October 25, 2012

First Annual Carl Sheppard Memorial Lecture in Medieval Studies, Thursday, October 25, 7:30 p.m.

Professor Robert S. Nelson, Yale University: "'Lords of One Quarter and One Half Quarter of the Empire of Romania': Byzantine Art and State Authority in Venice"
Part of the James Ford Bell Library "Celebrating Venice!" series

"Once did she hold the gorgeous East in fee And was the safeguard of the West..." Wordsworth thus begins a sonnet, titled "On the Extinction of the Venetian Republic," written in 1802 after the city had fallen to Napoleon. The English poet had learned well an insistent theme of Venetian political propaganda. Although the historical reality was more complex, the message was essential to Venetian identity, and art and spoils of victory over Byzantium played an important role in maintaining this and other myths of the city. This lecture will examine the Venetians use and adaptation of Byzantine artifacts during and after the Middle Ages.

Robert Nelson is a professor of the History of Art at Yale University, where he studies and teaches medieval art, mainly in the Eastern Mediterranean, and the history and methods of art history. He was the co-curator of Holy Image, Hallowed Ground: Icons from Sinai at the J. Paul Getty Museum in 2006-2007. His book, Hagia Sophia, 1850-1950 (2004), asks how the cathedral of Constantinople, once ignored or despised, came to be regarded as one of the great monuments of world architecture. Current projects involve art and the ideology of war, the social lives of illuminated Greek manuscripts in Byzantium and their reception in Renaissance Italy, the artistic perception of light in the Middle Ages, and the collecting of Byzantine art in twentieth-century Europe and America.

Among Professor Nelson's many other publications are Later Byzantine Painting: Art, Agency, and Appreciation (2007) and, as co-editor, The Old Testament in Byzantium (with Paul Magdalino, 2010); San Marco, Byzantium and the Myths of Venice (with Henry Maguire, 2010); and Approaching the Holy Mountain: Art and Liturgy at St. Catherine's Monastery in the Sinai (with Sharon Gerstel, 2011).

October 11, 2012

Medieval Colloquium, Tuesday, October 16, 2012, 4:00 p.m.

dante beatrice.jpg
Jelena Todorovic, Professor of Italian at the University of Wisconsin - Madison will speak to us about "Dante before 'Dante': Bridging the Alps." She specializes in Medieval Italian literature, including material philology, codicology, and paleography; textual criticism; and Old Occitan, classical and medieval Latin literary traditions in relation to the Italian literature of origins. She also studies the works of Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio.

October 2, 2012

Medieval Colloquium, Tuesday, October 2, 2012, 4:00 p.m.

Professor Heng, who joins us from the University of Texas at Austin where she has taught an extensive list of courses and has previously served as the Director of the Medieval Studies Program, is a current holder of the Winton Chair in the College of Liberal Arts. Professor Heng has founded and co-directed the Global Middle Ages Projects (G-MAP), the Mappamundi Digital Initiatives, and the Scholarly Community for the Globalization of the Middle Ages (SCGMA). Professor Heng specializes in medieval romance and the literatures of medieval England. Her other areas of interest include feminist, race, postcolonial, and cultural theories. Her talk for today is titled: "An Experiment in Collaborative Humanities: Envisioning Globalities, 500-1500 C.E."

September 18, 2012

Medieval Colloquium, Tuesday, September 18, 2012, 4:00 p.m.


Dwight Reynolds is a Professor of Religious Studies at the University of California - Santa Barbara where his research interests include Arabic Language and Literature and Oral and Musical Traditions of the Middle East. His recent work includes The Sirat Bani Hilal Digital Archive, Arab Folklore: A Handbook (2007), and "Symbolic Narratives of Self: Dreams in Medieval Arabic Autobiography," as well as "Musical 'Membrances of Medieval Muslim Spain" (2000) and, as editor, Interpreting the Self: Autobiography in the Arabic Literary Tradition (2001). His current projects are a historical/ethnographic study of Andalusian musical traditions of the Arab world and a comparative study of Arabic and European autobiographies from the 9th to the 19th centuries.

Organized by the Institute for Advanced Study's Mediterranean Exchange Collaborative.

