2020 MAA Election: Voting is Open!

To the Members of the Medieval Academy:

Voting in the annual MAA governance election is now open. This one of the most important means that members have to impact both the MAA and the future of medieval studies in North America. I am very pleased to announce the names of the Medieval Academy members who have generously agreed to stand for election to office in 2020:

President: Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski (French, Emerita Univ. of Pittsburgh)
1st-VP: Thomas E. A. Dale (Art History, Univ. of Wisconsin)
2nd-VP: Maureen Miller (History, Univ. of California, Berkeley)

Councillors (four seats available, three-year term):

Lisa Bitel (Religion, University of Southern California)
Travis Bruce (History (Mediterranean Studies), McGill University)
William Caferro (History, Vanderbilt Univ.)
Seeta Chaganti (English, Univ. of California, Davis)
Elina Gertsman (Art History, Case Western Reserve Univ.)
Geraldine Heng (English & Comparative Literature, Univ. of Texas at Austin)
Laura Morreale (French and Italian, Independent Scholar)
Luisa Nardini (Musicology, Univ. of Texas at Austin)
Alison Perchuk (Art History, California State Univ. Channel Islands)
Sebastian Sobecki (English, University of Groningen)

Nominating Committee (two seats available, three-year term):

Alison Beach (History, The Ohio State University)
Matthew Desing (Spanish, Univ. of Texas, El Paso)
Andrew Rabin (English, Univ. of Louisville)
Cord Whitaker (English, Wellesley College)

Click here for more information about these candidates.

The election will be conducted in accordance with our By-Laws. The Nominating Committee is charged with nominating eight candidates for the four positions on the Council, balancing racial, gender, geographic, professional, and specialization diversity while also considering the same facets of the incumbents. Two additional candidates have been nominated by petition. There are four candidates for two openings on the Nominating Committee. As is our practice, the slate of three Presidential Officers is presented unopposed (this will change next year). Additional information about the governance of the Academy can be found on our FAQ page.

In addition to biographical information, each candidate has submitted a statement detailing their vision for the Academy and their reasons for wanting to participate in its governance. It is our hope that these statements will assist members in making informed choices about the governance of the Medieval Academy. These statements are online here.

As you consider these candidates, you may wish to take into account the demographics and specializations of the incumbents:

Ray Clemens (Manuscript Studies, Beinecke Library, Yale Univ.)
Valerie Garver (History, Northern Illinois Univ.-DeKalb)
Lucy Pick (Religion, Univ. of Chicago)
Kathryn Smith (Art History, New York Univ.)

Lynda Coon (History, Univ. of Arkansas)
Hussein Fancy (History, Univ. of Michigan)
Fiona Griffiths (History, Stanford Univ.)
Anne Latowsky (French/Latin, Univ. of South Florida)

Nominating Committee (2019-2020):
Sean Field (History, Univ. of Vermont) (Chair)
Jessica Goldberg (History, Univ. of California, Los Angeles)
Sif Rikhardsdottir (Comparative Literature, Univ. of Iceland)

My thanks to the Nominating Committee for their careful and thoughtful work in establishing the slate of Council candidates: Nicholas Watson (Chair), Robin Fleming, Jessica Goldberg, Sif Ríkharðsdóttir, and Catherine Saucier. My thanks as well to President Ruth Mazo Karras for proposing the slate of Nominating Committee candidates.

We are introducing a more secure online voting platform this year to ensure that voting is restricted to members of the Medieval Academy of America. When you follow the ballot link below, you will be asked to sign into your MAA account on our website in order to cast your vote. If you have forgotten your username or password, please contact us. You may only cast one ballot, and your ballot will be invalid if you vote for more than the allowable number of candidates indicated. The deadline for receipt of your vote is 2 January 2020. Finally, if you would prefer a paper ballot and have not requested one in the past, please let me know.

Click here to cast your vote in the 2020 MAA Governance Election:

Thank you for participating in the election.

