Teaching responsibilities prevented me from attending much of this week’s Ida Beam lectures, given by visiting scholar Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, professor of English at George Washington University and prolific blogger at In the Middle. Stories of monsters and of stones eluded me, but I was fortunate to be able to attend Professor Cohen’s final lecture this morning, on Jewish-Christian relations in medieval England. As the above picture shows, Cohen examined instances of ethnic tension and violence, but his talk also emphasised the importance of looking for instances of syncretism, commensality and “neighbouring” in the documentary evidence. Our understanding of how Jews and Christians interacted in medieval England must not be distorted by hindsight, the terrible events of York in 1190 made inevitable. Professor Cohen’s lecture was all the more interesting to me in light of some of my recent reading—as good lectures do, it not only made me look at familiar material in a new light, but provided plentiful fodder for lunchtime conversation.