April 25, 2012

End of Semester Celebration and Final Colloquium, Tuesday, May 1

Hasaniya's Treatise: Shi'ism, Popular Narrative, and Public Performance in the Early Safavid Period - Rosemary Stanfield-Johnson, University of Minnesota, Duluth

05-01-StanfieldJohnson200.jpgRosemary Stanfield-Johnson is a professor of Religious History in the Department of History at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. Professor Stanfield-Johnson's research focus is late medieval and early modern Iranian history, Shi'i political and popular culture, and popular sectarian literature. Her publications include "The Tabarra'iyan and the Early Safavids" (2004), "Sunni Survival in Safavid Iran: Anti-Sunni Activities during the Reign of Tahmasp I" (1994), "Yuzbashi-yi Kurd Bacheh and 'Abd al-Mu'min Khan the Uzbek: A Tale of Revenge in the Dastan of Husayn Kurd" (2007), and "The Hyderabad Connection in the Dastan of Hoseyn Kord" (2004). She is currently working on a book on the theology, the politics, and the practice of public ritual in 16th century Iran.
4:00 p.m., 1210 Heller Hall. Reception will follow

April 2, 2012

Romanesque Sculpture, The Senses and Religious Experience - Thomas Dale, Art History, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Tuesday, April 3

04-03-Dale.jpgThomas E. A. Dale is a professor of Art History at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where his research interests include Early Christian, Medieval and Byzantine art; Romanesque art (particularly representations of the body); San Marco in Venice; the cult of the saints; and cultural appropriation. His published work includes Relics, Prayer and Politics in Medieval Venetia: Romanesque Painting in the Crypt of Aquileia Cathedral (1997), "The Individual, the Resurrected Body, and Romanesque Portraiture: The Tomb of Rudolf von Schwaben in Merseburg" (2002), and Shaping Sacred Space and Institutional Identity in Romanesque Mural Painting: Essays in Honour of Otto Demus (contributor and editor with John Mitchell, 2004).

The re-emergence of architectural sculpture in Europe during the eleventh and twelfth centuries is often considered to be a hallmark of the period style known as the Romanesque and its ties to an ancient Roman past. In this overview of his current book project, Professor Dale explores, by contrast, how the intrinsically palpable and spatial medium of sculpture, as well as its form and content appealed to the intensely somatic theology and religious practice of the time. He further considers how sculpture was designed to stimulate the senses as part of daily religious experience. His approach is rooted in recent scholarship within medieval studies that has demonstrated the significance of the body and embodiment in medieval theology and religious practice. The specific period in question saw an intensification of interest in the relationship between the outward appearance and gestures of the body and the inner life of the soul, as well as an increasingly somatic understanding of vision/s and dreams. At the same time, there was a new insistence on the bodily presence of Christ in the Eucharist, which was accessible to all the physical senses, and on the significance of the physical body for the resurrection, which miraculously restored the decayed or fragmented body to wholeness and commemoration of the dead. It was in this context that material images, especially in sculpture, came to be understood as essential mediators of the spiritual due to their capacity to engage the senses.

March 28, 2012

Mediterranean Exchange Workshop, Thursday and Friday, March 29 and 30


The Institute for Advanced Study's Mediterranean Collaborative at the University of Minnesota will be holding a two-day workshop on Mediterranean Exchange on March 29 and 30, 2012. The workshop keynote, "Tunisia in the Imperial Mediterranean at the Turn of the 20th Century," will be given by Mary Lewis, Professor of History at Harvard University, at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday. Please note, this corrects a typo that appeared in our recent E-News which gave the time of the keynote as 5:00 p.m. Friday's sessions will begin at 8:30 a.m. and will feature discussions reaching from the sixth to the twentieth century by professors from the University of Minnesota, Carleton College, Macalester College, and St. John's University.

The Mediterranean collaborative has focused its research on the theme, "Mediterranean Identities." Identity is a much-contested analytic category. Despite the imprecision and ambiguity inherent in the construct, it allows for examination of hybridities and cultural translations that enrich our understanding of interactions and exchanges among peoples of the Mediterranean. This workshop permits us to expand our wide-ranging interdisciplinary and broad chronological explorations of this world with Minnesota scholars interested in the Mediterranean.

Visit the Collaborative webpage to see the full schedule and learn more about the workshop. All events will be held in 1210 Heller Hall.

