Apply Now for 2017 Winter Program in Paleography and Codicology

Deadline for application: May 15, 2016

The AAR will offer its second winter program in Greek Paleography and Codicology in collaboration with the Vatican Library from 9 to 20 January 2017. The two-week course will introduce participants to various aspects of manuscript studies and offer an interactive dialogue between theory and practice. Applications from graduate and postgraduate students of Classics, History, Theology/Religious Studies, and Byzantine Studies are welcome to apply here.

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Call for Papers – Midwest Medieval History Conference

Midwest Medieval History Conference
Call for Papers
October 21 and 22
Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN
Keynote speaker: Thomas Burman, PhD.

The Midwest Medieval History Conference is seeking papers for its annual conference. We welcome papers addressing any aspect of the Middle Ages, particularly papers on this year’s topic, the Medieval Mediterranean. Graduate student papers are welcome for the Friday afternoon sessions, which are dedicated to graduate student research. We also invite papers on the scholarship of learning and on practical approaches to teaching.

Submission deadline: June 15.

Submit abstracts for paper proposals to Paula Rieder at

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MAA News – From the Executive Director: Advocating for Medieval Studies in Secondary Education


Fitchburg State Univ. Medieval Studies Workshop for Secondary Educators

On April 8, I had the great pleasure of participating in a “Medieval Studies Workshop for Secondary Educators” at Fitchburg State University (Fitchburg, Mass.). The program was organized by Fitchburg State medievalists Kisha Tracy and Reid Weber and was attended by forty faculty members, secondary-school educators, graduate students, and undergraduates. The goal of the workshop was to present and discuss creative and engaging ideas for making the most of the Massachusetts state guidelines for including the Middle Ages in middle and high school curricula.

The day began with a plenary by Amy Appleford (Boston Univ.) on situating medieval asceticism and death practices in London in a modern context. This was followed by a panel discussion on medieval studies in secondary school curricula, with Kisha Tracy (Fitchburg State Univ.), Brandon Hawk (Rhode Island College), Katherine Seawright (Fitchburg State Univ.), Reid Weber, Daniel Sarefield (Fitchburg State Univ.), and myself.

The six breakout sessions featured local medievalists presenting creative ways to engage secondary-school students in Medieval Studies: “Manuscripts in a Sea of Data” (Brandon Hawk); “A Knight’s Tale: Arms and Armor” (presented by the Worcester Art Museum, which is home to one of the nation’s finest collections of arms and armor); “Teaching the Middle Ages-Medieval Music” (Kathleen Sewright); “Teaching with Medieval Film” (John Sexton (Bridgewater State Univ.) and Kisha Tracy); “Castles and Siege: Design and Mathematics” (Reid Weber and Jenn Berg (Mathematics, Fitchburg State Univ.) (this session featured a math lesson using trebuchets); and “From Caves to Cathedrals: A History of Russian Icons” (presented by the Museum of Russian Icons). The breakout sessions were lively and engaging, and all of the educators came away inspired.

My participation in the morning’s panel discussion presented an opportunity for me to reflect on the Medieval Academy’s ongoing efforts in this arena, initiated last year by our former President, Barbara Newman. The Academy’s ad hoc Committee on K-12 Engagement will soon become a permanent committee, and our efforts are just getting started. At February’s Annual Meeting, the Committee (chaired by Tom Burman (Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville)) sponsored a very lively panel attended by a dozen Boston-area secondary-school educators, all of whom attended the conference at no charge. As at the Fitchburg symposium, the panel addressed both the problems and the opportunities presented by the oft-underwhelming state and federal standards for Medieval Studies. As our efforts move forward, we hope to find ways to advocate at the state and federal levels for improved representation of the medieval.

One way to get the ball rolling is through local initiatives such as the Fitchburg symposium. Professional development points are a key component for K-12 educators who attend such programs; standards for PDPs vary from state to state, so be sure to check your local Department of Education website for information about accreditation. At Fitchburg, the University’s Center for Professional Studies played a major role in securing the state accreditation needed for granting professional development credit to the teachers who attended the workshop. If you are interested in organizing a similar event, please feel free to contact Kisha Tracy and/or Reid Weber, the primary organizers of the Fitchburg State symposium.

– Lisa Fagin Davis, Executive Director

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MAA News – 2016 Medieval Academy/Graduate Student Committee Grants

Helmet from the Sutton Hoo ship-burial 1, England. Photo by Mike Markowski.

Helmet from the Sutton Hoo ship-burial 1, England. Photo by Mike Markowski.

