MAA News – From the President

Dear colleagues,

As I was preparing to write to wish you all a “Happy New Year,” share some thoughts, and heave a sigh of relief that we were finally turning the page on a challenging 2020, our hopes for a peaceful transition in our nation’s political life were shattered by the horrific assault on the Capitol which led to the loss of five lives. What happened in Washington on January 6, 2021 was nothing less than an attempt to abolish our democracy. This event was preceded by many other extremist rallies and violent inflammatory rhetoric on social media. It cast in particularly terrifying relief what has now been apparent for some time—the extreme polarization of our nation and the fragility of our democracy. The presence of pseudo-medieval symbols and costumes among the rioters in the Capitol also reminded us again of the responsibility we bear as medievalists, not only to set the historical record straight, but also to advocate unequivocally for anti-racism in our policies as an organization, and in our teaching and scholarship as individuals. A public statement from our Council will follow shortly.

Renate Blumenfeld Kosinski, President

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MAA News – 96th Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America

We are very pleased to announce that the Medieval Academy’s 2021 Annual Meeting, hosted by Indiana University at Bloomington, will take place on April 15-18, 2021, in a virtual format. The full program, and a link to conference registration, will be available on Friday, January 15, at

General registration will take place from January 15-March 10; late registration will extend to March 25. We cannot accept any registrations after March 25, because we would not have time to enter registration information into our online conference platform. Please register on time!

We regret that the COVID-19 pandemic will prevent us from welcoming you physically to Bloomington, but we are sure that the conference will, as always, facilitate meaningful intellectual exchanges.

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MAA News – Call for Papers: 2022 Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America

The 97th Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America will take place on the campus of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. The meeting is jointly hosted by the Medieval Academy of America and the Program in Medieval Studies at the University of Virginia, with the generous support and collaboration of colleagues from Virginia Tech, the College of William & Mary, and Washington and Lee University. The conference program will feature a diverse range of sessions highlighting innovative scholarship across the many disciplines contributing to medieval studies.

The Program Committee invites proposals for papers on all topics and in all disciplines and periods of medieval studies and medievalism studies. Any member of the Medieval Academy may submit a paper proposal; 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. We are particularly interested in receiving submissions from those working outside of traditional academic positions, including independent scholars, emeritus or adjunct faculty, university administrators, those working in academic-adjacent institutions (libraries, archives, museums, scholarly societies, or cultural research centers), editors and publishers, and other fellow medievalists.

Plenary addresses will be delivered by Roland Betancourt, Professor of Art History, University of California, Irvine; Seeta Chaganti, Professor of English, University of California, Davis; and Thomas E. A. Dale, Professor of Art History, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and incoming president of the Academy.

Click here for the full Call for Papers

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MAA News – 2021 Governance Election Results

To the members of the Medieval Academy of America:

I am very pleased to announce the results of the 2021 governance election, which closed at 11:59 PM on Jan. 2:

President: Thomas A. Dale (Art History, Univ. of Wisconsin)
1st Vice-President: Maureen Miller (History, Univ. of California, Berkeley)
2nd Vice-President: Robin Fleming (History, Boston College)

Elisheva Baumgarten (History and Jewish History, Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem)
Marina S. Brownlee (Spanish and Comparative Literature, Princeton Univ.)
Celia Chazelle (History, College of New Jersey)
William S. Monroe (Curator of Medieval Manuscripts and Early Printed Books, Brown Univ.)

Nominating Committee:
Daisy Delogu (French, Univ. of Chicago)
Carol Symes (History, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

482 ballots were cast electronically and 8 were submitted by mail. This represents voter turnout of about 14%.

My thanks to all who voted and to all who stood for election, and my congratulations to all who were elected.

Lisa Fagin Davis
Executive Director, Medieval Academy of America

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MAA News – 2021 Fellows Election

To the Members of the Medieval Academy of America,

The 2021 Election of Fellows and Corresponding Fellows of the Medieval Academy of America closed on Saturday, 2 January. The results have been certified by the President of the Fellows and the Fellows Nominating Committee, and the new Fellows have been informed of their election.

I am very pleased to introduce the Fellows Class of 2021:

Robert G. Babcock
M. Cecilia Gaposchkin
Geraldine Heng
Marcia Kupfer
Walter Simons

Corresponding Fellows:
Mercedes García-Arenal
Maria Luisa Meneghetti
Gian Luca Potestà
Eva Schlotheuber

Please join us online for the induction of new Fellows during the upcoming virtual Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America. More information about the Annual Meeting will be available soon.

