MAA News – 2015-16 Rome Prize

romeprizeThe 2015-16 Rome Prizes in Medieval Studies were recently awarded by the American Academy in Rome to two members of the Medieval Academy:

Eric Knibbs (Assistant Professor, Department of History, Williams College) was awarded the Millicent Mercer Johnsen Post-Doctoral Rome Prize, for a project titled “The Forging of Pseudo-Isidore.”

John Lansdowne (Department of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University) was awarded the Marian and Andrew Heiskell/Samuel H. Kress Foundation Pre-Doctoral Rome Prize, the first of a two-year Fellowship for dissertation research. His thesis is titled “Image Made Flesh: The Mosaic Man of Sorrows at Santa Croce in Gerusalemme in Rome.”

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MAA News – MAA Grants Awarded

Golden Haggadah, Spain. c. 1320, British Library, Add. MS 27210, f. 15r, detail.

Golden Haggadah, Spain. c. 1320, British Library, Add. MS 27210, f. 15r, detail.

We are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2015 Dissertation Grants and the 2015 Schallek Awards.

Dissertation Grants:

The nine endowed and named Medieval Academy Dissertation Grants support advanced graduate students in medieval studies.

Hannah Elmer (Columbia University), “Sites of Life: Resuscitating and Baptizing Dead Infants in Central Europe, 1400-1600″ (John Boswell Dissertation Grant)

Elizabeth Fischer (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), “The Representation of Space in Early Carolingian Gospel Books” (Grace Frank Dissertation Grant)

Bibiana Gattozzi (Princeton University), “The Hymns of Medieval Southern Italy: Music, Politics, and the Transformation of Local Liturgical Song” (E. K. Rand Dissertation Grant)

Justin Hastings (Loyola University Chicago), “‘Englishing’ Horace: the Influence of the Horatian Tradition on Old and Middle English Poetry” (Robert and Janet Lumiansky Dissertation Grant)

Alexandra M. Locking (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), “From Humble Handmaiden to Ruling Lady: Aristocratic Women in Ecclesiastical Reform and the Evolution of Female Lordship, 1049-1122 CE” (Helen Maud Cam Dissertation Grant)

Phillip Mazero (St. Louis University), “Frontier Politics: Veneto-Byzantine Relations, Civic Identity, and Imperial Hegemony, 697-1126″ (Frederic C. Lane Dissertation Grant)

Christopher Mielke (Central European University), “Every Hyacinth the Garden Wears: The Archaeology of Medieval Queenship in Hungary (1000-1395)” (Charles T. Wood Dissertation Grant)

Sharon Rhodes (University of Rochester), “Turning the Tide: Fathoming the Flood in Old English Literature” (Hope Emily Allen Dissertation Grant)

Michelle Urberg (University of Chicago), “The New Vineyard: Origins, Development, and Flourishing of Birgittine Musico-Devotional Practices (c. 1350-1545)” (Etienne Gilson Dissertation Grant)

Schallek Awards:

The five Schallek Awards, given in collaboration with the Richard III Society – American Branch, support graduate students conducting doctoral research in any relevant discipline dealing with late-medieval Britain (ca. 1350-1500).

Taylor Joseph Aucoin (University of Bristol), “Shrovetide: Festival in Medieval and Early Modern Britain”

Gavin Fort (Northwestern University), “The Vicarious Middle Ages: Proxy Pilgrimage in Late-Medieval England, 1250-1550″

Jon-Mark Grussenmeyer (University of Kent), “Cardinal Kemp: The Last Lancastrian Statesman”

Lori Jones (University of Ottawa), “Changing Perceptions of the Origin (Geographical and Historical) of the Plague”

Sarah Elizabeth Wilson (Northwestern University), “Regenerative Mourning: Sorrow’s Social Uses in Late Medieval England”

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MAA News – Schallek Fellow Named

RostadThe Medieval Academy of America, in collaboration with the Richard III Society – American Branch, is pleased to announce that the 2015 Schallek Fellowship has been awarded to Samuel Rostad (University of Notre Dame) for research on his dissertation, “Benedictine Popular Preaching in Late Medieval England, c. 1350-1500.” Sam will spend his Fellowship year in England studying manuscripts of Benedictine sermons.

