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by Edwin Duncan

Here is a listing of medieval academic discussion groups you may want to join along with the addresses of the listservers that carry them. Remember that if your telecommunications system is on Bitnet, use the address that has bitnet at the end. If it's on Internet, then use the other address. If it's on both, then use either one. Also remember that if you are sending messages for the other subscribers to read, don't send them to the listserver but to the name of the network followed by the node address for the listserver. Thus, once you've already joined Ansax-l and want to send a message to its members, you will address it to ansax-l@wvnvm.bitnet (or, not to listserv@wvnvm.bitnet.

Annotations for some of the networks appear in the paragraphs below the list.


  • AARHMS-L Academy of Historians of Medieval Spain
  • ANSAX-L listserv@wvnvm.bitnet Anglo-Saxon Studies
  • ARTHURNET Arthurian Studies
  • BMMR-L Medieval Book Reviews
  • CHAUCER listserv@uicvm.bitnet Chaucer and Medieval Lit.
  • DEREMI-L Medieval Military History
  • EARLYM-L listserv@aearn.bitnet Early Music
  • EARLYMEDNET-L Early Medieval Studies (300-700 a.d.)
  • EMEDCH-L Early Medieval Chinese Studies
  • GERLINGL listserv@uiucvmd.bitnet Older Germanic Languages (to 1500)
  • HEL-L History of the English Language
  • INTERSCRIPTA Directed Medieval Discussions
  • MDVLPHIL listserv@lsuvm.bitnet Medieval Philosophy and Political Thought
  • MEDART-L listserv@utoronto.bitnet Medieval Art
  • MEDFEM-L listproc@uwavm.bitnet Medieval Feminist Studies
  • MEDGER-L Medieval German Studies
  • MEDGAY-L Medieval Gay Studies
  • MEDIBER Medieval Iberian Studies
  • MEDIEV-L listserv@ukanvm.bitnet Medieval History
  • MEDIEVALE Medieval History (in French)
  • MEDIEVAL-RELIGION Medieval Religion
  • MEDLITERACY-L Medieval Literacy
  • MEDSCI-L listserv@brownvm.bitnet Medieval Science
  • MEDTEXTL listserv@uiucvmd.bitnet Medieval Languages & Lit.
  • NUMISM-L Medieval (& Ancient) Numismatics
  • OLDNORSENET Old Norse Studies
  • PERFORM Medieval Performing Arts listserv@iubvm.bitnet
  • SIEGE Medieval Siege Weaponry
  • ANSAX-L is the discussion group for ANSAXNET, the Anglo-Saxon Network. It has over 600 members from fifteen or twenty different countries and, as one would expect from such a large membership, has a fairly high volume of mail. Discussions cover not only Old English language and literature, but also Anglo-Saxon archeology, history, philosophy, and the arts. As with other networks, one also runs across calls for papers, job listings, announcements of new journals, new computer services, and the like.
  • ARTHURNET, a network devoted to all subjects relating to King Arthur and the knights of the round table, has apparently replaced an older and less successful one called CAMELOT, an English network.
  • BMMR-L, the Bryn Mawr Medieval Review, is, as its name implies, devoted to the review of books on medieval topics. Members are not only automatically sent reviews of new books as they become available but may also retrieve older reviews from the archives. They may also contribute their own reviews to the network.
  • CHAUCER, the discussion group for Chaucernet, is, like Ansaxnet, consistently active in terms of mail. It generally confines itself to Chaucer studies, although related fourteenth-century works such as Piers Plowman and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight also get discussed here. Some of the pedagogical discussions on this network can be especially helpful.
  • EARLYMEDNET-L, a new discussion group for early medieval studies, is relatively inactive. At least in the initial stages of its existence, it has seemed to have more of an archeological bent to its discussions.
  • EARLYM-L, a discussion group for those interested in early music, is a relatively high-volume network with postings from musicians both inside and outside academe.
  • GERLINGL, a discussion group for older Germanic language studies, is a low-volume group, but some good information is presented on it from time to time. If one has interests in this area, then one may wish to subscribe to it in addition to a related higher volume group like Ansax-l.
