‘A week of studying Old Frisian for students who can’t fit it into their normal study programme’ was the main idea behind the summer school Old Frisian held from the 8th to the 13th of July in Oxford. 23 students from all over the world stayed in st. Edmund Hall to follow a week-long programme to learn more about Anglo-Frisian connections.
According to Dr. Johanneke Sytsema from Oxford, who organized the summer school together with Dr. Anne Popkema from Groningen, they found the amount of students following Old Frisian to be low. In order to give Old Frisian a future, something needed to be done: they came up with the idea of an Old Frisian summer school.
The amount and diversity of attendees proved that there is a wide interest in the old language by students from all kinds of fields. In the morning, lectures about linguistics and/or history were given by the aforementioned organizers, Prof. Dr. Rolf Bremmer, Dr. Francis Leneghan, Dr. Nelson Goering, Dr. Nelleke Ijsennagger, Dr. Patrick Stiles, Dr. Nigel Palmer, Dr. Kees Dekker and finally, Dr. Howard Jones.
In the afternoon, the students would translate texts during workshops, or had the unique opportunity to look into old manuscripts. Especially the excursion to the Bodleian Library was a highlight on many students’ schedules.
Apart from interesting and challenging lectures, the attendees explored Oxford in the evenings and over some pints in local pubs, the students and lecturers had many great conversations. The week ended with a very fancy conference dinner and some traditional punting in the rivers of Oxford in nontraditional sunny weather.
Did this recap of the week spark your interest? You’re in luck! Next year there will be another Old Frisian summer school, this time in Groningen.
Below you can find a video recap of the summer school that gives you a good sense of the atmosphere, created by M&M student Fardau Visser.