Cara News – University of Michigan
, Medieval and Early Modern Studies

University of MichiganMedieval and Early Modern Studies
1029 Tisch, 435 S. State St., Univ. of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1003
Phone: 734-763-2066  //  Fax: 734-647-4881

Program Associate: Terre Fisher (

Faculty Contact, 2019-2021: Achim Timmermann (

Department of History of Art University of Michigan
Ann Arbor MI 48109-1003
Phone: 734-763-6112

For further information about programs, degrees, and affiliated faculty, please visit our website:

Lectures and Events:

In 2020-2021 due to COVID restrictions most events were conducted via Zoom. Lecturers/presenters included U-M graduate students Rheagan Martin (History of Art), Salim Amir (Middle East Studies), Persephone Hernadez-Vogt (Romance Languages), Katherine Tapia (Comparative Literature) and Gerui Wang (History of Art), as well as faculty members Blake Gutt (Michigan Society of Fellows), Nathan Martin (Musicology), Erin Brightwell (Asian Languages and Cultures), Miranda Brown (Asian Languages and Cultures), Achim Timmermann (History of Art), Christian de Pee (History), Hieu Phung (Center for Southeast Asian Studies), Lang Chen (Center for Chinese Studies), Samer Ali (Middle East Studies), Kathryn Babayan (History and Middle East Studies), SE Kile (Asian Languages and Cultures), and Cameron Cross (Middle East Studies). Outside guests included Charlotte Eubanks (Comparative Literature and Asian Studies, Penn State); Ricardo Padron (Spanish, University of Virginia). Alison Cornish (Italian, New York University), Pablo F. Gomez (History, University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Paul Binski (History of Art, Cambridge University), Dana Sadji (Middle East Studies, Boston College), Sarah Strousma (History, Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Shatha Almutawa (Judaic Studies, American University), Shannon McSheffrey (History, Concordia University).

Special lectures and ongoing U-M colloquia featured SEP: MEMS Fall Kickoff: “Transmigration of Souls (Reincarnation) in the Druze Religion”; “Building a Digital Humanities Project during COVID.” OCT: “Reflecting the Past: Place, Language, and Principle in Japan’s Medieval Mirror Genre”; “The Indies of the Setting Sun: Asia and the Early Modern Spanish Geopolitical Imagination.” NOV: “How Milk Became Ethnic: Qing Koumiss Rituals”; “The Chinese Renaissance: Problems of Form and Style in Writing a Trade Book about Eleventh-Century China”; “Voice as Talisman: Theorizing Sound in Medieval Japanese Treatises on Sutra Chanting”; “Rethinking Medieval Narratives Beyond the Canon-On Ordering the Past”; “The City in the Present Tense: Writing the Urban Landscape in Eleventh-Century China.” DEC: “What Kind of Ecological Culture Do We Need? Drought History and Lessons from Premodern Southeast Asia.” JAN: “Maverick or Modern: Gong Zizhen (1792 -1841) and the Origins of Buddhist Studies.” FEB: “Risk, Bodies, and Disease: Transatlantic Slavery and the History of Science and Medicine”; “‘Our Father’: The Medieval Abrahamic Religion(s)”; “Blood and Nationalism in the Writings of Feliciana Enriquez de Guzman.” MAR: “Orientalism and the Erasure of Arab Women Poets: Reinscribing Gender in Medieval Adab Culture”; “Family Archives and Female Spaces of Intimacy”; “Humans and Monsters in Early Medieval Literature”; “Fiction and Motivation in Medieval Art.” APR: “In Defense of Damascus: A Tradition in Words”; “The Making of a Medium: Borrowing Views from Painting and Fiction in Early Modern Chinese Garden Design”; “Taming the Dragon: Monsters and Humans in Medieval Persian Epic”; “The Buddha in 10th-17th Century Muslim, Christian, and Jewish Narratives”; “Evil May Day, 1517: Xenophobia, Labour, and Politics in Early Tudor London.”

Additionally, as usual we supported meetings of the Premodern Colloquium on the following topics: “Le Roman de Saint Fanuel: Plant-Thinking, Family Trees and Grafted Fictions”; “Musical Topics as Pathosformeln: From Monelle and Allanbrook to Aby Warburg and Back Again”; “The Late Medieval City and Its Periurban Sacred Landscape: The case of Biberach an der Riß”; “Cheap Seats in Dante’s Heaven”; “Gothic Art, Realism and Genre: Thoughts on Erich Auerbach”; and “Why Did Public Infrastructure Appear in Song Court Landscape Painting?”.

Annual budget: $34,000

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