New grant program for graduate students

The Graduate Student Committee of the Medieval Academy of America is pleased to announce a new, one-time grant program: the MAA-GSC New Horizons Graduate Student Research Grant.

The MAA-GSC is calling for applications for grants of up to $500 to support graduate student research projects that uniquely engage with the current research environment created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Even as medievalist graduate students have lost access to much of our primary research material because of restrictions on travel and access to collections, we have also been inspired to develop inventive solutions to continue conducting dynamic and innovative research. Proposed projects might creatively use the digital resources available when physical resources are not, or might consider how the middle ages illuminates our understanding of the current social, cultural, and economic environment. Applications will be evaluated on the originality of how the proposed project engages with the current environment created by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as its potential to contribute to medieval studies. This is a special one-time grant program. Up to four will be awarded for outstanding applications selected by the MAA Graduate Student Committee.

The application deadline is September 1. Applicants must be members of the Medieval Academy of America. Click here for more information:

Posted in Graduate Students, Grants | Leave a comment

Register now for these upcoming MAA Webinars:

Race, Racism, and Teaching the Middle Ages
20 July, 3-5 PM EDT

In the wake of recent events and ongoing racially motivated violence, there have been many institutional responses to raise awareness of race and racism in the U.S. and beyond. This is one such response. Since many of us are educators who will return to the classroom in one form or another in the coming year, this webinar is focused on pedagogy and concrete strategies for teaching race and racism in their medieval forms and as they appear in medieval studies. Our four speakers will discuss what they do in the classroom and library to approach this complex topic with the goal of engendering ideas and texts that can be put in place as soon as this fall.

Pre-registration is required. Click here for more information.


Online Teaching for Medieval Studies: Philosophies, Learning Plans, and Promising Tools

This two-part webinar focuses on approaches to teaching the Middle Ages for online learning. The webinars are designed to help medievalists of all disciplines adopt and adapt existing strategies, platforms, and tools for teaching online in the fall of 2020 and beyond. Understanding that most institutions have their own required training sessions and online learning platforms, these webinars showcase ideas behind critical pedagogies for online learning with tools and applications specifically designed by and oriented for use by medievalists. The goal of these webinars is to bring together scholars proficient in online learning and design to give an overview of best practices and how medievalists can use and maximize the many DH offerings for learning and research that currently exist. Each webinar will reserve half of the allotted time (1 hour) to address the pedagogical philosophies of teaching and learning online, followed by a series of ‘Tool Talks’ (1.5 hours), featuring a selection of medievalist-friendly digital tools for use with students. We will reserve time to address questions after each section to foster a scholarly exchange about approaches to teaching and learning.

Both webinars will be recorded and made available through the MAA YouTube Channel. In addition, we will also partner with the Middle Ages for Educators site to embed the shorter ‘Tool Talks,’ accompanied by linked materials which might include further readings, suggestions for assessment, or relevant online resources. We anticipate adding to these throughout the summer, even after the conclusion of this webinar series.

Webinar I: Thinking and Teaching Online: Best-Practices and Inspired Learning at a Distance
14 July, Noon – 3 PM EDT

Webinar II: Techniques and Tools for Teaching, Learning, and Researching Online: Manuscripts, Mapping, and Modeling
21 July, 2 – 5 PM EDT

Pre-registration is required. Click here for more information about these webinars.


7 July, 2:30 – 3:30 EDT (19:30 IMC time)

If you’ve registered for the vIMC, you will have the opportunity to join the MAA@vIMC event on Tuesday, July 7, from 2:30 – 3:30 EDT (19:30 IMC time). MAA President Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski, Speculum Editor Katherine Jansen, and Executive Director Lisa Fagin Davis will deliver brief updates and take questions. This event replaces our annual IMC Lecture, which has been postponed until 2021. Refer to the vIMC programme for more information about how to join this special session.

Posted in Webinars | Leave a comment

Call for Papers – Texas Medieval Association 2020

30th Texas Medieval Association Annual Conference
October 2–3, 2020
Hosted by the University of North Texas, Denton, TX

Conference Theme:
Medieval STEAM: (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics)

Inaugural Permanent Conference Thematic Strand:
Race and Medieval Studies

The 30th Annual Conference of the Texas Medieval Association will be held virtually, via an online platform, and hosted by the University of North Texas.

