance and memory in the visual presentation of the music in Guillaume de Machaut’s Remede de Fortune International Medieval Congress, Leeds, 9-12 July 2007

‘ “Quant j’eus tout recordé par ordre”: Memory and Performance on Display in the Manuscripts of Guillaume de Machaut’s Voir Dit and Remede de Fortune International Medieval Congress, Paris, 27-29 June 2007

‘Vital Transcriptions: the visual presentation of the music in Guillaume de Machaut’s Remede de Fortune International Medieval Congress, Kalamazoo, May 10-13 2007

‘Les Sources manuscrites du Remede de Fortune de Guillaume de Machaut’ Université de Paris IV-Sorbonne, 2007 (seminar for Isabelle Ragnard, musicology)

‘ Quant j’eus tout recordé par ordre”: la mémoire dans les manuscrits du Remede de Fortune et du Voir Dit de Guillaume de Machaut’ Université de Paris IV-Sorbonne, 2007 (seminar for Jacqueline Cerquiglini-Toulet, French litterature)

‘ “Quant jeus tout recorde par ordre”: the visual presentation of the music in Guillaume de Machaut’s Remede de Fortune Annual Conference of the Royal Musical Association, University of Nottingham, 11-14 July 2006

‘Guillaume de Machaut: Identity and Performance’ (Poster) Society for French Studies Conference, University of St Andrews, 3-5 July 2006

‘To Reconstruct or not to Reconstruct? Guillaume de Machaut and the Dilemma of Re-Creation’ Oxford French Graduate Conference: Reconstruction, Maison française d’Oxford, 2 June 2006

‘The Difficulty of Meaning, the Dilemma of Labelling: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377), a Romantic Poet-Composer?’ 2001-Group Study Day: Difficulty and Dilemma, University of Reading, 28 April 2006

‘Guillaume de Machaut: Identity and Performance’ Royal Musicological Association Research Students’ Conference, University of Leeds, 4-7 January 2006

 ‘Seriously Sharp Students: An Online Postgraduate Journal for the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences’ (poster) Digital Resources in the Humanities, University of Newcastle, 5-8 September 2004

‘Authorship and Enigma in Fauvel Royal Musicological Association Medieval and Renaissance Conference, University of Glasgow, 15-18 July 2004

‘Authoring the Author: Innovation and Enigma in Bibliothèque Nationale MS fr.146 the Livre de Fauvel Royal Musicological Association Research Students’ Conference, Royal Holloway, University of London, 7-10 January 2004

‘Authoring the Author: Innovation and Enigma in Bibliothèque Nationale MS fr.146 the Livre de FauvelESharp ‘Trailblazing’ Conference, University of Glasgow, October 2003

‘ “Le Livre est mort. Vive le livre!” Scribal Power on Display in the Livre de Fauvel Late Antique and Medieval Postgraduate Society, University of Edinburgh, June 2003

‘Sight and Sound in Medieval Music’ Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies postgraduate seminar series, University of Glasgow, 2003

Kate Maxwell is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Agder, Norway. Her project is to apply the theory of ‘multimodality’ to medieval manuscripts, particularly those of the fourteenth-century poet-composer Guillaume de Machaut.

This website aims to be an overview of the postdoc project, and much more: a live reflection on living and working in a multimodal environment, of researching medieval artifacts in the digital age, and perhaps the occasional personal or fun thing too.


The view from home