CARA News: University of California, Berkeley

Program in Medieval Studies, University of California, Berkeley

In the Fall 2016 we were fortunate to have two distinguished visiting professors.  Latinist and paleographer Felix Heinzer, emeritus professor at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, co-taught Medieval Studies 200 (Paleography and Codicology) with Professor Frank Bezner in the Bancroft Library.  He gave an inaugural lecture on Wednesday September 7, 2016 on “Ambiguous Mediality: Liturgical Books of the Latin Church and their Changing Status in the Medieval Tradition.”  Also in residence, through the UC Berkeley-Ludwig-Maximillians-Universität Munich exchange program, was Middle High German specialist Professor Beate Kellner.  She gave a lecture November 30, 2016 on “the Power of Imagination in Medieval Courtly Love Poems.”  She also very generously organized an interdisciplinary workshop on “The Poetics and Politics of Nature in the Middle Ages: Rethinking Alan of Lille and his Readers” (December 9-10, 2016) with graduate students and faculty from both institutions.

In the Spring 2017 semester we hosted to speakers in conjunction with our pro-seminar, Medieval Studies 200.  The pro-seminar’s theme was Migrations: People, Objects, Texts, and Ideas. On Monday 27 February, 2017 Elizabeth Tyler, Professor of English at the University of York, delivered a lecture on the movement of women among medieval courts (“England in Europe: Elite Social Mobility and the Literary Culture of 11th-century England”) and on Monday 13 March, 2017 Avinoam Shalem, Riggio Professor of the Arts of Islam at Columbia University,” treated migrating objects (between the Islamic and Christian worlds) in his lecture “Treasuring Histories: Writing Histories with Objects in Medieval Treasuries.” Both visitors also had lunch with students to discuss their current research and views on issues in the profession.  Professor Michelle Karnes (University of Notre Dame) also joined Program faculty for a special professionalization event for graduate students on “Being a Medievalist in 21st-Century Academic Institutions” (March 15, 2017).

Collaborating with UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara, the Program also won a UC Multi-campus Research Projects Initiative grant for The Middle Ages in the Wider World (project description at The project kick-off conference took place on March 4, 2017 at the Townsend Center for the Humanities.  It featured presentations by UC Berkeley faculty (Asad Ahmed, Geoff Koziol, Nicolas Tackett, Ignacio Navarrete) as well as invited guests (Riccardo Strobino, Tufts University; Joaneath Spicer, The Walters Art Museum) and concluded with an outstanding keynote address by Professor Carol Symes, founding editor of The Medieval Globe.  In May we awarded our first round of summer research grants to UC graduate students and faculty.

Maureen C Miller
Director, Program in Medieval Studies
University of California
3229 Dwinelle Hall
Berkeley, CA  94720-2550

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