– Lisa Fagin Davis, Executive Director

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MAA News – Schallek Fellow

The Medieval Academy of America is very pleased to announce that the 2021-2022 Schallek Fellowship has been awarded to Alicia Cannizzo (Graduate Center, City University of New York) to support her thesis project, “Matter En Transir: The Transi Tomb and Theories of Matter in the Late Middle Ages.” Her dissertation, which is being completed under the supervision of Dr. Cynthia Hahn, focuses on early transi tombs and brings together methods from both art history and the history of science. A summary of her topic follows:

Alicia Cannizzo’s thesis investigates the earliest transi tombs from France to England and identifies the cultural contexts beyond the thoroughly explored memento mori tradition that gave rise to these odd and affecting tombs. She proposes that the concept of memento mori, which reached its full popularity after the earliest transi tombs were created, clouds the interpretation of these objects. Other concurrent concepts regarding the body and its behavior are explored, including theories of matter and medical practice. The behavior of matter in both living and dead bodies was a subject of intense discussion at the university level, exploring questions about how and why the body was reduced to basic components after death and the implications this process might have on an eventual resurrection. Using biographical information from the earliest tombs she explores links between the commemorated dead and the intellectual culture of the university in a study that hopes to broaden the understanding of the visual culture of death as a whole.

Cannizzo holds a Master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied death in the medieval period under Dr. Thomas E. A. Dale and the history of science under Dr. Micheal H. Shank.

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.

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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 the 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 all issues of Speculum in full text, PDF, and e-Book editions—at no additional charge.

Speculum, Volume 96, Number 1 (January 2021)

Apocalyptic Ecologies: Eschatology, the Ethics of Care, and the Fifteen Signs of the Doom in Early England
Shannon Gayk

Gregory of Tours on Sixth-Century Plague and Other Epidemics
Michael McCormick

Laying the Corpses to Rest: Grain, Embargoes, and Yersinia pestis in the Black Sea, 1346–48
Hannah Barker

From One Mortality Regime to Another? Mortality Crises in Late Medieval Haarlem, Holland, in Perspective
Daniel R. Curtis

The Healing Power of Music? Documentary Evidence from Late-Fourteenth-Century Bologna
Renata Pieragostini

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

Hannah Barker, That Most Precious Merchandise: The Mediterranean Trade in Black Sea Slaves, 1260–1500

Reviewed by Reuven Amitai

Philippa Bright, ed. and trans., The Anglo-Latin “Gesta Romanorum, with Diane Speed and Juanita Ruys
Reviewed by Rebecca Krug

Robert Chazan, From Anti-Judaism to Anti-Semitism: Ancient and Medieval Christian Constructions of Jewish History
Reviewed by Michael Frassetto

Thomas E. A. Dale, Pygmalion’s Power: Romanesque Sculpture, the Senses, and Religious Experience
Reviewed by Deborah Kahn

George E. Demacopoulos, Colonizing Christianity: Greek and Latin Religious Identity in the Era of the Fourth Crusade
Reviewed by Nickiphoros I. Tsougarakis

Cynthia Hahn and Holger A. Klein, eds., Saints and Sacred Matter: The Cult of Relics in Byzantium and Beyond
Reviewed by Anne E. Lester

Elizabeth Papp Kamali, Felony and the Guilty Mind in Medieval England
Reviewed by Thomas J. McSweeney

Charles Perry, ed. and trans., Scents and Flavors: A Syrian Cookbook; Nawal Nasrallah, ed. and trans., Treasure Trove of Benefits and Variety at the Table: A Fourteenth-Century Egyptian Cookbook. English Translation, with an Introduction and Glossary
Reviewed by Manuela Marín

Kathryn M. Rudy, Image, Knife, and Gluepot: Early Assemblage in Manuscript and Print
Reviewed by Suzanne Karr Schmidt

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 News – Continuing Blogpost Series: Medievalists Beyond the Tenure Track

Two essays have recently been posted in our continuing series on career paths for medievalists beyond the tenure track, by Jerome Singerman (Senior Editor for Literary criticism and cultural studies, medieval and Renaissance studies, and Jewish studies at the University of Pennsylvania Press) and Susan Kramer (independent scholar and author of the 2015 monograph Sin, Interiority, and Selfhood in the Twelfth-Century West). Read their stories here.

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MAA News – Upcoming Deadlines

Deadline 15 February:
Belle Da Costa Greene Award (deadline 15 February)
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 – Call for Papers: MAA@AHA 2022

The Medieval Academy of America invites proposals for sessions at the upcoming annual meeting of the American Historical Association in New Orleans, January 6-9, 2022.

Each year the Medieval Academy co-sponsors sessions at this meeting with the AHA. This year, we aim to sponsor sessions that address an overarching theme of interest both to MAA members and broader audiences: “Medieval Perspectives on Modern Crises.” We envision a wide range of topics that might address this theme, from race and political violence to climate change and pandemic, and everything in between. Given the location of the meeting in New Orleans, we would also be interested in sponsoring sessions focused on this historic city through the lens of medieval studies or medievalism, ritual and performance traditions, and/or the multiple, overlapping colonial legacies that perdure in south Louisiana. We invite all manner of session programming, and strongly encourage MAA members to think beyond traditional paper panels. Roundtables, lightning talks, interviews, field conversations, performances, working sessions, and any other experimental and inclusive forms of knowledge-sharing you might propose will be received with enthusiasm.

We especially encourage session proposals from scholars representing a variety of identity positions and academic ranks and affiliations, including graduate students and independent scholars. We also encourage session proposals from scholars whose work features sources, geographies, and populations that are under-represented in traditional reckonings of “the medieval.”

Click here for more information.

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