– Lisa Fagin Davis, Executive Director

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Father Columba Stewart, OSB, to deliver 2019 Jefferson Lecture

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. – Father Columba Stewart, OSB, executive director of the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML) at Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota, will deliver the 2019 Jefferson Lecture to a distinguished national audience on Monday, October 7.

Established by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in 1972, the Jefferson Lecture is the highest honor bestowed by the Federal Government for contributions to the humanities. NEH awards this honor annually to an individual whose career exemplifies the utmost level of achievement in American intellectual and cultural life.

This is the first time the award has been given to a Minnesotan, a member of the clergy, or a Benedictine monk.

Previous Jefferson Lecturers include John Hope Franklin, Toni Morrison, David McCullough, Donald Kagan, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Ken Burns.

The lecture will take place at 7:30 p.m. (EDT) Monday, October 7, at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C. The title of the lecture is “Cultural Heritage Present and Future: A Benedictine Monk’s Long View.”

In his lecture, Fr. Columba will explain why preserving cultural heritage from other peoples and other times — such as the manuscripts he and his colleagues digitize to ensure their contents are safe despite the many threats to manuscript from weather, war, and civil unrest — is essential to the future of humankind. The stories contained in them offer a shared experience between cultures, making possible the intellectual engagement and debate necessary for mutual understanding. Such understanding, he says, is the only possible basis we have for moving away from fanaticism and ignorance, and toward the common good. 

Fr. Columba delivers this critical message by tracing HMML’s adventurous history, from its roots with the medieval Benedictine laboring in the scriptorium, to the modern monk hiding from armed militants in Timbuktu. The talk goes to the heart of the humanities: why cultural heritage is so valuable that people spend — and even risk — their lives to preserve them. 

Tickets to the lecture are free of charge and distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at www.neh.gov or (202) 606-8340. The event will be livestreamed at www.neh.gov and archived by the NEH.

Fr. Columba, a native of Houston, Texas, and a graduate of Harvard, Yale, and Oxford universities, is Professor of Theology at Saint John’s University School of Theology and Seminary. He has published and lectured extensively in his research field of early Christian monasticism. In 2009-10, he was the recipient of a year-long research fellowship from the NEH and a residential fellowship in Byzantine Studies at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library in Washington, D.C. In 2016-17, he was awarded both a residency at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and a Guggenheim Fellowship for work on his upcoming book, “Between Earth and Heaven: Interpreting the Origins of Christian Asceticism and Monasticism.” He is also a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar for 2019-20, speaking about the work of HMML and his own research at colleges and universities across the United States.

Since becoming HMML’s executive director in 2003, Fr. Columba has traveled throughout the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and South Asia, cultivating relationships with communities possessing historic manuscript collections from the early medieval to modern periods. Under his leadership, HMML has digitized over 150,000 manuscripts in many of the world’s most dangerous and inaccessible places, including northern Iraq, Syria, and the libraries of Timbuktu in Mali, covering a range of religious and cultural traditions. These texts and records are made available online through the Virtual HMML platform (vHMML.org).

“A ‘Monument Man’ of our time, Fr. Columba Stewart has dauntlessly rescued centuries’ worth of irreplaceable cultural heritage under threat from around the world,” said NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede. “In doing so, he and his colleagues have helped preserve the records of the religion, art, literature, culture, and knowledge of distant eras of human history so that we may celebrate and learn from those that came before us.”

A professed Benedictine monk of Saint John’s Abbey since 1981, Fr. Columba has become a recognized authority in the monastic and ecumenical worlds, having been appointed to the International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches in 2009. Since 2018, he has been a resident scholar at the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research.

Established in 1965, HMML is a global cultural organization whose mission is to preserve and share the world’s manuscript heritage. It has formed partnerships with over 580 libraries and archives worldwide. HMML has three areas of focus: digital preservation of rare and endangered manuscripts; cataloging and sharing the manuscripts online; and fostering research and education about the cultures that produced them. HMML curates exhibitions and hosts scholars, classes and workshops throughout the year and is the home of an internationally known handwritten and illuminated Bible in modern English, The Saint John’s Bible. HMML’s work is inspired by a 1500-year Benedictine tradition of cultural preservation.

