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Spring 2016 Movie Series, "From Print to Screen": "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court"

Wednesday, 27 April
7 pm, Ballantine Hall 013

The 1949 film concludes our Spring 2016 movie series, "From Print to Screen,"" which accompanies the Lilly Library public exhibition, "The Performative Book from Medieval Europe to the Americas." Michael McGerr, Professor of History, will introduce the film with brief remarks.

There is no charge for admission, and the Institute provides free pizza and soda.

Based on the 1889 novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain, the film is about a mechanic in 1912 who bumps his head and finds himself in Arthurian Britain in AD 528, where he is befriended by a knight and gains power by judicious use of technology. When he falls in love with the King's niece, her fiancé Sir Lancelot takes exception, and when he meddles in the politics of the kingdom, trouble ensues. The film was a popular success and became one of the highlight films of 1949.

Talk by Guadalupe González Diéguez and Stephen Katz, "Skin to Skin: A Portable Hebrew Amulet from the Lilly Library"

Friday, 25 March
3 pm, reception to follow, Lilly Library, Slocum Room

This talk will present a Hebrew amulet from the Lilly library (Ricketts III.74), written on parchment, and with folding marks that indicate its portable character. Professors González Diéguez and Katz will discuss the material aspects of the amulet, written on animal skin that was meant to be worn close to the body, as well as its content, explaining the meaning of the different inscriptions, "magical squares," and shapes inscribed in it, and the main text of the dedication to its bearer, Sarah daughter of Belladona. Amulets were an important element of popular religiosity in medieval Judaism, and were often employed by women for protection, particularly against miscarriage and birth-related mortality.

Guadalupe González Diéguez is Assistant Professor of NELC and Jewish Studies and Stephen Katz is Professor of Jewish Studies and NELC.

See the PDF flyer here.

Spring 2016 Movie Series, "From Print to Screen": "How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman"

Wednesday, 23 March
7 pm, Ballantine Hall 013

The 1971 film continues our Spring 2016 movie series, "From Print to Screen," which accompanies the Lilly Library public exhibition, "The Performative Book from Medieval Europe to the Americas." Hildegard Keller, Professor of Germanic Studies, will introduce the film with brief remarks.

There is no charge for admission, and the Institute provides free pizza and soda.

Synopsis: This delicious black comedy, set in colonial Paraty outside Rio de Janeiro, tells the story of a French adventurer who is captured by members of the Tupinamba tribe and readied for the community's ritual consumption. The tribe treats their prisoner better than you might think. They give him food and a wife, who happily teaches him the ways of the community. As he plays with his new mate, he considers how to avoid his prescribed fate as the main course of the ceremonial tribal dinner. Originally banned in Brazil due to excessive nudity, the film remains a slyly entertaining masterwork of Brazilian Cinema Novo. In Portuguese language with English subtitles.

Mediaevalia at the Lilly Library 2016 with Michael Papio

Thursday and Friday, 3 & 4 March
Lecture: Thursday, 5.30 pm, Lincoln Room; Workshop, Friday, 10.30 am, Slocum Room

Lecture: "Boccaccio's Geographies: Mapping Ancient and Modern Time and Space": During Giovanni Boccaccio's lifetime (1313-75), the common graphic conceptualization of the world changed drastically from T-O maps, like the famous Hereford Mappamundi, to maps that are immediately recognizable today, such as the 1375 Catalan Atlas. In this talk, Prof. Papio will consider Boccaccio's humanistic geographical gazetteer, the De montibus, silvis, fontibus, lacubus, fluminibus, stagnis seu paludibus, et de nominibus maris liber, alongside new technologies for geospatial representations that enhance research and teaching alike.

Workshop: "Making Maps of Affiliation in the Reconstruction of a Literary Dictionary": Professor Papio will offer a workshop for graduate students and interested faculty on the topic of the project that he is conducting for the National Endowment of Humanities Scholarly Editions grant (2015-2018) on Boccaccio's De montibus, silvis, fontibus, lacubus, fluminibus, stagnis seu paludibus, et de nominibus maris liber. Prof. Papio will guide us through the technical and technological complexities of reconstructing a work that verbally visualizes and organizes geographical and mythological information as a dictionary for classical literature. Those who wish to participate in the workshop are urged to bring a personal laptop with an IU wifi connection to the workshop. Due to the nature of the workshop, that will include materials from the Lilly, space is limited. Please contact to register.