December 9, 2011

Spring 2012 Event Calendar


Farber.jpgTuesday, February 7
Lianna Farber, English, University of Minnesota
"Seeing is Believing: Rational Responses to Evidence in Medieval England"

Friday, February 10
Adam Kosto, History, Columbia University
"Medieval Hostages, Contract Theory, and the History of International Law"
Cosponsored with the Legal History Workshop. Contact Meghan Schwartz at for a precirculated paper.
12:15-2:10 p.m., 55 Mondale Hall

France-Milan.jpgTuesday, February 14

John France, History, Swansea University
"Thirty Years of War: Warfare in the Plain of the Po 1189-1220"


03-06-Dubois.jpgTuesday, March 6
Tom DuBois, Scandinavian Studies, University of Wisconsin - Madison
"Örvar Odds Saga and Dilemmas of Context"

Tuesday, March 27
Rubin.jpgMiri Rubin, History, Queen Mary, University of London
"The Boy, the Uncle, the Jews and the Monk: Norwich 1144 and Its Afterlives"


04-03-Dale.jpgTuesday, April 3
Thomas Dale, Art History, University of Wisconsin - Madison
"Romanesque Sculpture, The Senses and Religious Experience"

Tuesday, April 24
Jimmy Schryver, Art History, University of Minnesota - Morris
"Medieval Kings and Symbolic Landscapes in Western Ireland"

Wednesday, April 25
Catharina Peersman, Linguistics, Katholieke Universitiet-Leuven
Constructing Identity: Language and identity in the 14th-Century Narration of the Franco-Flemish Conflict
12:00 p.m., 1210A Heller Hall


Tuesday, May 1
Rosemary Stanfield-Johnson, History, University of Minnesota - Duluth
"Hasaniya's Treatise: Shi'ism, Popular Narrative, and Public Performance in the Early Safavid Period"

July 8, 2010

Fall 2011 Event Calendar


Friday, September 9
Joint open house with the Center for Early Modern History. Noon-2:00 pm, 1030 Heller.

St Odo 2.jpgTuesday, September 13
Drew (Christopher) Jones, English, Ohio State University, "The Purpose of 'Studies' in Two Monastic Movements of the Tenth Century." 4:00 pm, 1210 Heller
Cosponsored by the Department of English.

Wednesday, September 14
WORKSHOP: Leslie Lockett, English, Ohio State University, "Latin Retrograde Verse: Puzzles for the Textual Editor and the Literary Historian." 2:30 pm, 1229 Heller.
Download the handout for the workshop to learn more about Latin retrograde verse.

LiebanaMonk.jpgTuesday, September 20
Denise Filios, Spanish & Portuguese, University of Iowa, "Not His Mother's Son? Genealogy and Elite Identity in Andalusian Historiography." 4:00 pm, 1210 Heller.
Cosponsored by the Institute for Advanced Study


fatimiddinar.jpgTuesday, October 11
Michael Lower, History, University of Minnesota, "Tribute Payments to Non-Believers in Classical Islamic Law and Diplomacy." 4:00 pm, 1210 Heller.

Gosforth_Cross_Víðarr.jpgTuesday, October 25
Anatoly Liberman, German Scandinavian and Dutch, University of Minnesota, "Who Killed Fenrir Wolf and How?." 4:00 pm, 1210 Heller.


Note change in date for Ross Brann's workshop. To be held on Monday, November 7, rather than Tuesday, November 8 as originally scheduled.

Muslim-Jew.jpgMonday, November 7
WORKSHOP: Ross Brann, Cornell University, "Andalusi Exceptionalism." 12:30 pm, 1229 Heller
Sponsored by the IAS Mediterranean Identities Collaborative, cosponsored by the Center for Medieval Studies and the Center for Jewish Studies.

Ross Brann, Cornell University, "Andalusi Moorings: Al-Andalus and Sefarad as Tropes of Muslim and Jewish Culture." 5:00 pm, 125 Nolte.
Sponsored by the IAS Mediterranean Identities Collaborative, cosponsored by the Center for Medieval Studies and the Center for Jewish Studies.

Tuesday, November 29
Katherine French, University of Michigan, "Material Culture, Memory, and Family Dynamics in Late Medieval London." 4:00 pm, 1210 Heller.
Cosponsored by the Department of History and the Center for Early Modern History.


Tuesday, December 6
Mary F. Brown, French and Italian, University of Minnesota, "Reflections on Ekphrasis in Benoît de Sainte-Maure's Roman de Troie." 4:00 pm, 1210 Heller.

