MAA Mentoring Program Committee

To the Members of the Medieval Academy of America:

I am very pleased to announce the establishment of the MAA Mentoring Program Committee, charged with proposing, establishing, and facilitating mentoring programs focused on underserved communities of emerging medievalists. The inaugural members of this Committee are:

Afrodesia McCannon, New York Univ., Chair (2022)
Elizabeth L. Hardman, Bronx Community College (2024)
Bryan C. Keene, Riverside City College (2022)
Jacqueline Lombard, Univ. of Pittsburgh (2022)
Sierra Lomuto, Rowan Univ. (2024)
Ana C. Núñez, Stanford Univ. (2023)
Teo Ruiz, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (2023)
Jenny Tan, Univ. of Pennsylvania Press (2023)
Nancy Wu, The Cloisters, emerita (2024)

I am very grateful to all of the Committee members for their willingness to take on this important charge and to MAA Council members Hussein Fancy and Maureen Miller for the proposal that led to the Committee’s establishment. I look forward to working with the Committee and the Council to bring the Committee’s ideas to fruition. More information about the Mentoring Program Committee and its charge can be found here.

– Lisa

Lisa Fagin Davis
Executive Director
LFD@TheMedievalAcademy.org

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MAA News – From the President

Dear MAA Members,

As I write to you for the first time as President, I wanted to thank my immediate predecessor, Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski, for her stalwart leadership during a challenging year, and to our colleagues at the University of Indiana-Bloomington, who organized such a successful and thoughtful program for our recent Annual Meeting—among the best attended meetings in our recent history. I am also grateful for the continuing support of our Executive Director, Lisa Fagin Davis, to Katherine Jansen and the editorial board of Speculum, and to all the officers, staff, Councilors, and committee members who work so hard to implement our programs. I want to single out for special thanks the members of last year’s Inclusivity and Diversity Committee—Afrodesia McCannon, Andrea Achi, and Joseph Salvatore Ackley, who developed the important initiatives that the MAA has just begun to implement.

Let me briefly introduce myself and some of the priorities I will be working on with the Council this year.

Born and raised in Canada, I studied art history at the University of Toronto and the Johns Hopkins University. I taught at Columbia University between 1990 and 1999 and have been on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison since fall 1999. Starting with my dissertation and first book, I have had an abiding interest in the interconnections between medieval Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. While my initial interests focused on the ecclesiastical politics and the cult of the saints in Aquileia and Venice and cultural appropriations from the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) empire, I have shifted my interests over the past decade to explore Venice’s place within the broader networks of cultural encounter within the “global Mediterranean” and further afield. Another facet of my research, explored in my recent book, Pygmalion’s Power (Penn State, 2019), concerns the capacity of Romanesque sculpture—including reliquary portraits, monsters in cloister capitals, theophanies in portals–to convey the intensely somatic spirituality of medieval European Catholicism. My current research project considers the visualization of race and cultural encounter in medieval Venice in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, focusing on San Marco and the Palazzo Ducale.

We live in a moment in which medievalists are called to address systemic racism within medieval European culture and past scholarship on the Middle Ages, but also to confront increasingly common misrepresentations of the medieval past to support white nationalist agendas in the present. As President, I would like us to secure long-term funding to sustain the excellent initiatives that we have just begun to implement, including the Mentoring Programs Committee to recruit and support first-generation and early career BIPOC medievalists, the Article Prize in Critical Races Studies, the Inclusivity and Diversity Research Grant and Book Subvention Program, and the new mentoring program for emerging scholars joining the Speculum Board. I believe that the longterm sustainability of medieval studies also requires investing in public-facing initiatives that make high-quality medieval studies resources accessible to a wide range of constituencies. Improving accessibility to high-quality Medieval Studies means supporting and showcasing digital resources and continuing to sponsor public programming online. Equally important are the programs aimed at K-12 educators. At the state level, we need to support programs in the schools that provide resources to teachers that contribute to a better understanding of the global Middle Ages and what the medieval past can tell us about current issues and institutions.