Michael Papio is Professor of Italian Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Refreshments at the lecture are provided by Friends of the Lilly Library.

See the PDF flyer here.

Spring 2016 Movie Series, "From Print to Screen": "Der Ozean im Fingerhut"

Friday, 26 February
6.30 pm, IU Cinema

Featuring an introduction by the film's director, Hildegard Elisabeth Keller (Filmmaker and Professor of Germanic Studies at IU), with live accompaniment on stage by sound effects artist Tony Brewer. English subtitles by Julia Karin Lawson.

The film takes the viewer on a meditative journey beyond time and space. Four women who lived between 1140 and 1943 come together for a conversation that can only happen in imaginary space--they naturally couldn't have known one another in historical reality. There is a lot to talk about: the visionaries Hildegard of Bingen, Hadewijch, and Mechthild of Magdeburg, along with the young writer Etty Hillesum, frame a dialogue about the soul, love, men, writing, and creation. 2012, 90 minutes. German with English subtitles.

This is a free yet ticketed event. Tickets can be picked up at the IU Auditorium (M-F, 10 am - 5 pm), online at, or in the IU Cinema lobby one hour before the event.

Directed by Hildegard Elisabeth Keller. Co-edited with Russell Sheaffer, doctoral student and filmmaker in Communication and Culture / The Media School.

This is the second selection in the MEST Spring 2016 Film Series, "From Print to Screen" accompanying the Lilly Library exhibition, "The Performative Book from Medieval Europe to the Americas."

Lecture by Jeffrey F. Hamburger, "Diagrams: Mindmapping in Medieval Art and Beyond"

Tuesday, 9 February
5.30 pm, reception to follow, Lilly Library

"We all have an intuitive sense of what is meant by a diagram. After all, diagrams constitute a staple of our textbooks. A diagram, some might say, is a schematic representation, usually linear or geometric in fashion, of relationships between various interrelated objects or concepts that is designed to show how something works. At a fundamental level, however, a diagram is not a representation at all. Diagrams ultimately have no object or referent in the world: rather than reflect the world as it is, they first identify, then re-arrange its parts into coherent configurations that both reflect and enable, shape and structure our patterns of thought. There is, therefore, a poetic, operative dimension to the diagram. Focusing on the uses of diagrams as instruments of theology and biblical exegesis, the lecture also considers the medieval diagrammatic tradition in light of the thought (and drawings) of Charles Saunders Peirce, the nineteenth-century polymath scientist, mathematician, logician and semiotician for whom diagrams were central, not simply an appendage, to his thought. It then considers in some detail one of the most elaborate and extensive examples to have survived from the medieval period, a reworking in diagrammatic form by Berthold of Nuremberg, a little-known Dominican friar, of one of the most revered and most recondite works of the earlier Middle Ages, Hrabanus Maurus' In honorem sanctae crucis (In honor of the Holy Cross), written during the Carolingian period (ninth century). Although the later work ostensibly does no more than explicate the latter, it in fact reworks it completely, thereby providing a guide to the development of medieval art and thought across half a millennium."

Jeffrey F. Hamburger is Kuno Francke Professor of German Art & Culture at the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University. Prof. Hamburger's areas of research include medieval manuscript illumination, art in medieval women's religious communities, and medieval German religious writing, especially in the context of mysticism. His publications include The Visual and the Visionary: Art and Female Spirituality in Late Medieval Germany; Nuns as Artists: The Visual Culture of a Medieval Convent; The Rothschild Canticles: Art and Mysticism in Flanders and the Rhineland circa 1300; and Leaves from Paradise: The Cult of John at the Dominican Convent of Paradies bei Soest.

Refreshments provided by Friends of the Lilly Library.

See the PDF flyer here.

Monday Scholars' Talk at the Lilly Library: "How I Became a Medievalist"

Monday, 8 February
4 pm, Lilly Library

Jeffrey F. Hamburger, Hildegard Keller, and Arne Willee talk about a scholar's path

How does one chose a course of study, let alone a profession? What does it mean to have a sense of calling in contemporary academia? How much do we owe to our teachers, how much to ourselves, how much to serendipity, fate, destiny or whatever one might want to call such a predeterminating power? What role might chance encounters or elective affinities have played? And not least, what does it mean (or might it mean) to be a medievalist in the modern world and to be a teacher and scholar at an American university in a period of profound changes in and pressures on the educational system in general and the Humanities in particular?

