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Events & Conferences

Lecture by Mary Carruthers, “"Stylistic Effects and Bodily Health in Medieval Aesthetics"

Wednesday, 15 October
5.30pm, reception to follow
IMU, Presidents' Room, University Club

This talk explores the traditionally close relationship between ancient and medieval medical theories and rhetoric by focusing on the vocabulary commonly used for the various effects of style, musical, verbal, graphic and architectural. Words such as 'sweet', 'harsh', 'soft', 'dry', and 'frigid' expressed aesthetic values as well as signifying particular sensations of the body that could affect humoral balance and health. Medieval psychology used a model of knowing that originated with the natural sensations of body, received in the brain and processed by the joint activity of imagination, memory, and recollection into conceptual 'objects' proper for thinking. In this way, artefacts could be agents for health and psychic well-being as well as instruments for true human knowledge.

Mary Carruthers is Quondam Fellow of All Souls, Oxford, past president of the Medieval Academy of America, and Remarque Professor Emeritus of Literature at New York University. She is the author of The Experience of Beauty in the Middle Ages (Oxford, 2013) and The Book of Memory: A Study of Memory in the Middle Ages (Cambridge, 2e 2008).

See the PDF flyer here.

A Day of Events in Honor of Emeritus Professor Lawrence Clopper

Saturday, 27 September
10.30 am – 4 pm
Lilly Library

10.30 am – 12.00pm, Symposium

  • Theresa Coletti (Professor of English, University of Maryland), “The Castle of Perseverance: Networks, Audiences, and Directions for Research”
  • Gail Gibson (William R. Kenan, Jr., Emerita Professor of English and Humanities, Davidson College), “Medieval Drama in Afterlife”
  • Richard Emmerson (Professor of English and Art History, Manhattan College), “Towards a Visual Exegesis of the Apocalypse”

12.15 – 1.15 pm, Lunch with the Speakers (Reservation Required)

1.30 – 3 pm, Program of Remembrances

3 - 4 pm, Reception

Sponsored by the Medieval Studies Institute, the Department of English, and the family and friends of Prof. Lawrence Clopper.

See the PDF flyer here.

Medieval Studies Annual Fall Reception

Wednesday, 17 September
Faculty Room, University Club, IMU

Join us for a time of welcome and celebration! We will introduce the 2014 Medieval Studies Fellowship recipient, announce the 2014 McRobbie Fellowship recipient, welcome new students and faculty, and celebrate faculty honors. We will also enjoy refreshments and the unparalleled conviviality of the Indiana University Medieval Studies community as we begin the new academic year. Please RSVP to so we can make sure we have enough food for everyone! Please note that the venue has changed from that given in the "Mark Your Calendars" email.

See the PDF flyer here.

Informal Talk with Paul Strohm, “Evidence and Premodern Literary Biography”

Wednesday, 9 April
5pm, reception to follow
CAHI (1211 E Atwater Ave)

This informal presentation and discussion will concern several problems Prof. Strohm has encountered while writing a Chaucer biography, together with some proposed ways of dealing with them.

Every literary biographer confronts the chasm between a writer’s daily or empirical life-details and his or her imaginative creations. This issue arises in a particularly stark form for the premodern biographer, who mainly lacks such mediatory evidence as letters, memoirs, diaries, interviews, and testimonials. Chaucer, for example, left behind 494 life-records, but not one of them concerns his poetry or describes him as a poet. How, then, to connect his ordinary life with his extraordinary body of poetical work? And what assistance (if any!) is to be gained from the variable and elusive “I” flickering in and out of his poems?

Paul Strohm is Emeritus Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.

See the PDF flyer here. Update: Prof. Strohm's talk will begin at 5. Informal conversations can begin at 4:30.