In summarizing his dissertation, Sam writes: “For a group of regulars normally bound to silence, the Benedictines of late medieval England were a surprisingly vocal bunch. Although popular preaching from the thirteenth century on is generally associated with friars and seculars, a large body evidence – including surviving sermons, preaching licenses, and pastoral handbooks owned by monasteries – points to the active part Benedictines played in preaching to the laity in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. My dissertation will draw on this wide range of evidence to provide a thorough study of Benedictine popular preaching in late medieval England, a subject which has received some scholarly attention but has yet to be explored fully. A large part of the dissertation will focus on the surviving sermons themselves and what the Benedictines actually preached to the laity, the emphases and themes of their preaching. But I am also interested in a number of related questions which will provide a fuller discussion of the topic, for instance Benedictine use of pastoral aides in their sermons and their own views on preaching and their place in the pastoral life of medieval English society. In broadest terms, I hope this study will contribute to the discussion of the place of the Benedictines in late medieval religious life. As one of the most direct lines of contact between clergy and laity, as well as its increasing prominence from the thirteenth century on, preaching offers an excellent avenue into the study of Benedictine-lay religious interaction.”

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MAA News – MAA @ Kalamazoo

Cod. Pal. germ. 848, Große Heidelberger Liederhandschrift (Codex Manesse), Zürich, c.1300-c.1340, fol. 82v.

Cod. Pal. germ. 848, Große Heidelberger Liederhandschrift (Codex Manesse), Zürich, c.1300-c.1340, fol. 82v.

As always, the Medieval Academy will have a strong presence at Kalamazoo next week, sponsoring a Plenary lecture, two related sessions, and, through CARA and the GSC, three roundtables:

Plenary lecture: Friday, 8:30 AM, East Ballroom, Bernhard Center

Cary J. Nederman (Texas A&M University), “Modern Toleration through a Medieval Lens: A ‘Judgmental’ View”

Related sessions: Toleration of the Religious “Other” (Fri. 1:30 PM, Session 231, Valley II, LeFevre Lounge); Toleration and Council (Fri. 3:30 PM, Session 285, Valley II, LeFevre Lounge)

Graduate Student Committee session: The Public Medievalist: A Roundtable on Engaging the Public with the Middle Ages (Thurs. 3:30 PM, Session 115, Schneider 1140), followed by the GSC reception with cash bar (5:30 PM, Fetzer 2030)

CARA sessions: What’s New in Digital Humanities (A Roundtable) (Sat. 10 AM,Session 375, Schneider 1340); Medievalists in the Media (A Roundtable) (Sat. 1:30 PM, Session 433, Schneider 1340)

Further information is available on the IMC website

In addition, the Medieval Academy exhibit table will be staffed in shifts by Speculum editor Sallie Spence, Executive Director Lisa Fagin Davis, and Editorial Assistant Erin Pomeroy. We hope you will stop by to say hello.

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MAA News – From the Executive Director: “Compatible Careers” and the Future of Academia

shieldAt the recent Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy at the University of Notre Dame, The Consortium for the Teaching of the Middle Ages (TEAMS sponsored a roundtable session titled “The Futures of Medieval Studies and the Academy,” moderated by Thomas Goodmann (Univ. of Miami). Participants Mary Carruthers (New York Univ. and President of the Fellows), Irina A. Dumitrescu (Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn), and Barbara H. Rosenwein (Loyola Univ. Chicago) addressed issues concerning both Medieval Studies and Academia in general, followed by questions and discussion. A recording of the session is available here. I was particularly glad to have attended, since the discussion often turned to the Medieval Academy and concerns about how the MAA can help members, student members in particular, through advocacy, mentoring, and financial support. You’ll hear my responses to various questions and comments in the recording along with a very lively discussion.

Students in the audience expressed particular concerns about the job market, a topic of concern to all. We all know of prominent medievalists whose positions, after retirement, were re-tasked to be filled by early modernists or other non-medievalists. More and more students and junior scholars are vying for fewer and fewer positions, positions that are defined with increasingly broad strokes. Students are understandably anxious about how to balance their commitment to the Middle Ages with a wish to be “marketable” in an ever-more-generalizing job market. As panelist Irina Dumitrescu asked, “Does the future include Medieval Studies?” To judge by anecdotes of over-enrollments of Medieval Studies courses filled with students who grew up reading and watching Game of Thrones and Harry Potter and, of course, Lord of the Rings, there is often a disconnect between undergraduate demand and administrative supply. To help fill the seats and demonstrate to the administration the popularity of Medieval Studies, Barbara Rosenwein recommends – among other things – promoting courses through social media and enticing titles. We all know that once we get them in the door, they will want to be medievalists.

But then what? Are we sending our students out into a world where there aren’t enough full-time jobs? Where adjuncts are paid sub-standard wages? Where they have to “settle” for alt-ac?