The 2020 TEMA program committee is pleased to invite papers and sessions on all topics in medieval studies. We especially invite papers and sessions contributing to the 2020 conference theme of Medieval STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics), as well as papers and sessions that contribute to the theme of Race and Medieval Studies, the focus of an inaugural thread of linked thematic sessions that will be a permanent feature of our annual meetings.

Medieval STEAM puts the “A” in “STEM” by including the “arts” alongside science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  Participants are invited to contribute to this year’s theme by proposing papers, sessions, and roundtables that consider the essential role of that which we now call “the humanities” and “the arts” in medieval science and technology — and how that interdisciplinary collaboration is still vital today. Those who wish to connect to the conference theme may seek to explore any one of these areas individually, or to connect the various elements found in Medieval STEAM, in either their modern or medieval iterations.

TEMA recognizes diversity as critical component of medieval studies. Therefore, the organizers of the 2020 TEMA meeting are establishing a permanent strand of linked thematic sessions on Race and Medieval Studies that will be part of all future meetings. Papers, sessions, roundtables, and other events that engage with any aspect of this theme are very welcome. This year, suggestions that consider Black Lives Matter in conjunction with medieval studies are especially encouraged.

Papers may be submitted in any language, but if you wish to present in a language other than English, please specify this preference. Send title and abstract of approximately 200 words to (with TEMA 2020 PROPOSAL in the subject line) no later than September 1, 2020. Early submission is encouraged: rolling acceptance will begin on July 1, 2020. Among proposals for full sessions, those including participants from more than one institution will be given priority. A prize will be awarded for the best paper by a graduate student. For more information, visit the Texas Medieval Association website [].

TEMA Values

Founded in 1986 to promote medieval studies in Texas, TEMA invites medieval scholars throughout Texas and the Southwest to gather annually to share ideas, collaborate on publications, and mentor students in a safe, nurturing community in which everyone may participate. In our formal statement of policies, we assert our belief that diversity is crucial to medieval studies. TEMA supports a learning community that embraces our members for their individual differences and offers respect for their unique perspectives. In support of this academic vision, TEMA does not tolerate discrimination based on academic status, gender identity, sexual orientation, political affiliation, religious belief, or racial/ethnic background. Moreover, TEMA has a strong history of collegiality and mentoring. We welcome papers from medievalists at every point of their professional development, from graduate students to emeritus scholars; from K-12 and secondary teachers to those at the collegiate level; from affiliated scholars to those currently unaffiliated. TEMA has built a friendly and non-threatening conference atmosphere that treats everyone as a colleague, no matter their “rank.” The purpose of our annual conference is to help each medievalist further develop their ideas, while benefitting from the feedback of a diverse, encouraging community.

Posted in Call for Papers | Leave a comment

Call for Applications: BSA New Scholars Program (Deadline Sept 8)

The Bibliographical Society of America’s New Scholars Program seeks to promote the work of scholars who are new to the field of bibliography, broadly defined to include any research that deals with the creation, production, publication, distribution, reception, transmission, and subsequent history of all textual artifacts (manuscript, print, digital, from clay and stone to laptops and iPads).

Each year, the New Scholars Program invites three scholars in the early stages of their careers to present fifteen-minute talks on their current, unpublished research in the field of bibliography as members of a panel at the annual meeting of the Society, which takes place in January. Those selected for the panel will receive an honorarium of $1,000, and will be invited to present their work as part of BSA’s 2021 annual meeting. (Please note that, in 2021, BSA will hold its annual meeting online, and that New Scholars will be asked to present their work virtually rather than in person.) Expanded versions of papers presented by the BSA New Scholars will be submitted to the editor of The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America (PBSA) for publication, subject to peer review. Applicants should, therefore, submit new work that has not been accepted for publication elsewhere either in the form of a book chapter (or portion thereof) or article.

In keeping with the values of the Society, the New Scholars selection committee welcomes bibliographical scholarship pursuing new methods and new approaches, including applications from candidates applying bibliographical theory and principles to diverse materials and media. In addition, the committee welcomes scholarly submissions that embrace diverse, multicultural perspectives. The committee particularly encourages applications from those who have not previously published, lectured, or taught on bibliographical subjects.

