MAA News – Registration for the 2020 Annual Meeting is Open!

The 2020 Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America will take place at the University of California, Berkeley from 26-28 March 2020. The program, registration, and hotel information are available here. Register by February 21 to take advantage of the early-bird discount, and make your hotel reservations as soon as possible. MAA members: be sure to log into your MAA account before you begin the registration process so that you will receive your member discount.  If you cannot recall your username or password, please email

The online Program has been updated to include the CARA Meeting on Sunday morning 29 March. CARA (the Committee for Centers and Regional Associations) is the Medieval Academy’s forum for those who are concerned with the administration of institutes, graduate centers, undergraduate programs and committees, and research libraries; with the organization of regional and local groups of medievalists; and with teaching. CARA assists institutions and individual medievalists in meeting the challenges that face medieval studies in the classroom, the library, and other institutional settings locally and nationally. It supports those who work to develop special projects and programs of instruction, local and regional networks of medievalists, and centers of research and institutions in medieval studies. It is concerned with pedagogy at all levels. Institutions and individuals who wish to support and enhance medieval studies are invited to join CARA and participate in its meetings and programs.

The 2020 CARA Meeting takes up the charge opened to the MAA during the 2019-2020 year to make room for medievalists of all professional standing. Drawing on CARA’s goal of generating greater connectivity between independent, unaffiliated, and practicing medievalists working off the tenure-track to deepen the networks that facilitate the kinds of questions and pursuits ALL medievalists engage, this year’s meeting will address ways of expanding the MedievALL Conversation. To this end, not only will we hear from several panelists who are medievalists by training and intent, but who also pursue professional lives beyond the typical tenure-track. We will also hear from members of the MAA’s Ad Hoc committee on Professional Diversity convened to address all medievalists, and we will discuss ways to implement significant strategic changes to expand the programing of Medieval Centers and Programs to find pathways toward greater inclusivity, inter-connection, and community. We will hear from panelists who can speak to professional lives outside the traditional academic track and will address the mutual benefits of learning what medievalists in all jobs and professional setting do. We will learn how their skills have helped them and what their professional pathways have encouraged them to do that a traditional trajectory would not have. In other words, this CARA conference especially seeks to delve to the very core of CARA’s mission and what it can do to expand the reach and support of medievalists at large. Ours will be, it is hoped, the beginning of a longer, more fruitful, and expansive conversation and commitment as we move toward the MAA’s 2025 Centennial year.

You may register for the CARA Meeting when you register online for the MAA Annual Meeting. Please note that pre-registration is required. If you have already registered for the MAA Annual Meeting and wish to add the CARA Meeting to your registration, please contact Executive Director Lisa Fagin Davis for assistance.

Click here for more information and to register for the Annual Meeting and the CARA Meeting:

We look forward to seeing you at Berkeley!

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MAA News – Latest issue of Speculum, is 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 95, Number 1 (January 2020)

Medieval Studies in Troubled Times: The 1930s
David Wallace

Agronomy and Affect in Duke Humfrey’s On Husbondrie
Lisa H. Cooper

The People of God and the Law: Biblical Models in Carolingian Legislation
Gerda Heydemann

Revelatio on the Origins of Mont Saint-Michel (Fifth-Ninth Centuries)
George N. Gandy

“I Need to Be Individually Loved, Lord, Let Me Recognize Your Gift!”: The Gifts of Love in the Soliloquy of Hugh of Saint-Victor (d. 1141)
Ritva Palmén

Book Reviews
This issue of Speculum features more than 70 book reviews, including:

Marcus Bull, Eyewitness and Crusade Narrative: Perception and Narration in Accounts of the Second, Third, and Fourth Crusades
Reviewed by Andrew Buck

Seeta Chaganti, Strange Footing: Poetic Form and Dance in the Late Middle Ages
Reviewed by John C. Hirsh

Kari Ellen Gade, ed., Poetry from Treatises on Poetics; Margaret Clunies Ross, ed., Poetry in “Fornaldarsögur”
Reviewed by Martin Chase

Elina Gertsman and Barbara H. Rosenwein, The Middle Ages in 50 Objects
Reviewed by Karl Whittington

Michael Lapidge, The Roman Martyrs: Introduction, Translations, and Commentary
Reviewed by Raymond Van Dam

Robert Mills, Derek Jarman’s Medieval Modern
Reviewed by David Clark

Andrew Scheil, Babylon under Western Eyes: A Study of Allusion and Myth
Reviewed by Mary Kate Hurley

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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The Medieval Academy of America invites proposals for panels at the 2021 meeting of the American Historical Association in Seattle, January 7-10.

