Jobs for Medievalists

Postdoctoral Scholar in Italian Paleography

Department: Center for Renaissance Studies

Summary: Reporting to the Director of the Center for Renaissance Studies, the Postdoctoral Scholar will assist with preparing materials for inclusion in an online handbook for Italian paleography, 1300-1700.

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Summer Latin Programs

In 2017, the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto will offer the following courses in Medieval Latin:

Beginning Latin (8 hours of instruction weekly, 23 May to 14 July 2017, with an optional three-week reading course thereafter).  Textbook: Moreland and Fleischer, Latin: an Intensive Course.

Level One Medieval Latin (7.5 hours weekly, 29 May to 7 July 2017, with an optional two-week grammar review before the course).

Level Two Medieval Latin (7.5 hours weekly, 10 July to 18 August 2017).

Enrolment in the Level One and Level Two courses will be restricted and will depend on performance in the April Level One Latin examination.  Information on the examinations and the summer program is available on line (

The fee for each course is $1,200 (Can) for Canadian residents, or its equivalent in US dollars for non-Canadian residents.  The deadline to apply for all courses is 1 May 2017.  Enrolment in each course is limited.

A limited number of stipends are available for graduate students participating in summer courses in medieval languages or manuscript studies, and Level One and Level Two Latin at the Centre for Medieval Studies. The stipend will be paid directly to the program to offset a portion of the tuition cost and is contingent on acceptance into the program. Applicants must be members of the Medieval Academy in good standing with at least one year of graduate school remaining and must demonstrate both the importance of the summer course to their program of study and their home institution’s inability to offer analogous coursework.

To apply, please submit a statement of purpose, CV, and two letters of recommendation, to:

MAA/CARA Summer Scholarships
Medieval Academy of America
17 Dunster St., Suite 202
Cambridge, Mass. 02138

Applications must be received by 5 May and will be judged by the Committee for Professional Development and the Chair of the CARA Committee. There will be between four and eight awards yearly, depending upon the number of worthy applicants and the cost of the summer programs.


The Centre for Medieval Studies in Toronto continues to offer its Level One and Level Two Medieval Latin examinations to external students.  Examinations will be as follows: Level One, 17 April 2017 and 6 September 2017; Level Two, 19 April 2017 and 8 September 2017.  Fee for examinations: $50 (US) for non-Canadians, $50 (Can.) for Canadians.  For details and application forms, please visit the Centre’s website:  Note that admission into the Summer Medieval Latin Level One and Level Two courses will be decided on the basis of the April Level One Latin examination.

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Call for Papers – The Medieval in American Popular Culture





The Medieval in American Popular Culture:

Reflections in Commemoration of the 80th Anniversary of Prince Valiant

The comic strip Prince Valiant in the Days of King Arthur was launched in 1937 and continues to be produced to this day. Begun by illustrator Hal Foster and now under the direction of writer Mark Schultz and artist Thomas Yeates, Prince Valiant celebrates its eightieth anniversary in 2017. This is a significant achievement for a work of popular medievalism. In recognition of this milestone, the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture seeks papers that explore the appeal (either in the United States or abroad) of the strip and its characters and/or the significance of other works of American medievalism both in the past and in the world today. The session is being submitted for consideration at the 2017 meeting of the American Literature Association to be held in Boston, Massachusetts, from 25-28 May 2017.

We are especially interested in proposals that respond to one of more of the following questions:

  • Why is the medieval popular in the United States, a nation with no physical connections to the medieval past?
  • What is the continued appeal of the medieval to Americans?
  • Do Americans do different things with medieval material compared to their contemporaries around the globe?
  • How have Americans’ view of the medieval changed over time?
  • Why do some forms of American-made medievalism endure while others are forgotten?
  • How well do American-made medievalisms translate into other media and/or cultural settings?

Please submit proposals to the organizers at no later than 28 January 2017. Please use “Medieval in American Popular Culture” as your subject line. A complete proposal should include the following: your complete contact information, a clear and useful title of your paper, an abstract of your paper (approximately 250 to 600 words), a brief biographical statement explaining your academic status and authority to speak about your proposed topic, and a note on any audio/visual requirements.

Final papers should be delivered between 15 and 20 minutes, depending on the number of presenters. Potential presenters are reminded that the rules of the conference allow individuals to present only one paper at the annual meeting.

Further details on the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture can found at

Additional information about the conference and the American Literature Association can be found at



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MAA Blog – Latest Issue of Speculum Now Available Online

The latest issue of Speculum is now available on the University of Chicago Press Journals website.

To access your members-only journal subscription, log in to the MAA website  using your username and password associated with your membership (contact us at if you have forgotten either), and choose “Speculum Online” from the “Speculum” menu. As a reminder, your MAA membership provides exclusive online access to the full run of Speculum in full text, PDF, and e-Book editions – at no additional charge.