Medieval Studies Spring Film Series: Magic | Religion | Science

One Wednesday a Month, 7.30 and 6.30pm

Ladyhawke (1985)
Wednesday, February 26, 7.30pm Ballantine Hall 013
A thief called “the Mouse” escapes the dungeons of medieval L’Aquila, dooming two lovers to lifelong separation by a corrupt bishop’s curse: by day Isabeau is transformed into a hawk, while at night Navarre becomes a wolf. Imperius, the monk who betrayed them, has found a way to break the curse, but only if he and the Mouse can get them back into Aquila to face the Bishop.

Andrei Rublev (1966)
Wednesday, March 26, 6.30pm, Rawles Hall 100
Loosely based on the life of Andrei Rublev, the great 15th-century Russian icon painter, this film seeks to depict a realistic portrait of medieval Russia, as well as to explore the essence of art and the importance of faith, showing an artist who tries to find the appropriate response to the tragedies of his time.

The Name of the Rose (1986)
Wednesday, April 16, 7.30pm, Woodburn Hall 120
Franciscan friar William of Baskerville and his novice, Adso of Melk, arrive at a Benedictine abbey in Northern Italy in the early 14th century. A mysterious death has occurred ahead of an important Church conference. William, known for his deductive and analytic mind, begins investigating the apparent suicide of a young illuminator. Soon, several other bizarre deaths occur, and the two gradually discover that everything is not what it seems in the abbey.

Movies are open to all, and the Medieval Studies Institute will provide pizza and soda.

You can find a pdf of the flyer here.

Lecture by Claire Sponsler, “Reading the Beauchamp Pageant”

MEST Alumni Lecture Series

Thursday, February 20
4.30pm, reception to follow
IMU, Dogwood Room

How did late medieval readers read? And how did they read books that combined words with pictures? A remarkable fifteenth-century manuscript book, the illustrated biography of Richard Beauchamp, the earl of Warwick, offers some clues. Looking at both the material features of the manuscript and at the cultural discourses, particularly performance, that shaped the makers and users of this book, we can glimpse habits of literacy in action, particularly at the intersection of the visual, the literary, and the theatrical.

Claire Sponsler is Professor of English at The University of Iowa, and is an alumna of IU.

See the PDF flyer here.

Lecture by Ann Marie Rasmussen, “Why Do Medieval Badges Matter?”

Thursday, January 23
4pm, reception to follow
IMU, University Club Presidents' Room

Medieval badges are small, cheap, mass-produced, lead-alloy objects meant to be worn, most commonly to be pinned or sewn onto clothing. Sacred and profane badges were manufactured and sold throughout the high and late Middle Ages, especially north of the Alps and in Great Britain. Thousands of badges survive; millions were probably produced between the late twelfth century and the Reformation. Whether made with religious or secular purposes in mind, badges employ a large arsenal of motifs and symbols to create memorable images. Closer study reveals that medieval badges are not merely souvenirs, visual representations, or signs. Rather, they imagine the relationships between self and world in ways that differ from our own. Are medieval badges a form of media? In this talk, Prof. Rasmussen will make the case that badges are an early form of mass media, arguably the first in the western world, and she will offer some thoughts on what medieval studies stands to gain from embracing this new form of evidence.

Ann Marie Rasmussen is Professor of German in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literature at Duke University.

See the PDF flyer here.

Lectures by Jan Herlinger, “Marchetto and Prosdocimo: A Musician and an Astronomer on Music in Medieval Padua” and “Marchetto of Padua: The Legacy of a Fourteenth-Century Musician and Theorist”

Monday, 18 November & Wednesday, 20 November
5pm & 4.45pm, receptions to follow
Lilly Library and Ford-Crawford Hall

Marchetto was a choirmaster in Padua in the early 14th century; Prosdocimo de Beldemandis an astronomer, physician, and professor of arts and medicine at the university in that city in the early 15th century. Both wrote extensively on music, covering many of the same topics (Prosdocimo wrote on arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy as well). Their music treatises are well known among students of medieval music and deemed essential for its understanding; but their experiences of music, their views of it, and their attitudes toward it were very different. The first talk will trace their differences—even conflicts—of opinion, and will include images of medieval manuscripts and audio clips of pieces each writer would have known.