Jeffrey F. Hamburger is Kuno Francke Professor of German Art & Culture at the Department of History of Art & Architecture at Harvard University.

Hildegard Elisabeth Keller is Professor of Medieval and Early-Modern Literature at the Department of Germanic Studies at Indiana University, and a literary critic and filmmaker

Arne Willee is Associate Instructor in German and a doctoral student in the Department of Germanic Studies at Indiana University.

Historical Performance Institute Concert, "Gilding the Lilly"

Sunday, 7 February
4 pm, IU Art Museum
reception to follow at the Lilly Library

Directed by Wendy Gillespie, Dana Marsh, Nigel North, and Stanley Ritchie, with Don Freund, composer.

Featuring music derived from chants found in medieval manuscripts at the Lilly Library, including the world premiere of a new piece composed for the Historical Performance Institute by Don Freund.

The reception at the Lilly Library following the concert is sponsored by the Friends of the Lilly Library.

See the PDF flyer here.

Spring 2016 Movie Series, "From Print to Screen": "The Name of the Rose"

Wednesday, 27 January
7 pm, Ballantine Hall 013

The 1986 film, starring Sean Connery, F. Murray Abraham, and a young Christian Slater opens our Spring 2016 movie series, "From Print to Screen," which accompanies the Lilly Library public exhibition, "The Performative Book from Medieval Europe to the Americas." Rosemarie McGerr, Professor of Comparative Literature and Director of the Medieval Studies Institute, will introduce the film with brief remarks.

There is no charge for admission, and the Institute provides free pizza and soda.

Synopsis: 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.

Lecture by Stephen G. Nichols, "What is a Manuscript Culture? Performance and Technology of the Medieval Book"

Thursday, 14 January
6 pm, reception to follow, Lilly Library, Lincoln Room

"Medieval manuscripts have an anomalous status in modern culture. They are visible as precious objects, but little understood for what they actually were: dynamic creators of culture in their own time. This lecture will illustrate the nature of the medieval manuscript culture at its most vibrant: Paris in the fourteenth century, the center of international cultural production. It will tell the story of this culture by addressing such questions as the difference between print and manuscript technology; manuscripts as political propaganda; manuscripts as a politics of knowledge; the relation of manuscripts to nature and urban life; the role of patronage; Christine de Pizan as cultural arbiter; the role of manuscripts in making polyphony possible; manuscripts as social satire."

The lecture opens the Lilly Library exhibition on "The Performative Book from Medieval Europe to the Americas."

Stephen G. Nichols is James M. Beall Professor Emeritus of French and Humanities, and Research Professor at Johns Hopkins University. His books include: From Parchment to Cyberspace: Medieval Literature in the Digital Age; Philology, History, Theory: Rethinking the New Medievalism; The Long Shadow of Political Theology; Rethinking the Medieval Senses; L'Alterite du Moyen Age; Medievalism and the Modernist Temper; The New Medievalism; The Whole Book; Mimesis: From Mirror to Method; and De theoria: Medieval Studies in Memory of Eugene Vance. A new, augmented edition of Romanesque Signs was published by the Davies Group in Spring 2011.

Funding from the Department of French and Italian is provided by the Mary-Margaret Barr Koon Fund.

Refreshments provided by Friends of the Lilly Library.

See the PDF flyer here.

Distinguished Alumni Series Lecture by Nancy Warren (IU PhD, English, 1997), "Chaucer, The Chaucer Tradition, and Female Monastic Readers"

Thursday, 12 November
5.30 pm, reception to follow, IMU, Presidents' Room, University Club

"Though the monastic characters in the Canterbury Tales have received considerable critical attention, the engagement of actual monastic readers, especially female monastic readers, with Geoffrey Chaucer's works and works in the Chaucerian tradition has been little studied. This essay considers the ways in which women religious at the Benedictine nunnery of Amesbury and the Brigittine nunnery of Syon read and used works by Chaucer, as well as works by John Lydgate and Thomas Hoccleve that form part of the Chaucerian tradition, in the later medieval and early modern periods. Nuns in these communities read such potentially surprising texts as Chaucer's Parliament of Fowls, Lydgate's Siege of Thebes, and Hoccleve's Regiment of Princes. The women religious of Amesbury and Syon drew upon these texts to develop rhetorical strategies and courses of action in complex political situations. Furthermore, the texts played important roles in the sophisticated devotional cultures of these monastic communities."