To be followed by the traditional end of semester holiday party.

April 26, 2010

Medieval Studies Year End Picnic

Our traditional end of semester picnic will be held immediately following Professor Liberman's talk. All are free to join us for good food, beer, and wine!

April 16, 2010

Medieval Colloquium, Tuesday, April 27, 4:00 p.m.

04-27-10-Odin.jpgAnatoly Liberman, professor of German, Scandinavian and Dutch at the University of Minnesota, will speak to us on the topic of "Who was Odin, and Why Did People Fear Him?" Prof. Liberman has published widely across the spectrum of Germanic linguistics, but his primary interest has been the history of English words. His many works include the recent publication of a popular book for lay readers entitled Word Origins... and How We Know Them: Etymology for Everyone (2005), as well as An Analytic Dictionary of English Etymology (2008), and A Bibliography of English Etymology (2009).

April 6, 2010

Medieval Colloquium, Tuesday, April 13, 4:00 p.m.

04-13-10-Waters.jpgClaire Waters, professor of English at the University of California - Davis, will speak to us about "Loving Teaching: Status, Exchange and Translation in 13th c. Didactic Poetry." She studies late-medieval literature and culture, with particular interests in saints' lives, preaching, Chaucer, manuscript culture and the Old French fabliaux. She is a member of the editorial board of the Broadview Anthology of British Literature. Her recent work includes Virgins and Scholars: A Fifteenth-Century Compilation of the Lives of John the Baptist, John the Evangelist, Jerome, and Katherine of Alexandria (2008), "The Labor of Aedificatio and the Business of Preaching in the Thirteenth Century" (2007), and Angels and Earthly Creatures: Preaching, Performance, and Gender in the Later Middle Ages (2004).

March 24, 2010

Medieval Studies Workshop - Wednesday, March 31, 12:30 p.m.

Medieval Images of the Seven Deadly Sins: Their Survival in Reformation England

03-31-10-Carlson.jpgEric Carlson is a professor of History at Gustavus Adolphus College. Carlson has published three books: Marriage and the English Reformation (1994), 'Practical Divinity': The Works and Life of Revd Richard Greenham (with Kenneth L. Parker, 1998), and (as editor and contributor) Religion and the English People 1500-1640: New Voices/New Perspectives (1998). He also published several articles and essays on aspects of 16th and 17th century English religion, most notably the controversial "Clerical Marriage and the English Reformation (1992), "The origins, function, and status of the office of churchwarden, with particular reference to the diocese of Ely" (1995), "The Boring of the Ear: Shaping the Pastoral Practice of Preaching in England, 1540-1640" (2001), and "Good Pastors or Careless Shepherds? Parish Ministers and the English Reformation" (2003).

In preparation for this talk, please familiarize yourself with this short reading from Christopher Marlowe's Tragical History of Doctor Faustus

March 9, 2010

Medieval Colloquium, Tuesday, March 23, 4:00 p.m.

03-23-10-Nirenberg2.jpgDavid Nirenberg, the Deborah R. and Edgar D. Jannotta Professor of Medieval History and Social Thought at the University of Chicago, will talk to us about "The Letter Kills: Dangers of "Judaism" in Medieval Poetry, Painting and Politics." Much of his work has focused on the ways in which Jewish, Christian, and Islamic cultures constitute themselves by inter-relating with or thinking about each other. His first book, Communities of Violence: Persecution of Minorities in the Middle Ages (1998), studied social interaction between the three groups within the context of Spain and France in order to understand the role of violence in shaping the possibilities for coexistence. His more recent work has taken a less anthropological and more hermeneutical approach, exploring the work that "Judaism," "Christianity," and "Islam" do as figures in each other's thought about the nature of language and the world. The talk will be held at 4:00 p.m. in 140 Nolte Center.

February 23, 2010

Medieval Colloquium, Tuesday March 9, 4:00 p.m.

3-9-10-RBK.jpgCounterfeit Saints and the Drama of Discernment in the Visions of Ermine de Reims: A talk by Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski

Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski is a professor of French and Italian at the University of Pittsburgh. As a specialist in medieval French literature she has varied research interests: she studied the history of Caesarean birth for her book Not of Woman Born (1990); she has worked on saints lives and particularly on holy women in the later middle ages. She is currently interested in the literature surrounding the Great Schism of the Western Church (1378 - 1417). Other major areas of interest are the role the classical heritage plays in medieval culture, a topic she investigated in Reading Myth (1997), and Christine de Pizan (1364-1431), the first professional woman writer in Europe.