The second talk will follow-up focusing on Marchetto’s works and in particular on his two major music treatises. The latter were pioneering in their treatment of rhythmic notation and highly innovative in discussing aspects such as tuning, modes, and chromaticism. They were widely copied into late-medieval manuscripts, and ideas traceable to Marchetto pepper 15th-century Italian writings on music. His influence faded after 1500, when print replaced manuscript as the primary medium of dissemination. The talk will trace the recovery of his works from 1740 to the present, with particular focus on the roles of 18th- and 19th-century writers, including Charles Burney and Hugo Riemann. It will be illustrated with images of medieval manuscripts and documents from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Refreshments will follow the talks. To help us get a rough idea of numbers, please take a moment to respond to this simple 15-second form if you are planning to attend. But even if you won’t have told us in advance, please come anyway!

Jan Herlinger is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Louisiana State University. These lectures are organized by the Jacobs School of Music Center for the History of Music Theory and Literature in collaboration with the Medieval Studies Institute. More details are available here.

See the PDF flyer here.

Lecture by Anthony Musson, "Seeing Justice: The Visual Culture of the Law"

Thursday, October 24
4pm, reception to follow
Dogwood Room, IMU

The visual culture of the law is one that is frequently ignored in preference for its texts: legislation, reports of cases, legal treatises and other legal literature providing an essentially internalisation of the law. Image, however, is the medium by which the law's authority (its majesty, rituals and power) is manifested to the public and it is equally the way the dignity and prestige of its judges and practitioners are conveyed (through legal costume and etiquette) during court proceedings. Legitimation of the law's processes (whether court sessions, judicial punishment or land conveyance) by public participation and sight of them is an important part of acceptance of its rules, practices, personnel and institutions. Taken a step further, there has always been a need to encapsulate in imagery a sense of what law and justice are (mean or represent) which has led to attempts at personification of the law/justice itself. This lecture addresses these aspects by examining the portrayal of the law and lawyers in the artistic genres of medieval illuminated manuscripts, woodcarving, sculpture and brasswork. In so doing it evaluates the extent to which the visual culture promotes, but can also undermine, the authority of the law.

Anthony Musson is Professor of Legal History at the University of Exeter, and interested in the history of criminal justice, visual representations of law and justice, the legal profession, and law and governance in medieval Europe. For more information, see his webpage here.

See the PDF flyer here.

Medieval Studies Film Series: Homecoming

One Wednesday a Month, 7.30pm
Woodburn Hall

The Return of Martin Guerre (1983)
Wednesday, September 18 Woodburn Hall 100
Set in medieval France during the Hundred Years’ War, this film follows the alleged homecoming of a soldier after many years of absence. His wife finds him such an improvement—both in the sack and otherwise—from the husband who left for the front that she ignores the villagers’ suspicions that he is an impostor. French, with English subtitles.

A Month in the Country (1987)
Wednesday, October 16 7.30pm Woodburn Hall 120
Colin Firth and Kenneth Branagh star as two young, weary veterans of World War I who spend a summer month in a peaceful town to escape the horrors of war. One helps helps to restore a local church, while the other looks for the grave of an ancestor of the building’s patroness, who fought in the Crusades. One begins a romance with the reverend’s young wife, forcing the other to face his own dark desires.

Robin Hood (2010)
Wednesday, November 13 7.30pm Woodburn Hall 120
Robin Longstride is just returned from a 10-year jaunt in the Crusades when he loses his king and his job. Back in England, Robin folds himself neatly into a Nottingham family, where a grieving widow named Marion and her father-in-law hardly care that he doesn’t much resemble their own departed warrior. This movie creates a portrait of the royal intrigue that went into creating Robin Hood rather than detailing the hijinks of the merry outlaws.

Movies are open to all, and the Medieval Studies Institute will provide pizza and soda.

You can find a pdf of the flyer here.