Nancy Warren is Professor of English at Texas A&M University

See the PDF flyer here.

Inaugural Monday Scholars' Talk at the Lilly Library

Monday, 26 October
4 pm, Slocum Puzzle Room, Lilly Library

Professors Hildegard Keller and Rosemarie McGerr and Jim Canary, Head of Conservation, will inaugurate the new series with an informal presentation and discussion about their upcoming spring 2016 Lilly Library exhibition,

The Performative Book: Agent of Creativity from Medieval Europe to the Americas

What is a performative book? What notions of performativity can be discovered this coming spring? The exhibition celebrates the medieval book, the transition to print that fostered the explorations of the Americas, and modern works that rediscover medieval texts as sources of artistic inspiration. Rosemarie McGerr and Hildegard Keller will discuss their ideas for the exhibition, their concept and their plans for events that they hope will appeal to students, faculty, and the wider community. With three decades of experience, Jim Canary, Head of Conservation, is the best person to tell us about what is going on behind the scenes until we see the Lilly Library's gems on display.

Refreshments provided by Friends of the Lilly Library

See the PDF flyer here.

Lecture by Jody Enders, "Nothing Sacred: Farce, Pornography, and the Medieval Church"

Thursday, 22 October
6 pm, reception to follow, IMU, Presidents' Room, University Club

"Notwithstanding the critical commonplace that medieval comedy was ever destined to be the standard-bearer for social conservatism, fifteenth- and sixteenth-century French farce invites a surprisingly nuanced rethinking of political theology (or is that theological politics?). As the epitome of politically incorrect theory and practice, farce endlessly stages its filthy, leaky, explosive, sexual, and sexualized bodies, the better--and the worse--to incarnate and contest bodies of theological knowledge. In literal, spiritual, and satirical ways that are positively (and negatively) pornographic--farce penetrates the veneer of men and women of the cloth. In so doing, it problematizes the true, the false, and the verisimilar in ways that tell us as much about theater as they do about theology, ideally as it makes us laugh. With multiple examples from my new translations of farces that have never before been seen in the English language, I too hope to do both."

Jody Enders is Professor of French & Theater at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the author of Murder by Accident: Medieval Theater, Modern Media, Critical Intentions (University of Chicago, 2009).

See the PDF flyer here.

Medieval Studies Annual Fall Reception

Thursday, 24 September
Faculty Room, University Club, IMU

Join us for a time of welcome and celebration! We will introduce the 2015 Medieval Studies Fellowship recipient, announce the 2015 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.

See the PDF flyer here.

Medieval Studies Fall 2015 Movie Series: Medieval Kings and Queens: History and Fiction

One Wednesday a Month, starting time varies

The Lion in Winter
Wednesday, 16 September, 7.30 pm, Wylie Hall 005
Think your family is dysfunctional? In 1183, King Henry II of England gives his fiercely outspoken, independent queen, Eleanor, a holiday break from the castle in which he keeps her exiled, to spend Christmas with him, their sons, and other special guests--including his mistress. The ageing Henry has dangled the prospect of announcing his successor, and princes Richard, Geoffrey, and John jockey for the crown as they and others do their worst to influence the embittered king. Deborah Deliyannis, Associate Professor of History, will introduce the film with brief remarks.

Kingdom of Heaven
Wednesday, 14 October, 6.30 pm, Wylie Hall 005
Balian, a village blacksmith in 1180s France, sets out on crusade to atone for his sins and to come to terms with the death of his wife and child. Along the way, he becomes entangled in the politics of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, and must grapple with the competing motives of love, power, and the desire to be the perfect knight. Although the film receives low marks for historical accuracy, the moral dilemma which arises from striving to stay true to one's ideals resonates in this director's cut. Leah Shopkow, Associate Professor of History, will introduce the film with brief remarks.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Wednesday, 18 November, 5.30 pm, Ballantine Hall 244
The last chapter in Peter Jackson's riveting Lord of the Rings trilogy, the director's cut of The Return of the King brings to a close the quest of Frodo and his faithful sidekick Sam to destroy the ring of power that contains the life-force of the trilogy's title character, the dark lord Sauron. In the balance hang not only the fates of friends, comrades-in-arms, and loved ones, but the very survival of the various kingdoms of Middle Earth and the sovereign kings and queens who strive to rule justly. Maksymilian Szostalo, PhD Candidate, History, will introduce the film with brief remarks.