The 2020 BSA New Scholars as well as their paper abstracts are listed on BSA’s website.

BSA will be holding an information session via Zoom at 2 p.m. on Friday, June 26, for the New Scholars Program. Co-moderated by Barbara Heritage and Cynthia Gibson, the session will provide general advice on the application process, and will feature former BSA New Scholars Theresa Goodman, Megan Piorko, Simran Thadani, and Matthew Wills, and will include the members of the New Scholars Selection Committee. Please click here to register for this session.


The committee encourages applications from all who are new to bibliography, including junior (i.e., untenured) academics, graduate students at the dissertation level, members of the book trade, librarians, curators, collectors, and others of any race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected class status. BSA seeks to promote equity, inclusion, and diversity within the field, and encourages work that offers new research on previously under- or misrepresented groups or individuals.

How to Apply

BSA uses Kaleidoscope to manage applications to our programs, and all candidates and recommenders are required to submit materials through that website. The application form requires:

1.       A letter of application describing their background in bibliography, and incorporating a short abstract for their proposed paper as well as a brief overview of their proposed 15-minute talk, to be presented at BSA’s annual meeting;

2.       A curriculum vitae;

3.       A letter of recommendation.

Applicants will be prompted to supply the name and email address for a recommender, who will provide a confidential letter of recommendation. Recommenders should be an advisor or colleague who is familiar with the project, and who can speak to how the project will make a contribution to the field of bibliography. (N.B.: Doctoral candidates should request a recommendation from their dissertation director.)

International applicants are welcome to apply.

Mail-in applications and letters of recommendation are not accepted. If the application form is inaccessible for any reason, please contact BSA Executive Director Erin Schreiner at and she will work to accommodate your needs.

The application deadline for consideration in 2021 is September 8, 2020.

The Award

New Scholars applications are evaluated based on their eligibility, overall completeness, and quality, as well as the strength of letters of recommendation. Instructions provided in the BSA’s New Scholars application form are intended to help applicants prepare a competitive submission.

Those selected for the panel will receive an honorarium of $1,000, and will be invited to present their work as part of BSA’s 2021 annual meeting. Expanded versions of papers presented by the BSA New Scholars will be submitted to the editor of The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America (PBSA) for publication, subject to peer review. Applicants should, therefore, submit new work that has not been accepted for publication elsewhere either in the form of a book chapter (or portion thereof) or article. They will also receive a complimentary one-year BSA membership, and may apply for travel funds to attend a subsequent BSA annual meeting within two years following their presentation to the Society.

Please note that honoraria paid to non-US citizens may be taxable, and a portion of the honorarium may be withheld for payment to the IRS. Winners of all nationalities will receive award packages with instructions on the forms required for payment.

More Information

Inquiries regarding the program may be directed to Barbara E. Heritage, Chair, New Scholars Program, at

Posted in Announcements | Leave a comment

Call for Papers – BAA Post-Graduate Conference

Call for Papers
Abstract deadline: 31st July 2020
BAA Post-Graduate Conference, Saturday 28th November 2020

The Gallery at Alan Baxter, 77 Cowcross St, Clerkenwell, London, EC1M 6EL / potential virtual

The BAA invites proposals by postgraduates and early career researchers in the field of medieval history of art, architecture, and archaeology.

Papers can be on any aspect of the medieval period, from antiquity to the later Middle Ages, across all geographical regions.

The BAA postgraduate conference offers an opportunity for postgraduate students and early career researchers at all levels from universities across the UK and abroad to present and discuss their research, and exchange ideas.

Proposals of around 250 words for a 20-minute paper, along with a CV, should be sent by 31st July 2020 to

Please share our call for papers with your department, fellow lecturers, and of course, students! Click here for a PDF of our Call for Papers.

* Depending on the COVID-19 pandemic, this conference will either take place virtually or in London – this decision will be made nearer the time. *

Posted in Call for Papers | Leave a comment

Reminder: Deadline to Register as a Mentor or Mentee

June 8, 2020

*Please note that since IMC Leeds has been cancelled due the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be running the mentorship program digitally. Because of this, anybody can participate, regardless of their Leeds 2020 attendance plans*

The Graduate Student Committee (GSC) of the Medieval Academy of America invites both those who would have attended the 2020 International Medieval Congress, hosted by the University of Leeds (6-9 July 2020), and any other interested medievalists to participate in the GSC Virtual Mentoring Program.