Learn more about HMML and Fr. Columba at https://hmmlorg.com/

Saint John’s University is a Catholic liberal arts college for men with a graduate school of theology for women and men located in Collegeville, Minnesota.

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Jobs for Medievalists

Project Editor, Publications Department

The Publications Office of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA) has an immediate full-time vacancy for a well-organized and highly motivated individual to be responsible for the production flow from raw manuscript to bound book of a major series of archaeological monographs.

Based in Princeton, NJ, the Editor will be part of a small, friendly team working closely with authors to produce publications of the highest quality. The successful candidate will have at least two years experience as a production, manuscript, or project editor, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, a sharp eye for detail, and an exceptional ability to organize workflow. Computer literacy is expected, a good knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite an advantage.

Minimum qualifications include a B.A. degree, preferably in Archaeology, Classics, or a related field. Excellent benefits, pleasant working conditions, salary commensurate with experience. Prospective applicants should submit a cover letter and resume (in pdf format) to Carol Stein, Director of Publications, castein@ascsa.org. The closing date for applications is October 15, 2019.

The ASCSA is an equal opportunity employer.

Link to online posting: https://www.ascsa.edu.gr/about/staff/positions-available

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Call for Papers – PECIA 22 (2020)

The medieval manuscript: text, object and tool of transmission

The next volume (22/2020) of PECIA. Le livre et l’écrit (Brepols) opens itself very broadly to the medieval manuscript, whether as object (of work or study, of luxury and ceremony, or for codicological purposes) or as medium for the transmission of ideas (in the manuscript tradition or as textual edition). All contributions addressing the manuscript in its diversity, from the High Middle Ages to the start of the Renaissance, are welcome.

Send a summary and CV before October 30 to: jldeuffic@gmail.com

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Call for Papers – Brut in New Troy 2020

We are delighted to remind you that Brut in New Troy 2020 – the first scholarly conference devoted to the Brut tradition as a whole – will take place from 26-29 June 2020 at the University of Notre Dame’s London Global Gateway (1 Suffolk Street), next to Trafalgar Square. The conference builds on the triennial meetings of the International Lawman’s Brut Society and will feature a keynote address by Professor Jane Roberts, esteemed scholar of Lawman’s Brut and Old and Middle English language and literature. While Lawman’s Brut remains an important subject of inquiry, this event also seeks to bring many more Bruts under the spotlight. The conference aims to promote fruitful conversation among established academics, early career scholars, and graduate students working on all aspects of the long historiographic, literary, and artistic Brut tradition. In the heart of New Troy, we seek to provide a forum for comparative, multilingual, cross-period, and cross-disciplinary discussion of Brut-related texts and manuscripts, both canonical and less familiar, including early histories of Britain. We very much hope that you will be able to join us.

We warmly invite submissions for 20-minute papers on any aspect of the Brut tradition. Please see the attached ‘call for papers’ for details and submission guidelines, and kindly note the deadline for receipt of abstracts (15 October). Please feel free to share the call for papers with your colleagues and graduate students. For full information about the conference, please visit our website: https://www.brutinnewtroy.com

We hope you have a lovely day. We will look forward to welcoming you in London in June 2020!

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ASCSA Whitehead Distinguished Scholar: Call for Applications


One or Two Positions for 2020-2021
Deadline: October 31, 2019
Term: Early September to June 1.

Eligibility: A senior scholar working in any area related to the mission of the School who possesses a significant record of publication and teaching and is affiliated with a Cooperating Institution. Preference will be given to those who have not received recent funding from the School. Previous holders of the Whitehead may apply if the previous term was at least five years prior.