No charge for admission, and the Institute provides free pizza and soda.

You can find a pdf of the flyer here.

Alumni Series Lecture and a Workshop by Aaron W. Hughes

Tuesday, 28 April
Lecture: 5.30 pm, reception to follow, IMU, State Room East
Workshop: 10.30 - 11.45 am, Sycamore Hall 224

Lecture: "Medieval Convivencia? A Jewish Philosophical Perspective." It has been fashionable since September 11, 2001, to focus on medieval al-Andalus as some sort of interfaith utopia. After an examination of the reasons behind this, Professor Hughes will examine, as a test case, several medieval Jewish philosophers, many of whom are held up as exemplars of Jewish "universalism."

Graduate Student Workshop: "Muslim and Jew: Rethinking the Paradigm." For the pre-circulated paper, please email

Aaron Hughes (PhD IU, Religious Studies, 2000) is Philip S. Bernstein Chair of Jewish Studies at the Department of Religion and Classics at the University of Rochester, New York.

See the PDF flyer here.

Graduate Student Workshop: "Getting Your Article Published"

Thursday, 16 April
3.30 - 5 pm
Sassafras Room, IMU

Join us to hear two experienced editors of interdisciplinary journals in medieval studies, Patricia Ingham of Exemplaria and Carol Symes of The Medieval Globe, as well as Sonia Velazquez (recent winner of the R. Allen and Judy Shoaf prize for best essay in Exemplaria), discuss the scholarly publication process, from pitching an article to final publication.

About the Panelists:

  • Patricia Ingham (Professor of English, IUB. Editor of Exemplaria: A Journal of Theory in Medival and Renaissance Studies)
  • Carol Symes (Associate Professor of History, LAS Global Studies, and Medieval Studies, UIUC. Editor of The Medieval Globe)
  • Sonia Velazquez (Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies/Department of Theatre, Performance and Modern Dance, IUB)

This workshop is the second organized this semester by the MEST Graduate Student Advisory Committee, which organizes two professional development workshops for graduate students each semester.

See the PDF flyer here.

Lecture by Jay Diehl, "Monastic Reform in Liege and the New(er) Learning of the Twelfth Century"

Wednesday, 8 April
4 pm, light reception to follow
Lilly Library, Lincoln Room

The monastery of St.-Laurent in Liege is well-known as the home of Rupert of Deutz, the most prolific theologian of the high Middle Ages, and as the site of a dramatic power struggle between a powerful bishop and an influential abbot, often framed as an episode of the Investiture Conflict. Somewhat surprisingly, the work of the scriptorium of St.-Laurent during Rupert's career and the ecclesiastical conflicts in Liege has received virtually no scholarly attention. This paper will examine the surviving manuscripts from St.-Laurent, which hint at unexplored connections between the corporate needs of monastic communities and the early scholastic movement, and offer a new view of medieval intellectual culture at the turn of the twelfth century.

Jay Diehl is Assistant Professor of History at Long Island University

See the PDF flyer here.

Medieval Studies Spring 2015 Movie Series: Seeing and Believing

One Wednesday a Month, 7.30

The Seventh Seal (1957)
Wednesday, 25 February, 7.30 pm, Ballantine Hall 013
Disillusioned Swedish knight Antonius Block (a youthful Max von Sydow) returns home from crusading to find his country in the grips of the Black Death, and challenges Death to a chess match for his life. Tormented by the belief that God does not exist, Antonius sets off on another journey, over the course of which he becomes determined to evade Death long enough to commit one redemptive act.

Shadowlands (1994)
Wednesday, 11 March, 7.30 pm, Ballantine Hall 013
Based on the life of twentieth-century English medievalist C. S. Lewis, this oft-overlooked critical gem (96% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes) tells the captivating story of how Lewis, a professor of medieval and renaissance English literature, Christian apologist, and author of the Chronicles of Narnia and the Space Trilogy, reluctantly found love late in life and found himself transformed by the experience.

Vision (2009)
Wednesday, 1 April, 7.30 pm, Ballantine Hall 109
Based on the life of Hildegard of Bingen, "Vision" delves into the vita of the multi-talented, twelfth-century Benedictine nun. This composer, philosopher, playwright, physician, poet, naturalist, scientist, ecological activist, and Christian mystic, a fully grounded and highly intelligent woman, was forced to hide her inner light yet retransmitted her visions to the world for the greater glory of God and mankind.

