The Center for Medieval & Byzantine Studies at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. is a vibrant community of over thirty scholars and an energetic group of graduate students from various Schools and Departments across campus. It administers both graduate and undergraduate programs in Medieval and Byzantine Studies with an interdisciplinary focus. In 2016-17, the Center co-organized two symposia to celebrate the career of two retiring colleagues, both outstanding medievalists: In November 2016 a symposium was held on Law and Society in Medieval and Early Modern Europe in honor of Prof. Kenneth J. Pennington, followed by a second symposium in April 2017 on Medieval Latin and Paleography in honor of Prof. Frank A.C. Mantello. In April 2017, the Center also sponsored a successful public lecture on “The Significance of the Bayeux Tapestry” delivered by Prof. Gale R. Owen-Crocker (Univ. of Manchester, UK), to commemorate (with a few months’ delay) the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hasting in 1066. Further, our students and faculty had the opportunity to attend a number of workshops and seminars on a variety of topics, from medieval gilding techniques (by artist Kay Jackson) and sea monsters on medieval maps (by Chet Van Duzer, NEH-Mellon Fellow of the Library of Congress) to writing the biography of a medieval saint (by Fr. Augustine Thompson, O.P., S.T.M., Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology) and challenges and best practices of cataloguing manuscripts (by Ilya Dines of the Library of Congress). In November 2016, our graduate students gave an illustrated report on our summer archaeology field school program in Vetricella, Tuscany (co-organized with the American University in Rome and the University of Siena), a program we are continuing in the summer of 2018 (please watch for announcements on our website at mbs.cua.edu). As always, the academic year ended with a public celebration of all things medieval: our annual Medieval Day, featuring sword-fighting, crafts, drama, music, story-telling, and, of course, a working trebuchet. In administrative terms, the Center has been preparing for a transition from Center to Institute, with new, creative projects and research initiatives in 2017-18.
Submitted by Lilla Kopár, Director of MBS