Marry Carruthers to Deliver 2017 A.S.W. Lectures at UPenn

Mary J. Carruthers, Professor of Literature Emeritus, New York University
Cognitive Geometries: Using Diagrams in the Middle Ages


Lecture Dates: March 20, 21, 23, 2017
All lectures begin at 5:30pm

Class of 1978 Pavilion
Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, 6th floor
3420 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA

Monday, March 20, 2017: “Geometry and the Topics of Invention”
Tuesday, March 21, 2017: “The Shapes of Creativity 1: Trees, Towers, Buildings”
Thursday, March 23, 2017: “The Shapes of Creativity 2: Hands, Spheres, Cubits”

Cognitive Geometries explores the close relationships in medieval creative practice among geometric shapes, meditation, and the human ability to create original works. Focusing on materials crafted in the twelfth century, chiefly on the basis of Biblical texts, and then disseminated widely during the thirteenth century, each lecture investigates the fundamental cognitive insight of medieval diagram makers: that shape and pattern not only envision what we already know but also invite us to discover surprising logical relationships that can provoke our thinking in new ways.

Mary J. Carruthers is the Remarque Professor of Literature Emeritus at New York University and a Fellow (Quondam) of All Souls College, Oxford University. She has written extensively on medieval literature, memory and the history of spirituality. She holds a Ph.D. in English from Yale University (1965) and a B.A. in English from Wellesley College (1961). Carruthers is the author of twelve monographs including her 1990 canonical study, The Book of Memory: A Study of Memory in Medieval Culture (Cambridge). She is the author of numerous scholarly articles and the recipient of many academic honors. She was elected a Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America in 1996 and a Corresponding Fellow of The British Academy in 2012. In 2003, Carruthers was awarded The Haskins Medal by the Medieval Academy of America for “the best book in the broad field of medieval studies during the past five years” for The Craft of Thought: Meditation, Rhetoric, and the Making of Images, 400-1200 (Cambridge).

For more information: (215) 898-7088; dmcknigh@upenn or

To RSVP please visit:

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Rare Book School Summer Applications are Now Open

Rare Book School offers five-day, intensive courses in several locations focused on the history of manuscript, print, and digital materials. Our courses this spring and summer will be held at the University of Virginia, Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Indiana University, Bloomington.

Among our more than thirty courses on the history of books and printing, we are pleased to offer courses of interest to book historians. The following is a sample of the breadth of classes offered:

– H-85 “The History of the Book in China,” taught by Soren Edgren (Princeton University, emeritus)

– I-10 “The History of Printed Book Illustration in the West,” taught by Erin Blake (Folger Shakespeare Library)

– G-10 “Introduction to the Principles of Bibliographical Description,” taught by David Whitesell (University of Virginia)

– H-50 “The American Book in the Industrial Era, 1820-1940,” taught by Michael Winship (University of Texas at Austin)

To be considered in the first round of admissions decisions, course applications should be received no later than 20 February. Applications received after that date will be released for review on a rolling basis. Visit our website at for course details. A 2016 RBS student remarked, “I will never look at a book—any book—the same way again,” and so we hope you will join us at an RBS course this year and learn to see books in a new way as well!

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2017 Annual Meeting Registration

Grab your passport and meet us in Toronto!

Registration for the 93rd Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America is now open. Click here for information and to register:

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MAA News – Survey Reminder

Don’t forget to fill out the Medieval Academy of America Centennial Survey. We want your input!

Fill out the survey by March 15 to be eligible for one of three free one-year memberships.

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MAA News – Good News From Our Members

The Medieval Academy is proud to congratulate these members who were recently awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities:

Benjamin Saltzman (California Institute of Technology), Fellowship for University Teachers, “Secrecy and Divinity in Early English Literature”

Carol Symes (Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Fellowship for University Teachers, “Mediated Documents and Their Makers in Medieval Europe”

Please send your good news to  Executive Director Lisa Fagin Davis for inclusion in the next newsletter.