No charge for admission, and the Institute provides free pizza and soda.

You can find a pdf of the flyer here.

Graduate Student Workshop, "Navigating the Job Market"

Tuesday, 24 February
2 - 3.30 pm
IMU, Sassafras Room

Panelists Bridget Balint (Associate Professor of Classical Studies), Lori Dekydtspotter (Head of Technical Services, Lilly Library), Rachel Landis (Career Advisor, College of Arts and Sciences), and Cherry Williams (Curator of Manuscripts, Lilly Library) will lead a workshop that focuses on the job application process, both inside and outside the classroom. Our guest speakers will share their knowledge about navigating the process, discuss what employers are looking for in candidates, and share insights on how to transition to other areas of academic life.

See the PDF flyer here.

Lecture by Dana Marsh, "Music as a Liturgical Sublimation of the Charismata: Augustine to the High Middle Ages"

Thursday, 29 January
5.30pm, extended reception to follow
IMU, Maple Room

Professor Marsh will present a case study focused on the linguistic history of one word, iubilare, tracing its semantic development from Roman antiquity, and later Augustine of Hippo, through to Durand of Mende and beyond. "Liturgical commentary" (from Amalar of Metz [c.780-850] to Durand of Mende [1230-1296]) has received little or no attention in its own right as literature, or indeed as a coherent body of historical evidence. Neither has it been the subject of a book-length study in any discipline. The reason for this is revealed in the nature of the genre itself, founded on the antique, patristic style of "allegorical method", a modality situated well outside the methodological priorities of early positivist scholarship. Yet, it is clear today that the genesis of liturgical commentary had been established on a concrete system of literary classification prevalent in Medieval exegesis since Bede. Within musicological circles, the genre has received increasing attention in studies that attempt to shed light on the obscurities of chant notation and corresponding variants between the musical sources, as well as the light these obscurities and variants can potentially shed on performance practice. Thus far, however, such approaches have centred on a limited number of generic liturgical chants, guided solely by inconsistencies and vagaries of the musical sources. The literary method deployed by ritual commentators from the ninth to the fourteenth centuries is remarkably consistent. Ritual commentary therefore provides the analyst with a relatively stable domain through which to trace changes and continuities across periods of historical instability. Commentators from the ninth to the fourteenth centuries exercise the same taxonomy in reference to ritual music. Professor Marsh has argued elsewhere that this perspective is essential in understanding not only the church's supportive (and restrictive) views on ecclesiastical music during the high Middle Ages, but also forms an appropriate cultural basis on which to grasp the increase and growing complexity of newer polyphonic forms and practices that flourished during the centuries immediately preceding the Reformation.

Dana Marsh is Visiting Associate Professor of Early Music and Coordinator, Historical Performance Institute, Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University

See the PDF flyer here.

Lecture by Lynn Staley: "Anne of Bohemia and Ricardian Kingship"

Thursday, 13 November
6pm, reception to follow
Hoagy Carmichael Room (Morrison Hall 006)

Anne of Bohemia was queen of England from 1382-1394. There are some contemporary chronicle accounts of her and some traces in official records, as well as hints in literary texts either about her or addressed to her. Medieval "readings" of Anne, like modern "readings," fictionalize her, employ her as a sign for Richard II's understanding of his own regal power and suggest that Anne fulfilled her role as queen by functioning as a figure for mercy in the face of Richard's justice. In this talk Professor Staley will go over the facts and fictions we have about Anne and add some new ways of thinking about her by re-conceiving the role of royal women during the Fourteenth Century, particularly in relation to what ideas were available to them about their own relationships to power.

Lynn Staley is Harrington & Shirley Drake Professor of the Humanities and Medieval & Renaissance Studies at Colgate University. She is the author of The Island Garden: England's Language of Nation from Gildas to Marvell (Notre Dame, 2012), Languages of Power in the Age of Richard II (Penn State, 2005), editor of The Book of Margery Kempe in the TEAMS Middle English Text Series (1996) and editor and translator of the Norton Critical Edition of The Book of Margery Kempe (2001).

See the PDF flyer here.

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).


Flyer for this event

Directions to the Lilly Library