Medieval Studies Annual Fall Reception

Friday, September 13
Wells House

Join us from 4-6pm at Wells House for a time of welcome and celebration! We will introduce the 2013 Medieval Studies Fellowship recipient, announce the 2013 McRobbie Award recipient, welcome new students and faculty, and celebrate faculty honors. We will also enjoy refreshments and the unparalleled conviviality of the Indiana University Medieval Studies community as we begin the new academic year.

Please RSVP by September 11. See the PDF flyer here.

Lecture by Jessica Brantley, "The Pavement Hours in Literary History"

Tuesday, March 19
Maple Room, Indiana Memorial Union

The book of hours was by far the most common book of the late Middle Ages. This talk will consider the implications of that fact for the vernacular literary cultures that surrounded the popular prayerbook, focusing in particular on one complex illustrated manuscript from late-medieval York, the Pavement Hours (York Minster XVI.K.6).

Jessica Brantley is Associate Professor of English at Yale University, and interested in the cultures of medieval reading as they are preserved in manuscripts. For more information, see her webpage here.

You can find a pdf of the flyer here.

Medieval Studies Film Series: Journeys

One Wednesday a Month, 7.30pm
Woodburn Hall 120

The Secret of Kells (2009)
Wednesday, February 20
The Quest behind the Book of Kells. In this visually-stunning animated fantasy set in medieval Ireland, a young boy helps a struggling illuminator complete his master work, a book brimming with secret wisdom and magical power. The boy’s quest takes him deep into the woods, where he encounters forest spirits, mythological monsters, and menacing Vikings.

The Milky Way (1969)
Wednesday, March 20 7.30pm Woodburn Hall 120
This controversial, surrealist film from Spanish filmmaker Luis Bunuel follows two drifters as they make the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Their physical journey becomes both a journey through time and through the development of the Church, as they encounter the embodiments of various heretical and orthodox doctrinal positions en route to Compostela.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Wednesday, April 17 7.30pm Woodburn Hall 120
Charged by God to set a pious example in bleak times, King Arthur sets out to find the Holy Grail, accompanied by Sir Bedevere the Wise, Sir Galahad the Pure, Sir Lancelot the Brave, and Sir Robin the not-so-brave-as-sir-Lancelot. This is mediaevalia Monty Python style. Which means coconuts for horses, knights who say “ni,” obnoxious Frenchmen, a killer rabbit, and, of course, the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch.

Movies are open to all, and the Medieval Studies Institute will provide pizza and soda.

You can find a pdf of the flyer here.

Roundtable Discussion: "Looking East and West: Crossing Cultural Borders and Building Disciplinary Bridges in Medieval Studies"

January 18, 2013
3.00-p.m. - 5.00 p.m.
Maple Room, Indiana Memorial Union

Faculty panelists Asma Afsaruddin (Near Eastern Languages and Cultures), Christopher Atwood (Central Eurasian Studies), Christopher Beckwith (Central Eurasian Studies), Manling Luo (East Asian Languages and Cultures), and John Walbridge (Near Eastern Languages and Cultures) will discuss their research, the value of trans-cultural perspectives, and the possibilities for cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary engagement in Medieval Studies.

Refreshments will be served.

You can find a pdf of the flyer here.

A podcast of the Roundtable is now available for download here.

Lecture by Paul H. Freedman, "The Destruction and Preservation of Medieval Documents: A Set of Catalan Examples"

October 18, 2012
4.00-p.m. - 6.00 p.m.
Lilly Library

The archive of the Premonstratensian establishment of Bellpuig de les Avellanes was lost in 1835 when monastic properties were confiscated by the Spanish state. The monastery was abandoned and some of its artistic treasures, the sculpted Gothic tombs of the Counts of Urgell, ended up in the Cloisters Museum in New York. Part of the archive was found recently, hidden in a parish church. Its rediscovery prompts questions about the loss of medieval documentation in the period from the Napoleonic Wars until 1939 and the end of the Spanish Civil War along with the efforts of a group of canons affiliated with Bellpuig in the eighteenth century to organize and preserve the sources of Catalan church history.