We also need to think strategically about how we support medieval studies in institutions of higher education. I would like to see the Academy help make the case to Deans for the vital necessity of retaining and even adding medievalist faculty positions on our campuses. At the same time, we need to think outside the box and support the diversity of careers that medievalists are productively engaged in beyond academe. We will benefit from collaborating with CARA to support innovative public outreach to build support for Medieval Studies in our communities.

As the Medieval Academy is committed to transforming itself into a more inclusive organization, we also need to reform our bylaws to foster greater transparency and agility in decision-making and advocacy, so we can be more responsive to current events and systemic challenges that impact our membership. I will be working with our Executive Director, Lisa Fagin Davis, our Vice-Presidents Maureen Miller and Robin Fleming, and an outside consultant to revise the governance structures that have been in place for over fifty years. I also look forward to working with the newly constituted Development Committee to think about how we can support strategic initiatives with targeted funding and individual donors.

I wish you all a healthy and productive summer and thank you for supporting the Medieval Academy of America. Please do not hesitate to contact me with your ideas and aspirations for the future of the Academy (tedale@wisc.edu).

Thomas E. A. Dale, President

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MAA News – MedievALList Mixer

Tuesday, June 1, 20:30 EDT/19:30 CDT/18:30 MDT/17:30 PDT

The Professional Development Committee of the Medieval Academy of America announces the first of a series of online “MedievALList Mixers,” starting in early June.

The goal of these virtual meet-ups is to create a space where the needs of medievalists working off the tenure track can be expressed and acknowledged. Furthermore, this first event will aim to set both an agenda and talking points for future meet-ups, which we hope to schedule on an ongoing basis.

Medievalists of all professional standings are encouraged to attend, as our goal is to redefine our community in terms that are more professionally inclusive, and will therefore require buy-in and support from all our members.

The first event will take place on Tuesday, June 1, at 20:30 EDT/19:30 CDT/18:30 MDT/17:30 PDT via wonder, a zoom-like platform created to facilitate smaller conversations as well as group announcements (for those interested, here is an introduction to the platform). The mixer should last about one hour and will be moderated by Independent Scholar Laura Morreale (past chair of the Ad Hoc committee on Professional Diversity) after which time we will poll members about topics to discuss in future meetings.

Please register using this form; a room link and password will be sent to registered participants one day before the event, and a reminder email one hour before the event begins.

Professional Development Committee, 2021-2022:
Mark Cruse, Chair
Marcia Kupfer
Sebastian Sobecki

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MAA News – MAA 2021 Annual Meeting

The 96th Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America took place online from March 15-18. The meeting was hosted by  Indiana University at Bloomington, with 250 speakers in fifty-three sessions attended by 734 registrants from eighteen countries. This was, by far, the largest meeting in the history of the MAA. Plenary lectures were delivered by D. Fairchild Ruggles (The Illinois School of Architecture), Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski, President of the Medieval Academy of America (Emerita, University of Pittsburgh), and Teodolinda Barolini (Columbia University). Thirteen Fellows and Corresponding Fellows were inducted during the Fellows plenary, two of whom (Richard Sharpe and Michael Clanchy) were inducted posthumously. The CARA Plenary session on Sunday morning was devoted to the topic of Digital Epistemologies. The seventy attendees at the CARA Annual Meeting on Sunday afternoon addressed an important and engaging topic in moderated breakout sessions, “Surviving and Thriving through a Time of Crisis: Conversations on Envisioning Medieval Studies in the US at the Close of the Centenary.” The panel discussion during the CARA Annual Meeting was recorded and is online here. The discussants were Moira Fitzgibbons (Marist College), Gina Brandolino (University of Michigan), Nicole Lopez Jantzen (Borough of Manhattan Community College-CUNY), and Valerie Michelle Wilhite (International Medieval Society-Paris, Americas Director).