Speculum, Volume 92, Issue 1 (January 2017)


The Case of the Court Entertainer: Popular Culture, Intertextual Dialogue, and the Early Circulation of Boccaccio’s Decameron
William Robins

The Practice of Penance in Communities of Benedictine Women Religious in Central Medieval England
Katie Ann-Marie Bugyis

“Who Owns the Money?” Currency, Property, and Popular Sovereignty in Nicole Oresme’s De moneta
Adam Woodhouse

Rivers of Risk and Redemption in Gregory of Tours’ Writings
Ellen F. Arnold

Ebo of Reims, Pseudo-Isidore, and the Date of the False Decretals
Eric Knibbs

The Enduring Attraction of the Pirenne Thesis
Bonnie Effros

Book Reviews
This issue of Speculum features more than 60 book reviews, including:

David Carpenter, ed. and trans., Magna Carta; J. C. Holt, ed., Magna Carta; David Starkey, Magna Carta: The True Story behind the Charter
Reviewed by James Masschaele

Mary Carruthers, The Experience of Beauty in the Middle Ages
Reviewed by Jacqueline E. Jung

Garth Fowden, Before and After Muhammad: The First Millennium Refocused
Reviewed by John Tolan

Jonathan Hsy, Trading Tongues: Merchants, Multilingualism, and Medieval Literature
Reviewed by Bruce Holsinger

Christina Normore, A Feast for the Eyes: Art, Performance and the Late Medieval Banquet
Reviewed by Peter Arnade

Lucy Freeman Sandler, Illuminators and Patrons in Fourteenth-Century England: The Psalter and Hours of Humphrey de Bohun and the Manuscripts of the Bohun Family
Reviewed by Lynda Dennison

MAA members also receive a 30% discount on all books and e-Books published by the University of Chicago Press, and a 20% discount on individual Chicago Manual of Style Online subscriptions. To access your discount code, log in to your MAA account and click here. Please include this code while checking out from the University of Chicago Press website.

The Medieval Academy of America

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MAA Blog – Upcoming Deadlines

MAA Dissertation Grants (deadline 15 February):
The nine annual Medieval Academy Dissertation Grants support advanced graduate students who are writing Ph.D. dissertations on medieval topics. The $2,000 grants help defray research expenses. Click here for more information.

Schallek Awards (deadline 15 February):
The five annual Schallek awards support graduate students conducting doctoral research in any relevant discipline dealing with late-medieval Britain (ca. 1350-1500). The $2,000 awards help defray research expenses. Click here for more information.

MAA/GSC Grant for Innovation in Community-Building and Professionalization (deadline 15 February):
The MAA/GSC Grant(s) will be awarded to an individual or graduate student group from one or more universities. The purpose of this grant is to stimulate new and innovative efforts that support pre-professionalization, encourage communication and collaboration across diverse groups of graduate students, and build communities amongst graduate student medievalists. Click here for more information.

Olivia Remie Constable Award (deadline 15 February):
Four Olivia Remie Constable Awards of $1,500 each will be granted to emerging junior faculty, adjunct or unaffiliated scholars (broadly
understood: post-doctoral, pre-tenure) for research and travel. Click here for more information.

Applicants for these and other MAA programs must be members in good standing of the Medieval Academy. Please contact the Executive Director for more information about these and other MAA program.

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The Medieval Academy of America invites proposals for panels at the 2018 meeting of the American Historical Association in Washington, DC, on January 4-7, 2018. The theme of the 2018 Meeting is “Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism in Global Perspective.”

Each year the Medieval Academy co-sponsors with the AHA several sessions at this meeting that are likely to be of particular interest to MAA members and general interest to a broader audience.

There is a two-stage process:

1) Members of the Medieval Academy submit draft session descriptions to the MAA’s AHA Program Committee by emailing them to the committee chair, Professor Scott G. Bruce ( by February 1, 2017. Descriptions should include the session title, session abstract, paper titles, names and affiliations of the organizer, presenters, and (if relevant) respondent. Individual paper abstracts are requested but not required. Guidelines for sessions and submitting proposals can be found on the AHA website here.

2) If the session proposal is approved by the MAA AHA Committee, the organizer submits the proposal directly to the AHA (using their on-line system) by the deadline of February 15, 2017, indicating that the session has the sponsorship of the Medieval Academy of America.

Please note that only sessions approved by the AHA Program Committee will appear as sponsored by the MAA and AHA on the program and that the MAA does not independently sponsor sessions.

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MAA Blog – 2017 Medieval Academy of America Schallek Fellow

Dustin Neighly

Members of the Schallek Fellowship Committee unanimously agree that the 2017-18 Fellowship be awarded to Dustin Neighly, for the dissertation project entitled ‘Nor from the Clamor of the Poor: The Common Law’s Influence on Villein Decision-Making Processes’. Neighly is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at Rutgers University, working under the supervision of Dr James Masschaele.