Paul Freedman is the Chester D. Tripp Professor of History at Yale University. Professor Freedman specializes in medieval social history, the history of Spain, comparative studies of the peasantry, trade in luxury products, and history of cuisine. For more information, see his webpage here.

You can find a pdf of the flyer here.

Reception & Roundtable: "Mediaevalia Old and New"

September 21, 2012
5.00-p.m. - 7.00 p.m.
Woodburn House, 519 North College Avenue

Please join us for the first Medieval Studies gathering of the new academic year! Meet new medievalists, honor departing ones, and celebrate the recipients of this year’s Medieval Studies Graduate Fellowship and the Andrea S. McRobbie Award!

The evening will feature remarks by Interim Director Wayne Storey, as well as a Roundtable: “Mediaevalia Old and New.”

Dot Porter, Associate Director for Digital Library Content and Services at the Indiana University Libraries, will discuss “(Open) Accessing Digital Medieval Manuscripts”, and Cherry Williams, Curator of Manuscripts at the Lilly Library, will present what’s “New & Notable at the Lilly.”

You can find a pdf of the flyer here.

Scholarly Editions and the Digital Age: Text and Music

August 31, 2012
8.45 a.m. - 6.00 p.m.
Oak Room, Indiana Memorial Union

An interdisciplinary workshop organized by the Medieval Studies Institute of Indiana University and the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music's Center for the History of Music Theory and Literature.

For more information, see the workshop website here.
You can find a pdf of the flyer here.

Vagantes 2012: The Annual Traveling Graduate Conference of the Medieval Academy of America

March 29-31, 2012

35 student presenters, representing 22 institutions across the U.S., Canada, and Europe, will come together to share ideas, make connections, and enjoy all Bloomington has to offer, including tours of the Lilly Library and the IU Art Museum, and a concert by the Early Music Institute. Participants will be invited to attend the annual Reader’s Circle, an evening of camaraderie, conviviality and recitation in medieval tongues. Our keynote speakers will be Shannon Gayk, Associate Professor of English at Indiana University, and Jordan L. Zweck, Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

For more information, see the conference website here, and the full program here.
You can find a pdf of the flyer here, a flyer for the Keynotes here, and of the full program here.

The whole conference is free and open to the public, but registration by March 5, 2012, is required.

Lecture by Steven Kruger: "Conversion Timing"

February 27, 2012, 4.30-5.30pm, Oak Room of the Indiana Memorial Union

Professor Kruger's talk will take up questions about the temporality of medieval conversion narratives, considering how these complicate straightforward chronology and ideas of supersession with multiple and sometimes contradictory movements that show time standing still, repeating itself, deferring completion, completed before it begins (and so forth). In developing this argument, he will examine both writings by medieval converts and third-person representations of conversion experience (e.g., the Early South English Legendary Life of Mary Magdalene).

Professor Kruger will also be leading a box-lunch workshop for graduate students:

Exegesis as Autobiography

Monday, February 27, 12.00-1.30pm in the Walnut Room of the Indiana Memorial Union

To register for the workshop, please email to order lunch and receive a copy of the workshop materials.

Steven Kruger is Professor of English and Medieval Studies at Queens College and the Graduate Center, CUNY, and currently visiting Bingham Professor in the Humanities at the University of Louisville.

This event is sponsored by the Medieval Studies Institute, the Department of English, the Robert A. and Sandra S. Borns Jewish Studies Program, and the Department of Religious Studies.

See the event flyer here.