As someone whose career has never followed the path of a traditional academic, I speak from experience when I say that there does not have be any “settling” involved in making that choice. Not everyone who goes to graduate school wants to be a full-time professor, and not everyone who wants to be a full-time professor is able to land the job they want. It behooves us all to make sure that our students know that there are other options out there and that they are all valued and acceptable.

For the last three years, Fordham University’s Center for Medieval Studies has modeled this support for its students by offering an annual program titled “Compatible Careers for Medievalists.” This year, panelists included graduates of Fordham’s Medieval Studies program who were pursuing careers outside traditional Academia. Participants spoke about how the skills they acquired as medievalists were applicable in other workplace environments. Some examples are described in this handout created by Fordham alumnus Paul Slonina, currently a consultant with Booz Allen. As the definition of Medieval Studies continues to expand – in the classroom, at the podium, in the pages of Speculum, and in print – our understanding of how we define success for ourselves and our students needs to expand as well. Our skillset is eminently marketable, and there are a lot of ways to be a medievalist.

At the TEAMS roundtable, Mary Carruthers spoke about the changing climate on campuses where a degree is sometimes seen as a commodity, where the increasing corporatization of universities that seem to prioritize cost-efficiency over all creates a less-than-supportive environment for all faculty, regardless of department. In this climate, it is more important than ever for medievalists to preach, as the Academy declared in the 1940s, “the Truth of the Humanities.” We need to engage in international initiatives, delve into public and educational policy development, reach out to other disciplines, and continue the valuable work many have already begun in comparative histories. And we need to support each other. The leadership and governance of the Medieval Academy of America stands willing and able to advocate on behalf of endangered programs and positions. Please contact me if you need our help.

Finally, don’t forget that the Academy already offers a platform for networking and collaboration through the Committee on Area and Regional Associations (CARA), a group that facilitates brainstorming, problem-solving, and strategizing among Committee and Program chairs and administrators. If you haven’t already registered, the CARA Committee and I invite you to join us as we inaugurate a new model for CARA networking at the annual (and free) CARA Luncheon at the upcoming Kalamazoo Congress, on Friday, May 15, at noon. Attendees will engage in programmatic discussions over lunch with others who share similar concerns. If you would like to join us as a representative of your program, please register by Monday, May 11, here. I look forward to seeing you there.

And if you can’t come to the CARA lunch at Kalamazoo, stop by the Medieval Academy table in the exhibit hall to say hello and pick up some chocolate. We’d love to meet you.

Lisa Fagin Davis, Executive Director

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Jobs for Medievalists



Applicants must have strong computer and editorial skills, together with a background in any area of the humanities with a particular specialty in Medieval Studies, and must be available to start work in the fall of 2015 in Cambridge, MA. Strict attention to detail and excellent communication skills are particularly important. Reading ability in French, German, Spanish, Arabic, Latin and/or Italian is also highly desirable.


This internship will provide experience with the book review process of Speculum, the journal of the Medieval Academy of America. Duties include: sorting books; mailing books to reviewers; compiling information in a database from print books and online resources; transmitting information to the book review editors; receiving, organizing, and proofreading reviews for publication; and using an Excel-based management system (or other appropriate software).

This is a two-stage part-time paid internship. For the first three months the intern will sort and mail the review books while training under the current senior intern (12 hours per week). In January the intern will share the duties of the senior intern, including managing the database of reviews, working with the Book Review Editors, and coordinating and proofreading the reviews (up to 28 hours per week at a higher rate).

The position will begin in September 2015 and run for one year, with a possible renewal for a second year.

Preference will be given to applicants residing in the Boston area during the tenure of the job.

Submit cover letter, together with resume and up-to-date contact information for two referees to Sarah Spence, Editor, Speculum, Applications completed by June 15 will be given full consideration.

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University of Barcelona International Summer School program.

The University of Barcelona (UB) is a public institution highly ranked internationally and posted as the center of the university research in Spain as well as a European benchmark for research. Its own history is closely tied to the history of the city of Barcelona. The UB combines the values of tradition with its position as an institution dedicated to innovation and teaching excellence: a university that is as outward-looking and cosmopolitan as the city from which it takes its name.

This year the University of Barcelona will offer twenty-five international courses on specialized fields related to business and economics, health, natural sciences, social sciences and humanities.  These courses will allow participants to combine rigorous training and scientific excellence with a unique International experience.  The courses offer the possibility to achieve ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System).

These multidisciplinary courses, taught mainly in English, are offered for one to four weeks, and are open to all international citizens, mainly focused on students, and professionals who intend to gain further knowledge, and also will be carried out on the premises of the iconic Historic Building of the University of Barcelona, in the heart of the city, or other campus locations.