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 Jeffrey Bowman, by January 20, 2020. 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) before the deadline of February 15, 2020, 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 News – Schallek Fellow

The Medieval Academy of America is very pleased to announce that the 2020-2021 Schallek Fellowship has been awarded to Julia Mattison (Univ. of Toronto), “C’est livre est a moy: French Books and English Readers in Fifteenth-Century England .” The Schallek Fellowship provides a one-year grant of $30,000 to support Ph.D. dissertation research in any relevant discipline dealing with late-medieval Britain (ca. 1350-1500). The Fellowship is offered by the Medieval Academy in collaboration with the Richard III Society-American Branch and is supported by a generous gift to the Richard III Society from William B. and Maryloo Spooner. Julia’s summary of her topic follows:

My thesis traces the relationship between the French language and its material form in books in England, c. 1380-1509. Focusing on physical books, I investigate how audiences interacted with these Francophone objects. This interaction was not always through reading as conventionally defined: French books could be luxury objects, subjects of literary interest, linguistic resources, family heirlooms, or useful sources of information. Rather than emphasizing Anglo-French literature or the influence of continental French on Middle English literature, I foreground the codicological study of French manuscripts in England at scale. After extensive primary research in libraries in France, the UK, and the United States, I have compiled a database of hundreds of manuscripts in all dialects of French, which forms my corpus of investigation. I examine these manuscripts for their linguistic, literary, and social value to English audiences through the application of paleographical practice and literary and visual analysis of marginalia, layout, binding structures, illuminations, and other aspects of books. Ultimately, I consider the multilingual English readers of French books in order to re-evaluate our understanding of national boundaries, language use, and literary production.

The thesis argues that manuscripts in French-both insular or continental-allowed English readers to formulate a conception of language, and provoked a series of reading practices that united disparate texts and manuscripts through their shared language. Beginning with an analysis of descriptions of books in French in historical records, such as wills and inventories, I move through a series of chapters that examine the reading and interpretation of French books from single words to the codex’s form. The significance of this project is myriad: I perform the current largest study of all French books-especially those of continental origin-known to have been in fifteenth-century England and their reading practices. I engage with recent linguistic and literary analyses of the French of England to demonstrate how manuscripts provide evidence for the lived role of language. Furthermore, I expand our knowledge of medieval reading strategies and argue that French books prompted certain reading practices among English readers. And finally, I show the importance of language in conceptualizing the idea of the book, demonstrating how the multilingual environment of late medieval England proved significant for developing a connection between language and its material instantiation.

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MAA News – Birgit Baldwin Fellowship

The Medieval Academy of America is very pleased to announce that the 2020-2022 Baldwin Fellowship has been awarded to Leland Grigoli (Brown Univ.), “Colonial Technologies in the Medieval Monastery: The Cistercian Order and the Centralization of Power in Champagne, Occitania, and Catalunya, 1115-1314.” The Birgit Baldwin Fellowship in French Medieval History was established in 2004 by John W. Baldwin and Jenny Jochens in memory of their daughter Birgit and is endowed through the generosity of her family. The Baldwin Fellowship provides a grant of $20,000 per year for up to two years to support a graduate student in a North American university who is researching and writing a significant dissertation for the Ph.D. on any subject in French medieval history that can be realized only by sustained research in the archives and libraries of France. Leland’s summary of his topic follows:

My dissertation focuses on how medieval monastic institutions, and particularly the houses of the Cistercian order, were integral components in the creation and propagation of structures of power. Looking at three different case studies-Champagne, Occitania, and Catalunya-I show that the success of the Cistercian Order in each region was due not only to a newfound religious zeal and more efficient economic organization, but also in particular, localized negotiations with a region’s centralizing powers. The earliest Cistercian foundations, those in Champagne, created a standard approach for securing their holdings, using their mastery of the written word to cultivate relationships of mutual obligation both upward, with counts and bishops, and downward, with local landholders, forming outposts of colonial control. Similarly, those monasteries later founded in Catalunya focused on creating similar ties with one centralizing power, the Crown of Aragón.

Such approaches, however, did not work in Occitania. The Cistercian houses there were hampered by a weak, land poor episcopacy, an entrenched local nobility who were already patrons of local monasteries, and a sophisticated notarial culture with an entirely different relationship to the written word than that found in the north. Much of Occitanian Cistercians’ behavior in the lead-up, execution, and aftermath of the Albigensian Crusade was part of their efforts to overcome these difficulties. Cistercian monasteries in the Midi drew their monks not from the disinterested local nobility, but from the newly-ascendant ranks of wealthy tradesmen and burghers. Unable to gain support from the region’s bishops, they convinced the papacy to depose them and elected Cistercian monks to Occitanian sees. Failing to find any regional centralizing powers interested in their cause, they offered themselves as local mediators to the kings of England, France, and Aragón, each of whom claimed Occitania. And against the notaries and consuls, as well as to all of these other ends, Cistercians deployed the language of heresy.