Lecture by Professor Michelangelo Zaccarello: “The World Upside Down: Carnival and the Carnivalesque in Italian Medieval and Renaissance Literature”

Tuesday, January 17, 4.30-5.30, Hoagy Carmichael Room, Morrison Hall

Anthropological readings of Carnival, especially after Bakhtin’s study on Rabelais, have stressed the importance of the inversion, or subversion, of social patterns during Carnival. Late Medieval and Renaissance Italian courts, on the other hand, often encouraged such celebrations, turning public performances and mass gatherings into a powerful instrument of political propaganda (as was the case in Lorenzo de’ Medici’s Florence). However, some social space and a broader audience were thus regained for popular or popularizing forms of literature that were previously relegated to a context of orality and folklore. This talk assesses developments in Late Medieval and Renaissance Italian literature, especially in texts associated with performance (the use of dialects in stage literature, the surfacing of folkloric texts in print, the linguistic and cultural opposition between the city and the countryside), and how such changes were affected by the contexts and rituals of Carnival celebrations.

Professor Michelangelo Zaccarello is Associate Professor of Italian Philology at the University of Verona and is currently a Fulbright Fellow in residence at Indiana University. In addition to his 2000 edition and 2004 commentary of Burchiello’s lyric poetry and his forthcoming edition of Pulci’s sonnets, he has published widely on early Italian authors, such as Dante, Boccaccio, Alberti, and Della Casa, and on theories and practice of textual editing. While in Bloomington, Prof. Zaccarello is completing his edition of Franco Sacchetti’s Trecentonovelle.

This event is co-sponsored by Renaissance Studies.
See the event flyer here.


Lecture by Dr. Don Skemer: “Sir Robert Tresilian at Tyburn Gallows, 1388: Text, Rumor, and Magic in Ricardian England”

Thursday, December 1, 4-6pm, Slocum Room, Lilly Library

The case of Sir Robert Tresilian, the Lord Chief Justice of England who was executed for treason in 1388, offers a fascinating opportunity to explore the power of words – legal or magical, religious or political, written or oral. Dr. Skemer’s paper evaluates contemporary references to Tresilian’s possible involvement in necromancy or more conventional magical practices and discusses how text and rumor spread variant versions of political news.

Don C. Skemer has been Curator of Manuscripts in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library, since 1991. He is the author of Binding Words: Textual Amulets in the Middle Ages, Magic in History (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2006) and many articles in scholarly journals, including English Manuscript Studies, Historical Research, Journal of the Society of Archivists, Bibliofilía, Gazette du livre médiéval, Gutenberg Jahrbuch, Revue belge de philologie et d’histoire, Scriptorium, Scrittura e civiltà, Traditio, and Viator. He is the principal compiler of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Princeton University Library, a two-volume illustrated catalogue scheduled for publication in spring 2013; as well as a contributor to Greek Manuscripts at Princeton, Sixth-Nineteenth Century: A Descriptive Catalogue (2010). All three volumes are being distributed by Princeton University Press. His research interests include history of the medieval book, magic, and law, and in recent years has been working on English chronicle rolls in the 13th and 14th centuries.

See the event flyer here.


Out of Cordoba: Averroes and Maimonides in Their Time and Ours

Thursday, November 17, IU Cinema

Lecture by Filmmaker Jacob Bender: 3pm
Film Screening: 6.30pm

Out of Cordoba

Out of Cordoba is a feature documentary about Jews, Muslims, and Christians struggling for coexistence and against the hijacking of their respective religions by extremists. The film profiles several contemporary people of faith, who, inspired by two “wise men” from the city of Cordoba in medieval Spain — Averroes the Muslim, and Rabbi Moses Maimonides the Jew — are challenging the propositions that there is an inevitable “clash of civilizations” between the West and the Muslim world, an incompatibility between Islam and democracy, and an unsolvable conflict between Muslims and Jews.

Out of Cordoba is also the story of the film’s director, Jacob Bender, an American Jew and peace activist, as he undertakes a journey around the Mediterranean world after the attacks of 9/11 — in Spain, Morocco, France, Egypt, Palestine, and Israel — following in the footsteps of these two “wise men of Cordoba” in search of Muslims, Jews, and Christians committed to utilizing their religious traditions as sources of tolerance, democracy, and human rights. Among the extraordinary people encountered by the director is a Muslim leader in Spain who declares a “fatwa” against Osama bin Laden after the Al-Qaeda attacks at the Madrid train station; the foreign minister of Spain, who finds inspiration for his diplomacy in the legacy of Averroes and Maimonides; a Jewish physician in Morocco, one of the last Jewish doctors in the Arab world; Egyptian human rights activists, inspired by Averroes, who are attempting to democratize their country; a rabbi in Israel who defends Palestinian homes against demolition by the Israeli army; and an art historian decoding the secrets of one of the most enigmatic of Renaissance paintings.