  • HEL-L, a discussion group devoted to studies in the history of the English language, is primarily but not exclusively pedagogical. Postings are infrequent with bursts of activity (i.e., 3-6 messages per day) followed by periods of relative silence.
  • MDVLPHIL, devoted to medieval philosophy and socio-political issues, does not have many postings.
  • MEDFEM-L is a fairly high-volume discussion group which covers a wide range of issues related to medieval feminist studies.
  • MEDGER-L is a very low volume discussion group for medieval German studies on all topics besides linguistics. Messages here are typically few and far between.
  • MEDIBER is a discussion group devoted to medieval Iberian literatures, languages, histories, and cultures. It is fairly active. Many of its postings are in Spanish.
  • MEDIEVALE is a new medieval history network from Canada whose postings are all in French.
  • MEDIEVAL-RELIGION is a forum for discussions related to religious life and thought in Europe from late antiquity to the early modern period. Its archives may be accessed at the Mailbase Web Page (
  • MEDTEXTL, the discussion group for medieval languages and literature, also has a large number of messages. In contrast to ANSAX-L and CHAUCER, it has more postings for continental languages, literature, and the arts, and perhaps for that reason has a rule that any postings or quotations in any language other than English include translations along with the originals. This can be a real help for, say, a Germanic scholar trying to follow a conversation quoting medieval Italian or for a Romanticist trying to decipher something from Old Norse.
  • OLDNORSENET is a discussion group devoted to Old Norse history, literature, and philology. It does not have a high volume of postings. RELATED ACADEMIC DISCUSSION GROUPS
  • BMR-L Medieval & Classical Book Reviews
  • BYZANS-L Byzantine Studies
  • CELTIC-L listserv@irlearn.bitnet Celtic Studies
  • CUSCA-L Society for Creative Anachronism Medieval Reconstructionists
  • ESPORA-L listserv@ukanvm.bitnet Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies
  • FICINO listserv@utoronto.bitnet Renaissance Studies
  • FRANCEHS listserv@uwavm.bitnet French Historical Studies
  • GAELIC-L listserv@irlearn.bitnet Gaelic Studies
  • GRMNHIST listserv@uscvm.bitnet German Historical Studies (from 800 a.d.)
  • HUMANIST listserv@brownvm.bitnet Studies in the Humanities
  • LATIN-L Latin Language & Studies listserv@psuvm.bitnet
  • LT-ANTIQ Studies in Late listserv@univscvm.bitnet Antiquity
  • MAPHIST Map History Studies
  • MYSTIC-L Studies in Mysticism
  • PHILOSOP listserv@yorkvm1.bitnet Studies in Philosophy
  • REED-L listserv@utoronto.bitnet Records of Early English Drama & Related Topics
  • RENAIS-L listserv@ulkyvm.bitnet Renaissance History
  • SHAKSPER listserv@utoronto.bitnet Shakespeare Studies
  • WELSH-L listserv@irlearn.bitnet Welsh Language & Studies
  • Of these related discussion groups, perhaps the one of most general interest would be the first one, Humanist. Devoted to studies in the humanities, Humanist is a little different from the others in that its editors screen the messages and then group them by topic before sending them out. Thus, if you belong to Humanist, you may not get any mail at all for a few days, and then go in and find ten or fifteen messages at once. So even though Humanist has over a thousand members, its volume is not as high as Ansax-l, Chaucer, or Medtextl, but because its postings are screened, the quality of the messages is generally high.

    I will give no additional explanation of the other groups listed here except to say that the last one, BMR-L, is the Bryn Mawr Medieval Review combined with the Bryn Mawr Classical Review. So if you are a classicist as well as a medievalist, you might prefer to subscribe to this network rather than just the Bryn Mawr Medieval Review.

    This document is the property of Edwin Duncan. All rights reserved. It may be distributed as long as it is done entirely with all attributions to the author. Commercial distribution is prohibited. Portions of this document are copyrighted by the Medieval English Newsletter.