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Call for Papers – 93rd Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America


Emory University, Atlanta Georgia
1 – 3 March 2018

Call for Proposals

The Program Committee invites proposals for papers on all topics and in all disciplines and periods of medieval 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. Please note: the prohibition against presenting a paper more than once every three years is no longer in effect.

Location: Emory Conference Center Hotel, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.

Emory University is pleased to host the Medieval Academy of America for the first time since 1984. Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport is the busiest in the world, and travel is made even more convenient by the recent addition of the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal. Atlanta is also home to the High Museum of Art, Emory’s Michael C. Carlos Museum, the Martin Luther King Center, the Civil Rights Museum, the Center for Disease Control, and of course, the Coca-Cola Museum. A more ambitious trip, approximately an hour and a half south of the city, takes you to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Little White House in Warm Springs, Georgia. The entire conference will be held and housed at the Emory Conference Center, a Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired building located on a 26-acre forest preserve.  Shops and restaurants are adjacent at Emory Point.

Emory University:

Emory Conference Center:

Emory Point:

Theme(s): The Medieval Academy welcomes innovative sessions that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries or that use various disciplinary approaches to examine an individual topic. To both facilitate and emphasize interdisciplinarity, the Call for Papers is organized in “themes.”

Proposals: Individuals may propose to offer a paper in one of the themes below, a full panel of papers and speakers, a full panel of papers and speakers for a theme they wish to create, or a single paper not designated for a specific theme. Sessions usually consist of three 25-minute papers, and proposals should be geared to that length, although the committee is interested in other formats as well (poster sessions, digital experiences, etc.). The Program Committee may choose a different format for some sessions after the proposals have been reviewed.

In order to be considered, proposals must be complete and include the following:

(1) A cover sheet containing the proposer’s name, statement of Medieval Academy membership (or statement that the individual’s specialty would not normally involve membership in the Academy), professional status, email address, postal address, home or cell and office telephone numbers, fax number (if available), and paper title;

(2) A second sheet containing the proposer’s name, theme for which the paper should be considered, paper title, 500-word abstract, and audio-visual equipment requirements;

(3) Additional sheets as necessary containing all of the above information when a full panel for a session is being proposed.

Submissions: Proposals should be submitted as attached PDFs to the MAA Program Committee by email to

The deadline is 15 May 2017.

Please do not send proposals directly to Program Committee members.

Selection Procedure: Paper and panel proposals will be reviewed for their quality, the significance of their topics, and their relevance to the conference threads. The Program Committee will evaluate proposals during the summer of 2017, and the Committee will inform all successful and unsuccessful proposers by 1 September 2017.


1. Representing the Mysteries of Faith in Art, Liturgy, and Devotion
2. The Religious Orders: Diffusion of Artistic and Religious Practices between Monastery and City
3. The Medieval Artes and their Books
4. The Long Fourteenth Century
5. Transconfessional Spaces in Andalusi Cities
6. Umayyad Córdoba and Nasrid Granada: Poetry, Philosophy, and Architecture
7. Restoring Medieval Buildings: Gains, Problems, and Technologies
8. Materiality of Medieval Objects: What Now?
9. Monumental Narratives: Bayeux and Beyond
10. Legal History of Landholding and Property
11. New Medieval Economic Institutions
12. Legacy of Rome: Legal, Literary, and Artistic
13. Migration, Movement, and Slavery
14. Female Spirituality and Mysticism
15. Bible Translation and Reform Movements
16. Medieval Cosmographies and Geographies
17. Trade and Material Culture in the Mediterranean
18. Chaucer and the Poets
19. Anglo-Saxon Objects and Spaces, Poems and Places
20. Faith and Inquiry: Exegesis, Speculative Theology, and Normative Argument
21. Faith and Culture: Devotional Practices, Symbolism, and Lived Religion
22. Transgressing “Isms”: Platonism, Aristotelianism, Stoicism . . .
23. Comparative Kingship from the Carolingians to 1300
24. Truth, “Truthiness,” and Falsehood in Documentary Practice

Emory Program Committee

Co-chairs: Elizabeth Carson Pastan and James H. Morey

Richard Barton (University of North Carolina, Greensboro)
John Bugge
C. Jean Campbell
María Carrión
Kevin Corrigan
Judith Evans-Grubbs
Roxani Margariti
Walter Melion
Philp Reynolds
Alexander Volokh

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2017 Annual Meeting Registration

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
April 6-8, 2017

Registration for the 92nd Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America is now open.