Following Capetian intervention in the crusade, the Order did not simply fade back into the countryside and allow the new mendicant orders to take up their banner. Profiting handsomely in both coin and land from their role as mediators at the Treaty of Paris, Occitanian Cistercians worked with the region’s new Capetian rulers to concentrate the region’s “heretical” peasantry into new towns or bastides, a policy with striking similarities to the Spanish empire’s reconcentración of aboriginals in the New World. By the reign of Philippe le Bel, the Midi was a Capetian colony, its productive rural expanse administered by the Cistercian Order.

The historiographic impact of this argument is twofold. First, it provides a new narrative for understanding not only Cistercian engagement in crusade and conquest in Occitania, but the phenomenal success of the Order itself over the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Second, it serves as a corrective to the common narrative which sees secular and religious authority as opposing (or at least highly distrustful) forces in the course of the creation of medieval states, emphasizing the important role of monastic history in the slow centralization of power following the Carolingian collapse. This project thus provides new avenues for studying the interactions between secular and religious spheres in the medieval and early modern world.

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MAA News – Travel Grants

We are pleased to announce that the following Travel Grants have recently been awarded:

Travis Baker, “Was Paucapalea Married?” (16th International Congress of Medieval Canon Law, 19-25 July 2020, St. Louis, MO);

Emma O’Loughlin Bérat, “‘Upon the ground…was born’: Outdoor Childbirth in History Writing” (International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, 6-9 July 2020, Leeds, UK);
Lori Jones, “Manuscript to Print to Manuscript: Remaking Medieval Medical Knowledge Across Temporal, Linguistic, and Material Boundaries” (International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, 6-9 July 2020, Leeds, UK);

Heather Elizabeth Crowley, “Growing, Growing, Gone: Reconstructing Agricultural Cultivation Areas in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem” (International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, 6-9 July 2020, Leeds, UK);

Rodrigo Garcia-Velasco, “Muslim communities, multilingual administration and Islamicate practices in twelfth-century Christian Iberia” (95th Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America, 26-28 March 2020, UC Berkeley);

Josephine van den Bent, “Mongol Mamluks — Friend or Foe?” (95th Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America, 26-28 March 2020, UC Berkeley).

Medieval Academy of America Travel Grants support Academy members who hold PhDs but are not in full-time faculty positions, or who are adjuncts without access to institutional funding, attend conferences to present their work. The deadline for the next round of applications is 1 May 2020, for meetings to be held between 1 September 2020 and 15 February 2021. Click here for more information.

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MAA News – MAA/CARA Conference Grant

The 2020 MAA/CARA Conference Grant has been awarded to the Texas Medieval Association Annual Conference, October 2-4, 2020, sponsored by the Texas Medieval Association (TEMA) and directed by Kathryne Elizabeth Beebe. The annual MAA/CARA Conference Grant supports regional or consortial medieval studies symposia.

Click here for more information.

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MAA News – Upcoming Application Deadlines

Belle Da Costa Greene Award (deadline 15 February)
Applications are now being accepted for the inaugural Belle Da Costa Greene Award supporting research by medievalists of color.

The Belle Da Costa Greene Award of $2,000 will be granted annually to a medievalist of color for research and travel. The award may be used to visit archives, attend conferences, or to facilitate writing and research. The award will be granted on the basis of the quality of the proposed project, the applicant’s budgetary needs (as expressed by a submitted budget and in the project narrative), and the estimation of the ways in which the award will facilitate the applicant’s research and contribute to the field. Special consideration will be given to graduate students, emerging junior scholars, adjunct, and unaffiliated scholars. Click here for more information. Click here to make a donation in support of the Greene Award.

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.

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.

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 programs.

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MAA News – GSC Annual Meeting Bursaries

Are you interested in attending the 2020 MAA Annual Meeting but need some financial assistance to get to Berkeley?

Thanks to the generosity of the Graduate Student Committee, which has opted to re-allocate a portion of its annual budget towards this program, the Medieval Academy is offering graduate student travel bursaries of $200-300 to support attendance at the Medieval Academy Annual Meeting at UC Berkeley, 26-28 March 2020. To apply, you must be a graduate student member of the Medieval Academy and explain why attendance at the meeting is important to your research.

Applications must be received by January 31. Click here to apply!

N.B.: This travel funding is for students who are NOT presenting at the meeting but would like to attend.

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MAA News – GSC Self-Nomination Deadline

Apply by January 15 to join the 
MAA Graduate Student Committee!

We want you on the GSC! We are accepting applications for three two-year positions. In addition to creating the GSC newsletter, we also organize mentoring exchanges, publicize funding opportunities and CFPs on social media, and organize graduate-student themed panels at Kalamazoo, Leeds, and the Annual Meeting. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. Don’t miss the January 15th deadline!

Click here to apply:


Jillian Bjerke
Chair, Graduate Student Committee

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