CARA News: Rice University

Through the generous support of the Dean of Humanities at Rice University, and the Neil J. O’Brien Endowment funds, The Medieval and Early Modern Studies Program at Rice has organized another full year of events:

In the “O’Brien Medieval and Early Modern Studies Guest Lecture Series”:

Nov. 11, 2016: Dr. Jehangir Malengam, Assistant Professor of History, Duke University, presented “Violence, Exorcism, and the Politics of Discernment in Medieval Europe”

March 24, 2017: Dr. Susan Einbinder, Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Connecticut, presented a workshop concerning her archeological studies on Jewish cemeteries in Spain, and gave a paper entitled “Stone, Bone and Text:

Anti-Jewish Violence in Tàrrega, 1348”

In the “O’Brien Medieval and Early Modern Studies Faculty Lecture Series”:

Nov. 30, 2016: Dr. Aysha Polnitz, Dept. of History, “Liberal Education and the Franciscans in New Spain: 1536–1600”

Feb. 15, 2017: Dr. Jeffrey Fleisher, Dept. of Anthropology, “An Archaeology of Ancestors on the Eastern African Swahili Coast,


And in the “O’Brien Medieval and Early Modern Studies Undergraduate Student Conference,” seven student papers in the fields of History, Religion, Art History, English, and Music History:

  1. Megan Wright, “Josquin des Prez’s Motet Qui velatus facie and the Canonization of St. Bonaventure in 1482”
  2. Elena Busch, “Icelandic Feud: The Centerpiece of Functional Anarchy”
  3. Rachel George, “Book Burning in the Medieval Mind An Examination of the Significance of Manuscript Destruction by Fire through the Lens of Medieval Crime and Punishment”
  4. Erika Schumacher, “Evading and Curtailing Agency: Floris’s Development into the Masculine, Christian Subject”
  5. Chelsea Wu, “Lancelot: Knight of the Cart and Lanval: The Narrative Function of Sexual Violence”
  6. Susannah Wright, “Boethius and the Classical Tradition”
  7. June Chen, “Joan of Arc and Charles VII”

Professor Brian Levack (John E. Green Regents Professor in History; Distinguished Teaching Professor, University of Texas Austin) was the respondent, and also gave a paper titled “Magna Carta and Anglo-American Constitutionalism.

The undergraduate conference has been an annual event at Rice now for several years, and it has been one of our most successful events. It is a day-long conference where undergraduate students who have written a paper in the past year for one of our Medieval and Early Modern Studies classes present their research for their peers and professors.

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