The GSC Mentoring Program facilitates networking between graduate students or early career scholars and established scholars by pairing student and scholar according to discipline.

Mentorship exchanges are intended to help students establish professional contacts with scholars who can offer them career advice. The primary objective of this exchange is that the relationship be active during the conference, although mentors and mentees sometimes decide to continue communication after a conference has ended.

To volunteer as a mentor (faculty, librarians, curators, independent scholars) or to sign up as a mentee, please submit the online form, linked here, by 8 June 2020.

On behalf of the committee, thank you and our best,

Julia King & Lauren Van Nest
2020-2021 Mentoring Program Coordinators

Posted in Announcements, Graduate Students | Leave a comment

Statement from the Medieval Academy of America Presidential Officers

The Medieval Academy of America unequivocally condemns the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. Together with the fact that the current coronavirus pandemic disproportionately affects people of color, these murders have heightened our collective awareness of the pervasive reality of racism and inequality in America. For us as medievalists this should be a moment to reflect on the extent that many aspects of medieval culture contributed to these longstanding problems. As a scholarly organization we have defined our identity and our mission in a recent statement that highlights what we do and the values we strive to embrace:

Founded in 1925, the Medieval Academy supports research, publication, and teaching in medieval art, archaeology, history, law, literature, music, philosophy, religion, science, social and economic institutions, and all other aspects of the Middle Ages.

Membership in the Medieval Academy is open to all persons concerned with the study and teaching of the Middle Ages, including, but not limited to, independent scholars, secondary teachers, graduate students, curators, librarians, and college and university professors of all ranks and at all types of institutions. We aim to foster an environment of diversity, inclusion, and academic freedom for all medievalists.

Our efforts towards inclusion and diversity as medievalists – in the classroom, in our scholarship, and in our professions – must continue.  But in this moment of grave crisis, we also recognize the great responsibility we have as scholars, teachers, and leaders to model the kind of just behavior in our own communities that must also translate to our society at large.

And it is not enough to simply signal our support.  The Medieval Academy of America acknowledges that as teachers and scholars we have a particular responsibility to show how many of the technologies and structures of racism are deeply rooted in the medieval past, and further to reveal how medieval culture is too often weaponized by white supremacists to support racist ideologies.  Over the coming months we will be initiating new projects and resources to aid all teachers and scholars in addressing racism in all our endeavors.

Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski, President
Thomas Dale, 1st Vice-President
Maureen Miller, 2nd Vice-President

Posted in Announcements | Leave a comment

MAA News – From the President

Dear members of the Medieval Academy of America,

When I had the honor of accepting the nomination as Second Vice President in 2018 the word pandemic evoked for me a long-distant past or far-away regions. Now we are all living through one of the worst pandemics in history, and we have to find ways of surviving and coping. The organizers of the 2020 annual meeting at UC Berkeley, Maureen Miller and Katherine O’Brien O’Keeffe and their team, showed what this coping could look like: with amazing speed and efficiency they managed to transform a good part of the program into Zoom meetings. Speakers and session chairs adapted quickly and generously, and although we could not meet and chat in person, the intellectual excitement was palpable as we all participated in little rectangular boxes, our new normal, it seems.

The Medieval Academy is made up of many groups: a permanent staff and a large number of volunteers serving on over twenty committees. We are all working together, trying to provide assistance and encouragement in this time of crisis. An extraordinary anonymous gift has made it possible for us to pay the annual membership fees of all of our members who at present do not have full-time faculty positions, which is almost 50% of our total membership. As we all know, medievalists work in many different professions. As we move forward, we want to know more about all the different pathways medievalists have embarked on, and this is why Laura Morreale and I are starting a project that we hope will contribute to making us aware of the many different ways medievalists work: a series of blogs written by medievalists in a variety of professions. How have their paths developed? Is their medieval expertise useful in their current professions? What advice can they share? Look for these blog posts to begin soon.

