August 22, 2013

Fall 2013 25th Anniversary Events Calendar

This year the Center for Medieval Studies will celebrate its 25th anniversary! Please join us for an exciting series of events.

Friday, September 6
Joint Open House with the Center for Early Modern History
12:00 pm, 1024 Heller Hall

Thursday, September 12
"Is the Song of Roland a Military Satire?"
Bernard Bachrach, History, University of Minnesota
4:00 pm, 1210 Heller Hall

Thursday, September 26
"Who Was Really Here First? Vikings, Indians, and Solving the Mystery of Minnesota's Kensington Stone"
Annette Kolodny, College of Humanities Professor Emerita of American Literature and Culture, University of Arizona
7:30 pm, William G. Shepherd Room, Weisman Art Museum
Presented by the Department of English and co-sponsored by the Weisman Art Museum; the Center for Medieval Studies; and the departments of American Indian Studies; German, Scandinavian, and Dutch; and History.

Thursday, October 10
"Reading Ambrose's Silence"
Daniel Donoghue, English, Harvard University
4:00 pm, 1210 Heller Hall
Co-sponsored with the Department of English.

Thursday, October 17
The Carl Sheppard Memorial Lecture in Medieval Art History
"Writing Manuscripts Illuminated in France"
Alison Stones, History of Art and Architecture, University of Pittsburgh
Co-sponsored with the James Ford Bell Library and the Department of Art History
7:00 pm, 120 Andersen Library

Thursday, October 24
"Hucksters et al: Connections among Women in the Medieval Marketplace"
Kathryn Reyerson, History, University of Minnesota
4:00 pm, 1210 Heller Hall

Wednesday, November 6
"Latin Translations of the Toledot Yeshu and Attitudes toward Sodomy in the Middle Ages"
Ruth Karras, History, University of Minnesota
Center for Jewish Studies event, co-sponsored by the Center for Medieval Studies
12:00 pm, TBA

Friday, November 8-Saturday, November 9
CMS 25th Anniversary Conference: "Teaching and Learning in the Middle Ages"
Co-sponsored with the Center for Early Modern History; the Center for Jewish Studies; the James Ford Bell Library; the Program in Religious Studies; and the Departments of English; German, Scandinavian, and Dutch; and History.
November 8, 3:45 pm, James Ford Bell Library
November 9, 8:30 am-6:00 pm, Andersen Library

Thursday, November 21
"Queen Isabel on TV: Politics Past and Present"
Barbara Weissberger, Professor Emerita, Spanish and Portuguese, University of Minnesota
4:00 pm, 1210 Heller Hall

Thursday, December 5
"Where did the Scandinavian Gods Come From?"
Anatoly Liberman, German, Scandinavian, and Dutch, University of Minnesota
4:00 pm, 1210 Heller Hall

Call for Papers, Kalamazoo 2014

Please consider the following CFP from Medieval Studies alumnus Erik Carlson and share with anyone who may be interested.

CFP: ICMS, Kalamazoo 2014
Submit by 9/15/2013

Lexical Approaches to Old English
Papers are invited by scholars who use word studies to understand Old English and Old English texts. Linguistic and literary interests may be equally well served by word studies, and papers that are attentive to the difficulties of reconciling these interests are particularly sought; however, all approaches are welcome, including comparative investigations into Germanic languages or Latin.

Please submit one-page abstracts to:
Erik Carlson

July 16, 2013

Call for Papers: Two CMS Sponsored Sessions at Kalamazoo 2014

We are pleased to announce that CMS is sponsoring two sessions at the 49th International Congress on Medieval Studies, to be held at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI from May 8-11, 2014. We invite your submissions of abstracts for the following sessions.

Compromised Bodies in Late Medieval France and Italy
The body was a central concern for late medieval French and Italian societies. This panel will consider how individuals and society recognized and reacted to the body in compromised states (as a result of both internal and external conditions, such as madness, disease, passion, hunger, disability, crime, poverty, etc.). What kinds of identity formation occur from the body in altered states? How are cultural constructions of "the body" used to identify and problematize ideas of corporeal experience? Papers may approach questions of physical and emotional transformation through the body from literary and cultural appropriations, comparative studies, trauma studies, cognitive theory and/or linguistic studies.