February 9, 2010

Medieval Colloquium: Tuesday, February 23, 4:00 p.m.

02-23-10-Pryor.jpgProfessor John Pryor, University of Sydney, will talk to us about "A Medieval Maritime Revolution: the Logistics of Crusading by Sea, 1097-1204." Please join us at 4:00 p.m. in 140 Nolte.

Medieval Colloquium: Tuesday, February 9, 4:00 p.m.

Schalick.jpgProfessor Walt Schalick of the University of Wisconsin-Madison will talk to us about "Mephibosheth in the Middle Ages: Disabilities, Children and the Most Vulnerable of the Vulnerable in Medieval Europe." Please join us at 4:00 in 140 Nolte.

January 19, 2010

Medieval Colloquium, Tuesday February 2, 4:00 p.m.

Father Steven McMichael, University of St. Thomas will speak to us about "The Night Journey (al-isra') and Ascent (al-mi'rāj) of Muhammad in Medieval Muslim and Christian Perspective." Please join us at 4:00 in Nolte 140.

Medieval Colloquium, Tuesday, January 26, 4:00 p.m.

Dr. Catharina Peersman, a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Medieval Studies for the 2009-2010 year, BAEF & FWO researcher for the K.U.Leuven (Belgium) will talk to us about "Language Perception and Use in Medieval Flanders: Real Trilingualism?" Please join us at 4:00 p.m. in room 140 Nolte Center.
Peersman image guldensporenslag.JPG

November 19, 2009

Medieval Workshop, Wednesday, December 2, 12:30 p.m.

Elissa Hansen, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English at the University of Minnesota, will present her work on "Reading Revelations: Reception Histories for Julian of Norwich." Two short primary source readings are available in advance of the workshop. The first is a compilation of responses to Julian's life and work and the second is a .pdf file of the first several pages of a seventeenth century edition of Julian's life. The workshop will be held at 12:30 p.m. in 235 Nolte Center.

November 9, 2009

Medieval Colloquium, Tuesday, November 17, 4:00 p.m.

Kathryn Kerby-Fulton, Professor of Middle English at the University of Notre Dame, and author of Iconography and the Professional Reader: The Politics of Book Production in the Douce Piers Plowman, (University of Minnesota Press, 1999) and, with Linda Olson, Voices in Dialogue: Reading Women in the Middle Ages (University of Notre Dame Press, 2005), will talk to us about "Gender, Authorship and Social Injustice: Some Major Middle English Poetic Manuscripts and their Marginalia."

4:00 p.m. 140 Nolte Center.

November 6, 2009

Medieval Colloquium, Tuesday, November 10, 4:00 p.m.

David Morgan, Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, will speak to us about "The Mongols in Iran." Prof. Morgan is the author of two seminal books Medieval Persia 1040-1797 (1988) and The Mongols (1988) among many other publications. His lecture will explore the nature of the Mongol impact on Iran, from the time of the invasions of 1219-23 until the end of the Mongol kingdom in the 1330s. Was it wholly destructive, as traditionally believed, or were there positive elements that historians, without minimizing the death and destruction that the Mongols brought with them, ought also to consider? The workshop will take place at 4:00 p.m. in Nolte 140.

October 22, 2009

Medieval Workshop and Colloquium: Wednesday, November 4, 12:30 p.m. and Thursday, November 5, 4:00 p.m.

"The Use of Documents of European Archives for the History of the Maghreb during the Colonial Period": A workshop with Dominique Valérian (Paris, History)

"Merchant Identities in the Medieval Mediterranean World": A talk by Dominique Valerian

Dominique Valérian is maître de conférences at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. He is the author of Les sources italiennes de l'histoire du Maghreb médiéval (2006) and Bougie, port maghrébin, 1067-1510 (2006), and a co-editor of Chemins d'outre-mer (2005) and Espaces et réseaux en Méditerranée médiévale (2007).

The paper for the workshop can be downloaded ValerianTexts.doc.

Additionally cosponsored by the Identity in the Mediterranean World Collaborative.

