The 2019–20 academic year brought much of the expected for the Medieval Institute at the University of Notre Dame—stellar programming, talented new Fellows and students, and the high-caliber education for medievalists that we are known for—as well as the unexpected, which every institution had to grapple with—transitioning to online education and learning how to stay in community even while social distancing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We celebrate our faculty fellows, our students, and the Medieval Institute team for their devoted, energetic response to these new needs of our community, and congratulate our five Ph.D. graduates for the year, several of whom had to defend via videochat.
Despite the challenges, the Institute continues to fulfill its mission to be the nation’s largest and most prestigious center for understanding the Middle Ages. Our usual spring gatherings of the Mellon Fellowship Colloquium with Professor Michael Heil, the Byzantine Postdoctoral Fellowship workshop with Dr. Nicole Paxton Sullo, our undergraduate colloquium, and our all-Latin graduation ceremony have had to be postponed, but we continue to offer classes, working group gatherings, and faculty meetings remotely. Prior to remote learning, the Medieval Institute held its usual slate of programming and also co-sponsored a number of lectures and conferences. Notable among these were our 2020 Winter School in Latin Paleography and Codicology at Notre Dame’s Rome Global Gateway, held in collaboration with the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, and our annual Conway Lectures, given this year by Peter Adamson (Ph.D. ’00), Professor of Late Ancient and Arabic Philosophy at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich; he spoke on the topic “Don’t Think For Yourself: Faith and Authority in Medieval Philosophy” on September 24–26.
The Institute is also pleased to announce a new annual lecture series, the Mathews Byzantine Lectures, which will bring a distinguished scholar of Byzantine studies to campus each year to deliver a talk, supported by the Rev. Constantine Mathews Endowment for Excellence in Byzantine Christianity in the Medieval Institute. The inaugural lecture is planned for October 2020 and will be given by Professor Emerita Margaret Mullet (OBE), a past Director of Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks.
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