Click here to register, or use this link:

For the program and hotel information, please visit the conference website:

The conference, which takes place 6-8 April 2017 (followed by the CARA meeting on 9 April), features three plenary speakers and over fifty concurrent sessions, including thematic threads such as ‘The Medieval Mediterranean,’ ‘Manuscript Studies,’ ‘Old English Studies’ and many others. Roundtable discussions focus on topics such as K-12 education, diversity in the medieval studies classroom, compatible careers, and scholarly publication in the age of Open Access. The conference location is the St. George Campus of the University of Toronto, with selected parts of the program held at the Art Gallery of Ontario and the closing plenary at the Aga Khan Museum.

We look forward to seeing you in Toronto!

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2017 Class of Fellows

The Medieval Academy of America is pleased to announce the 2017 Class of Fellows and Corresponding Fellows:

Uta-Renate Blumenthal (Emerita, The Catholic University of America)
Susan Einbinder (University of Connecticut)
Douglas Kelly (University of Wisconsin – Madison)
Thomas F. Kelly (Harvard University)

Nicole Bériou (Institut de recherche et d’histoire des textes, Paris)
Michael Clanchy (Emeritus, Institute of Historical Research, University of London)
Averil Cameron (University of Oxford)

These scholars are being honored for their notable contributions to the field of Medieval Studies and were elected by the current Fellows. More information about the Fellows of the Medieval Academy of America is available here. New Fellows will be officially inducted during the upcoming Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy in Toronto. The induction ceremony will take place at 4:30 PM on Saturday, 8 April, at the Aga Khan Museum.

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Ahmanson Research Fellowship

Ahmanson Research Fellowships support the use of UCLA Library Special Collections’ extensive holdings in medieval and Renaissance manuscripts and printed books. Graduate students or scholars holding a PhD (or the foreign equivalent) who are engaged in graduate-level, postdoctoral, or independent research are invited to apply by the deadline of March 1, 2017. More information is at the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies website at

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Call for Papers – Mary Jaharis Center Sponsored Panel, 43rd Annual Byzantine Studies Conference

As part of its ongoing commitment to Byzantine studies, the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture seeks proposals for a Mary Jaharis Center sponsored session at the 43rd Annual Byzantine Studies Conference to be held at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN, October 5–8, 2017. We invite session proposals on any topic relevant to Byzantine studies.

Session proposals must be submitted through the Mary Jaharis Center website site ( The deadline for submission is February 15, 2017. Proposals should include:

—Proposed session title

—CV of session organizer

—300-word session summary, which includes a summary of the overall topic, the format for the panel (such as a debate, papers followed by a discussion, or a traditional session of papers), and the reasons for covering the topic as a prearranged, whole session

—Session chair and academic affiliation. Please note: Session chairs cannot present a paper in the session

—Information about the four papers to be presented in the session. For each paper: name of presenter and academic affiliation, proposed paper title, and 500-word abstract. Please note: Presenters must be members of BSANA in good standing

Session organizers may present a paper in the session or chair the session. If a co-organzier is proposed for the session, the co-organizer must also give a paper in the session or chair the session.

Applicants will be notified by February 20, 2017. The organizer of the selected session is responsible for submitting the session to the BSC by March 1, 2017. Instructions for submitting the panel proposal are included in the BSC Call for Papers (

If the proposed session is approved, the Mary Jaharis Center will reimburse session participants (presenters and chair, if the proposed chair is selected by the BSC program committee) up to $600 maximum for North American residents and up to $1200 maximum for those coming from abroad. Funding is through reimbursement only; advance funding cannot be provided. Eligible expenses include conference registration, transportation, and food and lodging. Receipts are required for reimbursement.

Please contact Brandie Ratliff (, Director, Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture with any questions.

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