Please submit abstracts and the Participant Information Form via e-mail to Dr. Andrew Scheil at by 15 September 2013 or earlier.

Organized by:
Jessica Apolloni, Amanda Taylor, Katie Robison
Center for Medieval Studies, University of Minnesota

Saint Paul: Reception, Representation, and Influence in the Middle Ages
Paul beseeched his readers in Corinth, "be ye imitators of me, as I also am of Christ," and many attempted as much in the centuries that followed. This session invites assessment or re-assessment of Saint Paul and any aspect of his influence on medieval or early modern thought, life, or art. This influence has not always been salutary; Margery Kempe lamented that she had "suffyrd mech tribulacyon for cawse of hys wrytyng," specifically his injunction forbidding women to preach, and much recent scholarship on Paul has tended to focus on the difficulties that his refinements of early Christian morality have presented, in particular the limits he imposes on female authority and autonomy, his promotion of virginity, and his condemnation of homosexuality. Of course, Paul's importance extended well beyond his preoccupation with patriarchy and sexual purity, influencing a broad range of ideas concerning evangelism, conversion, sanctity, free will, suffering, and martyrdom, among others. Moreover, his missionary adventures served as both a subject and literary template for story-tellers and hagiographers, and Paul himself (despite stylistic deficiencies that even Jerome could not help criticizing) provided a key example of authorship and self-narration. This session welcomes abstracts from any disciplinary perspective addressing the significance of these or any other aspects of Paul's life and letters for his medieval and early modern heirs and/or medieval studies.

Please submit abstracts and the Participant Information Form via e-mail to Dr. Andrew Scheil at by 15 September 2013 or earlier.

Organized by:
Benjamin D. Utter, Dept. of English, U .of Minnesota

May 23, 2013

Announcement of Competition: Latin, Greek, and Humanities at the Academy Vivarium Novum in Rome, Academic year 2013-2014

The Academy Vivarium Novum is offering ten full tuition scholarships for high school students of the European Union (16-18 years old) and ten full tuition scholarships for University students (18-24 years old) of any part of the world. The scholarships will cover all of the costs of room, board, teaching and didactic materials for courses to be held from October 7, 2013 until June 14, 2014 on the grounds of the Academy's campus at Rome.
Application letters must be sent to by July 15th in order to receive consideration.
A good knowledge of the fundamentals of Latin and Greek is required.

The courses will be as follows:
1. Latin language (fundamental and advanced)
2. Greek language (fundamental and advanced)
3. Latin composition
4. Roman History
5. Ancient Latin literature
6. History of ancient Philosophy
7. Renaissance and Neo-Latin literature
8. Latin and Greek music and poetry
9. Classics reading seminars

The goal is to achieve a perfect command of both Latin and Greek through a total immersion in the two languages in order to master without any hindrances the texts and concepts which have been handed down from the ancient times, middle ages, the Renaissance period and modern era, and to cultivate the humanities in a manner similar to the Renaissance humanists.

All the classes will be conducted in Latin, except for Greek classes which will be conducted in ancient Greek.

In the letter the prospective student should indicate the following:

1. Full name;

2. Date and location of birth;

3. What school you currently attend;
4. How long you have studied Latin and/or Greek;

5. Which authors and works you have read;

6. Other studies and primary interests outside of school.

In addition, please attach a recent passport/ID photograph.

(For more information about the Academy, you may visit the website

May 16, 2013

Congratulations to Jennifer Immich!

Jennifer Immich (Anthropology) has been awarded the Barry Prize by the American Society for Irish Medieval Studies (ASIMS). This is an annual prize awarded for the best conference paper on a subject of relevance to Irish Medieval Studies written by a graduate student. Jennifer's winning interdisciplinary paper is titled "Three Timber Castles: Modeling Landscape Siting with GIS." Please join us in congratulating Jennifer!

May 14, 2013

Barbara Weissberger awarded Luis Andrés Murillo Prize

Congratulations to Barbara Weissberger, Professor Emerita in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese! Her article "'Es de Lope': Child Martyrdom in Cervantes's Baños de Argel", published in the journal Cervantes, 32.2, (Fall 2012), was awarded the Luis Andrés Murillo Prize for best article of the year in that journal.