The Schallek Committee reports that Dustin Neighly’s dissertation shows every promise of making an exceptional contribution to the field of medieval English legal studies. It sheds important new light on the tangled and multiple legal systems of later medieval England by exploring the strategies by which peasants and villeins not only negotiated, but also subtly altered, the literate practices associated with common-law litigation. The research plan is ambitious but feasible: Neighly explains his aims clearly and offers compelling justification for its methods, source base and overarching structure. About his project, Neighly writes:

“The legal landscape of late-medieval England encompassed a tangled web of overlapping and often competing jurisdictions. A plaintiff or defendant’s success frequently hinged upon their understanding of the complex rules which governed this network of court systems. Engagement with the law was so commonplace that even villeins, whose unfree status was grounds for having their cases dismissed from the common law system, repeatedly attempted to utilize the courts to their advantage. Moreover, when peasants did engage in extralegal actions, such as the 1381 rebellion, they routinely articulated their demands through pseudo-legal frameworks or directed their attentions toward specific legal mechanisms, such as charters or claims to Ancient Demesne.

My research examines the avenues by which England’s peasants gained knowledge of and attempted to utilize the legal frameworks that they interacted with during Edward III’s reign (1327 to 1377). I focus on how the structure of the manor court influenced peasants’ understanding of legal norms and practice, with an emphasis on how this knowledge played a role in shaping villeins’ legal strategies. I aim to re-center England’s peasants as active participants in their own legal personhood, allowing us to recover vestiges of what Paul Hyams has termed the “vernacular sense of law.” Ultimately, I seek to discover how they viewed the legitimacy of the legal power structures that suffused their public lives.

The core of my research centers on Christian Malford and Badbury, two Wiltshire villages belonging to Glastonbury abbey. I chose these villages for their wealth of primary source material and because their manorial courts coincided with hundredal courts, known as “tourns.” Additionally, both villages participated in a concerted and legally-articulated effort to acquire Ancient Demesne status in 1377. Though they ultimately failed, gaining this classification would have provided the villages’ villeins with certain legal privileges.

I used the village court rolls to create a database of names, case information, and interpersonal connections that I am using to reconstruct the social and legal networks of these villages. I hope to make this database publicly available after I complete my dissertation. I am employing methodologies honed over the previous decades by social and legal historians to ensure that I remain cognizant of the biases of the source materials, while also reaping the great wealth of information that they contain.

The support of the Schallek fellowship provided by the Richard III Society and the Medieval Academy will allowe me to expand the scope of my dissertation. I can now cross-reference the individuals in my database with those found in Wiltshire’s common law pleas for the same years, potentially allowing me to trace the legal strategies of individual peasants between both manorial and common law courts. This endeavor is made infinitely more palatable due to the hard work and generous contributions of Robert Palmer and the Anglo-American Legal Tradition website.

I would like to thank my dissertation committee Drs. James Masschaele, Samantha Kelly, Alastair Bellany, Rudolph Bell, and Mark Bailey, my undergraduate mentors Drs. Charity Urbanski and Robert Stacey, and the McNair Scholars program.”

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MAA Blog – Inaugural Medieval Academy Digital Humanities Prize

We are very pleased to announce that the first annual Medieval Academy Digital Humanities Prize has been awarded to DigiPal: Digital Resource and Database of Manuscripts, Palaeography and Diplomatics. (London, 2011-14),, developed at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London, and funded by the European Research Council. Primary Creators are Peter Stokes and Stewart Brookes, and Geoffroy Noël (King’s College London).

DigiPal’s pilot database consists of records for all extant scribal hands writing English Vernacular minuscule and dated to the eleventh century. This amounts to approximately 1600 full or partial manuscripts and documents, containing about 1200 scribal hands and over sixty thousand annotated images of letters. The site is easy to use and offers explanatory search training for non-specialists; it is also enticing and aesthetically pleasing.

DigiPal combines digital photographs of medieval handwriting with detailed descriptions and characterizations of the writing, as well as the text in which it is found, and the content and structure of the manuscript or document as a whole. The project makes it possible to explore and manipulate information, such as annotated images, along with more conventional text-based browse and search functions. It therefore allows scholars to apply new developments in palaeographical method.

The greater value of DigiPal is its generalized framework for the online presentation of palaeographical materials. It is freely available to scholars wishing to create similar projects, several of which are already under way. For instance, DigiPal’s framework is already being used to study Hebrew and Greek, as well as images of later European handwriting and decoration. Recently, DigiPal’s framework has been expanded to include a new feature: users can now view palaeographical forms with the corresponding text, and thus can probe the relationship between text and script.

DigiPal’s innovative framework, collaborative origins, open access, quality design, and skillfully curated pilot collection make it an excellent model for the practice of digital humanities scholarship in the field of medieval studies.

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MAA Blog – Good News From Our Members

Susan Boynton (Columbia Univ.) was recently awarded a three-year grant from the Partner University Fund (FACE Foundation) for digital humanities and musical iconography, for an exchange with the Sorbonne (

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MAA News – What’s in the Blog?

Did you know that the Medieval Academy Blog includes Calls for Papers, Job Postings, Conference and Symposium announcements, and many other notices of interest to medievalists? Follow these links for just a few of the resources you’ll find on the Medieval Academy Blog:

Home page:

Calls for Papers:


Jobs for Medievalists:

You may also find the Calendar on the Medieval Academy website to be a useful resource. All announcements are automatically forwarded to our Twitter and Facebook accounts as well; click the links above to subscribe to the Medieval Academy feeds.

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