Fellows’ Induction Ceremony.

We are extremely grateful to the organizers of the Annual Meeting for their extraordinary efforts under difficult circumstances: Program Committee Chairs Deborah Deliyannis and Diane Reilly; Communications Chair (and Whova Hero) Kalani Craig; Local Arrangements Chair Jeremy Schott; Program Committee Members Asma Afsaruddin, Daniel Caner, Giuliano Di Bacco, Nahyan Fancy, Shannon Gayk, Ryan Giles, Margaret Graves, Liz Hebbard, Sarah Ifft Decker, Patty Ingham, Kevin Jaques, Akash Kumar, Jennifer Lee, Amy Livingstone, Karma Lochrie, Manling Luo, Dana Marsh, Rosemarie McGerr, Joey McMullen, Morton Oxenboell, Jeremy Schott, Richard Sévère, Leah Shopkow, Barbara Vance, Sonia Velázquez, Nick Vogt, and Rega Wood.

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MAA News – Call for Papers: 2022 Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America

The 97th Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America will be hosted by the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. The meeting is jointly hosted by the Medieval Academy of America and the Program in Medieval Studies at the University of Virginia, with the generous support and collaboration of colleagues from Virginia Tech, the College of William & Mary, and Washington and Lee University. The conference program will feature a diverse range of sessions highlighting innovative scholarship across the many disciplines contributing to medieval studies.

Hybrid and online participation. The Program Committee intends to run a fully hybrid conference in light of the pandemic and related issues of accessibility. Online options and alternatives will be offered at the level of the individual paper, the panel, the plenaries, the business of the Academy, and certain social events to the extent possible. The committee encourages the widest possible participation and will design the program, select spaces, and manage technology accordingly.

The Program Committee invites proposals for papers on all topics and in all disciplines and periods of medieval studies and medievalism studies. Any member of the Medieval Academy may submit a paper proposal; others may submit proposals as well but must become members in order to present papers at the meeting. Special consideration will be given to individuals whose field would not normally involve membership in the Medieval Academy. We are particularly interested in receiving submissions from those working outside of traditional academic positions, including independent scholars, emeritus or adjunct faculty, university administrators, those working in academic-adjacent institutions (libraries, archives, museums, scholarly societies, or cultural research centers), editors and publishers, and other fellow medievalists.

Plenary addresses will be delivered by Roland Betancourt, Professor of Art History, University of California, Irvine; Seeta Chaganti, Professor of English, University of California, Davis; and Thomas E. A. Dale, Professor of Art History, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and incoming president of the Academy.

Proposals must be submitted by June 1. Click here for the full Call for Papers

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MAA News – The Past, Present, and Future of Digital Medieval Studies – A Global Digital Medievalist Symposium

The Medieval Academy of America is proud to serve as co-host for Part 1 of a three-part worldwide Digital Medievalist symposium, “The Past, Present, and Future of Digital Medieval Studies.” Part 1 will focus on Digital Medieval Studies in the Americas, centering the importance of images and imaging for medievalists working on the western side of the Atlantic. (Monday, May 24, 11 AM – 3:30 PM EDT). This symposium will be followed by “Asia & Oceania: Digital Transformations” (Friday, June 11) and “Africa & Europe: Diving Into Sources” (Monday, June 21). Click here for more information about the entire series and to register.