Graduate Student Fellowships

Ann Zimo (History) has been awarded the Social Science Research Council's International Dissertation Research Fellowship and the Council of American Overseas Research Centers' Multi-Country Research Fellowship. These will allow her to spend next year abroad completing research for her dissertation on the experience of the Muslim communities under crusader rule.

Amanda Taylor (English) has received the Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship for European Studies, Summer 2013 (Italian) and the English's department's Marcella DeBourg Fellowship, awarded to students whose work gives "creative expression to women's lives."

Congratulations to Ann and Amanda!

April 10, 2013

Inaugural Rutherford Aris Memorial Lecture, May 2, 7:00 p.m.

The Center for Medieval Studies at the University of Minnesota is establishing an annual lecture in medieval communication technologies in memory of the renowned paleography and chemical engineering professor Rutherford "Gus" Aris. We are very excited to inaugurate this event with a lecture by Professor Elaine Treharne, a distinguished scholar of medieval manuscripts from Stanford University. Professor Treharne will deliver a lecture on Thursday, May 2 entitled "'True Vision': Modeling the Medieval Future of Digital Technology."

For full details about this event, visit the University events calendar.

Kay Reyerson awarded Robert L. Kindrick-CARA Award

Department of History professor and past CMS director Kay Reyerson has won the Robert L. Kindrick-CARA Award for Outstanding Service to Medieval Studies. A description of the award from the academy website:

"The Robert L. Kindrick-CARA Award for Outstanding Service to Medieval Studies recognizes Medieval Academy members who have provided leadership in developing, organizing, promoting, and sponsoring medieval studies through the extensive administrative work that is so crucial to the health of medieval studies but that often goes unrecognized by the profession at large."

Please join CMS in congratulating Kay for this well-deserved honor!

March 27, 2013

Kalamazoo 2013

The 48th International Congress on Medieval Studies will be held May 9-12, 2013 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Check out our list of sessions featuring Minnesota graduate students, professors, and alumni and let us know if we've missed anyone. If you would like to ride in the CMS van, please send an email to to let us know. The van will leave Minnesota on Wednesday, May 8 and leave Kalamazoo after lunch on Sunday, May 12. Cost will be determined based on participation.

March 13, 2013

Mary Franklin-Brown awarded ACLA Levin Prize

Congratulations to Mary Franklin-Brown, Associate Professor in the Department of French and Italian! The American Comparative Literature Association has awarded the 2013 Harry Levin Prize to Professor Franklin-Brown for her book Reading the World: Encyclopedic Writing in the Scholastic Age (University of Chicago). The 2013 Levin prize distinguishes the best first book in comparative literature published in 2010-2012.

March 6, 2013

Trivia, March 6, 2013

Name one plant used to produce a pigment which, mixed with egg yolk, was often substituted for gold in medieval painting.

Please send trivia responses by email to with "Trivia" in the subject line. Local trivia winners can arrange to pick up a CMS mug by sending us an email or visiting our office in 1030 Heller Hall. Also feel free to send ideas for future trivia questions.

February 13, 2013

Trivia, February 13, 2013

In what city is Saint Thomas Aquinas's heart preserved?

Please send trivia responses by email to with "Trivia" in the subject line. Local trivia winners can arrange to pick up a CMS mug by sending us an email or visiting our office in 1030 Heller Hall. Also feel free to send ideas for future trivia questions.

January 30, 2013

CMS Workshop "Lancelot and the Rabbis"

On February 6, Vivian Ramalingam will be presenting a workshop titled "Lancelot and the Rabbis." The workshop is being held in 1210 Heller Hall and begins at 11:30 a.m. If you are interested in participating, please respond to and be sure to check out the handout Vivian has prepared. It includes a passage and some suggestions for how to prepare for the workshop. Handout for Lancelot-2_6_13.doc

December 18, 2012

Trivia, Winter Break Hiatus

Look for a new trivia question in the first week of spring semester. Until then, please send your suggestions for future trivia questions to