The story of these courageous people in Out of Cordoba offer hope that religion need not be only a justification of hatred, but can also be a source of tolerance, justice, and peace.

See the event flyer here.


Mediævalia at the Lilly: How mediæval manuscripts were written and illuminated

November 3-4, Slocum Room, Lilly Library

British scribe and illuminator Patricia Lovett will be visiting the Lilly Library to talk about mediæval manuscripts, and will use and show the tools and materials of the craft.

Thursday 3rd November 11am–12·30pm
Looking at Manuscripts – a scribe and illuminator’s view of a selection of mediæval manuscripts from the Lilly Library.
Thursday 3rd November 2·30 –5pm
How Manuscripts Were Made – a demonstration and explanation of quills, vellum, parchment, miniature painting, gold and pigments.
Friday 4th November 5 –6·15pm
Gold on Parchment – a talk using examples of mediæval manuscripts to show the craft of manuscript production.
This will be followed by a reception.

Patricia Lovett is an author of a number of books on calligraphy, illumination and heraldry, is an Honoured Fellow of the Calligraphy and Lettering Arts Society and has taught, lectured and had artworks exhibited in the UK and many other countries.

Mediævalia at the Lilly is sponsored by the Medieval Studies Institute, the Lilly Library, and the Department of Germanic Studies.

To register for Thursday's events, contact the Lilly Library: 812 855 2452
For other questions, call: 812 855 3187

All events are free and open to the public.
See the event flyer here.

Undergraduate Open House

Wednesday, October 19, Ballantine 004, 4-6 pm

Come see what Medieval Studies has to offer! Rosemarie McGerr, the Institute's director, will be there to discuss the program, the MEST staff will be there to answer questions about our minor and certificate, and several of our professors and instructors, from disciplines as varied as Classics, French and Italian, Germanic Studies, Art History, English, Comparative Literature, and Religious Studies, will be in attendance to talk about their classes and their departments' course offerings.

See our event flyer here.


Lecture by David Brakke, "The Rediscovery of Shenoute the Great (347-465): Christianization and Social Conflict in Late Ancient Egypt"

Tuesday, October 18, Slocum Room, Lilly Library, 4-6 pm

For eighty years Shenoute led the White Monastery near Atripe, one of the largest and most influential monastic communities in late ancient Egypt. A prolific author and spellbinding orator, he left the most important body of work ever written in the Coptic language. And yet Shenoute remains little known to scholars of late antiquity, Byzantium, and the history of Christianity. This presentation will explain why this is so and describe the work of an international team of scholars to recover his life and work. It will focus particularly on the light that Shenoute's literary works and the monastery's archaeological remains can shed on the social conflicts that accompanied the rise of Christianity in Roman Egypt and the authority that Shenoute attempted to establish in his region.

A reception will follow the lecture.
See our event flyer here.
David Brakke is Professor of Religous Studies at Indiana University.


Medieval Studies Fall Reception

Sunday, September 25, Faculty Club (University Club upstairs), Indiana Memorial Union, 5-7 pm

Please join us for food, drink, and friendly faces!