October 1, 2009

Medieval Colloquium: Tuesday, October 6, 4:00 p.m.

Stephen Martin of the University of Minnesota, Duluth will be speaking on Vetting the Variorum for French-Language Studies.

Where: Nolte Center 140
When: Tuesday, October 6 at 4:00 p.m.

September 24, 2009

Law and Religion in the Global Middle Ages, Saturday, October 24

"Religion and Law in the Global Middle Ages" brings together internationally distinguished scholars, faculty and students from the University of Minnesota, and community members including high school teachers, to discuss the period when some of our most compelling contemporary issues were first formulated.

To be held from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, 140 Nolte Center.

Click here to view the program for the event!

Continue reading " Law and Religion in the Global Middle Ages, Saturday, October 24" »

September 10, 2009

Medieval Colloquium: Tuesday 22 September, 4:00 p.m.

Conrad Rudolph of the University of California, Riverside will be speaking on Time, Space and the Progress of History in the Medieval Map.

Where: Nolte Center 140
When: Tuesday, 22 September at 4:00 p.m.

Back-to-School Picnic

Join us for the Center for Medieval Studies fall picnic!

Where: Nolte Center courtyard
When: Tuesday, 15 September 2009 at 4:30pm

March 23, 2009

Medieval Colloquium: Friday 27 March, 12:00pm

The members of the Medieval and Early Modern Research Group invite you to join them for their Annual Spring Colloquium. Three graduate students will present short selections of their work, a
question and answer session will follow, light lunch provided.

What: The Medieval and Early Modern Research Group (MEMRG)'s
Annual Spring Colloquium
When: This Friday 27 March 2009, 12:00pm
Where: Pillsbury Hall, 110

Our three presenters are:

Adam Oberlin (German, Scandinavian, and Dutch)
"Wandering Glosses for Gothic runa and Their Old English Cognates."

Eric Carlson (English)
"Drinking, speaking, and acting in Beowulf."

Elissa Hansen (English) "The 'Pilgrim Way': Travel, Ecclesiastical
Authority, and Regional Identity in Two Eighth-Century Hagiographies."

Please join us for an intellectually stimulating afternoon.

Generously sponsored by the Office of Student Unions & Activities and Coke.

March 2, 2009

Medieval Life: A One-Day Conference

Join us on Saturday, April 4, 2009 for a sampler of presentations specifically targeted to undergraduates, but of interest to many others about the fascinating and often unexpected world of the Middle Ages.

Place: The President's Room, Coffman Memorial Union
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities East Bank Campus

Time: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Schedule (subject to change)

10:00am - Registration & Welcome
10:15am - Introduction to Exhibit of Medieval Books
10:30am - On the Road with the Crusades
11:15am - Food, Feasting & Fasting
12:00pm - Lunch
1:15pm - Beowulf: Fact, Fiction, & Film
2:00pm - Exploring a Medieval City
2:45pm - Readers' Theatre: The Chase: Harts & Hearts

To reserve space for you or your students, please contact Pat Eldred (

Deadline: March 18, 2009

Sponsored by the Medieval Research Group, Metro State University, and the University of Minnesota's Center for Medieval Studies and James Ford Bell Library.

Medieval Mosaic: Spain & Morocco

Medieval Mosaic: Spain & Morocco is a Global Seminar. Global Seminars are short-term study abroad programs led by University of Minnesota faculty. Instruction is in English by UMN French & Italian Professor Susan Noakes.

Through lectures, readings, and various excursions students will take an interdisciplinary approach to learning about medieval studies. History, literature, visual art, and music will be explored in order to develop a broad sense of how cultural contact worked in the Middle Ages.

This course will examine how the Iberian Peninsula's earliest inhabitants, the Celts, encountered the Romans, as well as the changes that came with the arrival of the Western Goths. Students will explore how the Muslim, Jewish, and Christian cultures coexisted together from the 8th to the 15th centuries.

Prior to departure, students attend a pre-departure orientation and receive pre-departure readings and assignments. Classes consist of lectures, discussions, and excursions. Students will journal daily and develop a creative project or essay as their final project.

Travel the routes and explore the cities of medieval Spain and Morocco. Vast movements of population during the "Middle" Ages, approximately 350 to 1500, often led to tensions when one group met another. On this program you will discover the ways people dealt with these interactions, the reasons these encounters differed, the results of various cultural strategies, and lessons that can emerge for today's global migrations and diasporas.