Launched in 2015, the MAA/GSC Grants are awarded annually 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.

The 2016 MAA/GSC Grants are being awarded to the following projects:

The First Annual Medievalist Art Historians’ Meeting of the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium (Katherine King (Princeton Univ.), Justin Willson (Princeton Univ.), and Meseret Oldjira (Princeton Univ.))

Vagantes 2017 (Andrew Klein (Univ. of Notre Dame) and Margie Housley (Univ. of Notre Dame))

We are very pleased to report on the progress of the three projects that were awarded MAA/GSC Grants in 2015:

The graduate student conference “Method and the Middle English Text” took place on April 8-9;

The digital initiative “English Manuscript Rolls 1200-1600”  has hosted one of two workshops on encoding digitized scroll content using XML and TEI (the second planned for November 2016) and will be presenting at Session 450 at Kalamazoo;

The 2016 Vagantes Conference on Medieval Studies took place at Rice University on February 18-20, 2016.

The Medieval Academy is proud to support these innovative student-run projects.

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MAA News – MAA@Kalamazoo

kzooAs always, the Medieval Academy of America will have a strong presence at the 2016 International Congress on Medieval Studies  (May 12-15).

1) The Friday morning plenary, sponsored by the Academy, will be delivered by Jane Chance (Rice Univ.). Her topic will be “How We Read J. R. R. Tolkien Reading Grendel’s Mother” (Friday, 8:30 AM, Bernhard, East Ballroom). Two related sessions on the topic of “How We Read” will take place on Friday at 10 AM (Session 215) and 1:30 PM (Session 267). Both sessions will be in Bernhard 158.

2) On Thursday at 3:30 PM, the Graduate Student Committee is sponsoring a roundtable titled “The Modern Grail: Insider Tips from Search Committees to Land That Academic Job” (Session 100, Valley 1, Hadley 101). The GSC reception will take place immediately afterwards, in Fetzer 1055.

3) The Committee on Centers and Regional Associations (CARA) is sponsoring two panels this year. The first, “Addressing Career Diversity for Medievalists,” will take place on Thursday at 10 AM (Session 5, Valley 1, Hadley 102). The second, “Reflections on the Medieval Mediterranean NEH Summer Institutes,” will take place on Thursday at 3:30 (Session 125, Schneider 1280).

4) The annual CARA Luncheon will take place on Friday at noon (Bernhard, President’s Dining Room). If you would like to attend as a representative of your program or institution, please register online. There is no fee to attend, but pre-registration is required. All are welcome!

5) Finally, we invite you to stop by our staffed table in the exhibit hall to introduce yourself, transact any Medieval Academy business you may have, or pick up some chocolate to keep you going during those long afternoon sessions.

See you at the ‘Zoo!

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MAA News – Monty Python @ Kalamazoo

mpWe are thrilled to announce that, in celebration of Speculum‘s new publishing partnership, the University of Chicago Press will be sponsoring two public screenings of “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” during the Kalamazoo Congress. The screenings will take place at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema on Friday (May 13) and Saturday (May 14) at 7:00 pm. Tickets will go on sale soon here.

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MAA News – 2017 Call for Papers

univtorontoThe 92nd Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America will be held in Toronto, Ontario, on 6-8 April 2017, hosted by the University of Toronto and The Pontifical Institute for Mediaeval Studies.

The Organizing Committee invites proposals for papers on all topics and in all disciplines and periods of medieval studies. Any member of the Medieval Academy may submit a paper proposal, excepting those who presented papers at the annual meetings of the Medieval Academy in 2015 or 2016; others may submit proposals as well but must become members in order to present papers at the meeting. Special consideration will be given to individuals whose field would not normally involve membership in the Medieval Academy. The due date for proposals is 15 June 2016.

Rather than an overarching theme, the 2017 meeting will provide a variety of thematic connections among sessions. The Medieval Academy welcomes innovative sessions that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries or that use various disciplinary approaches to examine an individual topic. To both facilitate and emphasize interdisciplinarity, the Call for Papers is organized in “threads.” Sessions listed under these threads have been proposed to or by the Organizing Committee but the list provided in the Call for Papers is not meant to be exhaustive or exclusive.