Project: The Whitehead Distinguished Scholar shall pursue research on a project that utilizes the facilities of the School and enriches its academic program. Whitehead Scholars also participate in the academic life of the School in a variety of ways, especially by working closely with Regular and Student Associate members of the School during the winter term (late November to late March) on the subject of their expertise, and are encouraged to join School trips and excursions throughout Greece. A more detailed description of this position and a list of past Scholars’ work with members is available on the School’s website: https://www.ascsa.edu.gr/apply/fellowships-and-grants/postdoctoral-and-senior-scholars

Applicants are encouraged to consult with the Mellon Professor, Sylvian Fachard, well in advance of the October 31 deadline when planning their proposed contributions to the academic program of the School. Please be advised that Loring Hall may be under renovations in the fall of 2020, and the academic year schedule may have to be adjusted accordingly. Project proposals should be flexible enough to accommodate possible changes.

Compensation: Stipend of $40,000 plus round-trip coach airfare to Athens, board at Loring Hall for the Whitehead Scholar (one-half senior rate for spouse, and one-half student rate for dependents), School housing, and hotel and transportation on up to four of the five field trips (western and northern Greece, Peloponnesos, central Greece, Crete, and the Corinthia and Argolid) and transportation on all winter Attica excursions.
Application: On or before October 31, Applicants should submit the following materials online at:

  • Brief statement of interest (1 page)
  • Curriculum vitae (max. 3 pages) including list of publications
  • Statement of current and projected research (max. 3 pages)
  • Proposed contribution to the academic program (max. 3 pages)
  • Account of the frequency and length of earlier visits to Greece

Applicants should ask three recommenders to submit letters of reference by October 31.

The appointments will be announced by January 15.
The American School of Classical Studies at Athens does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, sex, sexual orientation, color, religion, ethnic origin, or disability when considering admission to any form of membership or application for employment

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Jobs for Medievalists

Open Rank Professorship in Digitial Humanities and Pre-Modern Studies at the University of Notre Dame


The College of Arts & Letters at the University of Notre Dame invites applications for a professor of digital humanities and pre-modern studies at any rank. The successful candidate will be a distinguished scholar in her or his field with a strong record of innovative research and teaching or, in the case of an appointment at the rank of assistant professor, a scholar with promise of excellence in research and teaching. The appointment will be made to the department in the college relevant to the successful candidate’s research.

Qualified applicants must have a Ph.D. (or the equivalent) in the humanities and reputation of scholarly achievement sufficient for appointment in a relevant department in the College of Arts and Letters (Art History, Classics, English, Foreign Languages, History, Philosophy, Theology); a well-established reputation in digital humanities scholarship, with a specialization in any discipline of ancient, medieval, or early modern European/Mediterranean studies; and a successful record of external funding to support digital humanities research

The successful candidate will teach graduate and undergraduate courses in her or his department of appointment and participate in the growing community of digital humanities scholars at Notre Dame. Potential for collaboration with Notre Dame’s Medieval Institute and its faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate programs is especially desirable.

Application Instructions

All applicants are required apply via Interfolio: https://apply.interfolio.com/68737

All applicants must submit a letter of interest and a C.V.

Junior candidates (ABD, postdoc, assistant professors) must submit a writing sample and a document containing the names and email addresses of three professional references.

Review of applications will begin on November 15, 2019, and will continue until the position is filled.

Nominations and inquiries may be sent via email to:

Prof. Thomas E. Burman
Chair, Digital Humanities/Pre-Modern Studies search committee
College of Arts and Letters
University of Notre Dame

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

The University of Notre Dame seeks to attract, develop, and retain the highest quality faculty, staff and administration.  The University is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and is committed to building a culturally diverse workplace.  We strongly encourage applications from female and minority candidates and those candidates attracted to a university with a Catholic identity.  Moreover, Notre Dame prohibits discrimination against veterans or disabled qualified individuals, and requires affirmative action by covered contractors to employ and advance veterans and qualified individuals with disabilities in compliance with 41 CFR 60-741.5(a) and 41 CFR 60-300.5(a).

Background Check

This appointment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check.  Applicants will be asked to identify all felony convictions and/or pending felony charges.  Felony convictions do not automatically bar an individual from employment.  Each case will be examined separately to determine the appropriateness of employment in the particular position.  Failure to be forthcoming or dishonesty with respect to felony disclosures can result in the disqualification of a candidate.  The full procedure can be viewed at https://facultyhandbook.nd.edu/?id=link-73597.

