In the spring of 2004, a group of medievalists in the Faculty of English began to hold regular meetings to give papers, discuss texts and criticism, and exchange ideas. Calling themselves the Medieval English Reading Group, these students wanted to create a comfortable environment for the open discussion of medieval English literature. The focus of the Group's activities soon expanded to include interdisciplinary approaches to the Middle Ages, and the MERG encouraged the participation of graduates from other departments and faculties throughout Cambridge.
Encouraged by the success of the MERG, we decided not only to continue to hold regular meetings throughout the academic year, but also to create a website, Marginalia. In the summer of 2004, we reformed the Group as the Medieval Reading Group (MRG), so called because of its intent to foster closer relations between medievalists at various Cambridge faculties. Our website, Marginalia, is intended to be both an online resource and a point of contact for medievalists at Cambridge and around the world, and now also includes the online journal Marginalia (please see our Marginalia page for more details).
Marginalia has already had enthusiastic responses from universities in the UK and elsewhere, and our contacts lists have been growing rapidly ever since the website was created. Since its foundation six years ago, thanks to the generous support of the English faculty and the enthusiasm and of its members, the MRG has gone from stregth to strength. We continue to be a thriving interdisciplinary academic community, and we are delighted by the strong links we have fostered with the MPhil course in the English faculty, publishing the best coursework essays of each year, and inviting each MPhil student to present a paper based on their research project.
We hope to continue to expand our list of contacts and to accelerate the growth of our project through regular meetings, email updates, and our online journal. Because the website will rely on contributions from medievalists around the world for its content, we invite and encourage visitors to this site to contact us with any suggestions or contributions they may have.