The complete Call for Papers, with proposed threads and sessions as well as instructions for submitting proposals, can be found here:

Please contact the organizing committee if you have further questions about the meeting, at

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MAA News – One-Year Post-Doc at Speculum

speculumApplications are now being accepted for a one year postdoctoral fellow to serve as editorial assistant at Speculum from July 1, 2016 – July 31, 2017. This position offers qualified individuals an opportunity to develop as scholars and editors. The postdoc will receive a $43,000 stipend, health benefits, and limited research and travel funds and will be expected to assume  responsibilities for certain editorial tasks at Speculum 35 hours/week, including, but not limited to: coordinating reviews with book review editors; contacting reviewers; checking citations for accepted articles; proofreading reviews, Brief Notices, Books Received, and Tables of Contents; and proofing full issues of Speculum. In addition, the assistant will be encouraged to continue to develop a research program and participate in the cultural life of medieval studies in the Boston area. The term is subject to the postdoc’s continuing, acceptable performance of the duties required, as determined by the Editor of Speculum.

Eligible candidates must meet the following requirements and demonstrate the following qualifications:

* PhD in some field of medieval studies before July 1, 2016 but no earlier than January 1, 2011;
* Attention to detail and evidence of a high level of scholarly precision, particularly with regards to proofreading and bibliographic detail;
* Strong work ethic.

All interested candidates should write to Sarah Spence, Editor of Speculum (, and should include the following:

* One-page cover letter;
* Curriculum vitae;
* Unofficial transcript;
* Two letters of recommendation, one of which should directly address the applicant’s editing ability.

The deadline for applications is May 1, 2016. Assistants must be resident in Cambridge, MA during the year.

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MAA News – Olivia Remie Constable Awards

Cod. Pal. germ. 848, Große Heidelberger Liederhandschrift (Codex Manesse), Zürich, c.1300-c.1340, fol. 82v.

Cod. Pal. germ. 848, Große Heidelberger Liederhandschrift (Codex Manesse), Zürich, c.1300-c.1340, fol. 82v.

Four Olivia Remie Constable Awards  are granted annually in memory of Remie Constable (1960 – 2014), each to an emerging junior faculty member, adjunct or unaffiliated scholar for research and travel. The winners of the 2016 Constable Awards are:

Abigail Krasner Balbale, “Wolf King of Glorious Memory: Alliance, Accommodation and Resistance in Ibn Mardanīsh’s al-Andalus”

Katie Lindeman, “Inter-religious Violence in Medieval Valencia”

Justine L. Trombley, “A New Fragment of Marguerite Porete’s ‘Mirror of Simple Souls'”

Tiffany D. Vann Sprecher, “Vigilante Justice and the Church in Late Medieval France”

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MAA News – 2016 Medieval Academy Dissertation Grants

Strickland Brooch, 9th c., silver with gilt niello and blue glass.

Strickland Brooch, 9th c., silver with gilt niello and blue glass.

The nine winners of the 2016 Dissertation Grants are:

Hope Emily Allen Dissertation Grant
Katherine Hindley (Yale Univ.), “‘On Parchment or on Bread’: Textual Magic in Medieval England”

John Boswell Dissertation Grant
Andrew Sears (Univ. of California, Berkeley), “Relics on the Market: The Cult of St. Ursula and the Hanseatic League, 1200-1500”

Helen Maud Cam Dissertation Grant
Alexis Miller (Univ. of Missouri – Columbia), “Fording the Severn: The Influence of Intermarriage and Kin Networks on the  Development of Identity in Shropshire and Montgomery, From the Norman Conquest to the Edwardian Conquest”

Grace Frank Dissertation Grant
Rachel Welsh (New York Univ.), “Proof in the Body: Ordeal, Justice, and the Physical Manifestation of Truth in Medieval Iberia, c. 1050-1300”

Étienne Gilson Dissertation Grant
Andrew Cuff (The Catholic Univ. of America), “The Cistercian Contribution to University Theology (1256-1399)”

Frederic C. Lane Dissertation Grant
Matthew Delvaux (Boston College), “Consuming Violence: Captivity and Slavery during the Viking Age”

Robert and Janet Lumiansky Grant
Alice Sullivan (Univ. of Michigan), “The Painted Fortified Monastic Churches of Moldavia: Bastions of Orthodoxy in a Post-Byzantine World”

E.K. Rand Dissertation Grant
Megan Welton (Univ. of Notre Dame), “Multiplex Virtus: A Comparative Study of Tenth-Century Queens and Queenship”

Charles T. Wood Dissertation Grant
Randall Pippenger (Princeton Univ.), “The Social and Economic Consequences of Crusading in the Age of Philip Augustus: A Case Study of the Aristocratic Families in the County of Champagne, 1175 to 1225”

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