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Ornamenta Sacra. Late Medieval and Early Modern Liturgical Objects in a European Context (1400-1800)

Ornamenta Sacra. Late Medieval and Early Modern Liturgical Objects in a European Context (1400-1800)

Art History Seminars • KIK-IRPA • Seminar 20 & Ornasacra Brain Project (UCL • KU Leuven • KIK-IRPA)

The symposium is dedicated to the iconological and anthropological study of late medieval and early modern liturgical objects (1400-1800), once known as ornamenta sacra. This notion encompasses a wide range of objects made of various materials and techniques (such as chalices, censers and chasubles) which are not only essential for the rites, but also hold a central position in the religious artistic production of the past. Yet, a large portion of recent studies related to the connections between art and liturgy mainly focuses on paintings and sculptures, leaving aside other cult objects. The few studies that take these ritual instruments into account, are primarily devoted to the middle ages. The late middle ages and the early modern period have attracted far less attention, whereas liturgy underwent profound transformations. Although studies limited to certain collections or types of objects are available, we are still in need of a broader analysis instigated by recent methodological trends in historical anthropology and iconology, which have renewed our understanding of images and art objects. We have therefore invited an international group of scholars, experts in their fields and specialized in exactly these methodologies. As a result, the symposium will contribute to this broader analysis and will offer new insights on the material dimension of objects, the place of works of art within a network of relationships, the history of senses and the sensible, and the way in which ornamentation affects meaning.

Information and registration: https://events.kikirpa.be/event/1/

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Houghton Library Visiting Fellowships 2020-2021

After a year-long hiatus due to the building renovation, Houghton Library is delighted to offer Visiting Fellowships for 2020-2021!

Houghton Library is Harvard’s principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. Its collections range from the ancient to the contemporary and from the local to the international and brim with research potential. Houghton staff take pride not only in the knowledge held and preserved in the library, but especially in the new discoveries and creations our holdings enable and inspire.

The Visiting Fellowship program offers scholars at all stages of their careers funding to pursue projects that require in-depth research on the library’s holdings, draw on staff expertise, and participate in intellectual life at Harvard. Preference is given to applicants whose research is closely based on materials in Houghton collections, especially when those materials are unique. In particular, we want to highlight two new fellowships: the Maryette Charlton Fellowship for the Performing Arts to assist scholarly research on gender and sexuality in the performing arts, and the Donald and Mary Hyde Fellowship for Research in Early Modern Black Lives, including Africa and the African Diaspora, 1500–1800. In connection with the Hyde Research Fellowship, we are also interested in proposals for research in Houghton collections to support a future exhibition on early modern portraiture of people of color. Interested applicants should discuss their expertise in the subject and strategies for identifying such material in our collections.

Fellowships are normally not granted to scholars who live within commuting distance of the library. Fellows are expected to be in residence at Houghton for at least four weeks during the period from September 2020 through June 2021 (these do not have to be consecutive weeks), and each fellow will be required to produce a written summary of his/her experience working with the collections.  The stipend for each fellowship is $3,600. The application deadline is January 17, 2020.

For further details and to apply, go to: http://bit.ly/HoughtonLibraryVisitingFellowships2020-21

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Mary Jaharis Center Lecture, October 10, 2019

The Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture at Hellenic College Holy Cross in Brookline, MA, is pleased to announce the fall lecture in its 2019–2020 lecture series:

Thursday, October 10, 2019, 6:15–7:45 pm
Harvard Faculty Club, 20 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA

Wall Mosaics, Ekphrasis, and Cultural Memory between Byzantium, Persia, and Early Islam
Sean V. Leatherbury, Bowling Green State University

Sean V. Leatherbury considers how public works of art expressed identity in the cross-cultural environment of the eastern Mediterranean.

Details at https://maryjahariscenter.org/events/wall-mosaics-ekphrasis-and-cultural-memory.

Mary Jaharis Center lectures are co-sponsored by Harvard University Standing Committee on Medieval Studies.

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