CARA News: St. Louis University

The Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (CMRS) at Saint Louis University is one of the largest of its kind in America, with more than sixty full-time faculty affiliates across numerous undergraduate and doctoral programs.

In 2016-2017 the CMRS inaugurated the university’s first B.A. in Medieval Studies.  To support the initiative, CMRS space was expanded to an additional building with a new office for the incoming Associate Director, Steven Schoenig, S.J., an additional seminar room, and other multi-purpose facilities.

As always, the CMRS hosted dozens of lectures, seminars, and conferences this past year.  A (reasonably) complete list can be found on our website:  Speakers included:

  • Eugenio Menegon (Boston University), “The Habit that Hides the Monk: Fashion Strategies at the Imperial Court in Early Modern China.”
  • Rachel Fulton Brown (University of Chicago), “Mary and the Art of Prayer: The Hours of the Virgin in Medieval Christian Life and Thought.”
  • Chloe Starr (Yale University), “Chinese Theology with Jesuit Characteristics: From Xu Guangqi to Xu Zongze.”
  • Bianca Kuehnel (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), “The Crusader Decoration of the Nativity Church of Bethlehem.”
  • Anne Lester (University of Colorado, Boulder), “Sacred Histories and Holy Things: Liturgy, Narrative, and Ritual in the Aftermath of the Fourth Crusade.”

The Fifth Annual Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies was held on campus on June 19-21, 2017, attracting more than 300 participants taking part in a variety of sessions, roundtables, seminars, and mini-conferences.

Plenary lectures at this year’s Symposium were delivered by

Bruce M. S. Campbell (Queen’s University, Belfast),

Christopher Baswell (Barnard College/Columbia University),

David Nirenberg (University of Chicago),

Damian J. Smith (Saint Louis University), and

Elizabeth Archibald (Durham University) (Annual Loomis Lecture).

Next year’s Annual Symposium will be held June 18-20, 2018 and will feature plenary lectures by

Geoffrey Parker (The Ohio State University) and

Carole Hillenbrand (University of St Andrews / University of Edinburgh).  Beginning next year, the four-decade-old

Saint Louis Conference on Manuscript Studies (the “Manuscripta Conference”) will move permanently to the Annual Symposium.  Hosting mini-conferences and learned societies has become a major strength of the Annual Symposium, helping to drive its continued growth.  If you have not attended, check it out!  It is really something new.

Also beginning in 2017-2018, the popular newsletter, Manuscripts on My Mind, produced by Susan L’Engle, will move from the Vatican Film Library to the CMRS.  Dr. Engle will pen the newsletter and organize the manuscript conference from her new office in the CMRS.

We remind MAA members that the CMRS offers generous NEH Research Fellowships providing a stipend, travel expenses, and a furnished two-bedroom apartment for those who can make use of the university’s extensive collections related to medieval studies.  Application information is available on our website.

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