Within the area of expertise of Social Sciences and Humanities  we have the course with title:  Medieval Archaeological Fieldwork in the Catalan Pyrenees

So you can:

Live the adventure and get experience in Medieval Archaeology.

Two weeks at the Pyrenees mountains, staying in a rural accommodation, sharing experiences with young archaeologists and visiting the most important romanesque monuments in Catalonia (northeast Spain).

More about the course:

Beginning on the 20 July 2015 and ending on the 31 July 2015  this course is a 40 hrs a 2 Weeks and  the end of the registration period is on 13 July 2015. The course will take place at the University of Barcelona: Faculty of Geography and History: street Montalegre, 6 – 08001 Barcelona-Spain-.

For more information visit:

The city of Barcelona creates an ideal framework for the University of Barcelona International Summer School to encourage participation since it creates a nucleus for education and all cultural events in the city of Barcelona.

Please note that registration started on February 9th and that the visa application could take two or three weeks; consequently, we suggest all interested people to register as soon as possible, the information is available at: We also offer early bird registration discounts as well as a special partner reduced fee or even fee waiver, ask your institution if it is available.

For registration please follow the link.

Do not hesitate to contact us at or at +34 93 4034022.

Best Regards,
University of Barcelona
International Summer School
Vice-rectorate for International Policy
Phone: 00 34 93 403 40 22

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Jobs for Medievalsts

Assistant Rare Books Librarian (Maternity Cover), University of St Andrews Library

The Special Collections Division of the University Library has a vacancy for a motivated and well-organised librarian to undertake a number of projects on the exceptional rare books collections. This is a fixed-term maternity cover post, and is anticipated to be for the period of twelve months starting as soon as possible. The post-holder will be working in the Rare Books team on the assessing, cataloguing and accessioning of monographs. Duties will include: creating, importing and correcting bibliographic records in DCRM(B) standards, MARC 21 format and Library of Congress authority control; overseeing the transfer of collections between Special Collections and Main Library and liaising with Main Library colleagues to ensure an efficient workflow. In addition, a part of the working week will be spent in Reader Services.

The post-holder will already be fully trained in cataloguing, have experience of working with early printed books, possess excellent IT and communication skills, have a reading knowledge of at least one European language other than English, and a working knowledge of Latin.  The post-holder will also have experience of the Millennium cataloguing, acquisitions and circulation modules. The post-holder will undertake staff development and performance review activities as required.

Interview Date: 12 June 2015

Salary: £25,513 – £30,434 per annum
Start: As soon as possible
Fixed Term: Maternity cover for 12 months

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Call for Papers – ‘Transforming Male Devotional Practices’ from the Medieval to the Early Modern

‘Transforming Male Devotional Practices’
from the medieval to the early modern
University of Huddersfield
16th and 17th September 2015

This conference is co-hosted with the Universities of Reading and Liverpool Hope. It aims to explore the social, economic and spatial factors underpinning the changing way ordinary men demonstrated their commitment to God and the church(es) in a period of significant turmoil. Papers that address English male devotional experience from historical, literary, gender studies and material culture perspectives are welcomed. Suggested themes include:

  • Religion and Society: Domestic piety and lay/household Catholicism.
  • Material Culture and ritual objects.
  • The economy of piety: indulgences, relics and paying for piety.
  • Personal and public piety: Continuity and change over the medieval and early modern periods.
  • Devotional reading, writing and performance.
  • Geography, place and space in Catholic piety.

Please send proposals to: by 22nd June 2015.

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Jobs for Medievalists

Digital Projects and Archives Librarian, Middlebury College, Vermont

Located in the scenic Green Mountains of Vermont, Middlebury College is a nationally recognized liberal arts college that offers graduate and specialized programs operating around the world. Middlebury employees enjoy a high quality of life with excellent compensation, competitive benefits, and access to top-notch facilities for education, research and recreation.

Middlebury seeks a Digital Projects and Archives Librarian to join its Special Collections & Archives. Reporting to the Director and Curator of Special Collections, the Digital Projects and Archives Librarian contributes to the shaping of digital collections and digital archives at the Middlebury College Library.

The Digital Projects and Archives Librarian plays a key role in sustaining the Middlebury College Library’s existing digital collections, facilitates the creation of new online digital content, and works collaboratively across the College on digital collections and born-digital archives infrastructure.  Ideal candidates will have a background in special collections or archival settings, experience building or managing digital library collections, and a steadfast belief in the value of unique primary research materials and archives to undergraduate education. EOE/Minorities/Females/Vet/Disability.

The hiring range for this position is $57,851 to $76,670.

To view the full job description and to apply online, please visit:

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