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

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.

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

October 24, 2011

Tiffany D. Vann Sprecher, History Ph.D. candidate

Late medieval religiosity was increasingly focused on laypeople's responsibility for their own spiritual well-being. This shift must have changed the professional lives of priest although exactly how has not yet been studied. Tiffany D. Vann Sprecher is currently in Paris examining ecclesiastical court records to ascertain the professional and social roles of priests in Parisian parishes. She hopes to illuminate how grassroots and institutional religious reforms affected the daily lives of priests. Her research trip was made possible by the Bilinski Fellowship and the Henrietta Holm Warwick.

February 22, 2011

Mediterranean Identity Conference April 7-9, 2011

"Identity in the Mediterranean World: From the Middle Ages to Today" was an extremely successful conference, with presentations by distinguished faculty from around the country, as well as up-and-coming recent Ph.D.s and current University of Minnesota graduate students. Visit to watch the sessions or download audio recordings.

October 22, 2009

Conversion to Christianity from Late Antiquity to the Modern Age: Considering the Process in Europe, Asia, and the Americas

Edited by UMN faculty Calvin Kendall, Oliver Nicholson, William Phillips, and Marguerite Ragnow, this volume brings a comparative approach to what, in recent years, has been a hotly debated topic within and across a number of academic disciplines: conversion to Christianity. These debates register the challenges inherent in attempting to understand a transformation that was at once personal and collective--a matter of inner conviction and outward conformity. The essays in this volume range from the late antique Middle East to medieval Western and Eastern Europe; from early modern Asia to the Americas and islands in the central Pacific.

ConversiontoChristianity.jpgCollectively, the ten authors encourage consideration of the conversion phenomenon comparatively across time and space. Felipe Fernández-Armesto, Prince of Austurias Professor of History at Tufts University, frames the essays in a broader global perspective in light of the two other major world religions, Islam and Buddhism, in his Prologue, while John M. Headley, Distinguished University Professor, University of North Carolina, considers the various conversion processes and their broader impact within the cultural transformation of the societies involved, foreshadowing "the uncertain extension of the universal jurisdiction of humanity . . . to the peoples of the globe" that is one of the transformative processes of the 21st century.

ISBN: 9780979755903 (hardcover) 2009, 449 pages.
Price: US $95.00

March 25, 2009

Medieval Outreach: Making a Medieval Book

On Wednesday, 18 March 2009, UMN History graduate students Philip Grace and Basit Qureshi traveled to Cambridge-Isanti High School in Cambridge, MN to present our first "Making a Medieval Book" Outreach program of the year.

Social Studies teacher Donna Ferber's two classes welcomed Philip and Basit, and enjoyed both learning about book construction in the middle ages, and the medieval dress worn by the two presenters.

Ms. Ferber wrote us with her impressions:
I just wanted to thank you for helping to set up the visit by Basit and Philip. It went really well! They were engaging speakers who knew how to interest a teenage audience. The visuals were very helpful, and everyone--including me!--learned a lot. The costumes were a hit as well. All in all, the experience has been entirely positive for me and my students. Some of them talked the next day about how much they enjoyed the visit. Thank you for helping me to make history real to my students.

We look forward to more successful Outreach presentations this spring!

November 20, 2008

Professor Susan Noakes, Department of French and Italian

The Center for Medieval Studies would like to wish a fond farewell to Susan Noakes, Professor in the Department of French and Italian, who stepped down as CMS Director this summer. Professor Noakes took the CMS helm in 2002 and successfully steered us through some big changes including moving offices and administrative units; starting a Medieval Outreach program in local schools; and co-editing the journal Medieval Encounters with Professors Kathryn Ryerson and Barbara Weissberger. Continue Reading.

Continue reading "Professor Susan Noakes, Department of French and Italian" »