War and Peace in Medieval European Lyric Poems: A Panel Discussion for the Bloomington Early Music Festival Co-sponsored by the Indiana University Medieval Studies Institute

Wednesday, September 7, Oak Room, Indiana Memorial Union, 4-6 pm

This panel will address the discourses of making war and making peace that permeate the lyric poems of medieval Europe. In some cases, the references to making war are literal. Some poems describe the heroic acts of battle, while others lament the results of battle or reflect on reasons for the Crusades. We also have poems that express the desire for peace between warring factions. In other cases, references to making war and making peace are metaphors for negotiating the complex relationships between individuals in love or in competition. One important issue is the use of different “voices” in the words and music of lyric poems to suggest ways in which contrast and dialogue might lead to new perspectives, as well as creative artistry. The depictions of making war and making peace in medieval lyric poems reveal much about the ways in which people constructed the reasons for making war or peace in medieval Europe.

Bridget Balint, Associate Professor of Classical Studies
Hildegard Keller, Professor of Germanic Studies
H. Wayne Storey, Professor of Italian
Rosemarie McGerr, Professor of Comparative Literature, Moderator

A reception will follow the panel discussion.
For more on the Bloomington Early Music Festival...

(Certificates for half-price parking at the IMU lots are available to attendees.)


Recent Critical Trends in Boccaccio Studies

April 27, 10am-2:30pm
College Arts & Humanities Institute(1211 E. Atwater Avenue)

This workshop will feature presentations by Michael Sherberg (Washington University), Marco Veglia (University of Bologna) and Michelangelo Zaccarello (University of Verona) on recent scholarship and issues of methodology in Boccaccio studies as well as round-table discussions intended to involve graduate students and those interested in Boccaccio as a copyist, editor, scholar, author or cultural entrepreneur. All are encouraged to be active participants in the discussions. While this event is free and open to the public, seating is limited. Please indicate your desire to participate by writing to Wayne Storey ( by April 25.

This event has been made possible thanks to the generous support of a grant from the College Arts & Humanities Institute, as well as generous funding  from the Mary-Margaret Barr Koon Fund of the Department of French & Italian and from the Medieval Studies Institute.


Paul and Dante: Pilgrims to the Infinite

A lecture by Dr. Bernard McGinn, Divinity School, University of Chicago

Saturday, April 2, 2011 11:00 a.m. Woodburn Hall 101

Keynote address for Indiana University's 23rd Annual Medieval Studies Symposium

Knights, Pilgrims, Scholars and Dreamers: Wandering in the Middle Ages

Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2, 2011

Flyer for McGinn lecture

Flyer for symposium program

Early Music Institute Program

Directions to Woodburn Hall

Please check our symposium website for symposium program


Memory, Training, and the Medieval Singer of Tales

A lecture by Professor Karl Reichl

Carl Schurz Memorial Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Spring 2011, Professor Emeritus, University of Bonn.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 4:00 p.m. Slocum Room, Lilly Library

While there is some information on the performance and repertoire of the medieval ‘singer of tales’ (scop, minstrel, jongleur, spilman etc.), there is little evidence on how he acquired his skills. Did he study with a master-singer or simply memorize a written text? As the medieval sources are not only scanty but also ambiguous, the question arises in how far evidence from contemporary oral traditions may help to further our understanding of medieval oral/ oral-derived epic poetry.
In this paper, the making of the medieval singer of tales will be discussed with reference to material collected in the area of Turkic oral epic poetry.

Karl Reichl is Carl Schurz Memorial Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for the Spring 2011semester and Professor Emeritus of the University of Bonn. As a medievalist he has been teaching in the English Department of the University of Bonn but as visiting professor also in departments of Comparative Literature and Oriental/ Near-Eastern Studies. His main research interests lie in medieval oral literature and in contemporary (or near-contemporary) oral epic poetry in Turkey and in the Turkic-speaking areas of Central Asia. His publications include: Turkic Oral Epic Poetry: Traditions, Forms, Poetic Structure, New York, ( 1992); Singing the Past: Turkic and Medieval Heroic Poetry, Ithaca, NY, (2000); Edige: A Karakalpak Oral Epic as Performed by Jumabay Bazarov, FF Communications 293, Helsinki, (2007). Forthcoming is a handbook in the ‘de Gruyter Lexikon’ series: Medieval Oral Literature, ed. K. Reichl, Berlin, New York: de Gruyte (October 2011).


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