Our two recent webinars exemplify two of the directions the Medieval Academy wants to pursue more explicitly in the future: “In and Beyond the Digital: Career Pathways for Humanists” featured a digital specialist from the NEH, Hannah Alpert-Abrams, who presented the many avenues of digital work in the humanities, for both research and job development. There are many professions out there that many of us may not even know about and that would be happy to use the special skills of medievalists. The webinar and the forthcoming blog are part of our initiative to highlight and find new ways to support medievalists who are not working in traditional teaching positions. The second webinar “The Mother of All Pandemics: The State of Black Death Research in the Era of COVID-19,” organized by Monica Green and Winston Black, exemplifies our goal of including areas of the world that have not always been at the forefront of medievalists’ interests: experts on China, Africa, and the Ottoman Empire as well as medieval Europe shared the stage, drawing on recent DNA research, archeological finds, and many different artifacts to compose a nuanced picture of the centuries of the Black Plague in relation to our current pandemic. As did so many sessions at the 2019 meeting at Penn with its global focus, this model of interdisciplinary cooperation showed what can be achieved by bringing together people from many areas of expertise. A big thank you to all the organizers and panelists. As I embark on this year of my presidency, I am hopeful that we can all weather this crisis together through the team work and openness that have characterized my first two months on the job. Take care and stay safe!

Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski, President

Posted in MAA Newsletter | Leave a comment

MAA News – Digital Content

A crowded cemetery in London after the Black Death. From James le Palmer’s encyclopedia, Omne bonum (ca. 1360-ca. 1375). [London, British Library, MS Royal 6.E.VI , vol. 1, f. 267vb (detail)]

Because we cannot greet each other in person this spring or summer, the Medieval Academy has been busily developing, hosting, and promoting scholarship in a digital environment. Development of the Database of Medieval Digital Resources is ongoing, with a streamlined vetting and cataloguing process that will see resources entered into the database in a much more efficient manner. The 2020 Annual Meeting and the ongoing series of MAA Webinars can be viewed on our website or on our YouTube channel. More content will be coming soon, so watch these spaces!

Posted in MAA Newsletter | Leave a comment

MAA News – Please renew your MAA membership by June 30

Dear Colleague,

We hope you are well and are staying safe.

In the present crisis, as a growing number of our medievalist colleagues find themselves facing financial precarity, job insecurity, and difficulty accessing research resources, your Medieval Academy membership matters more than ever.  Please renew by June 30 in order to avoid an interruption in your membership benefits.

With your help, the Academy increased its support of members in 2019, especially student, independent, and contingent scholars, through the numerous awards and fellowships offered annually. We have recently implemented programming in support of medievalists of color and of medievalists working in various professional contexts, and we are working to improve the representation of the Middle Ages in K-12 classrooms. As we work towards a more expansive Middle Ages, we are also working to build a more inclusive Medieval Studies. We sincerely hope that you will renew your valued membership in the Academy as we continue this work in 2020.

The combination of the dramatic recent downturn in the stock-market and an anticipated decrease in dues revenue will directly and significantly impact the MAA’s budget. If you are able to renew your membership for 2020, please do. Your membership dues will directly help us continue to award grants and fellowships in 2020 and beyond; keep dues at a lower level for independent, contingent, unemployed, and retired medievalists; and expand our programming.

You can easily pay your dues and/or make a donation through the  MAA website where, after you sign into your account, you can also adjust your membership category if necessary. Please consider supplementing your membership by becoming a Contributing or Sustaining member or by making a tax-deductible donation. In order to make membership more affordable for those in financially precarious circumstances, we have recently revised our dues structure.

You may also wish to remember the Academy with a bequest as a member of our Legacy Society (for more information, please contact the Executive Director).
When you renew, please take a few minutes to update your profile page so that members with similar interests can find you, and you can find them. You can also check a box to indicate your interest in serving on a Medieval Academy committee or reviewing for Speculum. Your profile page now includes an option to indicate gender and racial/ethnic identity. This information will not be visible to other members, but it will help the Academy immensely as we strive to increase our understanding of member demographics and work to improve diversity and inclusivity in Medieval Studies. If you have forgotten your username and/or password, please contact us for assistance.

Thank you for your support. We look forward to working with you in 2020 and hope to see you at the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy at Indiana University, Bloomington.

Stay safe –

Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski, President
Lisa Fagin Davis, Executive Director

p.s. if you have already renewed, please ignore this message and accept our thanks!

Posted in MAA Newsletter | Leave a comment