Students receive 3-credits of 3000 level coursework during this May term course.

Deadline for applications has been extended to 13 March 2009! For further information and applications, see

Continue reading "Medieval Mosaic: Spain & Morocco" »

Kalamazoo Van Update

If you are a student traveling to the International Congress on Medieval Studies and would like to ride along with a fun group of us in the CMS-sponsored van, please RSVP to gabriel gryffyn (

The cost for the van will be 50$ per student. This fee is waived if you would like to volunteer to help drive; we'll take the first three volunteers. Please RSVP and arrange a time to drop off your fee by 1 April 2009.

Institute for Advanced Studies Symposium-Jody Enders

IAS is proud to announce that Professor Enders from the Departments of
Theater and French & Italian at the University of California at Santa
Barbara will join them to speak about "The Devil in the Medieval Theatrical
Flesh." Friday, 6 March 12:00-1:30pm, 125 Nolte Center.

Co-Sponsored by the Center for Medieval Studies.

January 21, 2009

Jankofsky Fund Events--David Wallace on the Duluth Campus

Wednesday 15 April, 2009 at 4:00pm in the Weber, David Wallace will deliver a talk entitled "Women Living with Women: Nuns in English History and Literary Imagining, 934-1674."

Nuns were few in medieval England but exerted powerful, long-lived effects on literary imagining. Even when they were gone, or moved abroad, their social functions were still lived out by generations of English women. Enclosure proved a defining issue: how did religious women negotiate the clerical principle of /aut virum aut murum/, implying that they should either marry or be permanently immured? And how were their struggles for self-directed, educated living perpetuated in the lives of those women who first sought university education?

This talk begins and ends with poet Andrew Marvell, contemplating the ruins of a former Yorkshire nunnery during the English civil war. It considers the activity of women, up to Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke, in the southwest of England: the heartland both of Arthurian romance and of English female communities. Syon Abbey, the most significant religious foundation in England between the Norman Conquest and the Reformation,was an élite community of female readers and worshippers; the nuns of Syon returned to England in 1557 and then returned again in the nineteenth century. The possibilities of women living with women, in circumstances at once liberatory and confined, continue to haunt the imagination-- and to leave traces on the English landscape-- down to our present moment.

On Friday, 17 April, there will also be a "Rap Canterbury Tales" performance by Baba Brinkman, at 3pm in the Weber.

January 14, 2009

Minnesota Manuscript Research Laboratory

The brochure and application for the 2009 Minnesota Manuscript Research Library co-sponsored by UMN's Center for Medieval Studies and the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library at St. John's University is now available. Please visit: for details and to apply.

Funding may be available for declared UMN Medieval Studies minors.

December 19, 2008

CMS Sponsored Conference on Religion and Law in the Global Middle Ages

CMS will sponsor a conference on Religion and Law in the Global Middle Ages on October 23-24, 2009. More information will follow.

December 10, 2008

Anglo-Saxon Mentalities

A colloquium by Antoinette Healey of the University of Toronto co-sponsored with the Celtic Studies Endowment, Department of English.

Paleography, Coidicology, and Pedagogy: The genesis of Introduction to Manuscript Studies

A talk co-sponsored by the Celtic Studies Endowment, Department of English.

October 31, 2008

Was There a Fourteenth Century Consumer Revolution? The Evidence of Inventories

A workshop led by Daniel Smail, Harvard University
Co-sponsored with the Center for Early Modern History

October 21, 2008

Medieval Mediterranean Studies: Old French Literature and Beyond

Sharon Kinoshita, University of California Santa Cruz
Co-sponsored with the Department of French and Italian.

October 16, 2008

Nothing, There’s Nothing There!
The Elusive Aspects of the Vatican Holy Face.

Vatican Holy Face event flyer.
Herbert Kessler, Johns Hopkins University
Co-sponsored with the Department of Art History.

November 2, 2007

"Goods and Debts in Late Medieval Mediterranean Europe"

Location: Walter F Mondale Hall (formerly Law Bldg), 45 Medieval Studies Colloquium joins the LAW 6702 Seminar: Legal History Workshop. Speaker will be Daniel Smail, Harvard, on the topic "Goods and Debts in Late Medieval Mediterranean Europe". See the abstract (DOC).