CARA News: University of Missouri

The Medieval and Renaissance Studies (MARS) program at the University of Missouri oversees interdisciplinary minors at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and sponsors/cosponsors several MARS events during the academic year, including lectures, abstract workshops, reading groups, and social events. Our website is at

Program events:  Our medieval and early modern community enjoyed several campus events in the past year, including the annual MARS lecture by Prof. Robin Fleming (History, Boston College) on “Rethinking Early Medieval Migration with Women and Isotopes” in November 2016. In December, medievalists benefitted from the Archaeological Institute of America’s lecture series, which sponsored Prof. Dennis Trout (Classical Studies, MU), on “Pictures with Words: Reading the Apse Mosaic at S. Agnese f.l.m. (Rome).” In March 2017, Prof. Susan Phillips (English, Northwestern University), spoke on “Mercantile Mischief and Popular Pedagogy in Premodern England.” Our MARS Seminar in April 2017 brought dozens of scholars from the region together to discuss works in progress by Jonathan Lamb (English, University of Kansas), Sheila Blair (Fine Arts, Boston College), and Sheeta Chaganti (English, University of California, Davis), on the topic of aesthetics in medieval and early modern culture. The MARS-sponsored session at the 52nd International Medieval Congress at Kalamazoo continued the discussion on “The Aesthetics of Form,” with Prof. Lee Manion (English) presiding. Members of the MARS community thank Prof. Emma Lipton (English) for her three years of hard work as MARS chair, and welcome the incoming chair Prof. Megan Moore (Romance Languages).

Faculty and student news:  Work by five MARS scholars won prizes and fellowships. Prof. Johanna Kramer’s monograph Between Earth and Heaven: Liminality and the Ascension of Christ in Anglo-Saxon Literature (Manchester University Press, 2014) won the 2016 Award for Best First Book from the Southeastern Medieval Association (SEMA).  Christopher Paolella (PhD candidate, History) was awarded the Sherry L. Reames Graduate Student Travel award from the Hagiography Society, and Colby Turberville (PhD student, History) won two awards: the Jim Falls Prize for Best Paper by a Graduate Student at the Mid-America Medieval Association Meeting in September 2016, and the Best Student Paper prize at the Missouri Conference on History in March 2017. Fellowship holders included Prof. Anne Rudloff Stanton (Art History and Archaeology) who held the 2016-17 Bonnie Wheeler Fellowship from the Dallas Foundation, and Stephanie Chapman (ABD, Art History) who held the Herbert L. Schooling Fellowship from MU.

The Department of History welcomed Prof. Kristy Wilson Bowers, and bade farewell to Prof. Russ Zguta, who retired after fifty years at the University and was awarded the 2016 Presidential Award of the Central Slavic Conference for a “lifetime of support” for the Conference and “untiring promotion of Slavic Studies.”

Looking forward:  Students are invited to save the date for an innovative summer experience in 2018! Monastic Worlds (co-taught by Prof. Rabia Gregory (Religious Studies, MU) and Prof. Virginia Blanton (English, UMKC), and other faculty) is an experiential learning course that introduces students to the religious history and culture of premodern Europe and the contemporary American Midwest. The four-week class begins with two weeks of online learning, then moves to two weeks of face-to-face classes held at the Benedictine communities of Conception Abbey in Conception, MO and Mount St Scholastica in Atchison, KS. Onsite, students will observe and participate in communal life, work with manuscripts and early printed books, and visit the largest reliquary collection in North America, housed at a Benedictine convent in Clyde, MO. More information can be found at

Prof. Rabia Gregory (Religious Studies) is pleased to announce a new book series, Christianities Before Modernity, which will be published by ARC Humanities Press and Medieval Institute Publications. More about the series, which will be co-edited by Prof. Gregory, Prof. Kathleen E. Kennedy (Pennsylvania State University, Brandywine), Prof. Susanna A. Throop (Ursinis College), and Charlene Villaseñor Black (UCLA), is available here [].

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