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MAA News – CARA Summer Scholarship Winners

We are very pleased to announce that CARA Summer Scholarships have been awarded to:

Katherine Briant (University of Rochester), Rare Book School, “Scientific Analysis of the Book”

Wei-Ting Chen (University of Kentucky), Princeton University, French and Latin

Anastasia Marie Heiser (University of Tennessee – Knoxville), Rare Book School, “Introduction to Archives for Special Collections Librarians, Booksellers & Collectors”

Alex Korte (University of Minnesota Twin Cities), University of Colorado, “The Mediterranean Seminar: An Introduction to the Archive of the Crown of Aragon (Documents in Latin to ca. 1350)”

Kimberly Jaye Lifton (Cambridge University), University of Groningen, “Old Frisian and its Neighbours”

Marisa Ellen Mills (University of Southern Mississippi), University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Latin

Kelsey Shearman (University of St Andrews and University of Birmingham), University of Tennessee, Latin

Nick Thompson (Queen’s University at Kingston), Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto, Latin

Melanie Vigil (California State University-Fullerton), University of Toronto, Latin;

Emma-Catherine Wilson (University of Ottawa), University of Toronto Centre for Medieval Studies, Latin

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MAA News – The Monica H. Green Prize for Distinguished Medieval Research

We are very pleased to announce the establishment the Monica H. Green Prize for Distinguished Medieval Research. This annual Prize honors Dr. Monica H. Green, whose body of scholarship and public advocacy makes a large and innovative contribution to our awareness and understanding of pandemics, their vectors and their historiography, topics of increasing urgency in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. Her work towards a global history of health reframes the public discussion of epidemics and pandemics: it is relevant to biomedical researchers, molecular biologists, population geneticists, and policymakers as well as to historians and medievalists from all fields. Green’s collaborative approach to scholarship serves as a model for others to follow, engaging with geneticists, archaeologists, paleobiologists, and others forging connections between modernity and the Middle Ages both in the public and scholarly spheres. The Monica H. Green Prize will honor scholarship and public engagement that demonstrates the importance of studying the past to understand the present. The inaugural Green Prize of $1,000 will be awarded in 2022 and annually thereafter to honor a distinguished project that shows the value of medieval studies in our present day. We are very grateful to the anonymous donors who have endowed the Green Fund and established the Prize in Dr. Green’s honor.

Click here to make a donation to the Monica H. Green Fund.

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MAA News – MAA@Kzoo

Even though we won’t be able to greet you in person this year at the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, the Medieval Academy of America will have a strong presence at the virtual conference, with lectures, sessions, and roundtables focusing on the Global Middle Ages, DEI, and Anti-Racism (May 10-15).

1) The MAA plenary will be delivered by Sharon Kinoshita (Univ. of California–Santa Cruz), “Marco Polo and the Diversity of the Global Middle Ages” (pre-recorded and available to registrants May 10–15 and May 17–29). Two related sessions organized by Prof. Kinoshita on “Diversity in/and the Global Middle Ages” will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday at 11 AM (Sessions 124 and 179 respectively).

2) The Committee on Centers and Regional Associations (CARA) roundtable on “Diversifying the Medieval Studies Syllabus” will take place Thursday at 3 PM (Session 291).

3) The Medieval Academy Graduate Student Committee roundtable on “Teaching the Middle Ages with Inclusivity and Diversity” will take place on Friday at 7 PM (Session 391).

All times are EDT. Click here for more information.

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MAA News – Good News from Our Members

The 2021 Paul Mellon/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Rome Prize has been awarded to Randall Todd Pippenger (Princeton University), “Left Behind: Veterans, Widows, and Orphans in the Era of the Crusades.”

Terrence Cullen (New York University) has been awarded a 2021 Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships for his dissertation project, “Take Note: Listening to French Literature in the Long Thirteenth Century.”

Georgia Henley (Saint Anselm College) has been awarded an ACLS Fellowship for her project, “Memory on the Margins: Reimagining the Past in the Medieval Anglo-Welsh Borderlands.”

NEH Summer Stipends have been awarded to Jennifer Bryan (Oberlin College), “Chaucer’s Ovidian Arts: Poetic Influence and Innovation at the Beginning of English Literature” and to Mary Caldwell (University of Pennsylvania), “Musical Hagiography and the Medieval Cult of St. Nicholas in Western Europe (ca. 1100–1500).”

Congratulations! If you have good news to share, please forward it to Executive Director Lisa Fagin Davis,

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